[ExI] Brief correction re Western Democracies

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Wed Feb 23 18:39:55 UTC 2011

On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 01:21:34PM -0500, David Lubkin wrote:
> Damien Sullivan wrote:
>> As for other religions, Deuteronomy 13 specifices execution for
>> apostates from Judaism.
> For the sake of accuracy, no, it doesn't. It says nothing about  
> apostasy. It specifies execution for attempting to woo *others* *to a  
> different religion*, i.e., if you say "Let us go and serve other gods." 
> At least with regard to Deut. 13, there is no penalty for non-belief, 
> conversion from Judaism, or for voicing your non-belief (absent 
> advocating an alternate religion).

Well, it starts out talking about prophets and dreamers, whom you should
kill.  Then it moves on to relatives like your brother, "secretly
enticing" you.  Kill them too.  Don't just reject him, don't conceal him
with silence, but be the first to stone him.

And then it moves on to, if you've heard the inhabitants of some city
have withdrawn to serve other gods, then you should search them out and
kill them, and destroy the city.

Deut 17 also specifices excution of those who have served other gods,
without even a hint of them having to have proselytized as well.

> But generally speaking, when looking at harsh passages in the Bible, one 
> should examine the historic record of "implementing regulation." The 
> typical "stone someone who does this" commandment has such a high burden 
> of proof that it was rarely if ever met.

Mmm, I've heard that said now, but I'm not sure it was historically
true in old Judah and Israel.  It's a good way of getting out of the
obligation though, which is what we want for good behavior.  The other
one I've heard is that the court empowered to hand out capital
punishments can only exist in the Temple.

But as for simplistically reading passages from a holy book and invoking
them without context, well, critics of Islam do that all the time.
Never mind that most Muslim countries don't have death penalty for

-xx- Damien X-) 

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