Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rubber souls

Not only can pushing the use of condoms increase the risk of AIDS; condoms are depressing too. Turns out there is evidence that so-called “safe sex” is bad for mental health.

Well gee whiz, that just can’t be right, can it?

Sure it can. After all, as “organic living” fanatics never tire of telling us, living in harmony with nature is the key to happiness. And there ain’t nothin’ more natural than “unprotected sex” – and the large families that result from it. No? (Cf. The Last Superstition, pp. 132-53)

To be sure, the “organic” crowd somehow never seems to draw this conclusion. Live organically! Go green! Go vegan! Be at peace with all living things! Oh, and chemically neutering yourself, wrapping your private parts in plastic before intercourse, and murdering your unborn offspring are all consistent with this.

Right. Got it.

Phony baloney indeed. Or as Someone once put it, “they strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.”

Addendum 8/20: In the combox below, reader Rodak asserts the now common view that the sin of Onan (Genesis 38: 9-10) had nothing to do with either contraception or masturbation. Like so much of what has become the conventional academic wisdom about the Bible, this is simply false. Interested readers are advised to check out this article by Fr. Brian Harrison for a defense of the traditional interpretation of the passage in question.

146 comments:

Crude said...

That's a rather good point about "organic" culture. I have a feeling that even those nativists who go off and form nudist colonies to get "back in touch with nature" or such don't leave the condoms out of the question.

I wonder if any self-described feminist author ever wrote a condemnation of contraception. I can see the angle of the reasoning right away, and yet...

Rodak said...

And there ain’t nothin’ more natural than “unprotected sex”

Just like there ain't nothin' more natural than famine, war, and plague--all of which result from human populations growing too large to be supported by the territory which they can peacably inhabit.
It's a matter of stewardship. The good shepherd knows better than to allow his flock to grow too large for the grazing land that he has available to him. He knows that he must limit the size of his flock to prevent this from happening. To remain fruitful, the vine must be pruned. Man does not live in a state of nature; that would be the beasts. Man shapes and controls his environment, as he was commanded to do by his Maker. There is nothing "fruitful" about a generation of sickly, starving children, or a population forced to make war on its neighbors in order to confiscate their resources.
Abstinence has been available since the dawn of time, and has never worked. It never will.
Although it's not possible to prove a negative, it stands to reason that reversible chemical sterilization has both prevented more potential abortions and allowed for more general prosperity at the family level than any other single factor.
I'm not saying that birth control doesn't have its downside. But its negatives--sexual promiscuity and STDs among them--are behavioral problems that are just as likely to be overcome by teaching morality and abstinence as is a too-high birthrate.

One Brow said...

It's a shame to see you engaging in such irresponsible sensationalism, Dr. Feser. The first article very clearly makes the argument that in Africa, when the only response is to push condoms, humans tend to engage in riskier behavior. Even the doubter recognizes the importance of condom use in other countries. It's much more rasonable to see this as an indicator for comprehensive sex education.

The second article discusses a strictly observational with no way to determine if there is a causal effect (as opposed to a hidden, liniing variable), and if so, which direction the cause proceeds in.

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOD!!!
I can't believe I found this article.

Mr. Feser, I have been dealing with this problem for years.
I don't mean to get too nasty with this post, but, with "self-pleasuring" I've always dealt with bouts of depression afterwards.
In high school I even went so far as to seek help from a psychologist. The psychologist told me that it was just subconscious guilt I was experiencing from having religious ideals placed on my at a young age. But the problem was, MY FAMILY WASN'T RELIGIOUS!.
Then she said, "well the culture around you also plays a big factor forcing those values on you".
I was even more lost because I hung out with a bunch of high school age guys that certainly weren't trying to find ways to up hold values of morality. We just didn't care about that stuff.
But here she was telling ME what clearly was causing me to feel this way.... but her assessment was all wrong.

Afterwards other people had told me, "you only feel that way because you just got done doing physical work.... and physical work depresses your body.... because it's demanding". But again.... I worked out regularly with weights. And I always felt better - emotionally. But not the same with this (self-pleasuring). After doing this I always felt emotionally depressed.

None of the "answers" gave me any insight into the problem. The one thing shoved into my head was this: "self-pleasuring" is right, your reaction is WRONG.
That just made me feel more depressed. And again.... I had no religious or spiritual or whatever direction one way or the other. I simply had no position on those topics. I really didn't care. It would be as if someone asked me my opinion on dust on the planet Mars.

Now with being married I having the same problem all over again. I get depressed afterwards. We use that form of protection mentioned. It's crazy I came across this post because this is exactly what I'm suffering with.

Anonymous said...

One Brow and Rodak,
Just to let you know. It's positions that you two seem to maintain that have kept me suffering for years.

You both seem like the types that would have to ME that it's MY problem. The same as the disconnected psychologists sitting across from me. Misdiagnosing for the simple sake of protecting something they thought was soooooooo damned important: sexual "freedom" to do whatever a person wishes.
You both disgust me because it's your attitudes that in the past made me feel like it was me that was wrong.


And you know what Rodak? It's when I stopped fooling around and being guided by that very temporary sexual desire and abstained that I actually had wonderful times with my wife.

You two are more fundamentalist than an evangelical Christian coming up to me at an airport to talk about Jesus. At least they are nice and try to see connected to what I'm going through.... not you two.
And One Brow, I looked at your blog.... you'd think someone like yourself who has a child with special needs would be a bit more considerate.... but I guess we can't all be guided and helped by the stuff we go through. And you're clearly an example of that.

Rodak said...

Stunned silence.

One Brow said...

Anonymous,

I'm sorry you had some bad experiences.

What position to you think I am taking here? I've been happily married for over 20 years. We don't need to use a condom because we are monogamous and I had a vasectomy.

I am glad you enjoy PVI more than masturbation, I do as well. However, the point is that the article presents no evidence concerning wether the condomless PVI is leading to increased "maturity", or the "maturity" means the condom is less required, or that there is some other factor influencing both that went unmeasured. YOu hear about this in any 100-level statistics class (hopefully).

Thanks for checking out my blog, feel free to comment there.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for lashing out, One Brow.

One Brow said...

Apology accepted, no worries. We all have our days. :)

Jack said...

some thoughts, Some of the great doctors of the Catholic Church were the last child in large families St Catherine of Sienna, St Therese ect ect
2nd Natural Family Planning is a licit option for Catholics who wish to 'manage' the size of their families without resorting to artifical contraception, also it supposedly leads to greater love, mutual understanding ect ect amongst couples.

3rdly for the Christians reading this why don't you trust God to provide the nessercary grace? perhaps you don't remember that the king of kings was born in a stable

Rodak said...

Yes, he was born in a stable, but only because Joseph failed to make reservations.
I don't see where your points address the global issue of limited resources and exponential population growth.

Dianelos Georgoudis said...

The BBC article pointed to simply notices that in the case of condoms too one observes the well known effect of “risk compensation”, i.e. the phenomenon that people who know they are using a safer means tend to therefore exhibit riskier behavior. The article mentions the case that people who use sun-block tend to expose themselves more to the sun. Similarly, people who drive safer cars tend to drive less carefully. Which of course does not mean that we shouldn’t build safer cars, or that we shouldn't educate people to use sun-block. Or that, similarly, we shouldn’t educate people to use condoms.

I enjoyed reading TLS even though I found that Feser’s defense of right-wing themes in it were a distraction at best and weakened the book’s case at worse. After all many people might reasonably think that if a philosophy based on Aristotelian/Thomist thought really has the absurd implications that Feser claims then this is sufficient ground to reject it. And given the world’s overpopulation and all the misery and destruction it causes to argue that unprotected sex and lack of family planning is a good idea is as absurd as it gets.

Anonymous said...

Rodak, I'm curious, have you heard or seen 'The Demographic Bomb' documentary?

Jack. said...

Dianelos Georgoudis

By right wing themes I assume you mean what Ed and I would call traditional morality, also so what if this is a result of drawring out the natural implications of A-T Philosophy ? I don't reject Gravitiy simply because I happen not to like the fact that it stops me from swimming through the atmosphere without the aid of a microlight.

Rodak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rodak said...

Rodak, I'm curious, have you heard or seen 'The Demographic Bomb' documentary?

No. Please, tell me about it.

I don't reject Gravitiy simply because I happen not to like the fact that it stops me from swimming through the atmosphere without the aid of a microlight.

And how does the stark fact of gravity (which renders it "unrejectable") necessarily entail a specific set of value judgments? How is "thou shalt" implicit in "it is" when "what goes up must come down" does not permit an act of choosing? How is the deployment of a microlight, therefore, less "sinful" than the use of a condom?
As life and death are both aspects of a single event, how is the use of a condom to postpone a life, more sinful than the use of an antibiotic to postpone death?

Jack said...

How is the deployment of a microlight, therefore, less "sinful" than the use of a condom?

Rodak

Because using a condom is frustrating the final cause of the sexual act which is procreation wheras deploying a microlight (brilliant things by the way) is simply augmenting the natural capacity to travel.

A better example would be riding a bike (also great) I am simply augmenting my ability to travel without doing anything contary to my nature/essence. (Ed am I using the correct terms?)

Now as a fidiest you probebly won't buy this so let me give you a scriptural reason, Onan was killed for frustrating the natural end of the sexual act i.e. procreation (by spilling his seed), and as a protestant you might be interested to know that Calvin, Luther and Zingulli all agreed with the Catholic Church on every aspect of sexual morality including contraception and masturbation. On the other hand scripture doesn't say anything about not riding horses, bycicles or flying dragons.

Rodak said...

I disagree about Onan. He was killed for not fulfilling his obligations to his brother, and thus to his clan or tribe.
Be that as it may, use of a condom doesn't render conception impossible, but only much less likely. It is ultimately the intent, then, rather than the physical fact of condom use that is reckoned to be a violation of "natural law."
Who is to say that conception is the exclusive and uniquely acceptable end of the intent to have sex? And if it is said to be that, why so? The odds are against conception resulting from any single sex act, with or without a condom. Once conception has occured a large percentage of the fertilized eggs (anywhere from 30% up to as high as 70% according to what I've read) do not "take" and result in a fetus.
If we are talking about "ensoulment at conception" as the rationale for referring to a fertilized egg as a "person," why does God, who counts the hairs on our heads, create souls only to have them immediately perish?
If the intent to have sex on any given occasion is for the physical pleasure of it, and the "togetherness" of it, why cannot that be the legitimate end of its occurence and the conception an "added benefit" should it occur?

Jack said...

"If the intent to have sex on any given occasion is for the physical pleasure of it, and the "togetherness" of it, why cannot that be the legitimate end of its occurence and the conception an "added benefit" should it occur?"

Rodak

Because that means that any sexual encounter including sinful ones e.g. buggery, fornication and adultery is ok.

Anonymous said...

Is Rodak the 24/7 security for this blog?

Rodak said...

No it doesn't. It just means that the teleology of sex is based on an arbitrary premise, as it the negative valuation of buggery.

Rodak said...

I.e., it means that "natural law" is merely positive law by another name.

Jack said...

Rodak

a) you really do tire me out sometimes, with friends like you who needs dawkins

b) you say "No it doesn't. It just means that the teleology of sex is based on an arbitrary premise" - well I could sy much the same thing about your idea that the "togetherness" is the purpose of sex. Firstly sexual relations are not always pleasurable - I know this from talking frankly to many couples, secondly on your view what the frack is the purpose of sperm and egg then? do they have a purpose?
Well yeah they do for conception to take place and the creation of new life , the intent of the sexual partners doesn't matter its what the bits were designed for that counts. Now becusae there is not chance at all of conception when buggery occurs it is objectively bad wheras normal sexual intercourse (assuming that contraceptives are not used) may result in conception, this by the way also why codoms ect are objectively bad as they frustrate the natural end of the sexual act.

Rodak said...

well I could sy much the same thing about your idea that the "togetherness" is the purpose of sex.

Of course you could. That's my point.

As I pointed out, and you ignore, the sex act results in a live birth only in a relatively small percentages of its occurences, even without birth control.

Animals masturbate. Animal have sex without any notion that it is connnected to procreation. They have sex because it is instinctual, because they are driven to it for physiological reasons, and because, presumably, it feels good to them, too.

Saying that it doesn't always bring pleasure is a red herring. I guarantee that it brings pleasure more often than it brings conception.

And you ignore the question of overpopulation and good stewardship completely.

Rodak said...

I am not, btw, arguing in favor of unchastity, fornication, masturbation, buggery, or unbridled lust of any kind. I am, rather, arguing in favor of birth control, whether inside or (unfortunately) outside of marriage, as an excellent tool for use in the responsible stewardship of the human environment, which man is commanded to tend.

Jack said...

Rodak

your point about the % of conceptions resulting in a live birth doesn't enter the equation at all, health and genentic factors may figure.

BTW I think it hillarious that you openly disent from the teachings of the protestasnt rebels on these issues, just another example of incoherence of protestantism. L:)

Rodak said...

It does not follow from the coherence of a set of propositions that those propositions reveal the truth. A complete and total fiction can display a flawless internal logic.
Your evident inability to counter any of my arguments, other than by reiterating a few dog-eared bits of rote learning which touch on my points obliquely, if at all, demonstrates the impotence of a dogmatism based on nothing more than unquestioning obeisance to an anachronistic temporal authority: you can't argue; you can only recite.

Jack said...

My inability to counter your arguments?, mate its you who has been unable to counter the awsome mind of St Thomas and his contempories (filtered of course through my uneloquont presentation), As for reciting rote learning; so what! I learned my times tables off by rote, it doesn't mean that 12X3 = 37. As for my last post I simply metioned that all of the protestant rebels rejected artifical contraception out of hand and your dissent from their position is hillarious (from a Catholic Perspective)
anyway where I am its 2am and i need to be off to bed, chow

Rodak said...

Ciao, indeed. Sticking one's tongue out while waggling the fingers with a thumb firmly planted in each ear does not constitute "argument" either. It is, however, an effective demonstration of attitude. G'nite. Sleep well.

Rodak said...

all of the protestant rebels rejected artifical contraception out of hand and your dissent from their position is hillarious (from a Catholic Perspective)

Yes? Well, here's a thought for the breakfast hour then: I would certainly be six kinds of a feckless hoople if I were to deride your anachronistic papist authority, only to offer up in his place an anachronistic prod authority of my own, now--wouldn't I?

BenYachov said...

RODAK writes:
>I disagree about Onan. He was killed for not fulfilling his obligations to his brother, and thus to his clan or tribe.

I reply: The problem with that interpretation is if you ACTUALLY READ the Torah it says if you refuse to sleep with your dead brother's wife & sire children off her the WORST that can happen to you is she may publicly spit on you & then take your shoes.

So it seems clear Onan was killed because he spilled his seed since refusing to sleep with your dead brother's wife did not merit the death penalty.

Artificial Birth control is clearly a sin. Deal with it.

BenYachov said...

>As I pointed out, and you ignore, the sex act results in a live birth only in a relatively small percentages of its occurences, even without birth control.

I reply: Accept there is nothing un-natural about this. God created the cycle & there is nothing un-natural or sinful about restricting sex to the non-fertal point in the cycle for grave reason.

>Animals masturbate. Animal have sex without any notion that it is connnected to procreation. They have sex because it is instinctual, because they are driven to it for physiological reasons, and because, presumably, it feels good to them, too.

I reply: Animals also eat their own young & sometimes role around in their own poop. Plus animals have mortal sensitive souls. They do not posses Immortal Rational Souls made in the Divine Image. Big moral & Metaphysical difference. So that's kinda like justifying murder because rocks might fall off of cliffs & sometimes kill people.

Hey falling Rocks are natural! So is Gravity! Nuff said.....

>Saying that it doesn't always bring pleasure is a red herring. I guarantee that it brings pleasure more often than it brings conception.

I reply: Pleasure is not it's Final Cause. Procreation is & there is nothing un-natural about having natural sex during the infertile time. Mutilating the body & mutilating the sex act with rubber & hormones is not natural by any consistent use of Natural Law.

>And you ignore the question of overpopulation and good stewardship completely.

I reply: You may not do evil so that good may come from it. Besides it's a red herring. Moi has been married about 15 years & I have only three children & never once did I have to use artifical birth control. NFP works just fine. It requires a little discipline but it is not to be confused with Rytheme which is not all that reliable.

Besides I know some lax Catholics who used the little rubber abominations. One once jokingly introduced his son to me as "Little Chief Broken Condom".

Nuff said.

Edward Feser said...

Re: the sin of Onan, see my addendum to the original post.

BenYachov said...

Thanks for the link Professor.

BTW big fan of TLS! It has lead me to Aristotle & has caused me to rethink my whole worldview on Philosophy, ID, Science & Theology in general. I also bought one of your other books Philosophy of the Mind.

Good stuff. Can't wait to read your upcoming book on Aquinas.

BTW Aquinas is my patron Saint.

Rodak said...

Who dies over the seed wasted by the nocturnal emissions of a celebrate priest? Clearly, it is not "wasted seed" per se that offends the Almighty.

Rodak said...

One once jokingly introduced his son to me as "Little Chief Broken Condom".

Precisely. As I already pointed out above, condoms only decrease the probability of conception. In this, they are no different than the "rhythm method" (I forget what the current terminology is) that is allowable, by the same kind of positive legal sophistry that on the opposite pole makes a wanker a dead man walking.

Rodak said...

Animals also eat their own young & sometimes role around in their own poop.

God actually caused a woman to eat her own baby in (Leviticus, I believe.) What is the Yachovian interpretation of that story? I forget what her sin was--idolatry, I think. I don't think it was rolling around in her own poop, but if I'm wrong, please correct me.
While we're at it, were Ananias and his wife struck dead for withholding part of their property from the church, or for lying about it? Is it ownership, or is it prevarication, that is analogous to choking the chicken? I'd say that with both Onan and with Ananias, it was the intent, not the means, for which the death sentence was enacted. Onan's intent was not to create a son that would not be his. Ananias' intent was to secret withhold stuff from the church. In each case, the intent was the sin; the means were incidental to those intentions.

Rodak said...

And before you opt for the choice that Ananias was struck dead for "lying to God," please be prepared to explain how a believer could think that he could lie to God. One might as well speak of a man refusing to get wet in a swimming pool.

Rodak said...

Fianlly, if it is the "spilling of seed" that makes Onan's act of Onanism a capital crime, on what grounds is female masturbation condemned? Or is feminine wankery perfectly licit?

Jack. said...

Benyachov

Just to second what you said mate about Ed's books (buying the complete works of aristotle nexxt week) ,also about the AD being your patron saint; i'm getting confirmed in november and I can't decide between the angelic doctor and the little flower, towering intellect or childlike faith choices choices.........

Rodak said...

Either Jesus Himself, or the early Christians, rescinded virtually all of the Jewish ritual purity laws, which, with regard to "the spilling of seed," would explain why there's even one man amongst us left standing; eh, boys?

Jack. said...

"Who dies over the seed wasted by the nocturnal emissions of a celebrate priest? Clearly, it is not "wasted seed" per se that offends the Almighty"

Two Things Rodak

1st you assume that God positavely wills nocturnal emissions of a celabate priest as Fr harrison points out (in the footnotes) from ancient times it has been regarded as a side effect of the fall and therefore is not sinful (as the priest has no control over it) God allows it to happen for some reason (as he allows evil to occur)

2nd Onans crime was that he wanted the pleasure of fracking tamar but frustrated the natural end of that pleasure which was conception. For the same reasons masturbation (male/female) is objectively sinful and I haven't even started on the lustful thoughts that often acompany such actions

3rdly do you really believe that you are as good a scripture scholer as Augastine and Aquinas ?

4thly from what I've witnessed of your behaviour on this blog, you have no interest in discussion but simply want to pontificate and show off, if this was my blog I'd block you but only Ed has that privalige here.

Rodak said...

That's absurd. Onan wanted nothing to do with Tamar. He was ordered to "go into her" for legalistic, tribal reasons and rebelled against that by refusing to father a child that would not legally be his.
If God just wanted to make "wasting seed" sinful, all He needed to do was pronounce a prohibition of it. Why the need for this complicated, ambiguous tale involving paternity laws, familial piety/responsibility, and the rest?
The orthodox interpretation of this tale reflects only the pathological prudishness of those who generated it.
So, you would block me? Apparently your idea of "discussion" is for one man to say "X, Y and Z" and for the chorus to chant "Yea and amen!"
I am proposing reasonable, but opposing views, based on the words of the text, to the orthodox position. And there is nothing original, or idiosyncratic about my argument. If that's out-of-bounds, so be it.

Rodak said...

God allows it to happen for some reason

And there you have the reason that I'm a fideist. Reason takes you so far in these questions, and then it fails you, and you have to throw up your hands and say "It's a mystery!" Thus, you arrive after much verbiage at the very spot where I started.

Rodak said...

Can anybody, as a f'rinstance, explain just what it means--in terms of reason--to say that the Virgin was taken bodily into heaven?

One Brow said...

I reply: The problem with that interpretation is if you ACTUALLY READ the Torah it says if you refuse to sleep with your dead brother's wife & sire children off her the WORST that can happen to you is she may publicly spit on you & then take your shoes.

That's well after Onan.

Re: the sin of Onan, see my addendum to the original post.

A chain of logic that relies on the Law being harsher than local customs prior to it, as opposed to less harsh, is not on a sound faoundation.

Jack. said...

"Reason takes you so far in these questions"

I agree that not every Christian doctrine can be proved by reason alone. E.G. I don't know the exact processes whereby Transubstatiation occurs, but it can be defended by reason i.e. Augastine andAquinas's thoughts on how the processions within the Trinity work.
But what we can do by reason (and I hope this clears things up) is to get to the point where it is reasonable to take the leap of faith; as Ed shows in his book the existence of an all-knowing, powerful,eternal, Good being i.e. God can be domonstrated by reason alone. Jesus then claims that he is God incarnate and that God consists of Three persons sharing one substance, after he's crucifixtion God raises Christ from the Dead therefore vindicating his claim to divinity, wallah it is perfectly resonable to to believe in the trinity even if our finite minds cannot understand it fully .

When fellow high school students (they were evangelical fidests) first shared the gospel with me, they essentialy said 'believe' without giving me any reason to whatsover, it was only in my first year of Collage that I realsied that Catholocism is only reasonable belief system.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to order the complete works of Aristotle and Plato.

Rodak said...

I totally endorse Plato. Aristotle, not so much. Btw: if you like Plato, you might enjoy reading Simone Weil.

Rodak said...

Lots of stuff about Simone Weil here.

BenYachov said...

>God actually caused a woman to eat her own baby in (Leviticus, I believe.)

I replty: Never happened. Unless you REALLY believe Jesus advocated self-mutilation(plucking out your eyes etc cutting off hands etc). Wow scratch a religious liberal find a fundamentalist.;-)

>While we're at it, were Ananias and his wife struck dead for withholding part of their property from the church, or for lying about it?

I reply: They lied to Divinely Inspired Apostles. Thus they lied DIRECTLY to God to his face. Big difference lying to the CEO of the Company vs. lying to a low-level manager. Big difference. Anyway this doesn't vindicate your rubbish interpretation of Onan.

>And before you opt for the choice that Ananias was struck dead for "lying to God," please be prepared to explain how a believer could think that he could lie to God. One might as well speak of a man refusing to get wet in a swimming pool.

I reply: It's the mystery of iniquity or as one Catholic Blogger puts it "Sin makes you stupid". The Israelites saw God miraculously smite the Eqyptians & YET THEY STILL built that dumb golden cow thingy. Don't ask me to explain willful stupidity against that even the Good Lord Himself contends in vain.

>Fianlly, if it is the "spilling of seed" that makes Onan's act of Onanism a capital crime, on what grounds is female masturbation condemned? Or is feminine wankery perfectly licit?

I reply: Illicit sex acts of that category would be classified as "Licentiousness". Willfully looking at someone with lust or willfully having sinful thoughts is a sin according to Jesus. That applies regardless of your ability to produce sperm or not.

>Who dies over the seed wasted by the nocturnal emissions of a celebrate priest?

I reply: What does that have to do with anything? That is not a willful sinful act. You are not thinking.

Onan spilled his seed. If he said "I anit touching that woman" & went to sleep in his own tent he would be alive. It's bloody obvious.

ONE BROW writes:
>That's well after Onan.

I reply: Well Sodom was destroyed & yet the Torah has the death penalty for Sodomy(not that it was ever really enforced, I'll grant that).

>A chain of logic that relies on the Law being harsher than local customs prior to it, as opposed to less harsh, is not on a sound faoundation.

I reply: That is only true if you believe Onan was punished for not siring children vs spilling his seed.

The Talmud & the Mishnah harshly condemn the willful spilling of sperm outside a woman during sex or appart from a woman for that matter. They equate it with murder, say those who do such things merit being drowned by God in a flood & state that those who spill their seed delay the coming of the Messiah.

So the ancient Jews had no concept of this modern liberal Protestant post 1930 view that Onan was merely guilty of not having full on sex with his dead brother's wife.

Those are the facts.

Rodak said...

Those are the facts.

An opinion, based one possible interpretation, is not a "fact."
The same people thought that God frequently required copious amounts of blood from the veins of spotless animals, too. When did He give up that need?

Rodak said...

They lied to Divinely Inspired Apostles. Thus they lied DIRECTLY to God to his face.

That is blasphemous.

BenYachov said...

>An opinion, based one possible interpretation, is not a "fact."
The same people thought that God frequently required copious amounts of blood from the veins of spotless animals, too. When did He give up that need?

I reply: The purpose behind animal sacrifice is clearly beyond your sophistication & knowledge in the area of Old Testament Theology. As is you understanding of ancient Near Eastern metaphors & gentries.

Still the logical problem here is you deny the existence of OBJECTIVE authoritative interpretation of Holy Writ. That's fine except then by your own self-defeating standard you CAN"T cite Holy Writ in favor of any of your questionable views since it too is merely "one possible interpretations" and thus you have no ground to declare God's True Church on Earth "wrong" in Her understanding & you "right". It's just your fallible interpretation against Her "fallible" one. No reason to prefer one over the other. OTOH if She is Infallible under certain circumstances then to prefer your interpretation over Hers makes about as much sense as preferring Satan's interpretation over Our Lord's(see the Temptation in the Wilderness in Matt & Luke for details).

Sorry old boy but that is just how it goes.

>That is blasphemous.

I reply: It's quite Biblical actually. Disrespecting God's chosen ones (i.e. Prophets, Judean Kings, Apostles etc) provoked the Divine Wrath & Justice. That is why David even though King Saul was acting in a wicked manner refused to kill Saul even though twice he had the perfect opportunity to do so. "Touch not my Chosen Ones sayith the LORD" "The LORD my God has delivered my Enemy into my hand but I will not touch God's Anointed One".

It was the moral equivalent of attacking God. If a mighty Archangel with a third of the host of Heaven behind Him can't pull that off what chance does flesh & blood have?

Nuff said.

Rodak said...

You are quite right that I don't believe "one size fits all" scriptural interpretation. I don't relate to Jesus through anything, whether it be a bible verse, an enchanted cracker, a priest, or an apostle, but directly, one-to-one, as a friend, in the spirit.
When I read the Bible, I must trust the Holy Spirit to provide me with a meaning that is meant for me, as I am at that time, and according to what my understanding lacks and needs at that time. But, we try to avoid falling into idolatry in Prostestant territory.

Rodak said...

All of that said, since your sophistication and knowledge so totally eclipses my own, why don't you take a crack at my earlier challenge to explain what it means to say that Mary was taken bodily into heaven. How is one to understand that? And how is it compatible with reason?

Rodak said...

I have just realized that when I wrote "whether it be a bible verse" above, I should have been more specific. Anticipating exactly how you would use that short-hand to brand me as inconsistent, based on what I wrote below it, let me modify it to read "whether it be an 'orthodox' interpretation of a bible verse."
Religion is utterly existential and all understanding completely subjective. The Kingdom is within us, and that is both where we can meet the Spirit, and where Satan can harm us.

Rodak said...

What does this mean--to you:

Matt.23:8

But don’t you be called ‘Rabbi,’ for one is your teacher, the Christ, and all of you are brothers. 23:9 Call no man on the earth your father, for one is your Father, he who is in heaven. 23:10 Neither be called masters, for one is your master, the Christ.

I'll wager that what it means to you--in your heart--is not identical to what you've been told it means by those who've (regardless) taught you to call them 'father,' or 'rabbi' in the sense of 'learned authority.'

The Canadian novelist, Robertson Davies, had a character in one of his novels say {I quote from memory): "The purpose of art is not beauty; the purpose of art is to butcher anything that coddles the mind." That is also the 'purpose' of true religion.

Frederic said...

Edward--I think the economy has a lot to do with it. People can't just follow a calm sequence in a sex dance with respect to who he or she is attracted to. In addition, sex is often forced. What are men and women running to prostitutes for? Or watching porno for? They think they have to satisfy erotic needs. The psychology of intimacy isn't in the average person. So, lust can and necessarily must be a sloppy business. To use a cliche, "who's counting"? If I want to enjoy the sex, I will enjoy. Brody isn't enlightening me about anything. Use birth control, if a condom has a dimmming effect. Lastly, a couple can think more about their sex games. Maybe there's other games to keep the fire burning.

BenYachov said...

Rodak,

You do realize Catholics don’t believe in the heresy of “Scripture Alone” right? First, because it contradicts the commandment to hold fast to Tradition (2 Thes 2:15), Second, the concept itself IS NOWHERE taught in Scripture (& thus it is judged false BY IT’S OWN standard). Third, Martin Luther & Whitcliff made up the concept so it is rightly condemned by the injunction in the Gospel of Matthew against following “Traditions of Men”.

So I really don’t need a scriptural verse to back up the Church’s teaching on the Assumption of Mary. Thought Rev 12 hints at the doctrine which historically can be traced threw the early Jerusalem Church.

>explain what it means to say that Mary was taken bodily into heaven.

I reply: I don’t know what is so hard about it? What happened to Elijah & Enoch in the OT happened to Mary in the NT. She was assumed into Heaven by God. Christ Accented into Heaven(meaning he went there under His own Divine Power) but Elijah, Enoch (maybe Moses too) & Mary had been taken there by God. It’s not hard.

>What does this mean--to you:

>Matt.23:8etc

I reply: It means Jesus was ragging on the Pharisees for using these titles yet they where plotting to kill him because of their foul jealousy & thus made themselves unworthy of being called either “Father” or “Teacher”. He was employing the typical Semitic Exaggeration similar to his instruction to “pluck out one’s eye or cut off one’s hand”. We know this is the case because if taken hyper-literally then St. Paul himself violates the hyper-literal interpretation because he refers to himself as “a Father” to believers because of the Gospel in his letters & James refers to the leaders of the Churches as “Teachers” in his letter.

Also it is kinda silly in that historically critics of Catholicism with Titles like “Doctor” Bart Brewer or “Dr.” Walter Martin will cite Matt 23:8 as a stick to hit Catholics with because of how we address our clergy yet they seem oblivious to the fact “Doctor” is from the Latin word for “Teacher”.

>Religion is utterly existential and all understanding completely subjective.

I reply: Thus the above concept is completely subjective & thus has no meaning outside of you.

Cheers.

Rodak said...

Thanks for the lively discussion!

Rodak said...

Btw, although this may be providing tmi, I've never used a condom. It would ruin the entire event for me.

Rodak said...

Oh--please indulge one last thought:

Second, the concept itself IS NOWHERE taught in Scripture (& thus it is judged false BY IT’S OWN standard).

No, it couldn't be, because 1) almost every person on earth was illiterate "in bibile days," and 2) prior to the printing press, nobody owned copies of the scriptures to personally consult.
But, man does not live by bread alone but by every word that issues from the mouth of God (as recorded in scripture.)

One Brow said...

ONE BROW writes:
>That's well after Onan.

I reply: Well Sodom was destroyed & yet the Torah has the death penalty for Sodomy(not that it was ever really enforced, I'll grant that).


The evidence that the primary sin of Sodom was sodomy is shaky. More to the point, that the Law would require consistent punishment on point A to previous customs is not evidence it requires consistent punishment on point B.

>A chain of logic that relies on the Law being harsher than local customs prior to it, as opposed to less harsh, is not on a sound faoundation.

I reply: That is only true if you believe Onan was punished for not siring children vs spilling his seed.


The foundation is unsound regardless of your individual belief.

The Talmud & the Mishnah harshly condemn ...

So the ancient Jews had no concept of ...

Those are the facts.


The Talmud/Mishnah were written, at a minimum, some thousand year after the story of Onan. I don't find them to be a reliable authority on what their religious ancestors believed a thousand years prior.

Neil Parille said...

Although hardly refuting Fr. Harrison's piece, it is interesting to note that his view of the Bible is probably considerably more conservative than the current (and previous) pope, judging from his and Msgr. McCarthey's articles.

http://www.rtforum.org/lt/

Crude said...

I happen to believe the 'masturbation' view of Onan's sin is the correct one. But regardless, it isn't the only way to arrive at the understanding that masturbation is either sinful/has negative aspects. The same goes for contraception in general, which I'd further agree the Church has the correct view of. Their case is made with scriptural, philosophical, theological, and even secular reasoning, and I find it damn compelling.

I'm also not a big fan of one particular pro-contraception argument I often hear, which basically amounts to "People can't be expected to have self-control, promoting self-control is practically a waste of time, so you may as well offer protection for what they're going to do anyway." Approaching humanity as "a bunch of creatures who can't be reasonable or reasoned with" shouldn't be done so cavalierly. (The argument of "There's nothing wrong with sexual pleasure, so encouraging self control is inane" just strikes me as funny, since one common reason it's trouble to get people to use condoms is due to it interfering with sexual pleasure. Family Guy has gone way downhill, but I recall the joke where the couple having sex in a car has their condom stolen from them, and in the midst of the moans the guy suddenly says "Oh, this is MUCH better.")

BenYachov said...

One Brow writes:
>The evidence that the primary sin of Sodom was sodomy is shaky.

I reply: Not relavent to my argument. Sodomy was clearly one of the sins(along with idolotry, oppressing the poor etc) of that city & the Torah later proscribed the Death penalty for it. But the same Torah proscribed being spat on & shoe stealing as the punishment for refusing to sleep with your dead brother's wife. No death penalty (let's not ignore Fr. Harrison's exegesis of the Text itself) so it is clear Onan was killed by God for spilling seed.

>More to the point, that the Law would require consistent punishment on point A to previous customs is not evidence it requires consistent punishment on point B.

I reply: Then you have no consistant principle to interpret scripture when you divorce it from history. Holy Writ then winds up meaning what you want it to mean & that reders it meaningless. This approch in the end winds up undercutting your interpretations as well.

>The foundation is unsound regardless of your individual belief.

I reply: But so far you have provided zero evidence for your assumptions or your deconstructionist claims. Shift the burden of proof much?

>The Talmud/Mishnah were written, at a minimum, some thousand year after the story of Onan. I don't find them to be a reliable authority on what their religious ancestors believed a thousand years prior.

I reply: Beg the question much? You so far have provided zero historical evidence the ancient Jews held the liberal interpretation on Onan.

The burden of proof is on you to show us the liberal interpretation of the story of Onan has historic foundation. It doesn't. But all Jewish sources (even those from hostile & rival schools Pharasees Vs Essenes Vs Saddusees etc)) unanimously hold it a sin for a man to willfully spill his seed & that God judged Onan for doing so.

Prove otherwise.

BenYachov said...

Rodak wrote:
>Oh--please indulge one last thought:

I reply: Of course.

>>Second, the concept itself IS NOWHERE taught in Scripture (& thus it is judged false BY IT’S OWN standard).

>No, it couldn't be, because 1) almost every person on earth was illiterate "in bibile days," and 2) prior to the printing press, nobody owned copies of the scriptures to personally consult.
But, man does not live by bread alone but by every word that issues from the mouth of God (as recorded in scripture.)

I reply: Scripture alone isn't the only bread. Tradition is as well so it would be part of "every word that issues from the mouth of God".

Your assuming "God's Word" applies only to either the Second Person of the Trinity or Holy Writ. There is no reason to make that assumption. It would apply to Tradition too.

For example:
"that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, ‘He shall be called a Nazarene.’" (Matt. 2:23). All commentators admit that the phrase "He shall be called a Nazarene" is not found anywhere in the Old Testament. Yet Matthew tells us that the Holy Family fulfilled this prophecy, which had been passed on "by the prophets."

That was an oral Tradition during the Time of Jesus which was God's Word. One of many.

Cheers.

BenYachov said...

>Although hardly refuting Fr. Harrison's piece, it is interesting to note that his view of the Bible is probably considerably more conservative than the current (and previous) pope, judging from his and Msgr. McCarthey's articles.

I reply: I would be the last person to assume his views on various topics are always correct. Also I have often suspected he may unconsciously still hold a fundamentalist mentality left over from his Protestant days.

But that having been said I would say the safest bet is to simply evaluate his specific arguments on specific topics & judge them on their merits.

His essay on Onan seems to be on the ball.

Rodak said...

I keep thinking that I am finished with this thread, but my reading keeps bringing me back to it:

the concept [sola scriptura] itself IS NOWHERE taught in Scripture (& thus it is judged false BY IT’S OWN standard).

John 5: [39] Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
[40] And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.


and

John 5: [46] For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
[47] But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?


Although this is not an instance of that, Jesus often taught in parables, because he wanted to leave it to each member of his audience to connect the dots for himself. I.e., he often taught the man to fish, rather than handing him a fish. In these verses from John, Jesus is saying that he (his Truth) is to be found in the scriptures. That is what we seek. He has shown you how and where to find it; you need to then find it on your own. Connect the dots.

But all Jewish sources (even those from hostile & rival schools Pharasees Vs Essenes Vs Saddusees etc)) unanimously hold it a sin for a man to willfully spill his seed

They show that it is a sin to willfully spill his seed for the purpose of denying a child to his brother's wife which would not legally be his own, thus fulfilling his familial obligation under the Law. Show us anywhere in scripture where the spilling of seed for the sake of its own little pleasure --i.e., disconnected from any larger sin--is condemned by death--or at all, for that matter.

Rodak said...

That was an oral Tradition during the Time of Jesus which was God's Word. One of many.

Jesus fulfilled the prophets. From that point on we have need only of the words of Christ. And we have the words of Christ in the New Testament. Along with His teaching throughout that we must find their meaning in our own hearts.
It is of historical interest that the Hebrew scriptures foretold His coming, of course; but once He had come, He spoke for Himself.

Neil Parille said...

Mr. Ben Yachov,

The Catholic Church, in rejecting a "fundamentalist" understanding of Scripture, would appear to reject the way Scripture was read in most of church history:

http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt121.html

Rodak said...

The parable of the talents can be read as a caution against slavish devotion to tradition. Tradition is represented by the weight of talents handed the to the worthless slave upon the master's departure. He buries it in the field, thus preserving it exactly as it was when the master departed. The good slave, however, takes his talents and puts them at risk. If he is as smart as he is enterprising;if he has learned his lessons well from observation of the master, he profits thereby. The worthless servant knows exactly where his talents are buried, and exactly how what they were worth when he buried them--2000 years ago, or 1500 years ago--but it profits him not.

Rodak said...

The overriding need of the conservative and the orthodox is to feel safe and secure. They want to have "it" once and for all. They bury "it" in the yard. But, as Jesus tells them, if they had read Moses innovatively, rather than according to tradition, they would have discovered Him therein. But they did not; and therefore rejected Him.
Jesus did not come to make them feel safe; He came to rock their world; He came to rip it up. And He said so, over and over and over again, and--unprofitable slaves that they were--they didn't hear Him.

Dean said...

At the time I post this, there are 73 replies (not including my own).
The last 7 posts gathered 79 responces, 46 were comments on Morton on ID. The 2 before are related 20 and 46 posts going back.

Out of these 10 posts the ones that seem to gather attention are comic books (44), ID (46) and anything that shows the holy sacrament of latex is has a downside (now 74).

One Brow said...

>More to the point, that the Law would require consistent punishment on point A to previous customs is not evidence it requires consistent punishment on point B.

I reply: Then you have no consistant principle to interpret scripture when you divorce it from history.


History does not require the same culture apply the same punishment for the same offense a few hunderd years apart. Your objection makes no sense to me.

>The foundation is unsound regardless of your individual belief.

I reply: But so far you have provided zero evidence for your assumptions or your deconstructionist claims. Shift the burden of proof much?


To which assumptions and claims do you refer? At this point, I was discussing the value of a train of logical reasoning, nothing else. There's no reason to think that cultural values were unchanged in the years between Onan and the Law, or that God had not out Onan particularly even though the general punishment was lesser in the Law. Certainly, the opinions of people more than a thousand years later are not the most reliable guide, either.

The Deuce said...

As is often the case, I am reading one of Ed's entries after it has been posted and racked up a ton of comments.

That's a disadvantage if you wanted to join the conversation. However, it has advantages too. Namely, you can really appreciate what a bunch of inconsistent sophists the liberal "Christians" are when you see all their responses together, in a way that you probably can't when you're responding one post at a time. Let's have a look-see:

Rodak 1: I disagree about Onan. He was killed for not fulfilling his obligations to his brother, and thus to his clan or tribe.

Rodak 2: Religion is utterly existential and all understanding completely subjective. The Kingdom is within us, and that is both where we can meet the Spirit, and where Satan can harm us.

So, in other words, Scripture has a clear, objective meaning for Rodak when he thinks he can cite it as an authority in support of his unorthodox view, or (contradictorily) when he thinks he can refer to some "embarrassing" passage to undermine the authority of Scripture altogether (such as his mistaken reference to God making a woman eat her baby).

But, when the passage he cited can be shown *not* to have been intended to mean what he thought it did, suddenly it's all "completely subjective" and everyone's interpretation is as good as everyone else's.

More goodies:

Rodak 1: That [the idea that lying to an apostle is tantamount to lying to God] is blasphemous.

Wow, such forthright moral clarity for an existentialist, fideistic, liberal deconstructionist like Rodak! How dare you even suggest blurring the hard, objective distinctions between man and God! Or not:

Rodak 2 (yes, same quote as above): Religion is utterly existential and all understanding completely subjective. The Kingdom is within us, and that is both where we can meet the Spirit, and where Satan can harm us.

Oooohhhhmmmmmmmmmmm.

And now we move on to One Brow.

One Brow 1: The Talmud/Mishnah were written, at a minimum, some thousand year after the story of Onan. I don't find them to be a reliable authority on what their religious ancestors believed a thousand years prior.

One Brow 2: The evidence that the primary sin of Sodom was sodomy is shaky.

Here we see the liberal "Christian" mind at work. If your argument against the orthodox view of Onan is that the Torah is simply wrong, then why bother trying to interpret it to mean what you want with regard to Sodom? Surely, if Scripture is simply mistaken and uninspired, then the correct conclusion to draw is that the story of God judging Sodom and Gomorrah simply didn't happen, and thus they weren't judged for any reason at all!

That's what's so annoying about liberal Christians. On the one hand, they don't believe the Christian Scriptures. Fine, neither do Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, etc. I can live with that.

But they can't simply disbelieve and be done with it like other unbelievers. No, they have this urge to present themselves as nominal "Christians" and to contort Scriptures that they don't even believe into all sorts of tortured, implausible interpretations.

I've got the same questions I had for the Heaven's Gate cult. Namely, given that you don't take our Scriptures as authoritative, and given that your beliefs are not based on them, why must you insist on annoying us by leeching off of them and contorting them to fit your own personal made-up religion?

If you really want a holy book to associate yourselves with, why not go and write your own instead of denigrating ours? It won't be any more subjective or non-authoritative than you believe ours to be.

Hell, it wouldn't even be hard! You could just write a page or two, and then use your magic powers of deconstructionist interpretation to make it say whatever you want at any given time.

Rodak said...

deuce 2 (dōōs, dyōōs)
n.
The devil: "Love is a bodily infirmity . . . which breaks out the deuce knows how or why" (Thackeray).

Yikes. Celebrity comments!

BenYachov said...

>History does not require the same culture apply the same punishment for the same offense a few hunderd years apart. Your objection makes no sense to me.

I reply: Maybe in civil law but the Torah isn't JUST CIVIL LAW. It's a religious moral code. Religions in case you haven't noticed DO HAVE CENTURIES LONG CONTINUITIES in terms of basic moral principles & dogmas.

As if the Vatican today doesn't believe the same as Nicaea on Christology.....

>To which assumptions and claims do you refer?

I reply: Your knee-jerk radical skepticism. I took a peek at your blog. Your a religious Skeptic. You doubt the reliability of Scriptures & religion in General.

>At this point, I was discussing the value of a train of logical reasoning, nothing else.

I reply: I am thinking in terms of scientific history. How do I know what an ancient people believed? So far I see a ton of historic evidence they had an negative view of the spilling of seed. You have not provided ANY counter evidence.

>There's no reason to think that cultural values were unchanged in the years between Onan and the Law,

I reply: It not a "cultural value" it is a moral principle. For example Thomas Aquinas believed "You can't do evil so that Good may come from it". If I take your "reasoning" seriously then I must conclude John Paul II (who upheld that teaching) didn't believe what Aquinas believed in regards to that moral principle because Aquinas was a t5housand years ago. Which is absurd.

>or that God had not out Onan particularly even though the general punishment was lesser in the Law.

I reply: So the fact that EVERY JEWISH WRITER everywhere in every geographic location condemns the spilling of seed as a grave sin is just a happy co-incidence? The Jews living at the Time of Onan or Moses didn't likely believe that?

Weird.

>Certainly, the opinions of people more than a thousand years later are not the most reliable guide, either.

I reply: You haven't actually READ the Mishnah or the Talmud now did you? Because they don't give the teaching on the spilling of seed as an Opinion but as Teaching they received from their Fathers before them.

Clueless.

BenYachov said...

Neil,

>http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt121.html

I reply: Did you actually read the article you cited because I did & I can see nothing of McCarthy accusing(your words)QUOTE"The Catholic Church of rejecting a "fundamentalist" understanding of Scripture, would appear to reject the way Scripture was read in most of church history".END QUOTE

All I see is him criticizing a document released by the British Bishops(i.e.THE GIFT OF SCRIPTURE) in 2006. This document according to McCarthy himself in very same essay QUOTE"is not a document of the Magisterium of the Church, but rather is only a statement of a commission of Catholic Scripture scholars who enjoy the confidence of the teaching authority of the Church, and whose opinion is opposed by other scholars in the Church."END QUOTE

My advice is to read more closely & not just skim the text. OTOH you also need a lot of background information on the Church's dogmatic teaching on the absolute Inerrancy of Scripture & it's condemnation of the heresy of Limited Inerrancy which sometimes implicitly rears it's ugly head.

BenYachov said...

Neil writes:
>his view of the Bible is probably considerably more conservative than the current (and previous) pope, judging from his and Msgr. McCarthey's articles.

I reply: I am now not certain McCarthy shares this view with you judging from the Last Footnote in the article you linked to...

QUOTE"Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, ex officio President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, in his Preface to the 1993 document, spoke about "new attempts to recover patristic exegesis and to include renewed forms of a spiritual interpretation of scripture." In fact, already in an article published in 1989 ("Biblical Interpretation in Crisis: On the Question of the Foundations and Approaches of Exegesis Today," in R. J. Neuhaus, ed., Biblical Interpretation in Crisis (William B. Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, 1989), Cardinal Ratzinger had called for "a better synthesis between historical and theological methods, between criticism and dogma" and for self-criticism by exegetes of the historical-critical method.

He said that errors made in biblical exegesis over the preceding century "have virtually become academic dogmas," especially due to the influence of Martin Dibelius and Rudolf Bultmann, whose "basic methodological approaches continue even today to determine the methods and procedures of modern exegesis," (ibid., p. 9) and he saw the urgent need to challenge the fundamental ideas of this method (ibid. pp. 10-16). The Cardinal pointed out that Bultmann the exegete "represents a background consensus of the scientific exegesis dominant today," even though Bultmann’s exegetical conclusions "are not the result of historical findings, but emerge from a framework of systematic presuppositions." And so the Cardinal called for "a new and thorough reflection on exegetical method," for which task "the great outlines of patristic and medieval thought must also be brought into the discussion" (ibid. pp. 21-23)."END QUOTE

I do agree with the Future Pope. Just as I reject a Fundamentalist Protestant approach to Holy Writ I have even less patience for a Fundamentalist blind obedience of some to Bultmann's personal dogmas.

Neil Parille said...

Having read a fair amount of the pope's writings, I would be quite surprised if held the traditional Catholic position on the dating, unity and historicity of the biblical books (e.g., Genesis was written by Moses and the opening chapters are historical).

One Brow said...

The Deuce said...

Some comments that made me laugh out loud.

Here we see the liberal "Christian" mind at work.

Who would that be?

If your argument against the orthodox view of Onan is that the Torah is simply wrong,

I don't recall offering a view that the Torah was wrong. What sort of religious mind are you an example of?

then why bother trying to interpret it to mean what you want with regard to Sodom?

I have no personal preference in the nature of the sin of Sodom. I was merely noting that it is interpreted differently by equally qualified people.

Surely, if Scripture is simply mistaken and uninspired, then the correct conclusion to draw is that the story of God judging Sodom and Gomorrah simply didn't happen, and thus they weren't judged for any reason at all!

Regardless of whether Sodom existed or not, was judged and destroyed or not, the story is in Genesis because the writers, whether they were God or not, decided that the story was important and meaningful. Since the Bible has an enormous cultural impact, I think pretty much any commentatior who so chooses had valid reasons for discussing teh account of Sodom. Your attempts to exclude via derision come acreoos as petulant.

No, they have this urge to present themselves as nominal "Christians" and to contort Scriptures that they don't even believe into all sorts of tortured, implausible interpretations.

You should really not be so annoyed simply because their tortured, implausible interpretations are different from your tortured, implausible interpretations.

... why must you insist on annoying us by leeching off of them and contorting them to fit your own personal made-up religion?

Why should your contortions be regarded as superior?

One Brow said...

I reply: Maybe in civil law but the Torah isn't JUST CIVIL LAW. It's a religious moral code. Religions in case you haven't noticed DO HAVE CENTURIES LONG CONTINUITIES in terms of basic moral principles & dogmas.

Written traditions, yes. Writing codifies a tradition and preserves it. That's why I meantioned the gap between when the Torah was written and the Talmud. The Talmud has an additional thousand years of oral traditions. Oral traditions, historically, have not maintained ceturies long continuities. The time between the account of Onan and the writing of the Law was as a time of oral tradition.

As if the Vatican today doesn't believe the same as Nicaea on Christology.....

Nicea produced a written dogma. The dogma before Nicea was in a great deal of flux for a couple of centuries.

I reply: Your knee-jerk radical skepticism. I took a peek at your blog. Your a religious Skeptic. You doubt the reliability of Scriptures & religion in General.

However, my discusion in this thread has not involved my religious beliefs at all, except that I don't believe in the magical transmission of oral tradition, unchanged.

I reply: I am thinking in terms of scientific history. How do I know what an ancient people believed? So far I see a ton of historic evidence they had an negative view of the spilling of seed. You have not provided ANY counter evidence.

I see the same historic evidence for a group of people 1000 years after the event was written, even longer after it occured. It's not contemporaneous evidence. It's worse evidence than asking me for the opinions of James Madison or Benjamin Franklin (I am closer to them chronologically and have access to written works by them).

I reply: It not a "cultural value" it is a moral principle.

It is a cultural interpretation of a morally unexplained action hundreds of years earlier.

For example Thomas Aquinas ... John Paul II

If John Paul II had only the oral traditions of Aquinas to reference, as opposed to the writings, that is exactly what I would say.

I reply: So the fact that EVERY JEWISH WRITER everywhere in every geographic location condemns the spilling of seed as a grave sin is just a happy co-incidence?

It is a later interpretation. Genesis does not specifically give the reason as spilling seed as opposed to continuing the birthright.

The Jews living at the Time of Onan or Moses didn't likely believe that?

I see no reliable evidence that they did or did not.

I reply: You haven't actually READ the Mishnah or the Talmud now did you? Because they don't give the teaching on the spilling of seed as an Opinion but as Teaching they received from their Fathers before them.

That was my presumption.

BenYachov said...

>You should really not be so annoyed simply because their tortured, implausible interpretations are different from your tortured, implausible interpretations.

I reply: Unless you are prepared to give a solid example of "tortured, implausible interpretations" of the Bible then this is nothing more than so much hot air like your posts on this topic to date.

>Written traditions, yes. Writing codifies a tradition and preserves it. That's why I mentioned the gap between when the Torah was written and the Talmud.

I reply: You are assuming without proof there where no written recording of the Oral traditions between the Torah & the Mishnah. Yet even the Tanakh itself records the existence of various other books now lost that existed during the interim gap (Like the Book of the Wars of the Lord comes to mind off the top of my head.).

Your implicit belief the Israelites wrote nothing down & preserved nothing between the writing of the Torah till the Mishnah is a stretch.

>The Talmud has an additional thousand years of oral traditions. Oral traditions, historically, have not maintained centuries long continuities. The time between the account of Onan and the writing of the Law was as a time of oral tradition.

I reply: Unless you can give a practical proof of this & show us how a tradition has been corrupted between the Time of Onan till the Time of the Mishnah then this is so much hot air.

>Nicea produced a written dogma. The dogma before Nicea was in a great deal of flux for a couple of centuries.

I reply: Nice dodge but what about after Nicea? According to your weird view the Vatican CANNOT with any certainty be said to hold the Nicean Christology since it was more than a thousand years ago.
Now naturally you would respond that people wrote down & preserved the teaching of Nicea up till the time of the Present but why then couldn't the correct understanding of Onan have been written down & preserved till the time of the Mishnah? We do have the internal testimony of the OT that there where extra-biblical writings in circulation during that 1000 year gap. So I find your skepticism unrealistic & I would think so even if it where found God did not exist & the Bible wasn't God's Word.

That is just common sense.

BenYachov said...

>However, my discusion in this thread has not involved my religious beliefs at all, except that I don't believe in the magical transmission of oral tradition, unchanged.

I reply: I don't have to invoke "magic". I just made an argument on natural grounds alone for the plausibility of the uncorrupted transmission of the Tradition of Onan.

>I see the same historic evidence for a group of people 1000 years after the event was written, even longer after it occured. It's not contemporaneous evidence.

I reply: It doesn't have to be. If Philo & the Hellenists in Eqypt, the Essenes in the Deserts of Judea, the Mishnah in Jerusalem & the Gemera from Babylon all had radically different understandings of Onan & the sin of spilling seed you could make a credible case the Tradition has been corrupted.

But if they all agree the willful spilling of seed is a sin then logically this view came from the same source & is in fact an uncorrupted tradition. This is the only logical conclusion regardless if God exists or not. Regardless if the Bible is God's Word or not.

>It is a cultural interpretation of a morally unexplained action hundreds of years earlier.

I reply: No it is a moral judgment of an action hundreds of years earlier. That seems obvious.

>If John Paul II had only the oral traditions of Aquinas to reference, as opposed to the writings, that is exactly what I would say.

I reply: I'll go you one better. If there was a FALLOUT 3 style Nuclear War that whipped out the evidence of previous civilization so that we only had John Paul II's writings left THAT STILL would not wipe out THE FACT John Paul II has transmitted the correct tradition of Aquinas' moral teaching. As I suspected all you are giving me here is a knee-jerk skepticism for it's own sake. Thus far you have given me no rational evidence that the Onan Tradition has been corrupted. Weird.

>It is a later interpretation. Genesis does not specifically give the reason as spilling seed as opposed to continuing the birthright.

I reply: Beg the question much? So post FALLOUT 3 John Paul II "invented" the Aquinian Maxium? Yeah sure pal. BTW FYI the whole of the TANAKH can be shown to teach Children are Solely a blessing from God. God is involved metaphysically in the Process of Conception so the condemnation of the spilling of seed is part of a whole & it is not a mere isolated accident of OT theology.

>I see no reliable evidence that they did or did not.

I reply: I see no reliable reason to doubt the Traditional Universal interpretation even assuming a purely naturalistic view.

>>You haven't actually READ the Mishnah or the Talmud now did you? Because they don't give the teaching on the spilling of seed as an Opinion but as Teaching they received from their Fathers before them.

>That was my presumption.

I reply: The problem is the use of the Term "Oral Tradition". It is "oral" in that is how God first transmitted it & it wasn't written down as inspired scripture. But that doesn't exclude any & all written recording of it.

OTOH the concept "It is a grave sin to willfully spill your seed" is basically simple. It's not a complex concept so even assuming a purely naturalist setting there is little reason to believe it would be subject to corruption.

I suggest you read Newman on the Development of Doctrine. A combox does not do this great subject justice.

One Brow said...

I reply: I don't have to invoke "magic". I just made an argument on natural grounds alone for the plausibility of the uncorrupted transmission of the Tradition of Onan.

I saw no argument at all for the plausibility, just an implicit assumption is was plausible.

If you really want to convince me this is plausible, name 3 other oral traditions where it happened.

I reply: It doesn't have to be. If Philo & the Hellenists in Eqypt, the Essenes in the Deserts of Judea, the Mishnah in Jerusalem & the Gemera from Babylon all had radically different understandings of Onan & the sin of spilling seed you could make a credible case the Tradition has been corrupted.

Even that only gets you back as far as the common source material for those groups, well under half-way back to the time of the writing of the account of Onan.

I reply: No it is a moral judgment of an action hundreds of years earlier. That seems obvious.

I agree it is that as well.

If there was a FALLOUT 3 style Nuclear War that whipped out the evidence of previous civilization so that we only had John Paul II's writings left THAT STILL would not wipe out THE FACT John Paul II has transmitted the correct tradition of Aquinas' moral teaching.

Of course not. The events after Jon Paul II's life dont change the materials he has access to.

As I suspected all you are giving me here is a knee-jerk skepticism for it's own sake. Thus far you have given me no rational evidence that the Onan Tradition has been corrupted. Weird.

Every other tradition I know of (various European traditions, a smattering of Asian ones) changed extensively even when only a couple hundred years had passed between writings. It's skepticism based upon what I know of oral traditions.

BTW FYI the whole of the TANAKH can be shown to teach

pretty much anything a person with sufficient imagination desires it to teach.

I reply: I see no reliable reason to doubt the Traditional Universal interpretation even assuming a purely naturalistic view.

You ever play Telephone?

I reply: The problem is the use of the Term "Oral Tradition". It is "oral" in that is how God first transmitted it & it wasn't written down as inspired scripture. But that doesn't exclude any & all written recording of it.

If yo have evidence of written forms for the traditions in the Talmud that occur hendreds of years earlier, I will of course revise my opinion.

OTOH the concept "It is a grave sin to willfully spill your seed" is basically simple. It's not a complex concept so even assuming a purely naturalist setting there is little reason to believe it would be subject to corruption.

You are assuming that because the end dogma was simple, the beginning dogma will be more likely to be faithful. IO don't thing he implication runs in that direction.

BenYachov said...

>I saw no argument at all for the plausibility, just an implicit assumption is was plausible.

I reply: What? I already gave an argument with my example from Nicea & Aquinas which you ignored.

>If you really want to convince me this is plausible, name 3 other oral traditions where it happened.

I reply: Why so you can ignore my arguments like I did with my example from Nicea & Aquinas? Move the goal posts much? Why do I have the feeling if I "gave three examples" you would simply turn around & demand four? I'm not interested in playing silly games. Clearly you are not serious here.

>Even that only gets you back as far as the common source material for those groups, well under half-way back to the time of the writing of the account of Onan.

I reply: So what? You have yet to offer any counter source material to show a radically different understanding of Onan. The simplist understanding here is the traditional one (which is universal & ancient) until you come up with solid counter evidence.


>Of course not. The events after Jon Paul II's life dont change the materials he has access to.

I reply: But the point is we would not have access to those materials & baring any counter evidence there would be no reason to assume he had not transmited the tradition of Aquinas.

>Every other tradition I know of (various European traditions, a smattering of Asian ones) changed extensively even when only a couple hundred years had passed between writings. It's skepticism based upon what I know of oral traditions.

I reply: Care to be more specific? It seems to me you are likely conflating mere folklore with the moral dogmas of a major monotheistic religion. Yeh that's not the same thing. Cinderella may have been originally a darker tale before Disney got a hold of it but fairytales & Legends have little to do with actual religion unless you hold to this amature Dawkinite view that there is no difference between the two? (Which I kind of suspect with your "tortured, implausible interpretations" blather to jack).

>pretty much anything a person with sufficient imagination desires it to teach.

I reply: So you reject the science of exegesis & the historical analysis of ancient texts? All documents have a purely relative meaning to you? Yet you deny being a liberal?...weird.

>If yo have evidence of written forms for the traditions in the Talmud that occur hendreds of years earlier, I will of course revise my opinion.

I reply: If you had any counter evidence(or even any knowlege of the subject area) you would have produced it by now. Baring any counter evidence the natural conclusion is the tradition is substancially the same.

>You are assuming that because the end dogma was simple, the beginning dogma will be more likely to be faithful. IO don't thing he implication runs in that direction.

I reply: A complex belief might be subject to alteration & coruption in a natural setting without a correcting mechanism. "Simple" OTOH has few parts to corrupt & is more fit to survive.

That is just evolution. What are you skeptical of that too?:-)

Rodak said...

The spilling of the seed, perpetrated by Onan, like the partial withholding of property, perpetrated by Ananias (and wife), is not, in itself, the crime. The crime is disobedience, compounded by cover-up. The spilling of seed is the means to wicked end.
You have yet to show even one other instance where the spilling of seed is condemned in scripture, uncompounded by reference to another (and greater) transgression. I don't think, otoh, that it would take you long to find other instances of transgressions based on issues of inheritance, filial piety, and responsibility to clan/tribe.
That this story was distorted at some point in antiquity so as to focus on one trivial aspect of the tale as it pertained to Jewish purity regulations that have never been in effect for non-Jews, is undeniable. But, so what? The spilling of seed per se happens naturally and universally and cannot in itself be a tragic or evil event. That masturbation has been used by the priestly cult to keep control of the laity through the insinuation of one more sin for which a priest is needed relative to its forgiveness is also undeniable. The math is pretty simple.
Again, point out any other supposed condemnation of seed-spilling in the entirety of scripture, where it stands alone as the obvious and only point of the verses.

One Brow said...

I reply: What? I already gave an argument with my example from Nicea & Aquinas which you ignored.

Surely you meant 'acknowledged' instead of 'ignored', since I noted that your point was valid, yet moot due to the difference between the traditions being oral and written.

Why do I have the feeling if I "gave three examples" you would simply turn around & demand four? I'm not interested in playing silly games. Clearly you are not serious here.

Actually, I would have been somewhat persuaded even by one, as long as the transmission was oral, not written.

The simplist understanding here is the traditional one (which is universal & ancient) until you come up with solid counter evidence.

I find 'Onan disobeyed and was killed for it' to be just as simple as 'Onan used the withdrawal method and was killed for it'. I'm not denying the universality nor age of the traditional interpretation, just saying that, despite its age, it is nowhere near contemporaneous to the account in question.

It seems to me you are likely conflating mere folklore with the moral dogmas of a major monotheistic religion.

Actually, I was thinking more of the alterations to the tals of the Greek gods, Norse pantheon, the life of the Buddha, etc., more than Cinderella. Stories about important religious figures, like the account of Onan. Now, if your interpretation of the moral message of Onan's tale were actually in the account itself, there would be no argument on this position. Failing that, all you have is oral transmission concerning a religious story, from what I can tell.

I reply: So you reject the science of exegesis & the historical analysis of ancient texts? All documents have a purely relative meaning to you? Yet you deny being a liberal?...weird.

If exegesis were a science, you would not see dogmatic schisms on core issues like eternal torment or the Trinity. I accept the results of historical analysis provisionally. I don't recall saying all documents have a purely relative meaning, nor do I recall denying that I am a liberal.

One Brow: You are assuming that because the end dogma was simple, the beginning dogma will be more likely to be faithful. IO don't thing he implication runs in that direction.

I reply: A complex belief might be subject to alteration & coruption in a natural setting without a correcting mechanism. "Simple" OTOH has few parts to corrupt & is more fit to survive.


I agree. However, this formulation starts with a simple dogma. The formulation you used ended with a simple dogma. An end-product simple dogma is not a god sign of reliable transmission.

BenYachov said...

>Surely you meant 'acknowledged' instead of 'ignored', since I noted that your point was valid, yet moot due to the difference between the traditions being oral and written.

I reply: Which I answered & you just ignored my answer. Like I said "Oral" traditions are written down. You did not interact with that. You merely ignored it.

>Actually, I would have been somewhat persuaded even by one, as long as the transmission was oral, not written.

I reply: First you have not proven Oral traditions are more subject to corruption then written ones & you assume nobody ever wrote down any traditions before the Mishnah. Which like I said contradicts the Bible's own internal evidence since it mentions many lost writings.

Consider before the 20th century the oldest Hebrew texts of the OT where the Masoretic Texts(about 10th century AD). Then some Arab dug up the Dead Sea scrolls which were more than a thousand years earlier (2nd century BC). In comparing Isaiah 53 Masoretic Vs Dead Sea of the 166 Hebrew words in Isaiah 53, only seventeen letters in Dead Sea Scroll 1QIsb differ from the Masoretic Text (Geisler and Nix, 1986, p. 382). 10 letters = spelling differences 4 letters = stylistic changes 3 letters = added word for “light” (vs. 11) yet of a 17 letter difference there was no doctrinal change.

Yet we are to believe the Traditional interpretation which where handed down did not survive but was made up later? So the Hebrews took great care to preserve their texts but not their traditional understanding of it? Like I said yours is kneejerk skepticism for it's own sake.

>I find 'Onan disobeyed and was killed for it' to be just as simple as 'Onan used the withdrawal method and was killed for it'.

I reply: Clearly you have not read Fr. Harrison's exegesis. That the "spilling of Seed" was the "wicked & abominal act" for which Onan(not to mention H'er son of Judah) is beyond question. Even divorced from the historical context.

>I'm not denying the universality nor age of the traditional interpretation, just saying that, despite its age, it is nowhere near contemporaneous to the account in question.

I reply: Which for the reasons I've stated & which you don't seem to seriously want to interact with is not an argument that the Traditional interpretation was not the original one.

>Actually, I was thinking more of the alterations to the tals of the Greek gods, Norse pantheon, the life of the Buddha, etc., more than Cinderella. Stories about important religious figures,

I reply: So I was right you are equating myths & Legends with the Old Testament monotheism(typical of the anti-intellectualism of Dawkians & Harris). You are making catagory mistakes & false comparisions. Also you are compairing "religious" figures that DO have contradictions within their own mythological sphere to a specific Tradition (in this case of Onan) which is UNIVERSALLY CONSISTANT across the board among radically geographically seperated & secterian divided Jews & are you are questioning it's validity under those remarkible circumstances.

Double Weird.

>like the account of Onan.

I reply: As we can see it is nothing like the account of Onan. Even if I where to deny the existence of God pure reason dictates the ancient hebrews ALWAYS believed it was a sin to spill seed. It a universal tradition among them. Like Prohibition of Alcohol for Muslims.

BenYachov said...

>Now, if your interpretation of the moral message of Onan's tale were actually in the account itself, there would be no argument on this position. Failing that, all you have is oral transmission concerning a religious story, from what I can tell.

I reply: Which betrays you have not in fact read Fr. Harrison's defense or even the Bible text in question. Yours is kneejerk skepticism for it's own sake.

QUOTE" (7) And H'er, the firstborn of Juda, was wicked in the sight of the Lord: and was slain by him. (8) Juda therefore said to Onan his son: Go in to thy brother's wife and marry her, that thou mayst raise seed to thy brother. (9) He, knowing that the children should not be his, when he went in to his brother's wife, spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his brother's name. (10) And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing."

In context it is clear H'er likely died for the same reason as Onan since they are linked.

Also as Fr. Harrison puts it "But why, in that case, does the text describe Onan's sin as a positive action ("he did a detestable thing")? Coming directly after the author has mentioned what is certainly an outward act (i.e., "spilling the seed"), these words in v. 10 plainly indicate a causal link between that sexual act as such and the wrath and punishment of God.".

If Onan's sin was merely NEGATIVE. That is refusing to give offspring to Tamar then why use the language of a positive action & link it with a certain act?


>If exegesis were a science,

I reply: It is a science. It has a long secular use in learning the meanings of ancient texts. My teachers in College talked about the exegesis of Homer. Nobody these days seriously believes in Zeus but we do wish to descern what Homer was likely saying in the Illiad.

>you would not see dogmatic schisms on core issues like eternal torment or the Trinity. I accept the results of historical analysis provisionally. I don't recall saying all documents have a purely relative meaning, nor do I recall denying that I am a liberal.

I reply: Ok so I conceed you haven't denied you are a liberal. My mistake. Also I would point out historically it was post reformation rebellion (which denies the authority of Tradition & preaches Scripture Alone privately intepreted) with dogmatic schisms on core issues like eternal torment or the Trinity. The early Church though not immune to schism Universally held God was a Trinity & Punishment was eternal. Teh Novelties of Arius & Origin were soundly rejected on the grounds of Tradition.

>I agree. However, this formulation starts with a simple dogma. The formulation you used ended with a simple dogma. An end-product simple dogma is not a god sign of reliable transmission.

I reply: You keep assuming (without proof BTW) the dogma that "it is a sin to spill one's seed" is a late feature of Judaism. Clearly the internal exegetical evidence of the text coupled with & the universal interpretation of it amoung early Jews show that the writer of the Torah believed it & it was always a belief of the Jews. The burden of proof IS ON YOU to show otherwise.

BenYachov said...

RODAK WRITES:
>The spilling of the seed, perpetrated by Onan, like the partial withholding of property, perpetrated by Ananias (and wife), is not, in itself, the crime.

I reply: Your confused. Ananias was killed because he lied to God the Holy Spirit threw the Apostles. If he simply said "I am keeping my own stuff" or "I'm only giving half" then I doubt anything would have happened to him. Just as if Onan said "I am not touching that woman" & went to bed he would be alive. After all Judah kept Shelah from marrying Tamar because his first two sons had to be jerkoffs(pun intended) & died. So you lost me here. Also nowhere does the Text show God commanding Onan to take Tamar as a wife(yeh I can use your false Sola Scriptura doctrine against you). So what about that?

>You have yet to show even one other instance where the spilling of seed is condemned in scripture, uncompounded by reference to another (and greater) transgression.

I reply: You mean like H'er, Onan's brother? Anyway I'm Catholic & I reject Sola Scriptura. It's not taught in Scripture (and BTW the verse you cited in the early thread at best speaks of the Authority of Scripture but nowhere claims it is the SOLE AUTHORITY). Denying Sola Scriptura is not the same as claiming the Bible has no authority. There are no verses in the Bible that change the Sabbath to Sunday. There is no Divinily Inspired list of what books are to make up the Bible found in the Book of Revelation. Also nowhere in the Story of Onan does God personally command anyone to marry Tamar. Plus only one verse command us to baptise "In the name of the Father, Son & Holy Ghost". So that means we can dispense with it because it's only mentioned once?
Like I said Sola Scriptura is false by it's OWN standards & it is not logical. We have Onan. That is enough. BTW where does the Bible teach your novel human tradition a moral doctrine has to be mentioned twice or more before it is binding?

>That this story was distorted at some point in antiquity so as to focus on one trivial aspect of the tale as it pertained to Jewish purity regulations that have never been in effect for non-Jews, is undeniable.

I reply; What is your authority to say the original interpretation was a distortion? Why should I accept your fallible opinion over the "fallible" one given to me by the Pope? OTOH if the Pope's interpretation is infallible then it is spiritual suicide to accept your view.

>But, so what? The spilling of seed per se happens naturally and universally and cannot in itself be a tragic or evil event. That masturbation has been used by the priestly cult to keep control of the laity through the insinuation of one more sin for which a priest is needed relative to its forgiveness is also undeniable. The math is pretty simple.

I reply: There is a moral difference between doing something by accident vs. doing something on purpose. I thought we covered this....

>Again, point out any other supposed condemnation of seed-spilling in the entirety of scripture, where it stands alone as the obvious and only point of the verses.

I reply: Show me where other than Matthew it commands us to Baptise in the Name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit? Because according to your own standard we should not listen to God & Baptise our Kids in this manner since it is only mentioned once.

Dude get real. It's Scripture & Tradition. Not Scripture alone.

Rodak said...

There is a moral difference between doing something by accident vs. doing something on purpose. I thought we covered this....

Yes, we covered it before; but you failed to grasp its significance. Onan's intent was not "O, boy! Now I'm gonna jerk-off!" No; Onan's intent was, "Now I'm going to go in to Tamar, and I'm going to 'have sex' with her, but I'm not going to risk making her pregnant and giving her a son that will be taken from me by the tribe." That was his intent and his sin. He went in to Tamar so that he could truthfully report that he had gone in to Tamar and had 'known' her. His lie is the reverse of Bill Clinton's lie with Monica. Where Clinton said "I never had sex with that woman" Onan said "I certainly had sex with that woman." When Bill Clinton stands before the Throne of Judgement, do you imagine that he will be asked first about his adultery, or about the stain on Monica's blue frock from the Gap?

As for sola scriptura, you go right ahead unquestioningly taking the word of other men as to what you must believe, and then regurgitate it for them when they flag the buzz words. Get your paternal pat on your (rendered useless) head. Feel real proud and good about yourself. Keep right on shirking your responsibility to think, even though Christ made that responsibility explicit in His teachings. Believe with all your heart that verse X has the same message for you as it has for Joe over there, because verse X is not the LIVING WORD, but rather a museum piece, the life of which was only in the past. It's your life, brother.

One Brow said...

I reply: Which I answered & you just ignored my answer. Like I said "Oral" traditions are written down. You did not interact with that. You merely ignored it.

No, my response was that, it you had any evidence the "Oral Tradition" was written down before the Talmud/Mishnah, I woud revise my opinion. Outside of accepting a bare assurance from you the writings existed, I don't see how my answer could have been more favorable to your notion.

I reply: First you have not proven Oral traditions are more subject to corruption then written ones

Really, that needs to be proven to you? Like I said, have you ever played Telephone? Have you ever played telephone by passing a written note instead of a spoken message? Do you really think the results will be the same?

& you assume nobody ever wrote down any traditions before the Mishnah.

No, I'm only saying I see no evidence they were written down.

Which like I said contradicts the Bible's own internal evidence since it mentions many lost writings.

I recall mentions of the annals of the kings of Judah and the like. I don't recall mentioning the writings of the oral tradition in the Bible. Do you have a verse for that?

Please don't think bringing up further examples of accurate written transmission will make a convincing argument for accurate oral transmission.

Yet we are to believe the Traditional interpretation which where handed down did not survive but was made up later?

I don't think that.

I reply: Clearly you have not read Fr. Harrison's exegesis.

I doubt it would make a difference, but if for some reason you can't present the core of the argument in here, and you link to it, I'll look it over.

I reply: So I was right you are equating myths & Legends with the Old Testament monotheism.

Old Testament monotheism is myths and legends, as well, to me. However, you told me earlier your argument was not going to be based on any supernatural preservation of oral traditon. Why should I think the natural transmission of oral traditions relating to Old Testament monotheism is of better quality than the natural transmission of the religious stories of other groups?

I reply: Which betrays you have not in fact read Fr. Harrison's defense or even the Bible text in question.

I've read enough to know that 38:9 mentions both an act and a motivation and 38:10 mentions the punishment without refering to act or motivation.

In context it is clear H'er likely died for the same reason as Onan since they are linked.

You use of both "clear" and "likely" betrays the fuzziness of your positon.

It is a science. It has a long secular use in learning the meanings of ancient texts. My teachers in College talked about the exegesis of Homer. Nobody these days seriously believes in Zeus but we do wish to descern what Homer was likely saying in the Illiad.

Not everything secular is science. Exegesis is an art, and it's use in the hands of objective practitioners does not resemble its use in the hands of people with a cause.

The early Church though not immune to schism Universally held God was a Trinity & Punishment was eternal. Teh Novelties of Arius & Origin were soundly rejected on the grounds of Tradition.

Rejected after the fact, but at the time Arius (and Origen before him) claimed their roots were in Tradition and Scripture, and each had their followers who accepted that. Meanwhile, the earlier authorites do not make clear statements on these positions, and can be interpreted in different ways.

You keep assuming (without proof BTW) the dogma that "it is a sin to spill one's seed" is a late feature of Judaism.

I don't consider the time of the Roman empire to be late in terms of Judaism.

BenYachov said...

>No, my response was that, it you had any evidence the "Oral Tradition" was written down before the Talmud/Mishnah, I woud revise my opinion.

I reply: Hello I pointed out the OT makes references to extra-biblical writings (like the Book of Wars of the LORD) as if that is not a reference to tradition. You keep dodging the argument. I guess you have no response.

>Outside of accepting a bare assurance from you the writings existed, I don't see how my answer could have been more favorable to your notion.

I reply: All you have done is make "bare assurances" along with a generious helping of Kneejerk skepticism. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. I'm not the one assuming oral Tradition isn't written down without proof. You are buddy.

>Really, that needs to be proven to you? Like I said, have you ever played Telephone? Have you ever played telephone by passing a written note instead of a spoken message? Do you really think the results will be the same?

I reply: So you are equating a children's game with the scientific analysis of History & the study of ancient texts & transmission of valuable wisdom? Well I see what level of intellectal rigor I'm really dealing with here.
Wow.

>I recall mentions of the annals of the kings of Judah and the like. I don't recall mentioning the writings of the oral tradition in the Bible. Do you have a verse for that?

I reply: If they where written in the Bible they wouldn't be Oral Tradition duh! But authoritative teachings FOUND OUTSIDE the scriptures that are religiously binding are by definition Tradition. The Annals of the Kings of Judah are Tradition. What are you some type of ex-Protestant turned skeptic who is still operating subconciously under a Sola Scriptura mentality or something? Because that would explain your ignorance.

>Please don't think bringing up further examples of accurate written transmission will make a convincing argument for accurate oral transmission.

I reply: No it is tradition you just cited. So it is Dogma for you that Oral Tradition is never written down? Sorry but that is wrong. Scripture is the Word of God. If Dr. Feser told me "Tell everyone to pack their bags & buy a ticket to the Philosopher's Confrence" & I relaying his Word said "Thus sayith Dr. Feser'Tell everyone to pack their bags etc'. I would be giving the Word of Dr. Feser. If OTOH I said "Hey guys Doc wants us to get tickets & pack for the Conference" I would be relaying his Voice not his Word. Tradition is the later example. Scripture is the former. It is the relay of the Voice of the past. Also anyone who takes that voice & writes it down even in their own words to further transmite it is takes part in the passing of his oral tradition.

I think the problem here is you have no concept of what is Tradition. Like I said you need to start reading Newman or you are just wasting my time.

>I doubt it would make a difference, but if for some reason you can't present the core of the argument in here, and you link to it, I'll look it over.

I reply: So you didn't even read the relavent information? Wow! So you are admiting to being uninformed. Double wow!

BenYachov said...

>Old Testament monotheism is myths and legends, as well, to me.

I reply: So are the teachings of Muhammad to me. But I would never foolishly claim Muhammad advocated the Drinking of Alcohol. There is a massive universal tradition to the contrary. I don't have to be a Muslim to see the obvious.

>However, you told me earlier your argument was not going to be based on any supernatural preservation of oral traditon. Why should I think the natural transmission of oral traditions relating to Old Testament monotheism is of better quality than the natural transmission of the religious stories of other groups?

I reply: I gave the example of the Dead Sea Scrolls Vs the Masoretic Texts & their accuracy. You really want me to believe they where meticulous in preserving their texts over 1200 years & NOT in transmitting the understanding of that text? Wow! Still I would admit without a supernatural component driving it some things will get lost & changed BUT something Universally held across the spectrum? I think not.
Spilling seed was a sin to the ancient Jews based on all available evidence & lacking ANY contrary evidence. Get over it.

>I've read enough to know that 38:9 mentions both an act and a motivation and 38:10 mentions the punishment without refering to act or motivation.

I reply: This is worst than listening to a young Earth Creationist with a 5th grade understanding of biology wax eloquent on how you can't threw selective breeding turn a mouse into an Elephant therefore evolution must false & about half as smart. Fr. Harrison drew his exegetical conclusions based on the Hebrew verbs & structure (it’s in his footnotes) not the English.
Oy vey!

BenYachov said...

>You use of both "clear" and "likely" betrays the fuzziness of your positon.

I reply: Hardly, I have enough knowledge & evidence to make that conclusion about H'er. You have nothing but kneejerk skepticism for it's own sake & self confessed ignorance.

>Not everything secular is science. Exegesis is an art, and it's use in the hands of objective practitioners does not resemble its use in the hands of people with a cause.

I reply: No it is a science & so far you have not provided any science to justify your skepticism. I can drink booze once in a long while, if the mood takes me, & if I’m not driving. I don't care if Muhammed says it's wrong. I don't believe God spoke to him. But I would be a fool to believe that that teaching didn't originate with him. If you don't believe God spoke to Moses fine. But it is clear based on the evidence the ancient Jews believed it was a sin to spill their seed. Get over it.

>Rejected after the fact, but at the time Arius (and Origen before him) claimed their roots were in Tradition and Scripture,

I reply: Actually Maximillian the Arian defender cited Scripture Alone for his authority & said we should follow scripture alone. If you want to claim Origin cited Apostolic Tradition(when it was in fact based on his interpretation of Platonism)for his weird view of Universal Salvation I'd love to see it. As for Arius he never made the case from Tradition but from Scripture alone.

Augustine reported that it was futile to appeal to tradition to the Arians since they rejected it's authority.

>and each had their followers who accepted that. Meanwhile, the earlier authorities do not make clear statements on these positions, and can be interpreted in different ways.

I reply: Well I'm Catholic so I believe in a Living Church with indefectible authority. Breaking from that authority makes you a schismatic but even those groups who did (like the Monophysites & Nestorians) accept the Trinity & the Eternal nature of Hell because they held to Tradition in that respect.

>I don't consider the time of the Roman empire to be late in terms of Judaism.

I reply: You still haven't given any counter evidence to lead us to believe Onanism wasn't always since the beginning seen as a sin. Until you do you can believe whatever nonsense you want but it is clear you have no rational basis for it. Just skepticism for it’s own sake.

BenYachov said...

RADAK writes:
>As for sola scriptura, you go right ahead unquestioningly taking the word of other men as to what you must believe, and then regurgitate it for them when they flag the buzz words.

I reply: The problem is Sola Scriptura is "unquestioningly taking the word of other men as to what you must believe".
OTOH Following Tradition (2 thes 2:15) & church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim 3:15) is the opposite of that.

Rodak said...

The problem is Sola Scriptura is "unquestioningly taking the word of other men as to what you must believe".

Not so. Sola scriptura is concerned not with what you must believe; rather it is concerned with by what means one must come to belief.
To which "other men" do you refer above? Other men may talk and one may listen. If what those individuals say is not in conflict with what one has made his own through prayerful study of the scriptures, then one knows that those individuals are in possession of a measure of wisdom.
Otherwise, one tries to teach not the meaning, but the method.

One Brow said...

BenYachov,

A lot of what you are posting seems like pointless confrontation on positions I did not assume. I don't see the point of that.

You keep dodging the argument. I guess you have no response.

You keep saying 'dodge' after I specifically note and address your arguments. That is not an honest tactic.

Do you have any evidence that one of these extra-Scriptural books contains significant pieces of the oral tradition, or is it just speculaiton?

I'm not the one assuming oral Tradition isn't written down without proof.

Nor am I, and I am open to any evidence you have.

So you are equating a children's game with the scientific analysis of History & the study of ancient texts & transmission of valuable wisdom?

No, but so far you have provided no scientific analysis, so I am extrpolating from the information I have available (the transmission of various religious traditions, the child's game). Do you have something better to offer regarding the accurate transmission of thos oral tradition, and why it is of superior quality, or do you not?

The Annals of the Kings of Judah are Tradition.

Certainly, but we don't have them, nor any evidence they contained the oral tradtion regarding the interpretation of the Law recorded in the Talmud/Mishnah.

What are you some type of ex-Protestant

Ex-Catholic, actually.

So it is Dogma for you that Oral Tradition is never written down?

As far as I am concerned, it is an open question until I see evidence one way or the other. Have any?

I think the problem here is you have no concept of what is Tradition.

I think the problem here is that you want to claim exceptional results for a specific tradition without claiming supernatural intervention.

Like I said you need to start reading Newman or you are just wasting my time.

I have no objection to you ceasing to respond to my posts, if you feel your time is being wasted.

One Brow said...

So you didn't even read the relavent information? Wow! So you are admiting to being uninformed. Double wow!

I read the link offered, but it made such a bad impression on me I forget I had. I just reread it.

I've admitted to being uninformed the entire time, and have been asking you for information. You just noticed that?

But I would never foolishly claim Muhammad advocated the Drinking of Alcohol.

There is also the clear, written message by the men less than 100 years removed Mohammed, IIRC. We don't have that for the tale of Onan.

I reply: I gave the example of the Dead Sea Scrolls Vs the Masoretic Texts & their accuracy.

Written traditions.

You really want me to believe they where meticulous in preserving their texts over 1200 years & NOT in transmitting the understanding of that text?

Regardless of intent, humans don't have the ability for that precise a level of oral transmission.

Fr. Harrison drew his exegetical conclusions based on the Hebrew verbs & structure (it’s in his footnotes) not the English.

Having seen exegesis on the same Hebrew/Greek verbs, nouns, grammar, structure, etc. be used to show contradictory ends, that Fr. Harrison would be able to derive a result he agreed with anyhow does not tell me the message in more in the passage than in Fr. Harrison. However, in rereading the article, Fr. Harrison referenced the Hebrew only to claim the sin was something Onan did. It's not convincing.

I reply: No it is a science

With that I will simply register my disagreement. I doubt you can be convined otherwise.

I reply: Actually Maximillian the Arian defender

Who was not Arius, and whose thoughts don't necessarily reflect those of Arius.

As for Arius he never made the case from Tradition but from Scripture alone.

The historical accounts of Arius I have read, ijncluding those written by Trinitarians, talk about his reliance on older traditions of the Church as well as Scripture.

You still haven't given any counter evidence...

Nope. I'm just saying their is room for different interpretations.

BenYachov said...

>A lot of what you are posting seems like pointless confrontation on positions I did not assume. I don't see the point of that.

I reply: I don't see the point in you flouting your colossal ignorance of the topic either or in you being so confrontational.

>You keep saying 'dodge' after I specifically note and address your arguments. That is not an honest tactic.

I reply: I deny you have addressed my arguments at all & maintain you have clearly dodged & tried to shift the burden of proof. Your "responses" have been superficial & foolish.

>Do you have any evidence that one of these extra-Scriptural books contains significant pieces of the oral tradition, or is it just speculaiton?

I reply: I have shown the plausibility of a connection between the time of Onan & the time of the Mishnah. You OTOH have offered no counter evidence for a non-Traditional understanding of Onan. You have no case. The early Jews clearly believed it was a sin to spill one's seed. Get over it.

>Nor am I, and I am open to any evidence you have.

I reply: So far your tactic has been to doubt all evidence to the N'th degree & offer no counter evidence & ignore my arguments & refuse to interact with them. It is becoming tedious.

>No, but so far you have provided no scientific analysis, so I am extrpolating from the information I have available (the transmission of various religious traditions, the child's game).

I reply: Rather you are too proud to admit you know nothing about the scientific study of history so you have applied invalid forms of analysis. Sure in a the child's game of telephone you can garble the message but I challenge you to talk to any black person who attended the Presidential Inauguration & see if they all garble his message so that it is unrecognizable to what the President actually said. The message of the first black president is naturally going to be something of great importance especially to black people. A child's game is not.
Your cheap sophistry is a poor substitute for actual argument.

>Do you have something better to offer regarding the accurate transmission of thos oral tradition, and why it is of superior quality, or do you not?

I reply: I have recommend Newman & I could recommend David Herzog & yet you are clearly too lazy to do any legwork but are content to rely solely on your irrational kneejerk skepticism without foundation.

>Certainly, but we don't have them, nor any evidence they contained the oral tradtion regarding the interpretation of the Law recorded in the Talmud/Mishnah.

I reply: We have evidence of accurate transmission of material from longer than a thousand years (such as I gave with the comparison of the Dead Sea Scrolls & the Masoretic text) & in regards to the Mishnah it is misleading to imply the material contained in it existed no earlier thant the 2nd or third century. It was during this time that it was REDACTED not produced. Many scholar believe it was transmitted from older material.

BenYachov said...

>Ex-Catholic, actually.

I reply: I have have yet to meet even one ex-Catholic who has even a basic knowledge of the Faith he left behind or of reason in general.

>As far as I am concerned, it is an open question until I see evidence one way or the other. Have any?

I reply: Love how you keep moving the goal posts. I though we where discussing the accuracy of the interpretation of Onan being a condemnation of the spilling of seed? You kept championing the idea it was a late belief & thus untrustworthy. I made arguments (which you either dismissed or ignored) that it was the opposite & you keep falling back to your unjustified radical skepticism. Rinse repeat.

>I think the problem here is that you want to claim exceptional results for a specific tradition without claiming supernatural intervention.

I reply: Rather I wish to claim your kneejerk skepticism is unjustified for the reasons I've stated (& you ignored).

>I have no objection to you ceasing to respond to my posts, if you feel your time is being wasted.

I reply: After you.

>I read the link offered, but it made such a bad impression on me I forget I had. I just reread it.

I reply: I think more likely it is just over your head & you have no rational response to it.

>I've admitted to being uninformed the entire time, and have been asking you for information. You just noticed that?

I reply: I have recommended Newman(& you ignored that) & in this post I've recommended Hertzog & you have only NOW read Harrison which you clearly can't intelligently interact with. Plus with your admission of ignorance you have invalided ALL of your criticisms.

>There is also the clear, written message by the men less than 100 years removed Mohammed, IIRC. We don't have that for the tale of Onan.

I reply: So a hundred years is your self-invented barrier point eh? I've already show how the doctrines in the Dead Sea Scrolls are preserved in the Masoretic text & that is a 1200 year gap. The interpretation of Onan is universal & has never been questioned or challenged. That by any secular historical methodical standard makes it reliable oral tradition.

But I realize that would not convince either a Conspiracy Theorist or a Kneejerk Skeptic since neither have any rational grounds for their suspicions.

>Written traditions.

I reply: So the Mishnah/Talmud are not writings they exist in the Aethar? The traditional understanding of Onan was orally given by God to the people Israel & preserved by them in extra-biblical writings. In case it's escaped your notice the Mishnah was REDACTED from earlier written materials & as we can see the Jews where pretty good at preserving them. So given these facts on what basis should I trust your self-confessed unlearned skepticism?

>Regardless of intent, humans don't have the ability for that precise a level of oral transmission.

I reply: The African American people I work with show me different in their ability to remember the thoughts expressed by the President during his inauguration. It was of GREAT importance to them. The game of telephone is not.

BenYachov said...

>Ex-Catholic, actually.

I reply: Another stunning example of Catholic religious Education.

>As far as I am concerned, it is an open question until I see evidence one way or the other. Have any?

I reply: Love how you keep moving the goal posts. I though we where discussing the accuracy of the interpretation of Onan being a condemnation of the spilling of seed? You kept championing the idea it was a late belief & thus untrustworthy. I made arguments (which you either dismissed or ignored) that it was the opposite & you keep falling back to your unjustified radical skepticism. Rinse repeat.

>I think the problem here is that you want to claim exceptional results for a specific tradition without claiming supernatural intervention.

I reply: Rather I wish to claim your kneejerk skepticism is unjustified for the reasons I've stated (& you ignored).

>I have no objection to you ceasing to respond to my posts, if you feel your time is being wasted.

I reply: After you.

>I read the link offered, but it made such a bad impression on me I forget I had. I just reread it.

I reply: I think more likely it is just over your head & you have no rational response to it.

>I've admitted to being uninformed the entire time, and have been asking you for information. You just noticed that?

I reply: I have recommended Newman(& you ignored that) & in this post I've recommended Hertzog & you have only NOW read Harrison which you clearly can't intelligently interact with. Plus with your admission of ignorance you have invalided ALL of your criticisms.

>There is also the clear, written message by the men less than 100 years removed Mohammed, IIRC. We don't have that for the tale of Onan.

I reply: So a hundred years is your self-invented barrier point eh? I've already show how the doctrines in the Dead Sea Scrolls are preserved in the Masoretic text & that is a 1200 year gap. The interpretation of Onan is universal & has never been questioned or challenged. That by any secular historical methodical standard makes it reliable oral tradition.

But I realize that would not convince either a Conspiracy Theorist or a Kneejerk Skeptic since neither have any rational grounds for their suspicions.

BenYachov said...

>Written traditions.

I reply: So the Mishnah/Talmud are not writings they exist in the Aethar? The traditional understanding of Onan was orally given by God to the people Israel & preserved by them in extra-biblical writings. In case it's escaped your notice the Mishnah was REDACTED from earlier written materials & as we can see the Jews where pretty good at preserving them. So given these facts on what basis should I trust your self-confessed unlearned skepticism?

>Regardless of intent, humans don't have the ability for that precise a level of oral transmission.

I reply: The African American people I work with show me different in their ability to remember the thoughts expressed by the President during his inauguration. It was of GREAT importance to them. The game of telephone is not.

>Having seen exegesis on the same Hebrew/Greek verbs, nouns, grammar, structure, etc. be used to show contradictory ends,

I reply: Your just making a claim without proof. HOW SPECIFICALLY has Fr. Harrison done this? I don't believe you have an answer.

>that Fr. Harrison would be able to derive a result he agreed with anyhow does not tell me the message in more in the passage than in Fr. Harrison.

I reply: Actually any secular scholar could come to his conclusion(& you clearly have no answer). It seems the problem here is persons (like yourself) who deny texts have an objective meaning that can be deduced with the science of exegesis based on hermeneutic of radical skepticism.

BenYachov said...

>However, in rereading the article, Fr. Harrison referenced the Hebrew only to claim the sin was something Onan did. It's not convincing.

I reply: The Hebrew word "asah", ascribes a positive action to Onan & as Fr. Harrison explains & of course if the sin was the passive act of refusing to give Tamar children then Judah did that too when he withheld his youngest son from marrying Tamar(yet God did not kill him for that "offense") then why use this active verb?

Clearly based on sound exegesis God killed Onan for the act of spilling his seed not for refusing to impregnate Tamar.

All you have to offer is kneejerk skepticism & dismissals. You have no rational counter argument & by your own admission you don't know enough. That my friend is what is not convincing.

>With that I will simply register my disagreement. I doubt you can be convined otherwise.

I reply: You just proved me right. It's a persona dogma not a learned or reasoned opinion. I no longer belief your claims of open mindedness. Exegesis is a science like the Historical Method etc or archeology etc. I suspect your one of these Dawkins Bots who believe only empirical science(physics & Bilology) is science.

>Who was not Arius, and whose thoughts don't necessarily reflect those of Arius.

I reply: You have just contradicted yourself. He was within 100 years of Arius & Arius views where written down so you are NOW claiming a disconnect between the two? I thought the Arians followed "tradition" according to you? So which is it? Also Arius disputed with Bishop Alexander of Alexandra(really that was his name) & the Bishop cited Tradition, while Arius insisted on his own interpretation of Scripture. Arius never cites tradition he knew it was a losing case.

>The historical accounts of Arius I have read, ijncluding those written by Trinitarians, talk about his reliance on older traditions of the Church as well as Scripture.

I reply: Let me clear up your misunderstanding scholars make comparisons of Arius' ideas to the ideas of earlier heretics who denied the Deity of Christ (heretics who where rejected by the Church contemporary to them) but of course citing the claims of early heretics is not the same as citing the authority of the Apostles. Considering those early heretics REJECTED the Apostles. Ebon (founder of the Ebonites) denied the Deity of Christ, the Apostleship of Paul, & the Virginal Conception and professed only a re-worked Gospel of Matthew was scripture. Except for the denial of the Deity of Christ Arius believed none of that nonsense & he certainly didn't cite him as part of Apostolic tradition. Like I said Arius rejected Apostolic Tradition made his arguments from Scripture alone.

>Nope. I'm just saying their is room for different interpretations.

I reply: No there aren't just as there is no room for interpreting the Koran to tolerate belief in the Trinity or the Drinking of Alcohol. One can reject the Koran & the Bible but your claims about Onan's story being open to another interpretation other than the traditional just doesn't hold water.

One Brow said...

Ben Yachov,

It's unfortunate you feel I am being confrontational, although I supposed that explains your repeated and baseless insults. I don't find your proclamations concerning my knowledge and understanding to have any particular coherence to reality, regardless.

You speak of the plausibility of a written transmission for the oral tradition, and it is certainly plausible. Plausible is not evidenced. It is just as plausible there is not a written transmision.

Love how you keep moving the goal posts.

I have repeatedly said I would revise my opinion if you had evidence of a written version of the oral tradition prior to the Talmud. That goalpost has been firmly planted. Your failure to comprehend even this small issue does not cast your other proclamations on my understanding in a favorable light. Your insistence on comparing traditions passed in writtn form with traditions for which there is no written evidence is amusing, but not convincing.

I have recommend Newman & I could recommend David Herzog & yet you are clearly too lazy to do any legwork but are content to rely solely on your irrational kneejerk skepticism without foundation.

If Newman and/or Herzog had actual document evidence, it would be a simple matter to say "document A exists". Instead, you expect to read a book on the development of doctrine, without even an assurance such a document is presented in the book. Based on your posting history, my guess is that the book does not mention such a document anyway. Then, after all that work, I'll say that Newman didn't present any real evidence, you'll say I'm an idiot, and we are back where we started. I feel no need to play that game. The document you need for evidence apparently does not exist.

Many scholar believe it was transmitted from older material.

Belief is not evidence.

So a hundred years is your self-invented barrier point eh?

I don't recall claiming there is a barrier point.

So the Mishnah/Talmud are not writings they exist in the Aethar?

Do you evidence otherwise, before the redaction?

The African American people I work with show me different in their ability to remember the thoughts expressed by the President during his inauguration.

Several months ago, and even then I would venture not all of them remember it wxactly the same way.

HOW SPECIFICALLY has Fr. Harrison done this?

Fr. Harrison made the specific, arbitrary assumption that spilling seed was the positive action, and refusal to impregnate was not a positive action. However, you can just as easily cast it that refusal to put the seed in Tamar was a not a positive action, and the defiance of Leviate marriag4e was a positive action. That's why it's not convincing, his argument rests upon an arbitrary determination.

In case it's escaped your notice the Mishnah was REDACTED from earlier written materials ...

Evidence?

It seems the problem here is persons (like yourself) who deny texts have an objective meaning that can be deduced with the science of exegesis based on hermeneutic of radical skepticism.

Texts can certainly have an objective meaning, even objective moral meanings. The text concerning Onan does not have an objective moral meaning, but not because such a thing is impossible.

Exegesis is a science like the Historical Method etc or archeology etc.

I can agree to that.

I thought the Arians followed "tradition" according to you?

Actually, according to the claims I have read of various trinitarians who have studied his writings. I have no reason to think they are incorrect, and given your various proclamations on other topics, do not find you to be a reliable source on the matter. Since I'm not really interested enough in Arius to pour over translations of his writings, I'll just leave it there.

BenYachov said...

>I have repeatedly said I would revise my opinion if you had evidence of a written version of the oral tradition prior to the Talmud.

I reply: I kind of doubt that since in your usual sophistries you would dismiss it as "written" tradition & not oral tradition as you have done thus far. Also you said (in reference to the Tradition of Prohibition in Islam)"There is also the clear, written message by the men less than 100 years removed [from] Mohammed" yet when I cited Maximillian who was in the Arian "Tradition" you responded that he "was not Arius, and whose thoughts don't necessarily reflect those of Arius.". So which is it? You clearly contradicted yourself. You can't apply one standard to the transmission Islamic Tradition within a century & another standard to Arian Tradition.

Thus it's reasonable to conclude if I present "Document X" written 500 years earlier than the Mishnah that endorses the Traditional Onan interpretation you would complain "Well there is still a 500 year gap between it & Onan so it is untrustworthy & it is merely the opinion of the author of Document X etc"(you will do this while ignoring the gap between "Document X" & the Mishnah both of which teach it is a sin to spill your seed).

Now I'm sure you sincerely believe your own bull**** but it seems to me you can't look at any Judeo-document objectively without filtering it threw you kneejerk radical skepticism for it's own sake. Thus I doubt your claim you would revise your opinion. You clearly treated Arius differently from Muhammed.

Oh & BTW FYI the "Document X" example I just gave isn't just a made up hypothetical on my part. I did some digging & found the Traditional interpretation of Onan seems to be endorsed by various extra-biblical writings found in the Qumran Community (which dates back to the 2nd century BC which would place it about 4 to 5 hundred years before the Mishnah). Both the Pseudepigraphal writings of the Testament of Judah and the Book of Jubilees portray Judah's boys H'er & Onan as the sons of a woman named Bathshua WHO WAS A CANAANITE PRINCESS. Both also portray H'er & Onan's contraceptive sex acts, for which God strikes them dead, as being done at the instigation of their mother. Now it goes without saying the Canaanites as a people are UNIVERSALLY portrayed in all Jewish literature as sexually perverse and wicked. Thus it is undeniable that the ancient Jews believed according to their tradition the spilling of seed was a sin. Also the SAME tradition exists between 2nd century BC Pseudepigraph & the 3rd Century AD Mishnah and it survives intact. Imagine that.

Nuff said.

BenYachov said...

>The text concerning Onan does not have an objective moral meaning, but not because such a thing is impossible.

I reply: The overwhelming historical evidence says otherwise. The Essences who lived in the Dead Sea hundreds of years before the Mishnah was redacted clearly believed what the later Rabbis believed about Onan.

>However, you can just as easily cast it that refusal to put the seed in Tamar was a not a positive action, and the defiance of Leviate marriag4e was a positive action.

I reply: Except reason dictates wanking off is doing something. Not having any sex is doing nothing. BTW according to your own standards Judah DEFIES the Leviate marriage by REFUSING to allow his son Shelah to marry Tammar. Thus Shelah HAS NO TYPE OF SEX with Tammar(natural or unnatural) and yet God DOES NOT KILL JUDAH for violating the Leviate Marriage law by refusing to allow Shelah to marry his brother's wife. Why is that the case if (according to your weird theory) God imposes the Death penalty for merely refusing the Leviate marriage? Well?

I haven't even gotten to Philo Judaeus of Alexandria who was born in the 1st century BC & lived to the middle of the 1st century AD & said "Therefore, the incorruptible God banishes the wicked exposition of UNNATURAL opinion, which is named Onan." Kinda strange his use of the term "unnatural". That implies a sexual sin not merely refusing to follow the Levirite laws like Judah & Shelah did (yet God spare them).

Based on the evidence, I see no rational basis for your skepticism. Thus I reject it. You don't even have to believe in God to see the Frackin obvious.

Rodak said...

The reason not to trust the "traditional" interpretation of Onan that emphasizes "spilling of seed," even though the verses clearly emphasize tribal duty to posterity and blood lines may be found below, of only you can connect the dots:

Mark 7:6 He answered them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me.
7:7 But in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

7:8 “For you set aside the commandment of God, and hold tightly to the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and you do many other such things.” 7:9 He said to them, “Full well do you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 7:10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother;’* and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.’* 7:11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban, that is to say, given to God”;’ 7:12 then you no longer allow him to do anything for his father or his mother, 7:13 making void the word of God by your tradition, which you have handed down. You do many things like this.” [emphasis added]

What Jesus spoke, as recorded in scripture, is the Truth. What is spoken by men, not so much.

One Brow said...

I kind of doubt that since in your usual sophistries you would dismiss it as "written" tradition & not oral tradition as you have done thus far.

Since I have consistently acknowledged that written traditions are much more acdcurately transmitted than oral tradition, your doubt seems to be more your issue than mine, or perhaps an excuse to avoid acknowledging what is ever more apparently a lack of evidence for the existence of said written documdents. Your continual accusations of dishonesty are mere distraction, not argument.

Also you said (in reference to the Tradition of Prohibition in Islam)"There is also the clear, written message by the men less than 100 years removed [from] Mohammed" yet when I cited Maximillian who was in the Arian "Tradition" you responded that he "was not Arius, and whose thoughts don't necessarily reflect those of Arius.". So which is it?

Both. Maximillian was just one man, and may not have been even trying to present the exact argument of Arius. The recorders of the Qu'ran had the aim of recording the exact words. While I doubt they succeeded, they were probably closer after 100 years than any group would be after 1000.

You clearly contradicted yourself. You can't apply one standard to the transmission Islamic Tradition within a century & another standard to Arian Tradition.

I apply a different standard to attempting to support arguments versus that of attempting to preserve precise words.

Thus it's reasonable to conclude if I present "Document X" written 500 years earlier than the Mishnah that endorses the Traditional Onan interpretation you would complain "Well there is still a 500 year gap between it & Onan so it is untrustworthy & it is merely the opinion of the author of Document X etc"

I would both say that and also say that your position is much better evidenced as well, probably tothe point that it becomes more likely than not. Do you have document X handy? If so, what does it say regarding Onan?

One Brow said...

Oh & BTW FYI the "Document X" example I just gave isn't just a made up hypothetical on my part. I did some digging & found the Traditional interpretation of Onan seems to be endorsed by various extra-biblical writings found in the Qumran Community (which dates back to the 2nd century BC which would place it about 4 to 5 hundred years before the Mishnah).

If the documents dates that far back (as opposed to the community), that is better evidence, being only some 700 years after the writing of Onan. Of course, "seems to be endorsed" sounds fairly tentative, and a tentative confirmation would weaken that evidence. If you can find one antoher 200-300 years earlier, with a stronger confirmation, that would be really good evidence.

Both the Pseudepigraphal writings of the Testament of Judah and the Book of Jubilees portray Judah's boys H'er & Onan as the sons of a woman named Bathshua WHO WAS A CANAANITE PRINCESS.

The Jubilees account does not say Er spilled his seed. His death seems to be for refusing to have sex with his Israelite wife. The Testament of Judah is similar in this regard. Both show Er being killed for not having sex with his wife, neither say Onan is killed just for spilling seed.

Both also portray H'er & Onan's contraceptive sex acts,

http://www.piney.com/DocTstJudah.html

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/jub/jub78.htm

Both translations of these accounts say Er did not sleep with Tamar at all. No contraception is discussed. Only one mentions Onan spillikng his seed. Neither condemns Onan specifically for that act. These texts seem ot hurt your argument more than help it.

Also the SAME tradition exists between 2nd century BC Pseudepigraph & the 3rd Century AD Mishnah and it survives intact. Imagine that.

The existence of a written version would of course greatly aid accurate transmission. That's what I have been saying all along. However, I don't see that dogma in the texts you have presented so far.

The text concerning Onan does not have an objective moral meaning, but not because such a thing is impossible.

I reply: The overwhelming historical evidence says otherwise.


Historical evidence does not create in plain moral interior to a text that has none.

>However, you can just as easily cast it that refusal to put the seed in Tamar was a not a positive action, and the defiance of Leviate marriag4e was a positive action.

Except reason dictates wanking off is doing something.


From the text on Onan, we don't know if he was wanking off, or just let his penis fall out of the vagina, or any or a number of other possibilities.

Not having any sex is doing nothing.

Like Er, apparently. Fr. harrison's exegesis is looking less reliable.

BTW according to your own standards Judah DEFIES the Leviate marriage by REFUSING to allow his son Shelah to marry Tammar. Thus Shelah HAS NO TYPE OF SEX with Tammar(natural or unnatural) and yet God DOES NOT KILL JUDAH for violating the Leviate Marriage law by refusing to allow Shelah to marry his brother's wife. Why is that the case if (according to your weird theory) God imposes the Death penalty for merely refusing the Leviate marriage? Well?

Based on the Testament of Judah and the Book of Jubilees, it could be that it was because Judah was Israelite, or because there was no marriage at all. Either makes more sense than a spilling of seed that Er is not recorded as engaging in.

I haven't even gotten to Philo Judaeus of Alexandria

You mentioned this evidence before in a summarized version. It does not predate your Qumran evidence. How far back would their joint tradition be?

Based on the evidence, I see no rational basis for your skepticism.

Based on the evidence you have presented, the more likely explanation has become "refusal to sleep with his (Israelite) wife" in my mind, but its hardly conclusive at this point.

BenYachov said...

>Maximillian was just one man, and may not have been even trying to present the exact argument of Arius. The recorders of the Qu'ran had the aim of recording the exact words.

I reply: Argument from special pleading used to justify a clear contradiction on your part in your interpretive methods. Also as I explained in past posts, Tradition IS NOT ABOUT "recording the exact words" it is about preserving thoughts & concepts. You would know that had you read Newman. So I challenge you to PROVE oral Tradition as it is understood in Christianity & Judaism about "recording the exact words". Put up or shut up. Because to date you have refused to prove ANY of your assumptions. Yeh good luck with that.

>I apply a different standard to attempting to support arguments versus that of attempting to preserve precise words.

I reply: So according to you arguments are not about "preserving precise words" yet Tradition is about that & not about preserving "thoughts & concepts"? I can see right threw your sophistry plus your bait & switch. This is why I don't believe you are being honest.

>The Jubilees account does not say Er spilled his seed. His death seems to be for refusing to have sex with his Israelite wife. The Testament of Judah is similar in this regard.

I reply: You are ignoring the fact both documents go out of their way to point out their Mother was a Canaanite & that both of them "acted under their mother's commands". Canaanites are universally regarded in all Jewish literature to be the harbingers of Sexual Perversion including the "spilling of seed" this is mention predominately in all rabbinic literature thus it is the natural conclusion & of course as with the Old testament the exegesis of Jubilees clearly indicates Onan was killed for spilling seed since both texts(OT & Jubilee) go out of there way to mention it. If it was merely because they refused to sleep with Tamar mentioning the spilling of the seed (which is quite graphic) would provide no useful information & would be superfluous. Thus Fr. Harrison's exegesis holds.

If you disagree I challenge you to provide a peer reviewed counter exegesis of the texts that EXCLUDE all possibility Onan was punished for spilling seed & solely for failing to give children to his brother's widow.

Also if you had botheredd to read up on the backround of the Testament of Judah the theme of the text is the condemnation of sexual Licentiousness. So clearly based on it's theme Onan & Er where killed for spilling their seed following the degenerate sexual practices of their Canaanite Mother which makes it consistent with this theme.

BenYachov said...

>Based on the Testament of Judah and the Book of Jubilees, it could be that it was because Judah was Israelite, or because there was no marriage at all. Either makes more sense than a spilling of seed that Er is not recorded as engaging in.

I reply: So you are saying God punished two non-Israelites for failing to follow an Israelite law (Levitate marriage) which they would not be under being Noahides, but God witheld punishment from an Actual Israelite(Judah) who clearly violated an Israelite Law (according to your A-historial interpretation of that anyway)? That is not very likely in fact now you have degenerated to the level of special pleading & pure lunacy.

Also in Jewish Law there is the concept of a Betrothal. Clearly Shelah was betrothed to Tammar & Judah & Shelah broke it. In Jewish Law there is no legal distinction between a Betrothal & a Marriage. So there was a marriage. Even if there was no marriage what does that matter? The Leviate Law requires a living Brother to sire male children from his Brother's widow. Refusing to allow marriage violates that Law (according to you private a-historic interpret ion of it anyway) as does Shelah (who is of age) choosing to follow his Father will instead of God will.

So you made up counter scenario is pure bunk.

>Both translations of these accounts say Er did not sleep with Tamar at all.

I reply: You mean he didn't have natural intercourse with her. Still if I take your a-historic interpretation (divorced from culture & history) at face value then why didn't God kill Shelah? He wasn't an Israelite either since his mother was a Canaanite & he was of age. He could have defied his Father & married Tammar. Why didn't God kill him for violating the Leviate Law since according to you God punishes with Death Non-Israelite Noachides for failing to follow Israelite Leviarite Law?

Well?

Philo was at least 300 years before the Mishnah so he is an example of an early witness to this tradition. He is in Eqypt & represents a difference school of Jewish thought yet he is in universal agreement with the rest of the Jewish world on this matter.

I have provided strong historic evidence of the traditional interpretation. You have provide NO EVIDENCE of any counter interpretation. You merely assume it.
So the only natural understanding of the OT texts it still the Traditional interpretation.

BTW off topic. Er & Onan where Israelites but they where counted non-Israelite Apostates since they committed sexual perversion & separated themselves from Israel. Of course Shelah is still counted an Israelite since he had no type of sex with Tammar in any shape or form.

BenYachov said...

BTW I will reproduce the texts here (which Low Brow clearly DID NOT READ carefully).

First the TESTAMENT OF JUDAH

QUOTE"After these things, my son Er took to wife Tamar, from Mesopotamia, a daughter of Aram. Now Er was wicked, and he doubted concerning Tamar, because she was not of the land of Canaan. And on the third day an angel of the Lord smote him in the night, and he had not known her(Sparks translates this "have intercourse"), according to the evil craftiness of his mother, for he did not wish to have children from her.END

I reply: So according to Low Brow's scheme God killed Er merely for not having sex with Tamar after only a mere 3 days?

QUOTE"In the days of the wedding-feast I espoused Onan to her; and he also in wickedness knew her not, though he lived with her a year. And when I threatened him, he lay with her, ...according to the command of his mother, and he also died in his wickedness.END QUOTE

I reply: According to the translation provided by HFD Sparks (i.e.THE APOCRAPHAL OLD TESTAMENT Clarendon Press Oxford page 542)-this reads "I threatened him, he lay with her, but SPILLED HIS SEED on the ground just as his mother told him too".

Onan lived a whole year without having any type of sex with Tammar his wife & yet Er was killed by God for not having sex AFTER ONLY A MERE 3 DAY & not spilling his seed according to LOW BROW's funky special pleading.

Yet it seems clear from the context(even with the translation that is more ambiguous about the seed spilling) that both where killed for spilling seed at the instigation of their Canaanite mother. Onan doesn't die till he spills some seed. God DOES NOT TOUCH HIM even after a whole years of no sex with Tammar.

Wow LOW BROW your reading skills are rubbish!

QUOTE"And I wished to give Shelah also to her, but my wife Bathshua suffered it not; for she bore a spite against Tamar, because she was not of the daughters of Canaan, as she herself was.
-Testament of Judah END QUOTE

Of course neither Shelah or Judah die from refusing sex with Tammar.

It seems LOW BROW didn't read the text carefully and the context CLEARLY shows to any fair minded rational person both Er & Onan where killed for spilling their seed at the instigation of their Canaanite Mother.

Not having any type of sex with your wife was not a serious enough sin to merit stuck dead.

Now on to Jubilees.

BTW Sparks & Charlesworth & other authorities on the Pseudepigrapha date this work in the Second Century BC.

BenYachov said...

Now on to Jubilees.

BTW Sparks & Charlesworth & other authorities on the Pseudepigrapha date this work to the Second Century BC as well.

From the Book of Jubilees

QUOTE"And in the forty-fifth jubilee, in the second week, (and) in the second year, Judah took for his first-born Er, a wife from the daughters of Aram, named Tamar. But he hated, and did not lie with her(i.e. have intercourse), because his mother was of the daughters of Canaan, and he wished to take him a wife of the kinsfolk of his mother, but Judah, his father, would not permit him. And this Er, the first-born of Judah, WAS WICKED, and the Lord slew him. And Judah said unto Onan, his brother 'Go in unto thy brother's wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother unto her, and raise up seed unto thy brother.' And Onan knew that the seed would not be his, (but) his brother's only, and he went into the house of his brother's wife, and spilt the seed on the ground, and he WAS WICKED in the eyes of the Lord, and He slew
him.END QUOTE


I reply: One cannot help but notice in this account Onan "WAS WICKED" only after he "spilt the seed on the ground" the two are explicitly connected in the text. Thus we can reasonablity infer that Er must have spilled his seed as well.

Like I said why bring it up if the crime was falling to have any sex at all? Also as in the OT & the TESTAMENT neither Judah or Shelah are killed for refusing to follow the Leviarite Law minus the sexual perversion.

The Old Testament, Jubilees & the Testament of Judah CLEARLY link wickedness with the spilling of seed. Let he who has eyes see.

Fr. Harrison is vindicated. LOW BROW is wrong.

BenYachov said...

LOW BROW writes:
>Both translations of these accounts say Er did not sleep with Tamar at all.

I reply: Actually it says they didn't "lie with her" which is a euphemism for "have intercourse".

Clearly simple hebraisms are beyond your limited education.

If you spill your seed by definition that is not the same as having intercourse. "Sleep with" is a modern euphemism which is why your analysis of these texts comes off as so foolish. You are reading modern concepts into an ancient text & expecting to be taken seriously.

BenYachov said...

BTW I forgot to mention Charlesworth's translation renders JUDAH

"spilled his seed on the ground as his mother ordered him too".

BenYachov said...

Um Low Brow?

You posted a link to www.sacred-texts.com for the Text of Jubilees.

Did you even bother to look at that website's version of the TESTAMENT OF JUDAH?

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/fbe/fbe278.htm

QUOTE"14 In the days of the wedding feast I gave Onan to her in marriage; and he also in wickedness knew her not, though he spent with her a year.

15 And when I threatened him he went in unto her, but he spilled the seed on the ground, according to the command of his mother, and he also died through wickedness.END QUOTE

I don't see how you can possibily embarise yourself further.

>Only one mentions Onan spillikng his seed. Neither condemns Onan specifically for that act. These texts seem ot hurt your argument more than help it.

I reply: You can't convert a die in the wool faith head. Even if that Faith says Onan wasn't killed for spilling his seed.

Wow!

Rodak said...

To insist that the purport of the story of Onan is to condemn the spilling of seed, is equivalent to insisting that the purport of the story of the woman taken in adultery is to condemn capital punishment: each is a plausible interpretation; neither is a necessary interpretation, based on the words of the text. In each case, one would have taken one minor element of a complicated story and based the lesson of the story on that one small part. In the economy of truth-telling, this would be a ineffective telling. If Onan is about spilling seed, and if this is not obvious to all who read the tale (as this thread witnesses that it is not), then the story is badly told. Does the Holy Spirit inspire badly told tales? Or do men make interpretations of well-told tales that fit their temporal agendas, thus creating "tradition?" I say: the latter.

BenYachov said...

RODAK,

Actually the woman taken in adultery had nothing to do with being anti-capital punishment. The Law of Moses demanded both parties had to be judged in this case & the woman's paramour was nowhere to be found. Also both had to be tried before a Bet Din of 23 elders. There was no trial nor could there be since the Romans took from the Jews the right to carry out capital punishment. So that was all the rationalization Jesus needed to spare her life. Thus the tale was more about the sins of the mob and the hypocritical violation of the Law of Moses by those charged with upholding it. But you would need to know the historic background to see all this instead of reading into the text 21st century sensibilities about a 1st century people.
What we have been seeing here is a base anti-intellectualism & willful blindness from those who reject historical analysis and the scientific investigation of the past. In short a degenerate fundamentalism but with liberal themes. It stinks & it moves me with nothing but contempt. Especially Low Brow's inability to actually read the texts I cited.

Rodak said...

Actually the woman taken in adultery had nothing to do with being anti-capital punishment.

Sez you.

But you would need to know the historic background to see all this instead of reading into the text 21st century sensibilities about a 1st century people.

If I am to read scripture as history, and not with 21st century sensibilities, then all of the sayings and parables of Jesus, as well as the witness of the Evangelists of the acts of Jesus, are merely anecdotal anachronisms, and of no more use to me in the here-and-now than are stories about Alexander the Great, or Robin Hood, for that matter.
I don't need to know about first century Jewish adultery statutes; they don't apply to me. If that's all it's about, then the Gospels are null and void to the last iota.

One Brow said...

BenYachov said...
Maximillian was just one man, and may not have been even trying to present the exact argument of Arius. The recorders of the Qu'ran had the aim of recording the exact words.

Argument from special pleading used to justify a clear contradiction on your part in your interpretive methods. Also as I explained in past posts, Tradition IS NOT ABOUT "recording the exact words" it is about preserving thoughts & concepts.


So, your claim is that Maximillian's goal, as a defender of Arius, was not to support/augment the arguments of Arius, but to merely preserve the thoughts and concepts espoused by Arius? Because that would indeed be the same thing as was being done by the followers of Mohammed, but it doesn't really fit with your initial depiction of him as "Maximillian the Arian defender". However, defending in general is different from preserving.

So according to you arguments are not about "preserving precise words" yet Tradition is about that & not about preserving "thoughts & concepts"?

When you start to allow greater variance in the words, the variance in concepts is inevitable.

You are ignoring the fact both documents go out of their way to point out their Mother was a Canaanite & that both of them "acted under their mother's commands". Canaanites are universally regarded in all Jewish literature to be the harbingers of Sexual Perversion including the "spilling of seed" this is mention predominately in all rabbinic literature thus it is the natural conclusion & of course as with the Old testament the exegesis of Jubilees clearly indicates Onan was killed for spilling seed since both texts(OT & Jubilee) go out of there way to mention it.

When you start to allow greater variance in the words, the variance in concepts is inevitable.

If it was merely because they refused to sleep with Tamar mentioning the spilling of the seed (which is quite graphic) would provide no useful information & would be superfluous.

Scripture contains no information that has marginal use and no superfluous information? Your objection is odd.

Also if you had botheredd to read up on the backround of the Testament of Judah the theme of the text is the condemnation of sexual Licentiousness. So clearly based on it's theme Onan & Er where killed for spilling their seed following the degenerate sexual practices of their Canaanite Mother which makes it consistent with this theme.

Except that there is no reason to think Er spilled his seed.

So you are saying God punished two non-Israelites for failing to follow an Israelite law (Levitate marriage) which they would not be under being Noahides, but God witheld punishment from an Actual Israelite(Judah) who clearly violated an Israelite Law (according to your A-historial interpretation of that anyway)?

Judah was not married to Tamar, which is a different offense from refusing to sleep with her.

Also in Jewish Law there is the concept of a Betrothal. Clearly Shelah was betrothed to Tammar & Judah & Shelah broke it. In Jewish Law there is no legal distinction between a Betrothal & a Marriage.

Then why is it a separate concept, if there is no distinction? Or, is there a non-legal distinction that may still be important to Yahoweh?

Even if there was no marriage what does that matter? The Leviate Law requires a living Brother to sire male children from his Brother's widow. Refusing to allow marriage violates that Law (according to you private a-historic interpret ion of it anyway) as does Shelah (who is of age) choosing to follow his Father will instead of God will.

I don't recall arguing that point. In fact, according to you, refusing to engage in a Levirate marriage is not a serious offense anyhow.

One Brow said...

... since according to you God punishes with Death Non-Israelite Noachides for failing to follow Israelite Leviarite Law?

I didn't make that argument. Perhaps you should calm down and read my responses a bit more carefully.

Philo was at least 300 years before the Mishnah so he is an example of an early witness to this tradition. He is in Eqypt & represents a difference school of Jewish thought yet he is in universal agreement with the rest of the Jewish world on this matter.

So, his traditional lineage is pretty much the same as the Qumran tradition circa 200 BCE, before the split, correct? Still about 700 years.

BTW I will reproduce the texts here (which Low Brow clearly DID NOT READ carefully).

Engaging in juvenile insults is another good sign you need to step back and calm down.

Onan lived a whole year without having any type of sex with Tammar his wife & yet Er was killed by God for not having sex AFTER ONLY A MERE 3 DAY & not spilling his seed according to LOW BROW's funky special pleading.

Note that the testament specifically refers to Onan has having laid with Tamar when he spilled his seed, while Er did not. There could be any number of reasons for the time difference. such as Er being more stubborn or hard-hearted in his refusal.

Yet it seems clear from the context(even with the translation that is more ambiguous about the seed spilling) that both where killed for spilling seed at the instigation of their Canaanite mother.

Such a scientific example of exegesis.

Now on to Jubilees.

BTW Sparks & Charlesworth & other authorities on the Pseudepigrapha date this work in the Second Century BC.


I have read that some think it is a Christian creation, as well. Either way, it is not earlier than the Qumran, and does not improve on the 700 years.

One cannot help but notice in this account Onan "WAS WICKED" only after he "spilt the seed on the ground" the two are explicitly connected in the text. Thus we can reasonablity infer that Er must have spilled his seed as well.

There can be no other reason Er was wicked, even though the text explicitly states Er did not do what Onan did (go in to lie with Tamar)? You're a funny poster.

I don't see how you can possibily embarise yourself further.

I don't consider reading translations of a text, and noting the obvious about them, to be embarrassing.

Rodak said...

That aside, your reading comprehension also leaves something to be desired. What I said was not that the story of woman taken in adultery was about capital punishment. What I said was that one could just as plausibly claim that it was about capital punishment as one could plausibly claim that Onan is about wanking, and nothing but wanking.
It is obvious (to me) that both stories about something larger that only one of their elements.
Next time, reading more carefully and think before you respond.

Rodak said...

Ooops. One Brow inserted a comment between my last comment to Benny and my addendum to it.

One Brow said...

Sorry, the correct response does not appear in the above comment.

You are ignoring the fact both documents go out of their way to point out their Mother was a Canaanite & that both of them "acted under their mother's commands". Canaanites are universally regarded in all Jewish literature to be the harbingers of Sexual Perversion including the "spilling of seed" this is mention predominately in all rabbinic literature thus it is the natural conclusion & of course as with the Old testament the exegesis of Jubilees clearly indicates Onan was killed for spilling seed since both texts(OT & Jubilee) go out of there way to mention it.

The mentioning of the spilling of seed may well be a condemnation of Onan, but that does not make it a lethal condemnation. It could easily be a reference that Onan was even worse than his brother, for example.

BenYachov said...

>So, your claim is that Maximillian's goal, as a defender of Arius, was not to support/augment the arguments of Arius, but to merely preserve the thoughts and concepts espoused by Arius?

I reply: No I said the purpose of Tradition in general was to "preserve thoughts and concepts" and NOT "recording the exact words". I said you contradicted yourself in regards to the preservation of tradition of Muhammad Vs Arius which you still did & all your sophistry and special pleading will not cover that fact up.

>Because that would indeed be the same thing as was being done by the followers of

Mohamed, but it doesn't really fit with your initial depiction of him as "Maximillian the Arian defender". However, defending in general is different from preserving.

I reply: What does my stylizing him as "the Arian defender" have to do with anything?

Never the less you are NOT CONSISTENT. Either BOTH the traditions of Arius & Muhammed
are accurate because they are within 100 years of each other or neither are YOU believe that standard only applies to Muhammed but not to Arius & your justification for it is
special pleading. In short you have run out of answers.

>When you start to allow greater variance in the words, the variance in concepts is inevitable.

I reply: I asked you a question. If you don't have the decency to answer it then so be it.

>When you start to allow greater variance in the words, the variance in concepts is inevitable.

I reply; Translation: You have no answer to the fact Er & brothers had a Canaanite mother whose people practiced Onanism so you will ignore it & not deal with it. That does not hide your deficient reading & intellectual comprehension skills BTW.

>Scripture contains no information that has marginal use and no superfluous information?

>Your objection is odd.

I reply: Provide examples please because I am a radical skeptic & I refuse to believe anything till every concevable proposition is proven to the N'th degree and as that info is provided I will keep demanding more & more.you have run out of answers.

>Except that there is no reason to think Er spilled his seed.

I reply: wait till you read the end of my post.

BenYachov said...

>Judah was not married to Tamar, which is a different offense from refusing to sleep with her.

I reply: Judah by his actions kept the commandment from being fulfilled. If I a hypothetical Jew am commanded by God to not work on the Sabbath & you (for sake of argument also play the role of a hypothetical Jew) force me to work against my will
that is definatly sin on your part. It's not hard & your answer is special pleading.

(Of course there is still Shelah.) God did not kill Judah for not allowing the commandment to be observed(your private concept of it anyway) thus it is not rational to conclude God killed either Onan or Er for it but because they spilled their seed. God still did not kill Shelah who was "of age".

>Then why is it a separate concept, if there is no distinction? Or, is there a non-legal distinction that may still be important to Yahoweh?

I reply: What does "why" have to do with anything? It is a BRUTE FACT that Judaism makes no legal distinction between betrothal and marriage just as Prohibition is a brute fact in Islam. Anyway your misdirection & tangents won't save your meritless case against the Traditional Interpretation.

>I don't recall arguing that point. In fact, according to you, refusing to engage in a Levirate marriage is not a serious offense anyhow.

I reply: Well it seems clear from this dodge you have no explanation as to why God didn't kill Shelah(who was not an Israelite by your standard) & Judah for violating the Leviate Law but did so for Er & Onan. You have no rational response & I am not
interested in your tangents or the misdirection you are channeling from HOW TO WIN ANY ARGUMENT by Prometheus press.

>I didn't make that argument. Perhaps you should calm down and read my responses a bit more carefully.

I reply: Stop doging my questions for once & I will "calm down". You said God didn't kill Judah because he was an Israelite. The implication is if Er & Onan where
Israelites(you seem to be channeling the post Babylonian Rabbinic Rule that one is only
a Jew if one's mother is & we know Bethsula was a Canaanite..so many things wrong with that...) God would not have killed them. Then why is Shelah still alive since he was of age & did not follow the Leviate Law? If you have no answer at least be a man & admit
it.

>So, his traditional lineage is pretty much the same as the Qumran tradition circa 200 BCE, before the split, correct? Still about 700 years.

I reply: But they are seperated geographically(there is no Internet back in case you are
unaware) & there is zero evidence one is dependant on the other (because of their radically different literary forms) for info so that infers they recieved their
Tradition from earlier sources which can trace back to a common ancient source.

>Engaging in juvenile insults is another good sign you need to step back and calm down.

I reply: Making rookie mistakes like not realizing your text for Judah comes from the Anti-Nicean Fathers Vol 8 which was published in the 19th century & naturally because of the Victorian morals of the time leaves the phraise "spilled his seed" untranslated in
Greek for the sake of puritanical modesty. (It's in footnote 106) this is a good sign YOU NEED to step back because you clearly don't know what you are talking about. But if you want to keep making yourself look foolish hey don't let me stop you.

BenYachov said...

>Note that the testament specifically refers to Onan has having laid with Tamar when he
spilled his seed, while Er did not. There could be any number of reasons for the time difference. such as Er being more stubborn or hard-hearted in his refusal.

I reply: So contrary to your phoney plea's, evidence really means nothing to you? At this point it has become "make up a senario no matter how implausible to justify the modern interpretation of Onan & ignore the evidence". Er was killed AFTER being married for three days & not having sex with tammar(your view) yet Onan didn't have sex with her for a WHOLE YEAR & ONLY DIES after spilling his seed & their Canaanite Mother whose people practice Onanism is at the center of it all. The ONLY rational interpretation of
this text is God killed both Onan & Er for Onanism not for failing to observe the Leviate Law. You don't even have to believe in God to see the frackin obvious. BTW now that I think of it Er wasn't following a Laviate Law at all since he was THE FIRST to marry Tammar. So what law did he violate to earn God's wraith? Nuff said.

>Such a scientific example of exegesis.

I reply: Thank you. To bad unthinking ridicule isn't scientific exegesis or you would
be the next Metzer.

>I have read that some think it is a Christian creation, as well. Either way, it is not earlier than the Qumran, and does not improve on the 700 years.

I reply: The Anti-Nicean Fathers from the 19th century make that claim but later & more reliable scholarship has shown the Testaments are originally Jewish texts that where later interpolated with a few Christological, Messianic & Incarnational elements. The
Encyclopedia Britanica & the Jewish Encylopedia both state Jubilees & the Christian

Testaments rely on an early Hebrew Testament of Judah. As for you lame claim that 700 years is a real barrier that is still refuted by the comparison between Dead Sea Isaiah vs the Masoretic Isaiah. You do realize there are NO HEBREW manuscripts from between those eras that have survived and as we see the Jews where Divas in preserving their Traditions. So your argument still falls flat on every level. BTW Charlesworth &
Sparks still independently date these works to the 2nd century BC.

>There can be no other reason Er was wicked, even though the text explicitly states Er did not do what Onan did (go in to lie with Tamar)? You're a funny poster.

I reply: I am making rational inferences based on the text & on the known scholarship. You OTOH are merely making up implausible counter scenarios off the top of your head. That is not funny that is just sad.

>I don't consider reading translations of a text, and noting the obvious about them, to
be embarrassing.

I reply:No but your false Claim the Testament of Judah didn't mention Onan spilling his seed was a whopper.

BenYachov said...

>The mentioning of the spilling of seed may well be a condemnation of Onan, but that does not make it a lethal condemnation. It could easily be a reference that Onan was even worse than his brother, for example.

I reply: I don't see how that can be since it is explicitly conected with the killing of Onan. Now you are just grasping at straws. BTW there is even more evidence to throw into this mix. THE MIDRASHIM the collections of Aggadah & exegesis of the Rabbis in the 1st & Second Century AD all refer to the sins of Onanism & Sodomy collectively as "ma'aseh Er ve-Onan" (i.e. the crimes of Er & Onan). So people who read these texts in their original language see the fracking obvious & less than a century after the Dead
Sea community with whom they have a hostile releationship. Thus there is more than enough reason to believe God killed Er for spilling his seed as well.
I'm sorry if I was so hard on you but in the end it is clear from your latest responses that this boat won't float. God killed Er & Onan because they spilled their seed. If you don't believe in either God or the OT that is fine. But for those of us who do the implication is obvious & may God give us the grace to realize it & forgive those who don't know any better. OTOH if I lost my faith in God tommorow based on the evidence I have re-dug up I would still believe these texts teach it is evil to "spill your seed"
I just wouldn't care.

One Brow said...

No I said the purpose of Tradition in general was to "preserve thoughts and concepts" and NOT "recording the exact words".

But, you make no claim this is the purpose of Maximillian in particular.

I said you contradicted yourself in regards to the preservation of tradition of Muhammad Vs Arius which you still did & all your sophistry and special pleading will not cover that fact up.

Who was the person trying to preserve the tradition of Arius?

Either BOTH the traditions of Arius & Muhammed are accurate ...

The traditions of Arius, or the defense of Aruis by Maximillian? Because you just said they were not the same thing. It would be very helpful if you could make up your mind here. Yes, I dop treat a defense as being different from the preservation of a tradition. I do not regard that as special pleading. I find your apparent claim this it is special peading to be odd.

When you start to allow greater variance in the words, the variance in concepts is inevitable.

I reply: I asked you a question. If you don't have the decency to answer it then so be it.


That was a response to a sentence, not a question.

I reply; Translation: You have no answer to the fact Er & brothers had a Canaanite mother whose people practiced Onanism so you will ignore it & not deal with it.

Well, I would hate to leave that undealt.

I do not dispute that Er and Onan had a Caananite mother. I do not dispute that the Canaanites were seen by the Israelites as being sexually depraved. Those propositions do not add up to Er commiting a particular act, which particular act may or may not be considered depraved at the Genesis was written.

That does not hide your deficient reading & intellectual comprehension skills BTW.

*chuckle*.

Provide examples please because I am a radical skeptic ...

I get convinced by people of various propositions regularly. You comment reads much more like a whine than a statement of truth.

Judah was not married to Tamar, which is a different offense from refusing to sleep with her.

I reply: Judah by his actions kept the commandment from being fulfilled.


Which would be a different offense from refusing to sleep with his wife.

God still did not kill Shelah who was "of age".

This fits in with Shelah not being married to Tamar.

What does "why" have to do with anything? It is a BRUTE FACT that Judaism makes no legal distinction between betrothal and marriage ...

Genesis says specifically that Tamar felt she had not been given to Shelah. Whatever your claims about what the legal distinctions are or are not, Tamar did not consider herself to have been married.

Well it seems clear from this dodge you have no explanation ...

This is why I chuckled above. For you to so completely fail to read what I stated very plainly, and then try to denigrate my reading skills, is laughable.

To repeat for you: the common elements in the story are that Er and Onan refused to sleed with an Israelite wife, while Shelah and Judah made no such refusal (not being married to her). The seems to be the principal thing that Er and Onan have in common, and Judah and Shelah lack. To reach your interpretation, you have to add to the story what is not present. A fine, 'scientific' process of exegesis on display.

One Brow said...

You said God didn't kill Judah because he was an Israelite.

I'm pretty sure I did not. I said that based on the reading from the texts, it was one of two possibilities that made more sense than spillinig seed.

Then why is Shelah still alive since he was of age & did not follow the Leviate Law? If you have no answer at least be a man & admit it.

Why are you fixated on the Levirate law? I have not once claim the death was for violation of the Levirate law. Again, your complete failure to understand plain text makes all your denigrations of my reading skills quite laghable.

I reply: But they are seperated geographically(there is no Internet back in case you are unaware)

150 years or so is more than adequate to cover teh geographical distances involved.

there is zero evidence one is dependant on the other (because of their radically different literary forms) for info

Natrually, when you are preseving thoughts only and not words, radically different literary forms will arise rapidly.

so that infers they recieved their Tradition from earlier sources which can trace back to a common ancient source.

You can't trace it before 200 BCE, apparently.

I reply: Making rookie mistakes like not realizing your text for Judah comes from the Anti-Nicean Fathers Vol 8 ... you clearly don't know what you are talking about.

I've acknowledged all along I don't know much about the subject. Your attempts to read into the text are just that obvious.

Note that the testament specifically refers to Onan has having laid with Tamar when he
spilled his seed, while Er did not. There could be any number of reasons for the time difference. such as Er being more stubborn or hard-hearted in his refusal.

I reply: So contrary to your phoney plea's, evidence really means nothing to you?


No, the evidence does mean something. In this case, the evidence is that there is no reference to Er spilling his seed in any of the traditional writings you have quoted. If all three leave it out, why insist on putting it in?

Er was killed AFTER being married for three days & not having sex with tammar(your view) yet Onan didn't have sex with her for a WHOLE YEAR & ONLY DIES after spilling his seed & their Canaanite Mother whose people practice Onanism is at the center of it all.

That is the plain reading of the later texts.

The ONLY rational interpretation

Any time you use this phrase, you should pull out your hyperbole checker, measure it a couple of times, and make sure. Because it speaks much more to you being a zealot than an interpretive reader.

of this text is God killed both Onan & Er for Onanism not for failing to observe the Leviate Law.

Yet, every single text fails to assign 'Onanism' to Er. According to you, all three writers decided to omit the same very relevant fact from the same person, while assigning this same fact in the same story for its relevance with another person. To you, this in the "ONLY rational interpretation". I am not impressed.

One Brow said...

Thank you. To bad unthinking ridicule isn't scientific exegesis or you would be the next Metzer.

Not one of my goals.

As for you lame claim that 700 years is a real barrier that is still refuted by the comparison between Dead Sea Isaiah vs the Masoretic Isaiah.

No extant manuscripts =/= no written transmission, as I acknowledged earlier. I have been saying for a few days that if you had evidence for a written transmission, it would have significance, and even acknowledged the significance of Jubilees and the Testament of Judah (although they still don't support your interpretation). Anything closer that supports your point?

I am making rational inferences based on the text & on the known scholarship.

You are also adding to the scenario an assumption that directly supports your conclusion. The word 'convenient' comes to mind for this process.

I reply:No but your false Claim the Testament of Judah didn't mention Onan spilling his seed was a whopper.

You have discovered I am not perfect. Oh my! Howver, my imperfections do not provide you with evidence you still don't have.

The mentioning of the spilling of seed may well be a condemnation of Onan, but that does not make it a lethal condemnation. It could easily be a reference that Onan was even worse than his brother, for example.

I reply: I don't see how that can be since it is explicitly conected with the killing of Onan.


You think saying Onan was even more wicked than his brother would break the connection? If not, your replay is a non sequitur.

Now you are just grasping at straws. BTW there is even more evidence to throw into this mix. THE MIDRASHIM the collections of Aggadah & exegesis of the Rabbis in the 1st & Second Century AD all refer to the sins of Onanism & Sodomy collectively as "ma'aseh Er ve-Onan" (i.e. the crimes of Er & Onan). So people who read these texts in their original language see the fracking obvious & less than a century after the Dead Sea community with whom they have a hostile releationship.

Again, their tradition divides about 200 BC.

I'm sorry if I was so hard on you

You were?

OTOH if I lost my faith in God tommorow based on the evidence I have re-dug up I would still believe these texts teach it is evil to "spill your seed"

You mean, like I used to believe?

BenYachov said...

>But, you make no claim this is the purpose of Maximillian in particular.

I reply: So what?

>Who was the person trying to preserve the tradition of Arius?

I reply: So far you have argued Muslims within 100 of Muhammed accurately preserved his tradition of prohibition against the drinking of Alcohol but you deny Maximillian preserved Arius' contempt for Apostolic Tradition & tendency to rely on Scripture alone because they are different guys with different thoughts on matters besides I presume their mutual denial of the Deity of Christ. You claimed you would accept a Tradition within 100 years of Onan but as you have shown with Muhammend & Arius that is not the case in your different treatment of them. Your rationalizations for this double standard are special pleading.

>The traditions of Arius, or the defense of Aruis by Maximillian? Because you just said they were not the same thing.

I reply: Maximillian defended the doctrines advocated by Arius that history named in the honor of the later & the former did so in the same manner Arius did threw an appeal to scripture alone apart from tradition. You claimed Arius cited tradition to back up his denial of the Deity of Christ based on some obscure thing you read & at the same time YOU DECLINED to read or cite any of Arius' writings. I cited an Arian named Maximillian who clearly taught sola scriptura & you dismissed it because "he was not Arius". That is still inconsistent.
Well since then I poured over Arius' writings & he never cites tradition to defend his claim "there was a Time when He(The Son) was not". At best he cites traditions that condemn modalism & eminationism (which also are condemned by Trinitarians) & he says he learned the Faith from his ForeFather Bishop Alexander(the same bishop who excommunicated him for teaching Christ was created & not eternal). But that is it. Big woop! What Arius did is not the same as guys like Athenasius who cited ancient fathers & tradition to BACK UP the universal claim the Son always existed. Athenasius cited the belief of the Christians who came before Arius made up his own novelties in defiance of it.

Anyway at this point it seems you are just playing word games & I for one am not fooled.

>It would be very helpful if you could make up your mind here. Yes, I dop treat a defense as being different from the preservation of a tradition.

I reply: Do explain how it possible for Maximillian to defend Arian Christology and yet not preserve that same Christology? Not only have you contradicted yourself, made arguments from special pleading you have also degenerated into total incoherence.

>I do not regard that as special pleading. I find your apparent claim this it is special peading to be odd.

I reply: What I don't find odd at this point is your ability to keep coming up with even more & incoherent statements without the slightest shame.

>That was a response to a sentence, not a question.

I reply: Sorry but I clearly asked "So according to you arguments are not about "preserving precise words" yet Tradition is about that & not about preserving "thoughts & concepts"?" You didn't answer you brought up a tangent about "variance in the words, the variance in concepts" which does not seem relavent to our discussion.

BenYachov said...

>I do not dispute that Er and Onan had a Caananite mother. I do not dispute that the Canaanites were seen by the Israelites as being sexually depraved.

I reply: They where also universally condemned by the Rabbis for practicing Onanism. It is just so entertaining how you leave out inconvenient facts & refuse to confront their implications.

>Those propositions do not add up to Er committing a particular act, which particular act may or may not be considered depraved at the Genesis was written.

I reply: This is the same as saying Frank spray painted a swastika on the house of a Jew & we don't know why he did it. But his mother was a Nazi? Well, that is no explanation as to why he did it. It could be but it's not obvious. WTF!

In the end you are just ignoring the evidence becoming more incoherent with each post.

>I get convinced by people of various propositions regularly. You comment reads much more like a whine than a statement of truth.

I reply: So far you have given me no reason to believe this is so. Your comments have been rubbish.

>Which would be a different offense from refusing to sleep with his wife.

I reply: So now you move the goal posts again & you wish to claim God killed Er & Onan for not having sex with their wife & not for violating the Leviate Law? The problem I pointed out remains. Er didn't have sex with his wife for 3 days & then God killed him. Onan didn't have sex for a whole year(way past three days) & God only killed him after he spilled his seed. When you can answer the logical inconsistency in your argument let me know.

>This fits in with Shelah not being married to Tamar.

I reply: Well he was already married to her according to the Laws of Kitubbah. All you are doing here is judging the text based on your ideas of Twentieth Century American marriage custom & not ancient Near Eastern tribal laws or custom. So no dice. Plus the whole story is recounted in the Torah & yet you dismiss even an appeal to the Torah. You down played the fact the Torah had no death penalty for violating the Leviate Law & tried to infer they where not connected. What's up with that? Bottom line you have no coherent objections to the Traditional Understanding of Onan. The simplest explanation is God killed Onan for spilling his seed & he likely killed Er for the same reason.

>Genesis says specifically that Tamar felt she had not been given to Shelah.

I reply: It says "for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife." The text says nothing about her "feelings". Again you are reading twenty-first century marriage custom into a near eastern text. She was complaining she was not sent to his tent so they could consummate their marriage. Anyway Shelah was of age & he did not take the initiative to invite her into his tent to follow the Leviate commandment & consummate their marriage. Yet God doesn't kill him? I'm afraid there is no way you can save the liberal interpretation. Especially since you haven't even tried to offer a counter tradition or exegesis.

>Whatever your claims about what the legal distinctions are or are not, Tamar did not consider herself to have been married.

I reply: I love how you appeal to the literal words of the text in one breath & then grant yourself the right to read into the text your own ideas & yet you bristle at my use of Tradition to interpret & flesh out this text? This inconsistency of yours is just not convincing.

BenYachov said...

>To repeat for you: the common elements in the story are that Er and Onan refused to sleed with an Israelite wife,

I reply: Rather one is called wicked & God kills him then the other marries his widow spills his seed & is killed by God & called wicked. The linking factor is they are both wicked, killed by God & the later is only called wicked after he spills his seed a tangent fact the writer obviously thinks is important enough to mention even though he uses a crude hebrew metaphor. The factors are wickeness death by god's hand & seed spilling.

Biblical scholar Manuel Miguens has pointed out that a close examination of the text shows that God condemned Onan for the specific action he performed, not for his anti-Levirate intentions. He notes that the translation “he spilled his seed on the ground” fails to do full justice to the Hebrew expression. The Hebrew verb "shichet" never means “to spill” or “waste.” Rather, it means to act perversely. The text also makes it clear that his perverse action was related toward the ground, not against his brother. “His perversion or corruption consists in his action itself, not precisely in the result and goal of his act . . . In a strict interpretation the text says that what was evil in the sight of the Lord was what Onan actually did (asher asah); the emphasis in this sentence of verse 10 does not fall on what he intended to achieve, but on what he did.”-Manuel Miguens, “Biblical Thoughts on Human Sexuality,” Human Sexuality in Our Time, ed. George A. Kelly, St. Paul Editions, 1979, 112-15.


>while Shelah and Judah made no such refusal (not being married to her). The seems to be the principal thing that Er and Onan have in common, and Judah and Shelah lack. To reach your interpretation, you have to add to the story what is not present. A fine, 'scientific' process of exegesis on display.

I reply: If I may remind you again, you are the one who insists on interpreting this text IN TOTAL isolation from the rest of the Pentatuch & from Jewish & Near eastern culture in general. Your interpretation is NOT in any sense a 'scientific' process it is merely radical skepticism & textual agnosticism for it's own sake. As writter John F. Kippley said on this topic in response to a skeptic who like you now says he doesn't know why God killed OnanQUOTE"that by such an application of textual agnosticism, we might say that we just don’t know why Judas hung himself; it could have been despairing remorse for being a traitor, or it could have been an overwhelming migraine headache, or it could have been an unhappy homosexual liaison; we just don’t know. One agnosticism is just as absurd as the other.""END QUOTE

BenYachov said...

XXXXXX


Anyway here is a link to Kippley's article on the subject.
www.nfpandmore.org/2007%20May%20%20SIN%20OF%20ONAN.pdf

>I'm pretty sure Ietc...

I reply; It is clear the "Judah wasn't killed because he was an Israelite" nonsense didn't make any sense at all & now we know from professional exegite Manuel Miguens that the Hebrew word "shichet" means to act perversely toward the ground. Thus taken literally the Bible said Onan acted perversly toward the ground. It does not say he acted perversly because he didn't climax in his wife. Linguistic & textual science trumps the liberal interpretation. What do you think it was for nothing the various writers of the Midrashim refer to onanism as "the crime of Er & Onan"?

>Why are you fixated on the Levirate law? I have not once claim the death was for violation of the Levirate law.

I reply: What an unbelievably convenient claim on your part considering the "violating the Levirate law" theory has been the major counter claim against the traditional interpretation on this thread and only NOW are you distancing yourself from it. You bait & switch method of argument still doesn't fool me.

>Again, your complete failure to understand plain text ...

I reply: Now who is whining?



>You can't trace it before 200 BCE, apparently.

I reply: Which is still not a problem. In fact the cumulative evidence shows how this tradition survived uncorrupted & universally consistently from the 2nd century BC to the fourth century AD when the Talmud was finally redacted. So it's not much of a leap to conclude is the ancient view of the Jews. You have to continue to employ radical skepticism to doubt it. The type of kneejerk Skepticism Fiat Creationists employ to deny the geological age of the Earth.

BenYachov said...

>I've acknowledged all along I don't know much about the subject.
Your attempts to read into the text are just that obvious.

I reply: Yet you keep challenging my claims from a position of ignorance & at the same time claim you are open minded to evidence? This is totally incoherent.

>No, the evidence does mean something. In this case, the evidence is that there is no reference to Er spilling his seed in any of the traditional writings you have quoted. If all three leave it out, why insist on putting it in?

I reply: As Kippley noted by this standard of extreme exegetical agnosticism the text of Scripture doesn't explicitly say Judas killed himself because of remorse over betraying Jesus therefore we don't know why he killed himself.

The extra-biblical tradition universally points to Er dying for the same crime of his brother. The internal exegetical evidence backed up by Miguens shows Onan's act of spilling seed is called perverse. How are the perverse not wicked? If you are truly open minded you can read Miguens peer reviewed article for more info. As for Er he is a tangent issue. But in the end there is clearly good evidence to assume Er did what Onan did.

>That is the plain reading of the later texts.

I reply: Yet you are adverse to drawing the natural conclusions from the text in the cultural setting & favor extreme exegetical agnosticism? That is not convincing.

>Any time you use this phrase, you should pull out your hyperbole checker, etc....

I reply: I would prefer to use my Kyber Crystal. It's shiny!

>Yet, every single text fails to assign 'Onanism' to Er....

I reply:Nor does Matthew say Judas was remorseful when he killed himself. He was clearly only upset when he yelled at the priests & threw money into the Temple. But the text doesn't say anything about him being remorseful for betraying Jesus when he killed himself.

You objection to Er is not rational & it leads to an irrational understanding of texts when applied consistently.

BenYachov said...

>No extant manuscripts =/= no written transmission, as I acknowledged earlier. I have been saying for a few days ....etc

I reply: Now you are repeating yourself & I've already answered this...

You have no objective standard for evidence & since you profess ignorance of the subject or disciplines at hand how could you formulate a valid one? You can't.

>You are also adding to the scenario an assumption that directly supports your conclusion. The word 'convenient' comes to mind for this process.

I reply: My assumptions are rational your assumed tactic of radical skepticism is not, rather it can be used to doubt ANYTHING to the N'th degree.

>You have discovered I am not perfect. Oh my! Howver, my imperfections do not provide you with evidence you still don't have.

I reply: Rather they show in my fallible judgment you cannot be moved by evidence in THIS particular case for whatever reason.

>You think saying Onan was even more wicked than his brother would break the connection? If not, your replay is a non sequitur.

I reply: Naturally I didn't say that, you are simply reading into my words what you want them to mean. Your claim here has developed into an partial admission Onan was being condemned for spilling seed while making an argument from special pleading that he was not killed for THAT act but for your unproven assumption he was killed for merely not having sex with his wife. Or you ignore the text & context & claim we don't know why he was killed.

You have no reason from either the text, the Hebrew language of the Text, the greater context of Genesis & the Pentatuch or Tradition to have that assumption. In the end you fall back on your radical skepticism. I prefer the scientific study of history.

At the end with the evidence piling up solely in favor of the Traditional Interpretation of Onan & without counter evidence to support the liberal one. There can only be one conclusion & your novel theory that God killed Onan & Er for merely not having sex their wife isn't even a consideration since you are the origin & sole advocate of it & you clearly formulated it from merely reading the English text alone.

One Brow said...

You claimed you would accept a Tradition within 100 years of Onan but as you have shown with Muhammend & Arius that is not the case in your different treatment of them. Your rationalizations for this double standard are special pleading.

I don't believe in treating apples like oranges. You don't even claim Maximillian has the same goal as the followers of Muhammed. If teh goals are different, why should I expect teh results to be similar?

You claimed Arius cited tradition to back up his denial of the Deity of Christ based on some obscure thing you read ...

Technically, based on the account of a variety of historians, including Trnitarian historians.

I cited an Arian named Maximillian who clearly taught sola scriptura ...

Which is not proof that Arian taught sola scriptura, especially in light of the comments by historians who say otherwise.

Well since then I poured over Arius' writings & he never cites tradition to defend his claim ...

Since you have not even shown a decent ability to read what I have written in the past, and you seem to be in the minority, I see no reason to accept your word as accurate here.

Do explain how it possible for Maximillian to defend Arian Christology and yet not preserve that same Christology?

Preserving a specific point of dogma is not the same as preserving the resoning for that dogma.

Sorry but I clearly asked "So according to you arguments are not about "preserving precise words" yet Tradition is about that & not about preserving "thoughts & concepts"?"

My understand of the oral tradiiton was that it did indeed preserve precise wording later written down. If it made no claim to do so, that just allowed for even more variance in the understanding of Scripture.

They where also universally condemned by the Rabbis for practicing Onanism.

I don't dispute that either.

This is the same as saying Frank spray painted a swastika on the house of a Jew & we don't know why he did it.

I am not impressed by argumentum ad nazium. Each text specifically refers to Onan spillling seed, and does not refer to Er doing so.

In the end you are just ignoring the evidence becoming more incoherent with each post.

I am still waiting for evidence that, at the time Genesis was written, the understanding was that Er also spilled seed. I am still awaiting evidence that spilling seed was thought to be a capital offense when Genesis was written. You are still providing evidence 700 years later. Through any claimed incoherence, those facts are unchanged.

So now you move the goal posts again & you wish to claim God killed Er & Onan for not having sex with their wife & not for violating the Leviate Law?

I said that was the better explanation a few days ago, in a comment timestamped August 30, 2009 8:55 AM in this thread. I have repeated that view since. That you are just now seeing this does not speak highly for the possibility of fruitful discussion.

One Brow said...

The problem I pointed out remains. Er didn't have sex with his wife for 3 days & then God killed him. Onan didn't have sex for a whole year(way past three days) & God only killed him after he spilled his seed. When you can answer the logical inconsistency in your argument let me know.

When there is a logical inconsistency pointed out, I will be happy to. I could give ten different reasons for time difference, none of them supported by any of the texts, that have nothing to do with spilling seed. You can't give a reason supported by the text, either.

I reply: Well he was already married to her according to the Laws of Kitubbah.

You have evidence of the "Laws of Kitubbah" being active at the time of Genesis? Are they supposed to correspond to the act of kiddushin? Wasn any action taken in the text that would enacted kiddushin? I did a little research, and currently kiddushin requires a gift, a written contract, or an act of sex. Did Tamar receive any of these from Shelah? I don't recall that in the text.

Plus the whole story is recounted in the Torah & yet you dismiss even an appeal to the Torah.

Not at all. Show me where in the Torah it would say Tamar had a binding marriage.

I reply: It says "for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife." The text says nothing about her "feelings". Again you are reading twenty-first century marriage custom into a near eastern text. She was complaining she was not sent to his tent so they could consummate their marriage.

That's not what the text says. It doesn't say Shelah refused to go into Tamar's tent, or any of the usual euphamisms for intercourse. It says she ws not given to him as a wife. Does your scientific exegis process always dispute clear wording?

Do you have a way to show Tamar thought she was married?

I see no point in responding to more verbiage on your part that Er spilled seed even when the texts don't say he did. All you are doing is convincing me that you read into thetext what is not there.

If I may remind you again, you are the one who insists on interpreting this text IN TOTAL isolation from the rest of the Pentatuch

I would consider any other passage in the Pentateuch to be a strong supporting witness to the traditional interpretation of the account of Onan, if you can provide such a passage.

One Brow said...

What an unbelievably convenient claim on your part considering the "violating the Levirate law" theory has been the major counter claim against the traditional interpretation ...

I don't recall signing on to any major counter claim. A skeptic feels no need to take sides in these disputes.

Now who is whining?

That would be you. Your complete failure to misunderstand text is not an issue for me, as I have no expectations of you.

Yet you are adverse to drawing the natural conclusions from the text in the cultural setting & favor extreme exegetical agnosticism? That is not convincing.

I approve of finding natural conclusions. I disapprove of adding facts to the texts to force those conclusions.

You have no objective standard for evidence & since you profess ignorance of the subject or disciplines at hand how could you formulate a valid one? You can't.

Nor have I claimed to be able to. If you care to go back, my initial position, thus far unchanged, is that there are many different reasonable interpretations. This does not change your lack of evidence for your interpretation.

>You think saying Onan was even more wicked than his brother would break the connection? If not, your replay is a non sequitur.

I reply: Naturally I didn't say that, you are simply reading into my words what you want them to mean.


That's why I asked for a clarification, rather than issue a condemnation.

Your claim here has developed into an partial admission Onan was being condemned for spilling seed while making an argument from special pleading that he was not killed for THAT act but for your unproven assumption he was killed for merely not having sex with his wife. Or you ignore the text & context & claim we don't know why he was killed.

Er was declared wicked and killed, but without mention of spilling seed. Onan was declared wicked, spilt seed, and killed. "One of these things is not like the other".

BenYachov said...

Well I'm going off to vacation & I thought I'd wrap this nonsense up & tie up a few loose ends.

>Since you have not even shown a decent ability to read ....

ROTFLOL!!! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Read Arius & his use of "Tradition" for yourself. Yeh good luck finding where he cites Apostolic Tradition to justfy his claim "that there was a Time when He(Christ) was not" & good luck finding one scholar who makes that claim as well.

http://www.fourthcentury.com/index.php/urkunde-chart-opitz

>Preserving a specific point of dogma is not the same as preserving the resoning for that dogma.

I reply: Then all you have to show is the Arians or Arius citing Apostolic Tradition to justify their central dogma. All they do is quote scripture. At least I can show a Universal nterpretation in regards to Onan in Judaism & you can't produce a SINGLE Rabbi or Church Father to back up either the liberal interpretation or your own novel one.

>My understand of the oral tradiiton was that it did indeed preserve precise wording later written down.

I reply: That is an incorrect understanding of tradition to anyone who has either read Newman or studied Hallakah(one need only read the story of of Moshe Ha Navim being miraculously transported into the school of Rabbi Akiba to get the idea of Tradition).

>If it made no claim to do so, that just allowed for even more variance in the understanding of Scripture.

I reply: Unless you can show proof "more variance in the understanding of Scripture"

equals eliminating specific understandings of scripture this is a useless tangent.

Stick to Math.

>I am still awaiting evidence that spilling seed was thought to be a capital offense when Genesis was written.

I reply: It was never a capital offense but an act that merited death from God. BIG DIFFERENCE The Jews never tried & executed ANY individual in the whole history of Judaism for wanking. You are so ignorance of this topic it is unbelievable.
Anyway we know this is not a standard you really hold too since early in this debate you declared we couldn't interpret the actions in Gensis with the law in Levitcius (August 21, 2009 9:22 AM). I hate to break it to ya but Levitcius is a contempory document to to Gensis even if you deny Divine inspiration.

BenYachov said...

>I don't recall that in the text.

I reply: Are you sure you where once Catholic because you sound like a Baptist with all the Sola Scriptura nonsense? Anyway by that standard there is nothing in Scripture that teaches a man merits death by either the civil law or at the hand of God for failing to sleep with his wife in a natural fashion & of course it's not anywhere in tradition either. You got nothing.

>Show me where in the Torah it would say Tamar had a binding marriage.

I reply: Show me where it says people who refuse to sleep with their wives must die?

>there are many different reasonable interpretations.

I reply: But they are only reasonable if you can back them up using legitimate exegisis
& historical study. You have not done this at all. I did & I OTOH cited Kippley's article.

www.nfpandmore.org/2007%20May%20%20SIN%20OF%20ONAN.pdf

Which you clearly have no answer too & Kippley cites Manuel Miguens QUOTE"he spilled his seed on the ground” fails to do full justice to the Hebrew expression. The Hebrew verb "shichet" never means “to spill” or “waste.” Rather, it means to act perversely. The text also makes it clear that his perverse action was related toward the ground, not against his brother[OR his Wife if I may interject] . “His perversion or corruption consists in his action itself, not precisely in the result and goal of his act . . . In a strict interpretation the text says that what was evil in the sight of the Lord was what Onan actually did (asher asah); the emphasis in this sentence of verse 10 does not fall on what he intended to achieve, but on what he did.”-Manuel Miguens, “BiblicalThoughts on Human Sexuality,”Human Sexuality in Our Time, ed. George A. Kelly, St. Paul Editions, 1979, 112-15.END

Bottom line who should I listen too on explaining the meaning of this text? A Professional Biblical Exegete with two Doctorates, who studied hebrew in the Holy Land(Miguens) or some anonymous Math teacher?

>A skeptic feels no need to take sides in these disputes.

I reply; Which is why they are bloody useless. Besides you have taken a side in this issue. The wrong one. Tradition, Exegesis, History, Hebrew Marriage Law, Near eastern Trible Law is on my side of the argument. Onan died for spilling his seed(Er likely did too) Your only rebuttles have been a homage to the Monty Python Argument sketch but you sir are no John Cleese.

Now I'm off to the lake this discussion is over.

One Brow said...

ROTFLOL!!! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Read Arius & his use of "Tradition" for yourself. Yeh good luck finding where he cites Apostolic Tradition to justfy his claim "that there was a Time when He(Christ) was not" & good luck finding one scholar who makes that claim as well.

I don't claim either side relied on *cites* of Tradition. Of course, your position all along has been that preserving tradition is about the ideas expressed, no the words used. So, when I read 'Patristic scholars today warn against lumping together as “Arians” all the early theologians who had reservations about granting the Son full equality with the Father. They argue that it was the opponents of Arius who created this persona of Arius as the leader and arch-heretic of this theological tendency. Even his role as originator of the open controversy has been questioned, with men such as Eusebius of Caesarea, Asterius the Sophist and Lucian of Antioch offered as the true instigators' it seems clear that Arius was not arguing sola scriptura.

Unless you can show proof "more variance in the understanding of Scripture"

If yo have no understanding how the variance in words will lead to variance in the ideas passed, I can offer nothing more in that regard.

It was never a capital offense but an act that merited death from God.

If God kills you, you are not dead? Less dead? For that matter, does God kill any other person for spillling seed in the Bible?

you declared we couldn't interpret the actions in Gensis with the law in Levitcius ...

I agree the writing of Genesis was contemporaneous to the writing of Leviticus. I was referring to the supposed historical events they referenced. We can't assume the Law as written in Leviticus was the law for the people of the events in Onan's time. I agree that the Leviticus reference is a good indictation that the writers of Leviticus did not beleive Onan's sin was a failure to uphold Levirate marriage. This is not evidence for the traditional interpretation, because there are so many alternate interpretations.

Anyway by that standard there is nothing in Scripture that teaches a man merits death by either the civil law or at the hand of God for failing to sleep with his wife in a natural fashion & of course it's not anywhere in tradition either. You got nothing.

There is nothing in scripture that teaches a man merits death by either the civil law or at the hand of God for spilling seed, there is only a highly unreliable, non-contemporaneous tradition.

Show me where it says people who refuse to sleep with their wives must die?

It doesn't, of course. So, we agree Tamar had no binding marriage?

You have not done this at all. I did & I OTOH cited Kippley's article.

The strongest argument in Kippleys article is the preservation of the proper Tradition by Holy Spirit. I have little doubt you think this happened, as well. If this was the real reason you think the Tradition was presevered, you lied earlier when you said it was not the reason.

Outside of that, Kippley relied on a false dichotomy (disproving the Levirate marriage interpretation was considered proof of the spilling seed interpretation) and completely glossed over the lack of spilling seed in the case of Er. That you consider this to be the heights of exegesis is sad.

Bottom line who should I listen too on explaining the meaning of this text? A Professional Biblical Exegete with two Doctorates, who studied hebrew in the Holy Land(Miguens) or some anonymous Math teacher?

Since you asked that way, the one that has no dog in the fight. I does not matter a whit to me as a person if the traditional interpretation is accurate, it matters a great deal to Kippley.

Now I'm off to the lake this discussion is over.

Enjoy your vacation.