Bible is Clear: A Fetus is NOT a Life

I came across Exodus 21:22-25 while performing research for my rebuttal to a reply by C_Andy_3. I would like to thank C_Andy_3 for the discussion that led to my discovery of this passage.

Old Testament quote, emphasis mine (thanks to Mechon Mamre for the RaMBaM translation):

22 And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow, he shall be surely fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
23 But if any harm follow, then thou shalt give life for life,
24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
25 burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

This clearly states that the fetus was not a life. In fact, it indicates that a miscarriage could be caused without causing harm. The loss of the fetus can be compensated by mere money. After that, if there is harm, it is life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, ….

I don’t agree that causing a miscarriage causes no harm to anyone, personally. I’m merely noting that the Bible states this. More importantly, the Bible explicitly states that the fetus is not a life. For it is only when harm is caused to the woman, that thou shalt give life for life, etc.

My personal view on abortion is that we should do everything we can to reduce the need and increase the availability of the procedure. Comprehensive sex education, improved availability of birth control, reduced stigma for using or purchasing birth control especially among teens, will all reduce the need for abortion. But, when it is necessary, it should be readily available and legal.

And, since we now know that the Bible says that a fetus is not a life, perhaps we as a secular country, as well as our theocratically minded vocal and powerful minority, can and should stop opposing women’s rights to the procedure. While they’re at it, perhaps they can even stop the death threats, murders, and harassment of doctors and clinic workers. Dare I say as an atheist that it would be “the Christian thing to do.”

In case anyone thinks that this is merely the Jewish Interpretation, here are a couple of mainstream Christian interpretations of the same passage.

Here’s the King James translation of the same passage. Emphasis mine again.

22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,
24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Here’s the New International Version translation of the same passage (emphasis mine):

22 “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely[a] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows.
23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,
24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
Footnotes:
Exodus 21:22 Or she has a miscarriage

If anyone would like additional translations or has some to add, feel free to add or request them. Given that these are all substantially similar in stating that a fetus is not a life, I think it unlikely that some other translation will disagree materially.

33 Responses to Bible is Clear: A Fetus is NOT a Life

  1. C_Andy_3 says:

    There is no need to thank me for creating a blog that represents what I don’t believe. Jeremiah 1:5 states “before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart, I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (God speaking to Jeremiah) the fact that the angel came to Mary and Joseph and told them they would conceive a child who would be the reincarnation of God states that the life of Jesus did not begin when the Virgin had her child, but when He was CONCEIVED. Those are MY biblical points to counter yours. Please find another passage in the New Testament that shows life does not begin until the child is born. And by the way a miscarriage is another name for “fetal death” how does something die if it doesn’t live? Babies have a heart that drs can see 4 weeks after initial conception. That is a baby, who has a life. When you have an abortion you are KILLING a child. Whether or not you are ok with that is between you and God. :) don’t get wild on me, I’m tellin you why those are my beliefs. Both spiritual and personal experience have given me and understanding. I know women who have had abortions (not speaking for all) and the regret and guilt they feel after can be unbearable.

    • Alfred E. Neuman says:

      Maybe I’m just being very literal like our atheist friends here… but even the referenced line that is subsequently used to twist the text and argue that a fetus is not a life actually does so on its own by referring to the woman as being “with child.”

      I guess the atheists overlooked the word “child?” After all, it’s with “child,” not with ‘potential child’ or ‘future child’ or ‘non-living child’ or ‘not yet alive child’.

      Sure the punishment for killing the mother too was more severe, but that doesn’t prove that the “child” wasn’t ‘alive’ before the “woman with child” was “hurt” via loss of said “child.”

      Even the devil can quote Scripture (with the intent of misleading) and good heavens, these monkeys are flinging poo! Monkeys, I award you my highest honor!

      Sincerely yours,

      Alfred

      • Hi Alfred (love the Mad Mag reference),

        Welcome to my blog.

        First, let me point out that it’s not atheists in general; it’s just me. This blog is my opinion. I take sole (and soul, if I had one) responsibility for my own statements. Others who have commented can take responsibility for their statements. But, none of us can claim to speak for all atheists as a group as if atheism somehow generates a common opinion on anything other than the non-existence of all gods.

        As for the word child, no I didn’t really overlook it. I merely noted that said “child” is explicitly excluded from the eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life equation and is therefore not yet considered a life by the authors of the Bible. “Woman with child” is a common, albeit slightly dated, way to say pregnant woman, not surprisingly used in a 2,000-2,800 year old text. However, the statement that the “child” (actually fetus, perhaps there was no word for fetus in biblical times) is worth a fine in shekels while any other harm is measured in life for life is still a clear statement (in my own opinion) that the child/fetus is not yet a life.

        I do personally believe that a fetus is alive, has a heartbeat, etc. And, as I stated, I would take real actions to reduce the necessity for abortion.

        However, the current claim by the religious right (actually religious wrong) that all life is sacred in the bible and thus that abortion is a sin and should be outlawed is flat dead wrong on a great many levels. For starters, it is wrong because our laws don’t come from the Bible … thankfully!! But, it is also wrong because the Bible does not provide any text from which one can conclude that a fetus is a life or that a fetus is more valuable than a woman. So, their attempt to imprison women during their pregnancies and take away control of their own bodies is not only in direct violation of the great constitution of the world’s first and oldest constitutionally secular country, it is not even supported by the book from which they claim as the source of all morality.

        So, instead of outlawing abortion, how about we take real meaningful steps to reduce the need? How about if we institute real sex education? How about if we increase availability of birth control, especially life-saving condoms, to teens?

        No. The religious wrong couldn’t possibly support such things. They’re sinful.

        So, we go on creating accidental pregnancies when the vast majority could be prevented. (Yes, I know most birth control is not 100% effective.) But, for those who oppose abortion, the obvious way to reduce it is to reduce the need. Instead, the same idiots that fail to notice that neither abortion nor birth control is ever mentioned anywhere in the Bible do everything in their power to increase unwanted pregnancy and thus increase abortion. It’s ludicrous.

        Remember, the number one cause of abortion is unintended pregnancy.

        Anyway, thanks for adding to the discussion. It is a valid point that the word child is used. I just still believe that the rest of the text separates that child from the biblical authors’ opinion of the living.

      • Cerberus says:

        Al;
        I commend you for trying to come in defense of your war king, but is that even necessary? Can your god not speak for himself? And the words “with child” will never negate the fact that your war god has called for the countless slaughter of children both the born, and those that were not yet conceived. You know, the women that were the property of men? “With child”?

        There’s your poo back at you, Al. With my blessing.

  2. C_Andy_3,

    1. I thank you for an interesting conversation that made me think and do research. The fact that my opinion differs from yours does not stop me from appreciating your input into my thought process.

    2. Here are three lists of the major holidays in the Christian religion.

    http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/holidays.htm
    http://christianity.about.com/od/holidaytips/qt/seasonsoffaith.htm
    http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/christian-holy-days-holidays-and-seasons.html

    Oh wait, here’s another with far more holidays.

    http://www.calendarlabs.com/calendars/religious/christian-calendar.php

    Guess which one is not on any of these four lists. Go ahead … guess. Did you guess?

    Ready for the answer?

    Holy F Day

    The holiday no one ever heard of. The holiday no one celebrates. The holiday that is not on any list of major Christian holidays is the one that celebrates the Incarnation of Christ. Why? Because neither a fertilized egg nor a fetus counts as Jesus Christ. The big holiday is for his birthday, not his conception. Admittedly, both are actually on the wrong dates so that Christmas would coincide with and supersede Saturnalia. But, the point is that His birth is a big deal, not his conception.

    This is also why we celebrate our own birthdays, not the anniversary of the date on which our parents got all hot and sweaty.

    3. I did not say a fetus is not alive. Nor did I say that it does not have a heartbeat. I said that the Bible states that a fetus is not a life. I also stated my opinion that the rights of a fetus do not outweigh the rights of the mother. I also stated that I would support programs that genuinely reduce the need for abortion, such as the comprehensive sex education that worked so well for you plus increasing the availability of birth control for those who make different choices than you.

    4. You made a leap from fetus to baby without a valid sequitur. Fetal death is not infanticide. When one has an abortion, one is terminating the life of the fetus, not an infant. By far, the vast majority of abortions in the U.S. are performed in the first trimester. These are not infants. They’re fetuses.

    5. Why restrict me to the New Testament? Was the God of the Old Testament a different God? Was S/He less all-knowing? Was S/He less infallible? Matt 5:17-19 clearly states that all of the old laws still apply. BTW, this includes not eating pork or shellfish and celebrating Passover. I assume you still believe in the 10 commandments. They are only in the O.T. Matt 5:17-19 (NIV)

    17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    6. God kills more fetuses than all abortion clinics combined. The current theory of why type 1 diabetes (which I happen to have) survives rather than being weeded out of the gene pool is that it makes a fertilized egg more likely to implant in the womb. Since 80% of all fertilized eggs never successfully implant, this is a big advantage to making it into the world, even if 1 in 6 will die of the disease (without modern medicine).

    7. At least one passage in the N.T. says that god sometimes thinks it’s OK to kill a fetus. Hosea 9:14 says (NIV):

    Give them, Lord—
    what will you give them?
    Give them wombs that miscarry
    and breasts that are dry.

    If those are babies as you state, that’s pretty mean for god to kill them.

    So, do we agree to disagree? Do you admit that I at least have a valid point even if it may not be the only one and even if it differs from yours and your preacher’s?

    Remember again, the Bible never mentions abortion or birth control. Both predate even the Old Testament. Why the omission? The lack of any mention of either by name is itself a statement of a sort. The authors were not prudes. They put in plenty of other opinions about sex.

  3. The Expulsion Of Gods says:

    And I second the notion in that I clearly do not agree with, C_Andy’s response.

    C_Andy_3, many governments have used bible verses the justify their own cruelty towards others in the name of their gods. An example of this would be “The Crusaders Of The 12Th Century,” Who slaughtered or tortured
    anyone who stood in their way.
    And as we all know quite well that such beliefs , and verses can comfort the minds of the flock to do virtually any kind of atrocity against, men, women, and children of the enemy.

    Even today, our government, military and religious leaders rule wars as a so-called “moral” obligation in the destruction of their enemies, and all based on biblical reasoning. To be blunt, in the Gulf War, for instance,
    an F-16 fighter/bomber had “Isaiah 21:9″ written on its bombs.
    “And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.”

    And I don’t think that I’m mistaken in reference of GWB’s crusade against Iraq – as this Iraq was once, Babylon. And the bible’s words gave them their justifcation in that blind commitment for corporate profits – at the expense of all involved.

    C_Andy_3?
    If you’re on a crusade for the unborn, then why not save our young whom fight for profits?
    It would save plenty on both sides…after all, aren’t they our young too? Just curious.

  4. EOG,

    You make some excellent points. I like that you’re clear that the bible is used for justification, rather than being the actual cause. In Gulf War II: The Vengeance, the real point was oil.

    I’ve heard that at least some of the crusades had economic reasons as well. Though, I’m no history buff, so can’t really confirm this myself. If I cared enough, I’d google. But, I don’t.

    The more important point is that the original book on genocide, the Bible, can definitely be used to justify both the best and worst in human nature. Alas it’s message is so self-contradictory. Would that it had never been written.

    Yecch! I’m almost waxing poetic about my hatred for the damned book.

    And yes, I certainly agree with you that it is incredibly hypocritical to worry more about the unborn than the born. As I’ve stated before, the current Repugnican Party platform can be summed up as “Life begins at conception … and ends at birth.”

  5. The Expulsion Of Gods says:

    I thank you, Scott. That reply made my day!

    In regards to my “clear” points about the bible being used as a justification for wars, or peace…

    That’s the only message that I gather – why else would it be so immense in contradictions?

    For myself, the book’s nothing more than a pseudo-representation of a deity. And as always, presented as factual evidence for the existence of said deity when no such evidence has ever even presented itself. And upon scrutinizing its pages it introduced (to my utter astonishment) the clear fact that it’s incorrect, incoherent and a comouflaged manual for the intentional betrayal of all within any nation.
    I’d noticed when cherry picking verses, and with the addition of your own jargon of opinion, in that it gives a cunning evasion for the self-centered in their quest for predominance of minds through their own book of fraudulent propagandized murmurs.
    I will never allow my self to be controled by those again…
    Not ever!

    Regarding the crusades:
    Do you agree to the established fact that the church of catholicism had once conducted wars throughout the countries of Europe to become the most dominant power, and had absolute command over
    all the nations therein?
    At the time, no monarch could hold any authority within his own nation without the full support of the church in Rome. And this was never done at the behest of a nation’s own people because, quite frankly, the people simply had no choice in the matter.
    The acquisition of those nations, their property, and wealth was never attained through the kindness of the pope.

    Would it be any different under the rule of the crusaders? After all, those crusaders were under the direction of the same church in Rome, weren’t they?

    -Yecch! I’m almost waxing poetic about my hatred for the damned book.-

    Thanks…I like that one, Scott.
    LMAO!

    -The current repugnican party platform can be summed up as “life begins at conception…and ends at birth.”-

    Well done!

    • I’d noticed when cherry picking verses, and with the addition of your own jargon of opinion, in that it gives a cunning evasion for the self-centered in their quest for predominance of minds through their own book of fraudulent propagandized murmurs.

      Did you just suggest that bible readers are cunning linguists?

      Do you agree to the established fact that the church of catholicism had once conducted wars throughout the countries of Europe to become the most dominant power, and had absolute command over all the nations therein?

      Yes.

      -The current repugnican party platform can be summed up as “life begins at conception…and ends at birth.”-

      Well done!

      Not original on my part. I got it from a good friend years ago. It’s even more true now.

      • The Expulsion Of Gods says:

        -Did you just suggest that the bible readers are cunning linguists?-

        Not exactly. What I mean by this is for those whom aren’t willing enough to think for themselves.

        I really do care for people such as, C_Andy_3. But reaching them is almost an impossibility to be sure.
        She seems to be a good person; but I fail to see why she’s unwilling to except the reality in which she’s a part of…

        I know the feeling of comfort she feels. But that sense of comfort is an illusion…
        Be the notion of heaven, hell, gods…it makes no difference. These are merely constructs that…while may have started with good intentions in mind, but, as we can see its corruption is absolute.

        Still, it’s highly doubtful if the book was ever written with any good intentions though. As history teaches us that people will scam others into doing things to enrich themselves, and all the while, building their sense of security to eventualy play their role as god.
        That devious act has been played throughout the centuries.

        I wonder if she’s inclined to even notice how her god acts the same as spoiled little men whom had once governed nations.
        I wonder…

      • Did you miss or ignore my reference to “cunning linguists”, deliberately to sound like cunnilinguists? It’s not original on my part. I just wanted to be a bit funny about it. Oh well.

      • The Expulsion Of Gods says:

        –Cunnilinguists?–

        Oh bother…
        It most definitely appears that missed this one completely!

        I was still half asleep when replying to your post, but I get it now. My apologies.
        And it is funny.

        Perhaps next time I’ll just tilt my hed to the left, and maybe that one little marble will fall into the correct hole..which will result in a repaired brain-fart.

        Wow…that went completely over my hed, didn’t it?.

  6. Here’s a terrible recording of a great scene from Mrs. Doubtfire that is probably the source of my prior joke. It’s certainly not original on my part, but may predate the movie by a number of years too. The scene starts as the two are alone at the table after Pierce Brosnan has just given Sally Field an expensive bracelet.

  7. The Expulsion Of Gods says:

    That was excellent, Scott.
    Though I could not hear all they were saying, but that was refreshing nonetheless.

    I’ve never seen the move, but I’ll be getting it.

    Thanks for sharing it.

  8. nskinner@q.com says:

    Has anyone ever read the scripture in the Bible where it states that we are NOT to argue about scripture?? Just asking.

  9. The Expulsion Of Gods says:

    Hi nskinner,

    I understand. You, just as the scribes that had contrived that piece of shoddy workmanship never want it to be questioned because when people learn to question any sense of authority, in particular, any kind of book and people that claim to be the “sole” authority, knows when it’s under scrutiny that it indeed will loose all credibility.
    Look, I grasp the need for those whom feel the necesity to worship an imaginary friend, but there are those of us, through experience, that no longer except the book as having any validity whatsoever.

    Please bare in mind, nskinner. When one never learns to question a dictator, then one will never see a problem in killing for him. I value life, do you?

  10. nskinner,

    I’m not sure anyone on this thread has attempted to make a point about whether it is OK to argue about scripture.

    I would think a lot would depend on whether we’re talking about the Jewish God or the Christian God. I tend to think that most Christians like to imagine a perfect God.

    However, I recently read a book by Alan Dershowitz. He points out that as God is described in Genesis, God goes well beyond allowing debate about scripture. He allows Abraham to argue with God … and win!! He even shows pride that one of His creations has won an argument with Him. This was the discussion of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God still destroys the cities, but not before allowing that if 10 righteous men (not women, of course) can be found in the cities, then He will spare them.

    We can debate the righteousness of that despicable creep Lot later.

    But, if God allows for argument with Himself, certainly debate about scripture is allowed.

    Christianity seems to feel that somewhere along the way, God achieved perfection. Perhaps He learned it while He was screwing Mary … or her mother. Or, perhaps He learned it while He was on the cross, though nothing in the New Testament actually states that Jesus and God and the Holy Goat are one. The word trinity, to my knowledge, does not appear in the N.T. anywhere.

    Regardless, Christianity comes along and all of a sudden, God is perfect, and retroactively so.

    Judaism on the other hand has centuries and now millennia of tradition of interpreting the Bible and arguing over it. That’s what the Talmud is all about. Rabbi after rabbi after rabbi interpreting the Torah century after century after century.

    So, which God? Which Bible?

    It doesn’t matter to me. All are up for debate. I know more about some than others. I know more about Judaism than about Christianity and more about Christianity than about Islam and more about Islam than about Hinduism. But, any who seek to impose their religion on me are wide open for criticism and debate in my book.

    That makes Christianity the most open for debate … and ridicule … on my site. Were I in a country with another religion seeking to create a theocracy, I would be debating that religion instead. Here in the U.S., it is Christianity seeking to form the United States of Saudi Arabia, or what I generally prefer to call the Democratic Peoples Republic of the Christian States of America.

    And, to anyone who thinks that a Christian theocracy would be any better than an Islamic one, um … no. It wouldn’t. In fact, there would not be much of a discernible difference. The laws would be about the same.

    • The Expulsion Of Gods says:

      Scott?
      I’d say, you’ve made some fascinating points regarding the aspect on biblical debating, and makes it quite clear that even the biblical god enjoyed it.
      Though, for myself, it makes no difference in whether or not any gods would care if I’d debate them because this god shows no contrast from any other.
      In fact, when comparing Lucifer to God one can’t help to ask the question relating to who is the real liberator. But, since the scribes also give an indication to the effect that their god is the personifcation
      of both, good, and evil, then lucifer and hell become a moot point at best — the same as god.

      • I was only playing god’s advocate, which is harder for me than devil’s advocate.

        For me, the issue is not even comparing and contrasting gods, the issue is simply one of showing that there is any evidence for the existence of any of them.

        There isn’t.

        Therefore, this whole exercise is merely an alternate means to attempt to convince people that even their own religion does not say what they think it does. And, as such, they should stop trying to legislate from their mistakes about their own religion.

        Were I forced to choose between spending eternity in heaven with a bunch of born again Christians or in hell with some fire and brimstone, I’d choose hell. But, the choice is a silly one to discuss since neither exists.

        When I die, I expect to have exactly the same experiences I had for the first 13.7+ billion years of the universe, i.e. none.

  11. BTW, here’s a really good write-up on the subject. Note that the author acknowledges that a fertilized egg is alive, but debates about when to grant the right of personhood and whether to consider the other life, the one on which we all agree (I hope), the woman’s life.

    Life Begins At Conception. That’s Not the Point

    • The Expulsion Of Gods says:

      Sorry to have taken so long with my replying to this issue, but I’ve had a lot on me lately.

      gods advocate, hey?
      I understand, and it is the better approach in showing how the clergy have only injected their own fraudulent tokens into the books narrative when the bible has already stated god’s feelings on the matter, and rather expicitly so…
      And for the clergy and government leaders to encourage such treacherous statements, and conduct, lends them no credibility to be taken seriously, nor gives them any ground in their commitment to convert others into their inane idea of quackery…

      If such so-called “leaders” wish to be taken seriously then they need to be honest with everyone, and not by the nonproductive promotion to lecture every one by enacting their dishonest creed of corruption into every persons mind, or household – I say, NAY! That is not even close to the function of the fundamental principles inacted by the founders that has granted everyone a choice in relation to whether or not to follow any religious doctrine that was manufactured solely for monopolizing the countries money, and people into the clergy’s immoral sense of conformity!

      (I say to anyone whom cares to read this!) We are a species (like the apes) that has always been one of nourishing ideas through example, and not one of total domination!
      And for them to continue this reckless behavior will only contribute to their empires DEMISE, and hopefully all religion therein!

      There…I’m feeling a little better now.

      –When I die, I expect to have exactly the same experiences I had for the first 13.7+ billion years of the universe, i.e. none.–
      Beautiful.

      And I completely agree will the article, and even more with Jewish community to be precise.

      • Sorry to have taken so long with my replying to this issue, but I’ve had a lot on me lately.

        No problem. Welcome back.

        Amen, so to speak.

        One minor correction. We are not like apes. We are apes.

        <Evolution Rant>
        Exactly the same evolutionary hierarchy that makes us animals, vertebrates, tetrapods, mammals, and primates also makes us apes. We are in the ape family.

        To not include us in the term apes would be to remove the scientific nature of the word ape. This is, by the way, the reason that the English language word reptile is not a scientific term. It is not a family. It should map to the taxa saurapsids. However, it explicitly excludes members of the family dinosauria (dinosaurs, including birds). Therefore, reptile is not a scientific family. To use ape in a way that excludes humans would be to deny that apes are a scientific family, specifically the taxa hominoidea, or for our even closer relatives the great apes, hominidae. In Latin, this becomes incredibly obvious since both taxa hominoidea and hominidae are obviously derived from the word for our own genus homo.

        P.S. No. I don’t remember off the top of my head the differences in which levels of our taxa are which (a word that is both singular and plural in taxonomy). I always have to look them up. In order, the taxa for the groups most closely related to us, from closer to more distantly related larger families are:

        Homo: Our own genus.

        Hominini: All species closer to us than chimps and bonobos, e.g. the genuses ardipithecis, australopithecus, paranthropus, and homo. I may be missing some.

        Hominidae: the great apes, i.e. chimps, bonobos, gorillas (several species), and orangutans.

        Hominoidea: All apes, i.e. all of the above plus gibbons (quite a few species), and siamangs (2 species, I believe).

        Having seen chimps, mountain gorillas, orangutans, and Bornean gibbons in the wild, I can assure you that the relationship to us is very obvious in any of these. Chimps in particular (and bonobos too, though I haven’t seen them in the wild) are so similar to us that you can read their facial expressions without even trying.
        </Evolution Rant>

      • The Expulsion Of Gods says:

        I get the point, Scott. Sorry for any misunderstanding on my part, as I do discern, and except that we’ve always been apart of the ape family tree. But I was only using the term loosely in an effort to show how closely related we actually are to them. Was I wrong in doing so? I wouldn’t think so.

        At any rate, you’ve explained it wonderfully, Scott. Thanks

      • It is never wrong to point out how closely related we are to our nearest relatives in the animal kingdom. You just hit upon a personal pet peeve of mine with respect to separating us from the other apes, thus triggering a rant.

        It is my hope that if more people realize that we are apes that we might treat our cousins a bit better than we currently do.

        We might work harder to protect them in hopes of preventing their extinction.

        We might stop performing medical tests on them.

        We might stop eating them.

  12. Celeste says:

    Can we talk, Scott? If you could e-mail me, it would be appreciated.

  13. Celeste, whether you agree or disagree with my opinion, yours would be welcome here. It might spark some good debate. Tangents are also welcome.

    I do like to keep the conversation public so that everyone can participate though.

  14. The Expulsion Of Gods says:

    Say! Does anyone know what time it is?!
    Why, it’s Expulsion’s tangent time!

    I came across this article the other day from “Wikipedia” and found it interesting. Enjoy!

    –God is dead–
    “God is dead”, also known as (the death of God) is a widely quoted statement by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. It first appears in the Gay Science, in section 108 (New Struggles), 125 (The Madman), and for a third time in section 343 (The Meaning of our Cheerfulness).
    It is also found in Nietzsche’s work Thus Spoke Zarathustra, which is most responsible for popularizing the phrase. The idea is stated in “The Madman” as follows:

    –God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives:who will wipe this blood off us?
    What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of the dead too great for us? Must we ourselves not become Gods simply to appear worthy of it?–
    –Nietzsche, The Gay Science, section 125, tr.–
    Walter Kaufman

    Death of God theological movement
    The cover of the April 8th, 1966 edition of Time Magazine asked the question “is God dead?” and the accompanying article addressed growing –Atheism– in America at the time. At the time, a movement called “death of God” was arising in American theology. The death of God movement is sometimes technically referred to as “theothanatology”, deriving from the Greek words theos (God) and thanatos (death).

    The main proponents of this theology included the Christian theologians Gabriel Vahanian, Paul Van Buren, William Hamilton, John A.T. Robinson, Thomas J.J.Altizer, John D.Caputo, and the rabbi Richard L.Rubenstein.

    In 1961, Vahanian’s book The Death Of God was published. Vahanian argued that modern secular culture had lost all sense of the sacred, lacking any sacramental meaning, no transcendental purpose or sense of providence. He concluded that for the modern mind “God Was Dead”. In Vahanian’s vision a transformed post-Christian culture was needed to create a renewed experience of deity.

    Both Van Buren and Hamilton agreed that the concept of transcendence had lost any meaningful place in modern thought. According to the norms of contemporary modern thought, God is Dead.
    In responding to this collapse in transcendence Van Buren and Hamilton offered secular people the option of Jesus as the model human who acted in love. The encounter with the Christ of faith would be open in a church-community.

    Altizer offered a radical theology of the death of God that drew upon William Blake, Hegelian thought and Nietzschean ideas. He conceived of the theology as a form of poetry in which the immanence (presence) of God could be encountered in faith communities. However, he no longer accepted the possibility of affirming belief in a transcendent God. Altizer concluded that God had incarnated in Christ and imparted his immanent spirit which remained in the world even though Jesus was dead.
    Unlike Nietzsche, Altizer believed that God truly died.
    He considered this to be the leading exponent of the death of God movement.

    Rubenstein represented that radical edge of Jewish thought working through the impact of the Holocaust. In a technical sense he maintained, based on the kabbalah, that God had “died” in creating the world.
    However, from modern Jewish culture he argued that the death of God occurred in Auschwitz.

    –Although the literal death of God did not occur at this point, this was the moment in time in which humanity was awakened to the idea that a theistic God may not exist.–

    In Rubenstein’s work, it was no longer possible to believe in an orthodox (or) traditional theistic God of the abrahamic covenant; rather, God is a historical process.

    Ah – freedom.

    • Good tangent, very very tangent. Let’s run with it.

      Old humor:

      God is dead. — Nietzsche.
      Nietzsche is dead. — God.

      Of course, for any god to die, one would first have had to exist. I think what Nietzsche probably meant was that the idea of god was dead or perhaps should die.

      Since I haven’t actually read Nietzsche, I can’t really say.

      But, if we’re going to discuss theism versus non-theism versus atheism, it pays to wonder why we have advanced so little for so long. Both Epicurus (341 BCE – 270 BCE) and Siddhartha Gautama (ca. 563 – 483 BCE) noted that there are no gods centuries before the supposed time of Christ.

      No one has ever proffered a single shred of hard evidence for the existence of any god. So, why do nearly half of the people on the planet still believe in god(s)?

      • The Expulsion Of Gods says:

        Usually because it gets rather ingrained at an early age due to children believing what their parent teaches them. They’re incapable of making those choices on their own, but most don’t even have the luxury of even making any choices at all, and that compiled with the lapse in judgment from the government is why our nation suffers.

        The clergy simply want power over us all…

    • The Expulsion Of Gods says:

      The date on the Wikipedia article is wrong, because according to Time Magazine the actual date was Fri Oct 22, 1965.

      It’s no wonder you can never fully rely on Wikipedia to give accurate information, because typically, anyone can type their own spin into the narrative.
      I know they try to keep it as accurate as possible, but when that kind of information has been up long enough it tends to get ingrained into an ignorant persons brain, causing a severe and rather permanent psychosis.

      Hope this has been worthy of your time…but if not? Oh well.

      Bye all!

      • Wikipedia is still a fantastic resource. It is not perfect. However, it has been ranked as more correct than the Encyclopedia Britannica across the whole list of topics covered.

        Far from devolving to the least common denominator, as would have been expected by a misanthrope like me, wikipedia has proven itself among the most valuable resources on the web.

        No source is perfect all the time.

        Wikipedia is usually chock full of links backing up its statements. One can easily click through to the reference whenever one cares enough or doubts the information.

        BTW, did you take the time to correct the wikipedia page? (Not that I’ve ever done so.)

      • The Expulsion Of Gods says:

        Nope. Someone else can have that pleasure. Just testing.

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