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Author Topic: Whose is Highest Morality?  (Read 4835 times)

HarpingHawke

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2014, 08:56:34 pm »
Quote from: Valentine;163177


 
Thank you so much. It's really very interesting.
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Valentine

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2014, 08:57:43 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;163175
Hm. I guess you learn something new every day! :)

Do you have time to give a short example?

 
Here's another: there's no word in any of the Biblical languages for "a homosexual" or "a gay person" or "a lesbian," because--both in the ancient Jewish context and in the rough time period of the Gospel and Epistle writings--sexuality was just not understood that way, where there were kinds of people with identities around an immutable orientation of attraction.  (There are words for different kinds of gender and sex diversity, but not for sexuality as we understand it in our modern Western way.  Likewise, in the Greek, there are words for what role someone might customarily take during a penetrative sex act, but not a lot about who that act is with.)  Paul would not have found any conversation involving a "heterosexual" or "homosexual" or "bisexual" person intelligible--the language is all about acts, and even then, it's not always clear what acts that language is about.  So any time someone suggests to you that any Biblical passage has something definitive and straightforward to say about "homosexuals" or "gay people" or whatever (apart from statements about all people, in which they might be included), know that that's simply impossible, and is a matter of translation and interpretation and centuries of heated debate.  The so-called "clobber passages" used to condemn same-sex relationships and acts are, in fact, open to broad interpretation, and have been since the very beginning.
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sailor

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2014, 09:31:13 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;163160
I've heard the argument that some things in the Bible have to be interpreted, but there's definitely some parts that one just can't interpret.


 
If you think you can't interpret something you aren't trying hard enough.

Valentine

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2014, 09:38:55 pm »
Quote from: sailor;163187
If you think you can't interpret something you aren't trying hard enough.

 
Map is not territory, you know?  We need maps.  Maps are useful.  A map that is the territory is not useful as a map.  It's when we mistake our maps for the territory that we get lost.
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sailor

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2014, 09:48:20 pm »
Quote from: Valentine;163188
Map is not territory, you know?  We need maps.  Maps are useful.  A map that is the territory is not useful as a map.  It's when we mistake our maps for the territory that we get lost.

 
I'm confused.  Not sure if you are agreeing with me or disagreeing.  From you examples a couple of posts up I'd think you'd agree with my point.

Only ashore with wi-fi access for a couple of hours before getting back to the ship.

Valentine

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2014, 09:52:46 pm »
Quote from: sailor;163190
I'm confused.  Not sure if you are agreeing with me or disagreeing.  From you examples a couple of posts up I'd think you'd agree with my point.

Only ashore with wi-fi access for a couple of hours before getting back to the ship.

 
I'm agreeing, or commiserating, or whichever.  I know it's unusual!  But just chiming in, not disagreeing with you.
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Darkhawk

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2014, 10:21:22 pm »
Quote from: Valentine;163181
Here's another: there's no word in any of the Biblical languages for "a homosexual" or "a gay person" or "a lesbian," because--both in the ancient Jewish context and in the rough time period of the Gospel and Epistle writings--sexuality was just not understood that way, where there were kinds of people with identities around an immutable orientation of attraction.

I'm not going to get into Countryman's rhetorical interpretation of the matter of what's commonly taken as homosexuality in certain texts, some of which is genuinely fascinating to me, but I'll quote a few bits (from pages 117-120 of his book Dirt Greed & Sex: Sexual Ethics in the New Testament and their Implication for Today which I found utterly fascinating by the way):

Quote
Some have asserted that another passage in Paul's writings does, however, contain an unambiguous condemnation of homosexual persons as sinners.  The passage in question is a list: "Neither those given to harlotry nor idolators nor adulterers nor malakoi nor arsenokoitai nor thieves nor the greedy (pleonektai)- not the drunken or the abusive or the rapacious will inherit God's reign" (1 Cor. 6:9-10).  The interpretation of the two terms I have left untranslated here is the crux of the matter and has long provent troublesome.  Malakoi means, basically, "soft", and the King James Version translated it "effeminate."  Arsenokoitai is of uncertain meaning.  It contains within it basic elements referring to the male and to sexual itnercourse, and the King James translators, presumably relying on the guidance of etymology, used the peculiar phrase "abusers of themselves with mankind."  The original edition of the Revised Standard Version combined the two terms and translated them "homosexuals."  The second edition substituted "sexual perverts."

The difficulty is that arsenokoitai never appears in a passage that would give us a clear sense of how the term was used or exactly what it meant either to Paul or to Paul's audience.  There is no certain instance of it prior to the New Testament writings, and it occrs oly one other time in the New Testament itself--again in a list and this time without malakoi (1 Tim. 1:10).

Quote
Yet, in its one other appearance in the New Testament, arsenokoitai appears without malakoi and is associated rather with "those given to harlotry" and "kidnappers" (1 Tim. 1:10).

Quote
The result, it seems to me, is that the reference to arsenokoitai in 1 Corinthians is, regrettably, not helpful to us in the present connection.  Whatever we are going to learn of Paul's attitude towards homosexual behavior we must glean from the first chapter of Romans; and that, as we have seen, indicates that Paul regarded it as unclean but not therefore sinful.

(One of the alternate translations he offers for arsenokoitai is "male prostitutes".)
« Last Edit: October 21, 2014, 10:23:19 pm by Darkhawk »
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sailor

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2014, 10:34:10 pm »
Quote from: Valentine;163191
I'm agreeing, or commiserating, or whichever.  I know it's unusual!  But just chiming in, not disagreeing with you.

 
thanks.

Faemon

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2014, 05:45:53 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;163128
In lawmaking in general, why is the "morality" used considered the highest morality? Why is it a default?

Feel free to add any observations or questions of your own.

 
While I'm unsure how much this connects to the Bring Your Bible To School Day topic, I was reminded of this video that essentially makes an argument for secular humanism as the "highest" morality or at least... morality.



The bottom line being, morality eases the challenges of coexistence. Lawmaking is supposed to do that, too.

I'm no objective observer to pronounce what is the highest morality, but laws certainly have a huge, huge, huge effect, fines, trials, incarceration, and all that. That any society would be governed then subjects itself to a power, which can then be wielded for good or (as can only be seen in hindsight, outside of its own context) evil. Just being virtuous and not does nothing. It needs power to be executed, and laws as part of a governing body, have that.  

So, a society ought to do its best to make laws moral. Because how would it serve society for laws to be arbitrary or evil? How could that be sustained?

I mean, I suppose they would be evilly arbitrary, but that would only be seen outside of its context, by other cultures with different laws, or perhaps in hindsight after it's been broken out of its context by defeat in war or something. Not that might makes right, but might (power-plays, politicking, etcetera) is part of the feedback loop of governance and governed.
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