# .

## Posts

• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
zerg rush wrote:
Then again, you're arguing against people who believe that philosophy encompasses everything and logic!11!! means the same thing regardless of if it's mathematical logic, argument and debate logic, or formal logic.

I don't think you'll find someone who disputes the claim that there are different types or systems of logic.
Elitistb wrote:
Okay, you should only have bolded the first sentence, as if-then, do-until, and, or, not, etc as used by computers are causal connections.

No. The operators you are talking about are logical connections. They are not causal connections. We can make logical connections between things which do not exist, or may exist in a possible world, and these connections may in fact be necessary - but that doesn't mean that they are causal in nature.

Your problem is that the language used for establishing a logical connection versus a causal connection is usually the same. If A, then B can be understood as a material conditional (A ⊃ in symbolic notation, in which case only a logical connection is being asserted, or the form of the if...then statement can be used to make a causal claim, such as: If the ball strikes the window, then the window will break. But just because the natural language construction is the same (the form of the "if...then"), that doesn't mean that what is being asserted is the same.

Think of the difference this way:

A. If all humans are mortal and Socrates is a human, then Socrates is mortal.
B. If Leslie is a bachelor, then Leslie is unmarried.
C. If this piece of blue litmus paper is placed in acid, then this piece of blue litmus paper will turn red.

You are asserting that A, B, and C are of the same form. This is false. In the first example (A), the consequent (the thing after then in an if-then statement) follows logically from the antecedent (the thing after if but before the then). In the second example (B), the consequent follows based simply on the definition of bachelor (this is what Kant would call an analytic a priori proposition). In the final example, C, the consequent doesn't follow the antecedent by either definition or by logical necessity, but can be established through empirical observation and investigation.

Only the last example, C, is one that attempts to establish a causal relationship.
These are the principles by which computers work. These are not philosophies. A computer is a machine. Computers don't run by logic, they run by causality.

I don't think you know what logic is...
Even these terms don't actually describe what computers DO, they just approximate the functions.

My understanding was that computers were based on transistors that operated according to a two state binary logic system. If that's the case, then what is going on is logic. You can replace "True" and "False" with "1" and "0" if you'd like, but it wouldn't change the fact that logic is what is being done by the computer.
I'll retreat from the first sentence, that there is a difference between philosophical logic and mathematical logic

I'd really appreciate a description of the difference between "mathematical logic" and "philosophical logic ". I've honestly never heard these terms used before. I've only ever encountered terms relating to specific systems of logic, e.g. fuzzy logic, modal logic, propositional or symbolic logic, Hegelian logic, etc.
A computer was designed to emulate the human concept of logic, but emulate is all it does. It actually works on principles inherent to the universe that are independent of human thoughts.

I'm sorry, you are saying that computers "emulate" human logic, but also use principles which exist a priori and are independent from humans? You are being absurd, here. How do computers "emulate" logic, and how does this differ from actually doing logic? What are these "principles inherent to the universe" which computers operate according to, and why aren't they a part of the "human logic" that computers apparently emulate?

saggio on
3DS: 0232-9436-6893
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
Alright saggio: Hermeneutics War II: Eschaton

[quote[Your reading of the Bible is of the same or similar manner as that of fundamentalist Christianity. It is not a strawman. You read it ahistorically[/quote]
Plainly false.
and without reference to important matters of context (such as the other pillars of the faith).
There is no reason why catholic or Catholic addendums and irrational interpretations to the Bible should inform an honest reading of the text. They only inform one's understanding of the religion itself, which is not what we are talking about.
Well, you seem to be reading the Bible in a positivist manner.
Okay. But it's not dualism. It's not you're either positivist or you read the Bible through the bullshit-stained lens of Catholic-style interpretation.
Well, at least you understand the concept of hermeneutics. That's a start.
As I said in the last thread, I majored in religious studies. Invoking big theology words does not impress me, saggio.
What you fail to understand, then, is that reading the Bible as a historical record differs from reading it as holy scripture, or a religious text,
Well duh
and that the things that you must make reference to differ between these things. If, for instance, I was trying to read the LXX as a historical document, I would be making references to modern archaeological scholarship, contemporary Greek, Akkadian, or Egyptian sources, etc.

If I was attempting, on the other hand, to read, say, the Gospels as a religious text, I would be making reference to the other things that I've consistently mentioned in my posts - reason, the Church, and its traditions.
Here's the problem. There is no so-called "religious hermeneutic" you keep on talking about. Every sect of Christianity has its own lens for interpreting the Bible. Most of them contradict each other. Most of them change based on external developmentsâ€”which partly coincide with your "pillars." In addition, most individuals within the traditions cherry-pick anyway.

And more importantly, none of these interpretations are intellectually honest. The entire point of such interpretations is to, as Mr.Mister said, make a square fit into a circle, and hammer the Bible into something that is morally or scientifically palatable, often byâ€”as you have doneâ€”outright ignoring unpalatable passages. I reject this "hermeneutic" because, as I have repeatedly argued, it is simply not honest. Nobody would ever interpret any ancient text in this way, other than their preferred religious text.

Sola scriptura does not enter into this. You can interpret the Bible honestly and still derive your revealed truth from elsewhere. But if you want to claim that parts of the Bibleâ€”such as the unsavory passages I am fond of quotingâ€”must be ignored per your interpretation, you need to explain why. Understand that you're not even making a context argument, as the context of most of these passages is readily apparent from studying, for example, ANE culture.
This is where your confusion lies. You are attempting to conflate the reading of the Bible as a historical document versus a religious document.
They are not mutually exclusive. Many religious theologians read the Bible in a historical context, so as to get a better understanding of what the book says and means. Just as it's important to understand ancient Greek culture to understand the philosophy of Plato.

If you were religious with respect to Plato's philosophy, understanding the historical context of Plato would sharpen your understanding, not contradict it. The fact that so many religious people see a historical understanding of the Bible as a contradiction of their faith speaks more about how little their faith has to do with the Bible.

Which is fine, as I've said many times. Just don't say that we ought to interpret the Bible through the lens of a faith that strains itself to ignore and twist around what the Bible actually says. That would be like reading Plato through the lens of someone who had a vested interest in believing that Plato wasn't really a misogynist slavery apologist.
You disagree because you read the Bible as a historical record, not as a religious text. And that's fine, but you should not conflate the two, and you shouldn't criticize other peoples' (religious) readings when they don't mesh with your (historical) reading.
Why the hell not?

Take any book. Get a bunch of people to interpret it. Some interpretations, you will find, do more violence to the text and the history surrounding the text to others. If you were a teacher, you could even assign them grades. .... unless we're talking about the Bible?
I probably should have been more clear, though you are being a bit pedantic here. By "Bible," I didn't mean the agreed-upon, canonized collection of texts that form our modern day Bible (which Bible?). I simply meant some collection of texts. Jesus' teachingsâ€”or, at least, Paul's teachings, and later gospel interpretations (or inventions) of Jesus' teachings, simply make no sense without the prior existence and context of the Hebrew Bible. Put simply: Jesus is supposed to save us from sin-caused damnation, but what the hell is sin? What is damnation? Who is damning us? Without the Hebrew Bible, these questions have no answers.

I would disagree.
On what grounds? Jesus' salvation is the entire point of Christianity and this salvation makes absolutely no sense without a prior context of Jewish mythology, codified in Jewish writingsâ€”which were already largely canonized by the time of Christianity.

If you disagree, provide an alternative.
And in late antiquity, there was a relatively agreed-upon canon for the Hebrew Bible. It wasn't a "book" (the word "Bible" means "book"), but they had well-preserved and copied scrolls.

You are taking about the LXX. I know what that is, and I know that early Christians, especially the Hellenized Jews, like Saul, used the LXX extensively. Most early translations before the Vulgate were based on the LXX.
I'm not talking only about the LXX, (aka the Septuigintâ€”the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bibleâ€”for our less nerdy readers). You are correct, this is the version of the Bible that Paul and many of the early Christians would have had. And it is a good example of the extent to which the Hebrew Bible was already canonized before the Christian church. But there were also Hebrew versions floating around in late antiquityâ€”for example, much of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

That said, there were also a shitload of noncanonical (by today's standards) works in late antiquity, and you could argue that it's not clear how late antique Jews and Christians differentiated between pseudepigrapha and so-called canonical text; obvoiusly disputes continued well through the Christian era, as evidenced by competing canons. Hence my caveats about there being no such thing about an objective Bible. But my point remains: Christianity makes no sense without a basic mythology that was codified in a "Bible"â€”scare quotes implying an essential framework including, for example, the Tanakh, the Dt. histories, some of the Prophets, etc. This framework was clearly canonized by the time of early Christianity and factors intimately into both gospel-Jesus' and Paul's theology.
It really depends what you mean when you say "the religion it is today."
All sects of Christianity see the Bible as evidence that Jesus was resurrected, and see the Bible as giving the context of the salvific value of that resurrection. That is the central unifying doctrine of Christianityâ€”Jesus died to save your ass. It makes absolutely no sense without a Bible to support it.
This is false. The New Testament is not the foundation of Christianity. If you want to ascribe anyone apart from Christ as being the foundation of Christianity, it is Peter and Paul.
Peter and Paul do not exist anymore. They only exist through their writings, now codified in the Bible.
The Bible is a part of the Christian faith. It is not the part or the basis for it.
If any of your "pillars" are false, you could still have Christianity. This is not the case with the Bible. If the Bible is false, there is no resurrection, nothing from which we need saving. Christianity would make absolutely no sense.
You sure about that? Just what do you mean by "Christianity," then - do you mean someone who reveres Christ? Islam does that, and so do the Baha'is.
For the purposes of this discussion, no. By "Christianity" I mean, at minimum, a belief that Christ was resurrected and this resurrection had some salvific effect on humanity.

I understand perfectly well that there are exceptions, such as people who just like Jesus as a philosopher or whatever, and we can quibble endlessly, but for the purposes of this discussion I think it's reasonable to ascribe the bounds of the religion there. (It certainly makes more sense than your arbitrary denouncement of sola scriptura as "heresy.")
No. This is nonsense. Christianity is not a product of the Bible, the Bible is a product of Christianity, specifically the other parts of the faith, namely the Church and its traditions.
Similarly, the Quran is a "product of Islam." Nobody would seriously argue that you can have Islam without the Quran.

You can certainly argue that Christianity as a whole is less dependent on the Bible than Islam is on the Quran. But this is simply a chicken-and-the-egg quibbling. Early Christianity did not have a Bibleâ€”but the sects of Christianity that did end up with a Bible grew into the religion now known as "Christianity." The other sects, based on non-Biblical scriptures and ideas (such as gnostic gospels like Thomas and dualists called Docetics) are now almost universally considered outside the pale of the religion called "Christianity."

Here is the bottom line, saggio. We can argue about the extent to which the Bible acts as a foundation of Christianity. And we can argue about the relative value and honesty of traditional Christian methods of interpreting the Bible.

But when I bring up a passage like Deuteronomy 20:16, which commands you to commit genocide against occupants of the holy land, and ask you for your interpretation of this passage, you don't simply get to flail around and scream "context" and "tradition." You need to tell me how you actually think this passage should be interpreted. We've talked about this topic for a number of posts, in a number of threads, and I still haven't gotten a straight answer from you. And I want one.

Did God never give the order for genocide?
â€”If not, is this passage a mistake, or a lie?
â€”If so, was it morally right for the Hebrews to follow the command, or morally wrong?
â€”If neitherâ€”if you're arguing that the passage is a "metaphor" for somethingâ€”then a metaphor for what?

I see absolutely no reason to deviate from the obvious reading of the text. Tell me why you do, saggio.

Qingu on
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
Fencingsax wrote: »
Now, if you mean criticizing it in the same way you would criticize any series of oral tradition parables from the time period, well go right ahead. But it needs to be taken in with the context of when it was written. This means that you need to accept that people wrote it, and so you need to take into account political and scientific views of the time it was written. (for example, the pharisees vs the sagisees).
I'm not sure who you're responding to.

And the bolded part certainly contradicts a wide swath of Christian beliefs about the Bible.

Qingu on
• ＭＥＭＥＴＩＣＨＡＲＩＺＡＲＤ interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
edited June 2009
Re: Sam.

Fuck it, I'm making a new thread.

Feral on
every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
• It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
edited June 2009
Qingu wrote: »
Fencingsax wrote: »
Now, if you mean criticizing it in the same way you would criticize any series of oral tradition parables from the time period, well go right ahead. But it needs to be taken in with the context of when it was written. This means that you need to accept that people wrote it, and so you need to take into account political and scientific views of the time it was written. (for example, the pharisees vs the sagisees).
I'm not sure who you're responding to.

And the bolded part certainly contradicts a wide swath of Christian beliefs about the Bible.
Not if you acknowledge the difference between divinely written and divinely inspired.

Fencingsax on
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
Fencingsax wrote: »
Qingu wrote: »
Fencingsax wrote: »
Now, if you mean criticizing it in the same way you would criticize any series of oral tradition parables from the time period, well go right ahead. But it needs to be taken in with the context of when it was written. This means that you need to accept that people wrote it, and so you need to take into account political and scientific views of the time it was written. (for example, the pharisees vs the sagisees).
I'm not sure who you're responding to.

And the bolded part certainly contradicts a wide swath of Christian beliefs about the Bible.
Not if you acknowledge the difference between divinely written and divinely inspired.
I hear this difference brought up a lot but for some reason nobody ever bothers me to fill in the specifics.

It's also usually brought up as an excuse to ignore unsavory or silly Bible passages.

Qingu on
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
For clarity's sake, when I refer to the "Bible" without addendum, I'm referring to the Christian Bible, such as it is. Given that we are discussing the Christian Bible, as far as I can tell, when I need to refer to the Hebrew scriptures, I will either use LXX (to refer to the Septuagint) or "Old Testament." I'm doing this because I am arguing in favour of a hermeneutic from a general Christian perspective, not a hermeneutic from a Jewish perspective.
Qingu wrote:
There is no reason why catholic or Catholic addendums and irrational interpretations to the Bible should inform an honest reading of the text. They only inform one's understanding of the religion itself, which is not what we are talking about.

The Bible is a religious text. It is not the same as other ancient texts which are not religious. We can treat the Bible as a non-religious text for our purposes, but that will mean the reading that comes out of it will differ than if we read it in a religious manner, in a religious context.

The same can be said for other classical texts. I could read the Phaedrus as a text on metaphysics and moral education, or, I could read the text as a religious account of Orphism. The change in focus will change what you get from the text.

When we talk about the Bible in terms of "catholic or Catholic addendums" we are talking about reading the Bible in its original religious context, which means making reference to and being constrained by things like Church tradition and theology.
Qingu wrote:
Okay. But it's not dualism. It's not you're either positivist or you read the Bible through the bullshit-stained lens of Catholic-style interpretation.

Qingu wrote:
As I said in the last thread, I majored in religious studies. Invoking big theology words does not impress me, saggio.

I'm glad that you are literate, Qingu. I'm not trying to impress you by using appropriate words in an appropriate context, I'm simply trying to be clear with my point. I am advancing, and have been advancing, the notion that you cannot read a text in isolation from its context. You've now accepted this, and are now apparently asserting that the context which you define is the only context worth considering, and that any other context is incorrect.

So, we've moved from "no hermeneutic ever" to "my hermeneutic is better than yours." That's progress, I guess.
Here's the problem. There is no so-called "religious hermeneutic" you keep on talking about. Every sect of Christianity has its own lens for interpreting the Bible.

You just contradicted yourself, here. 1. There is no religious interpretation of the Bible. 2. All Christian sects have their own religious interpretation of the Bible.

I am saying: 1. There exists a religious hermeneutic. 2. We can make value judgments about religious interpretations of the Bible according to this religious hermeneutic. 3. There exists other, non-religious hermeneutics that will give a different reading of the text. 4. Your reading is a non-religious hermeneutic and gives a different reading of the text. 5. Calling one hermeneutic (religious vs. non-religious) better or worse when compared with another hermeneutic is generally incomprehensible. 6. You are both denying the possibility of a religious hermeneutic and asserting that your hermeneutic is better than all others.

You haven't established this, and are simply question begging.
Qingu wrote:
And more importantly, none of these interpretations are intellectually honest. The entire point of such interpretations is to, as Mr.Mister said, make a square fit into a circle, and hammer the Bible into something that is morally or scientifically palatable, often byâ€”as you have doneâ€”outright ignoring unpalatable passages.

If I start with an axiom that states Jesus was the Christ and logos and that certain knowledge of him has been revealed to us through revelation, and then proceed to us reason and logic to establish other things, am I wrong? No; I can make a perfectly valid argument whatever the axioms are. You are objecting to the axiom to begin with, and asserting that whatever argument is made that follows, even if it is valid, is unsound - and that's fine, but you aren't then disputing the hermeneutic as a hermeneutic, you are disputing the whole idea of religion.

That's also fine, but you are conflating the two. I dispute the existence of God and the divinity of Christ, hell, even the existence of Christ. But I can also take certain axioms as given and examine them and the arguments that are produced from them for validity, and still be intellectually honest. Hell, that's what science does all the time - you take basic, unprovable axioms regarding the reliability of empirical knowledge and derive all sorts of arguments and such from that. You can't deal with the axioms within that system, simply because they are axioms, and at some point, you either have to accept that you are being arbitrary, or give some sort of reason why a particular axiom should be accepted.
Qingu wrote:
I reject this "hermeneutic" because, as I have repeatedly argued, it is simply not honest.

So, the measure of honesty is how well is lines up with Qingu's interpretation?
Nobody would ever interpret any ancient text in this way, other than their preferred religious text.

Nobody would ever interpret any ancient text in this way, except ancient texts which are, in fact, interpreted in this way.

That's what you are saying. It's meaningless and contradictory.
Sola scriptura does not enter into this.

Yes, it does. Sola scriptura is an attempt to use a religious hermeneutic that rejects the basic constraints and assumptions necessary for a hermeneutic to be a religious hermeneutic itself. In that respect, we can judge it to be a poor example of a religious hermeneutic, but nevertheless it remains a religious hermeneutic. This is why I describe it as heresy - a word I use in its original sense, "theological error."
You can interpret the Bible honestly and still derive your revealed truth from elsewhere. But if you want to claim that parts of the Bibleâ€”such as the unsavory passages I am fond of quotingâ€”must be ignored per your interpretation, you need to explain why

And such things are readily explained through the tradition and the Church itself, two things which help to demarcate the bounds of a religious hermeneutic. I believe the theological notion is that Christ fufilled the prophecies and the laws of Moses spoken about in the LXX and the Old Testament, and that his existence and sacrifice formed a new covenant that ushered in a new era. Such a notion can be found in the proceedings of the first Council of Jerusalem, for instance.

(I should note here that I'm not attempting to defend this particular explanation, I'm merely asserting that it exists, and it provides an explanation as to why some passages are more important than others).
Qingu wrote:
Understand that you're not even making a context argument, as the context of most of these passages is readily apparent from studying, for example, ANE culture.

Context isn't equal to "historical context." There are other things to consider beyond that.
They are not mutually exclusive. Many religious theologians read the Bible in a historical context, so as to get a better understanding of what the book says and means. Just as it's important to understand ancient Greek culture to understand the philosophy of Plato.

They certainly aren't, but you are treating them as such. Reading historically and reading religiously isn't equal to reading religiously and non-religiously.
If you were religious with respect to Plato's philosophy, understanding the historical context of Plato would sharpen your understanding, not contradict it.

Perhaps. I'm not sure what you are getting at.
The fact that so many religious people see a historical understanding of the Bible as a contradiction of their faith speaks more about how little their faith has to do with the Bible.

Well, this is untrue. Only certain individuals who reject a full and robust religious hermeneutic, such as those who embrace sola scriptura would fall prey to this. The historical traditions and decisions of the Church greatly inform both the reading of the Bible and the general understanding of the faith, and most certainly don't lead to contradiction, if you accept these and read the work within these boundaries.
Which is fine, as I've said many times. Just don't say that we ought to interpret the Bible through the lens of a faith that strains itself to ignore and twist around what the Bible actually says. That would be like reading Plato through the lens of someone who had a vested interest in believing that Plato wasn't really a misogynist slavery apologist.

Since you obviously aren't a classicist or into ancient philosophy, I'm not going to respond to your Plato comment, since I'm sure that would spawn a whole other discussion.

But here we get back to the crux of the matter. I'm not saying that we should interpret the Bible categorically in religious terms. I'm simply saying that such interpretations exist, and that it is sometimes appropriate to do so - such as when you are discussing Biblical passages with religious people, or what have you. You are saying that they don't exist, and that, in fact, only one intellectually honest interpretation exists - yours.

You keep asserting this, but you have done nothing to establish it.
Why the hell not?

Take any book. Get a bunch of people to interpret it. Some interpretations, you will find, do more violence to the text and the history surrounding the text to others. If you were a teacher, you could even assign them grades. .... unless we're talking about the Bible?

Religious texts are different than non-religious texts. I don't understand why this claim is causing controversy.
Qingu wrote:
On what grounds? Jesus' salvation is the entire point of Christianity and this salvation makes absolutely no sense without a prior context of Jewish mythology, codified in Jewish writingsâ€”which were already largely canonized by the time of Christianity.

If you disagree, provide an alternative.

I'm simply saying that while the LXX or the Old Testament may provide some clarification or historical context to both Jesus the person and all of the theological positions therein, Christianity has a separate tradition and separate theologies, and as a result, means that there is a different way of both reading the Bible and approaching theological questions.
And it is a good example of the extent to which the Hebrew Bible was already canonized before the Christian church.

I'm not disputing that the LXX was canonized in Alexandria during the period of the diadochi. But we are at risk of talking about two different things, here. Either the LXX as a Jewish document, in terms of Jewish religious tradition and hermeneutic, or the LXX as part of a larger Christian document, and in terms of Christian religious tradition and hermeneutic.

This is the same thing you run into with Islam or the Baha'i faith. Islam interprets the Bible in a way that is distinct from the Christian manner, and within its own religious context, just as Baha'is interpret the Koran in a way that is distinct from the Islamic manner. Does that mean one interpretation is less justified or correct? Not necessarily.
That said, there were also a shitload of noncanonical (by today's standards) works in late antiquity, and you could argue that it's not clear how late antique Jews and Christians differentiated between pseudepigrapha and so-called canonical text; obvoiusly disputes continued well through the Christian era, as evidenced by competing canons. Hence my caveats about there being no such thing about an objective Bible.

I don't think I've ever asserted there to be such thing as an "objective Bible."

Second, the proliferation of dubious texts during late Antiquity was dealt with through the various ecumenical councils, which, I'm sure, you are well aware of.
But my point remains: Christianity makes no sense without a basic mythology that was codified in a "Bible"â€”scare quotes implying an essential framework including, for example, the Tanakh, the Dt. histories, some of the Prophets, etc. This framework was clearly canonized by the time of early Christianity and factors intimately into both gospel-Jesus' and Paul's theology.

The LXX was canonized, yes. I don't dispute that. But I do dispute the notion that Christianity would not exist without the Bible, or that it makes no sense without the Bible. The Bible is a product of the Church, which has existed since the time of St. Peter.
All sects of Christianity see the Bible as evidence that Jesus was resurrected,

No, that's not correct. Jesus' resurrection is asserted to be true in catholic (note the small "c") churches irrespective of what is in the Bible. The gospels are merely accounts of things which are taken to be true and to have happened.
That is the central unifying doctrine of Christianityâ€”Jesus died to save your ass. It makes absolutely no sense without a Bible to support it.

The Bible may serve to reinforce this theological position. But the current incarnation of the Bible is a product of theological positions which existed before the Bible was written or codified.
Peter and Paul do not exist anymore. They only exist through their writings, now codified in the Bible.

Only their writings. And their Church, which continues to exist as a living body. Have you ever heard of apostolic succession?
Qingu wrote:
Similarly, the Quran is a "product of Islam." Nobody would seriously argue that you can have Islam without the Quran.

No. The circumstances in which the Koran was written and disseminated is quite different than that of the Bible. You can't draw an analogy here, because the situations are too different.
The other sects, based on non-Biblical scriptures and ideas (such as gnostic gospels like Thomas and dualists called Docetics) are now almost universally considered outside the pale of the religion called "Christianity."

This is wrong. There are plenty of sects which embrace positions and doctrines outside the Bible which are still today considered Christian. The Roman Catholic Church, for example, in this past century proclaimed ex cathedra the Assumption of Mary. That's not in the Bible, but it's a valid religious tradition, and one that has existed for centuries.
Qingu wrote:
But when I bring up a passage like Deuteronomy 20:16, which commands you to commit genocide against occupants of the holy land, and ask you for your interpretation of this passage, you don't simply get to flail around and scream "context" and "tradition." You need to tell me how you actually think this passage should be interpreted. We've talked about this topic for a number of posts, in a number of threads, and I still haven't gotten a straight answer from you. And I want one.

I'm not advancing a particular interpretation of the Bible, Qingu. I'm not a Christian, and I'm not interested in defending a particular religious reading of the Bible. I'm simply saying that such interpretations exist, and are valid just as much as your reading is.

You, on the other hand, are asserting otherwise. Specifically that there is only one reading that is correct and intellectually honest - yours. And that no other readings either exist as possibilities or are valid in any way. Yet while you have asserted this both implicitly and explicitly, you have done nothing to establish it, instead taking it as given (question begging) and then attempting to reverse the onus for proof and place it onto me, by asking me to provide a particular alternative.

I'm not going to provide you one because I don't have to provide you with one - that's not my job, and that's not what I'm arguing for in the first place.

saggio on
3DS: 0232-9436-6893
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
So, what? Do you want Qingu to work out a proof that no other sensible hermeneutic can exist? That seems a hell of a lot more complex than providing a single counter-example.

Bama on
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
You know, when you're making these super long posts, you might want to break it up, because it's otherwise impossible for people to quote/respond.

GungHo on
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
Bama wrote: »
So, what? Do you want Qingu to work out a proof that no other sensible hermeneutic can exist? That seems a hell of a lot more complex than providing a single counter-example.

Well, he's asserting that his hermeneutic is either a) the only hermeneutic, or, b) the only correct hermeneutic, and he is not attempting to prove it or establish it. He's taking it as given. That's question begging, which is a logical fallacy.

saggio on
3DS: 0232-9436-6893
• Registered User, ClubPA regular
edited June 2009
Whoever is responsible for the title change, let me just say

necroSYS on
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
GungHo wrote: »
You know, when you're making these super long posts, you might want to break it up, because it's otherwise impossible for people to quote/respond.

I try to do that if I'm responding to more than one person. But since I'm only responding to Qingu...

saggio on
3DS: 0232-9436-6893
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
saggio wrote: »
Bama wrote: »
So, what? Do you want Qingu to work out a proof that no other sensible hermeneutic can exist? That seems a hell of a lot more complex than providing a single counter-example.

Well, he's asserting that his hermeneutic is either a) the only hermeneutic, or, b) the only correct hermeneutic, and he is not attempting to prove it or establish it. He's taking it as given. That's question begging, which is a logical fallacy.
Similarly, you are asserting that another correct hermeneutic exists and are taking it as a given.

Bama on
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
Bama wrote: »
saggio wrote: »
Bama wrote: »
So, what? Do you want Qingu to work out a proof that no other sensible hermeneutic can exist? That seems a hell of a lot more complex than providing a single counter-example.

Well, he's asserting that his hermeneutic is either a) the only hermeneutic, or, b) the only correct hermeneutic, and he is not attempting to prove it or establish it. He's taking it as given. That's question begging, which is a logical fallacy.
Similarly, you are asserting that another correct hermeneutic exists and are taking it as a given.

No.

I'm asserting that various hermeneutics exist, and that, in particular, a religious hermeneutic exists. I'm also saying that evaluating one hermeneutic according to the bounds of another is incomprehensible, as it is similar to examining an argument and rejecting it based on the axioms rather than what is in the argument itself. One can do this, surely, but then the discussion changes and we have to have some mechanism to determine which axiom should be accepted and why.

That hasn't been provided.

saggio on
3DS: 0232-9436-6893
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
saggio wrote: »
Here's the problem. There is no so-called "religious hermeneutic" you keep on talking about. Every sect of Christianity has its own lens for interpreting the Bible.
You just contradicted yourself, here. 1. There is no religious interpretation of the Bible. 2. All Christian sects have their own religious interpretation of the Bible.
No, he's saying there's no coherent religious interpretation of the Bible. There's a difference, and you know it, and you're cheaply ignoring that to score a Debate Point, to be redeemed at the SnarkStore.
saggio wrote:
I am saying: 1. There exists a religious hermeneutic.
There doesn't. There exists 29847387 religious hermeneutics, all of varying methodologies and all arriving at different conclusions. Qingu is saying that, since that is the case, and since there is no way to distinguish between the various religious hermeneutics on any reasonable basis given that they're all based upon, and use, irrational nonsense as a starting point, there is no point to engaging a religious text within the confines of any one particular "religious hermeneutic." Which one would you choose? And upon what basis would you choose it? It's nonsense. They contradict each other. Qingu's approach, on the other hand, attempts to understand the text taking contextual and historical cues from the time in which it was written. Which is the only reasonable way to understand any given text. A religious interpretation, regardless how many followers adhere to it, is nonsense, and this whole thing by Qingu has been attempting to illustrate that. You have yet to prove that wrong.
2. We can make value judgments about religious interpretations of the Bible according to this religious hermeneutic.
Which religious hermeneutic?
3. There exists other, non-religious hermeneutics that will give a different reading of the text. 4. Your reading is a non-religious hermeneutic and gives a different reading of the text.
Undeniable.
5. Calling one hermeneutic (religious vs. non-religious) better or worse when compared with another hermeneutic is generally incomprehensible.
How so? Pray tell.
6. You are both denying the possibility of a religious hermeneutic and asserting that your hermeneutic is better than all others.
He is denying the possibility of a religious hermeneutic with any sort of coherency or useful basis. A claim you have yet to counter.

MikeMan on
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
I don't think Qingu is saying that other hermeneutics don't exist, but rather that the others he has seen are intellectually dishonest. (edit: Mike got it)

Are you saying that there's no such thing as an invalid, nonsensical, or internally inconsistent reading of a text? of a religious text?

Bama on
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
saggio wrote: »
The Bible is a religious text. It is not the same as other ancient texts which are not religious. We can treat the Bible as a non-religious text for our purposes, but that will mean the reading that comes out of it will differ than if we read it in a religious manner, in a religious context.
The boundary between "religious" and "non-religious" ancient texts isn't all that clear. Look at something like the Code of Hamurabi, for example.
The same can be said for other classical texts. I could read the Phaedrus as a text on metaphysics and moral education, or, I could read the text as a religious account of Orphism. The change in focus will change what you get from the text.
Possibly, but not necessarily the meaning of the text.
When we talk about the Bible in terms of "catholic or Catholic addendums" we are talking about reading the Bible in its original religious context, which means making reference to and being constrained by things like Church tradition and theology.
You are aware that the ancient Hebrews who wrote the Bible were quite religious.

I don't even know how to respond to this statement. If you think the 4th-century Catholic tradition of Biblical interpretation is the book's "original religious context," you simply are not even qualified to have this discussion. I hope it was a poor choice of words.
Look, Qingu, you can read the Bible however you like. But you very obviously are incredibly hostile to reading it in any manner other than completely literal and that's fine - it's your reading. But it isn't the only reading, and your reading isn't perefct or more accurate, necessarily, than another reading.
Of course it is. The verses I'm talking about aren't context-obscure, poetic parables. They're laws. Why the hell would you take a law non-literally.

I mean, are you suggesting that reading the Code of Hammurabi as "metaphor" is "just as perfect and accurate" as reading the Code like a set of laws meant to be followed?
Calling a religious interpretation or reading of the Bible incorrect or bullshit simply highlights your own intolerance, and makes it very clear that you are attempting to claim that your reading is the one, true, and correct reading for ever and ever, and that any reading that differs from you in anyway is patently false and incorrect.
I would be just as bent out of shape if someone tried to interpret the Code of Hammurabi metaphorically. Or Plato's ideal society, or any other interpretation of any text that I thought was dishonest.
At this point, you haven't established that. Instead, all you've done is attack me and ask me to PROVE that your reading is incorrect.
No I haven't. I've repeatedly asked you to provide and support an alternate reading, which you have repeatedly neglected to do.
You've now accepted this, and are now apparently asserting that the context which you define is the only context worth considering, and that any other context is incorrect.
Again, not so, though if we're here then I would propose that certain contexts are more rational than others.

For example, it doesn't make sense to read the Code of Hammurabi in the context of Zoroastrian mythology. Yes?
You just contradicted yourself, here. 1. There is no religious interpretation of the Bible. 2. All Christian sects have their own religious interpretation of the Bible.
Add a "single" in there; that's what I meant.
I am saying: 1. There exists a religious hermeneutic.
Disputed. There exists a large number of religious hermeneutics. Mostly contradictory. Most of them with poorly defined or dishonest contextual relationships to the text, but we'll cross this bridge when we come to it.
2. We can make value judgments about religious interpretations of the Bible according to this religious hermeneutic. 3. There exists other, non-religious hermeneutics that will give a different reading of the text.
Okay...
Unclear. As I said, many religious people look to cultural context to gain understanding for what their holy book means. As you're fond of pointing out, my interpretation overlaps with fundamentalist protestant crowd as well.
5. Calling one hermeneutic (religious vs. non-religious) better or worse when compared with another hermeneutic is generally incomprehensible.
Nihilistic postmodernist nonsense, see statement above about reading the Code of Hammurabi through the lens of Zoroastrianism. Certain lenses give you a better view than others.
6. You are both denying the possibility of a religious hermeneutic and asserting that your hermeneutic is better than all others.
I am more than willing to defend my hermeneutic compared with any you propose.
If I start with an axiom that states Jesus was the Christ and logos and that certain knowledge of him has been revealed to us through revelation, and then proceed to us reason and logic to establish other things, am I wrong? No; I can make a perfectly valid argument whatever the axioms are. You are objecting to the axiom to begin with,
Nope, not in this discussion at least.
So, the measure of honesty is how well is lines up with Qingu's interpretation?
Nope.
Nobody would ever interpret any ancient text in this way, other than their preferred religious text.

Nobody would ever interpret any ancient text in this way, except ancient texts which are, in fact, interpreted in this way.

That's what you are saying. It's meaningless and contradictory.
What? You're conflating the fact that people have beliefs about a text with the claim that those beliefs are rationally justified.
Yes, it does. Sola scriptura is an attempt to use a religious hermeneutic that rejects the basic constraints and assumptions necessary for a hermeneutic to be a religious hermeneutic itself.
The sola scriptura crowd would simply say that you can't have rationality and logic without first assuming the truth of the Bible, though I'm not here to defend their nonsense.
And such things are readily explained through the tradition and the Church itself, two things which help to demarcate the bounds of a religious hermeneutic. I believe the theological notion is that Christ fufilled the prophecies and the laws of Moses spoken about in the LXX and the Old Testament, and that his existence and sacrifice formed a new covenant that ushered in a new era. Such a notion can be found in the proceedings of the first Council of Jerusalem, for instance.
1. It's weird that you're using "LXX" to signify "the Old Testament." Please, stop. It's a translation, not the text itself.

2. I don't see how this is a response to what I said. You're giving broad outlines when I asked for specific reasons.
(I should note here that I'm not attempting to defend this particular explanation, I'm merely asserting that it exists, and it provides an explanation as to why some passages are more important than others).
It's not an explanation for anything. And if you can't defend it, why are you even positing it as worthwhile?
Context isn't equal to "historical context." There are other things to consider beyond that.
Agreed.
If you were religious with respect to Plato's philosophy, understanding the historical context of Plato would sharpen your understanding, not contradict it.

Perhaps. I'm not sure what you are getting at.
For example, Deuteronomy 20:16, the verse that commands genocide. Understanding the historical context of this verse helps us see that the Hebrews were extremely concerned with cultural purity and contamination and that many cultures (though not all) bragged about "wiping out" rivals. In this context, God's commandments for genocide fit right in and make sense.

But if you look at this verse through the lens of the late-modern Catholic faith that you're advocating, it comes up as a contradiction, and you have to strain yourself to interpret it in any way that softens or distracts from the plain meaning of the verse. This "hermeneutic" is actually at odds with an honest understanding of the text because it sees the text as something that must be hammered into a different shape to fit what it wants it to say.
Well, this is untrue. Only certain individuals who reject a full and robust religious hermeneutic, such as those who embrace sola scriptura would fall prey to this.
Really? You don't think most moderate Christians (Catholic and non-Catholic) would think a genocide- and slavery-commanding God contradicts the God of their faith?
The historical traditions and decisions of the Church greatly inform both the reading of the Bible and the general understanding of the faith, and most certainly don't lead to contradiction, if you accept these and read the work within these boundaries.
You keep on asserting that the Church has an explanation without providing one. It's annoying.
Religious texts are different than non-religious texts. I don't understand why this claim is causing controversy.
Because you're saying that, for any text that anyone deems "religious," no interpretation is better than any other. That is nihilistic bullshit, not in the least because a huge number of ancient texts are in some way religious and this view would preclude any way to make sense out of them.
No, that's not correct. Jesus' resurrection is asserted to be true in catholic (note the small "c") churches irrespective of what is in the Bible. The gospels are merely accounts of things which are taken to be true and to have happened.
Which also happen to form the ideological, theological, and ritual anchor (and object) for those churches. Are you seriously suggesting that Christianity would be even remotely the same with an oral tradition?

Again, part of the mythology of Christianity is dependent on the prior mythology of the Old Testament, which was codified into the writings that now make up the Bible. Jesus and Paul both refer to those writings.
Only their writings. And their Church, which continues to exist as a living body. Have you ever heard of apostolic succession?
Yes, it's an idea Catholics believe is codified in the Bible when Jesus is quoted as telling Peter he will be the rock of the church. The Bible is the supporting document used to justify this idea.
No. The circumstances in which the Koran was written and disseminated is quite different than that of the Bible. You can't draw an analogy here, because the situations are too different.
I'll grant that, since it's basically essential that the Quran is dictated directly from God whereas the Christianity you're talking about doesn't necessarily see the gospels that way.
This is wrong. There are plenty of sects which embrace positions and doctrines outside the Bible which are still today considered Christian. The Roman Catholic Church, for example, in this past century proclaimed ex cathedra the Assumption of Mary. That's not in the Bible, but it's a valid religious tradition, and one that has existed for centuries.
I'm not saying no Christians eschew the Bible. Fuck, all Christians eschew the Bible in a huge variety of ways, not least in the belief that the earth is round.

My point was that, in doctrinal disputes where groups are determined to be "not-Christian" the Bible tends to be the main barometer. The reason the Docetics are not "Christian" is because they deny Jesus' death (they claim that the body on the cross was an illusion). The reason this is wrong is because, ultimately, it contradicts what is plainly written in the Bible. It also contradicts church tradition, but as I've argued, that tradition is anchored and reinforced by what is written in the Bible. You can support church tradition by pointing to the Bible and saying "see?" You can't support the Bible by pointing to church tradition.
I'm not advancing a particular interpretation of the Bible, Qingu. I'm not a Christian, and I'm not interested in defending a particular religious reading of the Bible. I'm simply saying that such interpretations exist, and are valid just as much as your reading is.
You're not advancing an alternate interpretation, just saying that such alternate interpretations are as good as mine?â€”without explaining or defending such interpretations?
You, on the other hand, are asserting otherwise.
I'm not "asserting," I've repeatedly defended my interpretation, and you are simply in no position to make such an attack against me when you can't even be bothered to advance an argument of your own.
I'm not going to provide you one because I don't have to provide you with one - that's not my job, and that's not what I'm arguing for in the first place.
Absolutely pathetic. You're not incapable of interpreting this verse, saggio.

Qingu on
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
The more I think about it, the more your argument seems to boil down to this, saggio:

"It is wrong for Qingu to say that the Bible commands genocide in Deuteronomy 20:16, because there is presumably some Catholic interpretation that says this verse means something different, but which I cannot be bothered to find or advance, let alone defend."

It's frustrating.

Qingu on
• It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
edited June 2009
Guys, you're trying to argue that religion could possibly be anything but a bunch of intellectually dishonest lies with Qingu. Give it up.

Fencingsax on
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
Fencingsax wrote: »
Guys, you're trying to argue that homosexuality could possibly be anything but a perfectly valid lifestyle with Qingu. Give it up.
I mean, I'm pretty obstinate about a number of issues I'll admit, but it's not like I have my head in the sand. I'm more than willing to engage in argument about my views.

Qingu on
• It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
edited June 2009
Qingu wrote: »
Fencingsax wrote: »
Guys, you're trying to argue that homosexuality could possibly be anything but a perfectly valid lifestyle with Qingu. Give it up.
I mean, I'm pretty obstinate about a number of issues I'll admit, but it's not like I have my head in the sand. I'm more than willing to engage in argument about my views.
No, you pretty much do have your head in the sand. It's absolutely apparent that you are never going to be anything but extremely anti-organized religion. And that's fine, it'd just be nice if you shut up because we know you hate religion, and you know you hate religion, and there's not really much more of the topic to traverse with you.

You don't care about allegory, or historical context, or any of the more interesting discussions one can have about the Bible, but instead insist that simply every Christian takes it literally word for word. They don't, but nothing I say will convince you of that fact. I'm just sick of seeing this fucking thread, and want it to sink to the dregs, where it belongs, because this whole thing is fucking stupid.

Fencingsax on
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
Fencingsax wrote: »
You don't care about allegory, or historical context, or any of the more interesting discussions one can have about the Bible,
But this is obviously untrue, especially the bolded part. You're being quite unfair.
but instead insist that simply every Christian takes it literally word for word.
That's a strawman of my position and not at all the point of my bringing up nasty Bible verses.
I'm just sick of seeing this fucking thread, and want it to sink to the dregs, where it belongs, because this whole thing is fucking stupid.
Well, nobody is holding a gun to your head to participate. Some people like to argue about stuff that's near and dear to their heart. Even intractable stuff.

Qingu on
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
Fencingsax wrote: »
instead insist that simply every Christian takes it literally word for word.
He's never said that.

MikeMan on
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
Qingu is, deep down, who every atheist really is, or wants to be. Even the ones who make nice.

Because even inside the tolerant, accepting atheist is a tiny Qingu, fists upraised, screaming entirely coherent objections and citing Mesopotamic anthropology.

Evil Multifarious on
• Roaming the streets, waving his mod gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
edited June 2009
This thread has passed stupid and metastasized into some sentient form of idiot-cancer.

Y'all are advised to find a less ridiculous tangent if you don't want me to lock it.

ElJeffe on
I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
This is why we can't have nice things.

Sentry on
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
wrote:
When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
• Roaming the streets, waving his mod gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
edited June 2009

ElJeffe on
I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
• (effective against Russian warships) Registered User regular
edited June 2009
necroSYS wrote: »
Whoever is responsible for the title change, let me just say
I vote El Jeffe for god.

#fake edit

That statement is now so much better after that last string of posts.

Gabriel_Pitt on
• Registered User regular
edited June 2009
now the real question is did Jeffe use "sentient" correctly

MikeMan on