# Can All "rules" be seen as leading to and steming from Love

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I don't understand Needimprovement's reasoning when he defends God's vengeance on the unbelievers in Deuteronomy by saying that this degree of harshness was consistent with the standards of the time and place. If he is truly the universal, everlasting God who created the entire world, why does he feel himself bound to adhere to the conventions of his time? (such as he would if he had been made up by the people of that time) I would have expected instead that he would have imposed some rule on the unbelieves which would seem humane and wise to all eras and all cultures, otherwise he looks pitifully parochial rather than universal. You could counter this by saying that he had to appeal to the attitudes of the time and place where the message was first being delivered in order to gain plausibility for the whole doctrine, but this is supposed to be an eternal message valid for all times and places, not one temporarily bound. If parts of it are temporarily bound because of their need to appeal to the contemporaries and locals, then which parts of the message are eternal and which are not? Where is the key for distinguishing them provided?

God (or his surrogate, Christ) has no trouble surprising contemporaries of his message with doctrines they don't expect or don't want to hear, such as when he says to those about to stone the adultress, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." So why in Deuteronomy is he so concerned with being conventional?

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I shall attempt to do so, but I fear that our difference in world views may preclude effective communication. Please bear with me and keep an open mind.

If our worldviews were the same we wouldn't be having this discussion at all. My mind is open, but not so much so that my brain falls out. I feel as though this statement was made as a buffer to allow you greater margin of error in your argument. The principles of logic still apply, especially when our world view's are different.

As for your statement, "of the rules of science and mathematics, (being) the focus of this forum. Although I do understand this is a science forums, but the sub-forum is called, "Religion" contained in the Forum "Philosophy".

I meant nothing of substance by this. Only conversational "filler" language, sorry for the misunderstanding.

Such passages as above are difficult to understand as we look back on the world of 3000 years ago. They are also difficult to understand and reconcile if we do not see them within the context of a spiritual growth and journey. If one looks at the OT in the light of the journey from the fall of man in the Garden up through the redemption of man on the cross, one sees God placing tighter and tighter controls on us. Leading us back from the evils of the fall into the light of redemption. The Laws of Deuteronomy are examples of setting such limits that had not existed before. God is lovingly teaching and raising his children just as any loving parent would, in keeping with their capacity to understand and learn.

Therefore it is necessary to look at such things as the Laws of Deuteronomy within the context of the times and not try to impose our modern understandings onto them.

Doesn't this negate the argument of God's perfection and divinity? If God is perfect, then he must be static; because to change would imply deviance from perfection, or that he wasn't perfect to begin with. Though I am now a staunch atheist, I was quite a devout Christian at one point in my past, and I am very familiar with the Bible. The argument for a dynamic God completely contradicts all the other pillars of Christian theology:

-There is no variation or shadow of turning with God. There is absolutely no change with God. -James 1:17

-God's word is settled in heaven; it will not change. -Psalm 119:89

The Laws of Deuteronomy are examples of setting such limits that had not existed before. God is lovingly teaching and raising his children just as any loving parent would,

By killing them?

Here is a short passage, also from Deuteronomy, [same time period/social norms] where God specifically says not to kill...

-You shall not kill. -Deuteronomy 5:17

But in the passage I mentioned in my last post, he is directly instructing the Israelites to kill people. He even says to kill the livestock, who I assume did nothing wrong. I just can't see, no matter what the social norms, how this even remotely stems from love. Assuming it does come from love, how can the opposite statement (don't kill) also come from love?

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By killing them?

Here is a short passage, also from Deuteronomy, [same time period/social norms] where God specifically says not to kill...

-You shall not kill. -Deuteronomy 5:17

But in the passage I mentioned in my last post, he is directly instructing the Israelites to kill people. He even says to kill the livestock, who I assume did nothing wrong. I just can't see, no matter what the social norms, how this even remotely stems from love. Assuming it does come from love, how can the opposite statement (don't kill) also come from love?

As my New Oxford Annotated Bible notes, "You shall not murder" is a more accurate translation, and specifically excludes killings sanctioned by God -- that is, the wars God commands do not constitute "murder."

Your point still stands about ordering the deaths of others, though, even if those deaths are not murder.

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As my New Oxford Annotated Bible notes, "You shall not murder" is a more accurate translation, and specifically excludes killings sanctioned by God -- that is, the wars God commands do not constitute "murder."

Correction noted and appreciated; if I only spoke Hebrew...I'll add it to the list of things to do.

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You could counter this by saying that he had to appeal to the attitudes of the time and place where the message was first being delivered in order to gain plausibility for the whole doctrine, but this is supposed to be an eternal message valid for all times and places, not one temporarily bound. If parts of it are temporarily bound because of their need to appeal to the contemporaries and locals, then which parts of the message are eternal and which are not? Where is the key for distinguishing them provided?

Actually this is not a valid counter argument if one were to believe that God is Ominpotent. God would have the ability to get His message accross dispite the times and atitudes. If God was really Omnipotent, then the message would be eternal and understandable across all time wihtout needing to appeal to the conteporaries and locals.

It would be possible for God to write His message in such a way that no matter what language you were able to read, every body in the world would instantly be able to read it without any translation needed. This would be a miracle, and if such a miracle did occur, it would certainly convince me of the existance of that God.

For an Omnipotent being this would be a trivial task, which makes me wonder: If God does exist, why doesn't He do such a thing?

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If our worldviews were the same we wouldn't be having this discussion at all. My mind is open, but not so much so that my brain falls out. I feel as though this statement was made as a buffer to allow you greater margin of error in your argument. The principles of logic still apply, especially when our world view's are different.

I am not a philosopher, or a theologen. I am a simple Christian. I could not tell you even what these "principles of logic" are, let alone whether I properly apply them. You asked for my explanation of the passage, and I wished to give it, but with the understanding that I expressed.

If my explanation fails because I have not properly applied some principle of logic...

What can I say?

Doesn't this negate the argument of God's perfection and divinity? If God is perfect, then he must be static; because to change would imply deviance from perfection, or that he wasn't perfect to begin with. Though I am now a staunch atheist, I was quite a devout Christian at one point in my past, and I am very familiar with the Bible. The argument for a dynamic God completely contradicts all the other pillars of Christian theology:

-There is no variation or shadow of turning with God. There is absolutely no change with God. -James 1:17

-God's word is settled in heaven; it will not change. -Psalm 119:89

I'm at a loss to understand how anything that I said in my reply indicates God changing in any way.

A loving parent places different restrictions on a 2 year old than on a 6 year old than on a 10 year old than on a15 year old than on.....

The reasons that the restrictions change is not bcause the parent changes, but because the child does.

The Laws under which the Children of God functioned may have changed over the centuries, but that does not equate to God's changing.

By killing them?

Here is a short passage, also from Deuteronomy, [same time period/social norms] where God specifically says not to kill...

-You shall not kill. -Deuteronomy 5:17

Lets' look at this. If we take this law litterally then the Jews could not wage war, nor could they have capital punishment for any crime, up to and including murder. In fact, at what point do we stop this rule. Is it OK to kill animals? How about Plants? How does noe survive without killing something?

Now if we take this in the manner intended, it speaks to murder. Since the passage under consideration deals with a specific punishment for a specific crime under the Law, it is not murder.

But in the passage I mentioned in my last post, he is directly instructing the Israelites to kill people. He even says to kill the livestock, who I assume did nothing wrong. I just can't see, no matter what the social norms, how this even remotely stems from love. Assuming it does come from love, how can the opposite statement (don't kill) also come from love?

"I just can't see"...provides the key here and is something I addressed early on. It is indeed difficult for us to understand these things within their proper context.

Analogy time here....

If you saw some thugs coming down the street would you automatically kill them?

No - because you have no cause to kill them. To kill them without cause is murder. Which is not Love.

If your family was being attacked by these thugs who were intent on raping and killing you and them, would you kill the thugs?

Would you kill the thugs out of hate for them or Love for your family?

While I grant that the emotion of anger and hate would be a huge contributing factor in you ractions, the real motivator would be the Love of your family rather than your hate fo the thugs.

So it is possible to Kill out of Love.

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I am not a philosopher, or a theologen. I am a simple Christian. I could not tell you even what these "principles of logic" are, let alone whether I properly apply them. You asked for my explanation of the passage, and I wished to give it, but with the understanding that I expressed.

If my explanation fails because I have not properly applied some principle of logic...

What can I say?

If you failed to apply some principle of logic, then your hypothesis would be flawed from the start. When I say principles of logic, I don't mean that in the formal academic sense of the word, I really just mean common sense.

I'm at a loss to understand how anything that I said in my reply indicates God changing in any way.

A loving parent places different restrictions on a 2 year old than on a 6 year old than on a 10 year old than on a15 year old than on.....

The reasons that the restrictions change is not bcause the parent changes, but because the child does.

The Laws under which the Children of God functioned may have changed over the centuries, but that does not equate to God's changing.

From reading the Bible it is blatantly obvious that the god of the old testament is a vengeful, anthropomorphic dictator. The God of the new testament appears more loving and forgiving. I'm really just arguing that all rules do not stem from love, because the old testament is a document full of genocide and hatred.

Lets' look at this. If we take this law litterally then the Jews could not wage war, nor could they have capital punishment for any crime, up to and including murder. In fact, at what point do we stop this rule. Is it OK to kill animals? How about Plants? How does noe survive without killing something?

Now if we take this in the manner intended, it speaks to murder. Since the passage under consideration deals with a specific punishment for a specific crime under the Law, it is not murder.

Whether it's murder or some other form of killing doesn't matter. I think there are some justified wars, but God in the old testament on multiple occasions ordered the mass killing off of societies. That is not love by anyone's definition. Even though love is such a nebulous and arbitrary concept.

"I just can't see"...provides the key here and is something I addressed early on. It is indeed difficult for us to understand these things within their proper context.

If gods love is not applicable to our modern society and norms, then is it really relevant at all?

If your family was being attacked by these thugs who were intent on raping and killing you and them, would you kill the thugs?

Would you kill the thugs out of hate for them or Love for your family?

While I grant that the emotion of anger and hate would be a huge contributing factor in you ractions, the real motivator would be the Love of your family rather than your hate fo the thugs.

So it is possible to Kill out of Love.

God's love is supposedly equal for everyone according to the Christian belief. So why did god pick the jews to be his executioners?

The bottom line here is not in any of my above arguments. The take home message is that it is impossible to determine whether or not any rules stem from love. Love is such an ill defined concept, and regardless of your religious belief I think we can all agree that quantitative evidence for the existence of a deity at all is non-existant at best.

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I am not a philosopher, or a theologen. I am a simple Christian. I could not tell you even what these "principles of logic" are, let alone whether I properly apply them. You asked for my explanation of the passage, and I wished to give it, but with the understanding that I expressed.

If my explanation fails because I have not properly applied some principle of logic...

What can I say?

Then you can say that your arguments are irrational and are not logical. But, as God gave us these abilities, then it would be a sin you have committed by not using them.

The "laws" of logic are not that hard to learn and they are practially part of a primary school education. So if you don't understand logic, at least enough to hold a rational conversation, then you need to go out an learn them. I know people with IQs of around 90 that can still form logical and rational arguments, so it is not all that difficult to do.

I think the real problam is that if you were to use logic, you would get into a lot of trouble with you own beliefs.

Analogy time here....

If you saw some thugs coming down the street would you automatically kill them?

No - because you have no cause to kill them. To kill them without cause is murder. Which is not Love.

If your family was being attacked by these thugs who were intent on raping and killing you and them, would you kill the thugs?

Would you kill the thugs out of hate for them or Love for your family?

While I grant that the emotion of anger and hate would be a huge contributing factor in you ractions, the real motivator would be the Love of your family rather than your hate fo the thugs.

So it is possible to Kill out of Love.

Yes, but if those thugs run away, would you still chase after then and kill them, or would it be ok, once you have killed them, to go out and kill their families and pets?

No of course not, and that is the point that was being made.

The livestock did nothing wrong, the women and children did nothing wrong, so why are they the ones that are also killed?

To do all this extra stuff is not out of love. Protecting your own family from such things could be argued, but taking vengance on innocents and livestock, no, that is not from love at all, that is pure hatred and viciousness.

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If you failed to apply some principle of logic, then your hypothesis would be flawed from the start. When I say principles of logic, I don't mean that in the formal academic sense of the word, I really just mean common sense.

First you state that if I fail to properly apply a "principle of logic" then my hypothesis would be flawed, then you say that your idea of "principle(s) of logic are not "formal" (as in defined) and are really just "common sense" (also undefined).

Man - And you talk about how Christians fail to give you satisfactory answers and talk in circles etc.

Common sense can mean whatever you want it to mean - What makes perfect (common) sense to me may make no sense at all to you.

Great basis for judging the validity of an argument

From reading the Bible it is blatantly obvious that the god of the old testament is a vengeful, anthropomorphic dictator.

It may be blatently obvious to you, but it certainly isn't to me. Makes perfect (common) sense to me. Therefore you hypothesis must be flawed from the start.

The God of the new testament appears more loving and forgiving. I'm really just arguing that all rules do not stem from love, because the old testament is a document full of genocide and hatred.

Lessons from history can be many and varied. If you wish only to see "genocide and hatred", and a "different god" in the OT and NT, there is little I can say.

You have reached the point of, not just exploring your faith, but of attempting to discect God.

Whether it's murder or some other form of killing doesn't matter. I think there are some justified wars, but God in the old testament on multiple occasions ordered the mass killing off of societies. That is not love by anyone's definition. Even though love is such a nebulous and arbitrary concept.

If gods love is not applicable to our modern society and norms, then is it really relevant at all?

God's love is supposedly equal for everyone according to the Christian belief. So why did god pick the jews to be his executioners?

The bottom line here is not in any of my above arguments. The take home message is that it is impossible to determine whether or not any rules stem from love. Love is such an ill defined concept, and regardless of your religious belief I think we can all agree that quantitative evidence for the existence of a deity at all is non-existant at best.

OK - You've answered the OP question. You do not believe that all "rules" can be seen as stemming from Love.

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OK - You've answered the OP question. You do not believe that all "rules" can be seen as stemming from Love.

No needimprovement I've gone back over the thread, belief doesn't really figure into it, the idea of all rules stemming from love has been shown over and over to be an artifact of your mind, nothing more....

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Christ tells us that the two greatest commandments are based on Love and that everything else stems from it.

Mt 22:36-40 36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37 And He said to him, " YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' 38 "This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 "The second is like it, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' 40 "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

So - My question is, can we, as Catholics and as Christians, trace every rule back to this "rule of Love"?

Can you think of any rule that is not traceable to the "Law of Love"?

The message of God was clear from the beginning "Love," it has not changed since those ages to the present; the only factor that has undergone transformation is the interpretation of the word. Not one day has passed since those times, the planet has just rotated and with it our beliefs -- through politics, forced morality and media we've been taught a new kind of "Love", which in itself is completely different. Jesus was the first teacher who brought us out of the animal kingdom and gave us the knowledge to be what we are today, the way he had interpreted nature was very basic and true, as appose to the view of nature in modern times, which is false. We were taught to look after and nurture our surroundings and our neighbors, and to worship the essense of time (the essense of existence); to be thankful for the gift of life we were given and not to abolish and destroy it.

The "Law of Love," how would you interpret it? That is the question. It's not the word that you should follow, it is your heart. If being truly humain is a task for anyone then they cannot utter the words "I am Human," for they are not. If you forget about the past to simply progress with the present then you are not part of humanity. Jesus was very wise and honest, and because of this he was crucified by the Jewish as they believed they were the master race, above God and above Jesus -- most of all the controllers of time, the ones who would make decisions for the majority, no matter how evil the choices were; power and greed drove them forward and in the end they proceeded, living their lives to the full and forgetting about all the deceased behind them.

This is not a commandment, this is the truth. You will love the essense of time with your heart, your soul and all your mind. You will mimic and follow it.

"YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."

Once taking us from the animal kingdom and opening our eyes, are neighbors were also our 'friends'. This promoted 'friendship', and it is a type of humain love.

The mind is the message. When you think, you are using the gift given to us by Jesus - if it wasn't for him you would live purely on instinct like every other species on the planet. We, as humanity, are in Gods image which means we all move together and as one, alike the essense of time. Not one of us is independant, it's just an illusion.

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You have reached the point of, not just exploring your faith, but of attempting to discect God.

Yes I have, very observant. This is what I mean when I talk about logic. If god, love rules, or any other hypothesis for that matter, is not in line with recorded observation or in line with what we know to be within the realm of reality, the hypothesis is incorect. In order for you to claim that all rules stem from love, you have to present clear concise evidence from multiple sources, maths, logical proofs, whatever. Hypothesis that are correct will withstand even the most vigorous attacks.

When you talk about believing and faith, that is fine; but remember, they are just that, faith. You can't try and present evidence for your faith because faith is acceptance of a concept without viable proof or evidence.

This is a science forum, yes this is the religion sub-forum, but this is a tough, sceptical crowd. When someone says they just went to the shoping mall, we ask to see the receipt for verification . We have no problem with you holding your own beliefs, thats the beauty of modern society! We, the sciency types, only "believe" things that have been tested, predicted, and observed an obnoxious number of times.

First you state that if I fail to properly apply a "principle of logic" then my hypothesis would be flawed, then you say that your idea of "principle(s) of logic are not "formal" (as in defined) and are really just "common sense" (also undefined).

Man - And you talk about how Christians fail to give you satisfactory answers and talk in circles etc.

Common sense can mean whatever you want it to mean - What makes perfect (common) sense to me may make no sense at all to you.

Great basis for judging the validity of an argument

Yes it is a wonderful basis for judging the validity of an argument, you're really sharp today. But no I wasn't using circular logic. Here is an example of circular logic:

You: God is always loving...All rules come from god and are loving.

Me: But what about all those killing's commanded by God in the old testament

You: they must stem from love because god is always loving.

You are using the original premise to rebuttal any debate surrounding the original premise. Common sense, that nasty word again, would lend that conclusion to even the most thick skulled of neanderthals.

Don't take this the wrong way man, I just think you are answering our finese and intricant arguments with blunt generalizations.

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Yes I have, very observant. This is what I mean when I talk about logic. If god, love rules, or any other hypothesis for that matter, is not in line with recorded observation or in line with what we know to be within the realm of reality, the hypothesis is incorect. In order for you to claim that all rules stem from love, you have to present clear concise evidence from multiple sources, maths, logical proofs, whatever. Hypothesis that are correct will withstand even the most vigorous attacks.

When you talk about believing and faith, that is fine; but remember, they are just that, faith. You can't try and present evidence for your faith because faith is acceptance of a concept without viable proof or evidence.

This is a science forum, yes this is the religion sub-forum, but this is a tough, sceptical crowd. When someone says they just went to the shoping mall, we ask to see the receipt for verification . We have no problem with you holding your own beliefs, thats the beauty of modern society! We, the sciency types, only "believe" things that have been tested, predicted, and observed an obnoxious number of times.

Yes it is a wonderful basis for judging the validity of an argument, you're really sharp today. But no I wasn't using circular logic. Here is an example of circular logic:

You: God is always loving...All rules come from god and are loving.

Me: But what about all those killing's commanded by God in the old testament

You: they must stem from love because god is always loving.

You are using the original premise to rebuttal any debate surrounding the original premise. Common sense, that nasty word again, would lend that conclusion to even the most thick skulled of neanderthals.

Don't take this the wrong way man, I just think you are answering our finese and intricant arguments with blunt generalizations.

mississippichem,

You may be right in all that you say above, from the "sciency" viewpoint. But as I explained to you earlier, my OP was intended for rules applying to "The Lwas and Prophets", and by extention, rules we have today such as mandatory mass on Sundays, days of fast and abstenance etc.

I was obviously not clear enough on this at the beginning and so I apologize to you for that.

Now that you have brought into the discussion these other factors, beyond the intent of the OP, we have reached the point of talking past each other. You will not accept without proof, (which is not faith) and I have no evidence that you will accept as proof.

May you be happy in your choice

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