Persecution of Christians--real persecution.

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by BryanMaloney, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    Your mistake is assuming that only your "God's law" is the source of such ethical guidelines. My atheist friends, whom I count as among the most ethical people I know, would strenuously disagree. That "golden rule" citation above should make it pretty clear that "the right thing" transcends any particular sectarian canon.

    Are we "required" to seek out legal loopholes in order to be vindictive or otherwise do "the wrong thing"? Of course not, but we are allowed to try, and for that reason we have a system of justice that allows us to petition for redress, ultimately calling upon a "jury of our peers" to adjudicate. In other words, we trust that, when called upon to do so, collectively, people will do the right thing. I'll take that any day over some priest, mullah, or other religious "authority" telling me what is right and what is wrong.
     
  2. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    The document notes that we were given rights, not laws. Among those rights is the right to make our own laws. And yes, I'd say it's fair to assume that they figured we'd rely on our individual "rule and guide" to aid us in drafting those laws. That is most certainly not the same thing as enacting into law this or that religious stricture.

    No, our secular laws, or more precisely our right to draft those laws, stem from that right. Divine law is that which you or I believe was handed down from on high. Big difference, obvious cases of overlap notwithstanding.

    You seem to be arguing that "If I believe that disrespectful daughters should be stoned to death, it's OK to make a law allowing, or requiring, us to do so."
    That charge, among many other conveniently overlooked statutes, is a "divine law" for a large portion of the believers in the world. In many places, it is indeed "the law of the land". Over my dead body will such a thing be allowed to happen in my country.
     
  3. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    If we are to live only by the laws of secular society and none other, and we are to exclude God's law, then those of us who believe in God are required to. If I do something because it is God's law, and I am prohibited from allowing this God's law to enter in any way, whatsoever, no matter what, to secular society, then I am prohibited from any moral act that is also not required by secular law.

    It's simple logic. If it is immoral to act according to God's law, then morality consists of flouting God's law. Since you claim it is immoral to act according to God's law when acting at all within "secular society", anyone who adheres to God's law, whatever the "God" in question might be, is required to not follow that God's law when acting in secular society. An atheist, who has arrived at a set of moral rules by purely non-divine means, would be bound by those rules, but a moral theist would be bound to not adhere to his own moral code when acting in secular society, since it would be wrong, according to you, to allow "God's law" to intrude in any way, shape, or form, into secular society.
     
  4. Macbooktony

    Macbooktony Registered User

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    The "Common Sense" podcast by Dan carlin this week was all about Egypt. He used the example of a 16 year old new driver to illustrate the fact that Egypt is new to the concept of representative democracy and will need time to make mistakes and learn. If you "take away the keys" too soon they won't build any confidence. Remember, the Egyptian people have never lived under this system in their entire history.

    The argument can be made that Morsi, along with the muslim brotherhood majority, was becoming less and less popular among the voters and had a second election cycle been allowed to take place, the pendulum might have swung back in the right direction organically. That would have done wonders for the confidence of Egypt as a whole and possibly enabled them to gradually come together to effectively rule themselves.

    Now that a military coup has taken place, Morsi supporters have the ability to play the victim and justify their actions as retaliation against force perpetrated upon them rather than accepting the fact that they were voted down by the will of the people. Please correct me if I am wrong here, but this round of slayings, burnings, and violent persecutions did not happen until after the coup.

    The Egyptians (as well as other Middle East nations) have a long track record of only being able to live peacefully under military dictatorships. Why that is, I don't know. But it is true that Coptics and Muslims were not killing each other en masse during the reigns of Mubarak or Ghadaffi.

    Is all of this just an exercise in "what if?" Yes. But I believe all atrocious acts of violence are worth looking at from various angles, if only to learn enough from them to avoid a repeat in the future. Please do not shoot the messenger here, as I am mostly paraphrasing Dan Carlin. He has another EXCELLENT podcast called Hardcore History which I cannot recommend highly enough.

    All of that said, I have strong personal opinions regarding whether its wise for America to fan these flames in foreign nations by giving them tanks and jets but that I will save for a different forum...

    The important thing to remember here, I think, is that freemasonry is one of, if not the only thing in history that has caused so many opposing sides to lay down their arms and come together in brotherly love. Brother Porter has mentioned examples of that happening in the most unexpected places recently and it's stories like that which most make me proud to be taken by the hand as a brother.
     
  5. hoyxyoh

    hoyxyoh Registered User

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    how can i join?


    Freemason Connect HD
     
  6. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    First, there are no Copts in Libya, so Ghadaffi is irrelevant. Second, Copts are NOT KILLING MUSLIMS. It is a one-way thing going on, stop trying to invent a false moral equivalency. The Copts are the victims in this, not perpetrators. Third, Muslims WERE killing Copts under Mubarak. However, since that didn't make for "good press" at the time, it was not reported except for a few outlets, like Christianity Today. Therefore, your entire thesis is invalid, from the start.

    There has never been "living peacefully" in that region since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, which, for all its flaws, was not a military dictatorship. What has existed is "lack of news coverage by USA outlets", which means, according to most Americans, there must have been no events of note.
     
  7. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    Yes all religions have some moral law set forth by the God of that religion. Just name one.
     
  8. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    Arguably, that is true. That, however, is not what you asserted when you said...
    To suggest that all religions demand of their believers...

    I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.“You shall have no other gods before me."

    or...


    Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God."

    ...is just, well..., silly.
    BTW, I am old enough to remember when one could not buy a nail or a baby bottle on Sunday in Texas. Like I said... silly.

    To suggest, as you have, that such a passage from one collection of scripture ought to be acceptable to everyone, even to those who embrace another such collection, is patently absurd, not to mention insensitive and disrespectful. When it comes to spiritual beliefs, the world is far more diverse than you understand it to be, Brother.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  9. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    Who said such a thing? It was not me. I have said that no collection of "God's law" is suitable to be applied to a society's system of law and government. If you want to follow your chosen version of such a law, you are free to do so. That's one of the nicest things about our Constitution; it enshrines, in secular law, your right to do so insofar as that pursuit does not infringe on the fundamental rights (you know, those unalienable ones, granted by The Creator) of others. The problem with God's law (take your pick) is that it usually contains no such "...insofar as..." qualifier.
     
  10. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    You specifically stated that God's law has no place in secular society. Therefore, since it has no place, then we are required to live without it in secular society. "No" does not mean "some" or "within reason". "No" means "no".
     
  11. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    Fair enough. Let me restate; "God's law" has no place as the authority for, nor statutes of, a secular system of law and government. No. That we consider the right to govern ourselves a "God-given" right is not the same thing as invoking "God's law".
     
  12. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    "God's Law" the ten commandments and other religion moral law is are not in the secular law but influence the moral part of secular law. Secular Law defines how a civil society handles morals and are based on religion like "Thou shalt not murder" spawns the Murder/mansalter laws. The secular laws are not a freedom from Gods law but an extension of them. God's Law has just as much standing as secular law without the visible penalties.
     
  13. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    Yes. So far, so good.

    Nope. The US Constitution embodies the very Masonic notion that there is a "moral code" that transcends any particular collection of "God's law". Woven through it's words is the fundamental idea that people can and should be able to agree on such things without having to cite this or that collection of scripture.

    It requires no religious faith whatsoever to understand that murder is fundamentally wrong. On the other hand, an order to keep a weekly Sabbath, or a proscription against the consumption of certain foodstuffs, or the instruction to stone to death a disrespectful daughter (all of which are examples of various collections of "God's law") have no place in secular law.
     
  14. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    When it's quoted maybe it should be called "Church law" or the more touchy name "Sharia". Church law has no place in a secular state that has formalized separation of church and state. Yet those laws do come across like keeping businesses closed on Sunday.

    In a very real sense "God's law" is the laws of nature of the sort gradually puzzled out by science. They are the laws that can't be broken because the universe does not allow them to be broken.

    There is overlap - Cause and effect expanded in context leads to ethics. Ethics narrowed to a cultural context leads to morality. Religions must teach morality or their followers leave so they all do teach morality. Some religions even claim to be the author of morality. Many laws forbid acts that are immoral in any culture. More laws forbid acts that are immoral in the local culture but not elsewhere (Prohibition is the most famous example). More laws forbid acts that are moral but risky (speed limits are an example). Yet more laws are none of the above but leaked across the separation from church law (blue laws closing businesses on Sunday).

    Many want increased power by churches. Some of them even think they are pushing God's law. "Speed limit C. It's not just a good idea it's the law".
     
  15. otherstar

    otherstar Registered User

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    The term everyone is looking for, and I haven't seen mentioned here is "natural law," which is a Medieval term used to describe those laws written by God in nature and capable of being discovered by the assistance of reason alone (and hence a law upon which all could agree). "God's law" as being used in this thread to refer to the same thing is actually an erroneous equivocation of the term "Divine Law" which is knowable only via revelation.
     
  16. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    Bro's dfreybur and otherstar see what I have been saying. The problem a lot of the time we get the word God mixed up with one religion or another but if we look at the Webster dictionary before 1934 you will see it is not of one certain religion or type of thing you hold dear to your hart. I really like natural law for this discussion.

    The problem with the topic of persecution of Christians is that in the Islamic world thinks there should be only one group of laws and that the word God is not the same as Allah.
     
  17. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    <sigh...>
    Well, yes... and no. Allah is the "proper noun" referring to the Islamic deity. That deity is the "God of Abraham", and he has been known by many names, but even a cursory review of the holy scriptures of all three of the Abrahamic religions clearly shows that they are all talking about the same entity. The big dispute between those three is over who gets to speak for Him, a fundamental problem with revealed religions in general.

    As for laws and persecution, saying that "the Islamic world thinks..." is as absurd as saying that "the Christian world thinks..." Such overly broad generalizations don't contribute to an honest dialog.
     

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