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Jesus and the Witch Hunters

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It's common for Christian apologists to deny any responsibility on the part of Jesus for the horrific acts on the part of his followers. Common defenses of the goodness of Jesus in the face of these crimes include denying that those who acted cruelly in his name were "true Christians" or insisting that such persons were acting against what Jesus taught rather than in accord with what he taught. After all, Jesus taught people to love each other and do good for each other, didn't he?

Yes, according to what we read, Jesus told people to love others including their enemies. But of course, that's not all Jesus said. In the Gospels we read in Matthew 5:17 that Jesus did not mean to abolish the law of Moses but to "fulfill it."

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.

I think it's safe to say that Jesus knew that the law included this injunction from Exodus 22:18:

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

Obviously, if the witch hunters were acting against what Jesus said, then Jesus told his followers to disobey this law and do no harm to witches. Of course, Jesus never said any such thing as far as we know. By his saying he came to fulfill the law, Jesus was condoning the murder of alleged witches. So contrary to what apologists say, at least some of Jesus' followers did horrific crimes not against what he said but as a result of what he said.
 

Keith&Co.

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I think it's safe to say that Jesus knew that the law included this injunction from Exodus 22:18:

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
Maybe not. I have read a few different takes on that verse's translation. It's not actually against witches.
But King James had a few difficulties with witches. Then when he sponsored a translation, it turned out to have clear support forhis side, against witches.
Jesus might be in Salem right now, trying to convince some poor tour guide that it said 'poisoner' before men twisted it around to their political agenda.
 
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But King James had a few difficulties with witches. Then when he sponsored a translation, it turned out to have clear support forhis side, against witches.
Jesus might be in Salem right now, trying to convince some poor tour guide that it said 'poisoner' before men twisted it around to their political agenda.
I just checked the NRSV. It says "female sorcerer." That sounds like a witch to me. Jesus preached a wrathful God who created hell, Satan, and demons. Witches are just one step away from that as the Inquisition well knew. Yes, men twist information to their agendas. That includes the men who wrote the Bible and the men who try to defend it no matter what it says or what it does to people.
 

Politesse

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When Jesus said he came to fulfill the Law, that's not the same thing as saying he came to follow the Law as written. Or why did he harvest on the Sabbath, do labor on the Sabbath, touch the unclean, touch the dead, pronounce the repentant sinful to be clean without having made the appropriate sacrifices, rescue people condemned to be stoned for adultery, and so forth? Jesus was himself a magic-worker by any reasonable definition of that term, and encouraged his followers both male and female to likewise do miraculous works and all the other things he did, so I don't think it is plausible that he had it out for all witches regardless of their purposes and intentions.

I don't doubt that people do terrible things in the full belief that Jesus would want them to, but that doesn't mean we must agree that theirs is the best or only read of Scripture. I feel like you have a tendency in a lot of these threads to project a lot of your feelings about Christianity onto Jesus, a man about whom at the end of the day very little is truly known, described only in very scant detail by a handful of secondary sources.
 

lostone

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Perhaps we should acknowledge a difference between what the NT alleges Jesus said and what little we know of from other sources as to what Jesus might have actually said. The NT was written long after he was claimed to have died, and the OT several centuries before then.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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I don't doubt that people do terrible things in the full belief that Jesus would want them to, but that doesn't mean we must agree that theirs is the best or only read of Scripture. I feel like you have a tendency in a lot of these threads to project a lot of your feelings about Christianity onto Jesus, a man about whom at the end of the day very little is truly known, described only in very scant detail by a handful of secondary sources.
Everyone does that. All translation is a lie in the end, a fact we should all keep in mind. It doesn't mean we cannot discuss our different perceptions of a person or an event but we should do so realizing that we all project ourselves into these discussions. I suppose that happens because we wish to preserve our individual and group identities when they are threatened.
 
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When Jesus said he came to fulfill the Law, that's not the same thing as saying he came to follow the Law as written. Or why did he harvest on the Sabbath, do labor on the Sabbath, touch the unclean, touch the dead, pronounce the repentant sinful to be clean without having made the appropriate sacrifices, rescue people condemned to be stoned for adultery, and so forth? Jesus was himself a magic-worker by any reasonable definition of that term, and encouraged his followers both male and female to likewise do miraculous works and all the other things he did, so I don't think it is plausible that he had it out for all witches regardless of their purposes and intentions.
One problem with what you're saying here is that Jesus never said to disobey the law that witches should be killed. He easily could have said so but didn't. That fact I see as very significant because he did have a lot to say about the law. He hated anybody he thought was in league with Satan including his fellow Jews, so it's a no brainer that he would hate witches.
I don't doubt that people do terrible things in the full belief that Jesus would want them to, but that doesn't mean we must agree that theirs is the best or only read of Scripture.
It's very easy to claim that acts of evil result from some supposed misinterpretation of a person's words. The problem with that excuse is that it can be used as an excuse for anybody's words including Stalin and many of the popes. As I see it, we all should speak responsibly taking care to choose our words wisely. If I knew that something I said led to some atrocity, then I would do everything I could to investigate the matter to see what went wrong and avoid making the same mistake ever again. I think that Jesus should be judged the same way. Even if he didn't intend to harm people with his words, he spoke recklessly and irresponsibly.
I feel like you have a tendency in a lot of these threads to project a lot of your feelings about Christianity onto Jesus, a man about whom at the end of the day very little is truly known, described only in very scant detail by a handful of secondary sources.
We do know that the Gospel has been very bad news for many people including myself. Whatever Jesus may have actually said, the fact remains that the words attributed to him have led to untold misery. I for one won't turn a blind eye to it.
 

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As I see it, we all should speak responsibly taking care to choose our words wisely
And yet, you rather recklessly and without much textual support push a very violent and socially maladaptive read of the gospels. Take out a few sentences here and there about atheism, and your postings could easily pass for a Southern Baptist minister's hate blog. Has it occurred to you that if people don't abandon their religion in response to your clever arguments, all you're really doing is endorsing the nasty interpretations favored by very worst factions within the faith? If you fear the harm the gospels might do you, telling Christians that violent fascism is the only faithful way to read the Scriptures is a strategy that could easily backfire.
 

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One problem with what you're saying here is that Jesus never said to disobey the law that witches should be killed
How you could do that while loving your neighbor as you do yourself is a mystery to me. Yes, I know that Very Bad People think that murdering people counts as "tough love", but I think that such people are lying hypocrites, and so should you. Abuse and violence are not "love". And loving God and your neighbor is, according to Jesus, "the whole of the Law", that same Law you are so blindly wielding as a cudgel.
 

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The gospel Jesus never renounced Judaism, in fact he said people had grown lax about the law and divorce. He lumped fornication with murder..

He quoted the prophets and was said to lecture in temple.

He was a conservative rabbi, he was not founding a new church.

If you are Christian and you are fornicating or divorced you are headed for eternal damnation. So sayeth the Lord Jesus.

As I understand it post fall of Israel diaspora Jews convened to develop a biblical Jewish cannon and weed out harsh aspects like stoning.

Christians discriminate between witchcraft done by Christians like laying hands and casting out demons, and non Christian witchcraft.

Catholic priests are witches. Granted supernatural powers by a god, casting spells.
 

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If you are unmarried and not fornicating then you are celibate. Jesus equated divorce and remarriage to fornication.

The image I am getting is that of modern Christian zealots ranting about sex and homosexuality.
 

Politesse

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If you are unmarried and not fornicating then you are celibate. Jesus equated divorce and remarriage to fornication.

The image I am getting is that of modern Christian zealots ranting about sex and homosexuality.

The text in question:

When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”
 
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As I see it, we all should speak responsibly taking care to choose our words wisely
And yet, you rather recklessly and without much textual support push a very violent and socially maladaptive read of the gospels.
The Gospels push a very violent and socially maladaptive morality. I'm merely citing what they say.

In any event, you are demonstrating your claim that people do indeed grossly misinterpret what they read. You are correct there and practice what you preach. Now, allow me to practice what I preach and point out to all my readers that I in no way have a violent or deliberate socially maladaptive agenda. I oppose violence and social disruption. My agenda is to expose the Bible as a basis for antisocial tendencies among the people who believe what it says, and I do not endorse the Bible in any way.

See that? Unlike Jesus or his followers, I acted on a misinterpretation of my words to clarify the meaning of what I'm saying to help ensure that no harm results. It can be done.
Take out a few sentences here and there about atheism, and your postings could easily pass for a Southern Baptist minister's hate blog.
I do hate. I hate ignorance, superstition, cruelty, and injustice. Do you want me to love ignorance, superstition, cruelty, and injustice? Do you love ignorance, superstition, cruelty, and injustice?
Has it occurred to you that if people don't abandon their religion in response to your clever arguments, all you're really doing is endorsing the nasty interpretations favored by very worst factions within the faith?
No. I never thought I was doing that unless by "endorsing" you mean exposing. Exposing the sanctification of cruelty is very obviously not the same as endorsing it.
If you fear the harm the gospels might do you, telling Christians that violent fascism is the only faithful way to read the Scriptures is a strategy that could easily backfire.
I don't think my exposing the Bible's advancement of barbarism will backfire if people don't wish to advance barbarism. However, I haven't failed to think that yes, if people don't hate cruelty and barbarism and in fact love it, then if they read what I say about it they may end up reading the Bible to get some ideas! In fact, I fear that people who do love violent cruelty are attracted to the Bible for that very reason. Charles Manson is but one example of a cruelly violent person who read the Bible to get ideas. Many Christians have taunted me saying that my arguments will never change their minds. It could be that they simply don't care who gets hurt, and my exposing how Christianity victimizes people only adds fuel to their fire.

Anyway, your comments are truly bizarre. If a person was citing antisocial ideas in Mein Kampf, would you criticize them for being hateful? Do you think it's hateful to oppose Hitler's anti-Jewish rhetoric? If not, then why object to my opposing Christ's anti-Jewish rhetoric?
 

Politesse

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Anyway, your comments are truly bizarre. If a person was citing antisocial ideas in Mein Kampf, would you criticize them for being hateful? Do you think it's hateful to oppose Hitler's anti-Jewish rhetoric? If not, then why object to my opposing Christ's anti-Jewish rhetoric?
Are you... Godwinning your own thread?

Yes, if someone were quoting Mein Kampf as a guide to how the Bible should be "correctly" interpreted, I would consider that foolish if not suspicious behavior, even if they meant it as a ill-advised rhetorical strategy to donk on the Bible.
 

Politesse

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No. I never thought I was doing that unless by "endorsing" you mean exposing. Exposing the sanctification of cruelty is very obviously not the same as endorsing it.
I have no problem with you opposing cruelty. But if along the way you're endorsing bad scholarship, I don't think your efforts will be very effective. Just because you're "right" about a big thing doesn't mean you're right about every argument you put forth in favor of it.
 
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One problem with what you're saying here is that Jesus never said to disobey the law that witches should be killed
How you could do that while loving your neighbor as you do yourself is a mystery to me. Yes, I know that Very Bad People think that murdering people counts as "tough love", but I think that such people are lying hypocrites, and so should you. Abuse and violence are not "love". And loving God and your neighbor is, according to Jesus, "the whole of the Law", that same Law you are so blindly wielding as a cudgel.
It's no mystery to me if you just look at what Jesus said about love in the context of his story. The love he preached was akin to the love between master and slave. The slave must love his master or face severe penalties for failing to do so. Just like a slave might be expected to put his master's enemies to death, many Christians have felt compelled to put the perceived enemies of Christ to death. In fact, those Christians considered burning heretics as literally an act of faith in Christ.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Anyway, your comments are truly bizarre. If a person was citing antisocial ideas in Mein Kampf, would you criticize them for being hateful? Do you think it's hateful to oppose Hitler's anti-Jewish rhetoric? If not, then why object to my opposing Christ's anti-Jewish rhetoric?
Are you... Godwinning your own thread?

Yes, if someone were quoting Mein Kampf as a guide to how the Bible should be "correctly" interpreted, I would consider that foolish if not suspicious behavior, even if they meant it as a ill-advised rhetorical strategy to donk on the Bible.
That wasn't the question. He asked what's the difference in opposing anti-jewish rhetoric regardless the source. The subject of being hateful was your introduction. Christian loyalty to their bible and their religion causes them to do violence and be hateful. They are so loyal that it excuses and blinds them to their own behavior. That's the issue. More than likely they are simply engaging in groupthink and literal survival. But whatever you wish to call it the behavior is what it is and should be called out.
 

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As a kid in the 50s I heard 'Jews killed Christ'.

Jewish slurs among Christians were common in my extended family.

A common Christian retort is those other Chrisane who do bad things are not really Christian, they mis read the gospels. I am a real Christian'.

The OT is an image of Jewish glory and power, a cultural myth. Christians revel in that image of glory.

We have to keep in mpnd that what we read as an English bible is at the end of a long chain of translations and certainly biased . Word choices in translations insatiably reflect a personal bias.

We have no context to deduce who JC really was. People invent a personal version of Jesus. Anyone who clams to be Chritian is Christian.

Contrasted to Judaism or Islam where there are specifics. Converting to Judaism involves a process.


 
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steve_bank

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When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

The passage indIcates a conservative Jewish rabbi calling Jews back to the traditional ways. Geopolitically a jew talking to Jews as Gandhi was talking to Indians in the context of British occupation.

Jesus was not talking to 'the world', he was talking about Jews getting it together or face destruction by Rome.
 
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Anyway, your comments are truly bizarre. If a person was citing antisocial ideas in Mein Kampf, would you criticize them for being hateful? Do you think it's hateful to oppose Hitler's anti-Jewish rhetoric? If not, then why object to my opposing Christ's anti-Jewish rhetoric?
Are you... Godwinning your own thread?
Hitler comes up very often in these debates for a very good reason: He wasn't original in that he hated Jews. Christians around the world and in his native Germany in particular hated Jews and persecuted them long before he did. It appears that he got many of his ideas from Christianity. I see a term has been coined to describe the practice of pointing out this fact to Christians.
Yes, if someone were quoting Mein Kampf as a guide to how the Bible should be "correctly" interpreted, I would consider that foolish if not suspicious behavior, even if they meant it as a ill-advised rhetorical strategy to donk on the Bible.
That's crazy. I never stated nor implied that Mein Kampf should be used as a guide to interpreting the Bible. If you read the Bible the way you read my posts, then I think I can see why you don't know that Jesus advocated violence.
 
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No. I never thought I was doing that unless by "endorsing" you mean exposing. Exposing the sanctification of cruelty is very obviously not the same as endorsing it.
I have no problem with you opposing cruelty.
Then why do you oppose my opposing cruelty? You do it for Jesus, of course.
But if along the way you're endorsing bad scholarship, I don't think your efforts will be very effective.
I don't endorse bad scholarship.
Just because you're "right" about a big thing doesn't mean you're right about every argument you put forth in favor of it.
Then I'll keep on posting sound arguments. I'll be happy to show you how.
 

Politesse

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No. I never thought I was doing that unless by "endorsing" you mean exposing. Exposing the sanctification of cruelty is very obviously not the same as endorsing it.
I have no problem with you opposing cruelty.
Then why do you oppose my opposing cruelty? You do it for Jesus, of course.
But if along the way you're endorsing bad scholarship, I don't think your efforts will be very effective.
I don't endorse bad scholarship.
Just because you're "right" about a big thing doesn't mean you're right about every argument you put forth in favor of it.
Then I'll keep on posting sound arguments. I'll be happy to show you how.
Arguments, certainly.
 

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Hitler initially rejected religion, but realized he could use it. We covered it in a pollical science class. Nazi propaganda made use of veiled religious symbols. including the infamous film Triumph Of The Will. Ther were Christian leaders who opposed Hitler and they paid for it. In general, they went along.

In Mein Kemph it was 'Jews killed Jesus'.

Religion had been waning in Germany and Christian leaders jumped on the Nazi platform of traditional German values.

Jews traditionally did not think much of outsiders. As I understand it the words gentile and pagan were more of a slur.

When Christians developed an identity septate from heretic Jews, they coopted the bible as their own and rejected Jews.

Early Christian sects were violent and intolerant. The Nicaean council was a compromise truce on theology.

There is nothing in the gospels about universal love and community outside of the Jews. Jesus was preaching to Jews. What we hae as modern Christianity is more Paulism who sunnitized Jewishness for gentiles. No dietary and circumcision requirements. It is nio circumcision that nade you a Jew, it is what is in the heart.

The oassge about marriage being one woman nad one man pretty much precludes gay marriage, yet there are gays who become Chrtian and find a minister to marry them.

Churchianity morphs to reflect he times and culture.
 
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That wasn't the question. He asked what's the difference in opposing anti-jewish rhetoric regardless the source. The subject of being hateful was your introduction. Christian loyalty to their bible and their religion causes them to do violence and be hateful. They are so loyal that it excuses and blinds them to their own behavior. That's the issue. More than likely they are simply engaging in groupthink and literal survival. But whatever you wish to call it the behavior is what it is and should be called out.

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only person here who doesn't turn a blind eye to Christ's hate-filled doctrines.
 

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That wasn't the question. He asked what's the difference in opposing anti-jewish rhetoric regardless the source. The subject of being hateful was your introduction. Christian loyalty to their bible and their religion causes them to do violence and be hateful. They are so loyal that it excuses and blinds them to their own behavior. That's the issue. More than likely they are simply engaging in groupthink and literal survival. But whatever you wish to call it the behavior is what it is and should be called out.

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only person here who doesn't turn a blind eye to Christ's hate-filled doctrines.
Do you hate anyone who is religious by virtue only of being religious?
 

lostone

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Zealous Christianity has done much harm to humankind over many centuries, but so have all the children of Judaic monotheism. It is rather ironic that the Jewish founders of the line have suffered so much from their children. Perhaps monotheism in itself encourages intolerance and zealotry. Being religious in itself, however, does nothing to justify being despised. Pantheists and Wicca proponents, for example, tend to be harmless, even if they often do seem to be a bit loose in the head.
 
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That wasn't the question. He asked what's the difference in opposing anti-jewish rhetoric regardless the source. The subject of being hateful was your introduction. Christian loyalty to their bible and their religion causes them to do violence and be hateful. They are so loyal that it excuses and blinds them to their own behavior. That's the issue. More than likely they are simply engaging in groupthink and literal survival. But whatever you wish to call it the behavior is what it is and should be called out.

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only person here who doesn't turn a blind eye to Christ's hate-filled doctrines.
Do you hate anyone who is religious by virtue only of being religious?
No.
 

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That wasn't the question. He asked what's the difference in opposing anti-jewish rhetoric regardless the source. The subject of being hateful was your introduction. Christian loyalty to their bible and their religion causes them to do violence and be hateful. They are so loyal that it excuses and blinds them to their own behavior. That's the issue. More than likely they are simply engaging in groupthink and literal survival. But whatever you wish to call it the behavior is what it is and should be called out.

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only person here who doesn't turn a blind eye to Christ's hate-filled doctrines.
Do you hate anyone who is religious by virtue only of being religious?
No.
Then maybe there is hope for humans.
 
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Then maybe there is hope for humans.

I should have mentioned this earlier, but I've noticed that whenever I point out the hatred for unbelievers that's inherent in Christianity, then I am accused of hating Christians. If I accuse the KKK of holding beliefs that are based in hatred for ethnic minorities, would you ask me if I hate Klan members by virtue of their being Klan members?
 

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Then maybe there is hope for humans.

I should have mentioned this earlier, but I've noticed that whenever I point out the hatred for unbelievers that's inherent in Christianity, then I am accused of hating Christians. If I accuse the KKK of holding beliefs that are based in hatred for ethnic minorities, would you ask me if I hate Klan members by virtue of their being Klan members?
Were you to ask me, I'd say no.

But I'd give you the same sort of dismissive shrug I give all of your proselytizing efforts if you started trying to extend the judgement to, say, everyone who happens to live in the American South. People are complicated, hate is simple.
 
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Were you to ask me, I'd say no.

I think you are missing my point. The question posed to me is a red-herring fallacy because how much I may or may not hate Christians is completely irrelevant to the hatred for unbelievers in Christ's doctrines. The question posed to me was a feeble attempt to divert attention away from the topic of hatred in Christianity and put me on the defensive. In other words, "accuse the accuser."

But I'd give you the same sort of dismissive shrug I give all of your proselytizing efforts if you started trying to extend the judgement to, say, everyone who happens to live in the American South. People are complicated, hate is simple.

To conclude that a statement is untrue by dismissing it is also a fallacy because true statements can be dismissed.
 

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Were you to ask me, I'd say no.

I think you are missing my point. The question posed to me is a red-herring fallacy because how much I may or may not hate Christians is completely irrelevant to the hatred for unbelievers in Christ's doctrines. The question posed to me was a feeble attempt to divert attention away from the topic of hatred in Christianity and put me on the defensive. In other words, "accuse the accuser."

But I'd give you the same sort of dismissive shrug I give all of your proselytizing efforts if you started trying to extend the judgement to, say, everyone who happens to live in the American South. People are complicated, hate is simple.

To conclude that a statement is untrue by dismissing it is also a fallacy because true statements can be dismissed.
Most of your assertions are too vague and subjective to treat as serious arguments. You think Jesus hated everyone, someone else thinks he loved everyone, you quote some verses where he sounds kind of angry, they quote some verses where he sounds kind of nice, you both dismiss each other's arguments and every "conversation" with you about religion is apt to end exactly the same way, yes?

I mean, I've made the case in this thread that your thesis makes no sense relative to Jesus' known teachings on love. Did you make a reasoned argument in response? Of course not. You insisted that Jesus meant (according to you) the love a master and slave have for each other, no citation that time. I pointed out that your interpretation of Jesus' teachings on the law were inconsistent with any of his other teachings on the law or actions with respect to the law and you... almost entirely ignored that one, offering only the non-sequitur that Jesus said nothing specifically about witches, even though logically if that is the case, your entire argument hangs on whether or not your interpretation of his teachings on jurisprudence are accurate - the part of my counterargument that you resolutely ignored.

This style of "argumentation" is deeply annoying. Short of re-iterating my point, there's nothing I can really add if you're not going to engage in honest discussion of the issues that you raise.
 
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Most of your assertions are too vague and subjective to treat as serious arguments.

Well, that's an awfully vague and subjective thing to assert, is it not?

You think Jesus hated everyone...

I don't think Jesus hated everybody. I understand he loved one of his apostles very much which evidently was a special kind of love he had for no other man. Hmmm, but that's best left for another thread.

...someone else thinks he loved everyone...

They are easily corrected.

...you quote some verses where he sounds kind of angry, they quote some verses where he sounds kind of nice...

I make a point of engaging both kinds of evidence.

...you both dismiss each other's arguments and every "conversation" with you about religion is apt to end exactly the same way, yes?

I'm not sure, but if any person is willing to accept sound arguments, then I will convince them. If they are willfully ignorant and irrational, then that's nothing for them to boast about.

I mean, I've made the case in this thread that your thesis makes no sense relative to Jesus' known teachings on love. Did you make a reasoned argument in response? Of course not. You insisted that Jesus meant (according to you) the love a master and slave have for each other, no citation that time.

Pointing out the nature of the love Jesus reputedly taught is very well reasoned in that it differentiates modern notions of love with his notions of love. Since the two kinds of love are significantly different, it is simply wrong to assume Jesus taught love in the modern sense of the word, a false assumption that many defenders of the faith make often.

And I'm not sure what citation is needed to see that Jesus taught love by slaves for their master. Did you not know that he commanded this love like a master commands allegiance from his slaves? Are you unaware that Jesus used master-slave relationships in his rhetoric?

Anyway, if you want more information regarding this topic, then see Fighting Words and The Bad Jesus by Hector Avalos.

I pointed out that your interpretation of Jesus' teachings on the law were inconsistent with any of his other teachings on the law or actions with respect to the law...

That's easy to explain: Jesus often contradicted himself, or so it seems. He taught both love and hate, for example.

...and you almost entirely ignored that one, offering only the non-sequitur that Jesus said nothing specifically about witches, even though logically if that is the case, your entire argument hangs on whether or not your interpretation of his teachings on jurisprudence are accurate - the part of my counterargument that you resolutely ignored.

And you are ignoring the fact that we are told that Jesus said he had not come to do away with the law, something I already explained included the injunction that witches be killed. That's no non sequitur on my part. It follows from set theory. Since the law to kill witches is an element of the set of the laws of Moses, then it is an element of the set of the dogmas Jesus taught because the laws of Moses is a subset of the set of dogmas Jesus taught. In mathematical notation:

k = The Law to Kill Witches
M = The Set of Laws Attributed to Moses
J = The Set of Laws Attributed to Jesus

Since k ∈ M, and M ⊆ J, then k ∈ J.

This style of "argumentation" is deeply annoying.

Losing debates is very annoying, I imagine.

Short of re-iterating my point, there's nothing I can really add if you're not going to engage in honest discussion of the issues that you raise.

I've always been honest. Even if I was dishonest, it's a fallacy to say I'm necessarily wrong because dishonest people can be right.
 

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Pointing out the nature of the love Jesus reputedly taught is very well reasoned in that it differentiates modern notions of love with his notions of love. Since the two kinds of love are significantly different, it is simply wrong to assume Jesus taught love in the modern sense of the word, a false assumption that many defenders of the faith make often.
I made no such assumption.... Did you? Because you haven't yet demonstrated your point with any sort of actual textual evidence, or even made it clear what exactly your point is. But it definitely hinges on your knowing what Jesus "meant" by love (presumably ἀγάπη?) rather than what he actually said about it, which suggests you believe he was referring to the love of slaves and masters every time he referenced it.

And stop referencing "many defenders of the faith" and other such imaginary foes. If they exist, they have no bearing on this conversation until one of them shows up. Focus on who you're talking to: two people who have not provided you with any such convenient strawman argument.

That's easy to explain: Jesus often contradicted himself, or so it seems. He taught both love and hate, for example.
A rather glib response, all human beings at times contradict themselves but that's quite irrelevant to the question of what someone meant by a particular statement. You're the one making a claim that Jesus "meant" something he didn't say, here. If Jesus was generally unreliable and inconsistent, why is it you think he would be any more consistent in his teachings on law (and witchcraft I suppose, had he said anything about it) than his teachings on love?

And you are ignoring the fact that we are told that Jesus said he had not come to do away with the law, something I already explained included the injunction that witches be killed. That's no non sequitur on my part. It follows from set theory. Since the law to kill witches is an element of the set of the laws of Moses, then it is an element of the set of the dogmas Jesus taught because the laws of Moses is a subset of the set of dogmas Jesus taught. In mathematical notation:

k = The Law to Kill Witches
M = The Set of Laws Attributed to Moses
J = The Set of Laws Attributed to Jesus

Since k ∈ M, and M ⊆ J, then k ∈ J.
While I think the conceit of phrasing philosophical arguments as math equations is sophomoric, you have broken down your own argument accurately, here. Unfortunately, your argument is missing some crucial elements, such as demonstrating that Jesus understood the Law of Moses the same way that you do: that is, as a whole body whose modern form is infallible and meant to be both literally interpreted and assiduously followed word for word. I have presented evidence that he did not, in fact, see the Law in this way, because a core element of his teachings involved demonstrating cases where blindly following the Law of Moses (stoning someone to death as the law prescribes, for instance) might lead someone into moral error. Where is your evidence that Jesus was, in fact, referring to the same "Law" (Torah) as you, and thought that it should be followed in the way you propose? When that seems to contradict nearly everything else he said about the Torah of God?
 
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steve_bank

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Then maybe there is hope for humans.

I should have mentioned this earlier, but I've noticed that whenever I point out the hatred for unbelievers that's inherent in Christianity, then I am accused of hating Christians. If I accuse the KKK of holding beliefs that are based in hatred for ethnic minorities, would you ask me if I hate Klan members by virtue of their being Klan members?
Sounds like you are being crucified? Not really.

If we act like that which we oppose what does that make us atheists?

I take a basic principle of Churchianity to be love your enemies. Not a bad idea. It does not mean any kind of pacifism; it means don't let the anger of others draw you in.

My chronic point is while we go after religion on the forum, the shortcomings of religion are not exclusive to religion.

Every year ANTIFA and Bloc show up in Seatle dressed like Ninja in black throwing fire bombs and casing destruction. I have personally seen them running around the streets. While I have issues with religion, it is not a treat of any consequence to my freedoms. COTUS is holding.

The anger some of it understandable much of it not in our current at times armed civil unrest is far more of a threat. In Portland ANIFA and white supremacists were shooting at each other.
 
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Pointing out the nature of the love Jesus reputedly taught is very well reasoned in that it differentiates modern notions of love with his notions of love. Since the two kinds of love are significantly different, it is simply wrong to assume Jesus taught love in the modern sense of the word, a false assumption that many defenders of the faith make often.
I made no such assumption.... Did you?

Well, obviously I didn't assume that modern notions of love and the love in the Gospels are the same because I've been arguing against that assumption. Since you say that you don't assume that Jesus' love and modern love are the same, then how do they differ?

Because you haven't yet demonstrated your point with any sort of actual textual evidence, or even made it clear what exactly your point is.

It might help if you would make clear which "point" of mine you are referring to. I've learned to avoid offering "evidence on demand" when what I'm claiming is either common knowledge, easily verified, or something that will be rejected regardless of evidence.

But it definitely hinges on your knowing what Jesus "meant" by love (presumably ἀγάπη?) rather than what he actually said about it, which suggests you believe he was referring to the love of slaves and masters every time he referenced it.

I know of no passage that has Jesus telling people to love for the sake of love. Rather, he commands people to love and often offers rewards in exchange for obedience and threatens punishment for disobedience. Do you love any friend of yours because you were commanded to or because you wanted a reward in exchange for that love? Do you love any friend because you fear being punished if you don't? The love Jesus taught only makes sense in a relationship between some powerful, fearful authority and one of that authority's subjects.

And stop referencing "many defenders of the faith" and other such imaginary foes. If they exist, they have no bearing on this conversation until one of them shows up. Focus on who you're talking to: two people who have not provided you with any such convenient strawman argument.

LOL--I see one of those fearsome masters has shown up to command her slaves to love and obey her. Seriously, there are many defenders of the Christian faith yourself included. Others include Saint Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.

...all human beings at times contradict themselves...

Right, and they are making the same error Jesus did. No error is excused because more than one person makes that error.

...but that's quite irrelevant to the question of what someone meant by a particular statement. You're the one making a claim that Jesus "meant" something he didn't say, here. If Jesus was generally unreliable and inconsistent, why is it you think he would be any more consistent in his teachings on law (and witchcraft I suppose, had he said anything about it) than his teachings on love?

Meaning something that is not stated explicitly happens all the time. It's called "implying." Since Jesus said he was upholding the laws of Moses, then he was upholding the law to murder witches. That's clearly implied. Yes, he evidently sometimes failed to consistently uphold some of the laws, but that doesn't mean he would always fail to do so with all of the laws. So in absence of any direct evidence that Jesus opposed the law to murder witches, I think I'm justified in concluding that he probably did uphold it.

While I think the conceit of phrasing philosophical arguments as math equations is sophomoric...

An argument is not unsound no matter how conceited or sophomoric you imagine it to be. Many "conceited, sophomoric" arguments are right, in particular the ones that threaten your faith in what you want to believe.

Unfortunately, your argument is missing some crucial elements, such as demonstrating that Jesus understood the Law of Moses the same way that you do: that is, as a whole body whose modern form is infallible and meant to be both literally interpreted and assiduously followed word for word. I have presented evidence that he did not, in fact, see the Law in this way, because a core element of his teachings involved demonstrating cases where blindly following the Law of Moses (stoning someone to death as the law prescribes, for instance) might lead someone into moral error. Where is your evidence that Jesus was, in fact, referring to the same "Law" (Torah) as you, and thought that it should be followed in the way you propose? When that seems to contradict nearly everything else he said about the Torah of God?

You're making this whole issue out to be much more complicated than it is. The law to murder witches is very clear and simple: "You will not allow a witch to live." I interpret this law as a command to kill supposed witches. There's very little leeway here regarding the meaning of this injunction. How else would Jesus interpret it? If Jesus believed that this law should be disobeyed, then he upheld sin, something he always preached against. If he upheld it, then he condoned the murder of witches.

So take your pick: Jesus the sinner, or Jesus the murder advocate and founder of the witch hunters.
 
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So take your pick: Jesus the sinner, or Jesus the murder advocate and founder of the witch hunters.
That one is easy: the sinner. If "sin" causes you to love your fellow human being and eschew violence, it is no sin to me. The rest, is going to take some unpacking.
You'll need to tell Jesus that he should love his fellow human beings and eschew violence. He didn't seem to see it that way.
 

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That one is easy: the sinner. If "sin" causes you to love your fellow human being and eschew violence, it is no sin to me. The rest, is going to take some unpacking.
You'll need to tell Jesus that he should love his fellow human beings and eschew violence. He didn't seem to see it that way.
He's dead, Jim.
 
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He's dead, Jim.
For once we agree.

And by the way, if Jesus was a sinner, then his preaching against sin made him a liar and a hypocrite. I don't need a liar and a hypocrite to tell me to love others and eschew violence. I don't need anybody to tell me to love others and eschew violence. I must winder about anybody who can't figure out on their own that it's best to love others and eschew violence.
 

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He's dead, Jim.
For once we agree.

And by the way, if Jesus was a sinner, then his preaching against sin made him a liar and a hypocrite. I don't need a liar and a hypocrite to tell me to love others and eschew violence. I don't need anybody to tell me to love others and eschew violence. I must winder about anybody who can't figure out on their own that it's best to love others and eschew violence.
Then everyone, regardless of their religious sympathies, is a liar and a hypocrite. I know of no one without faults. You yourself have just blindly stated that it is good to love others, even though it is quite obvious that you don't love everyone; you started a thread on an internet forum just to donk on a dead guy. To me, that does not make your statement false. Everyone holds values and beliefs that they struggle to put into practice, but we are made better by the attempt.
 

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You're making this whole issue out to be much more complicated than it is. The law to murder witches is very clear and simple: "You will not allow a witch to live." I interpret this law as a command to kill supposed witches. There's very little leeway here regarding the meaning of this injunction. How else would Jesus interpret it? If Jesus believed that this law should be disobeyed, then he upheld sin, something he always preached against. If he upheld it, then he condoned the murder of witches.
I don't think he did, unless the story of the adulteress' trial in gJohn is a complete fabrication (John 7:53–8:11). It may have been, but then the verse we're discussing is also suspect. Ultimately, we can only really discuss Jesus as a literary figure. And that literary figure said, in short, that no human being was qualified to judge another's life, because we are ourselves sinful. At the conclusion thereof, Jesus himself refuses to condemn the woman, even though he clearly states that what she has done is a sin, and the case for it being a capital crime under Mosaic law is much more clear than what you are citing concerning witchcraft. There is no ambiguity whatseover in Deuteronomy 22:22–25; adulturers are to be stoned to death immediately. Yet, he dismisses this legal argument out of hand. God alone, in Jesus' teachings, had any right to judge us all. In fact, at no point in his recorded teachings does he advocate for people to judge anyone else in this way; there is much talk of God's judgement, certainly, but he never adovcates for our habit of playing judge and jury for each other's sins, and in fact, the perils of doing so are a major theme in both of his most well-preserved sermons. (Matthew 7:1-5) (Luke 6:31-42) And though Jesus believed himself to be an apocalyptic figure, come to redeem humanity at the very end of this Earth, he did not allow even see his own fundamental purpose as judging the sins of others (John 3:17)(Thomas 72).
 
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Then everyone, regardless of their religious sympathies, is a liar and a hypocrite. I know of no one without faults.

We're all killers too, but for those of us who only swat flies it would be ridiculous to say we are no better than Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor who was inspired by the Gospel to torture and murder people. The acts of Torquemada demonstrate that the evident lies and hypocrisy of Christ are more harmful than the lies and hypocrisy of almost any of us and by a very wide margin. To excuse Christ's lies and hypocrisy by comparing them to ours is absurd.

You yourself have just blindly stated that it is good to love others even though it is quite obvious that you don't love everyone...

I suppose I don't love everybody. If a person is unlovable, then I'm unlikely to love her. If any person thinks I don't love him, then he should take an honest look at himself to see why. If I'm aware that that person has knowingly done needless harm to others, then I might not love that person because he doesn't deserve it.

...you started a thread on an internet forum just to donk on a dead guy.

You're not telling the whole truth. I have detailed in my posts that I "donked on that dead guy" because I believe that his dogmas have led to untold harm and misery for millions of people for almost twenty centuries. You left out that information and deliberately misrepresented what I've been arguing. Doing so is known as a "lie of omission." I see that the ill effects of Christ's message are not far away, now are they?

By the way, your lie of omission appears to be common among Christ advocates. It's not the first time that my speaking out against Christ's dogmas has led to his followers crying that I'm being hateful while they dance around the fact that I'm speaking out against people being hurt. If I was hateful toward people, then I wouldn't say anything about the atrocities inspired by Jesus.

To me, that does not make your statement false. Everyone holds values and beliefs that they struggle to put into practice, but we are made better by the attempt.

If you want to attempt to be made better, then a good place to start is to stop misrepresenting what I say to defend your precious Jesus. His victims will appreciate it knowing that other people are then less likely to be hurt like they have been.
 

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Then everyone, regardless of their religious sympathies, is a liar and a hypocrite. I know of no one without faults.

We're all killers too, but for those of us who only swat flies it would be ridiculous to say we are no better than Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor who was inspired by the Gospel to torture and murder people. The acts of Torquemada demonstrate that the evident lies and hypocrisy of Christ are more harmful than the lies and hypocrisy of almost any of us and by a very wide margin. To excuse Christ's lies and hypocrisy by comparing them to ours is absurd.

You yourself have just blindly stated that it is good to love others even though it is quite obvious that you don't love everyone...

I suppose I don't love everybody. If a person is unlovable, then I'm unlikely to love her. If any person thinks I don't love him, then he should take an honest look at himself to see why. If I'm aware that that person has knowingly done needless harm to others, then I might not love that person because he doesn't deserve it.

...you started a thread on an internet forum just to donk on a dead guy.

You're not telling the whole truth. I have detailed in my posts that I "donked on that dead guy" because I believe that his dogmas have led to untold harm and misery for millions of people for almost twenty centuries. You left out that information and deliberately misrepresented what I've been arguing. Doing so is known as a "lie of omission." I see that the ill effects of Christ's message are not far away, now are they?

By the way, your lie of omission appears to be common among Christ advocates. It's not the first time that my speaking out against Christ's dogmas has led to his followers crying that I'm being hateful while they dance around the fact that I'm speaking out against people being hurt. If I was hateful toward people, then I wouldn't say anything about the atrocities inspired by Jesus.

To me, that does not make your statement false. Everyone holds values and beliefs that they struggle to put into practice, but we are made better by the attempt.

If you want to attempt to be made better, then a good place to start is to stop misrepresenting what I say to defend your precious Jesus. His victims will appreciate it knowing that other people are then less likely to be hurt like they have been.
It seems like you are more or less admitting here that modern political concerns are your primary motive here, which you are blindly reading into an ancient text that does not say what you say it does. You also seem very upset that I am a "Christian apologist", an accusation that seems quite strange to me given that I am not, and haven't. It should be obvious from our coversation above that I am no doctrinaire for that faith tradition. Is it that you think anyone who dares disagree with your wild theories must be a secret evangelist, even if they make no argument for converting to Christianity?
 
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It seems like you are more or less admitting here that modern political concerns are your primary motive here, which you are blindly reading into an ancient text that does not say what you say it does. You also seem very upset that I am a "Christian apologist", an accusation that seems quite strange to me given that I am not, and haven't. It should be obvious from our coversation above that I am no doctrinaire for that faith tradition. Is it that you think anyone who dares disagree with your wild theories must be a secret evangelist, even if they make no argument for converting to Christianity?

Again, you are dancing around the issues I raised and posted more red herrings to do so. Either sensibly address those issues or I will move on. You can start by explaining your misrepresenting what I've been arguing. It appears you did so to cover up the culpability of the Gospel story and its Christ figure (if he really existed) for persecutions like the witch hunts and the inquisition. Is that correct?
 

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It seems like you are more or less admitting here that modern political concerns are your primary motive here, which you are blindly reading into an ancient text that does not say what you say it does. You also seem very upset that I am a "Christian apologist", an accusation that seems quite strange to me given that I am not, and haven't. It should be obvious from our coversation above that I am no doctrinaire for that faith tradition. Is it that you think anyone who dares disagree with your wild theories must be a secret evangelist, even if they make no argument for converting to Christianity?

Again, you are dancing around the issues I raised and posted more red herrings to do so. Either sensibly address those issues or I will move on. You can start by explaining your misrepresenting what I've been arguing. It appears you did so to cover up the culpability of the Gospel story and its Christ figure (if he really existed) for persecutions like the witch hunts and the inquisition. Is that correct?
You accuse me of "dancing around" while you make personal attacks instead of presenting evidence of your views? It is very telling, to me, which of my posts you are responding to and which you are ignoring. It doesn't "appear" like that at all, and indeed I don't see the relevance of those historical events to discussing what was or wasn't true of Jesus in his lifetime. No, I don't think those people you mention were justified in doing what they did, but they aren't relevant to the discussion you were supposedly putting forward in this thread. No one can control what other people do after we are dead.
 

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All religions and ideologies have done lots of harm. It is the nature of life that most of us do some harm to to others passing through. OTOH, the most harm is usually done by those who become fanatical about their beliefs, no matter what those beliefs may be. The most common fanatical belief system in the US, at the present moment, is the Dominionism version of Christianity. The sort that Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham, and so forth adhere to. Perhaps we should also admit that harmless, and even beneficial, versions of those ideologies also exist.
 
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