Thou shall not kill?

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Thou shall not kill?

Postby Mr. Niceguy » Thu May 09, 2002 3:28 am

I got a question for any well informed Christians out there, why do so many Christians apply exceptions to the simple statement of "thou shall not kill." It doesnt say... except in self defence... except in war, and the majority of Christians I know beleave killing in self defence & war to be excusable.... is this supported by the bible or am i just crazy?
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Postby ben » Thu May 09, 2002 10:29 am

The line "thou shalt not kill" is one of the famous ten commandments (although there are in fact 613) found in what is commonly known as the Old Testament. It is not a Christian idea and so the question should really apply to any Jew as well as Christian.

There are a few answers to this. Firstly the cynical answer is that people are hypocrites and say they follow the bible but in fact break it when the situation suits them.

Another reason for Christians not following Old Testament Law is that Jesus (or rather Paul, Jesus' spin doctor) said that 'Law is Sin' and that it is impossible to follow a written law, and instead we must follow the law of our hearts. I'm not sure this directly allows killing but certainly the idea of laws set in stone could be contested.

The answer to your question lies in the 'Just War' debate put forward by St. Augustine many centuries ago. I don't have the information on me but I can try and dig some information up when i get home (currently at school avoiding my maths).
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Postby HVD » Thu May 09, 2002 8:10 pm

I wouldn't say that Paul was Jesus spin doctor, however he did twist most of what Jesus said, wiped his arse with the rest and created "teachings" out of thin air. Most of the oppressive stuff in Christianity comes not from Christ but from the Epistles of Paul. But yes, ben is right. Some are hypocritical. Others just go blindly where their leaders or holy men tell them. Others do honestly beilieve that there are loopholes.
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Postby thales » Fri May 10, 2002 12:13 am

interesting article in disinformation's you are being lied to by a well thought of historian-priest about the fallacy of jesus...apparently all the miracles were added to the gospels some hundred to two hundred years AD...after the bugga...also those dead sea scrolls are thought by some to be fakes...but i don't know about that..the film stigmata was pretty convincing as far as religio-doctrination went, i almost got re-baptised...
hehe...
notice how beLIEve is spelt...our unconscious has been telling us something for so long........
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Postby Mr_Oblivious » Fri May 24, 2002 2:51 am

Bible Quotes Phew!!!

I agree with thales - the bible is a document that lends its self to the chinese whispers idiology! Its been rewriiten so many times and there is no copywright so its messages are reinterpreted by every editor throughout the years. At this stage who can say what the original text said - and for that matter it was meant for the ideology of that time - which - i'm sorry to say is lost on us today!
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Postby Matt » Sat May 25, 2002 12:50 am

I'm sure I've read that the word virgin was just a mistranslation of the word young woman.
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Postby chloe » Sat May 25, 2002 1:01 am

i always thought that the quibble was to do with terminology.

the bible does not tell us "dont kill", which would mean not killing neone, but rather it tells us "dont murder", which i think just means killing in certain circumstances.
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thou shall not kill?

Postby sansh2o » Fri May 31, 2002 9:21 pm

Mr. Thinker,
there are a couple of places the ten commandments are noted. one is in deuteronomy 5. here the NIV says "you shall not murder" murder is the word in question. is it murder when the person is attempting to end your life? i don't think it is. another place the commandment is found is in exodus 20:13. here it also says"you shall not murder." again you have to probe deeper to see what it means to murder as opposed to kill. in addition to this, jesus teaches that "anyone who si angry with his brother will be subject to judgment." and paul restates jesus' previous teaching about the greatest commandment when he says in Romans 13:9-10 "the commandments, 'do not commit adultery,' 'do not murder,' 'do not steal,' do not covet,' and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: 'love your neighbor as yourself.' love does no harm to its neighbor. therefor love is the fulfilment of the law."
the question is then not a matter if murder is wrong, because clearly jesus would not want us to murder; but rather what is the difference between murder and killing a person.
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Postby thinkykid » Sat Jun 29, 2002 9:36 pm

some interesting thoughts. I thought I'd throw in a few more things to think about. The 'thou shalt not kill' commandment does concern murder, so I believe the question is about murder compared with killing.
I think that theology is an important topic whether or not you believe in god because, like history, it ties in with a lot in philosophy. So it's worth a deeper look (than Marx or Nietzsches opinions).
A lot of people have this view that the Old Testament manuscripts (along with the New) just got passed around like Chinese whispers. Fact is, if you know anything about ancient history, is that other documents from this time come out terribly as far as manuscripts are concerned.
The only reason we know anything about guys like Thales Anaxagoras, Protagoras, Socrates and Plato (to list a few...) is because someone wrote them down. Thing is that they did it a long time after it all happened (sometimes 1000's of yrs). So the same criteria should be applied to everything we know about early greek/roman,thought/history. How do we know any of these guys existed?

just trying to remind philosophers that ignorance is our only enemy. Those same arguments that are thrown at the OT/NT should also be thrown at everything that philosophers accept without problems (for the most part).

thoughts?
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Postby alex » Mon Jul 01, 2002 5:02 pm

You are entirely right and its a point that the poularist religion-criticisers should not ignore. I thought that Homer, the poet of The Illiad and The Odyssey was an actual man until I was told a few months ago that Homer just means Man in Greek and therefore the poem had been passed on orally for centuries - no one know who wrote it.

In my opinion the concept that the holy books are the word of God is ridiculous and in fact a historical/literary analysis of the OT and NT suggests this - the OT could roughly be divided into 4 parts all written by different authors, given that the style changes throughout and that things like the word for God is different in different parts. On top of that if Moses had been given the OT by God, he would have known the future of his people seeing as it is written down in that very book - therefore why would he then go and make the mistakes he did, given that he knew he would be punished if he did. It just doesn't fit - it would be like you being foretold the future of the world in so much detail and you then blindly doing what had been written down. I'm finding this hard to explain but hopefully you get what I mean.

HOWEVER, I believe that there is much of value in these texts and those people who deny this because they believe that religion is the cause of all the world's problems are in fact ignorant as fuck. Modern man's rejection of holy books is based on both arrogance and ignorance - we believe that we know more than out ancients. Nietzsche himself said that Aristotle was boring. So in short, I think we should become more humble with relation to these texts, like we are in relation to Classical texts.
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Postby Guest » Mon Jul 01, 2002 10:56 pm

I appreciated your point alex. I also believe that the theological theory that you referred to is called the "Documentary Hypotheses", or the JEDP theory. However, it doesn't seem to find much of a following anymore. I'm not sure what recent scholars are finding, but I might take a look...
On the subject of Moses, I believe that most conservative scholars credit Mosaic scholarship of the first 5 books (with the Moses' death detailed by Joshua) and liberal scholars hold that either a man named moses or several authors penned the first 5 books (or the Torah).
I agree that it would seem ridiculous that he would do all that after he already knew the future, and my only suggestion is that perhaps it was written down after the events. However, since you find it ridiculous that god would exist, one shouldn't expect you to make much sense of Moses and God.
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Postby alex » Tue Jul 02, 2002 12:57 pm

Thanks for the reply guest (whoa re you btw?). I will look up more on that theory that I was paraphrasing.

You wrote: "However, since you find it ridiculous that god would exist, one shouldn't expect you to make much sense of Moses and God." I do actually believe in a level of spirituality that I think othere people label God. So I do believe in a creator but I don't believe in an interventionist God that is always at our beck and call. My thoughts on the holy texts are that they were written by men but the similarites between them are fascinating. I read somewhere that there were around 70 different flood 'myths' from races and religions scatterred around the globe. Fascinating. People who dismiss it all amaze me though.
"Heard about the guy who fell off a skyscraper? On his way down past each floor, he kept saying to reassure himself: So far so good... so far so good... so far so good. How you fall doesn't matter. It's how you land!" - La Haine
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Postby thinkykid » Tue Jul 02, 2002 6:02 pm

(oops) the guest was me, I forget to sign in.
Yes, I might go and read some more on that theory myself. I am personally a theist, but am not proud of what the institution has done with christianity (past and present). Yes, I agree that the flood myths should receive perhaps more attention than they do, but most people prefer naturalistic explantions for their origins. yes, people easily throw matters like this out the window, but it shows their true colors.

a newer form of theology that has emerged has the name 'Open Theology'. I went to a seminar on it recently and found it quiet fascinating. The speaker reasoned that humans have libertarian freedom, and philosophically his concepts of a mono-theistic God were much more pluasible. It's really just a re-examination of the christian God, but with a heavy emphasis on philosophy, which is commonly what is ignored.
I shall detail a little more when I have time (if you are interested). for now.
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Postby agirl » Sat Jul 06, 2002 1:20 pm

thinkykid wrote:The only reason we know anything about guys like Thales Anaxagoras, Protagoras, Socrates and Plato (to list a few...) is because someone wrote them down. Thing is that they did it a long time after it all happened (sometimes 1000's of yrs). So the same criteria should be applied to everything we know about early greek/roman,thought/history. How do we know any of these guys existed?


this is somewhat off the point, but if you look at the Roman copies of Greek sculpture that are available to us when the original copies have been lost (including Lyssipios' sculpture of Sokrates, which made me think of it) then you can learn something of the form and pose of the statue, but not the fine delicacies that made it so amazing in the first place. perhaps the same is true with the bible, i assume the basics are correct, but there has to be something lacking in the transcription.
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Postby Freddie » Sat Jul 06, 2002 9:30 pm

The subject of the authenticity of the bible is one which makes it easy for a non-believer such as myself to criticise religious belief on the grounds that their teachings are not the way they were when first written and have lost a lot of meaning through translstions.One of the best examples of this is when the bible is written in ancient greek. I can't remember the exact details (so i appreciate this isn't that much use really) but my classics teacher (who translates from ancient greek) told me that in one the bible's first full collections of individual books, it was written in Greek. He then said that in this version Jesus' description is recorded in a tense of the greek language that implies two slightly, but rather fundamentally different meanings.I'm writing this entirely from memory so it's probably totally wrong and i encourage anyone to correct me, but it was something like jesus was described as being either "the substance of God" (or something along those lines), or it could also be interpreted as meaning that he was "much like God, or of a similar type".I can't stress enough how much of this is totally unfounded, but my point still remains: In one of the many translations, for example the ancient Greek/Latin transition, the translator had to make a decision that would have a huge influence over the following translations and consequentally influence religious belief. The fact that the translator (probably a scholar or monk of the dark ages) had his own influence over a book of such importance begs questions over the reliability of the bible as the word of God.

This does not bother Christians particularly. I can entirely understand why as well, they argue that the bible is the word of god no matter what because god has supreme power over all and the book has been 'allowed' to change in such a way due to His will. He would not let it change into anything other His holy word. This, to me, makes a lot of sense, but at the same time it also makes me a bit nervous.

I don't really know what point i'm trying to make here, i just thought it would be interesting. Its all a bit worrying though.

Again i welcome anyone who wants to correct me on the example i used, i'm sure there's loads of others.

Oh, and here's another question i'd like to throw in the mix for good measure:
How come the states in america that seem to be the most Christian and moral are in many cases, the ones who still have the death penalty, whereas a country like holland, which legalises many 'sinful' acts like prostitution, doesn't?
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Postby Guest » Sat Jul 06, 2002 10:43 pm

unless one can provide physical evidence (like manuscripts) to suggest that earlier copies of the texts are in fact different it makes no sense to say that all sorts of things are lost in the translation of any text. Anything following from that idea is just presumption.
To translate anything takes a lot of time, just because of the complexity of language. Does that mean that all translations aren't worth anything? We might as well throw philosophy out the window if we can't trust translations of older texts.
'Change' in any translation is inevitable, but that is part of the process. The messy part is not dealing with the physical texts themselves...because you can go and look at them (they're all over the world in universities)...it's interpreting them. That's where everyone disagrees. From philosophy, to theology, to literature.

in response to the question about america and holland. If anyone actually thinks that the US is a christian nation then I think christians are getting a bad rep. The real question is, without a christian ideal (in this case) what makes killing or murdering wrong?
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Postby agirl » Sun Jul 07, 2002 9:23 am

with translations of texts such as the odyssey, it is very clear just how much the texts change over the years with different translators, and no matter how accurate they are, there is always something lost, and although most translators attempt to reflect the original parts of the text such as puns etc, they're never the same in english as they were in the greek. i recently read a prose translation of the aenied, which defies the point somewhat, as it was intended to be a poem. translations are always lacking something that was apparant in the original text, and although the basic ideas are still there, which i think is the important part in philosophy, the use of the language is changed, which i feel can mar the text somewhat.

was that the classics teacher who's in a death metal band on weekends, freddie?
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Postby Freddie » Sun Jul 07, 2002 12:10 pm

yes louise, that very same one.I don't know how that reflects on him as an accurate source of information though.You've probably discredited everything i've written with that revelation;)

Guest, i don't think you've really understood what i said (probably because of my poor explanation) and it seems that you have made it into something that it isn't.My real point is that somewhere along the line someone has to make a decision about something that is so fundamental during the translation.I was only saying that it worries me that someone has the power to do this kind of thing.I'm not discrediting all translations.The fact that a modern copy of the bible written in Greek would contain the same kind of problems when compared to an English or Latin translation is the physical evidence needed to show this.I have no doubt that the bible is the way God wants it to be(that is, assuming that i am a christian, which i am not), i wasn't arguing any point against it's authenticity, simply expressing my interest in the way that it has developed, and the meanings that are lost.

Louise, i have also read a prose version of the Aeneid and the Odyssey and entirely agree with you.The only way to truly get an entirely authentic version is to study in Ancient Greek.Even the Homeric translations that are written and were kept in Alexandria are arguably unauthentic as i'm sure you know, with the last few books and the pretty shabby ending clearly not being the work of the man himself.I also read somewhere on this site that the Odyssey was written by loads of different scholars which i think is totally false (with the exception of the last few books). Homer was a blind poet who recited the Odyssey and the Iliad to a scholar who wrote it all down for him.I'm starting to notice that i'm dragging this topic in completely the wrong direction,I'll stop now. sorry guys.

Nausicaa is fit.Circe is a bit mental, but still fit.Calypso is a total nymphomaniac, but still fit.Helen is incredibly fit, but a bit of a dopey bitch.Penelope is old, boring and too clever. Odysseus would have been better off with Nausicaa.
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Postby agirl » Sun Jul 07, 2002 8:12 pm

i think that calypso is fitter then nausicaa, for a start she's a nymph, and they were all well sexy, odysseus says himself that penelope's no match for her, and that to compare a mortal to a god is just insulting (to the god). penelope's a bit dull, and i think that circe is fit too.

i'll get my coat, or rather my suitcase, as i'm leaving in 7 hours and 45 minutes. oh yeah.
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kill

Postby Youngman18 » Mon Jul 15, 2002 6:20 am

Kill what? an ant or another human?

It seems vague
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Postby BluTGI » Mon Jul 15, 2002 1:38 pm

"thou shalt not kill"

In its ORIGINAL translastion means thou shall not murder.
Do some research.
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