Accomodationism and morality


(RiderOnTheClouds) #1

As ECs/TEs, we typically (with rare exceptions), tend to follow the doctrine of accomadation, namely the idea that God had to speak in the standards of the day, as a way of explaining away bad science we find in the Bible, such as a flat earth and geocentrism. Whilst I myself do hold to this doctrine, I do have some reservations. It has been suggested by some scholars that Paul’s commandment for female head covering during prayer in 1 Corinthians 11 is derived from an incorrect scientific assertion found in classical medical texts that a woman’s hair was part of her reproductive system (therefore you would not show it in church for the same reason you wouldn’t turn up with no pants/trousers or underwear). I find this to be a near perfect explanation for an otherwise absurd, pointless rule. But I was wondering, if the Bible’s moral commandments contain scientific errors, why should we follow any of it?


(Wookin Panub) #2

Wow!..where to begin. I feel like a mosquito at a nudist colony. The bible does not speak of a flat earth nor does it speak of geocentric. The bible speaks from a human perspective. “4 corners of the earth” north, south, east, west. As far as geocentric. the writer is not a scientist. To him it only looked like the sun ceased movement. And far as Paul and females covering their heads. Paul was not speaking to every female. Back then there were temple priestess, and these priestess had their heads shaven due to their pagan practices. These priestess came to the church with their heads exposed and Paul told them to cover their heads.

This is why biblical history is very important to learn.

P.S. Weatherologists like to say, “sun rise” Really…is the sun rising? Should we not accept the weather reports, now?


(Christy Hemphill) #3

Never heard this before. It’s more common to assert it was a cultural standard of modesty. Hair can be sexualized in a culture without people actually thinking it is part of the reproductive system, and in many cultures it is. Where I work, women often sit in church with their breasts bared to nurse babies/toddlers. They may or may not remember to cover up when the baby falls asleep or wanders off. Breasts are not sexualized like they are in the U.S., so no one really cares. Women also wear skin tight, totally sheer, or loosely crocheted tops to church. No big thing. I was reprimanded once for wearing a knee-length dress though, since showing one’s knees is evidently pretty risque. It makes sense that Paul would have different instructions for how not to be distracting in church depending on the cultural standards of the time and place. Modesty is a cultural construct, it has nothing to do with some kind of absolute morality. In one indigenous area here, you can bathe naked outside, as long as you don’t show your armpits.

So, I think it’s more accurate to say Paul’s instructions were based on sociology not science, (even if we can speculate that a particular culture’s constructs were tied to their misconceptions about how the world works.) That isn’t problematic to me. The moral part is treating other people well, and treating other people well is going to be relative sometimes to very non-absolute, non-scientific cultural standards.


#4

Wow, I’m thinking of shampoo commercials…

But nobody walked around naked after church.


(Stephen Matheson) #5

There are compelling reasons to distrust “the Bible” as a source of moral truth or wisdom, but none of them has anything to do with “science.” (My opinion, of course.) If the god who inspired Deuteronomy 20 and Numbers 31 is the same god who inspired Paul to make up rules about head coverings, then you have all the information you need about whether to follow his commandments.


(Wookin Panub) #6

I would like to know how one can come to know moral truth without God’s word?


(Stephen Matheson) #7

Lots of ways. Reflection, dialogue, listening to other voices. “God’s word” is a vapid phrase used to cover an amalgamation of one’s own opinions, one’s cultural milieu, and the discordant and often morally repulsive writings in the bible.


(RiderOnTheClouds) #8

Please listen to this podcast and see if you aren’t convinced:

http://www.nakedbiblepodcast.com/naked-bible-86-the-head-covering-of-1-corinthians-1113-15/


(Wookin Panub) #9

That may bring you closer to your own version of your “truth” based on your own intuition and conjecture-relative truth, so really, it is good because you say it is good, which is circular logic, but that is not moral truth which is absolute.


(Stephen Matheson) #10

I guess you can’t see that your claims are groundless and that “moral truth is absolute” is neither a reasoned conclusion nor relevant to whether the bible is a sound source of moral wisdom. BTW, “it is good because you say it is good” is not even close to what I believe or to what I wrote, so I wonder: in what moral system is it considered acceptable to make things up about what other people believe?


(Wookin Panub) #11

You cannot come up with an absolute moral truth through dialogue and reflection. You will come up with a philosophical systematic approach that works for you, and would be problematic for someone else, but that philosophy would be built on survival and not truth. Basically, what I am saying, is that without God’s word we can’t absolutely know right from wrong.


(Stephen Matheson) #12

Of course I can’t. No one can.

Again, which moral system are you employing that causes you to write falsehoods about other people’s beliefs? Is you flawed moral system an “absolute” one?

Yes, I know that’s what you’re saying, because it’s a common assertion by believers. It’s ludicrous, vapid nonsense.


(Wookin Panub) #13

Of course I can’t. No one can.

Well that would be an absolute truth statement you made therefore we can know absolute truth

Again, which moral system are you employing that causes you to write falsehoods about other people’s beliefs? Is you flawed moral system an “absolute” one?

Since you said that we can’t know absolute moral truth, then you are in no position to call out falsehoods of other’s beliefs about moral truth

Yes, I know that’s what you’re saying, because it’s a common assertion by believers. It’s ludicrous, vapid nonsense.

Look at above response

You have tied yourself up in knots.


(Stephen Matheson) #14

Somehow you are committed to the nonsensical premise that only people who make up “absolute moral truth” can judge something to be right or wrong.

It seems that your premises are ad hoc and vacuous, and you still haven’t even addressed how one extracts “absolute moral truth” from ancient writings that many believe to have been “inspired” by the monster behind Numbers 31 and Deuteronomy 20.

I assume that, like all the Christians I know well, you are a decent person who tries to treat others with decency and respect. Almost all of the Christians I know are wise enough to know that claims about deriving “absolute moral truth” from “god’s word,” and more importantly any assertion that one cannot make moral judgments without these things, are simplistic and foolish. I hope you someday join them.


(Wookin Panub) #15

Somehow you are committed to the nonsensical premise that only people who make up “absolute moral truth” can judge something to be right or wrong.

No, I made the “nonsensicle premise” that we can know absolute moral truth, and knowing absolute moral truth is the only way we can know an absolute right from an absolute wrong.

It seems that your premises are ad hoc and vacuous, and you still haven’t even addressed how one extracts “absolute moral truth” from ancient writings that many believe to have been “inspired” by the monster behind Numbers 31 and Deuteronomy 20.

In order to have moral laws, then you have to have a moral law giver to help you differentiate right from wrong. God is that moral law giver. If, as you claim can’t know absolute moral truth then you will have no valid moral basis on which to determine God, a monster

I assume that, like all the Christians I know well, you are a decent person who tries to treat others with decency and respect. Almost all of the Christians I know are wise enough to know that claims about deriving “absolute moral truth” from “god’s word,” and more importantly any assertion that one cannot make moral judgments without these things, are simplistic and foolish. I hope you someday join them.

Boy! do you have it wrong. One of the paradoxes in the Christian faith, is the more you grow closer to God in holiness and righteousness, the more you realize how sinful and wicked you are.


(Stephen Matheson) #16

This is a common, silly, groundless claim. You seem to think you are proclaiming truths, when you are merely asserting your beliefs.

What you mean is that I don’t believe (any more) the things you do. Someday I hope you can figure out how this is different.

I was a Christian for nearly half a century. There’s no need to project your beliefs onto me, nor is there any further need to assert your groundless beliefs as though they are obviously true, or even as though they represent the beliefs of your fellow Christians. Neither, I happen to know, is the case.

You can have the last word.


(Wookin Panub) #17

This is a common, silly, groundless claim. You seem to think you are proclaiming truths, when you are merely asserting your beliefs.

This is really not that difficult. If as YOU claim, that you can’t know truth. You have ZERO authority to accuse someone of merely asserting their own beliefs. If you don’t know such a truth, then you are out of the truth arena. You should have no say on the matter.

What you mean is that I don’t believe (any more) the things you do. Someday I hope you can figure out how this is different.

Belief is irrelevant. You can believe you can fly. What we are debating on is whether someone can know absolute truth. You say we can’t, which then you would be contradicting yourself.

I was a Christian for nearly half a century. There’s no need to project your beliefs onto me, nor is there any further need to assert your groundless beliefs as though they are obviously true, or even as though they represent the beliefs of your fellow Christians. Neither, I happen to know, is the case.

Again, this is not a debate on what someone believes, but what is truth. You say, we can’t know truth therefore you really should have no say on anything relating to truth. You cannot make absolute statements i.e. “my groundless beliefs”, as that would be a truth statement, and since you can’t know truth would render your statement inert and not logical. God Bless! :slight_smile:


(George Brooks) #18

@Reggie_O_Donoghue

I thought the rule against women showing their hair was justified because even many angels, with divine training and willpower, found human women with uncovered heads too beautiful to resist.

How about divorce? Are you opposed to divorce? It appears Jesus was.

Or how about adultery? It used to trigger the death sentence. It appears Jesus didn’t support that.

Have you abandoned “judgment” from your moral self … and will simply do exactly as the Bible instructs, regardless of what those instructions are?.. unless, of course, it is a divorce. Very few people find divorce to be the evil that the early Church thought it was.


#19

Is that an actual “moral commandment”? It seems to be more about cultural traditions than theology or morality. You might as well send women to hell for wearing white after Labor Day.


(Jon) #20

This has long been debunked (this is one example). There is no evidence for this in Second Temple Period Judaism.