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Thread: Why do many atheists throw bible passages at Christians

  1. Top | #21
    Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    The bible is what it is.

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    "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
    Jesus says

    You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." ³⁹But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
    Very strange contradiction in scripture.

    In common Christian lore the first passage means revenge, you hurt me I hurt you.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_for_an_eye

    "An eye for an eye" (Biblical Hebrew: עַ֚יִן תַּ֣חַת עַ֔יִן‎)[a] or the law of retaliation (Latin: lex talionis)[1] is the principle that a person who has injured another person is to be penalized to a similar degree, and the person inflicting such punishment should be the injured party. In softer interpretations, it means the victim receives the [estimated] value of the injury in compensation.[2] The intent behind the principle was to restrict compensation to the value of the loss.[1]
    In religion
    The principle was first referenced in the Code of Hammurabi, which predates the Hebrew bible. In the Hebrew Law, the "eye for eye" was to restrict compensation to the value of the loss. Thus, it might be better read 'only one eye for one eye'.[1] The idiomatic biblical phrase "an eye for an eye" in Exodus and Leviticus (עין תחת עין, ayin tachat ayin) literally means 'an eye under/(in place of) an eye' while a slightly different phrase (עַיִן בְּעַיִן שֵׁן בְּשֵׁן, literally "eye for an eye; tooth for a tooth") is used in another passage (Deuteronomy) in the context of possible reciprocal court sentences for failed false witnesses.[8][9][10] The passage in Leviticus states, "And a man who injures his countryman – as he has done, so it shall be done to him [namely,] fracture under/for fracture, eye under/for eye, tooth under/for tooth. Just as another person has received injury from him, so it will be given to him." (Lev. 24:19–21).[8] For an example of תחת being used in its regular sense of under, see Lev. 22:27 "A bull, sheep or goat, when it is born shall remain under its mother, and from the eighth day..."

    Judaism
    Isaac Kalimi explains that the "lex talionis was humanized by the Rabbis who interpreted "an eye for an eye" to mean reasonable pecuniary compensation. As in the case of the Babylonian 'lex talionis', ethical Judaism and humane Jewish jurisprudence replaces the peshat (literal meaning) of the written Torah.[11] Pasachoff and Littman point to the reinterpretation of the lex talionis as an example of the ability of Pharisaic Judaism to "adapt to changing social and intellectual ideas."[12]

  3. Top | #23
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Contextless quotes are inherently dodgy.
    An admonition requires no context. It is its own context. Don't do X. What context is necessary for you to not do X (other than doing X, of course, and now I want to trip).
    See, that is exactly how fundamentalists read the Bible. But again, I'm wondering whether matching their standard is really a game worth engaging in.

  4. Top | #24
    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Contextless quotes are inherently dodgy.
    An admonition requires no context. It is its own context. Don't do X. What context is necessary for you to not do X (other than doing X, of course, and now I want to trip).
    Oh, so when a parent tells their 6 year old child never talk to strangers....???

    Yeah, right. We never need context, do we?

    See Politesse, even us fundies can understand the concept of casuistic and apodictic context.
    Are you proud of me?

  5. Top | #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by repoman View Post
    There exists hypocrisy inherent in the bible even for followers who are trying. Also, hypocrisy of humans trying to game the system (against an omniscient god? but whatever..) and put on a good face while doing nasty stuff.

    Boredom and apathy to their supernatural claims will help break down their defenses better than anger.

    Attack them for being hypocrites and assholes and if you can help it NEVER mention the bible. It really means nothing at all, it is below mention for talking about what we as individuals will do as far as ethics and decisions. Give them no ground and no conversation. It is on its way to be utterly irrelevant.

    I don't want to concede that supernatural claims of the bible have ANY validity. Call them hypocritical followers and it may actually strengthen their faith. It is not logical but that is how people are


    Something like street epistemology seems like a better idea.

    Every motherfucker everywhere can be a hypocrite. Who fucking cares?

    This is a poor way to attack religion for specific types of people. In fact this method can itself be hypocritical especially if employed by a person who actually a shithead in their general actions. Of course lots of atheists are nice and above average in generosity and low in hypocrisy. But it still is there.



    This is just a general example of what I think atheists should avoid. If you are concerned about refugees you might get a short term boost by pointing out hypocrisy, but why give the religion any credence and airtime?

    Find non religious ways to talk about refugees.
    I agree that the use of Bible quotes in your example is destructive b/c it implies legitimacy in relying on the Bible as a source of knowledge or ethics.
    However, those who use such arguments likely place more value on the short term result of affecting the behavior/policies in question (e.g., immigration politics) than in reducing the influence of religion and it's long term impact. This, of course, is not at all unique for political activists to be myopic and employ methods that cause more general and long term harm to achieve a specific short term goal. Some who use such arguments may not really value reasoned discourse at all. Their lack of religious belief may be more a rejection of the ethics and politics inherent to any religion, then a rejection of faith based belief or authoritarian based systems. Thus, they may have no problem using any manipulative means needed, however undermining of reason, to achieve their goal.

    OTOH, I think there are plenty of ways for atheists to quote the Bible to serve positive functions that promote reason or at least promote positive ethics w/o giving legitimacy to the Bible as a valid source of knowledge or ethics. Pointing out internal contradictions within a text is a generally valid way highlight the lack of reliability of it's authors and therefore of the information contained. This doesn't imply that lack of contradiction would justify blind authoritarian deference to the authors, just that the presence of such contradictions undermine giving the text any weight at all, as it would with any text.

    I also think it's useful to point out that many aspect of the Bible (including their complete context) are incompatible with valuing rationality, democracy, human liberty, equality, and just basic empathy and decency toward others. Similar to contradictions making the Bible useless as a source of valid factual information, it's conflict with basic ethics make it useless as a source for ethical guidance.

    These types of quoting of the Bible differ from your example in that the quotes are being used to try and get people to act in accord with some Biblical quote, but rather to show that the Bible should never be used as a source of factual/historical or ethical information.
    Hard core believers won't be impacted by this or by anything, but I think it definitely impacts "moderate" believers who aren't committed to the Bible as divine truth but buy into the con that it's still a good book with some valid history and a moral guide.

  6. Top | #26
    Veteran Member Tigers!'s Avatar
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    Why do many atheists throw bible passages at Christians

    I've always thought it was because they had nothing else to do.
    NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

  7. Top | #27
    Veteran Member Tigers!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atheos View Post

    I have a life outside of TFT. There I get to be an asshole with impunity. Here I have volunteered to curtail the raging asshole within.
    Keep trying. Your progress is exemplary.
    NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

  8. Top | #28
    Senior Member remez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post

    Competing with one another to see who's hermeneutic can be the dodgiest.
    There is no interpretation involved in that passage. Jesus is admonishing, not offering a parable. Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
    Not exactly..... It is not telling you not to judge.......

    Matthew 7:1-5 New International Version (NIV)
    Judging Others

    7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
    .....it telling you how to judge. Get your own act together first AND THEN HELP your brother. Parable?

    Typical misinterpretation caused by cherry picking.

  9. Top | #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post

    Not exactly..... It is not telling you not to judge.......

    Matthew 7:1-5 New International Version (NIV)
    Judging Others

    7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
    .....it telling you how to judge. Get your own act together first AND THEN HELP your brother. Parable?

    Typical misinterpretation caused by cherry picking.
    Actually, there are numerous ways to interpret scripture. Christians often interpret it in different ways depending on the sect of Christianity they embrace. Nobody really knows what the original authors of these texts were trying to say, imo.

    I have no contempt for religion, but I do have contempt for those who use religion as a way to feel superior, as a way of judging others, or as something to inject into government or to use to persecute and condemn others. Religious mythology can be useful for some things and it's obviously important to some people. It can also be used to harm and hurt others.

    But, here's the thing. My neighbor told me that her aunt believes that atheists are given special powers from Satan to influence others. Am I, as an atheist who has always tried to serve and help others and be fair minded, not supposed to feel insulted by such nonsense? Since I don't personally know this aunt and since she is over 90 and does no direct harm on me, I took this with good humor. It made me laugh.

    But, what if all the local Christians believed that people like me were pawns of some supernatural being called Satan and all we did was negatively influence others? This might be why we atheists sometime throw out the Bible verses at Christians. It probably doesn't accomplish much, but it does allow us to speak our minds in a way that we can't always do safely in public. It does sometimes help us feel a little better about the hypocrisy of Christians. And, sometimes it even makes the most rigidly indoctrinated Christian think.

    And, sure it can be harmless fun to point out to people who take the Christian mythology too literally that their book is full of contradictions.

    Nice to see you here again, remez.

  10. Top | #30
    Contributor Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
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    "An eye for an eye and soon the whole world is blind."
    - Mahatmas Ghandi
    Cheerful Charlie

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