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  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 16 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Thank you for your thoughtful reply.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Suverans2: Sadly, you have made the common anachronistic mistake of trying to make sense of (i.e., reading information into) a document ex post facto from a reference point that has no bearing on a text laid down by an original writer operating in another context -- i.e., one that differed from the one assumed by you. Your citations merely prove the point. Here are the reasons: Textual studies in academic circles do not permit this imputation of meaning after the fact based on purposes laid down after an original writer sets down his or her thoughts. First, the idea that you can "make sense of" and iron-out contradictions in the disparate collection of heterogeneous works known under the collective name as "the Bible" is absolutely absurd. These books were written by dozens of people over many centuries in many places and have been pieced together in patchwork fashion with many replacements, alterations, and repairs. They are not, never were, and were never meant to be a coherent series of documents that were intended to make sense as a collective whole. To thus attempt to “make sense” of them is absurd. They are simply what they are. They are not a corpus of knowledge. They are bits and pieces and have been known to be bits and pieces for centuries. As you pointed out, the usage of the words “kill” and “murder” are absolutely contradictory. To try to make sense of Jesus’ use of a word and the meaning of a writer centuries before him is part of this absurdity – as if the two had to make sense TOGETHER. So-called “books” such as Exodus are not a coherent single record laid down by a single writer. These cobbled-together works have various authors with various usages over various periods of time. They cannot be brought into “harmony,” which assumes a relationship between them that simply does not and has never existed except in the minds of those who attempt to “unify” them in ways never intended – or even imagined – by their original writers Your citations merely illustrate the problems in the arguments proposed by Vance and his sources. Furthermore, the sources I cited make this clear, and they tease out the contradictory usages just as yours do. Rather than meeting these arguments head-on in a dialog in which ideas are actually exchanged, examined, and disposed of in systematic fashion, you merely submit new claims without disposing of the arguments that I made. That is not a dialog, and as a result, it cannot take things farther along. You have merely made assertions without having addressed (and disposed of) the material at hand. At least I attempted to see where you were coming from, and my depiction of the exact process that you used to construct your original statement is dead-on accurate. I wish you would have paid the same courtesy to me. The fact is that we are stuck with a statement (the original one under discussion) written long ago by a writer living in another context from ours. This writer put down a word that is so often used in a non-specific way that a long tradition of experts have rendered it in the non-specific sense rendered by St. Jerome, Origen, and other writers of the first five centuries of Christianity. You should remember that the Hexapla text used by Origen (and which probably was used by Jerome to make his revision of the Old Latin translation) contained what was – at the time and certainly is true with respect to the texts remaining today – the finest textual material available. That the introduction of the term “murder” by evangelical statists and Zionists in the last century has contaminated a long tradition of translation should not be swept under the rug. That these people, too, try to anachronistically “make sense” of documents that were never intended to be coherent parts of a larger whole shows how common your mistake is. But historians must always beware of this sophomoric error. Face it: these documents simply are. They cannot make sense together. They have numerous authors writing at numerous times and at various cross-purposes. To insist as you do that we must use the term “murder” so that it can make sense and meet the requirements of a theology that is current today and will be gone tomorrow and did not exist yesterday is absurd. You could say the same for my interpretation, of course, but I at least have given you a reason to see how the current controversy was “invented” by the injection of politics into this theological discussion within the last century. It should make you feel better that this is a common mistake and has been made by those who are better than both me and you, but it is still an error. Finally, you make a great point of using my full name in a sarcastic way in your reply. Unfortunately, I cannot do the same with respect to you. I do not write under a confabulated screen name behind which I hide and can make claims that I cannot live with. I cannot make claims about myself that cannot be verified. Likewise, I do not value my opinion so highly that I comment compulsively on every topic that finds its way into STR regardless of the level of energy and skill I command. I have opinions, yes, but I know that in most cases, somebody else has an “informed opinion” that matters much more than mine, so I usually keep my silence. I note that your comments in dozens of articles are frequently tangential and allow you to sidetrack a conversation into a rat-hole of one sort or another. This is a case where you have weighed in and have forgotten that a pseudonym may protect your non-cyber identity, but it cannot disguise what you are doing.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Lawrence M. Ludlow: You accuse me of, "simply turning to the Hebrew dictionary at the back of your Strong's Concordance and Googling a highly disputed issue"? For your information I spent many years studying the so-called BIBLE, and by studying it I don't mean simply reading it; I mean learning the Aramaic language that the books of the so-called Old Testament were written in, (and a few of the oldest New Testament books), and ancient Greek (modern Greek is different), looking up damn near every word, ferreting out not only their definitions, but also how they were used, both literally and idiomatically. You and your spin-doctor "experts" are going to have a difficult time justifying the "Thou shalt not kill" (thou shalt not take a human life [for any reason]) mistranslation of the Sixth Commandment, instead of the correct "Thou shalt not murder" (thou shalt not take life [without just cause]), when you, and/or they, try to make it work with other verses of the so-called BIBLE. Here are just a couple of examples. Numbers 35:15 These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one that killeth [nakah] any person unawares [by mistake] may flee thither. 16 And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die [muth], he is a murderer [ratsach]: the murderer [ratsach] shall surely be put to death [muth muth]. 17 And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die [muth], and he die [muth], he is a murderer [ratsach]: the murderer shall surely be put to death [muth muth]. Muth, as you no doubt know, means, " causatively to kill" or "put to death", (and never murder), and the doubling of it is the Aramaic way of saying, "surely". Deuteronomy 17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: 5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die [muth]. 6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death [muth] be put to death [muth]; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death [muth]. 7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death [muth], and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you. Tell me, Lawrence M. Ludlow, how you would translate the Sixth Commandment "thou shalt not take a human life for any reason" and still put a murderer [ratsach] to death [muth]? One of your so-called "experts", Wilma Ann Bailey, uses, in my opinion, a lie, "and a lion can kill (rtsh) someone, but would never be considered a murderer", to support her mistranslation. But, at least, she got the correct transliteration for resh tsade chet, (rtsh), more than I can say for some of the others. 1Kings 13:24 And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew [muth] him... 26 therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain [muth] him... 1Kings 20:36 Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay [nakah] thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew [nakah] him. Jeremiah 5:6 Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay [nakah] them... "Lion" and "young lion" show up a total of 104 times in the KJV of the so-called BIBLE, and there is only one instance where they appear together and that is here, at Proverbs 22:13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion ['arıy] without [outside], I shall be slain [ratsach] in the streets. It should be duly noted that 'arıy, translated "lion" here, is also an Aramaic idiom for "violence", which is, in my opinion, precisely the way it was used here; it was a figurative lion in the streets, i.e. violence in the streets, and anyone who has actually studied the Aramaic, as Wilma Ann Bailey evidently claims she has, knows that. [Hint] So, you might want to check your sources credibility, and what axe they are trying to grind, before you quote them. Thank you for your time. P.S. If you were a Christian you'd probably know that at Mattith'yahu (gift of Yah) 19:18... (KJV) Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness... (KJV-1611) Iesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steale, Thou shalt not beare false witnesse... (LITV) And Jesus said, "You shall not commit murder, nor commit adultery, nor steal, nor bear false witness... (The Scriptures 1998+) And [1]יהושע said, “ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness’... _______________________________________________________________________________________ [1] That, by the way, is one letter short of the original spelling, יהושׁוּע yad hey waw shin waw ayin [Read from right to left]; a name that went through such violent transmutations that even the translators screwed it up. ;)
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    PS: You will note that in the excerpt above (from Laurence Vance), the argument is "front loaded" in favor of your argument, Souverans2. In other words, I have made your argument as you did and have cited your authorities. Then, however, we see upon closer examination, just how the idea of translating the word as "murder" instead of "kill" (which is the correct undifferentiated rendition) evolved. Unless you have a comprehensive knowledge of the use of words up to the point of its insertion in a text, you simply cannot make a judgment. That is why sources must be questioned. You may, indeed, question those cited by me. But at least I have provided an argument and a context. If one studies these things as the historians of the Annals School do, you will see how important this context is. PS: I am not a Christian, but it is important to be more exhaustive and to know "why" before you pronounce on "what."
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Suverans2. I wish you would have read and absorbed the content of the link I provided and read the 94-page word-study cited before simply turning to the Hebrew dictionary at the back of your Strong's Concordance and Googling a highly disputed issue. You are over your head as I am on this one. But since you have not read the argument and the historical context of how this erroneous view became established, you may benefit from this. And read closely... The simplest way to water down the prohibition against killing is to redefine it. Since killing in the sixth commandment obviously doesn't mean "the taking of any life," it has been limited by some Christians to murder because, as everyone knows (so we are told), it is not murder to kill a man on the battlefield. Therefore, Christians can in good conscience enlist in the military knowing that they might be expected to travel halfway around the world and bomb, maim, "interrogate," and kill for the state. No Christian need fear any negative consequences by God at the Judgment because he can't be faulted for "following orders" or "obeying the powers that be." End of story. Case closed. Christians can join the military or the National Guard and kill heartily in the name of the Lord. We should support the troops. They are not responsible for anyone they kill during a war. We should support conscription if the state says it needs more troops. We should ask God to bless our troops. On the phrase "Thou shalt not kill" in the sixth commandment, here is Kenneth C. Davis, author of Don't Know Much About the Bible: Everything You Need to Know About the Good Book but Never Learned (William Morrow, 1998): This is another critical King James Version mistranslation of the original Hebrew. The correct reading is "You shall not murder" (NRSV, JPS, and others). As the rest of the Hebrew scriptures clearly indicate, God had no problem with certain forms of killing. So, Kenneth Davis, who couldn't recite the Hebrew alphabet if his life depended on it, tells us that the most widely accepted Protestant version of the Bible mistranslates "the original Hebrew." Where, then, is Davis getting his information? Evangelicals Robert Morey, in his book When Is It Right to Fight? (Christian Scholars Press, 2002, originally Bethany House, 1985), and Loraine Boettner, in his book The Christian Attitude Toward War, (Presbyterian and Reformed, 3rd ed., 1985), say basically the same thing. Morey mentions, but does not otherwise refer to, the definitive work of C. John Cadoux, The Early Christian Attitude to War: A Contribution to the History of Christian Ethics (Headley Bros., 1919), in arguing that the early church did not reject war and military service for Christians. Boettner, manifesting a profound ignorance of American history, believes that "America is not and never has been a militaristic nation." A noted evangelical recently wrote: Previously we examined five ways in which God revealed that murder violates and perverts His moral absolutes and fixed order of moral law. The fifth way was through God giving Israel the following commandment: "You shall not murder" (Ex. 20:13). Some versions of the Bible use the word kill instead of murder. But since the Bible indicates that some killings are not murder but are permissible and, in some cases, required by God, "You shall not murder" is "a more precise reading than the too-general . . . ‘thou shalt not kill'" [quoting the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Moody, 2003)]. He goes on to quote from volume 13 of the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (Eerdmans, 2004) regarding the Hebrew word for kill in Exodus 20:13: "It is noteworthy that rsh [rasah] is never used for killing in battle or for killing in self-defense. Neither is it used for suicide." Even Norman Geisler, in his valuable book, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues (Baker, 1989), tells us that the prohibition against killing in Exodus 20:13 "is translated correctly by the New International Version: ‘You shall not murder.'" Thus, the general evangelical consensus is that the Hebrew word underlying the word kill in the sixth commandment means "murder." Most of the Christians who make this argument do so, not because they know anything about biblical Hebrew or Bible translation, but because they are trying to justify Christians killing for the state in Iraq, Afghanistan, or wherever else the government has sent or will send its soldiers. This gives them something to fall back on when the recitation of their "obey the powers that be" mantra doesn't quite do the job. This ideological desire to legitimize killing in war is an unholy one, and every Christian who attempts to do so should be ashamed of himself and repent "in sackcloth and ashes" (Matthew 11:21). Kill or Murder? Fortunately, Christians who are beginning to question the lies of the Bush Administration and distrust the latest pronouncements of their "leaders" have some help. Wilma Ann Bailey, an associate professor of Hebrew and Aramaic Scripture at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, has penned a small (94 pages) book called "You Shall Not Kill" or "You Shall Not Murder"? The Assault on a Biblical Text (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2005). I do not know Ms. Bailey, and doubt seriously that we could have much fellowship around any other thing than the subject of her book. She would probably consider me to be a fundamentalist, and I would probably consider her to be a liberal. I strongly disagree with her approach to Scripture (she believes that the source of Exodus 20 and 21 may be different because the vocabulary is different and Exodus 20 is apodictic law while Exodus 21 is casuistic law). I strongly disagree with her interpretation of Scripture (she denies that God sanctioned war, killing, and capital punishment in the Old Testament). I also strongly disagree with her political philosophy (she is in favor of gun control). Nevertheless, Bailey has written an important work that I highly (but reservedly) recommend to anyone (Christian or not) who believes or is familiar with the "sixth commandment only prohibits murder" argument. I have written briefly about this issue in my article "Humpty Dumpty Religion." There I showed that it was wrong to limit the sixth commandment to just prohibiting murder. I have also explained in my article "Is It or Isn't It?" that even if we grant that it is only murder which is prohibited by the sixth commandment, Christian warmongers are still responsible for explaining how U.S. soldiers killing for the state in Iraq is anything but murder. But because this is the first book on the subject that I have seen, the whole idea needs to be revisited and expanded upon. Bailey's book focuses on "the meaning of the Hebrew word used in Exod 20:13 and the altering of the English translation of the commandment in several large traditions during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries." The book contains six short chapters and two short appendixes. The first chapter is an analysis of the Hebrew word underlying the prohibition against killing in the sixth commandment. This chapter is not only the longest; it contains the meat of the book. The next four chapters survey this commandment in Evangelical Protestantism, Mainline Protestantism, Judaism, and Roman Catholicism. The final chapter is her explanation of why "killing is not the solution to the problem of killing." The first appendix is a helpful list of the major translations of the Bible with an indication of whether they use kill or murder in the sixth commandment. The second appendix is a technical study of the Hebrew word underlying the prohibition against killing in the sixth commandment. It is basically an expansion of the first chapter for scholars. All Hebrew words in the book are transliterated, except for those in the second appendix. (Bailey transliterates the Hebrew root in question as rtsh. Other acceptable transliterations are rsh, rasah, and ratsach, which is the form I have used in previous articles.) We need not read far into the preface to see the direction in which Bailey is headed: The sixth commandment is perhaps the most disturbing of all the commandments. This is evidenced by the lengths to which scholars and church folk go to explain it away. Most killing throughout history has taken place within the context of what is legal (e.g., war, capital punishment) and therefore exempt from this commandment in the minds of many people. Interpreters narrow the prohibition to what relatively few people do, a criminal act — a person illegally killing another person — while allowing for the bulk of killing that takes place in the world to continue. "This commandment," she continues, "exposes the true moral substance or vacuity of its interpreters. The Quaker Elton Trueblood once observed: ‘The ultimate moral principles of a people are revealed, not by what they do but by the way in which they defend their actions.'" Bailey argues four things in her first chapter: * The English word "murder" is too limited and too varied a legal term to function adequately as the translation for the Hebrew word rtsh. * The use of rtsh in other biblical texts indicates that the word is meant to be translated more broadly. * The verbal form of rtsh often appears in a list or an ambiguous phrase that makes it impossible to determine a precise meaning. * Murder is too rare a crime to merit Ten Commandment status. She first shows that "the word ‘murder' is a legal term," with a variety of meanings "from one jurisdiction to another." The fifty states each have their own legal code that defines what a murder is. Bailey then undertakes an exhaustive study of the Hebrew word rtsh in the Old Testament. Among other things, she points out that when this word is used in a list, "it is impossible to determine its precise meaning," Ahab is said to have killed (rtsh) Naboth (1 Kings 21), but never actually killed anyone, and a lion can kill (rtsh) someone, but would never be considered a murderer. She concludes in chapter one: This chapter has presented a biblical argument against the automatic assumption that the commandment "You shall not kill" must be understood as "You shall not murder." First, it is clear that the Hebrew word rtsh does not mean ‘murder' everywhere it is found in the Bible. Second, it is inappropriate to harmonize Scripture rather than letting the various theological traditions in the Bible speak for themselves. The English word ‘murder' is a restricted legal term. Last, the Ten Commandments are meant to be general and not to refer to one particular, rarely committed crime. After refuting the arguments for the translation "murder" in the sixth commandment using the biblical data, Bailey turns to how that commandment has been interpreted and translated in the various theological traditions: Evangelical Protestantism, Mainline Protestantism, Judaism, and Roman Catholicism. The second chapter, "The Sixth Commandment in Evangelical Protestantism," is the most important of these because of the unholy alliance that exists today between evangelical Christianity and the military. Bailey shows that evangelicals were pacifistic during the period between the world wars, but notes that "by the 1960s the argument that the word ‘kill' in the Ten Commandments really means ‘murder' was being used by evangelicals even though the primary Bible translation used by evangelicals, the King James Version, did not read ‘murder.'" This is no doubt due in a large measure because "in the latter half of the twentieth century being patriotic in the United States started to mean being pro-military and pro-war." In this chapter Bailey chronicles the shift in the rendering of the sixth commandment in the Bible translations of evangelicals from kill to murder. This change was accepted because of the "melding of evangelicalism, patriotism, and militarism." "Although," as Bailey says, "a major American mainline translation did not read ‘murder' until the publication of the New Revised Standard Version in 1989," the notion "began appearing in commentaries and sermons much earlier." Why have mainline Protestants, who would be most open to critical scholarship, also produced a translation that reads "murder"? Bailey bluntly replies: "People want to kill people, and they want biblical permission to do so. The translators of the NRSV and the other translations of the late twentieth century gave them that permission." English translations of the Old Testament made by Jews did not appear until the middle of the nineteenth century. The earliest, that of Isaac Leeser in 1853, reads "kill," but this was changed in the Jewish Publication Society's 1917 translation to "murder." Thus, Bailey acknowledges, the translation of murder has a longer history in Judaism than Protestantism, but, as she also shows, "it is not an unchallenged reading." In her chapter on the commandment in Roman Catholicism, Bailey finds that "all of the English translations produced in the Roman Catholic tradition have been consistent in the translation of the commandment." Yet, she believes that "the church developed ‘just war' theory in order to theologically cope with the incongruity between biblical teachings (particularly New Testament teachings) and the desire of the state to wage war. Wars that were declared to be just, however, tended to be wars the state wanted to fight." In her concluding chapter, Bailey summarily restates her objection to the "movement away from the traditional wording of the sixth commandment" in the late twentieth century and into the twenty-first century: "This would be appropriate if it more accurately reflected the meaning of the biblical text, but it does not." Her argument in the end is that rather than being more precise, murder is much too narrow of a translation. The ambiguity of the word kill in English matches that of ratsach in Hebrew. And since "the vast majority of violent and unnatural deaths during the last century were not the result of murder, but actions that in English are covered by the word ‘kill,'" to limit "the scope of the commandment to illegal one-on-one killing exempts the primary causes of unnatural deaths in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries." There is no disputing the fact that many modern versions of the Bible narrow the prohibition against killing in the sixth commandment to murder. There is also no disputing the fact that many Christians appeal to the sixth commandment, not to condemn killing in war, but to countenance it. But does the first fact necessarily have to lead to the second? Has the change in the sixth commandment from kill to murder in recent translations of the Bible contributed to some Christians turning into Christian warmongers? I think not. And neither does Bailey. She is merely saying that the change was accepted and even welcomed by those seeking biblical permission to legitimize killing in war. Does she put too much emphasis on this change in translation? I think so, and for four reasons. First, the earliest major modern Bible translation to make the change from kill to murder was the Revised Version of 1885. This is much too early to substantiate Bailey's thesis. Second, the venerable King James Version of the Bible (but not the New King James Version), which is the only Bible used by some conservative Christian warmongers, contains the familiar reading "thou shalt not kill." But this hasn't stopped these Christians from defending the death and destruction meted out by "Christian" U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Third, a reviewer of Bailey's book from Denmark pointed out that "the Danish Bible changed from ‘kill' to ‘murder' in the late 1990s, but neither is capital punishment favored in the Danish society nor is there a growing positive attitude to (just) war but rather to the contrary." And then there is the matter of the 1917 Jewish Publication Society translation — obviously not even the work Christians — which also reads "murder." I have some other problems with Bailey's book as well. She does not address the implications of an absolute prohibition against killing that she seems to be sanctioning. Also, she unfortunately does not interact with the New Testament references to the sixth commandment (Matthew 5:21, 19:18; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Romans 13:9). The strength of Bailey's book clearly lies in the first chapter where she shows that the Hebrew word for kill in the sixth commandment doesn't mean murder in many contexts. Therefore, Bible versions that use the translation murder are wrong to narrowly focus the word. The Unholy Desire to Legitimize Killing in War Christians who desire to legitimize killing in war will attempt to do so no matter what any Bible says. Most, however, want some kind of biblical permission for their unholy desire. If their Bible reads "murder" in the sixth commandment, then Christians will repeat the old canard that "All murder involves the taking of life, but not all taking of life is murder" and say that killing in war is not murder. And not only is it not murder, to kill for your county — regardless of the location of the war — is the quintessence of patriotism. To kill for your country — regardless of the cause of the war — is always the right thing to do. To kill for your country — regardless of the nature of the war — is a perfectly okay thing for a Christian to do. If their Bible reads "kill" in the sixth commandment, then Christians can simply redefine it as "murder" and treat the text as if that is what it actually says. Therefore, everything said in the previous paragraph would then apply. But just because the sixth commandment prohibited murder doesn't necessarily mean that it allows for killing in war. Would anyone say that manslaughter is acceptable because the commandment only condemns murder? Why, then, do people appeal to the sixth commandment to justify killing in war unless they have an ideologically desire to legitimize killing in war? There are, of course, other attempts by Christians to legitimize killing in war by distorting the sixth commandment. They reason that one cannot apply the sixth commandment to killing in war: * Because the prohibition against killing in the commandment obviously doesn't mean the taking of any life. * Because God commanded the Jews in the Old Testament to go to war against other nations.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Deleted.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    This may not appear germane, yet I believe "strikes the root" of the quandary: Whoever, I wonder, came up with the idea that the breasts of the human female should be prohibited from public view but the breasts of the male should not??? That prohibition is mainly practiced in western cultures (the professing Chr-stian genres) -- not in Asia. In fact in many Asian, African and other areas the ideas of "modesty" as we know them are not practiced. Such conventions as prostitution are (or were before "westernization") perfectly open, legal and normal. Yet those places appear to have far lower rates of VD, divorce, pornography, etc. (I have no current substantiation of that, so mark it as opinion for now). At least they didn't until heads of American Empire began to export their GI's into all the earth to conduct their wars and their "police actions". When I was a young draftee a platoon of soldiers and I dropped into remote rice paddies of Korea. One of our first sights was the appearance of many women -- topless -- with children strapped to backs, working in and walking along fields. Although curious and fearful of Yankees (as well they should have been), they did not appear embarrassed at being thus exposed. They went about their business of tending crops and nursing babies without chagrin. I didn't quite know how to deal with bare-chested women who were not soliciting for sex -- whether to turn my gaze away, stare, leer (isn't that why the U.S. GI is there -- in addition to killing???). I'm old (74), father, grandfather and great grandfather of many. I try to make it a point to lead family into openness -- to avoid the dilemma presented by the writer of the article. Avoidance of hypocrisy will go a long way toward solving these difficulties. Sam
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    G'day Sharon Secor, That's because you have "eyes to see", i.e. a rational mind, sometimes referred to as good ol' common sense, which very often will, in "real life", take one farther than an high school diploma and a college degree.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 17 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Point well taken, and very well stated, Paul Bonneau.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Lawrence M. Ludlow: First Point: Paul is correct on this one -- absolutely so. Dr. James Strong, in his Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary, correctly defined רצח, transliterated, ratsach, as "A primitive root; properly to dash in pieces, that is, kill (a human being), especially to murder". [Emphasis added] Brown-Driver-Briggs' Hebrew Lexicon defines that same word thusly, 1) to murder, slay, kill 1a) (Qal) to murder, slay 1a1) premeditated 1a2) accidental 1a3) as avenger 1a4) slayer (intentional) (participle) 1b) (Niphal) to be slain 1c) (Piel) 1c1) to murder, assassinate 1c2) murderer, assassin (participle) (substantive) 1d) (Pual) to be killed [Emphasis added] And, the so-called BIBLE defines murder, within its own text, as the shedding of innocent blood, to separate it from killing, which is generally in self-defense or as a punishment or retribution. Jay P. Green Sr., in his Literal Translation of the Holy Bible, discovered this error and translated that commandment found at both Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17 as, "You shall not commit murder." And, the Institute For Scripture Research, defined those same verses this way, "You do not murder." And, I assure you, neither Jay nor the Institute For Scripture Research had a political axe to grind. In the King James Version (KJV) we find in the so-called NEW TESTAMENT the Greek word, phoneuo, which Dr. James Strong, in his Greek Dictionary, defines as, "to be a murderer (of)", which is taken from the Greek word, phoneus, "a murderer (always of criminal [or at least intentional] homicide", which in turn evolved from the base word, phonos, "From an obsolete primary φένω pheno (to slay); murder". These words, too, were translated "murder" (Matt. 19:18) and mistranslated, or at the least, sloppily translated, "kill" (Matt. 5:21) within the same version (KJV). Confusing these two words, murder and kill, is a very common error, in all languages, because, all murder (the taking of human life unjustly) is killing, (the taking of human life), but all killing (the taking of human life) is not murder, (the taking of human life unjustly).
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 years 17 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I have a natural human tendency to want you to believe that my particular philosophy is logical, correct belief. If I'm not careful I'll insult you if you don't agree ("sheeple", "slave"). Molyneux is good at attempting to turn folks around through insults. I don't totally disagree with him -- or you. I'm an advocate of Murray Rothbard's "Anatomy of the State" http://mises.org/easaran/chap3.asp All of us want to promulgate the "message of freedom". The nature of freedom is such, however, that you have a right to believe as you believe without interference from me or anybody else. So we often disagree on exactly what freedom is -- or how far "we" have to go to achieve it. But what is a libertarian/anarchy discussion forum if not to air views with an eye toward coming to greater understanding? Per Bylund kicked over a bucket some time back with a column insisting that anybody who gives a tiny sliver of legitimacy to state is "our enemy" (I may be over stating that). That was good for a lengthy thread that might finally have run its course for now. But Per gave rise to a number of us taking personal inventory as to just how committed to freedom we are. Is not a little bit of state something like a little bit of pregnancy? Good article, Paul. Sam
  • Sharon Secor's picture
    Sharon Secor 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Ah, but I still see a difference between nude and padded... Thank you for taking the time to comment, your thoughts are appreciated. Best Regards...
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Paul: Unfortunately you are incorrect on this one -- absolutely so. It is not a mistranslation. Correctly translated as "kill," the Hebrew word is the most undifferentiated verbal expression of cutting down and killing. It is not the specific word for "murder." The myth that you are repeating is a relatively new one, and it has a political bias. I would suggest that you explore the writings of Laurence Vance on lewrockwell.com for the pertinent word studies on this. Furthermore, if you are looking for a good translation accomplished by a superior linguist, you can do no better than the potty-mouthed St. Jerome, who was the foremost scholar of Latin, Hebrew, and Greek in the Mediterranean world in the 4th century. He, too, translated the Hebrew word into the Latin equivalent of "kill" in its undifferentiated form. Please don't repeat that error. You may check any word-study list to verify this. The recent invention is no more than an escape clause for state murder. We may complain that it does not leave room for self-defense, but that is an ex post facto argument and should not justify the politically charged mistranslation you have cited. PS: Here's a Laurence Vance link that is must reading on this, and remember that Laurence does know something about Biblical languages as do his sources. I am limited to my Latin and reading of Jerome's Vulgate. http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance111.html
  • J3rBear's picture
    J3rBear 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    People are prudes. In France and many other countries little girls run around topless or completely naked. Who cares. The media is spinning and playing this up way too much. File under #whogivesashit
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 17 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Ignorance is curable. Anyway, saying we all live on farms, as farm animals - even knowing the score - degrades us and glorifies the ruling class. It's not an analogy helpful to the cause of freedom.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 17 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Yes, all analogies fail at some point. Personally I consider parasites anyone who benefits from government other than those benefits government has forced on us (e.g., road users are not parasites). But the point of the article was to move us away from an analogy that aids the ruling class.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Consideration
    Page NonEntity
    While I agree generally with the article, this may be going overboard: "No one owes me anything. At least not until he and I have had the mutual respect of sitting down and discussing the mutually beneficial terms of our relationship. Not even courtesy." Courtesy is done not to benefit others, but to benefit oneself. It is done for self preservation. So no contract or prior discussion is needed. In fact it is most beneficial when encountering others that one has never met before.
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 3 years 17 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I think there's problems with any analogy. For example, it's tempting to talk about a ruling class being a parasite on a productive class, but things are not as simple as that, especially in a "democracy" or a republic. The fact is, in the U.S. system, many collective interests compete to drain resources from each other, and they elect representatives who they believe with further their interests. So, these people are "hidden" from the public eye, but they are never the less the origin of much of the legal plunder in our society. It's no coincidence that the size of government expanded along with the voting franchise. So, you can't just blame a small class of people.
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Too bad Joey wasn't carrying any illegal drugs; Officer Jones probably wanted a promotion, too.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 17 weeks ago Page Jakub Bozydar W...
    There is one sense in which libertarians can and should ally with this or with any other group: subsidiarity. Let libertarians have liberty, and let liberals have liberalism: http://www.strike-the-root.com/what-is-to-be-done-with-statists
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    My kids used to complain that their schools looked like prisons. (Some of them really did) But in the 10 years between my youngest child and oldest grandchild, public schools have actually BECOME mini-penal institutions. The presence of security guards, armed or not, zero-tolerance policies, random drug tests, assaults by drug dogs, strip searches, the constant barrage of anti-anything-but-blind-obediance propaganda -- what are they teaching our children, if not to be good prisoners?
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 17 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I like the farm analogy up to the "seeing it is leaving it" part. (In truth, Paul, those I call "sheeple" I pretty much don't depend on anyway.) And I don't think it's necessary for an analogy to be "uplifting" -- there's nothing uplifting about ignorance.
  • helio's picture
    helio 3 years 17 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I prefer the Antebellum South Plantation analogy.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    "Thou shalt not kill" is, I understand on good authority (!) a mistranslation, and nonsensical on its face, since it prevents even self defense. The correct translation is "Thou shalt not murder."
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    A decent IED could take that thing out.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Looks like Officer Jones wanted a paid administrative leave.
  • Gwardion's picture
    Gwardion 3 years 17 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Excellent point. I completely agree. Cooperating with the ruling classes divide and conquer tactics will never win the battle for freedom. We must take control of the debate and the language used and unite free humanity against those that would move to kill/maim/destroy all that will not follow their random and quite often stupid edicts. If someone is so angry that they need to fight someone, they need to direct that anger at the root of the problem (the ruling class) and not the branches of the problem (the duped cooperative citizens).
  • Evan's picture
    Evan 3 years 17 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Excellent points. I think Molyneux can come off as sounding condescending sometimes, and I think many people who haven't come across liberty ideas before might find the farm analogy to be offensive. The state is a parasite and a criminal gang, not good Old McDonald who takes care of us.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    I apologize, tzo, you did define authority, here, (I have written previously about where just authority originates), I missed it.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    This is the best commentary on the Milgram experiment I've ever seen. Clear, intelligent, to the point. I'll add two things: first, Milgram was wrong if he supposed the Nazi holocaust was anything unusual. History is filled with such horrors, and two even-larger holocausts happened in Milgram's lifetime: Stalin's and Mao's. But as R. J. Rummel documents in Death by Government, murder (mass murder, serial murder, all kinds of murder) is a very common behavior for governments and has been for thousands of years. Second, there IS one more element that makes a big difference in whether such things happen and if they do, how badly they play out, and that is the typical level of emotional health in a society. Psychoanalyst Alice Miller spent quite a lot of time studying and writing about murderers, psychopaths, and about Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler in particular. After decades of this, she said that she never once found someone evil who hadn't been abused in horrifying fashion in childhood. She covers the topic at great length and with interesting references in For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-rearing and the Roots of Violence. Emotionally healthy people do not participate in evil; they're the ones who risked their own lives to help the Jews hide from the SS and who do other things to oppose power and evil, even when the odds are terrible and the penalties are worse. Early -- very early -- affection and compassion are what build bonding with others in infancy and childhood, and create the sense of connection to others that no free society can remain free without.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Tzo: This is one of your best and most valuable articles -- and there are a lot of them! I read the details of the various sets of his experiments some years ago, but I did not read at length his confused analysis as you have. This is vital, and your untangling of his problem is on target! This is a terrific piece, and I'm going to link it around. Thank you!
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    "'I shalt not kill' implies that I cannot grant any 'Thou shalt kill' power to others." That single sentence appears to be unassailable from all sides. That's something to always remember.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Well done, excellent! I've always thought this was a great experiment with a crappy analysis and you nailed why Tzo. And using a proper analysis enhanced Milgram's work.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    G'day tzo, You mentioned "the proper definition of authority", but I can't seem to find it in your article. Technically, "authority" is defined as "permission"[1], more to the point, it is permission from the "author" (creator) of a thing, "to exercise power". Only the "author" (creator) of a thing, (or things), has the "de jure (rightful) authority" to "pronounce law" [jurisdiction], over that which he, she or it, created. The "author" (creator) may either use that authority him/her/it self, or, he/she/it may choose to delegate that authority to his, her or its agent through “manifestations of consent”. It is this knowledge that motivated those desiring "authority" over their fellow man to fraudulently come up with the "Religions", "Divine Right of Kings", et al, which has now evolved into the "Divine Right of Governments". Some people claim to be their own "authority", in other words their own "author". I don't know, with absolute certainty, who or what created me, but I am fairly certain that I did not create myself, and even more certain that the government did not create me. And, while we are on the subject of "jurisdiction" we might also want to question who or what creates "artificial persons", i.e. a "juristic personalities", and for what purposes? Artificial persons.. Persons created and devised by human laws for the purposes of society and government as distinguished from natural persons. ~ Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 113 [Emphasis added] So, what do the PTB do when they tire of ruling over "artificial persons"? You can bet your bottom doll-hair that this is why the people behind MONSANTO (My Saint?) are trying to "officially" claim the title of "God", by "patenting" living organisms. ____________________________________________________________________________________ [1] Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 133
  • jd-in-georgia's picture
    jd-in-georgia 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Great, tzo! Once again, you have provided a most thought provoking article. In retrospect, the most I was able to get out of a degree in psychology is that psychology is less a science than it is a cult. Milgram does a fantastic job in showing how this is possible.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    G'day Melinda L. Secor, As regards Libya, you may find this news enlightening: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110329/ts_yblog_thelookout/un... Be sure to see the last two entities he met with while he was on that short-lived internship, and who it was "approved by". It'll make your day.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 17 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    G'day jd_in_georgia, Loved your example of the "desire for revenge"; that was William Shatner at his very best.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 17 weeks ago
    Consideration
    Page NonEntity
    G'day NonEntity, Are you a U.S. citizen? Check Yes__ or No __ Would you say that one has voluntarily, albeit perhaps ignorantly, accepted the so-called "social contract", i.e. has "submitted himself to the dominion of the government", if he checked the "Yes" box and then signed his legal name thereto, so he could receive a member-only "entitlement", i.e. "the right to receive something [a benefit] or to do something [a privilege]"?
  • jd-in-georgia's picture
    jd-in-georgia 3 years 17 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    KHAAAAAAN! An excellent read, Mr. Wallace. Is this not the inner demon that truly is the seed of downfall, for governments as well as individuals?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Derek Henson
    Hey Paul, It just dawned on me where we might part ways. You write about "rights" as though there are only one kind, and therein may lie virtually all our differences. I realized, after reading my own reply to you, that I would have agreed with you, had you said, legal rights, civil rights, statutory rights, or political rights[1] keep members of the political corporation submissive, because, in my opinion, they do. A good example is the political right to vote; it fools the weakest members of the corporation into believing that they have complete "control" over what their government does, which of course they do not. The key to understanding rights is understanding that all rights are "entitlements". The primary thing that determines whether one is "entitled" to a particular set of rights is "membership". For example, one is not entitled to "political rights" unless he is a member of the political corporation. Another is "civil rights"; Noah Webster (c.1825), said it well, "civil rights, the power or rights which a man enjoys as a citizen." [Emphasis added] And, a "citizen" is what? citizen, n. ...2. A member of a state; a person, native or naturalized who owes allegiance to a government, and is entitled to protection from it... ~ Webster's 1960 New Collegiate Dictionary, page 151 [Emphasis added] Do you think this might bring us closer together? __________________________________________________________________________________________ [1] I failed to consider these other "rights", because I am a free man, and as a free man I am only concerned with my "natural rights". All men are equal in the eyes of the law, the natural law that is. Under man-made law this is not true, it is the law of "status", the "the legal character or condition of a person or thing". (Source: The 2010 American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition)
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Derek Henson
    G'day Paul, Let me give this one more shot, since I feel that you were baiting me with that post. Mark Davis wrote, “This seems like a long, repetitive strawman argument to me because I don't know anybody that considers the concept of rights to be equivalent to some kind of force-field.” Seems Mark Davis may have been wrong about that, because you wrote, “Rights do not protect us; they protect the ruling class by keeping us submissive.” [Emphasis added] That says, not only that rights exist, but that they are “equivalent to some kind of force-field” protecting the ruling class. Well they aren't, Paul, in fact, they are quite the opposite. The masses having knowledge and understanding of man's Natural Rights[1] is the ruling class' nightmare. "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe That is because, why would anyone fight to be free if they believed they already were free; similarly, why would anyone defend their natural rights if they didn't know they owned any? And, for some unknown reason you appear to believe that rights keep us [sic] “submissive”. [I now understand why you believe this. See my next post for the explanation.] Frédéric Bastiat wrote, “Each of us has a natural right [a “just claim”] — from God — to defend his person, his liberty, and his property.” [Emphasis and bracketed information added] Maybe if you had a “just claim” to something it would keep you submissive, Paul, but it sure as hell doesn't keep me submissive. It is the knowledge and understanding of my natural rights, my “just claim” to my life, liberty and justly acquired property that adds to my resolve to defend them. Allow me to explain that last statement with an analogy. Ever had an aquarium, Paul? Well, if you had, and you were attentive, you might have seen that a smaller fish, who had “staked his claim” first, could, many times, defend that territory even against a larger, more aggressive fish, which was added later. But, whether he could or not, even this stupid fish instinctively knew that he had a “right” to that property, because he was the first to claim it, and his instinctive knowledge of that “right”, I believe, made him stronger, and his foe weaker, than otherwise would have been the case. This is because one will naturally defend, far more aggressively, that which he has a “just claim” to, than that which he does not have a “right” to. If one does not have a “right” to a thing, that is to say, a “just claim” to a thing, it is not his, Paul, it belongs to someone else, to whoever does have a "just claim", i.e. a "right", to it, and I think, way down deep inside, most of us instinctively knows we should give it back. ___________________________________________________________________________________ [1] Legal rights (sometimes also called civil rights or statutory rights or political rights) are rights conveyed by a particular polity, codified into legal statutes by some form of legislature (or unenumerated but implied from enumerated rights), and as such are contingent upon local laws, customs, or beliefs. In contrast, natural rights (also called moral rights or inalienable rights) are rights which are not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of a particular society or polity. Natural rights are thus necessarily universal, whereas legal rights are culturally and politically relative.
  • Guest's picture
    Samuel Marks (not verified) 3 years 17 weeks ago Page B.R. Merrick
    The link from "As this strip clearly shows" is down... please reup (perhaps embed within this article?) http://www.s-anand.net/calvinandhobbes.html#19881106
  • DennisLeeWilson's picture
    DennisLeeWilson 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    LOL. The first (oldest) comment said to join the military and save for college. You cannot "be all that you can be" if you are dead or endlessly returned (enlistment "extended") to the Middle East until you ARE physically or mentally dead.
  • iliad's picture
    iliad 3 years 17 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Excellent article Bob. When you boil it down to its basic components, it really is that simple. Treat others with respect.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    "Dependence", and the more absolute, the better, is the name of the game.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 17 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Great article. And, sound advice, "This problem of feelings of humiliation followed by the desire for revenge is part of human nature. It’s not going to change. The best we can do is minimize the problem, by not humiliating people, by treating them respectfully." Thank you, Bob Wallace.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Derek Henson
    Miranda v. Arizona (1966) is a "Landmark ruling, citing the Fifth Amendment, says suspects must be reminded of their right to avoid self incrimination". Non-U.S. citizens, i.e. non-members, do not have the "civil rights", which are endowed to members of the STATE by the U.S. Constitution. Since seceding I have not once been read any so-called "Miranda rights" before, during, or after being arrested. Fortunately, as a free man, I have the "natural right" to speak, or not speak, to whomever I wish. I temper that "natural right" with, "all things lawful[1] are mine, but all things are not expedient", when making my decision to speak, or not. ____________________________________________________________________________________ [1] Lawful. ...the word "lawful" more clearly implies an ethical content than does "legal." The latter [legal] goes no further than to denote compliance, with positive, technical, or formal rules; while the former [lawful] usually imports a moral substance or ethical permissibility... ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 885
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    G'day AnarchoPhil, Perhaps you didn't see this. "But when I saw my girlfriend and everyone else taking their classes, I got a little jealous. I returned the car, canceled the check, and entered my sophomore year of college. But I regret it now." ~ James Altucher
  • Guest's picture
    AnarchoPhil (not verified) 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    Don't go to college says the guy with the degree...
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 17 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    Silber may pull no punches, but it's in a subject he knows nothing about: "If you join the U.S. military, you want to be a murderer and/or you want to support murderers." Whether he is helping fix the problem, is another question entirely.