1. Cape Town
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    19 Mar '14 12:10
    CalJust made this claim in another thread. This is not an attack on CalJust, just an invitation to others for discussion of the idea.

    What are the worst laws (morally) of the OT ?
    If we ignore for a moment the exact prescribed punishments, can we say that all OT laws were morally correct?
    Does anyone believe that the punishments themselves were reasonable for that day and age and thus were also morally 'not wrong'?
  2. Joined
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    19 Mar '14 13:30
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    CalJust made this claim in another thread. This is not an attack on CalJust, just an invitation to others for discussion of the idea.

    What are the worst laws (morally) of the OT ?
    If we ignore for a moment the exact prescribed punishments, can we say that all OT laws were morally correct?
    Does anyone believe that the punishments themselves were reasonable for that day and age and thus were also morally 'not wrong'?
    i don't know how to argue for stoning a girl to death for failing to prove she is a virgin.

    or cutting off the hand of a woman if , when defending her husband against an attacker, she grabs said attacker by the balls.


    i am curious to see if anyone can.
  3. Standard memberCalJust
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    19 Mar '14 14:14
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    CalJust made this claim in another thread. This is not an attack on CalJust, just an invitation to others for discussion of the idea.

    What are the worst laws (morally) of the OT ?
    If we ignore for a moment the exact prescribed punishments, can we say that all OT laws were morally correct?
    Does anyone believe that the punishments themselves were reasonable for that day and age and thus were also morally 'not wrong'?
    I must say that I have sort of lost my appetite for discussions with you, but because i said that i would be prepared to defend that statement of mine, here i am.

    At the outset I have to again point out that you have (and are!) completely misrepresenting my statement. You mention the fact that I said PRINCIPLES and then immediately go over to attacking the PUNISHMENTS. Can you not see the difference? Is this by mistake or malicious intent?

    For the record, I believe (as Jesus believed in the examples given before) that some of the punishments were totally inappropriate, to say the least. He was always against stoning, against retribution in any way (eye-for-an-eye, etc).

    So let's NOT talk about any of the punishments, they make an easy target for ridicule, and I am NOT defending them!

    Let's then look at the PRINCIPLES.

    Jesus was asked (by a critic, in order to catch him out and embarrass him) what was the most important law, of the hundreds of laws that were in the OT. He responded with the famous saying: You shall love the lord your god with all your heart, and your neighbour as yourself.

    If we are looking for a PRINCIPLE, here it is. Let us discount the first part, because you don't believe in a god. But the second part is, imho, the principle behind most of the non-loving-god laws.

    This principle can basically be summed up as respect (we have different understandings for the word "love" ) for your neighbour. That means respect for his person, for his possessions, for his relationships.

    Now you can mention almost any law, whether the moral laws of sexual conduct or the laws governing property, and you will almost invariably find that the OBJECTIVE BEHIND any of these laws was always the love, concern and respect for your fellow human being.

    That is all that I wanted to say when I said that there was nothing wrong with the PRINCIPLES behind the OT laws.

    The punishments were a totally different matter altogether, and they must be seen in the cultural contexts of the day. But into this discussion I will not let myself be drawn.
  4. Standard memberNick Bourbaki
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    19 Mar '14 14:23
    Originally posted by CalJust
    The punishments were a totally different matter altogether, and they must be seen in the cultural contexts of the day. But into this discussion I will not let myself be drawn.
    Why was God beholden to, affected or restricted, in any way, by the "cultural contexts of the day"?
  5. Cape Town
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    19 Mar '14 14:26
    Originally posted by CalJust
    At the outset I have to again point out that you have (and are!) completely misrepresenting my statement. You mention the fact that I said PRINCIPLES and then immediately go over to attacking the PUNISHMENTS. Can you not see the difference? Is this by mistake or malicious intent?
    No, I have not misrepresented your statement (at least not in the way you claim).
    I have asked three questions.
    1. What are the worst OT laws people know of?
    2. In line with your statement, if we ignore the punishments, then are the principles still OK?
    3. Are there any posters willing to go beyond your statement and actually condone the punishments themselves?
    I hope this clarifies my OP.
  6. Cape Town
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    19 Mar '14 14:28
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    i don't know how to argue for stoning a girl to death for failing to prove she is a virgin.
    Do you think the principle of the law itself is wrong ie do you think that a girl who fails to prove she is a virgin should or shouldn't be punished in any way? A small monetary fine for example?
  7. Cape Town
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    19 Mar '14 14:34
    Originally posted by CalJust
    Now you can mention almost any law, whether the moral laws of sexual conduct or the laws governing property, and you will almost invariably find that the OBJECTIVE BEHIND any of these laws was always the love, concern and respect for your fellow human being.
    OK, perhaps you can expand on that with regards to the two laws mentioned by Zahlanzi?

    That is all that I wanted to say when I said that there was nothing wrong with the PRINCIPLES behind the OT laws.
    So have you actually checked all the OT laws, or was it just a general statement that may not actually apply to each and every OT law?

    The punishments were a totally different matter altogether, and they must be seen in the cultural contexts of the day.
    Are you saying that given the cultural contexts the punishments were OK? Or just hinting in that direction?

    But into this discussion I will not let myself be drawn.
    That is your prerogative.
  8. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    19 Mar '14 14:50
    Originally posted by CalJust
    I must say that I have sort of lost my appetite for discussions with you, but because i said that i would be prepared to defend that statement of mine, here i am.

    At the outset I have to again point out that you have (and are!) completely misrepresenting my statement. You mention the fact that I said PRINCIPLES and then immediately go over to attacking th ...[text shortened]... en in the cultural contexts of the day. But into this discussion I will not let myself be drawn.
    The punishments and the principles cannot be separated so neatly. The punishment tells us the importance of the principle to the society that holds it.
  9. Standard memberCalJust
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    19 Mar '14 15:15
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    The punishments and the principles cannot be separated so neatly. The punishment tells us the importance of the principle to the society that holds it.
    I think they can, and should.

    If I remember correctly, the discussion was about Jesus not upholding the stoning law for the woman caught in adultery. Jesus told her to "go in peace, and sin no more". So it appears that he accepted that adultery was sin, but that the punishment was not appropriate.

    My point was that it seemed that the Law should be interpreted against the background PRINCIPLE of respecting your neighbour (and his or her partner) but to kill for that reason was wrong.

    That was my distinction between the PRINCIPLE and the Letter of the Law.
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    19 Mar '14 15:23
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Do you think the principle of the law itself is wrong ie do you think that a girl who fails to prove she is a virgin should or shouldn't be punished in any way? A small monetary fine for example?
    yes, the principle itself is incredibly unfair. never mind that an underage girl is sentenced to death, there were far more gruesome occurrences then.

    we have here a "guilty until proven innocent" legal system, and furthermore, the burden lies on the accused to prove innocent instead of the accuser like we have today.


    i don't believe there is a single "principle" in OT law that is better than its correspondent in today's law. at best, it is the same.
  11. Standard memberCalJust
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    19 Mar '14 15:31
    Originally posted by Nick Bourbaki
    Why was God beholden to, affected or restricted, in any way, by the "cultural contexts of the day"?
    Everything in the Bible was written to a particular society living under particular norms and circumstances, and in very specific contexts.
  12. Standard memberCalJust
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    19 Mar '14 15:341 edit
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    ! don't believe there is a single "principle" in OT law that is better than its correspondent in today's law. at best, it is the same.
    I do not dispute that point.
  13. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    19 Mar '14 15:37
    Originally posted by CalJust
    I think they can, and should.

    If I remember correctly, the discussion was about Jesus not upholding the stoning law for the woman caught in adultery. Jesus told her to "go in peace, and sin no more". So it appears that he accepted that adultery was sin, but that the punishment was not appropriate.

    My point was that it seemed that the Law should be int ...[text shortened]... at reason was wrong.

    That was my distinction between the PRINCIPLE and the Letter of the Law.
    But what good is a principle without enforcement? It becomes a guideline, a suggestion, something that receives lip-service only.
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    19 Mar '14 15:42
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    The punishments and the principles cannot be separated so neatly. The punishment tells us the importance of the principle to the society that holds it.
    not really.

    i believe what you are saying has more to do with crime/punishment.

    as i understand this thread, i think we are talking about law principles, how trials are conducted (or not) to determine if someone is guilty.

    to name a few of the principles in the OT:
    "guilty until proven innocent"
    "burden of proof lies on the accused"
    "punish innocents based on the crimes of another" (how 7 generations are punished for someone's crime)
    "discrimination based on gender, origin, religion, etc"

    i am sure someone with a better knowledge of the OT would be able to name more
  15. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    19 Mar '14 15:49
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    not really.

    i believe what you are saying has more to do with crime/punishment.

    as i understand this thread, i think we are talking about law principles, how trials are conducted (or not) to determine if someone is guilty.

    to name a few of the principles in the OT:
    "guilty until proven innocent"
    "burden of proof lies on the accused"
    "punish i ...[text shortened]... religion, etc"

    i am sure someone with a better knowledge of the OT would be able to name more
    You contradicted me, but did not give a reason why.

    Since when do we limit ourselves to one angle of exploration on a given topic?
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