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gcthomas gcthomas is offline
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November 29th, 2012, 03:12 PM

Thanks, Lighthouse, for the thoughtful and detailed reply, even if we disagree.

On your last comment about democracy, don't forget your history. America was founded substantially by religious minorities fleeing persecution in Europe, looking for a place where the disparate groups could rub along in peace. Abandoning democracy would mean one group gets to dominate the others, and there will be no guarantee that your group would be in charge!



   
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November 30th, 2012, 08:22 AM

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Originally Posted by gcthomas View Post
Thanks, Lighthouse, for the thoughtful and detailed reply, even if we disagree.
So you disagree with the Bible?

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On your last comment about democracy, don't forget your history. America was founded substantially by religious minorities fleeing persecution in Europe, looking for a place where the disparate groups could rub along in peace. Abandoning democracy would mean one group gets to dominate the others, and there will be no guarantee that your group would be in charge!
Now you're assuming I oppose democracy.





   
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November 30th, 2012, 09:10 AM

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Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post
So you disagree with the Bible?
Yes, often, but most often with the OT. The NT is better, but it is often worded unclearly (I'm sure much has been left out), so I feel it is better to read it as figuratively, rather than literally, true.

I believe it is a great resource for developing social morality, and it was useful for it to be adhered to literally when societies were less developed. But now, we can reason it out for ourselves: people can be good with or without the bible. (And people can be immoral, whether or not they are adhering to their interpretation of the bible.)

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Now you're assuming I oppose democracy.
Sorry if I misinterpreted your meaning. It is so easy to misinterpret the written word.



   
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November 30th, 2012, 09:32 AM

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Originally Posted by gcthomas View Post
Yes, often, but most often with the OT. The NT is better, but it is often worded unclearly (I'm sure much has been left out), so I feel it is better to read it as figuratively, rather than literally, true.


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I believe it is a great resource for developing social morality, and it was useful for it to be adhered to literally when societies were less developed. But now, we can reason it out for ourselves: people can be good with or without the bible. (And people can be immoral, whether or not they are adhering to their interpretation of the bible.)
We cannot reason it out for ourselves ; we need God. It's the whole reason He gave us His word.

And how do you define good? Do you think people can be righteous without God?

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Sorry if I misinterpreted your meaning. It is so easy to misinterpret the written word.
You didn't misinterpret anything, you assumed.

But just to clear things up, I believe it is easier to change the heart and mind of one person than those of a nation.





   
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November 30th, 2012, 11:06 AM

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Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post
We cannot reason it out for ourselves ; we need God. It's the whole reason He gave us His word.
We can reason it out for ourselves, it's the whole reason we have, erm, reason!

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And how do you define good? Do you think people can be righteous without God?
Righteous is a theological term, so it is defined in relation to a god's judgement of behaviour, so it doesn't apply to the non-religious.

But, I do think people can behave 'right' without god, as many people do (there is usually an accepted 'best' way to behave in most social circumstances, described by tradition or calculated on a 'least harm to others' basis.

Having a religious motive does not make you necessarily good, while having non-religious reason for behaving well doesn't make you evil. Most people are good, with or without a judgmental god watching them to make sure.

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You didn't misinterpret anything, you assumed.
Agreed. Hidden assumptions are behind most interpretations, including mine.

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But just to clear things up, I believe it is easier to change the heart and mind of one person than those of a nation.
You're right there! Nations, and any large group with common interests and a unity of purpose, can have a mob mentality and the majority are unaffected by reason. At least some people are amenable to reasoned arguments when separated from the mob.



   
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December 1st, 2012, 06:52 AM

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Originally Posted by gcthomas View Post
We can reason it out for ourselves, it's the whole reason we have, erm, reason!
You really think we can reason out a God much greater than we?

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Righteous is a theological term, so it is defined in relation to a god's judgement of behaviour, so it doesn't apply to the non-religious.
Righteous has absolutely nothing to do with behavior.

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But, I do think people can behave 'right' without god, as many people do (there is usually an accepted 'best' way to behave in most social circumstances, described by tradition or calculated on a 'least harm to others' basis.
Of course people can behave without God. That's not the issue.

And we are clearly poor judges of what brings the least harm to others. Not to mention all those people who just don't want to behave.

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Having a religious motive does not make you necessarily good, while having non-religious reason for behaving well doesn't make you evil.
No argument there.

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Most people are good, with or without a judgmental god watching them to make sure.
I don't buy that.

I also don't see any reason to believe God is watching us to make sure we behave.

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You're right there! Nations, and any large group with common interests and a unity of purpose, can have a mob mentality and the majority are unaffected by reason. At least some people are amenable to reasoned arguments when separated from the mob.
So you're a monarchist, then?





   
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December 1st, 2012, 03:41 PM

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Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post
You really think we can reason out a God much greater than we?
Morality does not need a god to spell it out. We can, and usually do, work it out ourselves.

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And we are clearly poor judges of what brings the least harm to others.
Some are, some aren't. Religion doesn't seem to change the equation much.

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So you're a monarchist, then?
Huh? How does that follow?



   
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December 2nd, 2012, 12:32 PM

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Originally Posted by gcthomas View Post
Morality does not need a god to spell it out. We can, and usually do, work it out ourselves.
Morality has absolutely nothing to do with it.

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Some are, some aren't. Religion doesn't seem to change the equation much.
And this has nothing to do with religion, but rather the Creator of all, who knows all and sees all [that He cares to] and is therefore the best judge [as He knows it for a certainty] what is the best for everyone.

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Huh? How does that follow?
You believe we'd be better served by a single ruler whose heart and mind can be changed much easier than to be ruled by a "mob," such as we have in most "democracies."

I put that final word in quotations because I am referring to all who have elements of democracy and therefore vote on laws and leaders, yet may not be a complete democracy [the US, for instance, is a Constitutional Republic].





   
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December 4th, 2012, 05:21 AM

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Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post
... but rather the Creator of all, who ... is therefore the best judge [as He knows it for a certainty] what is the best for everyone.
If a creator exists, we are still reliant on the interpretation of a book written, edited and translated by people. This is not the same as knowing the word of god, unfiltered.

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You believe we'd be better served by a single ruler whose heart and mind can be changed much easier than to be ruled by a "mob," such as we have in most "democracies."
Democracies only function by having an executive leader, or a parliament with a leader. Having no leader, and so being ruled by the ad hoc negotiations of a mob, would be anarchy (from the greek ἀν, "without" + ἀρχός, "leader"). So I prefer democracies led by leaders. There ARE no functioning democracies with executive functions or law making carried out by the population as a whole. (I'd not that you inferred a preference from a statement of fact - you should not assume that I favour things that I observe)

Quote:
I put that final word in quotations because I am referring to all who have elements of democracy and therefore vote on laws and leaders, yet may not be a complete democracy [the US, for instance, is a Constitutional Republic].
Why would a constitutional republic not be a 'full' democracy? the 'cracy' part of democracy comes from greek 'kratos', meaning power: in the case of the US, the people's ('demos') power to remove a poorly performing president or representative. This IS full democracy.

('Mob rule' is what you have in rural parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia.)




Last edited by gcthomas; December 12th, 2012 at 07:06 AM..
   
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December 4th, 2012, 06:59 AM

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Originally Posted by gcthomas View Post
If a creator exists, we are still reliant on the interpretation of a book written, edited and translated by people. This is not the same as knowing the word of god, unfiltered.
We can rely on that very same Creator to lead us into truth, especially when men have erred in translating, or interpreting, His word; most of all when we have as we are not very good at knowing spiritual things of our own accord.

Quote:
Democracies only function by having an executive leader, or a parliament with a leader. Having no leader, and so being ruled by the ad hoc negotiations of a mob, would be anarchy (from the greek ἀν, "without" + ἀρχός, "leader"). So I prefer democracies led by leaders. There ARE no functioning democracies with executive functions or law making carried out by the population as a whole. (I'd not that you inferred a preference from a statement of fact - you should not assume that I favour things that I observe)
Elected leaders are elected by the mob, so...

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Why would a constitutional republic not be a 'full' democracy? the 'cracy' part of democracy comes from greek 'kratos', meaning power: in the case of the US, the people's ('demos') power to remove a poorly performing president or representative. This IS full democracy.
How many things do we vote on? Was there a vote when Roe v Wade was decided? How about prohibition? The emancipation proclamation?

Now, one of these things was the right thing to do but the populace didn't vote on any of them, afaik. So not a full on democracy.





   
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December 4th, 2012, 07:51 AM

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Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post
We can rely on that very same Creator to lead us into truth, especially when men have erred in translating, or interpreting, His word; most of all when we have as we are not very good at knowing spiritual things of our own accord.
How can you tell when your opinion is an inerrant truth? Especially when different people seem to be lead towards different inerrant truths?

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Elected leaders are elected by the mob, so...
agreed ...

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How many things do we vote on? Was there a vote when Roe v Wade was decided? How about prohibition? The emancipation proclamation?

Now, one of these things was the right thing to do but the populace didn't vote on any of them, afaik. So not a full on democracy.
Ah , you are thinking of a 'fully participatory' democracy. The advantage of a leader is that they can occasionally govern for everyone, not just the majority. In such a disfunctional system as the one you are implying, the majority would always win votes and the minorities would be disenfranchised completely. It would be a dictatorship under another name, not a functioning democracy where all can be heard.



   
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December 4th, 2012, 06:35 PM

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Originally Posted by gcthomas View Post
How can you tell when your opinion is an inerrant truth? Especially when different people seem to be lead towards different inerrant truths?
I don't rely on my opinion.

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agreed ...
Okay.

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Ah , you are thinking of a 'fully participatory' democracy. The advantage of a leader is that they can occasionally govern for everyone, not just the majority. In such a disfunctional system as the one you are implying, the majority would always win votes and the minorities would be disenfranchised completely. It would be a dictatorship under another name, not a functioning democracy where all can be heard.
I still prefer one ruler who can be directed to the right way more easily than a nation of people electing leaders and voting for what they think is right who can't be persuaded away from the wrong path when they are upon it.





   
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December 4th, 2012, 07:16 PM

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Originally Posted by gcthomas View Post
How can you tell when your opinion is an inerrant truth? Especially when different people seem to be lead towards different inerrant truths?
Is it possible that your opinion of Doug McBurney is wrong and Doug McBurney's statement calling those that lie liars and those that steal thieves and those that kill babies baby killers and those politicians that ignore God's standards of sexual immorality in regards to homosexuality homo-loving correct?

And in response to your statement:

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Originally Posted by gcthomas View Post
You have directly quoted only Bob Enyart
(You cut'n'pasted your entire post from here: http://kgov.com/nicer-than-god)
I don't think you have been around long enough to know how well connected several people here on TheologyOnline are to Bob Enyart. I think it is funny that you seem to be making an accusation against Jefferson for quoting a close personal friend of his yet you quote the Apostle Peter without his permission. How dare you use the words of someone else to defend your position! Don't you have any words of your own?

You aren't very tolerant of Doug McBurney or Jefferson.





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December 5th, 2012, 02:54 AM

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Originally Posted by chatmaggot View Post
I don't think you have been around long enough to know how well connected several people here on TheologyOnline are to Bob Enyart.
Should these 'well connected' people be treated differently in a discussion because of their links?

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I think it is funny
Good!

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that you seem to be making an accusation against Jefferson for quoting a close personal friend of his
From the 10 TOL Commandments "6. ... If you are posting material written by others, make sure to give them credit." He should have said that his comments were not his own, no matter how 'well connected' he is.

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yet you quote the Apostle Peter without his permission.
I'll ask him first, next time!

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How dare you use the words of someone else to defend your position! Don't you have any words of your own?
Is Bible quoting not allowed on this forum? I missed that rule.
Words of my own? You haven't read many of my posts, obviously, so I'll let that one pass.

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You aren't very tolerant of Doug McBurney or Jefferson.
They don't exactly encourage tolerance, do they? In any case, there is a difference between tolerating people and not questioning their attitudes. That's what this forum is about, isn't it, Chatmaggot? A polite exchange of views?



   
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December 5th, 2012, 07:34 PM

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Originally Posted by gcthomas View Post
Should these 'well connected' people be treated differently in a discussion because of their links?
To be fair, there were quotes from the referenced verses in what Jefferson posted.





   
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