1. SubscriberFMF
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    16 Mar '18 08:36
    What do the religionists here think about this assertion by Benjamin Franklin?

    As for the non-religionists here, what are the moral dimensions of "rebellion against tyrants"?
  2. SubscriberSuzianne
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    16 Mar '18 12:02
    Originally posted by @fmf
    What do the religionists here think about this assertion by Benjamin Franklin?

    As for the non-religionists here, what are the moral dimensions of "rebellion against tyrants"?
    Nearly 500 years before this, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote:

    “A tyrannical government is not just, because it is directed, not to the common good, but to the private good of the ruler, as the Philosopher states. Consequently there is no sedition in disturbing a government of this kind, unless indeed the tyrant's rule be disturbed so inordinately, that his subjects suffer greater harm from the consequent disturbance than from the tyrant's government. Indeed it is the tyrant rather that is guilty of sedition, since he encourages discord and sedition among his subjects, that he may lord over them more securely; for this is tyranny, being conducive to the private good of the ruler, and to the injury of the multitude.”

    More to the point, the U.S. Declaration of Independence states:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

    This seems to provide reasonable support for Franklin's comment, which he also proposed for the motto of his design for the Great Seal of the United States.

    Rebellion against tyrants is the right and duty, under God, of a people whose unalienable rights provided by their Creator are abused and usurped.
  3. SubscriberFMF
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    16 Mar '18 12:061 edit
    Originally posted by @suzianne
    Rebellion against tyrants is the right and duty, under God, of a people whose unalienable rights provided by their Creator are abused and usurped.
    For you as a Christian, is there a Biblical basis for this? What clues does the Bible offer as to a definition of 'tyranny', or the nature and conduct of 'rebellion', because people - even among Christians - are unlikely to reach a specific consensus or agree on the tipping point for rebellion?
  4. Standard membervivify
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    16 Mar '18 13:062 edits
    Originally posted by @suzianne
    Rebellion against tyrants is the right and duty, under God, of a people whose unalienable rights provided by their Creator are abused and usurped.
    The bible contradicts you. Consider the following verse:

    1 Peter 2:18-19:
    "Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.

    The bible actually commands that people under oppression DON'T revolt, but "submit"; it says it's "commendable" to endure "unjust suffering". That's why bible verses like this are justified:

    Exodus 21:20-21:
    "Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property."
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    16 Mar '18 13:10
    Originally posted by @fmf
    For you as a Christian, is there a Biblical basis for this? What clues does the Bible offer as to a definition of 'tyranny', or the nature and conduct of 'rebellion', because people - even among Christians - are unlikely to reach a specific consensus or agree on the tipping point for rebellion?
    Reading the OT, we see God raising nations to judge other nations time and again.

    Now this is not to say that the said nations were told by God to go against another, rather, things just went that way through the behind the scenes workings of the Almighty.

    That is also not to say that those who raise up against other nations are prompted to do so by God.
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    16 Mar '18 13:57
    In 1790, the nation which had fought a revolution against taxation without representation discovered that some of its citizens weren’t much happier about taxation with representation.”
    — Lyndon B. Johnson
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    16 Mar '18 14:05
    I always get a kick out of reading this.

    It would be a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their income.

    — Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1758
  8. SubscriberSuzianne
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    16 Mar '18 14:071 edit
    Originally posted by @vivify
    The bible contradicts you. Consider the following verse:

    1 Peter 2:18-19:
    [b]"Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.


    The bible ...[text shortened]... to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property."[/b][/b]
    This kind of thing is the same kind of cherry-picking the Calvinists use when they speak out against rebellion.

    Perhaps you missed this bit in the D of I:
    "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

    The 1 Peter quote is not talking about the kind of absolute tyranny that comes from despotic governments. And I'm sure I don't have to say that the Exodus quote doesn't quite apply, either.
  9. SubscriberSuzianne
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    16 Mar '18 14:14
    Originally posted by @fmf
    For you as a Christian, is there a Biblical basis for this? What clues does the Bible offer as to a definition of 'tyranny', or the nature and conduct of 'rebellion', because people - even among Christians - are unlikely to reach a specific consensus or agree on the tipping point for rebellion?
    Regardless of what you think I think, the Bible does not tell us everything. In fact, because it is not universally comprehensive, it often moves people to do exactly the wrong thing for exactly the wrong reasons. Sometimes, though, humans can get lucky and actually do the right thing, regardless.
  10. SubscriberSuzianne
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    16 Mar '18 14:18
    Originally posted by @whodey
    In 1790, the nation which had fought a revolution against taxation without representation discovered that some of its citizens weren’t much happier about taxation with representation.”
    — Lyndon B. Johnson
    Taxation is not "tyranny".

    "Taxation without representation" was more about the "without representation" than it was about the "taxation". And the Revolution was about FAR more than "taxation without representation" in the first place. That was only one thing on the long list of abuses.
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    16 Mar '18 14:22
    Originally posted by @suzianne
    Taxation is not "tyranny".

    "Taxation without representation" was more about the "without representation" than it was about the "taxation". And the Revolution was about FAR more than "taxation without representation" in the first place. That was only one thing on the long list of abuses.
    Well according to Franklin you are wrong.

    History is full of taxation being a form of tyranny.
  12. SubscriberSuzianne
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    16 Mar '18 14:251 edit
    Originally posted by @whodey
    I always get a kick out of reading this.

    It would be a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their income.

    — Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1758
    "Just over half (54% ) of Americans surveyed in fall by Pew Research Center said they pay about the right amount in taxes considering what they get from the federal government, versus 40% who said they pay more than their fair share. But in a separate 2015 survey by the Center, some six-in-ten Americans said they were bothered a lot by the feeling that “some wealthy people” and “some corporations” don’t pay their fair share."

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/13/high-income-americans-pay-most-income-taxes-but-enough-to-be-fair/
  13. SubscriberSuzianne
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    16 Mar '18 14:30
    Originally posted by @whodey
    Well according to Franklin you are wrong.

    History is full of taxation being a form of tyranny.
    No, I'm not, and no, it's not.

    I have one question for you, and one question only: Do you tithe?

    Spoiled Americans can't even be moved to give a fair share of their income to God, and, thanks to Reagan, feel downright pissed off that they have to give ANYthing to pay for infrastructure or even to help those people in their own country who are less well-off than they are.
  14. Standard membervivify
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    16 Mar '18 15:101 edit
    Originally posted by @suzianne
    This kind of thing is the same kind of cherry-picking the Calvinists use when they speak out against rebellion.

    Perhaps you missed this bit in the D of I:
    "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to su ...[text shortened]... overnments. And I'm sure I don't have to say that the Exodus quote doesn't quite apply, either.
    You don't see the utter logical flaw in using the Declaration of Independence to defend the Bible? Will you use the Geneva Convention to defend Jehovah's Witnesses?

    Your post has no logical foundation.

    And how is it "cherry-picking" when I quoted Peter, who not only wrote 2 books of the Bible and is generally considered the greatest Apostle (to the point where Catholicism considers him their first Pope), but also who Jesus called "the rock" on which he will build his church?

    That's not "cherry-picking". That's contextual, accurate quoting of the Bible.
  15. Standard membervivify
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    16 Mar '18 15:23
    Originally posted by @whodey
    Well according to Franklin you are wrong.

    History is full of taxation being a form of tyranny.
    Romans 13:6-7:
    This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue

    Jesus on whether or not to pay Caesar's taxes: "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s".
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