Date: Mon Jan 20 2003 - 12:27:52 EST
In a message dated 1/19/03 12:16:14 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> I wrote
> >>... Genesis 1-2. However, reproduction is not mentioned until
> >>chapter 3; companionship is the reason given in chapter 2. <<
> Rich replied: >Yes, but can't you make an inference?<
> Reviewing Genesis, I was wrong to claim that reproduction is not
> mentioned before chapter 3, as there is the command to be fruitful
> and multiply in chapter 1. However, humans are given additional
> responsibilities, and the emphasis is on them. Reproduction is a
> responsibility, but not the chief one.
No, God promises Abram that his children will multiply and fill the earth. It
is God's promise to Abraham that reproduction of Abraham' seed will be His
responsibility as long as Abraham is obedient. Reproduction is ALWAYS the
chief responsibility. If it hadn't been, you and I might never have been born
to discuss the issue.
> Rich; >The absolute basis of Abraham's covenant with God was the
> avoidance of infanticide (sacrificing to Moloch) which decreased
> births. I suggest that is why anything that decreased births in the
> view of the patriarchs was morally wrong. <
> No, the absolute basis of Abrahamís covenant with God was Godís grace
> in offering it to Abraham. Abrahamís part in carrying out the
> covenant included circumcision and obedience.
You can't mix metaphors. The absolute basis of Abraham's convenant was God's
promise to multiply Abraham's descendants. God only needed abraham to be
willing to give up his son, but not to do it.Your allusion to 'grace' is
rhetorical and amorphous, does not address the issue and is unacceptable as a
logical response to the passages in the Bible as I've simply read them.
> I presume that you are using decreased birth broadly to include
> survival, as killing children does not directly decrease birth rate.
> However, even increasing the birth rate itself is not seen as
> inherently good for the patriarchs. All polygamy that receives any
> discussion (we are not told anything about Keturah) causes problems.
> Abrahamís attempt to increase his birth rate through Hagar is wrong,
> Esauís first two wives have no recorded positive features, and
> Jacobís polygamy produces constant rivalry. If God really put a
> premium on birth rate, would He have started His people with an
> elderly infertile couple?
Babies were sacrificed to moloch rather than aborted so the difference
between birth rate and infant mortality as you define it is a specious one,
though I do note it.
You can't mix the story of Abraham with the story of Jacob and Esau.
Abraham's story mandates quantity birthing. The allegory of Jacob and Esau
carried 3 generations mandates quality birthing. Look to see why Esau's wives
have no positive feautures. He has married a Canaanite woman first and it is
only after causing the displeasure of his parents that he marries a Hebrew
woman. He has also carelessly sold his birthright to Jacob. It is Esau
himself who is not pleasing to God, his wives are just examples of more of
his bad decisions.
> Rich: >If you read Herodotus, the character of ancient war was
> genetic. When you lost, your finest males were castrated or murdered
> and your finest females were put in concubinage. The effect of such
> policies is to decrease quantity and quality births in the conquered.
> However, the character of Israelite war was supposed to be religious.
> The criteria for judgment, both within and outside Israel, were
> theological views and moral actions, not intelligence or physical
You are here presenting an argument from arrogance. All religions in the
5th-6th centuries were supposed to be 'religious.' So what's special about
When I say homosexuality is unacceptable because it reduces birth rates, do
liberals say, Christianity's supposed to be 'religious.' No they say
Christianity is intolerant and homophobic. Using the same criteria, the
character of Isaelite war was of the same character as war in general in
those times for populations that were prolific and expansionist. Note that
Judaism is supposed to be religious and I have to take thhat seriously while
Christianity is intolerant and homophobic and in another thread I have to
accept that for Christianity. Why do Christians defend Judaism before
> Rich: >forgive the =3D20s. I copied and pasted from Word: <
> Such garbling also depends on the sending and receiving email
> programs, as well as the server. I often paste from Word but have
> not noticed the same problem. Hopefully I have correctly edited them
> out; however, some punctuation marks were also affected, and I am not
> entirely certain about the exact reading of your comment on religious
> parties in Israel.
> Rich: >... Central to God's covenant with Abraham is this fact that
> Abraham and his descendants will no longer practice infanticide.<
> Is there any evidence that they used to do so? Certainly later
> Canaanite, Ammonite, and apostate Israelite practices involved
> sacrificing children, but was it actually a practice in Ur or Haran?
> The point of the call to sacrifice Isaac is total commitment to God.
> Human sacrifice is indeed rejected in the Law, but it does not seem
> to have represented a serious threat to population size at any point.
> The large-scale human sacrifices that I know of (Aztecs, etc.) were
> generally prisoners. Thus, human sacrifice can have a eugenic
> function, and rejecting it is not necessarily an example of greater
> evolutionary success.
Yes, there is evidence. Look up Moloch in your concordance and then find the
relevant passages in the Bible.
Human sacrifice, eunuchs, concubinage of conquered women, murder of the
finest of the conquered males - ethnic insularity, all have eugenic
> Rich: >The effect on Jewish history is dramatic because a prolific
> population is necessarily expansionist. When Abraham first arrives in
> the Philistine town of Gerar, Abimelech its king welcomes him but
> years later Abrahamís son Isaac, now a grown man with children of his
> own, is no longer welcome in Gerar. Why the reversal? Abrahamís
> descendants are greatly multiplying. The Bible tells us Isaac sowed
> seed in that land, and that year he reaped a hundredfold. Isaacís
> household has grown so rapidly (and presumably seized so many local
> niches from the indigenous people) the displaced and alarmed
> Philistines envy him.<
> The Philistines under a previous Abimelech (possibly a title rather
> than a family name) and Abraham had their conflicts too. Isaac only
> had two children and is thus not a convincing poster child for
> multiplying. In both cases, it is the amount of possessions
> (especially livestock), rather than the immediate family size, that
> led to the conflict, with the additional factor of cowardly
> dishonesty. The efforts by Abraham and Isaac to protect themselves
> at risk to their wives could have appeared to be the safest way to
> survive and reproduce later, but these efforts are condemned as
> dishonest and faithless.
Isaac sowed seed in that land, and that year he reaped a hundredfold. That's
Scripture. You want to argue with it. Fine. I just read it.
> Rich: > 4-500 years later, the reproductive success of the Jewish
> people causes conflict with the Egyptians who notice that the
> Israelites are fruitful and prolific; they increase in numbers and
> become very powerful, so that the country is overrun by
> them...Religious parties make up about 25% of the Israeli electorate
> (Shahak & Mezvinsky 1999,8) - a percentage that is sure to increase
> because of their high fertility. <
> However, this often includes converts. Again, the emphasis is not on
> evolutionary merit, but theological merit. In the case of living in
> Egypt, probably a large component of miscellaneous slaves joined
> them, initially due to social factors (cf. the mixing of all those
> labeled as colored in past segregated societies) and then for the
> opportunity to escape.
This has nothing to do with converts. Read the very beginning of Exodus. Then
provide your counter evidence. Your evidence is lacking.
> Dr. David Campbell
> Old Seashells
> University of Alabama
> Biodiversity & Systematics
> Dept. Biological Sciences
> Box 870345
> Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0345 USA
> That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted
> Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at
> Droitgate Spa
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