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#52 Jan 06 2004 at 6:51 PM Rating: Decent
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The reason you probably don't get the same "vibe" from the Jewish faith is because of the fundamental difference between montheism and exclusive monotheism.

Normal Monotheism (like Judaism) says: "There is only one god for me".

Exclusive Monotheism (like Christianity and Islam) says: "There is only one god for everyone".


Monotheism does not inherently preclude other deities and faiths. To the Jews, God is "their" god. If someone else wants to worship Baal, or Vishna, or the Great Pumpkin it doesn't affect their faith one bit. Hence, they have no need or desire to convert others or force them to follow their beliefs.

Once you start getting into exclusive monotheism, you run into a couple huge problems:

1. There can really only be one. Two or more exclusive monotheisms will have to fight eachother since they are, well.. exclusive. Heck. People kill eachother over different ways of worshiping that "one God". Think about it...

2. The assumption that they are right because their god is the god for everyone (whether they know it or not) is so deep seated that it blinds them to anything else. Thus, they must convert everyone. They have a very hard time seeing a difference between church laws and legal laws (shouldn't they be the same?).


It's just yucky all the way around. Any sane person would see that the root of most of the worlds problems stem from the fact that a good percentage of the worlds population holds a faith that is so oppressive that it must interfere with all other beliefs and structures to make things like their religion.


The really scary thing is that most of these people, even the ones who think they are very tolerant, really aren't. They are just so blinded by their faith that they don't see just how obtrusive they are. I would definately extend the desciption to all Christian and Islam faiths though. They all really are the same exact thing. They vary only in the details...
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#53 Jan 06 2004 at 6:52 PM Rating: Good
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The christians call me quite regularly asking me for money
Maybe you need to move to a better neighborhood. Around here, the Catholics already have plenty of money without going door to door Smiley: wink
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#54 Jan 06 2004 at 6:54 PM Rating: Good
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Leave it to Gbaji to actually make a serious response the Mren's post Smiley: lol

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To the Jews, God is "their" god. If someone else wants to worship Baal, or Vishna, or the Great Pumpkin it doesn't affect their faith one bit.
That was a joke, right? I dunno.. go tell the Midianites, Amorites or the Caananites (who, incidentally, worshipped Baal) that the Jews didn't care who you worshipped, because my copy of the Old Testament has YHWH telling the Israelites to destroy them for their ungodly ways. God (according to the OT) tells Gideon to destroy his father's alter to Baal and to cut down and burn his Ashtorah pole. God tells the Israelites before they go to war with the Anakites that the Israelites will prevail, not because they are righteous, but because the Anakites are wicked (i.e. follow pagan practices) and will not be allowed to live.

Or does the Torah and the rest of the Old Testament not count in your version of Judaism?

Edited, Tue Jan 6 19:22:17 2004 by Jophiel
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#55 Jan 06 2004 at 7:30 PM Rating: Decent
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No Angua, you're going to **** for being a *******. All the rest is just incidental.

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#56 Jan 06 2004 at 8:20 PM Rating: Decent
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Joph. Despite what you may infer from reading the OT, the ancient middle east was a much more religious-tolerant place then it (or anywhere else) is today.

One of the common misconceptions of the amature reading the OT is that everything revolved around religion. Well, it did and it didn't. To ancient cultures, you prayed to your god(s) for success in battle. Always. Even if the war was purely about grazing rights (which most were in that area and time), it would certainly be recorded as "God commanded the Israelites to smite down the Pink Fuzzy Bunny slipper wearers for their wicked choice of footwear". Um... Doubly so in a book about the religious history of the Jews. That doesn't change the fact that they actually went to war because two tribes were trying to live in the same area and there wasn't enough water and grazeland for both of them.


Certainly, there were prohibitions against Jews worshipping other deities (hence why it's a monotheism). But the laws in the OT are the laws of the Jews. Not anyone else. They fought wars against other peoples for the exact same reasons wars are fought today: Resources. Nothing's changed really.


Heck. We're a reasonably secular country. Yet we've got folks trying really hard to claim the Iraq war was about Christianity vs Islam, and Iraq was/is the least fundamentally Islamic nation in the middle east. Certainly, if the only recorded history we had of the Iraq war was from "popular christian digest" (I made that up, but I'm sure there's something similar out there), our ancestors would assume we went to war because God commanded us to smite those darn heathens.

It's all in how the story is retold and the context therein. While I'm sure there were periods and leaders who used religious reasons to fight wars, on the whole, the Jews as a people and a faith did not and do not have any rules regarding what god(s) other people worship. Picking a few instances of apparently religious based conflicts out of a couple thousand years of history is a bit assumptive IMO.
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#57 Jan 06 2004 at 8:28 PM Rating: Good
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threw open the door and saw two young men standing there. One had a name tag that said "Jesus Christ". Rather distracted and annoyed at being bothered, I said "no thanks" and shut the door before they could speak.


Angua my friend those were Mormons. They run around in pairs, in suits, and sometimes on bikes. The tag says "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints," the offcial name of the Mormon church. They want to convert you so you can make many Mormon babies.
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#58 Jan 06 2004 at 8:54 PM Rating: Good
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#59 Jan 06 2004 at 9:12 PM Rating: Good
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One of the common misconceptions of the amature reading the OT is that everything revolved around religion. Well, it did and it didn't.
Gotcha. So when Moses, prophet of Jehovah, tells Joshua that he is to destroy the Caananites, due to their following detestable practices like worship of Baal and to claim their land for the Israelites, it has nothing at all to do with religion. Uh huh.

Look, it doesn't even matter whether or not Moses or Joshua ever lived. The fact is that, according to Jewish tradition and the Torah, the acquisition of the Promised Land was ordained by God to happen at the expense of the Caananites because they followed pagan gods and practices and should die as a result of it. This wasn't some random war; this was one of the defining moments of Biblical history among the Jews.

If you want to say "Yeah, it says that but I bet really Moses just wanted some choice grazing land" that's fine. But that's not what the holy text of Judaism says and I doubt you'd find many orthadox Jews who'd say "Yeah, that whole bit about YHWH commanding the Israelites to destroy the pagan Caananites is all just a joke. They really just wanted to squat on their lot and needed an excuse."

Edited, Tue Jan 6 21:16:41 2004 by Jophiel
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#60 Jan 06 2004 at 9:30 PM Rating: Decent
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Um... Jophiel. You study the OT, right?

You recall also something called the ten commandments, right? One of them says something about "Thou shalt not kill"? Ring any bells?

The only way killing (war) can be justified and "right" is for God to have commanded it because obeying God is a higher commandment then not killing. Otherwise, the entire occuption of the holy land would have been a sin, and the fruits of that occupation would also have been tainted by sin.


Do you honestly believe that God actually told anyone to kill the Cannanites? Or maybe, just maybe the Cannanites happened to be sitting between them and the land they wanted, so they killed them and declared it to be by God's command?

Or maybe it's a total coincidence that everytime God tells the Isrealites to wipe out some other tribe, there's some resource issue involved? I think not. Oddly, once they're settled in the area around Jerusalem, they manage to live peacefully with all sorts of people with varying beliefs.

Again. Coincidence? I think not. They went to war when they needed something. Whether it's a commandment from God, or a search for WMD (wickedness anyone?), the justifications leaders use for getting their people to go to war really haven't changed much. Ultimately, the reasons for going to war are still the same too. Everything else is just window dressing.



EDIT:

Yes. You are correct. An Orthidox Jew would probably insist that it was completely about Gods command and the wickedness of the Cannanites. But then, he's going to be a bit biased, don't you think? Middle East/Judaic Historians will not say that. They don't have a religious need to and they are actually studying the documents objectively (you are aware there are other documents from that time period and region then just the Bible, right?). I can assure you first hand that historians who study that period make the exact statements about Jewish monotheism and their relation to other beliefs that I did.

Edited, Tue Jan 6 21:35:32 2004 by gbaji
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#61 Jan 06 2004 at 10:27 PM Rating: Good
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One of them says something about "Thou shalt not kill"? Ring any bells?
I usually see it as "..not murder" which is a somewhat different thing. I don't think many, outside of anti-war activists, would call killing other armies during a military campaign "murder".

Quote:
Do you honestly believe that God actually told anyone to kill the Cannanites?
I believe that Orthadox Jews believe it to be true. Since you made the statement that Jews didn't care if one followed Baal and I pointed to Jewish scripture saying that indeed Jews do care if you follow Baal since their God says it's wicked, that's all that matters. I'm not arguing if historically God told anyone to kill anyone or if Jericho fell or it rained for fourty days or if the Sea of Reeds parted or whatever. You may as well argue that Jews don't really believe in the Ten Commandments because we can't historically prove that Moses ascended Mt. Sinai and spoke to God. And Jews don't really observe Passover because there's no historical evidence of the Plague on the Firstborn.

Be nice if I could spell "Sinai"

Edited, Tue Jan 6 22:32:22 2004 by Jophiel
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#62 Jan 06 2004 at 10:29 PM Rating: Good
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"Thou shalt not kill" according to Exodus 20 was a prohibition against murder, not extermination of Yahweh's enemies. While God chose the Israelites to be His people, it was understood that all of Creation was ample evidence that He existed and was worthy of being worshipped to the exc;usion of all other dieties/false gods. This is a common mistake, just like the wrongly quoted "money is the root of all evil." It's not, the love of money is the root of all evil.

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#63 Jan 06 2004 at 10:45 PM Rating: Good
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"Thou shalt not kill" according to Exodus 20 was a prohibition against murder, not extermination of Yahweh's enemies.

True dat. Quite a few saints were made so based on their ability to 'smite God's enemies.'
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#64 Jan 08 2004 at 6:19 PM Rating: Decent
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Bah. Whatever Joph. The point isn't that the Jew's couldn't kill (smite, whatever) other folks. It's that it only happened in a war type situation. Oddly enough, there were other reasons (land) for those wars, not just religious.

I was trying to point out the difference in the monotheism of Judaism vs that of Christianity. The Jews, never, at any point in their history, ever traveled to a far off land for no reason other then to kill the people who lived there because they worshipped a different god. In fact, there is huge achealogical and recorded evidence that Jew's lived in common communities with many other groups of people. The very concept of "conversion" is foreign to Jews. They don't seek converts because to them, God is the God of the Jews. If you aren't Jewish, he's not your god. Why on earth would they attempt to get a group of Babylonians or Egyptions living in their town to convert? It just didn't happen.


You've got to remember that concepts of nationalism didn't exist back then. You didn't have borders on your country with people checking to see if you were Jewish before you could enter. People migrated constantly through the entire area. Sure. Certain regions and especially cities would be inhabited by primarily one tribe, but the Israelites certainly did not kill every worshipper of Baal that came through their land with tradegoods. As I said earlier, if you look through the OT, you'll find that pretty much the only time they are killing off folks because of their "wicked ways", it's because those folks with wicked ways are sitting on a piece of land that they want.


There is no prohibition against other people worshipping other gods in the OT. Only the Jews were not allowed to worship anyone but God. That's a marked difference from the teachings of Christinity. Sure. That didn't prevent them from fighting people who worshipped those "other gods". But killing/converting those other people was not and is not a part of the Jewish faith. It is very much a part of the Christian faith. That's the huge difference, and that's why Christians will show up at your door with paphlets and Jews will not.
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#65 Jan 08 2004 at 7:00 PM Rating: Good
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Bah.. if you're going to bother arguing, you need to time it better. The pacing on this thread is dead and no one (including me) cares much anymore. But, to summerize:

Quote:
I was trying to point out the difference in the monotheism of Judaism vs that of Christianity. The Jews, never, at any point in their history, ever traveled to a far off land for no reason other then to kill the people who lived there because they worshipped a different god
That's kind of funny.

Jews Scripture shows where God commands them to kill off a group of people specifically due to their following pagan practices.

Gbaji rules: You can't prove that God ever said that so really Jews don't care if you follow pagan deities regardless of what the Torah states. If they really did kill of neighboring tribes, it was only cause they wanted the land and religion has nothing to do with it except as an excuse for the leaders to tell the followers.

Christians Scripture shows where the disciples are repeatedly warned by Christ to abstain from violence and to react to a refusal to accept the Word by moving to the next town.

Gbaji rules: Christians are a bloodthirsty lot, set on killing those who refuse to follow their faith. Their wars are obviously motivated by the leaders' religion and not by a simple desire for land, wealth etc dressed in false religious trappings.

At the risk of sounding like Smasharoo: Is the sky green and the grass blue in your world?

To clarify: I don't mean to imply that Jews are bloodthirsty themselves, just that "Jews don't care if you worship Baal" was a stupid thing to say. Personally, I'd take pretty much any "religious" atrocity from the Roman Persescution of Christians to the Crusades to the Inquisition to Waco, Texas to Aum Shinri Kyo and attribute it to the greed, lust and hubris of the religious leader in question before I'd pin it on them sincerely believing they were following the guidance of a divine being.

Edited, Thu Jan 8 19:33:15 2004 by Jophiel
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#66 Jan 08 2004 at 8:18 PM Rating: Decent
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Heh. Yeah. Bad form and all that. I was kinda un-attached yesterday...

I didn't think what I was saying was all that controversial. Judaism does not contain within it any hint that the rules of judaism apply to anyone but Jews. This does not preclude them hating/fearing/killing/whatever other tribes because they aren't like them, but that happened even between tribes that worshipped the same deities.

The key difference is that while the Israelites may have whacked another tribe for being "wicked", they did not think of it as those people "sinning" against god. The ammorites can't sin against God since they aren't part of the pact with God. That doesn't mean that they aren't mean nasty people. It does mean that they can't be "sinners" by Jewish definition.


That is in stark contrast to Christian beliefs (specifically Catholic, but most christian faiths have it. Christians believe that God is the only God for everyone. Thus, someone can be a "sinner" even if they are completely unaware of the existence of God. That is the entire reason why we have missionaries around the world. It's fueled by that basic concept that since God is the only God, his laws must apply to all equally. Thus, not converting people to christianity is essentially dooming them to ****. It is a core part of Christian belief that simply does not exist in Judaism at all.


That's all I'm trying to say. It's not about whether they'll hate or kill others for being different then them. That happens all the time whether religiously motivated or not. It's completely about whether they assume their god's rules must apply to everyone. Christians do. Jews (and pretty much all other faiths) do not. Huge difference.


I just didn't think it was that difficult of a concept.
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#67 Jan 08 2004 at 8:54 PM Rating: Good
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The ammorites can't sin against God since they aren't part of the pact with God.
God disagrees Smiley: grin
When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.
Obviously God finds the pagan practices of the other nations abhorrant regardless of whether or not they are part of the Covenant. The message isn't "God hates Jews who practice sorcery or divination", it's that God hates anyone who does that stuff. Since this message is given to the Israelites via Moses pretty much immediately prior to their killing the Cannanites, I'd pretty much pin the theological reason for their invasion on the fact that God doesn't much approve of what the Cannanites are up to (because of those practices, God will drive out the other nations).

As for whether or not Jews are concerned with conversions, I pretty much agree with you that they are not, but it's apples and oranges anyway. Jews don't believe non-believers are destined to **** because there is no Biblical version of a Jewish afterlife aside from Sheol and you're going there whether you're a good Jew, a bad Jew, a Cannanite, a Catholic or whatever in the eyes of Old Testament Judaism. I mean, it's like saying Christians are "better" than Heaven's Gate cultists because Heaven's Gate says only the saved can ride the mystical starship while everyone else is screwed and Christians don't try to push that on you. On the other hand, had it magically been a bunch o' Christians coming out of the desert, they'd have been told to convert the Cannanites from their pagan ways, not to slaughter them and raze their cities. I'm not sure that's worse Smiley: wink
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#68 Jan 09 2004 at 12:04 AM Rating: Good
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What Jophiel said. God-- Yahweh --held everyone responsible or accountable for their actions and their thoughts. When the Ammorites, Hittites, or Egyptians refused to worship/obey Him and Him only they on occasion paid the price, particularly when it directly interfered with His chosen people.

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