Wednesday, July 25, 2007

God is a Liberal, Part III

"What happened to Part II?" you ask. Well the last post was supposed to be Part II, I just forgot to title it that way. Welcome to Part III.

So God is a liberal? Well, yes. Conservatives complain about liberals trying to social engineer society through government. Did you know that the God of the Bible did the same thing? For example, the Year Of Jubilee. The book of Leviticus, chapter 25 explains all about it. When some people would become poor, they would have to sell their land in order to make enough money to survive. But every 50 years the land was returned to them -- free!!! It was a Jubilee!!! A time of rejoicing. They got to start their lives over again. If you've ever seen the movie, "Fight Club," you'll notice the same idea: They were going to blow up the buildings of the credit card companies, so that everybody's debt was erased, and they all got to start at zero, again. God had the same idea, 0nly a lot sooner, and without the hassle of blowing up a lot of buildings (though not as much fun).

Of course, this isn't all that God did to try to engineer society. He also made charity a law. Leviticus 19:9 and 23:2 explain that farmers (which was just about everybody in an agrarian society) were not allowed to harvest all of their crops. They had to leave the corners and edges of their fields for the poor to be able to gather food for themselves.

There was more: God commanded (in Deuternomy 15) that everyone's debts were to be cancelled every seven years. Whoah!!! Wouldn't most of us like to see that these days!

So obviously, God thought society should making looking out for the poor a high priority. And it wasn't just society in Israel. In Ezekiel 16:49, we are told that Sodom was destroyed -- not because of homosexuality -- but because Sodom "did not aid the poor and needy." Whoah!!! Now that's a warning we need to hear in this country! How do all the televangelists miss that, eh?

If we look throughout the prophets and Psalms, we find that justice is measured by how much the poor and needy are taken care of.

This carries over into the New Testament. Not only do we find Jesus healing people for free, and feeding them when they are hungry, but when the first church in Jerusalem is formed, it is a commune, where everyone shares everything in common, and nobody goes without (Acts 2:44-45)

So, if social engineering so that the poor are taken care of is a liberal idea, then by all means, God is a Liberal!!!

18 comments:

aag said...

Its interesting how conservatives are obsessed with the relatively few admonitions against homosexuality in the Bible, but turn an almost complete blind eye to the numerous admonitions concerning society's obligation to care for the less fortunate. Just this sunday, we were studying Zechariah 7:9-10, in which we are instructed to show mercy and compassion to every man, and not to oppress widows, orphans, strangers or the poor. How does immigrant-bashing square with the Bible?

Bilbo said...

Not very well, I'm afraid. Israel is reminded over and over that they once were aliens in Egypt, therefore they are to treat aliens in their own land justly, even to love them, if I recall. I'll have to look that up.

aag said...

Its ironic, how on the one hand conservatives will argue that government has an obligation to enforce biblical morality in regards to sex, but then do an about face and argue government shouldn't provide welfare or health care when in fact biblical morality clearly requires feeding the hungry and treating the sick.

William Bradford said...

Immigrant bashing is not biblical. Immigration policies ought to be fashioned based on legitimate national interests, not racism. We are admonished to care for the poor but that is not a command to respond collectively although a collective response may be appropriate. We are held personally responsible for our actions so that even if no goverment programs exist, with respect to a particular problem, we are nonetheless obligated to devote our resources toward the poor. That can be done directly or through charitable organizations which incidently are much more efficiently run than the US federal government. IOW, even if government programs exist individual actions are still demanded by God. One's responsibilities extend beyond the polling booth.

Jim Sherwood said...

When are you going to talk about intelligent design? I'm pretty liberal, and pro-intelligent design. But particular religious views are irrelevant to I.D. My own perspective is basically Zen Buddhist, for instance. The real problem is that political liberalism is in big trouble if it becomes associated with the dogmas of Darwinist pseudoscience.

aag said...

Hi Jim Sherwood,

"The real problem is that political liberalism is in big trouble if it becomes associated with the dogmas of Darwinist pseudoscience."

That is a very bizarre statement to make in 2007, when only the extreme religious right clings to vacuous IDism to try to promote their creationist beliefs in public schools, creationists have been routed at the ballot box and the courts, and even the Bush Administration has distanced itself from IDism. Liberalism can't harm itself by supporting mainstream science, so what is it you could mean?

William Bradford said...

aag, Darwinism is understood by many to mean the arising and subsequent evolution of life in the complete absence of any teleological component. That belief is neither confirmed by sound science or held by most Americans. Neither is it inherently antithetical to a liberal philosophy.

Jim Sherwood said...

Hi, aag. The late Fred Hoyle was a pretty great scientist, who was always a materialist and an atheist. So was Chandra Wickramasinghe, co-author with Hoyle of the book Cosmic Life-Force(1990.) On p.138 the authors wrote:

"The alternative to assembly of life by random, mindless processes is assembly through the intervention of some type of cosmic intelligence. Such a concept would be rejected out of hand by most scientists, although there is no rational argument for such a rejection...It would not need too great a measure of extrapolation, or too great a license of imagination, to say that a cosmic intelligence that emerged naturally in the Universe may have designed and worked out all the logical consequences of our own living system."

This is not to cite Hoyle as an "authority," or to say that he must have been right, but simply to note that intelligent design is not a conservative or religious conspiracy, or some such thing.

Jim Sherwood said...

Hi, aag. The late Fred Hoyle was a pretty great scientist, who was always a materialist and an atheist. So was Chandra Wickramasinghe, co-author with Hoyle of the book Cosmic Life-Force(1990.) On p.138 the authors wrote:

"The alternative to assembly of life by random, mindless processes is assembly through the intervention of some type of cosmic intelligence. Such a concept would be rejected out of hand by most scientists, although there is no rational argument for such a rejection...It would not need too great a measure of extrapolation, or too great a license of imagination, to say that a cosmic intelligence that emerged naturally in the Universe may have designed and worked out all the logical consequences of our own living system."

This is not to cite Hoyle as an "authority," or to say that he must have been right, but simply to note that intelligent design is not a conservative or religious conspiracy, or some such thing.

Jim Sherwood said...

Somehow my comment was duplicated.
Although I described Hoyle as a materialist and an atheist, with a little further research it looks like he was basically an agnostic in his later years. He also became much inclined to see teleology in the universe. But I don't think that anyone could make him out to have been a theist. I may post a few more relevant quotes from Hoyle.

I'm not a theist, but view intelligence as in some sense pervading reality.

Joe G said...

Hi Bilbo,

This is off-topic but in response to your telic thoughts post about DaveScot banning people from UD.

FYI-I was banned from telic thoughts just for responding to personal attacks.

IOW the people that banned me are lower than DaveScot will ever be.

barb michelen said...

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JackT said...

Hi Bilbo, this is JackT from Telic Thoughts.

I was banned from Telic Thoughts before I saw your post and had a chance to respond.

I sent an email to Mike Gene containing a response to your apology, asking him to forward it to you or the blog. To my knowledge, Mike has ignored it.

My response was, in part, "Thank you for the gesture, Bilbo. To be honest, I habitually skim
past ad hominems, so I didn't even remember your comment. I wouldn't
have even remembered you as having said something out of hand. So
thanks, but for my own sake it happened to be unnecessary."

From what I can tell, some rabble-rouser named "anon9" decided have some fun by stirring up a commotion. (The fact that there are 119 responses means he/she was "successful", I guess.)

I also told Mike Gene that "anon9" is not a sock puppet of me, and asked whether he would investigate. (This was in the same email that was ignored.)

Additionally, I emailed "Guts" asking him to investigate. He did respond, saying, "Shut up frostman, you're pathetic lol."

I am tempted to wax philosophical about how ID proponents are inclined to believe in propositions without evidence. It is enough, however, to merely state the facts: (1) "anon9" is not my sock puppet; (2) several members of Telic Thoughts assumed he/she is a sock puppet, without evidence; (3) I was banned on this assumption; (4) It would be trivial to clear my name by checking to server logs to confirm that anon9 is not my sock puppet; (5) This check was requested and (very immaturely) refused.

My last email to Guts said, in part, "At antievolution.org I took the criticism against Telic Thoughts with
a grain of salt. But now I see the irrational and unscrupulous
behavior first-hand. It would be easy to dismiss one data point, but
with two it becomes harder to dismiss."

So that is that. Thank you again for the noble gesture. If only those running the show at Telic Thoughts had a fraction of your decency.

William Wallace said...

Jim Jones was a liberal, too, much loved by the liberals in San Francisco, including Willie Brown.

Don't drink the kool aid.

Problems with your examples:

1. The old testament laws were for chosen people at a certain time.

2. IMO, real conservatives don't much like credit--or at least interest. But the neo-cons and the liberals seem to love it. Would you lend any money in the 6th year? The 49th year?

3. The new testament church was voluntary.

4. Conservatives are charitable. Liberals think the government should force conservatives to donate to their causes.

Alan Fox said...

Test

Rich Hughes said...

Hi Bilbo - sorry for the off topic post, but this is teh only way I think I can talk to you directly.

1) Kudos on your thoughs on moderation and banning on TT

2) Please consider yourself invited:

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=14;t=5205;st=3120#entry174506

Fond regards,
Rich

Bilbo said...

Hi Rich,

Thanks for the invite. If I had more time I would accept. BTW, is antievolution.org what IDers lovingly refer to as the "swamp"?

socratus said...

God as a Scientist : Ten Scientific Commandments.
==.
#
God Himself is Creator.
He/She/It created Everything.
So God must be Scientist and must use Physical/
Mathematical Laws and Formulas for His/Her/Its work.
#
For forty days and forty nights Moses wrote the tablets
of ‘ The Ten Commandments’.
Which Commandments are they?
They are moral, ethical Commandments.
Can be written ‘Ten Scientific Commandments’ ?
I think ‘ Yes’, God has given to us everything that necessary
to understand Him and His Genesis using Physical /
Mathematical Laws and Formulas.
===.
Scheme.
Ten Scientific Commandments:
Fundamental Theory of Existence.

1 The infinite vacuum T=0K. ( background energy space: E ).
2 The particle:
C/D = pi, R/N= k , E = Mc^2 = kc^2 , h = 0 , i^2= -1
3 The spins: h =E/t , h =kb, h* = h/2pi
4 The photon, the inertia
5 The electron: e^2 = h*ca, E = h*f , electromagnetic field
6 The gravitation, the star, the time and space
7 The Proton
8
The Evolution of interaction between Electron and Proton
a) electromagnetic
b) nuclear
c) biological
9
The Laws
a) The Law of conservation and transformation energy/mass
b) The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle / Law
c) The Pauli Exclusion Principle/ Law
10
The test.
Every theory must be tested logically ( theoretical ) and practically
a) Theory : Dualism of Consciousness: (consciousness / unconsciousness)
b) Practice : Parapsychology. Meditation.
========.
Best wishes
Israel Sadovnik Socratus
============.
#
The secret of God and Existence is hidden
in the ‘ Theory of Vacuum & Light Quanta ‘.
==========..
#
I want to know how God created this world
I am not interested in this or that phenomenon,
in the spectrum of this or that element
I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details
/ Einstein /
==========.