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Unread 04-22-2017, 03:13 PM   #1
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Violence in the Bible

What are your thoughts on the different acts of violence depicted in the Bible?
When I used to be a Christian, I didn't know about many of the nastier things in the Bible due to the fact that I would read "popular" passages and not read of the rest. When I finally did research on sites like "Exposing Christianity", I was shocked at the seemingly random killings and genocides depicted.
Why are so many people unaware about these passages, and why would these things be justified, even if they were committed by a divine being?

Some might say that these things were a necessary means to a good end, but would a truly all-powerful being need to use genocide and death to accomplish a goal? Would an "all-powerful surgeon" need to cut someone open to heal them?

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Unread 04-22-2017, 03:36 PM   #2
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Hi falcon20.

Firstly, welcome to CGR!

Secondly, I would love to discuss this rather polarising issue. But, I wonder exactly what information you are reading. Is the website that you are referencing this one?

If so, I would probably go elsewhere, as it seems to be fairly conspiratorial. There are far better websites that confront these sorts of issues while using scholarly sources. Even if I disagree, I'd think that the work of Jeff Lowder over on Patheos is much more nuanced and fair.
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Unread 04-22-2017, 06:06 PM   #3
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It would also help to know everyone's presuppositions before entering into the conversation.

How one views the nature of God is going to play a big part in how this discussion is carried out.
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Unread 04-24-2017, 06:40 PM   #4
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I'm wondering if anybody on this site has studied anything by Renee Girard regarding the religions and social roles of violence? I've been reading a few of his books and books of authors that cite him frequently. He has a lot of really great insight into the subject.
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Unread 07-21-2017, 11:31 AM   #5
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I've read some Girard, but honestly, I have a natural aversion to his work, mostly because most Girardians I have met seem to regard mimesis as a Theory of Everything.

But, I do think there may be something profound concerning the scapegoat effect.
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Unread 07-23-2017, 04:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Uptown Thrunk View Post
I've read some Girard, but honestly, I have a natural aversion to his work, mostly because most Girardians I have met seem to regard mimesis as a Theory of Everything.

But, I do think there may be something profound concerning the scapegoat effect.
I get that. I would like to say that I have a tendency to do just that but I feel like I'd be giving myself too much academic credit (Girard's book The Scapegoat was so dense and his understanding of literature is so thorough I found myself consulting encyclopedias and dictionaries almost as much as the book itself).

I think one of the key things that I took away from reading the book, though, is that an aversion for the violence in the Bible is actually a positive result of the impact that the Bible has had on formation of Western culture. In Girard's view, Christ's story and the violence that was done to him has allowed the mechanism of scapegoating to be laid bare. Because of this, Western culture has been able to "demystify" the corporate violence and scapegoating. I think the aversion to violence is good, so long as we maintain the ability to understand the Bible and the context in which the violence was taking place. That violence was documented so that we might see what we have done and so that we might know that we are no longer bound to the culture of violence that condones such acts.

It's been a while since I read the book, so it's not very fresh in my mind, so if I'm confusing parts of the book with other heretical authors I have read then go ahead and correct me.
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