I deleted User:Tordmor's explanation because I don't see anything in the 2nd through 10th commandments that mentions the exodus, so I don't see how the 1st commandment sets that up as a theme for what follows. In addition, its mention here comes across less as "I set you free; aren't I a great guy?" and more "I set you free; now you owe me", IMHO.
In addition, I see no indication that the "other gods" would enslave their followers. I think that part of the commandment is adequately explained by positing that YHWH (or his priests) don't like competition. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Arensb (talk • contribs), 24 November 2008
- Deleted comments: (Rival 10:32, 25 November 2008 (CST))
- This commandment introduces god as the god that frees people in contrast to the gods of Egypt which enslave. It sets freedom as the "theme" for the following commandments. It forbids the creation of other gods which would only be used to legitimate the power of their priests and thus enslave the people again.
- I am not sure towards whom this side is geared. If your intended audience is convinced atheists then why not stop at the "God Faq"? I was under the impression that this side is intended for people like me who are sitting on the fence, who want to think about the topic a while before deciding. In that case you need to address the strong argument of the opposing view, not the weak one. So if there are two ways of interpreting something I think it is necessary to address the stronger interpretation.
- In the case of the first commandment from a literary viewpoint it is almost a triviality that the opening line would set the theme for the rest and the mentioning of the liberation from egypt is reflected in the choice the israelites got in Joshua 24,15. My wording might not have been entirely appropriate but I think the meaning was correct.
- Therfore I beleive that the atheist argument is ineffective unless it addresses that interpretation. On second thought I concur that "Explaination" was not a good heading to choose, but I really think that it should be mentioned one way or the other.
- --Tordmor 03:54, 25 November 2008 (CST)
- I think you may be interpreting the terms "Atheist" and "Agnostic" in a way inconsistent with the common usage on this site. I work under the idea that Theism requires a positive belief, and the lack of that belief is sufficient to consider someone or something an atheist. Why should we not stop at the God FAQ? If theists presented no other argument than "God exists", the God FAQ would be sufficient. As it is, theists like to present everything from ontological arguments to electrified pickles as evidence of the validity of their beliefs.
- Your point is valid, in that atheists should not limit themselves to arguments countering christianity. You seem to be presenting the idea that the old testament is somewhat valid, but the new testament is a violation of the first commandment. The atheist response is "So what?" The only time a biblical argument will affect an atheist is when a theist attempts to use that argument to support public policy, such as with claims that the US is a Christian Nation, or that the laws of the US are based on the commandments. I doubt that you consider the validity of the "I'd rather you didn'ts" of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Would you be concerned if a subset of the Pastafarians ignored the 5th instruction, and only proselytized on an empty stomach? Rival 10:32, 25 November 2008 (CST)
- I think something very much like Tordmor's contribution could be used as an "apologetics" section to which the "Counterapologetics" section is responding. - dcljr 03:35, 12 December 2009 (CST)
I think the last sentence is worded funny; it seems a bit circular the way it's phrased. Perhaps "Laws in the U.S. specifically state that..." should be changed to, "The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution specifically states that..." shanedk 12:18, 10 December 2009 (CST)