August 16, 2008


There's some dude on Diana's site claiming that the Bible supports individual rights and capitalism.  It does not.

"And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him." Mark 12:17

Since neither Caesar nor God does a thing for anyone, it really is no wonder people marveled at the remark.  The audacity and repugnance of the idea to anyone who defends individual rights is obvious: Jesus advocated allowing the government whatever its form to do as it pleases to its citizens and it is the Christian's duty to submit.

Fortunately, that commenter admitted readily that his position was irrational and the discussion seems to have slowed.

Posted by: Flibbertigibbet at 02:57 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
Category: Mythology and Modern Man
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1 One could also come to the conclusion that since all things belong to God, including Caesar himself, in fact Jesus was advocating revolutionary behavior. That is, if Jesus actually existed, or if he said such a thing. Since the Bible is mainly a work of fiction, there is no sense debating its merits in any scientific way. But philosophically, there are some interesting topics of discussion that arise from reading it.

Posted by: WillySF at August 16, 2008 08:53 PM (k8goc)

2 That is the sort of philosophy that I think has undermined most people's interest in the topic.  That is the sort of philosophy that deals in word games and obfuscations.  Amusing though those games may be, they don't bring a person any closer to truth or happiness here in reality.

Posted by: Flibbert at August 17, 2008 06:32 AM (xzhy1)

3 I agree that oftentimes "word games and obfuscations" are the general rule when religious philosophy is discussed. I choose not to debate anyone that employs such methods, or those who bring their own agenda to the table. Socratic debate means to continually ask questions, to remain skeptical and to never be assured that one has all the answers. There has been plenty of scholarly work done on the various books that compile the Christian Bible. One can find plenty of value within them that can lend to spiritual discovery and greater happiness, but to do so takes effort like anything else in life. The teachings attributed to Christ, in particular can be immensely valuable lessons. Yet since language itself is not always the most accurate or descriptive medium, and since translations have been made over time, and the historical and theological context must be considered, these sayings or teachings are not always clearly understood by laymen. Even scholars have plenty of disagreements. In the case of your quotation from the Gospel of St. Mark, I do actually believe Jesus was a revolutionary figure who was protecting his own backside, if you will, yet making it clear to his disciples that Caesar did not factor into the big equation.

Posted by: WillySF at August 17, 2008 06:47 AM (k8goc)

4 If you can tolerate all of that mess and glean some value from it, you are certainly more patient than I am.

The Bible is great, I think, for historians who are interested in culture and even philosophical trends.

But any value for living your life and finding happiness that might be gained by studying the Bible could be more quickly achieved by avoiding it altogether.

Posted by: Flibbert at August 17, 2008 06:55 AM (xzhy1)

5 I can see how you might come to such a conclusion. There are many paths that all lead to the same source. You've got to pick what's right for you. And patience isn't half the virtue people say it is!

Posted by: WillySF at August 17, 2008 05:47 PM (k8goc)

6 Studying lies to get to the truth?  It'd be better to avoid the lies altogether.

Posted by: Flibbert at August 17, 2008 09:05 PM (xzhy1)

7 I'd be skeptical of any philosophy, religion or belief system that claims to have the whole truth. Even the scientific method studies lies (illusions, deceptions, hidden meanings), in order to achieve a fuller understanding. Actually, remaining skeptical is always a good thing.

Posted by: WillySF at August 18, 2008 06:32 AM (k8goc)

8 Only if by skeptical you mean objective.  And by scientific method you mean scientists.

Posted by: Marnee at August 19, 2008 05:19 PM (/lqv4)

9 I am certainly no skeptic.  Don't mistake the method for the practice.  The scientific method is a method for discovering reality and continually collecting and testing your evidence for your conclusions so that you are steadily moved toward a greater understanding of reality.  That method does not stop scientists or anyone from being mistaken or making mistakes.

And I don't know what you mean by "whole truth."  Surely, you have no expectations of omniscience.

If I were less judicious in extending the benefit of the doubt here, Willy, I would strongly suspect that you're a mystic.  I would be most pleased if you could clarify your epistemological position here.

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