TheThinkingAtheist: 10 Women Christian Men Shouldn’t Marry

Ah, good old Christian values:

EDIT:

Oh, and an afterthought:  this is AronRa’s respnse to Denis Prager’s miniseries ‘The Ten Commandments’

Advertisements

15 Responses to “TheThinkingAtheist: 10 Women Christian Men Shouldn’t Marry”

  1. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    Well, this video by Seth Andrews is nothing but a shrill feminist rant.

    Putting aside a couple of points that are specific to Christianity, Stephen Kim’s advice is very good practical advice for any man looking to settle down and start a family.

    Watching Andrews misconstrue Kim’s intent and attack straw men made out of blatant non-sequiturs would be downright funny, if relentless repetition in the Western media hadn’t blinded so many people to this tangle of fallacies, glaring though they are.

    This is a textbook example of the feminist dialectic – critical theory applied to the deconstruction of sex roles – the kind of poisonous sophistry that destroyed Western men, women and families, and that is directly responsible for what you insightfully called the hyper-feminization of our society.

    Hearing this come from a male is even more distasteful than hearing it come from a female.

    Andrews is a poster boy for everything the rest of the world hates and fears about the West. When I say, the rest of the world, I mean the part where the men retain their virility.

    They resist Western ways so their young men won’t end up like Andrews.

  2. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    I’m sorry, but the arguments put forward by this “AronRa” character are completely specious.

    He starts out criticizing the conduct of men who disingenuously profess religious faith for the sake of secular power. And rightly so.

    But what does this have to do with the actual content of the commandments?

    Nothing. Nothing at all.

    Later, when he finally does address content (along with Scott Clifton, who does it much better), his conclusions are in complete accord with the ten commandments.

    Let’s review what the ten commandments actually say:

    1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
    2. Thou shalt not worship graven images.
    3. Thou shalt not take the name of God in vain.
    4. Thou shalt keep the Sabbath holy.
    5. Thou shalt honour thy father and thy mother.
    6. Thou shalt not kill.
    7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    8. Thou shalt not steal.
    9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
    10. Thou shalt not covet what is thy neighbour’s.

    Okay, that’s slightly abridged, but I think it captures the essence.

    As Prager says, even if you are an atheist, you would want people to follow these commandments. The first commandment is irrelevant to the atheist, but having no god at all does technically satisfy its requirement, so the point is moot. As for the rest of them, I can’t name one that I would prefer people not to follow. Can you?

    Now, to be fair, Prager’s contention that without God, there is no way to know the difference between right and wrong, is just ridiculous. We’ve repeatedly demonstrated the converse right here on this blog.

    And when it comes to the use of statistics, both sides fail spectacularly. One side uses statistics to show that religious fanatics are bad people; the other side uses statistics to show that secular fanatics are bad people. The correct conclusion is that fanaticism itself is bad, irrespective of whether it is religious or secular.

    Still, Prager’s main thesis, that “no document in history so changed the world for the better as did the ten commandments” remains substantially true. It may be a bit overstated, in that there may be a few other documents that did a comparable amount of good. But if so, they are very, very few and very, very far between.

    Here’s a challenge for you: can you find any other moral code that is comparably short, comparably simple, comparably complete, and comparably widely known?

    Christ’s synopsis in the sermon on the mount – love god and love thy neighbour as thyself – is more succinct, but also harder to interpret. You have to think deeply to understand the full import of Christ’s injunction. The trouble is, many people are unable or unwilling to think that deeply.

    But any idiot can understand the ten commandments – and if he follows them conscientiously he will be a good person.

    And that is the root of their greatness.

    • xanthippa Says:

      Come on, CodeSlinger!

      Now you are just pouting!

      • CodeSlinger Says:

        Pouting?

      • xanthippa Says:

        The things you are saying are missing were in the video – or already answered.

        Your criticism, when overlapped with the information provided, sound more petulent than reasoned: something I would never have expected of you.

  3. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    Prager makes two substantial points:

    1. Even if you are an atheist, you would want people to follow the ten commandments.

    2. No other document in history so changed the world for the better.

    The video does not address these points – and neither do you, even though I specifically asked you (nicely) to do so.

    • xanthippa Says:

      Actually, CodeSlinger, the video does address both points 1 and 2.

      And no, I do not think that the world would be better off if people followed the 10 commandments, for quite obvious reasons.

      Now, you only limit yourself to the 10 Prager had cherrypicked, but, of ourse, these are not the only ’10 commandments’ in the bible – as AronRa points out. And since the top commandments in both sets command obedience to a deity rather than moral behaviour, we can safely dismiss them as superstitious nonsense.

      And as AronRa also points out in the video, the ‘good’ points in the 10 commandments are less perfect formulations of the earlier Code of Hammurabi, making them rather irrelevant.

      My own observation is that you say that one of the commandments ‘forbids adultery’: no, it does not. It just demands that you treat your neighbour’s wife as his property…and while I am all for respecting property rights, I do not believe in treating humans (even wives) as property.

      But that is just a tip of the iceberg….we’ve had this discussion before.

  4. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    When people say “the ten commandments” they mean the ones set out in Exodus 20:3-17 (and repeated virtually word for word in Deuteronomy 5:7-21). These are the ten commandments referred to in the parts of Prager’s claims that I agree with. Namely,

    1. Even if you are an atheist, you would want people to follow the ten commandments.

    2. No other document in history so changed the world for the better.

    The fact that there are other laws in the Bible (613 of them, in all) is of no consequence whatsoever in regard to these two points – and the fact that AronRa makes such a big deal out of such total irrelevancies is the main reason I find his video so insultingly disingenuous.

    He does not address these two points at all; he throws up a smoke screen of irrelevancies to distract attention away from them. I’m surprised that you don’t reject such cheap fallacies, whether or not you agree with the position they’re trotted out to support.

    And I’m puzzled by your claim that there is no commandment forbidding adultery, in view of the 7th commandment, which consists of these exact words (King James Version):

    Exodus 20:14. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

    Seems pretty clear cut to me… how do you interpret that as not forbidding adultery?

    Now, the Code of Hammurabii was, without doubt, one of the great steps forward in human jurisprudence. But it was a body of law and not a code of ethics. Its greatness stems not from the fact that it was the best body of law, but that it was the first body of law. Beyond that, several points should be made.

    Firstly, throughout history, the vast majority of people in the West have never heard of the Code of Hammurabi. By contrast (prior to the cultural Marxist onslaught against the West), almost all of them could recite the ten commandments by heart from early childhood on.

    Secondly, the Code of Hammurabi consists of 282 clauses (over 9,500 words), many of which are highly specialized and limited in scope. Compare that to 10 commandments (under 300 words), all of which are very general and universal in scope.

    And thirdly, if you think that the “good parts” of the ten commandments are “less perfect formulations” of the Code of Hammurabi, then you obviously have never taken a serious look at the Code of Hammurabi.

    Since adultery has already been brought up, let’s confine ourselves to this one subject for the sake of brevity. As we’ve seen, Exodus 20:14 says everything that needs to be said about it in five simple words. Here are the comparable clauses from the Code of Hammurabi:

    Hammurabi 128. If a man take a woman to wife, but have no intercourse with her, this woman is no wife to him.

    Hammurabi 129. If a man’s wife be surprised [i.e. in flagrante delicto] with another man, both shall be tied and thrown into the water [i.e. drowned], but the husband may pardon his wife and the king his slaves.

    Hammurabi 130. If a man violate the wife of another man, who has never known a man [i.e. betrothed or child-wife], and still lives in her father’s house, and sleep with her and be surprised, this man shall be put to death, but the wife is blameless.

    Hammurabi 131. If a man bring a charge against one’s wife, but she is not surprised with another man, she must take an oath and then may return to her house.

    Hammurabi 132. If the finger is pointed at a man’s wife about another man, but she is not caught sleeping with the other man, she shall jump into the river [drown herself?] for her husband.

    Hmmm… yes, clearly, the 7th commandment is a much “less perfect formulation” of this sublimely wise and just treatment of the matter.

    Finally, you say you have addressed my points, but you have not. Let me remind you what you need to do to address them:

    1. To address the first point, please list the commandments you would prefer people not to follow, and explain why.

    2. To address the second point, please name another moral code that is comparably short, comparably simple, comparably complete, and comparably widely known.

    • xanthippa Says:

      OK, CodeSlinger:

      You’ve packed a lot in here and I will not be able to sufficiently answer all of it unless I write a book or two worth of material…wich is unlikely as I am currently falling behind on so many things, including reading a most interesting Climate Change study someone awesome sent me, so I can finally write it up…

      Plus I am behind still writing up the Fournier’s case…

      And as for the first 4 commandments – they are downright evil in that they devert resources and alegiance from improving the human condition and into uselessness and corruption.

      And don’t even get me started in demanding hohours that may not have been earned! (That wold be #5: blind obedience regardless of worthiness – not very moral in my book.)

      To address the second point: since I don’t think this is a good and moral code, I am not sure how relevant a substitute would be. It may be that morality cannot be jingoized…and ‘obedience’ is not ‘morality’.

      Which is another completely different reason why I reject the ten commandments. Any attempt to reduce ‘morality’ into ‘obedience’ is inherrently wrong and reduces the human condition into a state of slavery, no matter how good (or bad) that code may be.

      Sorry, I know I am rambling now – been a long couple of days…

      Plus I am helping organize some fundraising for Eric Brazeau’s legal appeal: that is the most pressing matter right now, as we must not let this ruling stand and muzzle us all for ever!

      Plus I am already planning my own ‘Draw Muhammad Day’ action: on or near the Parliament Hill, I will set up (hopefully with some cameras rolling fo my safety) an easel and invite all walkers-by to draw a cartoon of Muhammad. Currently, I am trying to find out if anybody will actually agree to be my bodyguards. If I can’t find bodyguards, I’ll do it without them.

      So, you see, right now, I am not really able to answer as thoroughly and properly as I would like to, which troubles me, because I think I have valid answers to the points you have raised.

      Let me address a few bits quickly, just hitting the highlights.

      Obviously, when I was talking about the commandment that reduces the wife to the level of an ox, I was mistaken to say it is the adultery one, it is, quite clearly, the thought-crime one, #10. The one that does not concern itself with your behaviour, but with our thoughts and desires – which, presumably, your God created you with.

      But, since I raised adultery, let me answer to that commandment.

      A marriage contract is between two people and may take all kinds of forms. Some husbands/wives have no problem with their spouse indulging in adultery, some do. But that is the contract between the spouses, not a question of morality. If there were a commandment that stated thou shalt not break contracts into which you enter, then OK – I might be moved, But even then, we are talking a contract between two parties with presumably well defined penalsties for breech: so, what the hell is it of God’s business anyway?

      Yes, I will grant you that there is a bit of a difference between ‘personal moral code’ – which is what you are arguing the 10 commandments ought to be – and a religious dictate. And, I want to make sure to avoid the mistake of attacking it for being a religious dictate rather than a personal moral code.

      And yes, I personally have never, nor would I ever, under any circumstances, commit adultery. However, I do not think it is immoral for my divorced friend to re-marry: something that is considered ‘adultery’ under some forms of Christianity. So, I have a difficulty saying that I think adultery is, in every case, immoral.

      In addition, many people consider pre-marital sex to be immoral – and while I myself am a one-spouse kind of a gal, I certainly do not consider pre-marital sex to be immoral in and of itself.

      Certainly, in areas where homosexuals are denied marital rights, even a long-term pair bonded sexual relations would be considered ‘immoral’ and punishable. I would most definitely not consider this world to be better off if this ‘adultery’ ingterpretation were to be imposed on common-law spouses, homo or heterosexual.

  5. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    Interesting; my view of the first four commandments is the exact opposite of yours. I think they tend to improve the human condition. To see how I come by this view, let me rephrase these four commandments in a way that ought to be acceptable to an atheist, yet keeps true to the spirit of the commandments:

    1. Do not worship false gods.
    2. Do not worship idols.
    3. Treat the sacred with reverence.
    4. Rest and contemplate the sacred regularly.

    You see? The best way to make these four points easily understood by someone who believes in God is to word them as they are worded in the ten commandments. (Incidentally, the first one retains is validity, even for people who believe that all gods are false gods.)

    This view is based on what I find to be very valuable method of communicating with religious people. When they say something, I ask myself, what part of that remark remains invariant whether God exists or not? When I treat that part as central to the communication, and the existence or non-existence of God as peripheral, the communication works well.

    This is the spirit in which we must read the ten commandments if we wish to have a meaningful dialog about them. All the more so in view of the fact that neither one of us is religious.

    I do take your point about unearned honours, but families just don’t work unless we assume the parents to be worthy of honour and treat them accordingly until proven otherwise. And if families don’t work, then society doesn’t work. So “honour thy father and thy mother” is a good baseline to start from. Without it, the integrity of the family unit is destroyed and every child becomes a de facto ward of the state.

    Keep in mind that there are always exceptions and grey areas. There is no such thing as a rule without exceptions and grey areas. Therefore we must not treat the ten commandments – or any other code of ethics or body of law – as a formal axiomatic system.

    I completely agree that obedience is not morality. But there are very many people who would feel greatly burdened it they had to think everything through to the degree required to make their own bona fide morality, distinct from obedience. Thus the vast majority of people are ill served by depriving them of a simple yet comprehensive set of rules they can just obey without having to give it much thought, and yet be reasonably assured that their resulting actions will not be immoral.

    The tenth commandment is not about women. Treating it as though it were is the sort of contrived focus on the peripheral that feminists use to re-interpret everything as though it were about them. Well, it’s not.

    It’s about jealousy. Jealousy is the most destructive of all emotions. Nothing good ever comes of it, though evil certainly does. So counselling against it is a very good idea.

    To be married under the law requires a contract. But to be married in fact is a matter of mutual love, commitment and trust. Let’s not confuse the two. Unfortunately we’re lead to focus almost exclusively on the former these days, when it’s the latter that really matters.

    Also when we speak of adultery, let’s separate the sterile, legalistic definition (being married and having sex with someone other than the person you’re married to) from the moral definition (cheating on the person you’re married to).

    My point is that when it comes to adultery, it’s the cheating that does the harm, not the sex per se. And you know that my stance has always been that without harm, there is no sin.

    So in theory, it’s possible for a man and his wife to be swingers without either of them committing adultery. In practice however, I’ve noticed that it seldom works out that way. Often one is going along with it only to please the other, and the resulting jealousy eventually tears the marriage apart. Some people can handle it, but they are few and far between.

    Which brings us back to the tenth commandment, and why its injunction to avoid jealousy is a good idea…

    • xanthippa Says:

      All right, CodeSlinger, I think I see where our major difference is.

      I am deeply and most vociferously convinced that there is no such thing as ‘sacred’.

      Never was, never will be – and pretending that there is necessarily infantilizes people and keeps them from reaching their full potential. It is pretentiousness at its most despicable, as it confuses childishness and unwillingness to face reality with profound and superior meaning.

      So, that kind of explains why I consider the first four commandments holly and fully evil. And there is nothing that anyone can tell me that will convince me otherwise.

      In other words, this is an insurmountable obstacle to us agreeing on that topic.

      In addition, your ‘adaptation’ of the first four is not what the religionists take them to be and they would most necessarily include at least one false god – and many will kill you if you tell them their god is false. And, yes, Christians and Jews were among these, not so many decades ago.

      3 and 4 are, obviously, evil if you are convinced that ther is no such thing as ‘sacred’ and pretending that there is is actively harmful to the human mind and can even cause irreprable brain damage. Which I think it can – and does. There is no way around that and I’m afraid we’ll have to agree to disaree.

      And saying that there is no such thing as ‘sacred’ does not take into account our human experience of the some mystical experiences. We just need to recognize them for what they are, get our brain chemistry back into order and get on with our life. Wallowing in mental illness or brain chemistry imbalance is not profound but immoral.

      I find it difficult to believe that the majority of people would find true and profound morality too burdensome so it’s OK to substitute obedience for it. I’m sorry, but that just sounds a little too elitist. Most people are capable of morality, if they are taught to reason rather than obey from an early age.

      As for adultery: most people, religious or not, do not subscribe to your ‘no harm, no sin’ policy, which is why that commandment is problematic in practice.

      As for jealousy/envy: agreed, it is a negative emotion. However, it is a very human emotion and pretending that experiencing a human emotion is a sin and immoral is very destructive: nobody can ever go on through their lives without experiencing a twinge of jealousy and envy. We are, after all human!

      Making the experience of this very human emotion a sin and ‘immoral’ sets each and every one of us to fail and prove ourselves to be immoral sinners.

      The problem is not that you experience this emotion, but how you deal with it. Wallowing in it and feeding it or acting out destructively is indeed bad.

      But, wanting the nice things your neighbour has and then working harder so you can provide them to your own family, not sitting down but going out there and putting in an extra effort – that is a positive way to turn jealousy and envy into accomplishment and improvement of your life and the lives of others around you.

      Yet, the tenth commandment (aside from assigning a ‘wife’ the status of a possession, which it most certainly does) makes it a sin to even feel the emotion itself, regardless of your behaviour. And that is thought-crime, no matter how you slice it.

  6. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    The word, sacred, need not be construed religiously.

    True, it often is, but it can also be understood in a completely secular sense. The first two definitions given by Webster’s Dictionary are:

    1. Concerned with religion or religious purposes

    2. Worthy of respect or dedication

    Obviously, an atheist ought to understand the ten commandments in terms of the second definition. Even better would be to combine the two definitions by defining the word as follows:

    sacred: properly regarded with reverence, whether religious or secular.

    In this sense, there are several principles that I know you hold sacred (as do I).

    The principle that all people are of equal value as moral agents, for one.

    The principle that all people are endowed with inalienable individual rights, for another.

    The principle that the government is the servant of the people, for a third.

    Indeed, to live a meaningful life, one must hold something sacred, and one must not lose sight of that.

    And this is what we see when we read the second and third commandments and ask, what part of them remains invariant whether God exists or not?

    Now, regarding jealousy, you write “making the experience of this very human emotion a sin and ‘immoral’ sets each and every one of us to fail and prove ourselves to be immoral sinners.”

    Yes. Exactly. This is the core of the concept of original sin: to be human is to sin – or, to put it another way, no human being can live without sinning. The most obvious example is that it is a sin to kill, yet we must kill to eat.

    The human condition is replete with paradoxes of this kind, and that is precisely what makes it so wrong to treat a moral code or body of law as a formal axiomatic system.

    The doctrine of symbolic vicarious redemption exists precisely to deal with this state of original sin that is inherent in the human condition. There are other ways of dealing with it. Personally, I’m rather partial to the Buddhist concept that necessary evil is pardonable.

    Still, symbolic vicarious redemption is actually pretty civilized, compared to the practices of human and animal sacrifice, which it replaced. And it’s infinitely better than the secular collectivist self sacrifice that the cultural Marxists would put in its place.

    Finally, wanting nice things like your neighbour’s is not the same as coveting your neighbour’s nice things, and wanting a wife is not the same as wanting your neighbour’s wife. So, while I agree with what you say about that, it has nothing to do with the tenth commandment.

    And, once again, the sense of the word “my” in “my wife” is not the same as in “my house.” Please stop falling for the feminist ploy of conflating the two.

  7. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    The word, sacred, need not be construed religiously.

    True, it often is, but it can also be understood in a completely secular sense. The first two definitions given by Webster’s Dictionary are:

    1. Concerned with religion or religious purposes

    2. Worthy of respect or dedication

    Obviously, an atheist ought to understand the ten commandments in terms of the second definition. Even better would be to combine the two definitions by defining the word as follows:

    sacred: properly regarded with reverence, whether religious or secular.

    In this sense, there are several principles that I know you hold sacred (as do I).

    The principle that all people are of equal value as moral agents, for one.

    The principle that all people are endowed with inalienable individual rights, for another.

    The principle that the government is the servant of the people, for a third.

    Indeed, to live a meaningful life, one must hold something sacred, and one must not lose sight of that.

    And this is what we see when we read the second and third commandments and ask, what part of them remains invariant whether God exists or not?

    Now, regarding jealousy, you write “making the experience of this very human emotion a sin and ‘immoral’ sets each and every one of us to fail and prove ourselves to be immoral sinners.”

    Yes. Exactly. This is the core of the concept of original sin: to be human is to sin – or, to put it another way, no human being can live without sinning. The most obvious example is that it is a sin to kill, yet we must kill to eat.

    The human condition is replete with paradoxes of this kind, and that is precisely what makes it so wrong to treat a moral code or body of law as a formal axiomatic system.

    The doctrine of symbolic vicarious redemption exists precisely to deal with this state of original sin that is inherent in the human condition. There are other ways of dealing with it. Personally, I’m rather partial to the Buddhist concept that necessary evil is pardonable.

    Still, symbolic vicarious redemption is actually pretty civilized, compared to the practices of human and animal sacrifice, which it replaced. And it’s infinitely better than the secular collectivist self sacrifice that the cultural Marxists would put in its place.

    Finally, wanting nice things like your neighbour’s is not the same as coveting your neighbour’s nice things. And wanting a wife is not the same as wanting your neighbour’s wife. So, while I agree with what you say about that, it has nothing to do with the tenth commandment.

    And, once again, the sense of the word “my” in “my wife” is not the same as in “my house.” Please stop falling for the feminist ploy of conflating the two.

    • xanthippa Says:

      CodeSlinger,

      while your interpretation of these commandments may be acceptable to me, that is not the way Christians interpret it. As a general rule – there may be bright exceptions, but not enough to matter.

      Rather, your rationalization affirms by assertion that rationality is the key, not a jingoistic set of rules.

      As for the tenth: it still equates me to property and, with all due respect, I take that rather personally. That is no feminist ploy: it is the demand that I be treated as a person in the eyes of the law, not chattel!

  8. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    Well there you go… we aren’t that far apart, really.

    You’re quite right that religious people don’t construe the ten commandments in precisely the way I’ve outlined in these posts. However…

    They (excluding fanatical fundamentalists, of course) construe the commandments in a way that is more or less compatible, for most practical purposes, with the way I do.

    By this I mean that their construction does not lead them to a radically different answer to the question, “how should a man live?” than mine.

    Therefore, as long as we don’t get hung up on the theoretical question of whether God exists in a literal sense, we get along just fine.

    This is a good thing, because most of the people who oppose the cultural Marxist agenda do so on religious grounds, and I sorely need allies in the fight against cultural Marxism. So it’s nice to know that viewing things through my filter (what remains invariant whether God exists or not?) allows me to make a common purpose with them.

    This is in marked contrast to the secular collectivists, who generally support the cultural Marxist agenda and find everything about my thoughts on how a man should live to be utterly contemptible; we can’t get along at all.

    But, Xanthippa, it’s perfectly plain that my wife is mine in a very different sense than my house is mine. And my employees are mine in yet a different sense. And so on. This is elementary.

    So I really think you’re reading something into the tenth commandment that simply is not there.

    We find the commandment in Exodus 20:17, which reads

    “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

    Just because clauses referring to his house, his wife, his servants, his livestock and his things all appear in the same sentence does not mean that the word, his, is used in the same sense in every clause.

    In fact, each clause uses a different sense of the word, his.

    To read the sentence otherwise is to wilfully misconstrue it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: