Religion is an initial circular argument.

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Jo's picture
@ Nyarlathotep

@ Nyarlathotep

Thank you for noticing.

Yes, I have heard of shibboleth. The tribe of Ephraim was fighting the tribes of Gilead. They distinguished between friend and foe by the way they (Ephraim) pronounced shibboleth. Ephraim was one of the twelve tribes of Israel, as were those from Gilead. Ephraim was one of Joseph's son. It was cousins fighting cousins. I don't see any racism there. Basically, Gilead was fighting the Ammonites and there was a dispute as to why Ephraim didn't come and help them. It is in Judges 12.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Jo - They distinguished

Jo - They distinguished between friend and foe by the way they (Ephraim) pronounced shibboleth... I don't see any racism there.

That is one way of putting it. Another way of putting it is (according to the mythology) they killed anyone who spoke with an accent. Over 40,000 people. Today we call that genocide/ethnic cleansing. That is pretty racist, imo.

Anyway, I don't really have a dog in this fight. I figure any written material that is 2000 years old is probably racist by today's standards. But on the topic of racist shit in the bible, the shibboleth story was the first thing that came to mind.

Jo's picture
During WWII the allies used

During WWII the allies used the same technique to ferret out axis soldiers disguised as allied soldiers. They would have them pronounce certain words, or ask them questions about sports or movie stars. The spies were typically executed. My point being that it wasn't racism or ethic cleansing in WWII.

I would suggest the possibility of projecting our time and culture onto a very different time and culture. Today we would call it ethnic cleansing, but is that what it was 3,000 years ago in a very different culture? They were cousins, so the same race and a very similar ethnicity. It was more of a very large family feud, that ended in a massacre.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Jo - They were cousins, so

Jo - They were cousins, so the same race and a very similar ethnicity.

So they kill 42,000 people, because they are a different ethnicity, by testing for their ethnicity by looking for language differences. I'm having a tough time imagining anything more racist.
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Jo - I would suggest the possibility of projecting our time and culture onto a very different time and culture...it was 3,000 years ago in a very different culture?

I couldn't agree more! But that is the death knell of objective morality. So can we assume you won't be making that standard claim here? The claim that has been made by literally 100's of theists who have come here in the last few years?

Jo's picture
@Nyarlothotep

@Nyarlothotep

Some points that I think help clarify the story.

The 42,000 killed seems to include those killed in battle, along with the escaping soldiers who were trying to cross back to their territory. It was not ethnic cleansing, it was only the soldiers trying to escape, that were killed using the pronunciation of shibboleth.

Those in the army of Ephraim were racially and ethnically very similar to those from Gilead. They were so similar, the only way they could tell them apart was in the way they pronounced a word. It would seem likely that it was another reason they were massacred other than what you suggest. I think that is born out by verses 1-4.

In my words, Ephraim was supposed to help Gilead fight the Ammonites. They did not, which put Gilead at a great risk of losing the battle. After the battle was over, Ephraim crossed over to Gilead's territory, then threatened and insulted them. So Gilead attacked and defeated them. As the remnant of the army of Ephraim was trying to escape, they were caught and executed. Some tried to blend in and they were identified by how they pronounced a word. It had to do with anger, insults, and betrayal, according the the evidence in the story.

My suggestion of projecting our culture onto other culture, was just to suggest that we can misunderstand other cultures motives. Not that morality is all relative. There is object morality.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Jo - My suggestion of

Jo - My suggestion of projecting our culture onto other culture, was just to suggest that we can misunderstand other cultures motives. Not that morality is all relative. There is object morality.

You have already set that ship a sail; making it impossible to take the claim of objective morality from you seriously. You can't appeal to to culture excuses for genocide, then appeal to objective morality and expect to be taken seriously. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Jo's picture
@ Nyarlothotep

@ Nyarlothotep

I did not appeal to cultural excuses for genocide. I did not say that we can excuse the "genocide" because it is a different cultures morality. I was trying to show the reasons were other than racial. I said the reasons for the massacre was anger over betrayal and threats.

Nyarlathotep's picture
@Jo

@Jo

It seems you now find yourself in the unenviable task of trying to rationalize a genocide on culture grounds, while rejecting cultural relativism. Are there no limits to the amount of double-think you will engage in, to defend the Iron Age fiction associated with your religion?

/e I've been watching believers blatantly prostitute their integrity in desperate gambits to protect their religion from criticism for decades. But it still sometimes comes as a shock to me when I see an otherwise reasonable person do it.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Jo - I would suggest the

Jo - I would suggest the possibility of projecting our time and culture onto a very different time and culture. Today we would call it ethnic cleansing, but is that what it was 3,000 years ago in a very different culture?

Wikipedia, Cultural relativism - is the idea that a person's beliefs, values, and practices should be understood based on that person's own culture, rather than be judged against the criteria of another.

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Jo - I did not appeal to cultural excuses...

Well it sure as hell seems like you did...

Nyarlathotep's picture
Jo - The 42,000 killed seems

Jo - The 42,000 killed seems to include those killed in battle, along with the escaping soldiers who were trying to cross back to their territory.

Well if we assume the soldier class constitutes 50% of the male population (that is already bending over backwards to give you the benefit of the doubt), and we assume every solider was in fact killed (another back bender): then more than 60% of those killed were from the civilian population. And remember this group of people were killed because they were differentiated from other groups by a language test.

If we accept this story as true: can anyone think of a better example of a (racist) genocide?

Jo's picture
@ Nyarlathotep

@ Nyarlathotep

Why can't we go by the reason given in the text? How do we know better than the ones involved? They said it was because of anger over betrayal, threats and insults.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Jo - They said it was because

Jo - They said it was because of anger over betrayal, threats and insults.

So not hiring someone because they are black is racist, but executing 10's of thousands of people along racial lines because you are angry at that group of people is not racist? You really believe that Jo?

Jo's picture
@ Nyarlathotep

@ Nyarlathotep

If someone is angry with a group of people for a reason other than their race, how can it be racism?

If two armies fight, and one eliminates the other, is it automatically racism? If they identify who is friend or foe by a uniform, a striped hat, one side has mustaches, would in be racism then? Why does it have to be racism? Are there lots of reason armies fight and people kill each other that have nothing to do with racism. How could of this story have been different, and it not be racism?

Nyarlathotep's picture
@Jo

Jo - If someone is angry with a group of people for a reason other than their race, how can it be racism?

You see, at least to me, if you divide people into groups based on race; then treat one group differently than another (exactly what this story describes); that is racism. And it is still racist, even after someone tries rationalizing what happened with excuses. But maybe that is just me.

Jo's picture
@ Nyarlothotep

@ Nyarlothotep

Who divided them into groups based on race? They are the same race. Who is treating one group differently?

Why did they fight? Why did one kill the other? Where does it say it was do to racism? The people involved give reasons other than racism.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Jo - Who divided them into

Jo - Who divided them into groups based on race?

You don't think killing people based on how they pronounce words is racist, and I do; I guess we just have to agree to disagree. Funny how subjective that morality is.
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Jo - The people involved give reasons other than racism.

Have you ever heard a racist explain why they did something? It seems they like to give reasons other than racism. Excuses that are just good enough to allow anyone who doesn't want to believe something was racist, to continue to believe that. Sound familiar?

LogicFTW's picture
@Jo

@Jo
Ever hear of the term "the victors write the history books?"

There is good reason to suspect written history by the victors. Especially back then when written history was so easy to control? They have a lot of motive at the time or some time later to write/edit it so they can control the narrative on their own religion/group to be the "good guys."

Regardless if there was racism or not, at least 42,000 people were slaughtered, (and that is A LOT back then.) Is it a stretch that people that long ago also while slaughtering all these people used racist or perhaps "accent'ist" tactics? Where they separated out and killed 1000's based on a detectable difference between people?

What is hilarious is you are trying to argue if a slaughter of 42,000 people was racist motivated or not. When in the end 42,000 got slaughtered as you put because of a "family feud." That alone should be a big fat hint that these are not kind and wise people and that the religious history is very bloody and caused much suffering.

 
 

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Please include @LogicFTW for responses to me
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Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Jo

@ Jo

I have already pointed out that some of Dio's views are batshit crazy. If you find other remarks racist or contrary to the rules here, then , report them to the moderators.
They will take action.

Who do we report the bible to?

Tin-Man's picture
...*excited voice*... Hey,

...*excited voice*... Hey, everybody, look what I found! Now we can ALL see things just like Jo does! Yay!... *clapping happily*...

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Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ TM

@ TM

See I told ya they were a thing! But noo, don't take my word for it, find the proof in some christian porn mag you picked up from the grocery store. Sheesh, I wonder why I spread my pearls of wisdom before you.

Anyhoo, I got two pairs now so we can see things the same way as Jo...hey wont it be fun to live our "lives in truth"?

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