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What the extremist-fundamentalists ignore

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Guest Paul
Of course the slaves that built the pyramids were slaves.  They were enslaved in Egypt by the Pharoah. However, Egyptian slavery was not restricted by the Mosaic Law for two reasons:

1.  it wasn't written yet.

2.  the Egyptians were not the Israelites and were less inclined to follow the "Hebrew" Scriptures on the subject.

*  As a side note, remember, God judged the Egyptians for their "racial" slavery didn't He.  He sent 10 plagues which devastated their nation.  I also believe that the US paid for racial slavery as well.  It cost the lives of 600,000 white Americans to end the practice.  That national sin was paid for in blood.

The Bible, in no way condones racial slavery.  Slavery for the Hebrews was restricted and slaves were protected under the law.  The term of service was usually seven years and slaves were freed from service at the end of the term.  In addition, every 50 years was a year of "Jubillee" and all slaves were freed. The only life-long slaves were bond-servants.  Those that were so devoted and loyal to their master that they "chose" to be servants for life.  The symbol of this kind of servitude was an earing.  Again, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is an excellent source for looking into the justifications for slavery by some southern clergy and rebuttals to them by abolitionists using the Scriptures.

Yes it does condone it. The reason "God punished" the Egyptians for enslaving the Hebrews is the same reason "God punished" the Egyptians for everything else. Hebrews wrote the book. It was written in support of the Hebrew nation, or tribe, which not surprisingly was called God's chosen people. Chosen by themselves.

Everywhere we look, the Bible comes back to one thing. It was all about a few men writing things to suit themselves, and now belief in that same Bible has the same genesis.

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Guest Paul
I'm never quite sure which Paul is posting. The atheist Paul or this Paul, posting "everything that is good in religion". Maybe it's an duel-personality thing.

There is a difference between theism and religion. In my view, theism has captured and distorted religion virtually beyond recognition.

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Guest Paul
Beats me how Paul can suppose that I don't really pay attention to the answer when I address his supposed answer every time, and then he bugs out of the conversation.

Yet Paul has explicitly claimed that his recommended values are "universal"--yet his system appears to automatically break down on that point when we encounter people who self-mutilate or take the path of the ascetic.

When we get to this stage of the justification, Paul's argument begins to melt faster than the polar icecap during one of Al Gore's nightmares.

Again, it is apparent that Paul has utterly dismissed respected views on ethics such as Kant's moral imperative without argument.

Shared human values, even if they were supposedly universal (and Paul hasn't come anywhere close to arguing that with any degree of success), only addresses the issue of descriptive morality.  It would not, on the face of it, address the issue of whether that morality is objectively true in terms of its moral propositions.

Paul's argument for morality, at its foundation, is a fallacious appeal to the people.

Paul's inability or unwillingness to address that issue is most charitably explained by his intellectual inability to address the issue.  Otherwise it could be concluded that the claims his argument hasn't been paid proper attention stem from dishonesty.

If there are any blind folks in the audience intent on being led by the blind, simply follow the sound of Paul's voice.

Here's a blog by an atheist ethicist that underscores precisely the arguments I've been making against Paul's position:

http://atheistethicist.blogspot.com/2007/0...y-delusion.html

The problem isn't that Paul's argument isn't understood and addressed.

The problem isn't that Paul either fails to realize that his argument has been understood and addressed, or that Paul dishonestly denies that it has been understood and addressed.

Perhaps it's time that Paul simply admitted that he doesn't know what he's talking about instead of continuing this charade?

At the end of the day, every society makes its choices. We can choose to worship whatever men wrote down according to their primitive understandings thousands of years ago. Or we can choose to look around us and see the shape of human desire all over the world and act accordingly. No one ever said that any ethical, moral or religious system would give us perfect answers to every question and every situation. There is no avoiding the role of judgment in these questions.

Those who do not wish to use the human desire for health, satisfaction of essential needs, pleasure (as opposed to pain), happiness and longevity as the foundation for human social systems are free to look elsewhere. Those who wish to argue that these desires are not universal are free to say that. Self-mutilation is generally recognized as an aberration and an illness. I don't think it makes sense to design these systems per the desires of a Marquis de Sade, or to be waylaid from designing them by their objections. Bryan is free to disagree.

It is true, of course, that our biology does not compel any particular ethical system. We are free to ignore what is best for us. We can even go so far as to worship a non-existent god who is waiting to cast us into eternal torment for choosing the wrong place and idols of worship. However, the fact remains that things like pleasure, happiness, well-being, fulfillment, etc., are common human experiences universally shared. Universal doesn't mean that there isn't a single exception, or that no one tries to break out of the mold, but I dare say that if you approach 10,000 people with a sharp stick and try to put it into their eyes, you'll get pretty much the same kind of reaction from all of them.

That is why it is possible to say "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." It applies to persons of all religious persuasions and those who have no religion at all. It is universal, Bryan's attempts at niggling out some exceptions notwithstanding. Of course it is an appeal to the people. This is all about what is best for us, and by that I mean all of us.

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I'm never quite sure which Paul is posting. The atheist Paul or this Paul, posting "everything that is good in religion". Maybe it's an duel-personality thing.

Hey doofus, not all religions are theistic.

And it's "dual," not "duel." Geez, not once in my life, no matter how young, have I ever made that mistake. Where did you learn to read and write?

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Please see my last two replies to Bryan.

He teaches you to take verses out of context.

It's a valuable lesson.

The Bible, in fact, does condone racial slavery.

No, it doesn't.

The Hebrew slaves could be released after seven years.  The non-Hebrew slaves could not.

It wasn't that the Israelite slaves could not be released after seven years, it was that the law dictated that they would be released after no more than seven years. That is, unless the slave asked to be made permanent out of love for the family to which he or she was attached (Deut. 15:12-17).

They were not bond-servants.  They were slaves and, except for when they beat a slave and he died immediately, they were not punished.

16 "Anyone who kidnaps another and either sells him or still has him when he is caught must be put to death.

26 "If a man hits a manservant or maidservant in the eye and destroys it, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the eye.

27 And if he knocks out the tooth of a manservant or maidservant, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the tooth.

What is bewildered's basis for claiming that non-Israelite slaves were not bondservants under Israel's laws? Other than the fact that he is bewildered, that is?

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Bryan, where do I begin.

Reading things in context might help. That would be a good beginning.

I am not questioning the state of slavery between one Israelite and another.  The slave is to be freed in the seventh year.  Not in doubt.

However, verses 45 and 46 refer to non-Hebrew slaves that the Israelites obtained from other countries.

Or resident aliens--except it was against the law to take somebody captive and sell him into slavery--so how did the resident aliens get to be slaves except by selling themselves as bond-servants?

The general model of slavery in the ANE was similar to the model in Israel (slavery such as Israel experienced in Egypt was the exception). If slaves were purchased in other countries, they would have been bond-servants whose labor was traded those who owned it. A bit like a mortgage company buying a mortgage from another mortgage company. When you paid the first mortgage company, they owned your labor to tune of your payments. When the new mortgage company bought the mortgage, the new company owns your labor to the tune of your mortgage payments.

Here are the two verses:  You may also acquire them (slaves) from among the aliens residing with you, and from their families that are with you, who have been born in your land; and they may be your property. You may keep them as a possession for your children after you, for them to inherit as property.  These you may treat as slaves, but as for your fellow Israelites, no one shall rule over the other with harshness.

My dictionary (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language) defines chattel as 1. an article or personal, movable property. 2. a slave.

If you're going to use a dictionary instead of the work of experts on history and anthropology, then it may assist you in protecting your treasured views of biblical slavery.

You should take a moment to reflect on what a dictionary literally is.

Deuteronomy 15:12-17 says that a Hebrew slave is to be released in the seventh year.  He or she is also to be given a portion of the slaveowners's property.  Are you still with me?

Exodus 1:3 says that if he came in with a wife and children, they shall go out with him.  Verse 4 says If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, she and her children shall be her master's and he shall go out alone.  The wife and her children belong to the master.  They are chattel.  There is no regulations concerning their release.

The spouse would be released in the seventh year if she were an Israelite. The law simply recognizes that the one who purchased the second slave's labor loses out on his investment if the marriage were to nullify her terms of service.

That should be obvious. The would-be spouse is no more property than the slave who was released in his seventh year. The owner owns the labor, not the person.

Exodus 21:12  Whoever strikes a person mortally he shall be put to death. 13 If it was not premeditated, but came about by an act of God, then I will appoint for you a place to which the killer may flee. 14  But if someone willfully attacks and kills another by treachery, you shall take the killer from my altar for execution.

Exodus 21:18  When individuals quarrel and one strikes another with a stone or fist so that the injured party, though not dead, is confined to bed 19 but recovers and walks around outside with the help of a staff, the assailant shall be free of liability, except to pay for the loss of time, and to arrange for a full recovery.

Exodus 21:20  When a slave owner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment, for the slave is the owner's property.

[]

Exodus 21:21 does not say anything about recovery.

Obviously, if the owner is to benefit from owning the slave, he'll want the slave to recover. What's the worth of a dead slave?

In the case of the slave, the owner has a clear interest in the recovery. That wouldn't tend to be the case with a neighbor.

That should be obvious.

If the slave lingers for a day or two, it's not the same (for some strange reason) as if he were killed immediately.  Verse 12 says nothing about dying immediately, so slaves are treated differently.  They are his property.  That is clearly what it says.

That is how it is rendered in English, but using the context should illuminate your understanding of the verse (even if you're resistant to reading up on ANE culture).

Think about it for a moment.

If the slave is utterly his property and possession, and he literally owns the person, then why would he be punished for killing the slave? Are there any similar statutes for an ox?

Verse 18 talks about injury but not mortal injury.

Verses 18-19 refer to mortal injury implicitly. The fact that the one who struck the blow will not be held responsible if the one struck recovers after a day or two implicitly indicates that the one who struck the blow would be punished if death resulted promptly.

Verses 21-22 refer to death.

The owner does not own the time of the person, he owns the person.

How much clearer can it get?

About a billion times clearer, if you're trying to claim that the isolated verse indicates chattel slavery.

26 "If a man hits a manservant or maidservant in the eye and destroys it, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the eye.

27 And if he knocks out the tooth of a manservant or maidservant, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the tooth

Why compensate your property for the loss of an eye or a tooth? Isn't it your property? Let's say you owned a horse and you knocked out its tooth. Would you let it go free in order to compensate for the tooth?

Isn't the verse better understood as the owner having cost the slave whatever labor was owed through the loss of the eye or the tooth?

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That depends on whether the reader is willing to see it for what it is. You're right, though. There's no escaping what this says --- except in the minds of those who insist on escaping it. They will escape the truth no matter what because they define truth as whatever allows them to hold on to their current beliefs.

Paul solidifies his ranking as #1 at KOTW for shouting "Amen!" to stupid posts.

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Beats me how Paul can suppose that I don't really pay attention to the answer when I address his supposed answer every time, and then he bugs out of the conversation.

Yet Paul has explicitly claimed that his recommended values are "universal"--yet his system appears to automatically break down on that point when we encounter people who self-mutilate or take the path of the ascetic.

When we get to this stage of the justification, Paul's argument begins to melt faster than the polar icecap during one of Al Gore's nightmares.

Again, it is apparent that Paul has utterly dismissed respected views on ethics such as Kant's moral imperative without argument.

Shared human values, even if they were supposedly universal (and Paul hasn't come anywhere close to arguing that with any degree of success), only addresses the issue of descriptive morality.  It would not, on the face of it, address the issue of whether that morality is objectively true in terms of its moral propositions.

Paul's argument for morality, at its foundation, is a fallacious appeal to the people.

Paul's inability or unwillingness to address that issue is most charitably explained by his intellectual inability to address the issue.  Otherwise it could be concluded that the claims his argument hasn't been paid proper attention stem from dishonesty.

If there are any blind folks in the audience intent on being led by the blind, simply follow the sound of Paul's voice.

Here's a blog by an atheist ethicist that underscores precisely the arguments I've been making against Paul's position:

http://atheistethicist.blogspot.com/2007/0...y-delusion.html

The problem isn't that Paul's argument isn't understood and addressed.

The problem isn't that Paul either fails to realize that his argument has been understood and addressed, or that Paul dishonestly denies that it has been understood and addressed.

Perhaps it's time that Paul simply admitted that he doesn't know what he's talking about instead of continuing this charade?

And Bryan's proposed alternative is what? Well, that we all agree with his conception of God, silly.

And why is that universal? Because Bryan says it is. And his God says it is --- assuming that his God exists, that is. And assuming that God allowed people to speak for Him in the way Bryan says he does.

But - but Bryan's God has to exist because the Bible says he does. And Bryan says he does! And oh, about 20-25% of the world's people are Christians. Therefore Bryan's God is universal. Those other 75-80% are going to burn in hell anyway, so why should we listen to them?

I prefer a system based on our commonly held values. If the best argument Bryan can muster against it is that self-mutilators and the like would object, we can live with that.

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Hey doofus, not all religions are theistic.

And it's "dual," not "duel." Geez, not once in my life, no matter how young, have I ever made that mistake. Where did you learn to read and write?

Your grasp of the English language is as spectacular and the Kearny fireworks. Name calling by you really shows your true immaturity.

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Guest bewildered
Reading things in context might help.  That would be a good beginning.

Or resident aliens--except it was against the law to take somebody captive and sell him into slavery--so how did the resident aliens get to be slaves except by selling themselves as bond-servants?

The general model of slavery in the ANE was similar to the model in Israel (slavery such as Israel experienced in Egypt was the exception).  If slaves were purchased in other countries, they would have been bond-servants whose labor was traded those who owned it.  A bit like a mortgage company buying a mortgage from another mortgage company.  When you paid the first mortgage company, they owned your labor to tune of your payments.  When the new mortgage company bought the mortgage, the new company owns your labor to the tune of your mortgage payments.

If you're going to use a dictionary instead of the work of experts on history and anthropology, then it may assist you in protecting your treasured views of biblical slavery.

You should take a moment to reflect on what a dictionary literally is.

The spouse would be released in the seventh year if she were an Israelite.  The law simply recognizes that the one who purchased the second slave's labor loses out on his investment if the marriage were to nullify her terms of service.

That should be obvious.  The would-be spouse is no more property than the slave who was released in his seventh year.  The owner owns the labor, not the person.

Obviously, if the owner is to benefit from owning the slave, he'll want the slave to recover.  What's the worth of a dead slave?

In the case of the slave, the owner has a clear interest in the recovery.  That wouldn't tend to be the case with a neighbor. 

That should be obvious.

That is how it is rendered in English, but using the context should illuminate your understanding of the verse (even if you're resistant to reading up on ANE culture).

Think about it for a moment.

If the slave is utterly his property and possession, and he literally owns the person, then why would he be punished for killing the slave?  Are there any similar statutes for an ox?

Verses 18-19 refer to mortal injury implicitly.  The fact that the one who struck the blow will not be held responsible if the one struck recovers after a day or two implicitly indicates that the one who struck the blow would be punished if death resulted promptly.

About a billion times clearer, if you're trying to claim that the isolated verse indicates chattel slavery.

26 "If a man hits a manservant or maidservant in the eye and destroys it, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the eye.

27 And if he knocks out the tooth of a manservant or maidservant, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the tooth

Why compensate your property for the loss of an eye or a tooth?  Isn't it your property?  Let's say you owned a horse and you knocked out its tooth.  Would you let it go free in order to compensate for the tooth?

Isn't the verse better understood as the owner having cost the slave whatever labor was owed through the loss of the eye or the tooth?

Whatever. You know everything. We mere mortals are just stupid and need someone like Bryan how to read what is not there.

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Yes it does condone it. The reason "God punished" the Egyptians for enslaving the Hebrews is the same reason "God punished" the Egyptians for everything else. Hebrews wrote the book. It was written in support of the Hebrew nation, or tribe, which not surprisingly was called God's chosen people. Chosen by themselves.

Everywhere we look, the Bible comes back to one thing. It was all about a few men writing things to suit themselves, and now belief in that same Bible has the same genesis.

That is also evident from scripture passage of Joshua. Here we have the men, woman, children and livestock put to death by order of the Lord. I guess some feel that’s fine since we’re the Lords property.

But His order also specified that silver and gold, and the articles of bronze or iron shall be put into the treasury of the Lord since they are sacred to the Lord.

Why should the Lord care where his treasury is? Since He is omnipotent, why not simply create treasury as needed? But I guess it is not for us to question. But, how convenient for the keepers of the Lords treasury, the priests.

Joshua Chapter 6

Now shout, for the LORD has given you the city and everything in it. It is under the LORD'S ban…But be careful not to take, in your greed, anything that is under the ban; else you will bring upon the camp of Israel this ban and the misery of it. All silver and gold, and the articles of bronze or iron, are sacred to the LORD. They shall be put in the treasury of the LORD….They observed the ban by putting to the sword all living creatures in the city: men and women, young and old, as well as oxen, sheep and asses...The city itself they burned with all that was in it, except the silver, gold, and articles of bronze and iron, which were placed in the treasury of the house of the LORD.

Ban - doomed to destruction

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And Bryan's proposed alternative is what? Well, that we all agree with his conception of God, silly.

And why is that universal? Because Bryan says it is. And his God says it is --- assuming that his God exists, that is. And assuming that God allowed people to speak for Him in the way Bryan says he does.

But - but Bryan's God has to exist because the Bible says he does. And Bryan says he does! And oh, about 20-25% of the world's people are Christians. Therefore Bryan's God is universal. Those other 75-80% are going to burn in hell anyway, so why should we listen to them?

I prefer a system based on our commonly held values. If the best argument Bryan can muster against it is that self-mutilators and the like would object, we can live with that.

Thank you Paul as posting as a guest. YOU are still gutless.

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Whatever.  You know everything.  We mere mortals are just stupid and need someone like Bryan how to read what is not there.

Things that aren't there like verses 26 and 27?

I make an argument based on the text, and "bewildered" comes back with a sarcastic you know everything--not much of an argument so far, is it?

Following that we have mock self-deprecation. Bewildered ends up asserting that I say that there are things in the text that are not there. Things like the implication that a fight between two free men resulting in the prompt death of one results in punishment for the survivor.

Bewildered's reply is the sniping of one who knows his argument has been flattened, but refuses to admit it.

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Your grasp of the English language is as spectacular and the Kearny fireworks.

Assuming this is to mean that my grasp of the English language is weak, I must ask: what is your basis for saying that? :lol: I think I make less grammar/spelling mistakes than most posters, especially the guests (case in point above, it's "as," not "and" B):P :P).

Name calling by you really shows your true immaturity.

Spades are called spades by me. Much worse can be said about someone so ignorant as to apparently not be aware of any of the religions that do not believe in supreme beings. Also, it's not like the particular person I responded to hasn't reinforced qualities that would merit being labeled a "doofus" many times over in previous posts. I could think of much worse, and it wouldn't be any less true, so I'm actually going easy on him. :P

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Guest Paul
Thank you Paul as posting as a guest. YOU are still gutless.

You just accused me falsely. Since you consider anonymous posts, let alone anonymous accusations, to be gutless, I presume you'll be telling us your name and address.

Hypocrite.

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Things that aren't there like verses 26 and 27?

I make an argument based on the text, and "bewildered" comes back with a sarcastic you know everything--not much of an argument so far, is it?

Following that we have mock self-deprecation.  Bewildered ends up asserting that I say that there are things in the text that are not there.  Things like the implication that a fight between two free men resulting in the prompt death of one results in punishment for the survivor.

Bewildered's reply is the sniping of one who knows his argument has been flattened, but refuses to admit it.

Ok, let me try again. I never brought up Exodus 21:26-27. The verses limit the harshness of the treatment of the slave.

Exodus 21:12 uses easy to understand words. "Whoever strikes a person mortally shall be put to death." This applies to all humans. Verses 20 and 21 are specifically about slaves. "When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished." Note that it does not specify what kind of punishment he is to be given. The verses before that specify specific punishments for each violation.

Verse 21: But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner's property. In other words if you beat your slave today and he dies today, you are to be punished. If he dies tomorrow or the next day, there is no punishment.

If you treat people from one country or tribe better than you treat others differently it's called racism.

If god dictated Exodus he would have made it more clearly. He would have explained how property is not property. But he didn't.

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He teaches you to take verses out of context.

It's a valuable lesson.

No, it doesn't.

It wasn't that the Israelite slaves could not be released after seven years, it was that the law dictated that they would be released after no more than seven years.  That is, unless the slave asked to be made permanent out of love for the family to which he or she was attached (Deut. 15:12-17).

My statement was that Hebrew slaves could be released.  You must have misread what I wrote.  I have no quarrel with vers 17.

16 "Anyone who kidnaps another and either sells him or still has him when he is caught must be put to death.

I never said anything about kidnapping.  I was talking about foreign people taken as booty from a conquered country.

26 "If a man hits a manservant or maidservant in the eye and destroys it, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the eye.

27 And if he knocks out the tooth of a manservant or maidservant, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the tooth.

I have no problem with this.  I mentioned it in my last post.

What is bewildered's basis for claiming that non-Israelite slaves were not bondservants under Israel's laws?  Other than the fact that he is bewildered, that is?

The foreign slaves were treated differently than the Hebrew slaves.They were property.

If you can quote me non-biblical sources I might be convinced, as long as they are not from christian apologists.Otherwise I will stop answering your posts.  It's just a waste of my time.  This is not a concession.  You have not won..

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Seems the flow of baseless accusations has barely slowed down since the Paszkiewicz issue has been settled. Shameful.

How can you tell when you've irritated a fundie?

When he starts accusing you of being the devil.

How can you tell when a fundie is saying something stupid?

His lips are moving.

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Ok, let me try again. I never brought up Exodus 21:26-27.  The verses limit the harshness of the treatment of the slave.

Exodus 21:12 uses easy to understand words.  "Whoever strikes a person mortally shall be put to death."  This applies to all humans.  Verses 20 and 21 are specifically about slaves.  "When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished."  Note that it does not specify what kind of punishment he is to be given.  The verses before that specify specific punishments for each violation.

Verse 21:  But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner's property.  In other words if you beat your slave today and he dies today, you are to be punished.  If he dies tomorrow or the next day, there is no punishment.

If you treat people from one country or tribe better than you treat others differently it's called racism.

If god dictated Exodus he would have made it more clearly.  He would have explained how property is not property.  But he didn't.

Because God didn't write it. God had nothing to do with it because there is no god.

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Beats me how Paul can suppose that I don't really pay attention to the answer when I address his supposed answer every time, and then he bugs out of the conversation.

Yet Paul has explicitly claimed that his recommended values are "universal"--yet his system appears to automatically break down on that point when we encounter people who self-mutilate or take the path of the ascetic.

When we get to this stage of the justification, Paul's argument begins to melt faster than the polar icecap during one of Al Gore's nightmares.

Again, it is apparent that Paul has utterly dismissed respected views on ethics such as Kant's moral imperative without argument.

Shared human values, even if they were supposedly universal (and Paul hasn't come anywhere close to arguing that with any degree of success), only addresses the issue of descriptive morality.  It would not, on the face of it, address the issue of whether that morality is objectively true in terms of its moral propositions.

Paul's argument for morality, at its foundation, is a fallacious appeal to the people.

Paul's inability or unwillingness to address that issue is most charitably explained by his intellectual inability to address the issue.  Otherwise it could be concluded that the claims his argument hasn't been paid proper attention stem from dishonesty.

If there are any blind folks in the audience intent on being led by the blind, simply follow the sound of Paul's voice.

Here's a blog by an atheist ethicist that underscores precisely the arguments I've been making against Paul's position:

http://atheistethicist.blogspot.com/2007/0...y-delusion.html

The problem isn't that Paul's argument isn't understood and addressed.

The problem isn't that Paul either fails to realize that his argument has been understood and addressed, or that Paul dishonestly denies that it has been understood and addressed.

Perhaps it's time that Paul simply admitted that he doesn't know what he's talking about instead of continuing this charade?

At the end of the day, every society makes its choices.

Why quote me if you're not going to address what I write?

We can choose to worship whatever men wrote down according to their primitive understandings thousands of years ago. Or we can choose to look around us and see the shape of human desire all over the world and act accordingly.

The first statement appears to carry an implicit cultural bias.

The second statement is a non-sequitur, as it represents taking an "is" and deriving an "ought" ("look around ... act accordingly").

I've been pointing this out to Paul for weeks, but it apparently doesn't register.

Perhaps he recommends crossing the is/ought divide via intuition? Then what is his complaint against those who intuitively accept hell as the just destination of sinners?

No one ever said that any ethical, moral or religious system would give us perfect answers to every question and every situation. There is no avoiding the role of judgment in these questions.

Therefore we should forgive whatever fallacies you commit?

Even if philosophers who are good at what they do offer alternatives far better than what Paul LaClair is selling?

Those who do not wish to use the human desire for health, satisfaction of essential needs, pleasure (as opposed to pain), happiness and longevity as the foundation for human social systems are free to look elsewhere.

How exceedingly generous.

Anyone who wishes to use the human desire for health, satisfaction of essential needs, pleasure (as opposed to pain), happiness and longevity as the foundation for human social systems should consider the philosophical weakness of his proposed foundation.

Paul can always disagree--but he needs to abandon reason in making the move. Some skeptic, eh?

Those who wish to argue that these desires are not universal are free to say that.

As though to downplay the abundant evidence they can marshal in supporting their case?

:lol:

More of LaClair's blather, rinse, repeat--with no sign that he's willing to do anything other than avoid the burden of proof for his claims.

Why does he continue the charade?

Self-mutilation is generally recognized as an aberration and an illness.

So it doesn't therefore make sense to regard it as a falsification of Paul's claims to "universal" values?

Why on earth not, other than via the fallacy of special pleading?

http://www.fallacyfiles.org/specplea.html

I don't think it makes sense to design these systems per the desires of a Marquis de Sade, or to be waylaid from designing them by their objections. Bryan is free to disagree.

I don't just disagree. I demonstrate the logical absurdity of your claims. The LaClair response is the functional equivalent of curling up into the feeble position*.

It is true, of course, that our biology does not compel any particular ethical system. We are free to ignore what is best for us.

And what is best for us, since you brought it up? Following universal and objective values that are neither universal and objective?

Are we allowed to ask why?

I'll tell you what will happen if we ask why. LaClair will argue through the same tight (fallaciously vicious circle) again, trying to flim-flam people into supposing that he knows what he's talking about.

Why continue this charade?

Your argument has been exposed for what it is, Paul. It's an incoherent mess. You don't know philosophy, and evidently you're not a quick study when it comes to philosophy.

Why continue the charade?

We can even go so far as to worship a non-existent god who is waiting to cast us into eternal torment for choosing the wrong place and idols of worship. However, the fact remains that things like pleasure, happiness, well-being, fulfillment, etc., are common human experiences universally shared. Universal doesn't mean that there isn't a single exception, or that no one tries to break out of the mold, but I dare say that if you approach 10,000 people with a sharp stick and try to put it into their eyes, you'll get pretty much the same kind of reaction from all of them.

I'll take the opportunity to remind LaClair and others of another colossal flaw in his reasoning.

Self-preservation isn't really a shared value. It's an analogous value. Here's what I mean:

Shared value:

Person A: it is good for Mr. Jones to avoid harm.

Person B: it is good for Mr. Jones to avoid harm.

Analogous value:

Person A: it is good for person A to avoid harm.

Person B: it is good for person B to avoid harm.

LaClair utterly ignores the reality that people draw culturally concentric circles around themselves. Self and family "universally" (using the LaClair way, which empties it of its customary meaning) rate the highest spot, meaning that Mr. Jones may or may not rate at all. Community comes next, and the more different from one's self others are perceived (regardless of LaClair's empty "universal value" claim), the lower their value to a given individual. That's reality. Paul ignores it while spinning his own modern fairy-tale in support of the humanistic religion he favors as the national default.

That is why it is possible to say "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

Blather, rinse, repeat.

Nietzsche's superman could say "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." It's a workable strategy for getting others to treat you better than you intend to treat others. Paul appears to exemplify that technique from time to time (as when he asks a series of questions of others after avoiding untold series of questions from others).

It applies to persons of all religious persuasions and those who have no religion at all. It is universal, Bryan's attempts at niggling out some exceptions notwithstanding. Of course it is an appeal to the people. This is all about what is best for us, and by that I mean all of us.

Apparently, LaClair intends to try to perpetuate the charade indefinitely.

LaClair offers no philosophical justification for applying the golden rule to all--certainly LaClair can claim that he'll apply it to all (just don't expect him to answer your questions)--but what hold does the golden rule have on Nietzsche? Does LaClair wear Sauron's One Ring, that he can bind Nietzsche to his will?

It's universal, eh? Now that LaClair has re-defined "universal" as having exceptions! Why doesn't LaClair just pick out one of the many English words that mean what he's trying to say instead of distorting the meaning of "universal"? Something to do with being a lawyer, maybe?

And he does the same with "appeal to the people" trying to rehabilitate the term from a fallacy (damaging to his reasoning) into the appearance of compassion. The fallacy doesn't disappear--LaClair simply makes clear that he is more interested in convincing the jury to agree with him than he is in providing an argument based on truth, logic and reason.

Blather, rinse, repeat.

*hat tip to Luther Van Damme (Jerry Van Dyke)

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Guest Paul

At the end of the day, every society makes its choices.

Why quote me if you're not going to address what I write?

The first statement appears to carry an implicit cultural bias.

The second statement is a non-sequitur, as it represents taking an "is" and deriving an "ought" ("look around ... act accordingly").

I've been pointing this out to Paul for weeks, but it apparently doesn't register.

Perhaps he recommends crossing the is/ought divide via intuition? Then what is his complaint against those who intuitively accept hell as the just destination of sinners?

Therefore we should forgive whatever fallacies you commit?

Even if philosophers who are good at what they do offer alternatives far better than what Paul LaClair is selling?

How exceedingly generous.

Anyone who wishes to use the human desire for health, satisfaction of essential needs, pleasure (as opposed to pain), happiness and longevity as the foundation for human social systems should consider the philosophical weakness of his proposed foundation.

Paul can always disagree--but he needs to abandon reason in making the move. Some skeptic, eh?

As though to downplay the abundant evidence they can marshal in supporting their case?

:lol:

More of LaClair's blather, rinse, repeat--with no sign that he's willing to do anything other than avoid the burden of proof for his claims.

Why does he continue the charade?

So it doesn't therefore make sense to regard it as a falsification of Paul's claims to "universal" values?

Why on earth not, other than via the fallacy of special pleading?

http://www.fallacyfiles.org/specplea.html

I don't just disagree. I demonstrate the logical absurdity of your claims. The LaClair response is the functional equivalent of curling up into the feeble position*.

And what is best for us, since you brought it up? Following universal and objective values that are neither universal and objective?

Are we allowed to ask why?

I'll tell you what will happen if we ask why. LaClair will argue through the same tight (fallaciously vicious circle) again, trying to flim-flam people into supposing that he knows what he's talking about.

Why continue this charade?

Your argument has been exposed for what it is, Paul. It's an incoherent mess. You don't know philosophy, and evidently you're not a quick study when it comes to philosophy.

Why continue the charade?

We can even go so far as to worship a non-existent god who is waiting to cast us into eternal torment for choosing the wrong place and idols of worship. However, the fact remains that things like pleasure, happiness, well-being, fulfillment, etc., are common human experiences universally shared. Universal doesn't mean that there isn't a single exception, or that no one tries to break out of the mold, but I dare say that if you approach 10,000 people with a sharp stick and try to put it into their eyes, you'll get pretty much the same kind of reaction from all of them.

I'll take the opportunity to remind LaClair and others of another colossal flaw in his reasoning.

Self-preservation isn't really a shared value. It's an analogous value. Here's what I mean:

Shared value:

Person A: it is good for Mr. Jones to avoid harm.

Person B: it is good for Mr. Jones to avoid harm.

Analogous value:

Person A: it is good for person A to avoid harm.

Person B: it is good for person B to avoid harm.

LaClair utterly ignores the reality that people draw culturally concentric circles around themselves. Self and family "universally" (using the LaClair way, which empties it of its customary meaning) rate the highest spot, meaning that Mr. Jones may or may not rate at all. Community comes next, and the more different from one's self others are perceived (regardless of LaClair's empty "universal value" claim), the lower their value to a given individual. That's reality. Paul ignores it while spinning his own modern fairy-tale in support of the humanistic religion he favors as the national default.

That is why it is possible to say "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

Blather, rinse, repeat.

Nietzsche's superman could say "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." It's a workable strategy for getting others to treat you better than you intend to treat others. Paul appears to exemplify that technique from time to time (as when he asks a series of questions of others after avoiding untold series of questions from others).

Apparently, LaClair intends to try to perpetuate the charade indefinitely.

LaClair offers no philosophical justification for applying the golden rule to all--certainly LaClair can claim that he'll apply it to all (just don't expect him to answer your questions)--but what hold does the golden rule have on Nietzsche? Does LaClair wear Sauron's One Ring, that he can bind Nietzsche to his will?

It's universal, eh? Now that LaClair has re-defined "universal" as having exceptions! Why doesn't LaClair just pick out one of the many English words that mean what he's trying to say instead of distorting the meaning of "universal"? Something to do with being a lawyer, maybe?

And he does the same with "appeal to the people" trying to rehabilitate the term from a fallacy (damaging to his reasoning) into the appearance of compassion. The fallacy doesn't disappear--LaClair simply makes clear that he is more interested in convincing the jury to agree with him than he is in providing an argument based on truth, logic and reason.

Blather, rinse, repeat.

*hat tip to Luther Van Damme (Jerry Van Dyke)

In other words, you're a Christian who doesn't believe in the Golden Rule. It's your choice, I don't agree with it. I think you've thrown out the best part. I do wish the Republicans running for office on "values" platforms would be as open about it.

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Guest Paul

By the way, Bryan, I understand your point, which is not to say that it's a good one. It's mainly just your usual niggling, which is why I haven't bothered with it, but since I need a break from case preparation this morning, here goes.

You're right to this extent: you don't have to choose an ethical, moral or religious system that honors everyone. You can choose a system that honors your nation, your village, your tribe or just you personally and no one else. You can look at the suffering of others and say "I don't care" if you want to. The main point of the "is-ought" observation is that we can't deduce an ethical system from what is; we have to put in a value judgment somewhere (which is also why you can't reduce these discussions to a set of syllogisms), but at the same time we can't pick a sound system without reference to facts either.

My point is that if you want a system that honors everyone, the best foundation for that is our common humanity as its core and foundational Truth. You have to start with the premise that you want a system that respects and honors everyone, but there is an objective reason for doing so: every person having a conscious life experience is experiencing on continua of pleasure/pain, health/illness, satisfaction/want, etc. These are objective and universally shared human experiences, and they are at the core of what we seek. I know that from experience and observation, not from what you're calling logic. Sometimes we choose to give up our own happiness for others, as soldiers or parents do, but still we are giving up our happiness so that others may have it. The core principle isn't changed, in fact it isn't even changed with the sadist, who derives pleasure from pain. You say there's a logical fallacy, but there isn't. In the end, it's all about our preferences. Those who don't have any preferences are then indifferent to whatever system the rest of us design. If you want to reduce it to that, you can, but satisfaction, health, etc., are so universally sought that it's appropriate to call them universal, certainly for the purposes of designing any kind of system that addresses our relations with and treatment of each other. You're right that if you're looking for a system that is absolutely perfect, you'll probably never find it, but this comes a lot closer than your babbling about morally perfect rocks.

Happy now?

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You're right to this extent: you don't have to choose an ethical, moral or religious system that honors everyone. You can choose a system that honors your nation, your village, your tribe or just you personally and no one else. You can look at the suffering of others and say "I don't care" if you want to. The main point of the "is-ought" observation is that we can't deduce an ethical system from what is; we have to put in a value judgment somewhere (which is also why you can't reduce these discussions to a set of syllogisms), but at the same time we can't pick a sound system without reference to facts either.

The last sentence is too ambiguous to allow to pass.

What "facts" need to be considered in coming up with a system of ethics? You insist on sticking with "our common humanity" even though I've pointed out that it's essentially a tautology that leads nowhere. You concede the point, then reiterate the need for facts--but which facts?

Odds are you'll play a shell game with the facts and end up appealing to ends-based morality--a strategy that fallaciously begs the question.

My point is that if you want a system that honors everyone, the best foundation for that is our common humanity as its core and foundational Truth.

You can't get there using "all humans are human" (tautology), but you can get there with "all men (humans) are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights."

You reject the formula that works in favor of one that doesn't.

You have to start with the premise that you want a system that respects and honors everyone,

If I start with that premise, then I have fallaciously begged the question of whether the moral system I'm proposing is morally right.

How would you justify claiming that we must reason the issue based on a fallacy?

Seriously, Paul, why continue this charade of pretending you have some idea what you're talking about?

but there is an objective reason for doing so: every person having a conscious life experience is experiencing on continua of pleasure/pain, health/illness, satisfaction/want, etc. These are objective and universally shared human experiences, and they are at the core of what we seek.

Same argument, different words.

Even if we were suppose that human experience is shared (a proposition vigorously opposed by modern philosophers of a postmodernist bent (such as the recently-deceased Richard Rorty), we don't get from there to the universally shared values that Paul trumpeted earlier.

I know that from experience and observation, not from what you're calling logic.

To be sure, logic is foreign to the argument you're advancing.

Sometimes we choose to give up our own happiness for others, as soldiers or parents do, but still we are giving up our happiness so that others may have it. The core principle isn't changed, in fact it isn't even changed with the sadist, who derives pleasure from pain.

What core priniciple is that? Is this where you magically turn universally* shared experiences ("is") into universal* values ("ought")?

*the reader should be aware that LaClair uses these terms to mean ~universally and ~universal where ~="not"

You say there's a logical fallacy, but there isn't.

There is if you just tried to cross the is/ought divide, which appears to be the case, and there is if you intend to imply that a set of values is logically implied by anything you've written, which also appears to be the case.

In the end, it's all about our preferences. Those who don't have any preferences are then indifferent to whatever system the rest of us design. If you want to reduce it to that, you can, but satisfaction, health, etc., are so universally sought that it's appropriate to call them universal, certainly for the purposes of designing any kind of system that addresses our relations with and treatment of each other.

Sorry, but I don't go along with gratuitously re-assigning meanings to words that conflict directly with their ordinary meanings.

I think it's misleading and/or dishonest.

I'll point out yet again, that you're pulling a fast one. Me wanting me to be healthy does not mean that I share a value with George X who wants George X to be healthy. Our values are parallel--not shared.

When you present the situation otherwise, people are likely to be misled--it's the equivalent of lying to them.

This is exactly why getting specific definitions is so critical in logical reasoning. Ambiguous terms tend to lead to fallacious reasoning.

People like Paul can prey on those who don't pay close attention.

Speaking of supposedly universal values--you wouldn't want people to mislead you with fallacies of ambiguity--would you, Paul?

You're right that if you're looking for a system that is absolutely perfect, you'll probably never find it, but this comes a lot closer than your babbling about morally perfect rocks.

Happy now?

Yes, I'm overjoyed that you wasted everyone's time by posting the same argument again in different words without addressing the problems that have been pointed out numerous times.

Cut the charade. You don't know what you're talking about. Stop pretending.

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