Re: [asa] Creationists for genocide

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Tue Aug 28 2007 - 13:38:44 EDT

Pim yesterday: *the Bible can not form a foundation for rejecting such
issues as genocide as both sides believe that it supports their viewpoints.
*
Pim today: *Of course people can use the Bible to create an 'ethic' against
genocide....
*
Finally, Pim has to admit that the examples of the Confessing Church, John
Paul II, Martin Luther King, Jr., and countless others, demonstrate that an
absolutist stance against the Bible as a source of ethics fails.

But here is the crux of Pim's problem: *The problem is that opposing sides
can both find support in the bible for their positions, which can create
conflict when scarce resources are involved.
*
But Pim seems oblivious to the fact that people can reach "conflicting
conclusions when scarce resources are involved" under *any *set of ethical
norms that is rich and diverse enough to encompass all of human experience.

The question isn't whether it's at all *possible* for people to reach
conflicting conclusions. Rather, the question is whether one or the other
of the conflicting systems is more internally consistent, more coherent,
better grounded in the core values of the tradition, and so on. Pim simply
doesn't want to do the hard work of actually evaluating the whole Jewish and
Christian tradition to determine what reasonably could be considered
normative within it. Instead, he'd rather toss off a few lines here and
there and call it a day.

Pim then says: *Does this mean that popes and others cannot speak out
against
> genocide? Of course not, but if they claim that their opposition comes
> from biblical considerations then they have a real problem to deal
> with, as history has so often shown.*
**
But does Pim give us, say, a careful analysis of the Biblical grounding for
John Paul II's Encyclical Centesiums Annus? Does he compare the coherence,
consistency and reasonableness of JPII's Christian personalist anthropology
based on the Biblical revelation and the Church's understanding of it to the
coherence, consistency and reasonablness of basing a modern ethic of
genocide on a few difficult Biblical passages? Does he explain why the
example of Christ and the cross is an unreasonable heremeneutical lense?

Of course not. For him it is enough to throw out a proof text or two. It's
just so tiresome.

On 8/28/07, PvM <pvm.pandas@gmail.com> wrote:
> So far the only incoherence comes from you my dear friend. If you
> beleive that it is possible to bild a genocidal ethics from the facts
> of evolution then I encourage you to present you argument.
>
> The problem with your 'arguments' are that you ignore what Avalos and
> I are telling you. Of course people can use the Bible to create an
> 'ethic' against genocide, and they can use the same bible to create an
> ethic for genocide. It's because the bible cannot provide us
> guidelines as to what is just and unjust genocide.
>
> The problem is that opposing sides can both find support in the bible
> for their positions, which can create conflict when scarce resources
> are involved.
>
> I suggest that we have a serious discussion as to Avalos, lest we want
> to resort, like David, to the creation of irrelevant strawmen.
>
> So let's, for David's sake, clarify what is already obvious, even
> though he has chosen to make our private discussion public without
> consulting me. A minor ethical infraction but still
>
> 1. The bible fails as a foundation for many ethics because it lacks an
> objective standard and can be used to argue either side.
> 2. The lack of such a standard can lead to conflict where both sides
> appeal to the bible or similar texts to support their actions an
> positions. Countless examples exist to varying degrees.
> 3. Avalos argues that science provides a less subjective ethics
> because it is based on evidence. Does this mean that science cannot be
> abused either? Of course not.
> 4. During WWII, the German State Church, the majority of Christians,
> supported the Nazis in their actions, while a small minority, the
> Confessing Church, opposed it, mostly based on church-state separation
> considerations. In other words, the examples cited by David, show that
> opposing sides can appeal to the same bible to support their claims.
> 5. Does this mean that popes and others cannot speak out against
> genocide? Of course not, but if they claim that their opposition comes
> from biblical considerations then they have a real problem to deal
> with, as history has so often shown.
>
> Does it matter that David believes he can formulate an ethics of
> genocide based on evolutionary theory, even though he has yet to do
> so? Not really.
> Until David at least understands Avalos's arguments, David's
> objections remain founded in his own strawmen.
>
> Simple.
> So why is it so hard to address these issues raised by Avalos? Perhaps
> because as Christians we realize that they may cause discomfort?
> Should we avoid such discomfort by rejecting Avalos's claims as
> atheistic etc? So far I have found the level of reactions on ASA quite
> interesting.
>
> In Christ
> Pim
> On 8/28/07, David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com> wrote:
> > At this point, Pim, all I can do is laugh. You are yawning at Pope John
> > Paul II as an example of a Biblical ethic against genocide? You
seriously
> > deny that it's possible to build a genocidal ethic from the facts of
> > evolution? You make the statement that "reasonable is a subjective
> > standard at best," and I'm employing a strawman when I use it to
question
> > your position using your own words? You have dug yourself into such a
deep
> > hole in this discussion that you've become incoherent.
> >
> >
> > On 8/27/07, PvM <pvm.pandas@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > On 8/27/07, David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > Just time for a few quick responses:
> > > >
> > > > 1. I can claim the Bible forms a foundation for rejecting genocide,
> > even
> > > > when some people have read it to support genocide, because that is a
> > > > verifiable historical fact. Pope John Paul II arguably did more to
stop
> > > > genocide (as perpetrated by atheists in the Soviet Union with the
> > presumed
> > > > blessing of Darwin as filtered through Marx, BTW), than any other
figure
> > in
> > > > human history. John Paul II's ethics were thoroughly Biblical, and
I'm
> > > > pretty sure he was aware of the problem texts Avalos cites.
> > >
> > > Yawn, those are such irrelevant statements of what you believe and
> > > appeals to authority. Avalos seems to be quite correct here, there is
> > > no real good standard for what is just based on biblical teachings.
> > >
> > > > 2. Yes, I claim the text of nature can be read to support
genocide. Do
> > you
> > > > deny that? If so, why is your intepretation more reasonable than
mine?
> > >
> > > I surely deny that. As far as your question is concerned why is an
> > > interpretation that the bible supports genocide less or more
> > > reasonable than one which claims it does not?
> > >
> > > > Isn't the fact that we can reach differing interpretations of the
same
> > text
> > > > conclusive evidence that the text is worthless as a source of
norms? Or
> > >
> > > It surely makes it hard to claim that it can form a source of norms,
> > > worse, it can form a great source of conflicts.
> > >
> > > > does that logic only apply one way? Or, could it be that the
> > possibility of
> > > > differing interpretations is an invetable result of the human
condition
> > and
> > > > the variability of all complex texts, which does not necessarily
render
> > > > every potential reading equally valid?
> > >
> > > How does one establish which reading is more 'valid'? wishful
thinking?
> > >
> > > > 3. "Reasonable is a subjective standard at best?" Are you claiming
> > that
> > > > there is nothing objective at all about reason? On what basis,
then,
> > should
> > > > anyone accept Avalos' and your claims about how best to interpret
> > scripture,
> > > > or about any conclusions of science? Is this just some kind of
> > Foucaultian
> > > > knowledge/power thing? Or is it that you're restricting "reason" in
> > > > positivist fashion to that which is empirically verifiable?
> > >
> > > Nice strawman.
> > >
> > > > 4. Before you "sigh," read what I'm writing. The Darwin=genocide
claim
> > > > stands if we apply your and Avalos' Biblical hermeneutic to the text
of
> > > > nature.
> > >
> > > Nope, just because you make this claim does not mean that it stands.
> > >
> > > > As I reject that hermeneutic, I reject Darwin=genocide as an
> > > > absolute, necessary progression.
> > >
> > > Sigh.
> > >
> > > So much objections and still missing the point
> > >
> >
> >
>

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Received on Tue Aug 28 13:38:59 2007

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