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View Full Version : Are some things just plain evil period??



Bex4Jesus
Dec 31st 2008, 08:33 PM
Things like owning slaves, treating women like property, intentionally killing people (non fighters) in a war, raping someone, molesting someone, torturing someone....are these things just WRONG ALL THE TIME regardless of the circumstances? Are there things that are just plain evil, period, end of statement?

To be honest, I think the answer is yes. I can't think of any way to say its ok to rape someone or "own" someone or torture someone or kill people who aren't fighting you in a war.

Do you agree? Disagree? I just thought this was interesting.

Love to all,

Bex

moonglow
Dec 31st 2008, 09:09 PM
Things like owning slaves, treating women like property, intentionally killing people (non fighters) in a war, raping someone, molesting someone, torturing someone....are these things just WRONG ALL THE TIME regardless of the circumstances? Are there things that are just plain evil, period, end of statement?

To be honest, I think the answer is yes. I can't think of any way to say its ok to rape someone or "own" someone or torture someone or kill people who aren't fighting you in a war.

Do you agree? Disagree? I just thought this was interesting.

Love to all,

Bex

Of course rape and molesting someone, torturing someone and killing for self interest is always wrong. I am going to assume since you posted in bible chat you are referring to some things in the bible? As far as I know I can't think of any stories of molestation in the bible though. There were some instances of rape though. Slavery isn't so cut and dry as you might think...sure its wrong to go in and physically take someone against their will and force them to work for you. But Slavery in the bible wasn't always that way...many times a person willingly wanted to be a slave in order to pay back a debt to that person they burrowed from. Back then they didn't have banks to borrow from when they needed money...so they went to a rich person to borrow the money and this system was worked out for the person to work for that person until the debt was paid. You still see this type of slavery in certain countries in the world. The slave was to be treated like family. In that sense, it was not evil.

Its even more complicated then that.. here is a site that helps explain the different types of slavery in the bible:
http://www.christian-thinktank.com/qnoslave.html
Scholars in Cultural Anthropology are sensitive to this as well, and point out that New World slavery was quite unique, historically:

"Scholars do not agree on a definition of "slavery." The term has been used at various times for a wide range of institutions, including plantation slavery, forced labor, the drudgery of factories and sweatshops, child labor, semivoluntary prostitution, bride-price marriage, child adoption for payment, and paid-for surrogate motherhood. Somewhere within this range, the literal meaning of "slavery" shifts into metaphorical meaning, but it is not entirely clear at what point. A similar problem arises when we look at other cultures. The reason is that the term "Slavery" is evocative rather than analytical, calling to mind a loose bundle of diagnostic features. These features are mainly derived from the most recent direct Western experience with slavery, that of the southern United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The present Western image of slavery has been haphazardly constructed out of the representations of that experience in nineteenth-century abolitionist literature, and later novels, textbooks, and films...From a global cross-cultural and historical perspective, however, New World slavery was a unique conjunction of features...In brief, most varieties of slavery did not exhibit the three elements that were dominant in the New World: slaves as property and commodities; their use exclusively as labor; and their lack of freedom..." [NS:ECA:4:1190f]

Generally, in the ANE, these 'fuzzy' boundaries obtain as well. "Slavery" is a very relative word in our time period, and we have to be very carefully in no auto-associating it with more 'vivid' New World examples. For example, in the West we would never say that the American President's Cabinet members were his 'slaves', but this term would have been applied to them in the ANE kingdoms. And, in the ANE, even though children/family could be bought and sold, they were never actually referred to as 'slaves'--the property aspect (for such transactions) did NOT define explicitly the notion of 'slavery':

"Freedom in the ancient Near East was a relative, not an absolute state, as the ambiguity of the term for "slave" in all the region's languages illustrates. "Slave" could be used to refer to a subordinate in the social ladder. Thus the subjects of a king were called his "slaves," even though they were free citizens. The king himself, if a vassal, was the "slave" of his emperor; kings, emperors, and commoners alike were "slaves" of the gods. Even a social inferior, when addressing a social superior, referred to himself out of politeness as "your slave." There were, moreover, a plethora of servile conditions that were not regarded as slavery, such as son, daughter, wife, serf, or human pledge." [HI:HANEL:1.40]

Accordingly, I think--to avoid the inflammatory associations that naturally occur for Westerners when something is referred to as 'slavery'--it wise to carefully set out the structure of what we consider 'slavery' today, and compare that to the OT institution of 'Hebrew slavery'. New World slavery differs substantially from most ANE institutions labeled 'slavery', which themselves differed at significant points from OT slavery. We will try to make these distinctions clear, when they are relevant to the discussion.

With this in mind, I want to set out the basic elements associated with historical slavery, as practiced in America before the American Civil War, and to offer some general contrasts with ANE slavery (I will look at OT slavery later in the article). (This is not meant to be exhaustive, but simply to highlight the aspects of the institution that strike our sensibilities today.) (read the rest at the link)

I know you are struggling with wanting cut and dry, black and white answers regarding the bible, but you aren't going to find it. It takes times to sort through this and understand the culture then was totally different then now...not an easy task to do. Few things in this life are cut and dry anyway.

God bless

Bex4Jesus
Dec 31st 2008, 09:17 PM
Well if 'slavery' means some sort of voluntary agreement between people, then no I don't think that would be evil.

But what about the rest? I'm just curious how people think. Sometimes people try to justify torture and stuff in a war by saying something like, "Well what if he put a bomb in the city and won't tell us where it is and a million people will die?? Would it be ok to torture him to get him to tell?"

That's the sorta thing I was talking about. Is it EVER ok to torture someone or kill someone? Or molest or rape or kill innocents in wars or own someone as a slave against her or his will?

Again, I'm saying no. Some things are just plain wrong. I wouldn't want a million people to die from a bomb but I would not say, "Okay, you can molest the man's baby until he tells us, or kill his wife if he doesn't talk" Do you see what I mean?

Bex

Butch5
Dec 31st 2008, 09:26 PM
Well if 'slavery' means some sort of voluntary agreement between people, then no I don't think that would be evil.

But what about the rest? I'm just curious how people think. Sometimes people try to justify torture and stuff in a war by saying something like, "Well what if he put a bomb in the city and won't tell us where it is and a million people will die?? Would it be ok to torture him to get him to tell?"

That's the sorta thing I was talking about. Is it EVER ok to torture someone or kill someone? Or molest or rape or kill innocents in wars or own someone as a slave against her or his will?

Again, I'm saying no. Some things are just plain wrong. I wouldn't want a million people to die from a bomb but I would not say, "Okay, you can molest the man's baby until he tells us, or kill his wife if he doesn't talk" Do you see what I mean?

Bex

I agree with you.

Oma
Dec 31st 2008, 09:28 PM
I think all those evils you mention are wrong all the time except for slavery. Biblical slavery would still be a good thing to have in the instance of repaying stolen property. That way there would be less criminals in the jails at taxpayer's expense.

moonglow
Dec 31st 2008, 09:45 PM
Well if 'slavery' means some sort of voluntary agreement between people, then no I don't think that would be evil.

But what about the rest? I'm just curious how people think. Sometimes people try to justify torture and stuff in a war by saying something like, "Well what if he put a bomb in the city and won't tell us where it is and a million people will die?? Would it be ok to torture him to get him to tell?"

That's the sorta thing I was talking about. Is it EVER ok to torture someone or kill someone? Or molest or rape or kill innocents in wars or own someone as a slave against her or his will?

Again, I'm saying no. Some things are just plain wrong. I wouldn't want a million people to die from a bomb but I would not say, "Okay, you can molest the man's baby until he tells us, or kill his wife if he doesn't talk" Do you see what I mean?

Bex

The subject of torture in war or terrorism has come up before and is a hard topic to deal with. On one hand our first reaction is to say no to any kind of torture..on the other hand is it worth a million dead people? And thousands more who would be hurt and maimed and suffer horribly? There is no easy answers to this, especially if time were important like you had one hour to get the information from the person about the bomb and save the millions...

God bless

jrick
Jan 1st 2009, 02:35 AM
The subject of torture in war or terrorism has come up before and is a hard topic to deal with. On one hand our first reaction is to say no to any kind of torture..on the other hand is it worth a million dead people? And thousands more who would be hurt and maimed and suffer horribly? There is no easy answers to this, especially if time were important like you had one hour to get the information from the person about the bomb and save the millions...

God bless

I actually had to make a decision on this a few weeks ago in my school's government class. We were doing "mock Congress" where we wrote our own bills, went through committee, got filibustered... yeah, the whole nine yards. One bill that was brought to the floor for a vote was whether to close Gitmo bay because of torture. At first, I was against this bill because I believed that torture was good (even though that sentence sounds so horrible). However, after more discussion, I came to the conclusion that many times, it does not solve the problem. I now believe that showing the Gospel to these people is the only true solution. Unfortunately, this will never happen... (either in our mock Congress, or real life).

After some more revisions were made the bill (removing torture, using only humane interrogation techniques), I decided that I could support it. Unfortunately, my classmates decided to attach a bill to legalize marijuana, so in the end, I did not vote for it. :B

BroRog
Jan 1st 2009, 02:51 AM
Things like owning slaves, treating women like property, intentionally killing people (non fighters) in a war, raping someone, molesting someone, torturing someone....are these things just WRONG ALL THE TIME regardless of the circumstances? Are there things that are just plain evil, period, end of statement?

To be honest, I think the answer is yes. I can't think of any way to say its ok to rape someone or "own" someone or torture someone or kill people who aren't fighting you in a war.

Do you agree? Disagree? I just thought this was interesting.

Love to all,

Bex

Not sure I would agree with your entire list, but I agree in principle that certain actions are always evil.

Romber
Jan 1st 2009, 03:08 AM
black and white answers regarding the bible

Hidden pun? lol


As for the OP, what exactly do you mean between "intentionally kill people" Do you mean murder or killing? (There seems to be a difference)

Regardless, here (http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/12/29/contradictions-time-to-kill) is an article I recently read clarifying killing and murder.

Bex4Jesus
Jan 2nd 2009, 03:07 PM
Hidden pun? lol


As for the OP, what exactly do you mean between "intentionally kill people" Do you mean murder or killing? (There seems to be a difference)

Regardless, here (http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/12/29/contradictions-time-to-kill) is an article I recently read clarifying killing and murder.

I dunno, let's say there is a war and soldiers go in and they see that the people who are not fighting have no weapons and aren't trying to attack them but the soldiers kill them anyways. Something like that, where it is intentional. What do you think of that?

Bex4Jesus
Jan 2nd 2009, 03:08 PM
Not sure I would agree with your entire list, but I agree in principle that certain actions are always evil.

Which things on the list aren't always evil? I thought we would all agree on those.

Bex

Bex4Jesus
Jan 2nd 2009, 03:12 PM
The subject of torture in war or terrorism has come up before and is a hard topic to deal with. On one hand our first reaction is to say no to any kind of torture..on the other hand is it worth a million dead people? And thousands more who would be hurt and maimed and suffer horribly? There is no easy answers to this, especially if time were important like you had one hour to get the information from the person about the bomb and save the millions...

God bless

I studied philosophy last year and we studied the utilitarian philosophy of just adding up the total pain and pleasure like math, and you get your "right" result. But I think that is horrible because it makes things totally relative with no absolute right or wrong. So if a million people would die if the bomb goes off, you would be "right" to kill the bomber's wife, his children, his dog, his whole family, his neighbors, etc., until you got to a little under a million. I just didn't understand that at all.

I hate to even approach a question like this using any sort of "math" of total pain and pleasure. I guess I just like to think some things are ALWAYS wrong. You wouldn't kill a baby, no matter what. You wouldn't rape someone no matter what. You wouldn't kill someone if they weren't trying to hurt anyone, no matter what.

Bex

moonglow
Jan 2nd 2009, 10:58 PM
I actually had to make a decision on this a few weeks ago in my school's government class. We were doing "mock Congress" where we wrote our own bills, went through committee, got filibustered... yeah, the whole nine yards. One bill that was brought to the floor for a vote was whether to close Gitmo bay because of torture. At first, I was against this bill because I believed that torture was good (even though that sentence sounds so horrible). However, after more discussion, I came to the conclusion that many times, it does not solve the problem. I now believe that showing the Gospel to these people is the only true solution. Unfortunately, this will never happen... (either in our mock Congress, or real life).

After some more revisions were made the bill (removing torture, using only humane interrogation techniques), I decided that I could support it. Unfortunately, my classmates decided to attach a bill to legalize marijuana, so in the end, I did not vote for it. :B

I wonder why pot has to do with torture? :hmm: But then that reminds me how our government works..! They ruin a great bill by adding some stupid thing like that onto it and then it doesn't pass. I think dog tailing bills shouldn't be allowed like that at all...that would solve alot of problems...


Romber
Quote:

Originally Posted by moonglow
black and white answers regarding the bible
Hidden pun? lol


As for the OP, what exactly do you mean between "intentionally kill people" Do you mean murder or killing? (There seems to be a difference)

Regardless, here is an article I recently read clarifying killing and murder.

No, no puns intended there! I grew up being lectured there things were always 'black and white' but there is alot of grey areas in life...which frustrated me to no end...:lol:


Bex4Jesus


Originally Posted by moonglow View Post
The subject of torture in war or terrorism has come up before and is a hard topic to deal with. On one hand our first reaction is to say no to any kind of torture..on the other hand is it worth a million dead people? And thousands more who would be hurt and maimed and suffer horribly? There is no easy answers to this, especially if time were important like you had one hour to get the information from the person about the bomb and save the millions...

God bless
I studied philosophy last year and we studied the utilitarian philosophy of just adding up the total pain and pleasure like math, and you get your "right" result. But I think that is horrible because it makes things totally relative with no absolute right or wrong. So if a million people would die if the bomb goes off, you would be "right" to kill the bomber's wife, his children, his dog, his whole family, his neighbors, etc., until you got to a little under a million. I just didn't understand that at all.

I hate to even approach a question like this using any sort of "math" of total pain and pleasure. I guess I just like to think some things are ALWAYS wrong. You wouldn't kill a baby, no matter what. You wouldn't rape someone no matter what. You wouldn't kill someone if they weren't trying to hurt anyone, no matter what.

Bex
It does seem odd to use math to figure this out..:hmm:

I was thinking about this whole thing some more...because one of the objections from atheist is they don't like absolution in the bible. That yes there is one truth in things. While God in His mercy does allow for exceptions...(such as we are required to be bapisted as a show of our faith, the thief on the cross had no chance at that...the Roman guards weren't exactly going to pull the nails out and let him down to be bapisted when he accepted Jesus) yet we know from scriptures he was saved. There are absolutes in the bible. In the OT the Hebrews were constantly being attacked by pagans and detail stories of their conflicts and war were going on. The bible is a history book too after all. I image there is something in there that would give us a clue about a situation like this. While I have read the bible through a number of time, I am not big on remembering details of the wars in there. If I find something I will let you know.

While Jesus teaches us to love our enemy (and if all nations would actually follow this we would have to even think of such things), when it comes to war the bible has a set of guidelines to follow for that too. I guess if anyone really wants to find out if the bible discusses such a thing they could do a search on here for the threads that did discuss torture..I know there have been several...I just never read them. I am just thankful I don't have to make such a decision.

God bless

Butch5
Jan 2nd 2009, 11:32 PM
The subject of torture in war or terrorism has come up before and is a hard topic to deal with. On one hand our first reaction is to say no to any kind of torture..on the other hand is it worth a million dead people? And thousands more who would be hurt and maimed and suffer horribly? There is no easy answers to this, especially if time were important like you had one hour to get the information from the person about the bomb and save the millions...

God bless

Maybe from a human standpoint it is difficult, but I don't think it is from a Christian standpoint. I think from a Christian standpoint it is always wrong.

moonglow
Jan 2nd 2009, 11:45 PM
Maybe from a human standpoint it is difficult, but I don't think it is from a Christian standpoint. I think from a Christian standpoint it is always wrong.

So you would allow millions to die instead?

God bless

John27
Jan 4th 2009, 12:24 AM
I studied philosophy last year and we studied the utilitarian philosophy of just adding up the total pain and pleasure like math, and you get your "right" result. But I think that is horrible because it makes things totally relative with no absolute right or wrong. So if a million people would die if the bomb goes off, you would be "right" to kill the bomber's wife, his children, his dog, his whole family, his neighbors, etc., until you got to a little under a million. I just didn't understand that at all.

I hate to even approach a question like this using any sort of "math" of total pain and pleasure. I guess I just like to think some things are ALWAYS wrong. You wouldn't kill a baby, no matter what. You wouldn't rape someone no matter what. You wouldn't kill someone if they weren't trying to hurt anyone, no matter what.

Bex


Don't be a utilitarian. Kant's philosophy of right and wrong works better. If you ever read his works he draws from the ideal and ways of God to identify the basic principal of right and wrong or good and evil. When it is all sorted out scholars state that if you don't know something is right or wrong then if everyone in the world did it all the time would it negate itself. If so it is wrong. From that one would have a list of intrinsically wrong things, but you could probably look in the bible and determine these things were wrong too, or you would feel they are wrong, remember we do have the fruit of the tree of knowledge in us. So we generally know what is right and wrong, it is just when one commits wrongs acts and don't care they become unsavable. Only when one realizes they have done wrong they then can be saved.