Episode 58 -- WWJD

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Episode 58 -- WWJD

Post  Admin on Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:10 am

Put your comments on Episode 58 here.
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Re: Episode 58 -- WWJD

Post  Neon Genesis on Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:06 pm

This is an interesting episode but I'm not sure I agree with the interpretations of the scriptures. One thing to take into account with the passage in Luke 19:27 is this is a later embellishment of the parable of the talents in Matthew and the passage about the slaying is missing in the earlier version in Matthew. So, the question then is does Luke 19:27 date back to Jesus or is that representing the beliefs of Luke? Also, the standard Christian apologist explanation I've heard for the hate your family verses is that the original Greek literally means to "love less." According to this answer, Jesus is not literally saying to hate your family but it's about your priorities. Like the idea I was taught when I was a Christian was like if you had converted to Christianity and your family hated you for doing it, you were supposed to stay true to your beliefs instead of conforming to your family, but I don't know Greek, so I don't know how accurate this translation is.

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Re: Episode 58 -- WWJD

Post  Brad on Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:16 am

About Corliss Lamont:
The surname is pronounced by the family, unless my memory is utterly unreliable, in the basic American style, pronouncing the "t" at the end.
I know that only because I was very privileged to meet Beth Lamont, Corliss Lamont's widow, a couple of times at humanist and secular functions in New York. She is an absolutely wonderful lady - I really regret that I wasn't able to get to know her more when I lived in NYC.

An interesting aside with connections to current news is that the Lamonts' grand-nephew, Ned Lamont, beat Joe "The Putzer" Lieberman in the 2004 Connecticut Democratic primary, at which point Lieberman decided to become an "independent," i.e., utterly narcissistic schmuck. Of course, Lieberman eventually won the general election, so that he could go on to back John McCain and now hold health care reform hostage.
If it were held today, Ned Lamont would very likely win the general election. But he's thinking of running for CT governor instead for some reason.
In the 2004 Senate race, much negative propaganda was generated from the fact that Ned's great uncle Corliss was a "Commie" and (again if I remember correctly) a founder of the ACLU, not to mention an atheist. Heaven forbid, as they say. So even a grand nephew of an atheist can't win an election, even in Connecticut, even when running against a world-class schlemiel and all-purpose sphincter. Shocked Mad
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And another thing...

Post  Brad on Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:34 pm

Youse doubtcasters' mention of the data about priests screwing with (literally or figuratively) females as much as males came to mind today when I read this blog entry by Nicholas Kristof:
http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/15/does-religion-oppress-women/#more-3713
Lawd have mercy... Shocked

P.S. - I'd love to see some discussion of the verses mentioned by Neon above and the various ways that those are commonly interpreted. I'm not very qualified to participate in that meself, though.
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Re: Episode 58 -- WWJD

Post  Neon Genesis on Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:20 am

The only thing that really bothers me about the term "Darwinism" is when creationists use it to imply that Darwinism is a religion and that we worship Darwin as our god. But I think that unless you're a scientist studying evolution, it's meaningless to be called an evolutionist or Darwinist. We don't have a special label for people who accept the theory of gravity, so why have one for evolution?

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Re: Episode 58 -- WWJD

Post  Lausten on Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:49 pm

One thing to take into account with the passage in Luke 19:27 is this is a later embellishment of the parable of the talents in Matthew and the passage about the slaying is missing in the earlier version in Matthew.

I know this thread is old, but I was on vacation, priorities you know, but it has been gnawing at me.

My beef is that it was referred to in the show as if Jesus said "I will kill them". This is a parable, in other words he is telling a story. Stories have good guys and bad guys. Certainly the Cohen brothers don't endorse all the bad things that people do in their movies, so why would you think that any words attributed to Jesus can be interpreted as directives? Yes I know that people pull words out all the time and claim that a phrase or two can sum up the entire Bible. I don't agree with that form of argument, and don't use the same logical fallacy when arguing against it.
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Re: Episode 58 -- WWJD

Post  gorgardard on Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:28 pm

People don't point to the Cohen brothers or the characters in their movies as a paragon of morality and virtues. The argument is made to point out the misconception that Jesus was tolerant and pacifistic.
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Re: Episode 58 -- WWJD

Post  snafu on Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:08 pm

The whole "kill them in front of me" phrase is the last bit of the parable. Jesus could have just been teaching his followers that harsh and ambitious people don't take kindly to people trying foil their plans to be the king. You can imagine him saying (or thinking) "read between the lines people". Jesus could have just been telling them a hard truth about the world in the ending of that story through analogy. He may have had noble intentions.

But if he was all good all knowing all powerful, why address the problem in this obtuse and limited way?
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Re: Episode 58 -- WWJD

Post  Neon Genesis on Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:01 am

The bible never actually says that Jesus was God in the flesh. This is a later doctrine that was invented by later Christians and voted on by the early church.

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Re: Episode 58 -- WWJD

Post  snafu on Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:13 am

Absolutely right neon. And there lies the answer to my "if" he was all powerful etc... ie. he wasn't. Thus the parable in its form.
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Re: Episode 58 -- WWJD

Post  Lausten on Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:50 am

And there lies the answer to my "if" he was all powerful etc... ie. he wasn't. Thus the parable in its form.

That is a separate issue. I agree, he wasn't. He (or whomever wrote those words) addressed the problem as best he or they could.

I was addressing the issue of did the Jesus of the Bible (whomever that was, whether he existed or not), say "bring them here and I will kill them". He did not say that. He told a story that had a mean character in it. That does NOT make him intolerant or prove he is not a pacifist.

You can easily make a case that Jesus was not an all powerful God or even some sort of incarnation. You can make a pretty good case that there was a belief that the world was coming to an end and the gospels are expressing that. Any attempts to make a case that the intended message was that slaves should be killed is very weak.
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Re: Episode 58 -- WWJD

Post  snafu on Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:15 pm

Lausten, I agree with you. The killing phrase was part of the story. It wasn't literally Jesus saying to bring over some people & have them killed in real life. You may have inadvertently missed my post where I said..

The whole "kill them in front of me" phrase is the last bit of the parable.
By that I was meaning to place the phrase within the story.


But it makes me wonder what the point of the parable was anyway. Growing up I was told it was all about being responsible with money and as a pep talk about the value of investing. If that is true, then why the final comment about revenge from the ambitous & ruthless ruler? A bit violent and unecesary don't you think? Maybe instead of money, the parable is about tough rulers, and how to stay alive around them, ie. don't cross them etc... which makes more sense, and places the comments about money as filler material to pad out the story.

I know one thing, if the story was actually meant to be about investing, I could think one up that doesn't include such violence in the finale. I imagine they were violent times, but telling such a story just promotes the culture of violence. Why couldn't the ruler lock them up, or make them slaves, or fine them some money.

Or even better, why have the ruthless ruler win at all? Why not have him become destitute in order to teach people that personal gain at the cost of others only creates enemies.? By doing none of this, the story fell in line with and therefore helped to reinforce the current violent culture of the time.
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Re: Episode 58 -- WWJD

Post  Lausten on Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:50 am

This is the best interpretation I have found.

http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/19982.htm

I haven't tried to verify all of the historical information, but the stuff about the usury laws was one of the first things to bother me about the more common interpretations heard today. Also, the fact that there are no other parables or passages that have a capitalist message, nowhere does the Bible say, "go use your money to make some more money". Another big one is, why would Jesus tell a story about himself where the main supporting character calls him a harsh man? An important part of Biblical interpretation that is often missed is timeline, that this story comes near the end of Jesus' teaching gives a strong indication that Jesus is talking about what is to come once he is dead.

In the comments on this episode, Jeremy argues that parables often start with "The Kingdom of God is like", this interpretation notes that this parable does NOT start with that. It is a parable, but it is about the world and what slaves (the people who Jesus would have been preaching to) were about to experience.

As a guy in a cube in the Information Services Dept, I see a lot of things about my organization before others do. I have not had to blow any whistles yet, but I have come pretty close, so I can relate to this interpretation.

Or even better, why have the ruthless ruler win at all? Why not have him become destitute in order to teach people that personal gain at the cost of others only creates enemies.? By doing none of this, the story fell in line with and therefore helped to reinforce the current violent culture of the time.

I guess because it is not a story intended to make you feel better. In the real world, it is often the people who exploit and harm others that do quite well. Sometimes justice prevails within their lifetime, like Bernie Madoff, but often it does not. I don't see how telling a story of a violent master reinforces the culture. To me it says, "this is how it is, you can be a good slave and get a pat on the head for it, or you can do what you think is right, and there are consequences for that." Other stories talk about getting your reward later, but in this life, it is not always easy and not always fair. Sorry, channelling my Uncle there, just trying to say what I think the parable is saying.
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Re: Episode 58 -- WWJD

Post  Lausten on Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:44 pm

Okay, a lack of response is difficult to interpret. Is everyone just too busy? Are we bored with this thread? Am I so far out in left field that is just not worth responding? Do you need more time to read the link? Others?

I would appreciate your feedback on this. I will put on my thickest skin in preparation for your responses. No long explanations needed, anything, don't make me beg.
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