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Chacham's Journal: Judgement requested 31

Journal by Chacham

In my last journal entry OnLawn made a comment. I reponded, and it went back and forth, and another off-topic comment came along, and further debate ensued.

After spending a hours on these comments (the last two comments each took me over two hours to read, think, respond, and preview) I have begun to wonder what the point is. Both of us accuse the other of dodging the questions. Further, I accused On Lawn of saying things but never bringing proof, and On Lawn accused me of contradicting myself. Surely, neither of us will see the other's point.

I guess I am curious to know if anyone else has been following, or cares to follow. Also, if anyone has read the comments, what they think about the arguing style, and, if anyone, who is doing "better", and what could be done to make the comments over all better.

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Judgement requested

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  • ...we're all still friends here. So if you choose to chime in, don't be afraid of hampering a friendship.

    Its fun, it is swirling to a circle where nothing new is being added if you want to end the other thread now. Its been fun and again I've learned a lot (it just takes more and more prodding to get it out of you sometimes).
  • by gmhowell (26755)
    You know, if you folks would just accept that Christ is the Saviour, you could avoid all of these pointless arguments about the merits of whether or not Moses was a priest. Arguing about the meaning of communion is FAR more worthwhile:)

    Seriously, you don't have to win every argument. What's your goal going in? Enlightenment? Honestly, I'd say that the tack you took in that thread isn't one taken by someone looking for enlightenment. It reminds me more of the Monty Python 'Argument' sketch.
    • Re:Hrmmm (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Chacham (981)
      Seriously, you don't have to win every argument.

      The point of an argument is to find the truth. Regardless of who was correct, the Truth always wins, unless they do not argue with that in mind.

      What's your goal going in?

      For the second argument, I was answering any questions. Otherwise, if one side asks, and the other does not answer, it looks like an admission. However, if we were the only two reading it, there would be no real point in continuing, other than amusement.
    • Hey! Moses was my great great great great ... great uncle. Don't knock on him.

      </cohanim humor>


      • Your a descendant of Aaron?
        • That's what it means to be a Kohain. (The Kohanim are the descendants of Aaron's three sons.) My father is a Kohain, his father was a Kohain, etc. And on a side note, my mother's father was a Kohain, but since you don't get your tribe from your mother, it doesn't mean anything other than I get to claim I'm a Kohain from both sides.
      • by Chacham (981)
        Ah, so you're a distant cousin of mine? :-)

        • Hey, so am I. I can show my lineage back to Aaron (seriously, I have the charts) but its through european royalty lineage which I'm even suspect of. They were known to fudge a little here and there. But its probably moot since its not the lineage of my inheritance, nor does my priesthood come from it.

          I'm told my main lineage is through Ephraim (like my Father and Mother). Interestingly enough so is my wife who has some ansestors whos lineage was through Menassah.

          Whether or not this conflicts (and even may be considered heresy by your Law), I just thought it interesting to point out.
  • I think one of the very interesting points touched upon in that journal was the reason children are idolized - at least in America.

    The conclusion seemed to be that it was not a logical reason, but rather an emotional one. I find the argument about a child's "potential" vaporous at best, but I do understand the emotional bond of parents to their children, to the extent that a parent would die protecting the child. I think that's as simple as a survival instinct. Furthering the species entails procreating and then protecting the young. Most species on this planet act in this way. The reason why? It's hard-wired.

    <book choices>

    That said, if you want a _logical_ reason to idolize children, check out Venus Plus X [barnesandnoble.com] by Theodore Sturgeon. It's a brilliant piece of science fiction which takes place in a society which, in part, worships their children. And if you're looking for what's ultimately a treatise on Morals and Ethics, check out Sturgeon's More Than Human [barnesandnoble.com].

    </book choices>

    I think your whole original argument really boilled down to the question of why crimes against children are treated as inherently more violent and "heinous," and why the media plays off of them in such a sensational way.

    I think the first part was answered, children are considered "innocent" in the Christian sense of the word - mainly, they are "simple." They are still developing and are not fully-functional conscious and cognate beings yet. Taking advantage of something which is still developing - especially when that intervention will change the course of the development - is considered a horrible crime. This is a value judgement, plain and simple. In it's most extreme, this value encompases the killing of a child, stopping its development completely.

    The second part, concerning the media, I think can be answered simply: ratings. But that's a topic for an entirely different book.

  • I started reading, because the whole argument of 'is it worse to kill a child' is kind of interesting. I tend to think it is, but it has nothing to do with the potential, quite a bit to do with the fact that it's counter-intuitive to the survival of the species, and above all, it's hard to imagine a 7 year old provoking someone to kill them -- it's a little more fathomable when you have two adults. Either way, I digress...

    The fact of the matter is that the argument so quickly left the point I lost interest. I started skimming, and soon I was reading about whether or not Moses was a priest. Could somebody please tell me *what* that has to do with how our society values the life of a child compared to the life of an adult?

    I think the argument seemed to move from something that's basically a personal opinion (what *is* the value of a life, and does that change based on who it is) to something more tangible (who can quote which part of the Bible to prove a point) It doesn't get you anywhere though -- the tangible pieces of the argument only serve to backup the personal opinion, which, in the end, is still a personal opinion.

    • I started reading, because the whole argument of 'is it worse to kill a child' is kind of interesting.

      Thank you.

      quite a bit to do with the fact that it's counter-intuitive to the survival of the species,

      OK, interesting idea. I disagree on a fine point, though I won't argue it unless you post that in the other journal.

      and above all, it's hard to imagine a 7 year old provoking someone to kill them --

      Ah, but I'm not sure that was the subject. It was, who is worse to kill, if anyone.

      The fact of the matter is that the argument so quickly left the point I lost interest.

      I think the first few replies were all on point.

      whether or not Moses was a priest. Could somebody please tell me *what* that has to do with how our society values the life of a child compared to the life of an adult?

      Absolutely nothing. On Lawn brought up an old argument, and it was off-topic. Though I responded.
      • OK, interesting idea. I disagree on a fine point, though I won't argue it unless you post that in the other journal.

        But that's kind of my point -- I don't really see my thoughts as arguable, because they're really not based on anything other than 'this is what I think'. I read your thoughts, and while I don't completely agree with them, it's a perfectly valid way to see the situation -- it's just not mine.

        It's interesting to talk about, because it's neat to learn other people's views -- but once it comes down to a 'prove you wrong' or a 'you need to convince me' argument, I think it loses its value. In my mind, it's just not that type of argument...

        • The values themselves do not have to be logical. I just think that they should be applicable consistently in all cases. Otherwise, that is not the true value. I believe all my arguments were, "how would it apply here?" I was probing to see if the stated value was true even when the case was different.

          For example, when (my perception of) the stated value was because a child has more "potential" than an adult. Then the value isn't the child, rather the potential, so I asked about adults that have reached such potential. Otherwise, it's the kid, and I think that is idol worship. Which is perfectly fine, I just want people to recognize that. You mentioned perpetuation of the species. I would like to challenge that with other scenarios to see if that is true in all cases, or to see if that is the true value. You may not want to do this (I think most people don't) so I am restricting it to my other journal.

          Another example. I value life. Why? Because I believe that G-d gave it and ordered people not to take actions against it (as opposed to letting it happen passively, another story). To me, therefore, killing a decrepit, not special, self-absorbed, stingy, smelly, 100-year-old man is no worse than killing a 31-day old, beautiful, baby with all the potential in the world. I believe my value holds in all situations (except where G-d commanded otherwise). So, I have a clearly defined value, that applies everywhere (although other values may supercede it).

          I think such values, while possibly not logical in-and-of-themselves, can be logically applied to any situation. Unless two values conflict, which cannot necessarily be judged logically, in which case the person must use the more complicated value-judgement.
          • by On Lawn (1073)
            I was probing to see if the stated value was true even when the case was different.

            Or the values in that case.

            because a child has more "potential" than an adult.

            You could think of it in a "half empty" kind of way. In a half-full kind of way, they haven't been given as much opportunity. True we aren't all given the same opportunities, but we always consider it wrong to take them away undeservingly. Its hard to imagine what a child would do to warrant taking their opportunity away.

            Then the value isn't the child, rather the potential,

            You did get some of it then. I knew it. Why all the Idol worship cracks then if you realised it wasn't the value of child as much as it was value of life?

            Actually the child-idol worship was a pretty weak angle to begin with. When do I try to emulate my child's charectaristics? When do I ask their advice for problems? When do I admire how they do things?

            I may give plenty of praise to my children, but it is for encouragement, not worship. I never did see the equation of the two.

            so I asked about adults that have reached such potential.

            Using the metric of that potential as the social merits of what choices they made.

            I believe the greater value is in the opportunity to make those choices. Children are more of a blank slate, with more opportunity to define themselves. That isn't becuase they are powerful beings and so we worship them, but becuase there is more ahead of them in life. We respect that choice.

            So, I have a clearly defined value, that applies everywhere (although other values may supercede it).

            Obviously you don't know your Law then. What is the price of killing someone? What is the price of killing their slave? What is the price of killing their kid?

            To say that a child has more life, and choices, and is therefore more valuable is like saying Bill Gates is more valuable becuase he has more money. If you take his money away, then you have taken more value. If you take a childs life away, you have taken more value.

            To use this to imply that as idol worship of children is completely disjointed. Its the value of life that we are talking about --not individuals. Just as if Bill Gates was robbed of all his money, he would be charged with a bigger crime. Not becuase anyone likes Bill Gates, but becuase that which was robbed was of greater quantity.

            the person must use the more complicated value-judgement.

            I have no idea how "complication" should be a metric of the usefullness of a value judgement.

            • Why all the Idol worship cracks then if you realised it wasn't the value of child as much as it was value of life?

              Because when challenged, it did not seem that the same value held, thus I had to fall back on what I believe really is the case.

              Actually the child-idol worship was a pretty weak angle to begin with. When do I try to emulate my child's charectaristics? When do I ask their advice for problems? When do I admire how they do things?

              Repost this in the other journal and I will answer. This journal is not so much for arguing these ideas. Rather, it is to clarify what was said in the other journal.

              I have no idea how "complication" should be a metric of the usefullness of a value judgement.

              Not usefulness. Just an adjective that I picked up from Meyers-Briggs. The reason that it is complicated is by comparison. Logic is easy. Things are either "true" or "false". Values, when "true" can have different weights, and one must know those weights to make a value judgement. The closer the values, the more intricately one must know their weights.
  • I agree with AntiFreeze that feeling protective toward children may be partially biological. although (as a society) we value children as objects, we don't really treat them better than adults. In many states beating children (for "discipline" of course) is not against the law whereas beating adults is. Since most adults don't consider children to quite be people yet, children have little legal or social recourse against people who hurt them; so it makes a certain amount of sense to be especially solicitious of children regardless of their cuteness.

    parental love of children is strong but a child is still more likely to be killed or raped by a parent than by anyone else - a la Oscar Wilde maybe?

    I don't understand how you managed to start discussing priesthood either - re. Moses' priestly status see Psalm 99.6, and Judges 17-18 (where the priests of the temple at Dan are said to be of Mosaic descent).
    • In many states beating children (for "discipline" of course) is not against the law whereas beating adults is.

      The dispute is not the comparison between child and adult. It is actually between family-rights vs state rights. Adults are ruled by the states and the law forbade assault. Unless a family does this (or the state "runs" families) assault on children is not "illegal".

      I don't understand how you managed to start discussing priesthood either

      On Lawn did that. Though I responded.
      • This is true as far as it goes. From a social contract -type point of view, a state is formed to protect the interests of people, those who potentially qualify as citizens. For patriarchal states, children - and attached women, and slaves - are not considered people. Thus, their treatment can be regarded as an internal "family" matter, like the treatment of cattle and other property which citizens may hold, rather than interpersonal conduct where the state may enforce norms for the public good.

        you plural.

        • From a social contract -type point of view, a state is formed to protect the interests of people, those who potentially qualify as citizens.

          Yeah, but the US was formed because that went sour. The monarchies were *supposed* to look out for their subjects good.

          For patriarchal states, children - and attached women, and slaves - are not considered people.

          That is untrue. They are considered people. How? Because if *anyone else* hits the children they can be charged with assualt. The question here is only between parent and child.

          like the treatment of cattle and other property which citizens may hold,

          No. Because a person may willfully destroy his own property, or sell ownership. States do not allow this with children.

          rather than interpersonal conduct where the state may enforce norms for the public good.

          A small, but important, point. The state doesn't do that for the "public" good. It does that for the "individual"s good. Each and every indiviual wants protection, so the state offers it. That is much different than "public" good, which help everyone. Such as a hospital, or a park, etc..
          • I didn't equate the legal treatment of children (and women and slaves) with that of property. States' law has treated them as intermediate categories between property and citizen, with the exact balance fluctuating depending on the social position of those involved and general mores. A good case in point, although its framers didn't think of it in these terms, is the US Constitution's designation of slaves as counting 3/5 as much as free people for drawing congressional districts.

            Under Roman law, e.g., a father would not be punished for killing a child under his control. And in various societies parents could sell their children.

            Doesn't a hospital or a park help (most) individuals too?

            • Doesn't a hospital or a park help (most) individuals too?

              Yes. But interpersonal conduct has norms enforced for the good of the individuals involved, rather than the public at large. A hospital is there to help the public at large.

    • Great references. Psalm 99:6 list Aaron and Moses as priests of God, and Judges 17-18 shows how the Danites saved a Levite from selling his priesthood short. (Is it better to be a priest to a house or to a whole nation?) Inferring that Levites were at one point (and still are by many Jews) to be priests.

      Danites are cool, I've met someone that had good reason to believe they were from that tribe.

      By the way what Bible Study persuation are you?
      • Indeed; specifically 18.30.

        Was the Danite Indian?

        If you mean my religion, I'm Jewish - scripture is one of my occasional avocations. You?

        • Please, arguments of this sort should be in the other journal. I don't want to lose this journal entry too.

        • I'm Christian, but one that is very interested in referencing the Old Testament from the Jewish perspective. I don't think they've preserved everything accurately and there are many different persuations of understanding, but sometimes in looking at it there way the things that epiphanies come like "ahh thats why that was important".

          An ancient prophet (probably not in your canon or even most Christians canon) prophesied that there will be time when people say "A Bible, A Bible, we need no more Bible!" And it includes a rebuff from G-d saying essentially "You wouldn't have the Bible if it weren't for the Jews, and yet you do not thank them".

          I see an undercurrent theme in that is that the Christians as a whole (and maybe even me personally) so not give the Jews enough credit for their history, role and interpretation of the Bible. Its like they say "Great we have a Bible, but its ours now" while they push the Jews aside.

          Thats why I've appreciated Chacham's commentary, having provided for many epiphanies even if I haven't agreed with it completely. But then I also realize that not all Jews would (for instance it was another Jewish person that pointed out the passing back of the silver coins after the redemption of the first born and mentioning there were only 19 priestly gifts, and a Jewish commentary that discussed by name the levitical priesthood).

          Anyway, I appreciate your commentary too. I'd have never found those references...

        • Oh and the Danite. It was a her actually, and I'm not sure of her ancestry. I knew her about ten years ago when I was talking about this subject, and noted that she was from Dan becuase its pretty rare. I know plenty Jews, Levites, Ephraimites, and Mannasaites but only one Danite.

          You know of Danites in India?
    • re. Moses' priestly status see Psalm 99.6, and Judges 17-18 (where the priests of the temple at Dan are said to be of Mosaic descent).

      If you wish to discuss this, please use the other journal entry.

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