Fellow Atheists/Agnostic Atheists - Let's Chat: Do you feel it is risky being "out" these days?

Isn't the Abrahamic distaste for homosexuality in part due to a rejection of Greek civilization influences?

maybe in part, but dont the parts in leviticus predate prolonged semitic contact with Greek culture?

Seth wrote:

maybe in part, but dont the parts in leviticus predate prolonged semitic contact with Greek culture?

Don't know, but there's also the theory I've read and mentioned on GWJ that interprets Leviticus 18:22 as a prohibition of multiple-male threesomes, to stop things like Maury Povich.

I believe it's usually dated to the post-exile period (by modern scholars), which puts it later than 538 (though of course parts are older). The legal codes and such are post-exile as far as I know. But, checking the timelines, it looks like Greece didn't take over Judah for another 300 years. I guess what I see there is a continuation of an older tradition, not a direct reaction to Greek influences.

Well from my heathen brain, there is only so much you can trust the uncountable re-written transcriptions of ancient texts. I have seen articles speaking of the Dead Sea Scrolls as original, which is laughable. It is not even certain who wrote and stored them, Catholics have argued that one scroll is the earliest written Gospel.

Translations and transcriptions are prone to the prejudices and needs of the day. The book of Isiah has 3-4 distinct writing styles showing revisions over time by several authors. I think it stands to reason that more Orthodox Helenic Jews may have had a bent against homosexuality.

In truth this is no different that the differences between New American, Gideon, King James bibles. Each one has different styles, different intents, different audiences, etc. And that has been going on for thousands of years as scriptures have been translated and reinterpreted.

KingGorilla wrote:

Well from my heathen brain, there is only so much you can trust the uncountable re-written transcriptions of ancient texts. I have seen articles speaking of the Dead Sea Scrolls as original, which is laughable. It is not even certain who wrote and stored them, Catholics have argued that one scroll is the earliest written Gospel.

Translations and transcriptions are prone to the prejudices and needs of the day. The book of Isiah has 3-4 distinct writing styles showing revisions over time by several authors. I think it stands to reason that more Orthodox Helenic Jews may have had a bent against homosexuality.

In truth this is no different that the differences between New American, Gideon, King James bibles. Each one has different styles, different intents, different audiences, etc. And that has been going on for thousands of years as scriptures have been translated and reinterpreted.

The counter to this is that the translation was divinely guided. If you believe the originals were divinely inspired, there's no real reason not to accept that the chain of translations down to your favored version were guided by God as well.
Edit - Of course, this requires you to believe that the original text was divinely inspired in the first place.

It also requires you to believe that when the text was *changed* by translators or copiers, all those changes were divinely inspired. Even the mistakes... Otherwise, how would you tell "divinely inspired" from "doesn't know Aramaic as well as he thought"?

Well the divine cop-out can be used just about anywhere. You can see writings about how God can change the decay and half-life of radioactive isotopes to speed them up. God can just decide to place fossils and bones in the ground, etc. A god deciding to change the words on the written page every few generations does not really answer a question. It excuses the enquiry without answer.

You also get into another area, that is almost uniquely American. Jews and Catholics would not find problem in stating that the text and meaning of the bible changes with a changing society. Even among the most Orthodox Jews this is acceptable because the important thing is the maintenance and relevance of the cannon and the law. This only becomes an issue when you try to cast a religion, a text as needing to be monolithic. Jews, Catholics, Anglicans do not view the scriptural texts in this way. It takes the newer more hard line fundamentalism of American protestantism to impose that where it has no place.

And this is in the Gospels as well. Mark, Matthew, and Luke have passages stating that purpose of the law (Of scripture) is to serve man. Man is not made to serve the law.

KingGorilla wrote:

Well the divine cop-out can be used just about anywhere. You can see writings about how God can change the decay and half-life of radioactive isotopes to speed them up. God can just decide to place fossils and bones in the ground, etc. A god deciding to change the words on the written page every few generations does not really answer a question. It excuses the enquiry without answer.

Exactly, I was just bringing it up as an example of how people can get around the pesky problem that their inerrant word of god is little better than a game of telephone that started thousands of years ago.

Kentucky requires that plaques celebrating the power of the Almighty God be installed outside the state Homeland Security building--and carries a criminal penalty of up to 12 months in jail if one fails to comply. The plaque’s inscription begins with the assertion, “The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.”

Been on the books since 2006, struck down once in a ruling that was later overturned. Not moving to Kentucky any time soon.

I have a sanctimonious former alcoholic in my office that told me "I'll pray for you" when I announced my intention to have a few too many drinks over the Thanksgiving weekend (staying at home of course). Is it wrong that I responded by saying "And I'll drink for you"?

Paleocon wrote:

I have a sanctimonious former alcoholic in my office that told me "I'll pray for you" when I announced my intention to have a few too many drinks over the Thanksgiving weekend (staying at home of course). Is it wrong that I responded by saying "And I'll drink for you"?

No and in fact I salute your calm and reasoned response.

Paleocon wrote:

I have a sanctimonious former alcoholic in my office that told me "I'll pray for you" when I announced my intention to have a few too many drinks over the Thanksgiving weekend (staying at home of course). Is it wrong that I responded by saying "And I'll drink for you"?

Sounds like you just created a perpetual prayer-inebriation feedback loop.

Hell, if they served beer and brats during mass, my wife might actually be able to get me to attend every once in a while.

Paleocon wrote:

I have a sanctimonious former alcoholic in my office that told me "I'll pray for you" when I announced my intention to have a few too many drinks over the Thanksgiving weekend (staying at home of course). Is it wrong that I responded by saying "And I'll drink for you"?

The AA and NA are really interesting cases where religion is treated as the de-facto cure for what ails ye. It seems like our default reaction to addiction is to send somebody to Jesus camp where god and pals will straighten them out.

My uncle went through a serious rough patch and he leans on NA to "keep him clean;" as a result he's gotten a little bit Jesus-y (not too Jesus-y, mind, cause he's still gay after all). This is one case where I feel really uncertain about how to respond; I don't know that the Jesus stuff actually makes these programs any more effective, but it's clear that my uncle has credited the Christian faith for his own recovery and I'm not sure how much I want to mess with that.

With NA/AA success stories, I'd be reluctant to poke the bear in general. If they feel like they need to be all churchy to stay clean, maybe it's best to just turn the other cheek and let them.

gore wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

I have a sanctimonious former alcoholic in my office that told me "I'll pray for you" when I announced my intention to have a few too many drinks over the Thanksgiving weekend (staying at home of course). Is it wrong that I responded by saying "And I'll drink for you"?

The AA and NA are really interesting cases where religion is treated as the de-facto cure for what ails ye. It seems like our default reaction to addiction is to send somebody to Jesus camp where god and pals will straighten them out.

My uncle went through a serious rough patch and he leans on NA to "keep him clean;" as a result he's gotten a little bit Jesus-y (not too Jesus-y, mind, cause he's still gay after all). This is one case where I feel really uncertain about how to respond; I don't know that the Jesus stuff actually makes these programs any more effective, but it's clear that my uncle has credited the Christian faith for his own recovery and I'm not sure how much I want to mess with that.

With NA/AA success stories, I'd be reluctant to poke the bear in general. If they feel like they need to be all churchy to stay clean, maybe it's best to just turn the other cheek and let them.

Penn and Teller in their show Bullsh!t did a segment on AA and found that the difference between the internally published success rates in 12 step treatment programs and people simply giving up on their own was in the statistical noise. Both came out to roughly 5%.

Basically, if you want to quit, you will find a way to quit with or without your special sky friend.

Chairman_Mao wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

I have a sanctimonious former alcoholic in my office that told me "I'll pray for you" when I announced my intention to have a few too many drinks over the Thanksgiving weekend (staying at home of course). Is it wrong that I responded by saying "And I'll drink for you"?

Sounds like you just created a perpetual prayer-inebriation feedback loop.

Dionysius is pleased.

Paleocon wrote:

Hell, if they served beer and brats during mass, my wife might actually be able to get me to attend every once in a while.

So there is this monastic order in Southern Wisconsin who do this very thing. After Mass though.

Chairman_Mao wrote:

Kentucky requires that plaques celebrating the power of the Almighty God be installed outside the state Homeland Security building--and carries a criminal penalty of up to 12 months in jail if one fails to comply. The plaque’s inscription begins with the assertion, “The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.”

Been on the books since 2006, struck down once in a ruling that was later overturned. Not moving to Kentucky any time soon.

I'm always struck by the growing similarities between some overly prescriptive American Christians and the Muslim countries they tend to deride.

KingGorilla wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

Hell, if they served beer and brats during mass, my wife might actually be able to get me to attend every once in a while.

So there is this monastic order in Southern Wisconsin who do this very thing. After Mass though.

No deal. Has to be in the pews and the dude in the robes has to have a two drink head start on the congregation. Oh, and none of this gods crap either.

Paleocon wrote:

No deal. Has to be in the pews and the dude in the robes has to have a two drink head start on the congregation. Oh, and none of this gods crap either.

I'm in.

Kraint wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

No deal. Has to be in the pews and the dude in the robes has to have a two drink head start on the congregation. Oh, and none of this gods crap either.

I'm in.

I'm in too. But I think you just described a brew pub.

KrazyTacoFO wrote:
Kraint wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

No deal. Has to be in the pews and the dude in the robes has to have a two drink head start on the congregation. Oh, and none of this gods crap either.

I'm in.

I'm in too. But I think you just described a brew pub.

We'll make our own religion, with beer and sausages! In fact, forget the religion!

muttonchop wrote:
KrazyTacoFO wrote:
Kraint wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

No deal. Has to be in the pews and the dude in the robes has to have a two drink head start on the congregation. Oh, and none of this gods crap either.

I'm in.

I'm in too. But I think you just described a brew pub.

We'll make our own religion, with beer and sausages! In fact, forget the religion!

Can I have gin and tonics instead?

Splitter!
IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/NIFEB.jpg)

muttonchop wrote:

Splitter!
IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/NIFEB.jpg)

Do you know how long I've been skimming this thread hoping to see exactly that reference? Man, if my wife liked or got Monty Python, I'd go home and watch that right now.

So apparently, it's the "well, I'm going to say Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays" time of year again.

At least I can say "happy holidays" without getting self-righteous about it.

Katy wrote:

So apparently, it's the "well, I'm going to say Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays" time of year again.

At least I can say "happy holidays" without getting self-righteous about it.

Having grown up in Detroit, an area with a heavy population of Jews and Muslims in addition to ubiquitous X-ians, I had grown up figuring Happy Holidays just made a handy catch all for local businesses and people.

I have yet to meet the Jew or Muslim offended by a Merry Christmas, or a Happy Easter. But I figured Happy Holidays and decorations of the like were to be more efficient in catering to all three. Then as the Holiday Season became extended from November into January. I figured it was a good way to encompass Happy Thanksgiving, Enjoyable Religious Observance, and a Happy New Year. You are killing about 6 birds there.

But I have noticed a ponderously large number of X-ians offended by anything but Merry X-mas. I just figure that is one of those things that if you stress out over will lead to a tumor or an aneurysm, so the problem will fix itself.

Katy wrote:

So apparently, it's the "well, I'm going to say Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays" time of year again.

It's always nice when assholes self-identify. It means I don't have to waste time on them. And I can tell them I'm giving their name to Obama's super secret secular police.