There are several theories that can account for why mankind can get "sidetracked" into evil. This issues as well as the origins of morality continue to be the one of the sticking points in the debate of whether religion is necessary in culture. However as easily as the idea of sin can account for people acting 'evil' or perhaps a less rhetorical adverb, selfishly, so too can a Darwinian explanation.That is not what I asked you. I asked if man got sidetracked, how would we be able to tell? You say moral progress is happening. I can see moral change. Some of it seems good. Some of it seems not so good. You seem to think it is all good. Is that a falsifiable claim? Could society go in wrong direction? If it did, would you know?
However I don't want to go down that road. Id really like to explore more of some of the original questions I posed. Do you indeed think slavery is ok? Or will you assert that I am somehow interpreting those verses wrong? I think it would take nothing less than, as you called it "bad exegesis" or eisegesis, to interpret it any other way.It would not be bad exegesis. It would be what we call, interpreting in the tradition of the church. We take the references to slavery in the bible to be cultural and not an endorsement of the institution. We do it because the Holy Spirit has led His church in that direction over the centuries. Catholics believe God's word is made up of scripture, tradition, and the magisterium rather than of scripture alone. So we have the light of what the church has said about slavery to help us the the right interpretation.
Do you believe that a task as casual as gathering sticks on a Sunday merits execution? Should a women be stoned to death if she is found to not be a virgin on the day of her wedding, Deuteronomy 22:20-21? There are other examples I could cite as well but for the sake of the argument Id like to keep the scope narrow enough to have some type of productive dialogue.With these texts you are talking about a different covenant. Salvation history is long and progressive. The means God used in the time of Moses are not the same means God uses now. Humanity has grown and does not require such harsh measures. We should rejoice that God was willing to work among us even in such a brutal time. If he didn't we would still be there rather than being so scandalized by how people lived back then.
Which brings me to my next point. And that is that open conversation, a humility in knowing that you indeed don't know everything, and the pursuit of truth are good things. Science vs religion aside, those ideals in a few short centuries have brought about the enlightenment of the 19th century and the industrial revolution 20th century, greatly improving the quality of life not just in westernized countries but throughout the world.Science has done some wonderful things in the last few centuries. Nobody wants to go back or even slow the progress. I am not sure what I said that gave you that idea.
Religion however doesn’t promote those things. It stifles the sort of investigative approach to the world that I alluded to one that again is unequivocally good and has led to nearly all of the progress made by humanity.priests and monks.
Its seems to me that your argument has put you and anyone else who argues for the bible in a corner. You seem to subscribe to Revealed Exegesis, or that the bible was inspired by the holy spirit. The other type of exegesis is Rational Exegesis, in which its believed the authors had their own inspiration and therefore are a product of their time and environment.
Personally I don’t see the difference between rational exegesis and exigesis. IM not even sure that there is such a think as true Exegesis to begin with. Its impossible to read something and not make some amount of subjective interpretation of it. Words aren’t written in absolutes. They always have and they always will fail to perfectly convey the near infinite complexity of human thought let along the complexity of the will of god. It is for that reason that I as a young child first started to question whether god would, could, or really did reveal himself to us through the bible or any other so called religious text.That is a good question to ask. The bible could not be the word of God if it was just left open to such a wide variety of interpretations. The answer is not that the bible is not the word of God. It is that there is guidance on how to interpret it. God guides the church over time to embrace right interpretations and reject wrong ones.
Even if you could then you are forced to commit to the now clearly ancient mores and beliefs some of which are clearly in contrast with what we call moral today. This type of thinking is homophobic, patriarchal, genocidal and in stark contrast to the loving message most try to take from religion. Again this is the reason for people subscribing to a more rational exegesis of the bible.We are not forced to commit to ancient mores. We believe God revelation progresses. There were major advances with the arrival of new covenants though Abraham, Moses, David and eventually Jesus. Beyond that there has been gradual growth in our understanding of God's word over time.
The problem here of course is you get people who take it too far, who can justify any cause with the bible.There is certainly a ton of disagreement about what the bible says about homosexuality. Are these legitimate new developments based on a deeper understanding or are these just errors? That is the question we turn to the church for. We recognize we are in the culture that is struggling with this and we and we are not immune from prejudice in either direction. We need God's help. His vehicle for helping us is the church. Through the bishops and the pope we can get one answer. It is not an easy answer but we don't expect God's word to be easy.
that article was written by walter wink who is a professor of biblical interpretation, and he says “the crux of the matter, It seems to me, quite simply is that the bible has no sexual ethic”. Or Ken Wilson the evangelical pastor who recently made a case for LGBT rights! Obviously we cant know what god wants for us if we allow people such free reign on what the bible is meaning to say. I am sure I could just as easily find another biblical doctor to find a quite different interpretation.
To quote Charles dawkins on the god of the old testament:Richard Dawkins has always been given to the irrational rant. It does show it is possible to interpret the bible this way. So what? The only ones that do are guys like Dawkins who are not taking it seriously anyway. The way Christians interpret the bible is very different and the Catholic notion of sacred tradition explains why that makes sense.
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully”
Most people have the luxury of ignoring much of this in the old testament, they advocate the loving showed by jesus. But if you truly want to take the bible at face value, and you reject as I am sure you do conclusions like Ken Wilson, and Walter Winks, aren’t you left to support this unequivacolly?I do not reject any of the Bible. It is all God's word. We don't take it all at face value, whatever that means. We take it for what was said by God and to whom it was said. Then we use the light of the rest of what God has said to make sense of it.