Saturday, May 05, 2007

Stoning in the Torah and in Reality

The rabbis hardly ever allowed executions. This stuff doesn't apply any more. I understand that. What I can't understand is how people can worship a Being they believe wrote, dictated, or inspired the following verses:

דברים פרק כב
כג כי יהיה נער בתולה, מארשה לאיש; ומצאה איש בעיר, ושכב עמה. כד והוצאתם את-שניהם אל-שער העיר ההוא, וסקלתם אתם באבנים ומתו--את-הנער על-דבר אשר לא-צעקה בעיר, ואת-האיש על-דבר אשר-ענה את-אשת רעהו; ובערת הרע, מקרבך


Deuteronomy 22:23-24. If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.


The moment a teenage girl was stoned to death for loving the wrong boy

A 17-year-old girl has been stoned to death in Iraq because she loved a teenage boy of the wrong religion.

As a horrifying video of the stoning went out on the Internet, the British arm of Amnesty International condemned the death of Du’a Khalil Aswad as "an abhorrent murder" and demanded that her killers be brought to justice.

Reports from Iraq said a local security force witnessed the incident, but did nothing to try to stop it. Now her boyfriend is in hiding in fear for his life.

Miss Aswad, a member of a minority Kurdish religious group called Yezidi, was condemned to death as an "honour killing" by other men in her family and hardline religious leaders because of her relationship with the Sunni Muslim boy.


I watched the video. (You can find it in this thread if you want.) It's horrible. The poor girl is cowering on the ground stripped to her underwear and a bloodthirsty mob is screaming (I assume) for her death as she is brutally murdered.

Maybe you think God didn't mean these verses literally or that they don't apply now. But how can you worship him if he even wrote them? How can you believe that they weren't written by people much like today's Muslim (and Yezidi?) extremists when their actions fit in so closely with the Torah's words?

It's to the rabbis' credit that this sort of "justice" was never common among the Jewish people, at least since Talmudic times. Still, they shouldn't have had to "reinterpret" the text or explain why it no longer applies. It should never have applied and it should never have been written.

150 comments:

yinyang said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

Jesus stopped a stoning. Believe in Him.

beepbeepitsme said...

Where does it say that jesus stopped stoning?

"So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." - John8:7

So adulterous women are not to be stoned to death anymore. What about adulterous men? Can we stone them to death?

Orthoprax said...

To play God's advocate, I could argue that for the brutal kind of life and environment of those times perhaps that kind of attitude was necessary.

Can you imagine modern France, stripped of its modern technology, existing for more than five minutes during the Iron Age?

Anonymous said...

I must be missing something. The torah quote is about adultery, not intern-religious hook-ups.

elf said...

Your point is well taken, but I don't think the two cases you've cited are comparable. First of all, as Anonymous pointed out, the quote is about adultery, not interreligious marriage. (Certainly, the Deuteronomist(s) didn't approve of the latter either, but that's not what this passage is about.) More importantly, you omitted the verses that immediately follow:

"But if the man comes upon the engaged girl in the open country, and the man lies with her by force, only the man who lay with her shall die, but you shall do nothing to the girl. The girl did not incur the death penalty, for this case is like that of a man attacking another and murdering him. He came upon her in the open; though the engaged girl cried for help, there was no one to save her" (Deuteronomy 22:25-27)

This passage (unlike the more straightforward law in Lev 20:10) displays a rudimentary understanding of the concept of rape. The fact that the author has to explain that "this case is like that of a man attacking another and murdering him" shows that he (or she) did not expect his or her audience to understand the concept immediately. Those of us raised in contemporary Western society would certainly not find it acceptable to assume that a woman or girl was a willing sexual partner simply because she was in an inhabited area and could have screamed, nor would we find it acceptable to impose the death penalty for adultery. However, there is clearly an attempt at justice here, about having sympathy for the victim of a sexual crime while upholding the traditional law against adultery.

This is what I like about reading the Bible as an ancient human document. If you believe that God is the Author, then you have to struggle wiht obvious lack of fairness in what is supposed to be a perfect law. But if you accept that a human wrote it, and that that human came from a society that hadn't thought subtly about these matters the way ours has, you can appreciate the (flawed) attempt to craft a moral law.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jewish Atheist said...

Anonymous:

Jesus stopped a stoning. Believe in Him.

If Jesus is God, then he commanded stoning as well.

To play God's advocate, I could argue that for the brutal kind of life and environment of those times perhaps that kind of attitude was necessary.

It was necessary to stone adulterous women to death?

second anonymous:

I must be missing something. The torah quote is about adultery, not intern-religious hook-ups.

Stoning adulterous women to death is so much better?

If you believe that God is the Author, then you have to struggle wiht obvious lack of fairness in what is supposed to be a perfect law.

That's the only point I'm making here. Although I think "lack of fairness" is quite an understatement.

Ezzie said...

Stoning adulterous women to death is so much better?

Quick thought that popped into head...

Combine the threat of it happening with what we know from the Talmud about its implementation: Almost never happened. While modern-day capital punishment may or may not decrease capital crimes, perhaps the threat of this type of capital punishment: In public, painful, long, shameful, etc. - had an incredible effect on curbing such occurrences. The idea of being treated inhumanely is to show that the one being treated is viewed as almost 'sub-human'. Today, we go out of our way to treat a capital murderer as 'humanely' as possible, no matter how brutal and grotesque their crime.

Regardless, the standard for actually putting someone to death according to Jewish law for adultery is near impossible - you'd have to have two witnesses actually see entry. But to marry outside the faith? I'm not sure if there even is a punishment for it.

Orthoprax said...

Keebo,

"Not only can we imagine France doing quite nicely before their modern technology, we can see it for ourselves."

Um, yeah. You do know that I said modern France, right? Meaning the modern society with the types of values and behavior they progress.


JA,

"It was necessary to stone adulterous women to death?"

I said that perhaps the attitude was necessary. And how can you achieve a certain societal attitude without going through with the real deal once in awhile?

No doubt the act and attitude are brutal and immoral by modern (western) standards, but perhaps with the given ancient society it was the better of other evils.

CyberKitten said...

Orthoprax said: Can you imagine modern France, stripped of its modern technology, existing for more than five minutes during the Iron Age?

Huh? What's France got to do with anything?

beepbeepitsme said...

In cultures where women were seen as little more than breeding stock, its little wonder to me that they stoned their breeding stock to death if it mated with the wrong bull.

Orthoprax said...

Cyber,

"Huh? What's France got to do with anything?"

Nothing in particular. It's just an example of a modern society with values I suspect would leave it to do poorly in the ancient world.

Nephtuli said...

It's interesting how the brutality of the punishments is directly linked to the extreme procedural protections put into place. It's almost economic. Since the punishment was almost impossible to carry out, the punishment had to be extreme in order to serve as a deterrent. Sort of Gary Becker millenia earlier.

But about that specific verse, I can't help you. I'll go with what Ezzie said.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
arora said...

Please sign the petition here:
http://www.petitiononline.com/kurdish/petition.html


-----------------------

http://dua.kurdistan4all.com/

Orthoprax said...

Keebo,

"Capital punishment has NEVER been proved to be a real deterrent."

Maybe that's true in modern times when a death sentence can be appealed for 20 years. Note too how in the Torah there is very little written about prisons.

"And, what ever happened to "Thou Shalt Not Kill."?"

'Lo tirtzach' means 'don't murder' not 'don't kill.'

"Why is killing, for ANY reason, OK?"

And on a personal note, I think it is entirely just to execute murderers. By what right should they live?

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Orthoprax said...

Keebo,

""Eye for an eye . . .", right?"

Yes, in a general 'have the punishment fit the crime' sense.

Is it right to make a thief pay back what he stole? As a society we enforce tort law even though that could, in some views, make the state a kind of thieving collection agency.

Some damages, however, cannot be repaid and if justice is to be served then a murderer should not be permitted to enjoy life which he knowingly took from others.

It isn't wrong to kill, it's only wrong to kill those who don't deserve death.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Orthoprax said...

Keebo,

"And how do you pay restitution to the executed man, when he is later proved innocent?"

If he's innocent then he didn't deserve death. But now you're arguing on procedural grounds and not on theoretical ones.

So do you agree that it can be right to execute a murderer?

beepbeepitsme said...

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." - attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

Or, "In the land of the blind
the one-eyed man is king."

beepbeepitsme said...

I am pro-choice when it comes to the death penalty. Let the person accused choose either life in prison or a quick trip to nowhere.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Orthoprax said...

Keebo,

"That can't be helped. People make mistakes."

Again, that's procedural not theoretical. Suppose we were certain that a given man was guilty, does it then become right to execute him?

Let's finish the theoretical discussion before we leap onto a procedural one.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Orthoprax said...

Keebo,

"We have been "certain" of the guilt of many convicts who were later proved innocent."

I meant certain in a literal sense. Not as if it were in quotes. Even then would execution be 'filthy'?

If you don't want to answer the question then you don't have to, but I don't care for games.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Orthoprax said...

Keebo,

Ok, so you believe that it doesn't matter how arbitrarily perfectly certain we are that a murderer is guilty, we still should not execute him. Then I was right to keep this theoretical because procedurally it doesn't matter to you.

"What do we gain by committing the same act that he did?"

Justice. He performed in injustice and the aim of the justice system ought to be how best to even things out. Letting him live out the remainder of his life while his victim(s) didn't get that luxury is an offense to justice.

"What do we lose? I believe, we lose a lot."

Yeah, I'm still not clear on that. If a man is convicted of kidnapping - are we then unable to put him in prison? How are we not losing the 'moral high ground' in that situation?


"If you do a little research into capital punishment, you will find how frequently it is unfairly imposed."

And? This is irrelevant. You just argued that procedure is not the issue. You oppose it on theoretical grounds.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Orthoprax said...

Keebo,

"I oppose it on all grounds."

But it doesn't matter to you. Even if the system was perfect and there were no problems with inequality or error-prone humans you would still oppose it.

"So, you like "pay-back.""

No, I like justice. Killing a person's innocent dog is just doing a second wrong and wanton destruction is pointless. When monetary restitution is possible then that should be done (along with some punitive action). When it can't then something else needs to be done.

You still didn't answer me on the kidnapping question.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Orthoprax said...

Keebo,

"We have a right to pass judgement on a kidnapper, because we do not kidnap. We have "clean hands."
We may take away his liberty, because we have assumed a moral high ground, and judged his actions as punishable."

Um, you don't see any similarity in taking a person against his will and putting him in prison as compared to someone taking a person against their will and imprisoning them in their basement?

It's the same act. Except one is a crime and the other is punishment.

Same thing with execution. It can be the same act. Except one is a crime and the other is punishment.

Society is fine with "stealing" from thieves. And "kidnapping" kidnappers. Your whole 'high moral ground' theory doesn't hold up.

"Many members of our society view the killing of a human being, even those who have committed heinous acts, to be immoral.
Sentencing someone to die, makes it far more likely that ALL our moral judgements will be viewed, by humanity, as tainted and biased. We lose moral high ground."

What does this even mean? Some people think it's wrong and therefore they won't trust the decisions of our justice system? So? What if some people think that imprisoning people is immoral. What are you going to do then?

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Orthoprax said...

Keebo,

"One is a crime, because society recognizes that a wrong has been committed. We can all agree that the first person did not want to be kidnapped by the second. The first person had a right to his liberty, etc.
.
We, as a society, have a right, even an obligation, to correct that wrong. The kidnapper doesn't want to go to prison, but he lost his right to choose, when he violated the agreed upon laws of his society."

That's what I said. One is a crime and the other is a punishment - and the exact same thing can be said about murderers and execution - except for your one point:

"However, many, many people, the world over, view capital punishment as a penalty that is:
A) morally wrong
and
B) unfairly administered."

And my response to that is: WHO CARES? You're understanding of morality and justice comes from popularity?!

You're view has nothing to do with justice or morality, but only how just or moral we appear to others. How superficial can you get?

I hardly even know where to start with what's wrong with that.

Orthoprax said...

Heck, I'd just like to point out that with your system, if the world ever had a change of view and decided that stoning girls for honor was a great thing then you would do a somplete 180 and suddenly find yourself saying how disgusted you were by societies that let such girls go free!

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Orthoprax said...

"I really don't see the world, or myself, doing a complete 180 on the issue of how we would like to be treated, nor how we feel we should treat others."

Right, because that's never happened before.

You're arguments are random and incoherent.

Good night.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jewish philosopher said...

The stoning girls thing is intended to demonstrate the heinousness of adultery.

beepbeepitsme said...

It is intended to kill them. If the breeders don't breed with the allocated bull, they are killed. Nice system.

beepbeepitsme said...

keebo:

I suspect that some religious people who support the death penalty, wouldn't agree with the prisoner being able to choose death or imprisonment as they want to be the ones dealing out the punishment.

Orthoprax said...

Keebo,

"It only seems to happen in the name of religion."

What world do you live on?

"If you don't recognize that the moral authority to judge others is derived from the opinions of your fellow citizens, then from where do you think it comes?"

Damn, I'd hate to be a minority living in your democratic paradise. If people think slavery is ok then I guess it is, right?

"Please just go ahead and say "God" sooner, rather than later, so I can point out that it is ALWAYS the religious folks who are the first to start throwing stones."

You don't know what or how I think at all, and I'm not going to pander to your needy arguments, but I can assure you that if all atheists thought as well as you then they would serve as absolutely no threat to any religion, no matter how dogmatically stilted it may be.

Orthoprax said...

Beep,

"I suspect that some religious people who support the death penalty, wouldn't agree with the prisoner being able to choose death or imprisonment as they want to be the ones dealing out the punishment."

Why are you guys bending over backwards to ensure that murderers get what they prefer? It's not about them. It's about their victims.

Being kind to the cruel is like being cruel to the kind.

beepbeepitsme said...

orthoprax:

Actually, no. The legal process is not about satisfying the victim's desire for revenge.

The judgement of the law courts involves at least 3 concepts.

1. Possible rehabilitation so that the prisoner may be able to rejoin society and fulfill a worthwhile role at a later date.
2. Protecting society by removing the person from being able to continue the harm which he/she has been found guilty of.
3. Punishing the individual for their crime.

If you think the law courts are there to provide satisfaction for the victim, you have been watching too much TV.

Simply put:

The courts pronounce judgement which includes:
1. punishment
2. deterrence
3. rehabilitation.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sadie Lou said...

I think there has been a lot of good points made in this discussion.
Beep, I actually liked your idea about asking the criminal (who is a candidate for the death penalty) if they would like life in prison or death. But I would take that a step further and I think it would be a novel idea to ask the victim or the victim's family about what should be done to the criminal.
Imagine in a rape case, the perp is thrown in jail and then the victim is asked every year, at a hearing, how *they* are being rehabilitated.
It's the victim's integration back into society we should be concerned with. And the victime should have a say in the criminal's fate.
I think we would be surpised by our own humanity in this example of justice in the hands of the victim.

Scott said...

Actually the courts, as an agent of government, are there to protect the rights of individuals That according to the Declaration of Independence, which is based on the Western philosophy of Liberalism, not Judaism or Christianity.

It makes perfect sense, if at all possible, for the victim of theft to have that which was taken from them repaid. That is certainly restitution, so would that be considered revenge or justice?

Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...


Actually, no. The legal process is not about satisfying the victim's desire for revenge.

The judgement of the law courts involves at least 3 concepts.

1. Possible rehabilitation so that the prisoner may be able to rejoin society and fulfill a worthwhile role at a later date.
2. Protecting society by removing the person from being able to continue the harm which he/she has been found guilty of.
3. Punishing the individual for their crime.


First of all, revenge is definitly part of the legal process. And that's a good thing- we want people using the criminal justice system, not mob justice.

Second of all for an excellent discussion for the reasons for imprisonment, see United States v. Bergman (Scroll down to Section II).

"The court agrees that this defendant should not be sent to prison for "rehabilitation." Apart from the patent inappositeness of the concept to this individual, this court shares the growing understanding that no one should ever be sent to prison for rehabilitation. [see 28 U.S.C. § 994(k)] That is to say, nobody who would not otherwise be locked up should suffer that fate on the incongruous premise that it will be good for him or her. Imprisonment is punishment. Facing the simple reality should help us to be civilized."

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sadie Lou said...

keebo said...
The very concept of "victims rights" is highly misleading to people. The victims do not actually have any rights, at least not as far as these proceedings are concerned, because they are NOT an official party IN the proceedings.

Well it's not "society" that presses charges. It's the victim. If there was no reported victim--there's no crime. The victim has to press charges. Not society.

Orthoprax said...

Beep,

"Actually, no. The legal process is not about satisfying the victim's desire for revenge."

I didn't say anything even close to that effect. All I meant was that we should care more about the victim than the murderer. It's not about making the murderer feel comfortable, it's about justice being served.

Sadie,

"Well it's not "society" that presses charges. It's the victim. If there was no reported victim--there's no crime. The victim has to press charges. Not society."

No, it actually is the state who presses charges. Oftentimes the DA will ask the victim if they want to go through with it and based on that will decide, but you don't need the victim's ok. This is explicitely obvious when it comes to murder cases.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

Well as usual keebo fails to maintain a coherent conversation. I really was looking for an answer when I asked:

It makes perfect sense, if at all possible, for the victim of theft to have that which was taken from them repaid. That is certainly restitution, so would that be considered revenge or justice?

The reason I asked is because while Beep mentioned three of the aims of Criminal Law, there are typically 5 aims involved. They are retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation and restitution.

Also, while the idea of the State prosecuting on behalf of society pertains to Criminal Law, disregarding the victim’s right to press charges makes it sound as if Tort Law doesn't exist. In my opinion, the State prosecuting for society is a shortcoming, not a strong point of our legal system. Obviously it needs to be there for murder cases where the victim cannot press charges, but in other cases the lack of a victim and the apparent disregard for corpus delicti is what leads to overbearing governments that believe they have the right to tell us it’s a “crime” not to wear a seatbelt or ingest a chemical they find abhorrent.

Sadie Lou said...

Obviously it needs to be there for murder cases where the victim cannot press charges, but in other cases the lack of a victim and the apparent disregard for corpus delicti is what leads to overbearing governments that believe they have the right to tell us it’s a “crime” not to wear a seatbelt or ingest a chemical they find abhorrent.

That's kind of where I was trying to lead the discussion but you did it so much better. Thanks, Scott. And also, thanks for bringing in the 5 element for the aims of criminal law.
Keebo--reading the Bible wouldn't give a Christian an unhealthy infatuation with revenge or justice. God says justice is His and Jesus says to turn the other cheek. So it's unbelievers that read the Bible and confuse the matter.

Sadie Lou said...

mmmm...
I just thought of something. I remember doing a Bible study on the issue of slavery in the Bible. God regulated slavery--he didn't encourage or condone it. He regulated it because it was already in practice as a law of the land. Same with pologamy. Later, the New Testament is clear that deacons and church leaders are to be of one wife but in the OT God regulates divorce and pologamy--not because He encourages it but he regulates it--puts his stamp of morality to an already immoral situation.
Later, people that believe in him change the laws of slavery--william wiberforce for example changed Brittish law to stop the slave trade. Divorce is regulated by our own society's laws and yet Christians are called to a higher standard of divorce (we're not to unless someone is being abused or adulterous). God doesn't like divorce (he hates it) but he regulates it.
Anyhoo...

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

Actually that's all Jewish Law, not Christian doctrine.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

No, I deny that what you listed was Christian doctrine that somehow applies to Christian belief and their supposed infatuation with revenge. Not that any of this has anything to do with Criminal Law, which you claimed has nothing to do with compensating victims, which I showed did, which you ignored and said something silly about Jewish Law and illogically attributed it to Christianity, which I never really even brought up because I don't like mixing religion and criminal justice, which apparently you do.
.
See?
.

Sadie Lou said...

Keebo--What Scott said.


and...

what I said earlier still applies...
So it's unbelievers that read the Bible and confuse the matter.

beepbeepitsme said...

RE: "we should care more about the victim than the murderer."

The victim is dead. Whether or not the person responsible for their death is killed or left to rot in prison, makes no difference to the dead. They are dead.

beepbeepitsme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beepbeepitsme said...

Believers continually confuse the bible as well. That is why there are hundreds of different christian sects all claiming that their interpretation of the bible is the correct one.

When you put your own desires and dreams into a book, the book expresses your desires and dreams. Which is why a book like the quran or the bible for believers is an expression of themselves, not of the book.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Orthoprax said...

Beep,

"The victim is dead. Whether or not the person responsible for their death is killed or left to rot in prison, makes no difference to the dead. They are dead."

That's not the point. The point is about justice and how we should care - conceptually - about victims more than murderers and not that we necessarily care about what the victim wants.

Do you not understand the difference?

To correctly answer the question about the death penalty, the question should always be "What is just?" and not "How does the murderer feel about this?"

beepbeepitsme said...

orhtopax:

You don't understand that if the victim is dead, what they want is irrelevant.

Scott said...

Maybe I didn’t make my position clear.

I realize that you meant regarding discussion, but I thought that stoning, religion, and criminal justice were the topics of this thread.
.
I believe the topic was the God of Abraham's propensity to order people to stone other people, and the Judeo-Christian eagerness to embrace the idea of revenge. An "Eye for an eye."


The discussion did indeed start out as a conversation about stoning and organized religion, which I naturally didn’t engage in because such things are not of much interest to me. However, at some point the topic veered toward the purpose of the court system, which I am somewhat interested in. The point was being made that the justice system is not in place to compensate victims, but rather to satisfy the need of society to obtain “justice”, not Christian vengeance. I tried to show the court system was indeed in the business of restitution by bringing of the 5 aims and even posing a query about the difference between “justice” and “violent Christian blood-lust led revenge.”

Both these points were ignored, yet I am being accused of “sadly and rather desperately, trying to change the subject.”

Well okay.

(I love your characterization of what I said, about The Bible ordering stoning, as being "silly.")
.
You sound like you deny the Old Testament.


Actually I characterized your analogy as silly, not what the Bible said. Your analogy of Jewish Law being used by Christians to push their blood-lust filled agenda of revenge on the American Justice System.

That is, for lack of a better term, silly.

I don’t need to “deny the Old Testament” (whatever that means) to suggest that Christians aren’t under Jewish Law. One wonders what you think the difference between Christians and Jews is?

beepbeepitsme said...

I always wonder why christians include the old testament as they spend a lot of time denying that it has little to do with christianity.

The other part I don't get is if jesus is god, he is also the sadistic, meglamaniacal god of the old testament. What is the game? Good cop VS bad cop?

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

Ha, you can't comment on a single thing I said? Can't address a single issue? Just judge me by what "legions of Christians" said?

Yeah, everyone who knows me knows how much of an opponent I am to homosexuality.

Brilliant.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Orthoprax said...

Beep,

"You don't understand that if the victim is dead, what they want is irrelevant."

Wow, are you just not listening? It's like you're having a conversation with someone else.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beepbeepitsme said...

orthoprax

I'm listening. What the victim wants is irrelevant in a murder case. What the law can determine is what is relevant.

Sadie Lou said...

The victim is dead. Whether or not the person responsible for their death is killed or left to rot in prison, makes no difference to the dead. They are dead.

The victims have families and the families want justice. Anyone with a heart or the the capacity to empathize can understand that. If the victim is dead than someone robbed them of their loved one and while justice won't bring them back--it will provide decent enough closure to the loss--knowing that the person that selfishly stole their loved one will not be able to enjoy life the same way. Why should a killer--a robber of life--get to enjouy life when the fmilies are grief stricken and barely functioning?
This is something ALL of us as humans with the ability to uphold compassion can agree on. The victim lives on in the hearts of their family and friends and so for their sake, Beep--the law honors their wishes.

Washington State’s 1990 Community Protection Act included America’s first law authorizing public notification when dangerous sex offenders are released into the community. However, it was the brutal 1994 rape and murder of seven-year-old Megan Kanka that prompted the public demand for broad based community notification. On May 17, 1996, President Clinton signed Megan's Law.

Sadie Lou said...

The people heard what happened to Megan and while yes, Beep, Megan is dead and so is Polly Klaas and countless others, their families bring about harsher laws and stricter penalties. The families are prompted to make sure they do everything they can within the inch of the law to make sure this doesn't happen to someone else's baby and it sickens me that anyone would downplay the victim--or the families they leave behind.

Orthoprax said...

Beep,

"I'm listening. What the victim wants is irrelevant in a murder case. What the law can determine is what is relevant."

Maybe you're listening too carefully since you seem to be hearing things I did not say. When did I say anything about what the victim would have wanted determining how the murderer is to be treated?

In fact, I explicitly explained to you _twice_ that that was _not_ what I meant.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Orthoprax said...

Keebo,

Question, do you think in bullet points too?

beepbeepitsme said...

Apparently many people think of as "justice" is stoning people to death. In other words, they have a very primitive idea of justice which involves revenge more than anything else.

The word "justice" does not mean retribution. I find that lots of people confuse it so.

If it is justice you seek, you need to consider the issues of 1. punishment 2. deterance 3. mercy 4. rehabilitation 5. fairness.

JUSTICE: "1. the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness: to uphold the justice of a cause.
2. rightfulness or lawfulness, as of a claim or title; justness of ground or reason: to complain with justice.
3. the moral principle determining just conduct.
4. conformity to this principle, as manifested in conduct; just conduct, dealing, or treatment.
5. the administering of deserved punishment or reward."

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/justice

So, if it is revenge or retribution you seek - you are no better than the religious ideologues who stoned people to death in the bible, or those who continue to stone people to death because they follow the quran.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

keebo,

I've left religious philosophy completely out of this discussion. I'm not sure how you've decided that MY religious philosophy "has a LOT of violence and hatred in it," but it's obviously based on your ignorance rather than logic or reason. I've not called anyone a sinner or suggested even that I agree with the death penalty. In fact, I've not even mentioned the crime of murder and brought up only theft. Yet you've completely fabricated an argument based on your supposed understanding of my beliefs and philosophy.

Have fun with that.

Scott said...

Actually I’ll just continue this cause I’m on my lunch break and bored.

A religious person sees "sin" that must be avenged.
.
A more civilized/sophisticated person seeks justice.


This is possibly the intellectually laziest statement I’ve seen all year. You’re basic argument throughout this conversation has been that “religious people are meanies because they seek revenge and smart people like keebo seek justice.” However, you’ve made no attempt to philosophically differentiate the two other than listing legal definitions and appealing to authority by claiming it’s right because the State does it. Such leaps of faith require just as much lack of reason as you would suggest believing in god does.

Maybe I should point out the fact that I am not trying to dissect our court system to see what it’s aims are. That’s meaningless to me. I’m trying to reason just what justice IS. Trying to figure out what the appropriate aim of the court system SHOULD BE, not assuming that they have the appropriate aims already in place. After all, those aims were instilled by other men, not god. They are merely an interpretation of what justice ought to be, not what it is. If we’re just trying to figure out what the current system is, I could read a book. I prefer to think and reason.

You can’t just claim your way is just because you say so. You need to define what justice is. Not with a dictionary definition either. This is why I asked the question about theft earlier. I was trying to define what justice is to you, but you ignored it and just made baseless claims on how you are right and I am wrong. I’ll ask again, not that I expect an answer:

If person ‘A’ steals 100 dollars from person ‘B’, is It justice or revenge for person ‘B’ to be forced to pay person ‘A’ back?

Since you won’t address that question I’ll just make some assumptions based on what you’ve already said. You think that restitution is unjust, because it involves vindictive aims, which you’ve claimed (without any reason) are religious in nature. So to you, the correct course of action here is to fine person ‘A’ for crimes against “society”. The fine is paid not to person ‘B’, but to society.

But what is society other than individuals? If they pay their debt to society aren’t they just paying their debt to an arbitrary group of individuals? Namely, those who have monopolized the “justice” system; the Government. I mean you claim retribution is revenge and wrong and people should pay fines to the court, not individuals, but isn’t the court just an arbitrary group of individuals? Who is to say that the fines they set are just? What are they based on? We can’t base them on any reasonable proportionality to what they stole because that would be retribution, right? So we must base it on an arbitrary number determined be an arbitrary group of individuals. And because THAT group calls the number fair, we call it justice?

Also it should be noted that your course of “justice” involves not only the VICTIM of the theft NOT receiving the monies that were stolen from him, but he is forced PAY for the criminal to be tried, convicted, and incarcerated through the taxes that you extort from him to fund your “society”. And the length of the incarceration is another arbitrarily determined length of time that can’t be based on any proportionality to what was stolen since that would be vindictive. Or maybe it’s a length of time that is indefinite until the criminal is “rehabilitated” (snicker). Of course that opens us up to another arbitrary definition of WHAT IS REHABILITATED? Isn’t that just another arbitrary state of mind that needs to be determined by another arbitrary group of individuals who may or may not release the criminal in a “just” period of time. And isn’t that state of rehabilitation just determined by the criminal’s ability to conform to the will of those arbitrary individuals. Or at least trick them into believing he has conformed to it?

And of course whatever “rehabilitators” need to be hired to “fix” the criminal so that he is ready for entry back into “society” need to be paid by the taxes that the victim pays.

Yeah, that’s some system of “justice” you got there!

Well lunch is over. Check you later, dood!

Holy Hyrax said...

A religious person sees "sin" that must be avenged.
.
A more civilized/sophisticated person seeks justice.



Wow, I diden't realize that orthodox community in LA I live with are uncivilzed and unsophisticated.

mevaseretzion said...

Don't have much time, but I thought I should comment a few differences between the formal Jewish death sentence of stoning and what you witnessed on that horrible video. You cannot compare them, and here is why:

1) In Jewish courts, the condemned was drugged before the death, so that they would not feel the same pain or fear as if they were awake. This is akin to the drugs used in today's lethal injections which place the condemned in a relaxed, sleeping state before death.

2)they were thrown off a cliff first before rocks were thrown
so that the person would die immediately. The stones were ceremonial, not the cause of death.

3)to be liable for one of the 4 formal deaths (stoning is one of them) the person had to be warned, and had to agree they know they will be punished, but want to sin anyway. In other words, the only way to get these capital punishments is to want to rebel against God, with foreknowledge of the consequences. This is clear from Maimonides quoting the Talmud. Ask a Rabbi if you don't believe me.

4) The jewish concept of these capital punishments was 'vechol yisrael yishmu veyirau', ie. to provide Deterrance for others so that they not sin. This is actually one of the main reasons the US has capital punishment today.

5) Jewish capital punishment was carried out after a court case and verdict. More than a majority of a large court of learned judges was required to condemn a person, and the execution was delayed to allow for ANY evidence to come forth and exonerate or allow a loophole.

You cannot separate the Oral Law from the Written. We who believe the Written word as the word of God believe it to be provisoed by His oral law, and that lays down the 5 points I just mentioned. In other words, the same God who wrote those verses, gave over the oral law that modifies them. See Rabbi Hirsch on the fact that the written law is like lecture notes that leave out important details, and the oral law was the lecture.

Thus your problem is really only with someone who does accept the written law, but NOT the oral law that modulates it. IE, your problem with stoning is NOT with Orthodox Jewish thought, much less practice.

Feel free to email me at mevaseretzion@hotmail.com for more about this.

Regards to everyone.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sadie Lou said...

It is fascinating to watch, supposedly moral people, turning cartwheels to justify the killing of another human being, in the pursuit of a LUST for vengeance.

I, for one, am not justifying it. But if it pleases you to believe this: Believe me--it doesn't rattle *my* cage. What's funny to me is the people that claim to be so enlightened and so above the simple trappings of religion--are the very ones that can't think out of the box and excersice their biases and predjudices as fact in the form of "reason".

Peace out.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

Concepts of morality, should be kept as SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE, so that everyone can UNDERSTAND them, and agree with them.

Based on whose morality? You act as if the secular society on this planet has been the benchmark of morality in the past. None of your thoughts on morality or what it should be is based on reason, only your biased conseptions of it. You honostly think that your ideas of "treating others as you want to be treated" is not influenced by religion in this world?

Your thoughts about "the less confusion in this world" is a laugh. What makes you think if everyone agreed to one morality and one vision it will be better? It won't be, cause part of life IS that confusion. Who are you to ram your ideas of justice and morality into other people?

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

Well, you did not bother to reply to anything I said.

The concepts of "sin against God" or "retribution in the name of God", are not among them.

But this is coming from a person that believes God is imaginary. Lets just look at this objectively. If one DOES believe in a God, wouldn''t concept of sin be part of that belief? You're problem is how fundamentalist carry out punishment in his name or upon society at large. So its not about religion, its about fundamentalist, WHICH ARE PART OF EVERY SOCIETY, not just that of religion

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

Well, you did not bother to reply to anything I said.

He rarely does.

Holy Hyrax said...

My ability to "ram" my opinion into the opinions of "other people" is called the "free marketplace of ideas in a democratic society."
.
Deal with it.


That was not the point. I know you have the right for your ideas as do I, the question is what makes you think your current man made ideas of morality and justice is the correct one. Secular philosophy, as one to lead the world in a certain direction has not had a good record in the past, so I do not see where any of your logic comes from. What if in 50 years, infantacide will be the norm. Would you consider that moral? What if the day comes when elderly people are put down, so they don't put a strain on healthcare for the rest of society. Would that be moral? And please don't say that is not possible, because then you have truly lost this debate.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

However, I do NOT see, the wholesale slaughter of children, or the elderly, as being in the best interests of society. Nor will it become so.

This is coming from a guy living in the 21st century. You have no idea what the world will be like in 100 years and what THEY will decide is in the best interest for society. What WE see as best interest did not seem that way 100 years ago. Your argument that morality coming from a secular society creating a more harmonious civilization has no objective reason behind it, and the track record seems to go against it.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

I have faith in democracy. Do you feel that the superstitions of a Bronze Age people, are a BETTER source of what should be considered right, or wrong, 100 years from now, than the people living in that society?

Well, as long as you have faith. But dont be blind, you live in a world that has been influenced greatly by centuries and centuries of religion, more specifically the bible. All your morals and justice would probably not exist if not for this book influencing this world.

You don't have much trust in your own children, if you think that they will suddenly vote to slaughter the elderly.

That makes no sence. Morals have shifted throughout time. Afterall, my grandparents had to go through a period when people decided to slaughter the Jews.


Religious conflict, and racism, are the sources of ALMOST every war in history. Isn't it time to move past the idea of hating the other guy, because he looks different, or worships a different deity?


Secular conflict and racism are the sources of ALMOST every war in the past century. Isn't time to move past the idea of hating the other guy because he looks different or chooses to worship in the first place.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

Wow you’re unstoppable, aren’t you?

I didn’t “distance” myself from the Old Testament; I denied that Jewish Law governs Christianity. See, when people talk they tend to listen to what the other person says, and then respond accordingly. You brought up Jewish Law and claimed it is the Laws of Christianity, and I refuted it. I didn’t list my entire philosophical thesis on Christianity, I simply refuted that. One. Point. See?

I am a lover of no “philosophy,” save liberty. Or more precisely Western Liberalism in it’s purest and most simple form. You think religion divides people, but I actually get along quite famously with all sorts of people from all sorts of religions and even atheists. The only thing that is dividing US (as in you and I) is you’re insistence that you know all about me and your refusal to actually read anything I write, instead judging me based on your preconceived notions about what I think. Nothing based on what I say.

Gee, sounds like you’re the bigot to me friend.

So come one, keep telling me what I believe, and I’ll keep calling you a fool. Let’s see who can get the last word in, since that seems to be what you’re all about. Think we can make it to 200 comments?

Holy Hyrax said...

Keebo,

You have such a sick distorted view of religion its disturbing. Your problem is you view all religions as from the goggles of fundamental Christians.

After he came to power, he certainly enjoyed wild popularity, among the tens of millions of Christians of that society. These were people who felt superior by race, and superior by religion. But, they also felt beaten down by the Depression.

Hitler fed into their feeling of desperation first. It was through his secular nationalistic ideals that he got the support he needed. Cripes, even Joseph joseph goebbels said Christianity is not needed anymore and new rituals are needed to bring unity to the masses. Hitler is direct evidence where a secular society can go. You are constantly trying to show how superior secularism is over religiosity, but this past century just prooves you wrong. From communism to africa to Asia.

You will not hear from me that fundamental religions is not a danger, but fundamental secularism can reach its next logical stage quite easily if it wanted, without a book guiding it along. You choose not to see it, well, thats your decision.


The origin of the planet.

What does this have to do with anything. How does this have anything to do with morals. A person believing this world is a gift from God is probably just inclined to protect it.
.
The origin of life, and man, on this planet.

What does this have to do with anything? How is this affecting morality. Sorry, I view all man as created in a divine image. You, you believe it was a chance happening.


.The "sinfulness" of having a perfectly normal sex life.

There goes your subjective opinions as to what is normal. And obviously clearly shows you affected by Christian fundamentals
.
Distorted views on the equality of man vs. woman.

Another one of your subjective 21st centuries opinions was what equality means.
.
Hateful, bigoted views about their fellow man, or woman, who is gay/lesbian.

Ya, more of your fundamental Christian nonsence.
.
Hateful, distorted views about their "superiority" over people of other faiths/creed/race/ethnicity.

I agree, some people do have these opinions, but then again some don't. But gee, I think Stalin proove you otherwise. Cause instead of a religion being the factor here, he had more of a secular state in mind being superior to others
.
Horrifying, traumatizing views on what will happen to them if they think independent thoughts.

Ya, well thats just stupid and I agree with you. These people are called fundamtalists if you havent noticed. Then again, I know people that have been harrased in universities for have conservative ideas. So much for tollerance.
.
Hallucination-like visions of the end of the world, supposedly in the near future.

And this bothers you how? What does this have to do with justice or morals?
.
A very distorted view about whether, or not, we should care about the future of our fragile planet.

This has nothing to do with religions. This has to do with man. period. Some people believe its fragile, others dont. Perhaps if the fanatic left werent so crazy about this and treated it as THEIR new religion, more people would take heed. Just like you see fanatic religious people as not worth listening to their ideas, its the same with the loony left. All the left has done, is substitute one religion for another. Whether it be PETA, fanatic environmentalist etc.

(Ya, PETA, there goes a great example of where secularism to its end can lead).

Im glad you had a chance to vent here, cause it just goes to show you care nothing about true morals, values or justice and looking at it objectively. You have a certain a bias against certain ideas and it immediatly distorts all your matters of thinking.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

I am not here to smear Jeffersonian democracy, but you dont even see the falacy in your own argument. You attach YOUR subjective faith on a different religion, called Jefferosian democracy. You are doing exactly what you claim ignorant fundamental religious people do, that is, attach themselves to a certain belief without no objective reason behind it. You are simply defending your status-quo 'religion' because you FEEL it is the correct path, yet certainly people all around the world (sans present political issues) will disagree with.

I wish you would stop saying religion, and start talking about a specific religion. Ignorance certainly did not stop an orthodox Jew from winnign a nobel peace prize.

Holy Hyrax said...

It divides them, like racism. We shouldn't be afraid to criticize that.

No you shoulden't. But lets just realize one thing. Anything that people are so passionaite about can lead to violence and in your case of worry, racism. This problem exists across the spectrum from the hard right to the hard left (ie, PETA, fanatic environmentalists). This is part of the human nature. What are you going to do, outlaw every passoinate drive of man? If you take out one thing, it will just be substituted by another (i.e., again PETA).

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

Wow. I guess the idea of protecting the environment, or treating animals ethically, really, really bothers you.

NOT when it turns to fanatacism. NOT when people's private properties get burned (Hummer dealership in CA) or when the slaughter of chickens is compared to the holocaust of people. This is when these movements turn into a sort of religion/cult, a fundamental one. It starts devoloping its own values and morals and no longer interested in simply "helping" the cause.


Jeffersonian democracy is not a religion, but...

No, you missed my point. First of all, I agree, it is an excellent way to govern. But there certainly no way of suggesting it is THE moral way of governing a people. I meant that YOU simply substitute one form of values and morals (religion) or another (democracy) and you stick by it no matter what it can lead to. The fact that a large amount of people recognize it means nothing. Like I said, and in which you still haven't realized is that tomorrow, the majority of the people may come together and realize that the elderly are draining the resources of the healthy and therefore require elderly people to be put down. You may think this is absurd, but according to your system, it can very much happen. Abortion is a great example of this. (Im not here to argue morality of abortion, but how the majority of the people viewed it a century ago and how it is related to now). A secular gov't indeed has its place, but it is by no means a source of true justice or morals for a healthy society to function.

However, voting for the candidate that your priest likes, instead of the one that best serves your own interests, well, that kind of subverts the whole process.

agreed

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

>No, "the fact that a large amount of people recognize it" means a GREAT DEAL. We derive the moral authority to decide right, from wrong, from our fellow citizens, NOT from a book written by a group of Bronze Age, Palestinian goat herders.

It means nothing. Your own argument prooves it. By your take the bible WAS once the code of morals that man should live by and since has been flung away. So now, instead of a Torah, you have a Constitution. If you believe the Torah is man made, then it is no more inferior to the man made Constitution. If the only weight it carries is that a large number of people accept it, well then there was no difference with the Torah, which means in the future, the Constitution can be replaced with another book and will eventually be considered something primitive and immoral. And who is to say these large amounts of people even know what is right or wrong?

>"The fact that a large amount of people recognize it" means EVERYTHING, because that is the BEST measure of what a society considers right, or wrong.

Which carries no objective value. If values and morals changed from the time of the bible, than it can and will change again. This is precisly my example with the elderly. Sure YOU and people NOW might consider it immoral, but going by your analysis, it can change later on, and still be considered moral because the majority of the people view it as such.

>IT WON'T BE LONG before that society realizes the error of its ways, and changes itself back into a society that does correct

In the mean time, it has slaughtered millions of people in its path while defending its practices along the way.

>The Bible confuses morals. By telling us that animals only exist for our use, the Bible creates an erroneous understanding for people, which is why groups like PETA must come along to remind us, that, treating animals like things, like commodities, is immoral.

Ofcourse the world is here for our use. Noone is saying to take unrestrained advantage of it. There is a aggadic tradition in Judaism that God took Adam by the hand and took him around showing him everything and warning him to be careful of the world and to keep it, for if we destroy something, it will not return. This is something written centuries ago. You can't just build a whole opinion on the bible or at least the Torah based on one passage without going into the whole gamut of Jewish thought. You can't be hypocritical about this either. You NEED to use the world for your advantage. You use paper to write on? Your car have tires? Do you use toilet paper? Do you eat tuna? PETA has turned into an extremist cult putting the worth of animals over that of man. That is why so few people really respect them.

I specifically did not want to get into the discussion of the morality of abortions, so I dont know why you did, nor do I think anything you said is relevant. My point was to show you how things change all the time. Abortion WAS considered immoral by A LARGE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE, now it is considered moral. You see how things change? What YOU think is immoral NOW, can be quite moral in 100 years and may not mean the doom of our society. After all, what would you say to those that use your logic, when you say the society will go back to its morality or will cease to exist when it came to abortion? Do YOU see us ceasing to exist or going back to the morality of a century ago? So what makes you think that a society built on the majority opinion, that it is good to kill the elderly, ceasing to exist? You don't. You just cant imagine it. Thats it.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

So what if your fellow citizens, a vast majority of them decide its ok to eliminate the elderly at a certain age because they are draining resources?

PS- I never seek absolutes. I will be the first one that will agree that morality does change. I just don't see with what objective evidence do you see Jeffersonian democracy, paired with secularism as the best thing for a society.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

Treat your fellow man, as you yourself would like to be treated.

agreed
.
Live and let live.

Well, this can work for a while. The problem is, people take this to extemes which only leads to hedonism, which is I dont believe is a healthy thing for a socity. Now, I understand what you are saying. This hedonism is part of the mistakes that the society will eventually fix or fall in the process. So Judaism tries to stop these acts before it leads to all right hedonism. The concept of live and let live is not something Judaism accepts. The problem with Live and Let live is that it attaches itself to the worst part of human nature, temptation. Once a society goes over the edge, ther is very little to do to bring it back.

Holy Hyrax said...

Money complicates things, but I don't see Americans allowing the elderly to be killed, just to save money.
.
That has nothing to do with the moral code of the people I know.


Money can do strange things, and it may not do anything at first, but eventually, people OR A STRONG LEADER can rationalize and convince the people otherwise.

Just to repeat myself, my grandparents never believed that that their neighbors would allow them to be sent on cattle trains to the gas chambers.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

And, is that society considered a shining success? Or, did it go down in flames?

no, you missed the point. It's not about the aftermath of what happened to the society after it did what it did. Its what lead it to it in the first place. You are saying, a society, WILL make errors, but either it wil fix itself or fall eventually. I am saying NO, it shouldent get there in the first place.

And, I would be very interested to hear you tell me what's wrong with hedonism.

I am all up for the pursuit of hapiness, but a responsible hapiness. The problem with hedonism is that it is the highlight of the selfish drive for ones own pleasure, ANY PLEASURE when ever one wants. Its all about the self. Its not about others. Hedonism will always bring humanity to its animal core. Basically eat, sleep and screw anything it wants. A healthy society would not be able to function like that. It needs a loftier goal. Not about the self, but about the others. So hedonism will never manifest itself as a night out to the opera or a few drinks with the boys. It latches on to the worst of human temptations. Pleasure can lead to hapiness, but it will be an empty hapiness without true meaning.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

I never once brought up the notion of God in my last comment and I deliberatly steered away from it. My comment has nothing to do with religion, only the falsehood of the practice of hedonism. So I dont know why you said what you just said.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

But since you brought it up:

A religious person derives "meaning" or "purpose" from pleasing God.

no no no, its not about pleasing God. It's to seek some sort of relationship. Again, I am Jewish and I am giving it frommy POV. Its the same as seeking a sort of relationship with your parents. Is there times you want to please your parents? Sure, but that is not the overiding principle. If God DOES exist, lets just say hypothetically he does, then it is fair to say that he is the essence of meaning.
.
An atheistic person derives "meaning" or "purpose" from life, by enjoying his/her life, and being kind to others.

That is not fair. What you are saying is that Jews (for example) are commanded to be hermits. Who says they don't enjoy life? Because they don't want to envolve themselves in sexual promiscusity ( =pleasure) whenever they want? Your telling me that religious people are not there helping others. I just heard somewhere of a study that religious institutiions are far more charitable than others.

Why do you believe that someone might not derive a great deal of pleasure from "lofty" goals? Don't you think that someone could get a great deal of happiness from helping the poor

Helping the poor? Do you realize that the Torah commands the people to help the poor. Not only that, but a later law required every Jew to give 10% of his income to some sort of organization/charity. So if a person is making 1 million a year, well, you can do the math.

Holy Hyrax said...

I think your ideas of pleasure, and happiness, are informed by the life of Paris Hilton.

Then you have yet to define what YOU meant by pleasure. You asked whats wrong with Hedonism. I answered it. And yes, she is the perfect example of where it can lead to.

Holy Hyrax said...

Again with the absolutes.

What absolutes? Im not talking about absolutes here merely suggesting to you that the majority does not always know right from wrong. And we should not wait for a society to reach the 'point of no return" but to attack its problems at its roots.


But, you seem to think that religion would have helped that situation. There is NO disputing that the society in which he came to power was dominated by Christians. Christians who felt superior to Jews.

I never said religion might have helped. Only stating where a madman could influence a society that their line between right and wrong are ultimatly erassed.
.
They felt superior because of racism. They felt superior because of religion. And, their nationalistic pride had been hurt.

Though they may have felt superior by religion as well, it was not the component at play here. It was, as your last sentence stated, their national pride hurt and it took a madman to bring it up again.

If a group of young teens feel they are superior to another teens because they have brand new lexus's, does that make it the fault of the lexus, or that of the group?

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

Last time I checked, most people want to please their parents.

So you are saying that is the goal? If you have or want kids, is that where you would like your relationship to go? To that of your kids only worried about pleasing you? Or is there something more special in mind?

Huh? I never said "Jews don't enjoy life." I was talking about where meaning and purpose come from. Religious person says "God", I say "enjoying life." I NEVER SAID you don't, also, enjoy your life!

Anyone else reading this thread would have understood your comments as I did, and that is one that you were implying that theists don't enjoy life to its fullest. Many of the things YOU enjoy about life and hold dear, I enjoy. Its just that for a theist, it does not stop there, It continues to an entity they believe put you in this world in the first place to enjoy.

You are suddenly defining pleasure as being the same thing as sexual promiscuity. Huh?

Then you have YET to define what pleasures you hav been talking all along. The reason sexual promiscuity was brought up was because of the points on hedonism.

You claim that I said religious people don't help others. WHEN did I say ANYTHING CLOSE to that?

Then you need to start formulating your comments better. Your comments are loading with implications that the others side does not seek merit in helping the poor. You gave a comparison: Theists find meaning in pleasing God while atheists find meaning in helping others. Perhaps in your head you knew what you meant, but it did not come across in the comments.

Holy Hyrax said...

I was talking about where meaning and purpose come from.

Sorry. Let me just come back this because I don't believe I accuratly explained myself. You initially came and said that meaning and purpose for a theist comes from PLEASING God. THAT right there, is your fundamental error. The meaning I derive from God is not one of me trying to kiss his ass. It comes from a love and appreciation of my existance, to seek why he put me here, to help my fellow man, to be happy with my lot and at the same time trying to build some sort of relationship with Him (if that is somewhat possible). That relationship on my part is often complicated, but that is life. The rituals that I do, is not because I fear some sort of punishment, but because I may find in it a great truth, a way to build a connection to him or it is one that helps solidify my community as one.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

I asked two simple questions: "Why do you believe that someone might not derive a great deal of pleasure from "lofty" goals? Don't you think that someone could get a great deal of happiness from helping the poor?"

Ofcourse

"Hedonism" means that pursuing whatever makes you happy, is a good and proper goal in life.
.
It does NOT mean that you lie around and masterbate all day. (unless THAT"S what makes you happy. I don't think many people would spend their lives that way.)
.
I think that "being happy" IS a good goal. Don't you? It seems to be what most people will say, if you ask them what they want out of life.


You never defined what YOU meant by pleasure. You asked me to tell you why a hedonistic society is no good because and I did that. Rarely will a soceity that believes in hedonism will pursue a goal of charity work. I told you why hedonism is bad and you never responded. Hapiness is something that we all strive for. The question is what kind of hapiness. If you pursue a hedonistic version of hapiness, then it will sucumb to emptiness. If one is atheist and brings his life to helping others, then I have no problem with that.

I only jumped on the the Jewish part because it sounding like you were implying religious people dont enjoy lifes pleasures. Then I go on to correct you about your "pleasing God" statement and you dont bother answering, since that was a big part of your claim.

And stop looking at your computer for definitions and look at how society interprets and actually impliments those pleasures. You brought up Paris Hilton, and I showed you where hedonism can lead. The pleasure in Hedonism manifests in the worst of human desires, not the best. And yes, those desires do lead to happiness, but in my opinion, its an empty superfictial happiness.

fatima said...

just wanted to say that poor girl was not stoned by Muslims . She was stoned by her own people Yazedis (not muslims) because she fell in love with a muslim and converted to islam . such a tragedy . she must have suffered so much< RIP >

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

Hedonism isn't bad, it is interpreted to be "bad" by a judgemental, religious society.

I agree with most of what you said, except for this. Whats going on is your are trying to give your own interpretation for Hedonism, which is fine, I guess. The problem is, that is not how humanity impliments it. A hedonistic society always strives for the more and more and more till they ARE sick of it. And then they just seek out theire next thrill till they are sick of that. Responsibility is thrown out the window. He never looks for the simple pleasures in life, but like I said, it always manfests itself in the worst of human nature. THAT is why religious people are against it. Its not an issue of finding pleasure in the world, its when it becomes irresponsible to the point where it is all about you quenching all your desires and often enough, in the most vile way.

What you are advocating is responsible pleasure, there is nothing hedonistic about it or wrong with it.

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holy Hyrax said...

If someone isn't hurting you, or anyone else, why do you label them as "vile." Isn't "vile" a word that is better used to describe a rapist, or a child molester?

Um no, I see rapists and molesters as inhuman animals that have lost all sence of humanity. VILE, is a more appropriate for someone that takes his pleasures to an unprecedented level.

Vile has nothing to do with Religion. Even an atheist (maybe not you) would see Lindsey Lohans routine of drugs, alchohol and probably sex as something vile. If you are so anti judgment calls, then calling someone misguided is also a judgment call, just at lesser degree. But then, who are you to call someone misguided.

I understand what you are saying. As long as he does not hurt anyone, why should I make a judgement call. Well, I don't see it that way. And believe me, I try to always give people the benefit of doubt first (that is something my religion has taught me as well :) ). But certain acts I see as being vile and unhealthy for society. I had a co worker that used to sleep around with married men. Since the spouce did not know about it, then no one gets hurt right? WRONG!. I beleive the sanctity of marriage is the most important thing in the world and for him to do what he does in order to quench his pleasures and desires (which he has admitted to me) is totally wrong and vile and I have told him that.

"Hedonistic theory" didn't put ANY judgments on ANY behavior as moral, or immoral. (At least, I don't think it did. I could be wrong. Happens all the time.)

Ya, well, that would be the problem. If a society felt freely to allow their children to do what ever they want, (by children, I mean very broadly, by our decendants), then I firmly believe it would collapse eventually. Everyone has a moral threshold, everyone. And some practices would just be looked down upon. I could only start to tell you stories about what I am hearing is going on in Jerusalem with the younger crowd there :)

Keebo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mike said...

Stoning is distasteful but was probably necessary. Let's assume that men won't take care of children if they aren't confident that they're theirs. In a society without DNA testing the only way to ensure confidence in a wife's faithfullness was to make an example of those who weren't faithful. It could be that there was a lot of adultery still, but that isn't the point. If you assume this, and given that no society treated adultery any differently it seems reasonable, then the stoned women were a necessary cost towards preserving society.

Anonymous said...

How can we be sure she is a Yazidi?

Any video purporting to show a persecuted minority in a crime of this magnitude deserves
closer scrutiny IMHO.

It could be authentic (showing what it purports
to show) or it could be staged by anti-Yazidi elements.

Anonymous said...

The girl was a Yazedi. The clip and other reporting on the incident show it

JA you botched up

Anonymous said...

The reason why is because the people killing the girl are not Jews but Muslims. I thought this was about Judaism yet the story is about a completely different religion (Islam) that thinks the Torah is corrupted. Also it is not because of the Talmud that Jews don't practice stoning. The restrictions on stoning is in the written Torah itself. Karaite Jews don't stone people either.