Author Topic: A Culturally Relative God  (Read 1814 times)

A Culturally Relative God
« on: November 21, 2016, 05:48:17 PM »
One recurring argument which I see presented when discussing the Bible is the idea of cultural relativity. Now this one always bugs me deep down, as it's typically used to excuse (the horrible and often misogynistic) commands made by God in the Old Testament in particular. Ultimately people claim that God gave those commands specifically for that time period and later gave different rules when Jesus was born, thus Christians don't have to abide by Old Testament rules (except the one's they like).

The 3 major issues I have are:

1. Jesus distinctly states he came to fulfill the law and only directly changes a handful of rules while adding a few of his own.

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2. How exactly is an all-powerful God bound to the cultural relative norms of the time? Wouldn't his laws like supersede any traditions and potentially be able to advance the human race generations ahead of like misogyny and slavery? And if parts of the Bible were written by men (read. All of it) how exactly does one distinguish which parts they should listen too?

3. Does culturally relative mean that if God came back for a third time today he might have different and even nicer rules, like "Gay people are ok now" or "atheist won't go to hell just for not believing in me because I've realized that's a dumb concept"? Or maybe, "Forget the Bible, I didn't write any of that shit you idiots."

I wonder what he'd say to his modern day "followers". Now of course most religious people simply haven't read the Bible, but that's another story.

What do you guys think about a culturally relative God?
"To have faith is to lose your mind and to win God."
-The Sickness unto Death - 1849

Offline Baruch

Re: A Culturally Relative God
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2016, 06:07:26 PM »
This why there are a thousand different kinds of Christianity.  It adapts.  This is why there are relatively few different kinds of Judaism or Islam.  They don't adapt.  Adaptation destroys your core values, non-adaptation marginalizes.

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Re: A Culturally Relative God
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2016, 07:13:04 PM »
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This why there are a thousand different kinds of Christianity.  It adapts.  This is why there are relatively few different kinds of Judaism or Islam.  They don't adapt.  Adaptation destroys your core values, non-adaptation marginalizes.

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Hmm, I hadn't considered this point, do you think the need to separate from core beliefs is due to certain irreconcilable parts of the Bible?
"To have faith is to lose your mind and to win God."
-The Sickness unto Death - 1849

Offline Baruch

Re: A Culturally Relative God
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2016, 09:24:44 PM »
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Hmm, I hadn't considered this point, do you think the need to separate from core beliefs is due to certain irreconcilable parts of the Bible?

Cart before the horse.  It isn't Bible driven, scripture justifies what has already been decided by other means.  The Abrahmics could take a series of Ouija derived prognostications and interpret them according to their predispositions and come up with the same things.  All anthologies are irreconcilable .. Norton Anthology of English Literature for instance.  The aforesaid prognostications would be highly unlikely to be cogent either.  First you have the religion, then you put together an appropriate scripture, or take an existing scripture and cherry pick it ... and provide new interpretations for old material.  All the Abrahamics have done this.

The Quran wasn't compiled until a generation after Muhammad's death ... using the available bits and pieces of oracular utterances he left behind ... and then they did it again 100 years later, with the Hadith, bringing in old or new utterances to fill out or interpret the first set.  Given who the first Muslims were ... it had to be something that fit their climate and culture ... dry and harsh.  And any parts of it had to be attributed to Allah, via Muhammad.  But we have no idea if Muhammad said any of those things.  And the end result had to justify a vast empire that was beyond anything Muhammad could have imagined.  So Islam produced the Quran, the Quran didn't produce Islam.

Judaism is much smaller in number of adherents, but covers a wide geography ... always in minority and disempowered.  Except for geography, completely different than Ummayad Islam.  And Christianity is factored by the Romen Empire ... a hundred different tribes, with no one tribe predominating.

Why have core beliefs at all?  Political control ... that is why orthodoxy in Christianity didn't come about until Constantine need it to be.  And Judaism didn't achieve a new orthodoxy, until after the Temple had been destroyed and the rabbis had succeeded in getting control of all the communities.  If Roman Catholicism had achieved its dream, of universal reconquest of the old Roman Empire ... they would have found justification for that in the Bible.  But like the Holy Roman Empire (Germany) ... Catholicism was neither holy, nor Roman nor an empire.
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Re: A Culturally Relative God
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2016, 08:58:06 AM »
I would suggest all gods are culturally driven.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch

Re: A Culturally Relative God
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2016, 12:54:46 PM »
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I would suggest all gods are culturally driven.

To say otherwise would be philistine ;-)
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Offline aitm

Re: A Culturally Relative God
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2016, 07:49:29 PM »
"god" is absolutely culturally relative. The whole of leviticus is ignored by the majority of xians (cepting the gay part) due to cultural diet. Lobster and shrimp, and oysters are a no-no...well.......now that we are trying to get the Swedes, Finns and Dutch to commit to the cause we have to turn a blind eye to that...too much money involved...and pigs? Well them Germandic types are just a little fond of their piggies so....
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline Baruch

Re: A Culturally Relative God
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2016, 08:05:47 PM »
Most Jews ignore Leviticus too.  So are you just copying Jews again?
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Re: A Culturally Relative God
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2016, 01:22:51 AM »
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"god" is absolutely culturally relative. The whole of leviticus is ignored by the majority of xians (cepting the gay part) due to cultural diet. Lobster and shrimp, and oysters are a no-no...well.......now that we are trying to get the Swedes, Finns and Dutch to commit to the cause we have to turn a blind eye to that...too much money involved...and pigs? Well them Germandic types are just a little fond of their piggies so....

It honestly boggles my mind more that not only do people believe in God, but they also openly and consistently break his commandment despite believing in hell and that the Bible is his word. Like I just don't understand that one, are you intentionally trying to damn yourself to hell or do you not really believe.
"To have faith is to lose your mind and to win God."
-The Sickness unto Death - 1849

Offline Baruch

Re: A Culturally Relative God
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2016, 06:57:56 AM »
There is a lot about reality, that is mind-boggling ... and humanity is in our experience, the most perplexing and disturbing.

The Epistle to the Romans is all about the dialectic of sin and redemption.  Paul always had a guilty conscience.
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Offline Cavebear

Re: A Culturally Relative God
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2016, 05:10:32 AM »
All deities are human-created to codify existing societal rules.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

 

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