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Old 01-31-2012, 02:35 PM #22
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Originally Posted by Iamamartianchurch View Post
All those carnivores are so mean!

I don't know about you, but when I'm grilling steak I don't make an extra for the dog. If the dog gets anything, he gets the scraps or the bone if I don't go boneless.

Just for fun, say we find a painless and instant method of slaughtering. Bye bye suffering argument hurray meat!
I think you missed his point.

It puts significantly more strain on the environment per calorie to grow grain to feed the cow then eat the cow than it does to eat the grain directly.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:42 PM #23
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Originally Posted by Umami View Post
I think you missed his point.

It puts significantly more strain on the environment per calorie to grow grain to feed the cow then eat the cow than it does to eat the grain directly.
If that was his point, he should have worded it that way.
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:32 PM #24
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Sorry I shouldn't assume everyone's learned the same things I have.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:31 PM #25
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Sorry I shouldn't assume everyone's learned the same things I have.
No you should clearly state your meaning is all. If we fed our food to people instead of animals can be taken a few ways. I suppose I could have asked. Which is my bad. Too much going on in life this month to think very clearly. Posting here is somewhat of a break.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:24 PM #26
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Any Christians have the time to reply to this topic? I'd like to know what the consensus is on this, and if there is any supporting scripture either way.

For organizational purposes:
Quote:
Originally Posted by wavesport001 View Post
A few questions for Christians about the God of the Bible:

1. What does it mean for a person to be a "good person"?

2. What does it mean for God to be "good"

3. What moral standard does God follow?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treghc View Post
Wavesport, I hope I can contribute to this discussion in a matter by asking this:

To Christians:

Is something moral because it is commanded by God?

Or does God command it because it is moral?
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:32 AM #27
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Originally Posted by spracks21 View Post
Any Christians have the time to reply to this topic? I'd like to know what the consensus is on this, and if there is any supporting scripture either way.

For organizational purposes:
@ treg and the euthyphro problem:

I don't claim to have the answer to one of the most puzzling questions of all time; I can simply point to other great minds that have. Aquinas touches on it fairly well. There is some response to it in the Old Testament (Amos and Micah I know for sure). Start w/ the responses section in the following link (specifically False dilemma and onward).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthyph...to_the_dilemma

If I had to answer, I would say that the dichotomy is flawed in it's nature. I would go with option 3. "God neither conforms to nor invents the moral order. Rather His very nature is the standard for value."

**Ill try to get to the other part later.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:11 PM #28
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Rather His very nature is the standard for value
Ok so "his very nature" is the standard that humans are to follow? What does this mean? According to Christianity, God has given humanity a set of rules to follow - do they match the "standard for value" that is God's very nature? What is God's "nature"?
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:22 PM #29
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Originally Posted by TheSilentAssassin View Post
"God neither conforms to nor invents the moral order. Rather His very nature is the standard for value."
I have to say that this sounds almost exactly in line with "something is moral because it is commanded by God."

Would you mind explaining the difference in your option #3 from that? I know you said you'd get to more later, but I'm hoping what you're getting to is that explanation.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:15 PM #30
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Originally Posted by TheSilentAssassin View Post
@ treg and the euthyphro problem:

I don't claim to have the answer to one of the most puzzling questions of all time; I can simply point to other great minds that have. Aquinas touches on it fairly well. There is some response to it in the Old Testament (Amos and Micah I know for sure). Start w/ the responses section in the following link (specifically False dilemma and onward).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthyph...to_the_dilemma

If I had to answer, I would say that the dichotomy is flawed in it's nature. I would go with option 3. "God neither conforms to nor invents the moral order. Rather His very nature is the standard for value."

**Ill try to get to the other part later.
Let me help. Aquinas takes the Aristotelian approach to Good (read: moral) as "That at which all things aim." To best sum up God as per Aquinas: God is the end of all things, or the actualization of all potential. God, an Unqualified Being, does not command. Therefore the only accurate option is 3.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:24 PM #31
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I'll try, though not in order.

2. What does it mean for God to be "good"

"Good" is a word that describes God's character. Good is defined by God. It is however pretty much set in stone as God's character does not change. It couldn't really as far as we're concerned as God is outside of Time.

3. What moral standard does God follow?

That of his own nature. See above. God is good because God is God, and the character of God = good. Ie. He is good in the sense that I am human. Human is just what I am. God cannot be bad any more than I can be a fish.

This is where the omnibenevolence/omnipotence/omniscience (Bertrand Russel) argument against a good God falls down - it's definition of a good God is incorrect and based on a subjective opinion of good.

If I were to create a simulation of a world with it's own little sims, my will would essentially be the moral standard of that world. When a sim malfunctioned and didn't follow the program I'd be well within my rights to delete it or whatever. When a sim did as programmed or instructed it would be following my will and therefore doing the "right" thing by the rules of its universe. (Don't read too much into the computer side of this analogy)

1. What does it mean for a person to be a "good person"?

See above. Humans were created (by whatever means) by God. To be good is to follow God's will. Through scripture (ten commandments, golden rule etc.) and our own consciences we've been given a fairly solid view of what is and isn't good in terms of our everyday activities. Naturally there are varying viewpoints on this especially when it comes to the Old Testament, but there is overall consensus by Bible scholars.

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Old 02-06-2012, 03:37 PM #32
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Did anyone read the wikipedia responses to the Euthyphro problem? (not intended to sound snarky, just don't know if you all have had time)

What are your thoughts on the Jewish thought subsection?

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Originally Posted by wavesport001 View Post
Ok so "his very nature" is the standard that humans are to follow? What does this mean? According to Christianity, God has given humanity a set of rules to follow - do they match the "standard for value" that is God's very nature? What is God's "nature"?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treghc View Post
I have to say that this sounds almost exactly in line with "something is moral because it is commanded by God."

Would you mind explaining the difference in your option #3 from that? I know you said you'd get to more later, but I'm hoping what you're getting to is that explanation.
Fair warning, I don't claim to know the right answer to the Euthyphro problem. I can simply bring up other people's answers that seem to make sense to me. But I have not invested much time into this thought and am not an expert on Augustine and Anselm's response to this. Right now, I don't have a lot of time to answer but I can provide a link to hold you over until I can.

I believe this is the right link, but if not, just ignore it.
http://www.thedivineconspiracy.org/Z5250K.pdf
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:25 PM #33
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3. What moral standard does God follow?

That of his own nature. See above. God is good because God is God, and the character of God = good. Ie. He is good in the sense that I am human. Human is just what I am. God cannot be bad any more than I can be a fish.
That still doesn't tell me what God's definition of "good" is. I know what the definition of human is, and god clearly isn't a human. I know what the definition of good is, and that clearly doesn't apply to God the same way that it applies to humans. I want to know WHY the character of God = good. Saying that God is good does not mean the same thing that it means when you say a human is good. If it did, then God wouldn't be able to lie, kill, etc and still be good. The fact that God can do these things and still be good indicates that God follows a different standard, his own standard (which may be himself, that doesn't get around the problem) and therefore using the word "good" at all is meaningless because we don't know the standard.

Quote:
This is where the omnibenevolence/omnipotence/omniscience (Bertrand Russel) argument against a good God falls down - it's definition of a good God is incorrect and based on a subjective opinion of good.

If I were to create a simulation of a world with it's own little sims, my will would essentially be the moral standard of that world. When a sim malfunctioned and didn't follow the program I'd be well within my rights to delete it or whatever. When a sim did as programmed or instructed it would be following my will and therefore doing the "right" thing by the rules of its universe. (Don't read too much into the computer side of this analogy)
It seems like what you're saying here is that something is good because it is commanded by God. If God told me to kill a thousand babies it would be good because God commanded it. This seems like a "might makes right" type of god.

Quote:
1. What does it mean for a person to be a "good person"?

See above. Humans were created (by whatever means) by God. To be good is to follow God's will. Through scripture (ten commandments, golden rule etc.) and our own consciences we've been given a fairly solid view of what is and isn't good in terms of our everyday activities. Naturally there are varying viewpoints on this especially when it comes to the Old Testament, but there is overall consensus by Bible scholars.
So to be good a person has to follow God's will - do what God wants him to do?

I know that God has given humans commandments to follow, but the point is that God himself does not have to follow those commandments in order to be good. Therefore the standard of "good" that we are given by God is not the standard that God follows (even if you think he is the embodiment of good) because he can (and does!) take actions that would be considered bad by the standard he has given us. Nowhere in the Bible are we told what it means for God to be good. It's a meaningless statement. Saying that God is good is no different than saying that God is ixnard, it's a vacuous statement that tells us nothing about his nature.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:49 PM #34
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Originally Posted by Iamamartianchurch View Post
Let me help. Aquinas takes the Aristotelian approach to Good (read: moral) as "That at which all things aim." To best sum up God as per Aquinas: God is the end of all things, or the actualization of all potential. God, an Unqualified Being, does not command. Therefore the only accurate option is 3.
If God's very nature is the standard for morality, then we have to accept the fact that God himself has contradicted those standards described in the commandments many times and admit that an objective view of morality and ultimate authority over such morality is rather flawed. God has told people to murder. God has ordered the raping of others. God has ordered genocidal acts. So, by using his own being as the ultimate authority for objective morality, is it then okay for us to follow him and do the same? I would argue no.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:20 PM #35
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So, by using his own being as the ultimate authority for objective morality, is it then okay for us to follow him and do the same? I would argue no
Right, essentially God is Amoral, because the morality he follows is entirely his own and not subject to an outside standard.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:38 PM #36
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Originally Posted by Treghc View Post
the fact that God himself has contradicted those standards described in the commandments many times.
God has told people to murder.
God has ordered the raping of others.
God has ordered genocidal acts.
Now I'm going to have to call you out on your own criticism. You criticize the political sub for "making blanket statements", "lacking facts". You then call people to "back their statements with actual information". Yet here I see you doing all of those things. If you are going to post things like that please include a reference to the scripture you are referring to.

Also, you claim that God "contradicts standards" in the commandments. Please be specific to which you are talking of.
Specifically:
a) the 10 commandments
b) the torah
c) the talmud
d) Jesus's commandment (love the lord your god with all your heart; love your neighbor)
e) all of the above
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:28 PM #37
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I know you're not replying to me, but I'll help.

a.) the ten commandments:

Surely you know the story of Pharaoh pursuing Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt. In this story, God hardens Pharaoh's heart so he will pursue the Israelites, then drowns the entire Egyptian army in the Red Sea.

In this story God first deceives Pharaoh, then kills his entire army. There's two commandments that God has broken. Now you could say that the commandments don't apply to God, and that's fine, but you can't also then say that God is "good" in the same way that a person is "good". Saying God is "good" is therefore a vacuous statement.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:46 PM #38
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Originally Posted by wavesport001 View Post
Surely you know the story of Pharaoh pursuing Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt. In this story, God hardens Pharaoh's heart so he will pursue the Israelites, then drowns the entire Egyptian army in the Red Sea.

In this story God first deceives Pharaoh, then kills his entire army. There's two commandments that God has broken. Now you could say that the commandments don't apply to God, and that's fine, but you can't also then say that God is "good" in the same way that a person is "good". Saying God is "good" is therefore a vacuous statement.
In our language the word "kill" simply means to take a life." It does not differentiate between premeditated killing, accidental killing, killing in war, or killing in self-defense. The word God used for "kill" is much more discriminate as it means the deliberate act of murder - taking a human life without justification.

Therefore killing for war (or in this instance killing the Pharaoh's army) would not constitute killing in terms of the 10 commandments.

**If you look in most modern translations, you will find "You shall not murder" rather than "You shall not kill".
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:07 PM #39
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Originally Posted by wavesport001 View Post
That still doesn't tell me what God's definition of "good" is.

You never asked.

I know what the definition of human is, and god clearly isn't a human. I know what the definition of good is, and that clearly doesn't apply to God the same way that it applies to humans. I want to know WHY the character of God = good.

Because God defines good. You may as well ask why we called up up and not down.

Saying that God is good does not mean the same thing that it means when you say a human is good. If it did, then God wouldn't be able to lie, kill, etc and still be good. The fact that God can do these things and still be good indicates that God follows a different standard, his own standard (which may be himself, that doesn't get around the problem) and therefore using the word "good" at all is meaningless because we don't know the standard.

We do know the standard - God's will. If God says we should follow His commandments, that's good. If God decides to do other things, that's good. This is partly a semantic issue. In Christianity, the words "good" and "God's will" are interchangeable.

It seems like what you're saying here is that something is good because it is commanded by God. yup If God told me to kill a thousand babies it would be good because God commanded it. yup, technically. If God defines good then you can't appeal to a higher morality to say that would be wrong. This seems like a "might makes right" type of god.

The language you use evokes images of "might makes right" among humans, but we're dealing with God and His own creation here so it's just an irrelevant emotional appeal.

So to be good a person has to follow God's will - do what God wants him to do? yup

I know that God has given humans commandments to follow, but the point is that God himself does not have to follow those commandments in order to be good. Therefore the standard of "good" that we are given by God is not the standard that God follows (even if you think he is the embodiment of good) because he can (and does!) take actions that would be considered bad by the standard he has given us.

Again there is no conflict here. God's will is the ultimate standard - and what He wills for us may be different than what He wills for himself, just like how what I will for myself may be different than what I will for my dog (he eats dog food, I don't). Ultimately however it's all my will, and all serves whatever purpose I have in mind (a nice life, or whatever). This is not a conflict.

That said, God's will is not arbitrary in the sense of randomly doing whatever things you may consider bad. There is always a big picture purpose. We see that from scripture among other things.


Nowhere in the Bible are we told what it means for God to be good. It's a meaningless statement. Saying that God is good is no different than saying that God is ixnard, it's a vacuous statement that tells us nothing about his nature.


Mostly addressed already.

God being good refers to what we do know of God's character - that He has an ultimate purpose, and is just and holy and cares about us etc. "all things work together for good for those who love the Lord" is a reminder of this.

There is also an implicit reminder here that we do know a few things about what God wants for us, and can rely on those things being true.
This post also deals with your musings about Pharoah.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:35 PM #40
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Originally Posted by TheSilentAssassin View Post
In our language the word "kill" simply means to take a life." It does not differentiate between premeditated killing, accidental killing, killing in war, or killing in self-defense. The word God used for "kill" is much more discriminate as it means the deliberate act of murder - taking a human life without justification.

Therefore killing for war (or in this instance killing the Pharaoh's army) would not constitute killing in terms of the 10 commandments.

**If you look in most modern translations, you will find "You shall not murder" rather than "You shall not kill".
And it does not say "You shall not unjustifiably murder" either. It says don't murder. Murder is... well... murder. You haven't changes the fact that God murdered people.

But let me reply to this:


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSilentAssassin View Post
Now I'm going to have to call you out on your own criticism. You criticize the political sub for "making blanket statements", "lacking facts". You then call people to "back their statements with actual information". Yet here I see you doing all of those things. If you are going to post things like that please include a reference to the scripture you are referring to.

Also, you claim that God "contradicts standards" in the commandments. Please be specific to which you are talking of.
Specifically:
a) the 10 commandments
b) the torah
c) the talmud
d) Jesus's commandment (love the lord your god with all your heart; love your neighbor)
e) all of the above
You should know well enough how many atrocities God commits within the Bible, both New and Old Testaments. The fact that you are asking me to back my claims is somewhat disheartening, to be honest. Anyone he's done a slight bit of research can see the mountains of hypocrisy God commits against his own Ten Commandments. Shall I list?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel 6:19-20
And he smote of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Jehovah, he smote of the people seventy men, `and' fifty thousand men; and the people mourned, because Jehovah had smitten the people with a great slaughter. And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before Jehovah, this holy God? and to whom shall he go up from us?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hosea 9:11-16
The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will die at birth or perish in the womb or never even be conceived. Even if your children do survive to grow up, I will take them from you. It will be a terrible day when I turn away and leave you alone. I have watched Israel become as beautiful and pleasant as Tyre. But now Israel will bring out her children to be slaughtered." O LORD, what should I request for your people? I will ask for wombs that don't give birth and breasts that give no milk. The LORD says, "All their wickedness began at Gilgal; there I began to hate them. I will drive them from my land because of their evil actions. I will love them no more because all their leaders are rebels. The people of Israel are stricken. Their roots are dried up; they will bear no more fruit. And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leviticus 26:21-22
If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey, I will inflict you with seven more disasters for your sins. I will release wild animals that will kill your children and destroy your cattle, so your numbers will dwindle and your roads will be deserted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremiah 15:1-4
Then the LORD said to me, "Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me pleading for these people, I wouldn't help them. Away with them! Get them out of my sight! And if they say to you, 'But where can we go?' tell them, 'This is what the LORD says: Those who are destined for death, to death; those who are destined for war, to war; those who are destined for famine, to famine; those who are destined for captivity, to captivity.' "I will send four kinds of destroyers against them," says the LORD. "I will send the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, the vultures to devour, and the wild animals to finish up what is left. Because of the wicked things Manasseh son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem, I will make my people an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ezekiel 35:7-9
I will make Mount Seir utterly desolate, killing off all who try to escape and any who return. I will fill your mountains with the dead. Your hills, your valleys, and your streams will be filled with people slaughtered by the sword. I will make you desolate forever. Your cities will never be rebuilt. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
Or how about approving of the rape of virgins?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Numbers 31:7-18
They attacked Midian just as the LORD had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men. All five of the Midianite kings – Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba – died in the battle. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder. They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived. After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals, they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho.

Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went to meet them outside the camp. But Moses was furious with all the military commanders who had returned from the battle. "Why have you let all the women live?" he demanded. "These are the very ones who followed Balaam's advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD's people. Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.
And more approval of rape:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuteronomy 21:10-14
"When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house. But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive's garb. After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife. However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion."
Should I go on?

Please don't give me this Jesus this and Jesus that stuff. For the sake of this discussion, we're talking objective authority of morality. If we are to maintain God is perfect and God is exactly equal to good, we have to take in that he commanded/did these things.
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Last edited by Treghc : 02-06-2012 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:53 PM #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treghc View Post
And it does not say "You shall not unjustifiably murder" either. It says don't murder. Murder is... well... murder. You haven't changes the fact that God murdered people.
Ok, brief thread derailment, but is it even sound to say that the charge of "murder" could even be applied to a divine being?

Lets bring it down to scale. You're a farmer. You raise (create, as it were) chickens. In the course of the year a percentage of your livestock is sent to market. Butchered. Killed. (fried up and yummy)

It would be quite the stretch of the definition to say you've "murdered" your chickens (PETA freaks notwithstanding).
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:56 PM #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fubarius View Post
Ok, brief thread derailment, but is it even sound to say that the charge of "murder" could even be applied to a divine being?

Lets bring it down to scale. You're a farmer. You raise (create, as it were) chickens. In the course of the year a percentage of your livestock is sent to market. Butchered. Killed. (fried up and yummy)

It would be quite the stretch of the definition to say you've "murdered" your chickens (PETA freaks notwithstanding).
Are we interested in commanding the moral actions of chickens? Did we create chickens in our image to come close to us? Did we create them at all?

I'm sorry, but I'd have to argue that your analogy is hopelessly flawed within the context of theistic belief.
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