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[P]
What would Jesus do about intellectual property?

By enterfornone in MLP
Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:37:57 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

This Salon story is a few months old, but I haven't seen it here or on any other site and it's interesting reading.

In 1989 a Christian youth group decided to make the question "What Would Jesus Do?" a central part of their lives. Group leader Janie Tinklenberg created bracelets the youths could wear to remind them to ask themselves this question regularly. Now the phase is the centre of a million dollar industry, however little of the money is going back to Tinklenberg, the owner of the trademark.


Apart from the trademark dispute itself, the story touches on another issue. The bible is quite clear on it's opinion of physical property rights ("Thou shall not steal", Exodus 20:15), but what of intellectual property? Can we expect to spend eternity burning in a lake of fire due to downloading songs on Napster? Or is Lars Ulrich turning away from the Lord by refusing to freely share his work?

Now I'm not going to suggest that everyone should start following Jesus and the bible, but most religions have some sort of rules as to what is good and evil. And even if you don't follow a religion, most have a moral code that helps us decide right from wrong.

People spend a lot of time discussing intellectual property as a legal issue, but what about discussing it as a moral issue. When you download MP3s or share proprietary software among friends, do you do it guilt free, with the knowledge that you are doing the right thing? Do you know you are doing wrong and carry on regardless? Or are you one of the few who avoid completely anything that is not legally licenced to you?

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Poll
Unauthorised sharing of information with your neighbour?
o Is OK, because information wants to be free 25%
o Is OK, because big companies are evil 6%
o Is OK, because by copying the owner still has their copy so it isn't really theft 21%
o Is bad, but I do it anyway 18%
o Is bad, so I avoid doing it 14%
o I don't know, ask Inoshiro 14%

Votes: 121
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o This Salon story
o What Would Jesus Do?
o Also by enterfornone


Display: Sort:
What would Jesus do about intellectual property? | 135 comments (105 topical, 30 editorial, 0 hidden)
the "golden rule" (3.60 / 5) (#4)
by AtomZombie on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 06:45:56 PM EST

just about every major religion has some form of this rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

this touches upon some interesting issues of the nature of morality, such as human hedonism. but i think this rule can be used in another way, maybe something to the effect of:

don't do to others what you would not want them to do to you

my point is, when one downloads an unauthorised mp3, they might stop and consider if they would mind if someone else did the same thing to them.

this is obviously incredibly subjective morality, subject to the responsiblity and maturity of the person deploying it, and would not necessarily work as well with intellectual property as it does with adultery and murder, but it is a moral aspect of the issue. especially if you equate downloading unauthorised mp3's (for instance) with stealing. (by the way, this doesn't reflect my own personal view really so let's keep the discussion obejective. in other words, don't yell at me :)


atomic.

"why did they have to call it UNIX. that's kind of... ewww." -mom.
This is reflected in law, I think (4.00 / 1) (#79)
by gauntlet on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:11:22 AM EST

I think that most western legal systems' focus on the intent of the law-breaker is a kind of moral objectivity built in. You obviously can't prove a person's intent, but there are probably clues toward it. And using a person's intent is a substitute for knowing whether or not it is something that they would have had done to them.

Of course, there are areas in which the person's intent doesn't much matter.

Are there any papers or articles out there on the encroachment of law into those areas typically held exclusively by religion, and the rate at which this is happening? It's something I've been interested in for a while...

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Who cares what Jesus would do? (3.37 / 16) (#8)
by TimL on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 06:55:28 PM EST

As an Atheist, the whole 'What Would Jesus Do?' story only convinces me further that Christianity is a religion for weak minded people.

Next time you feel the need to ask yourself 'What Would Jesus Do?', how about you have a bit of faith in yourself and your own judgment and think 'What Will I Do?'.

----
"Teach a man to make fire, and he will be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life."

hear hear (2.14 / 7) (#17)
by farl on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 07:34:13 PM EST

agreed. try to live your own life. But of course any strong feeling Christian will rate our comments 1. Rather just post that 1 than actually think for themselves.


Farl
k5@sketchwork.com
www.sketchwork.com
[ Parent ]
Think of the converse situation. (3.00 / 8) (#44)
by res0 on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 10:49:40 PM EST

I can certainly imagine that if I started openly proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and such, stating that those who don't believe in Him are a bunch of stupid fools who are too blind to see the truth, I'm pretty sure I'd get rated 1's as well.

So would it be wrong for me to vote down your blatant preaching of atheism and obviously unresearched commentary? I'm sure you guys would be some of the first to vote me down for the aforementioned, and I will be some of the first to vote you down for what you posted.

You don't deserve high-rated comments for just stating your somewhat naive opinions towards worldviews. In the same light I will never expect to be rated up or be surprised if I'm rated down if I posted something similar, but from my point of view.



[ Parent ]
People who rated this comment down... (1.00 / 1) (#81)
by res0 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:56:26 AM EST

Even though I don't have one of those nice notes in my .sig requesting a justification for ratings, I would greatly appreciate some explanation here.



[ Parent ]
What Would Farl Do? (2.50 / 2) (#83)
by marlowe on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:28:00 PM EST

Probably get drunk and then do something idiotic and get himself in trouble. It seems to be his approach to life, judging from that Consenting to Rape thing.

"Try to live your own life" is the worst advice you can give to some people.


-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
Yup (4.50 / 2) (#87)
by puzzlingevidence on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:48:15 PM EST

In fact, that appoears to be exactly what's happened.

Some users have been consistently voting 1 on any comment with an atheist (or anti-Xtian) bias, and 5 on any comment with a Xtian bias.

Now I wish I could change a whole bunch of recent "1" ratings on Farl's comments to "5" ratings.

---
A man may build a throne of bayonets, but he can not sit on it. --Inge
[ Parent ]

Jesus would rate that a "5" (none / 0) (#99)
by VValdo on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 03:55:41 PM EST

Seriously, wwjd-- jesus would say, "what are you talking about?" in hebrew.
This is my .sig. There are many like it but this one is mine.
[ Parent ]
except. . . (none / 0) (#104)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:35:29 PM EST

its far more likely to have been Aramaic. Hebrew was a dead language since well before the birth of Jesus.

[ Parent ]
on the contrary (3.33 / 3) (#63)
by gregholmes on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 06:23:05 AM EST

"What will I do?" is the easy question, and doing what you feel like doing is the easiest thing in the world.

It is hardly "weak" to dedicate yourself to a difficult path. If you like, don't even think of it in the context of religion. What I feel like doing this morning is staying home and getting more sleep; but that darn personnel manual (analogous to a bible, say) says I need to show up to work, at least if I want my paycheck (eternal life? ;)



[ Parent ]
re: on the contrary (none / 0) (#110)
by TimL on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 08:12:02 PM EST

Keep in mind, I'm using your analogy here.

When I get up in the morning and go to work, I'm doing it because I enjoy my job (sure, the money is good, but that's not why I do it). If you work purely for money, then I think you've got the wrong message about life.

It is weak to dedicate yourself to a useless path. There is no point in choosing the difficult path when the end result is the same. Imagine working 9 to 5 every day of your life and then realising that there is no paycheck waiting for you at the end.

----
"Teach a man to make fire, and he will be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life."
[ Parent ]

money (3.00 / 3) (#119)
by gregholmes on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 06:09:24 AM EST

If I worked only for the money I'd be pretty depressed by now ... ;)

I'm not going to debate religion, so I'll try hard to stick to the point; the supposed "weakness" of following a difficult path.

It is weak to dedicate yourself to a useless path

Couple of points about that:

  • Obviously those who follow it don't think it is useless. That's like saying a man at the scene of the accident who gives himself a heart attack trying to lift the wrong car and save a baby is weak. Wrong, maybe, but hardly weak.
  • Most things with lasting worth aren't fun all the time. A painter who paints for art's sake, a programmer who programs for "art"'s sake, isn't having non-stop fun; he is getting a long-term sense of satisfaction in return for his toil. Something of the same process seems to occur with a religious believer. Again, you think he is factually wrong, but he is hardly weak.


[ Parent ]
re: money (1.00 / 1) (#120)
by TimL on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 07:03:10 AM EST

Obviously those who follow it don't think it is useless.

Exactly, thank you for proving my point. Your weak mind is failing to show you that the religion you have dedicated yourself to is merely a method of controlling you. In the same way that parents control their children by telling them that Santa will bring them presents if they are good all year, you have been told that God will let you into Heaven if you are good during your life.

It is understandable for a child to believe the Santa story, but for an adult to believe that when they die they will go to some magical place where all of their dreams come true... I'm sorry, but that takes incredibly weak mind.

----
"Teach a man to make fire, and he will be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life."
[ Parent ]

moderating to 1 (1.00 / 1) (#121)
by gregholmes on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 08:30:08 AM EST

You should probably read the moderation guidelines. I won't retaliate, even though I would actually be following them, based on the, um , "content" of your post ;)

Nor did I at any point say anything about my own beliefs or lack thereof; you merely assumed.

Have a nice day! :)



[ Parent ]
I sometimes believe in intellectual property (4.00 / 5) (#10)
by Friendless on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 07:03:16 PM EST

I believe that selling copyright should invalidate it. The new owner is not the original author, and has no talent worth paying for. I believe that the death of the artist should invalidate all copyrights held by them. I have moral problems with ripping off talented people, I have no moral problem ripping off distribution companies. It might have been better to leave Jesus out of it...

Excellent. (3.20 / 5) (#33)
by xdroop on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 08:44:23 PM EST

You just may be the victim of an unfortunate accident if you create something worth having.

My assistant Vinnie will be around shortly to deal with the... er... transfer of copyright...

---
xhost +
[ Parent ]

Okay I'm going off on a tangent..... (4.00 / 7) (#13)
by communista on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 07:21:14 PM EST

...The fact that I'm agnostic. I don't like the saying "What would Jesus do" because I think it's a sad scapegoat for things that a human being is capable of determining.

EFN's story is well put together though. So I didn't take out my disbelief on the rating.

Just as I feel that in their faith, Christians sometimes have a big problem accepting guilt. When teenagers get shot at their High School, the parents rummage through their child's CD collection, find a Marilyn Manson CD, and blame their 'evil' actions on the music they listen to. Never mind that it's the neglect from the parents buried within their corporate careers that don't want to sit next to their child at dinner and ask "What's wrong?" because they're afraid of hangups and uncomfortable situations. Never mind their negligence. So there's my tangent...

But as far as Jesus' viewpoint on MP3's....Honestly. He probably wouldn't care. When the bible was written, there were different ideas as to what 'stealing' was. Do you think that all the little girls in the 1980's are going to Hell for going to their friend's houses and dubbing their Debbie Gibson CD's?? Probably not. If he is who millions think he is, I doubt that Napster is high on his damning list. Even the RIAA is quicker to judge.
/me fucks shit up!!!!
No flame wars please!! (2.00 / 1) (#18)
by communista on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 07:39:39 PM EST

This was not my intention, to start a flame war that is. So I insert this little disclaimer. :) It's just my opinion, folks.
/me fucks shit up!!!!
[ Parent ]
I think you hit the nail on the head (3.33 / 3) (#26)
by Anonymous 242 on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 08:10:26 PM EST

The world of the time of Jesus had no notion of intellectual property rights. Even blatant plagarism was, at worst, a grey area. Attributing one's work to someone else more reputable was commonplace and accepted. The person that took the time to produce a copy of some work could do whatever he or she so desired.

Combine the ancient notion of intellectual property rights with the semi-communist teachings of Jesus (what do you do with your posessions? give them all away or sell them and give the proceeds away) and I doubt that the historic Jesus would think that napster and company are anything other than a tempest in a teapot caused by the root of all sorts of evil, the love of money.

[ Parent ]

-1 for MLP after MLP, blind bias and faulty logic (2.28 / 7) (#14)
by farl on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 07:28:46 PM EST

What about Mohammed? Or any other religious/spiritual/military leader over the history of mankind?

If you are going to post MLP story after MLP story, at least try not to make them trolls. Try not to associate rather unrelated topics (which can be related by convaluted logic I will admit) in order to create a "media headline". This kind of story is just as bad as the crap we see on the front pages of newspapers and tabloids.

Write something out of your own head, not some rather vague repeat of someone else's ramblings.

Farl


Farl
k5@sketchwork.com
www.sketchwork.com
Mohammed and Other Leaders (2.75 / 4) (#34)
by Malicose on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 08:56:16 PM EST

The reason he chose Jesus rather than "Mohammed . . . or any other religious/spiritual/military leader over the history of mankind" is because this is MLP and the link used Jesus. That's my interpretation, anyway, though the title might have been a bit too media-y.

[ Parent ]
Here you go. (1.00 / 1) (#126)
by Spendocrat on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:33:27 AM EST

Oops.

This post has been modded to 1 in a childish retribution for you modding something down to 1 somewhere. I can't remeber of course, because that was yesterday (When I should have posted this).

Mea Culpa.

[ Parent ]

So what would Mohammed do? (none / 0) (#89)
by marlowe on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 01:10:21 PM EST

Seriously.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
DC Talk on Napster (3.66 / 6) (#15)
by Sheepdot on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 07:34:01 PM EST

It is kind of funny you mentioned this since I did a search the other day on Napster for some DC Talk music that my brother likes and realized I was illegally obtaining it from someone that could possibly have been a Christian. I did some more searches for a few of the other bands I know of, and was surprised to find that Christian music is just as easy to find as the average pop music.

I myself have shared out songs from Klank and Erin Fall, both Christian Industrial bands on Napster, and never even thought about whether or not it really violated any religious code. I had the music because I thought it was excellent music, and have actually not heard any Christian Industrial band that didn't have at least one good song.

If you are the type of Christian who believes that laws from the Old Testament (Jews apply as well) should be abided by, like the Ten Commandments, then you probably should not be using Napster. If you are the type of Christian who believes that laws from the New Testament should be abided by (there really isn't any), then you are okay. Unless of course you are the type of Christian that believes that your pastor's word is the word of God, then you'd have to ask him.

I'm none of those Christians. I'm the one that believes all the hoopla about a man dying, and then I live my life normally otherwise. Oddly enough, most Christians won't say it, but that's all it takes to be one.

Linking historical figures to modern concepts (4.20 / 5) (#25)
by bi5hop on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 08:09:49 PM EST

I'm not so sure I can go along with the idea of linking the actions of a figure like Jesus (or Mohammad, Abraham, etc.) to a concept that is unique (as far as I can tell) to "modern" society. It isn't something something that was clearly defined by actions in that character's historical records.

That's where I think the whole WWJD campaign falls short. In many areas, you can only guess at what Jesus would do, and that is subject to interpretation. It is a cute catch-phrase for kids to bear in mind that they should approach questionable situation in a Christ-like manner (according to Christian teaching). To make it more that that, and especially to apply it to a complex topic like IP, is a stretch.

__
Michael J. Russell

copyright and Jesus (4.50 / 10) (#28)
by Anonymous 242 on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 08:21:29 PM EST

I think that the Jesus/Napster question is irrelevant. IMHO, the only teachings of Jesus relevant to the discussion are of the type, "render unto Caesar's what is Caesar's." Interpret that however you please, but remember that in the ancient world the concept of what constituted intellectual property was vastly different.

A much more interesting question, in my opinion, is what would Jesus think of all the foundations and corporations that translate or interpret the Bible and then claim a copyright. What a mind trip! What Christian dare claim intellectual ownership of the "word of God." What rights does an individual have to lay claim to a monopoly on truth?

As a Christian, I think that many evangelists, preachers, teachers, translators, and musicians are going to have a horrible time trying to explain before the judgement seat of Christ why they refused to allow what they thought was the Truth to be freely distributed and re-distributed.

I don't have a problem with the faithful supporting people of notable talent be they missionaries, teachers, pastors, priests, prophets, etc. I do have a problem with men and women of God claiming that they have the truth and then refusing unlimited re-distribution. If it is the truth, is there not an obligation to make it freely available to anyone interested in the truth?

I suspect that this question could be rightfully applied to just about any religion and its sacred writings and modern day interpretations and translations. (The notable exception being Dianetics where profiteering on a monopoly of Truth is likely to be a good thing, assuming that I interpret the secret meaning behind L. Ron Hubbard's Mission Earth series correctly.)

RE: copyright and Jesus (4.00 / 1) (#111)
by mathetes on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 08:34:29 PM EST

I had never thought about the problems with copyrighting of Bible translations seriously until after becoming involved with Linux. After looking for a GPL'd Bible program I came upon The Sword Project.

I noticed that many translations weren't available to use with it because of copyright and licensing issues. The only exceptions other that more obscure translations are the King James, ASV of 1901, and the Word English Bible. The WEB is a new translation that was started specifically because of the copyright issues with other translations and seems to be a very GNU-like project for the Bible.

Personally, in the area of music and literature that is supposed to be promoting the Gospel, I think the question of "What Would Jesus Do?" is simple: bring out the whip and turn over the tables of the moneychangers and drive them out of the temple.

I guess Gutenberg and later the Reformation only partly did the work of "Open Sourcing" the Word of GOD!

"Jesus entered into the temple of God, and drove out all of those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the money-changers' tables and the seats of those who sold the doves. He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a den of robbers!"-Matthew 21:12-13(WEB)

[ Parent ]

Intellectual property? Way too new. (4.50 / 4) (#37)
by xriso on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 09:34:41 PM EST

If the Bible had anything to say about IP, it would have to be encouraging it, as nobody was practicing intellectual property law at the time. Intellectual property was turned into law in 1709 (?) with the Statute of Anne, which was some sort of copyright.

I don't think the Bible encourages IP. It's actually more like it encourages the spreading of the information about Christ, so we can get to know Him.

BTW: the origin of the "What Would Jesus Do" concept comes from the book "In His Steps" by Charles M. Sheldon. It is the story of people who have been challenged by their pastor to ask "what would Jesus do?" when they were making a decision. Interestingly, the book is public domain, due to an error on the publisher's part while copyrighting. Because of this, the book has been printed an extraordinary number of times by many printers. If you want to read this book, go here.
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)

1623 (4.75 / 4) (#45)
by J'raxis on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 10:52:16 PM EST

http://www.freepatents.org/history/:
Patents were first formalised in England in the 1623 "statute of monopolies". The underlying idea was to give inventors a monopoly on their ideas if they accepted to publish them. It is in theory a nice system to promote and share process innovation in the industry because without patents, inventors would keep their ideas secret to the rest of the world.
However, patents are currently considered (cf. Encyclopaedia Universalis) more as an economic weapon than a tool to promote innovation.

So that particular part of I.P. was established in 1623, not sure about other things such as copyright and trademark... (I just happened upon this site about an hour ago, so this caught my attention; otherwise I never would've thought about this.)

-- The Patent-Pending Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

The concept of stealing (4.00 / 6) (#38)
by ObeseWhale on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 09:36:45 PM EST

So, it is well established that under most modern religions thievery is a bad thing. But why not examine the concept of thievery a little closer before we point our Napster using college students to the gates of hell.

First off, at around the time that most major religious texts were written, the concept of stealing meant that you would take something from someone who is not willing to give it to you, and in the end the person who was stolen from would no longer have the article in question. In the case of Napster, what college students are doing clearly does not fit this definition. They are willingly sharing with each other, helping their neighbors, a concept that is by all means encouraged in today's major religions.

However, we must also consider the record companies, for they are claiming that music is being stolen from them when it is distributed on Napster. To begin, they are claiming that music can be "owned", a concept totally foreign to the times when the religious scripts were written. I seriously doubt that Jesus would be outraged if he saw someone doling out the bible for free. I seriously doubt Jesus would sue for violation of his intellectual property. No, the point of information is that it is to be spread, shared, an given out. This is also the point of music, although record companies are in it for the profit.

No, the religious figure in question, Jesus, would not be mad at all at Napster users, but I can tell you right off he would not be too happy with record companies. The record companies are exploiting the people, they are taking music, which should be shared and given out for free, and milking the people for all they are worth in order to let them have a listen. The only reason music is so expensive is through massive corporate cooperation via the RIAA to exploit the people. $20 for 70 minutes of music is an absolutely ridiculous price, and the fact is that next to none of it goes to the musicians, who make their money off of concerts. No, the vast majority of the profit is made by record companies, who exploit the artists and the consumers. Jesus would congratulate the college students for utilizing their fast internet connections for a purpose conducive to co-operation and sharing.

So if Napster and IP is ever mentioned in the context of religion, you have my view.

---

"The hunger for liberty may he suppressed for a time; yet never exterminated. Man's natural instinct is for freedom, and no power on earth can succeed in crushing it for very long."
-Alexander Berkman
you're wrong, historically (3.00 / 2) (#62)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:10:56 AM EST

To begin, they are claiming that music can be "owned", a concept totally foreign to the times when the religious scripts were written

This isn't true; there was a fairly elaborate system for protecting the creators of plays and songs in Athenian society. Royalties didn't exist in that period, but something very like copyright certainly did.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

More details, please (nomsg) (none / 0) (#129)
by marlowe on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 01:35:18 PM EST


-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
Hmm, I think he would... (4.40 / 5) (#39)
by joto on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 09:39:08 PM EST

I am an atheist myself, but considering the impact Jesus has had on western civilization, philosophy and ethics, i think this is a very interesting question. When it comes to ethics, I somehow view Jesus as a practical guy. In the old testament, there were set absolute rules for what (not) to do in certain cituations. Jesus deliberately broke some of these rules at certain occasitions, and he also told others (more or less indirectly) that braking these rules weren't neccesearily the worst one could do.

I don't think Jesus would care very much for this issue. After all, we have yet to see that record companies are starting to loose money. And many also use napster as a way to figure out what music to buy. But I don't think he would be an avid napster user himself. Because, unless the author/artist allows you to do so, making new copies is not being nice. And it's not like you need that napster music. It's an extra luxury that I think both Jesus and other ethical minded people could make without.

If you really want to create a revolution in the way intellectual property is handled, go create some more GPL'd stuff yourself.

My view on it... (3.00 / 2) (#41)
by CyberQuog on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 10:06:20 PM EST

First off, I'm Jewish and don't believe in Jesus. I don't follow my religion to a T, but I do agree with a lot of it's moral standpoints and views. On the other hand I completly disagree with some of it, and I try to do what I beleive is right. If any religion or belief has a hell, I kinda doubt that you would spend eternity there for downloading a song from Napster. If a religion or belief is that petty, then I would probably enjoy it's "hell" a lot more than it's heaven.

Does me listening to Metallica off of Napster make me a horrible person, in my eyes no, and thats all that really matters to me.


-...-
Don't believe in Jesus? (1.00 / 1) (#48)
by Mr.Mustard on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:28:07 AM EST

Why don't you believe in Jesus? There is a lot of evidence that supports the existence of Jesus as a historal person. I am not a Christian, but I would say that Jesus probably did exist, so I believe in him in that respect.

Mr.Mustard [ fnord ]
[ Parent ]

heh.. (4.00 / 1) (#49)
by rebelcool on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 01:06:59 AM EST

theres a big difference than believing jesus the person existed, and whether he's the son of god or not.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

true, but the pedant in me wants to point out. . . (none / 0) (#92)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 01:57:16 PM EST

CyberQuog's entire statement about Jesus was "First off, I'm Jewish and don't believe in Jesus." I think what CyberQuog meant to say was that "I'm Jewish and don't believe that Jesus is God, the Son of God, the Son of Man, or the Anointed One."

OTOH, I don't want to put words into CyberQuog's mouth so I'll just go with the words that were typed into the text box, that CyberQuog doesn't believe in Jesus. The plainest meaning of this somewhat ambiguous statement would be the belief that Jesus did not exist. Many people hold this belief, that the person of Jesus is entirely a myth. Another possible meaning would refer to absence of belief in Jesus' message. Yet another would refer to absence of belief in what Jesus' followers claimed Jesus was.

[ Parent ]

Should have clarified that... (none / 0) (#115)
by CyberQuog on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:28:12 PM EST

I don't believe that Jesus was the son of God, the Messiah, and the rest. He very well could have existed, and for the record I do agree with some of his teachings, but there is alot I don't agree with. Kinda like with everything ;).


-...-
[ Parent ]
heh (none / 0) (#69)
by finkployd on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 08:44:22 AM EST

Hey, Jesus was one of the most famous Jews in history :)

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Jesus and tax collectors (3.00 / 1) (#42)
by jesterzog on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 10:17:26 PM EST

I've never read the new testament the whole way through, let alone the bible. From what I did read I found it mostly boring although it's probably because I didn't have a serious interest in the first place.

Didn't the concept of tax collectors keep coming up? At least in some English translations.

Anyone's welcome to correct me, but the impression I got was that "tax collector" was almost a generic translation for all the rich bastards who ordinary people saw as bad. This included the landlords who had legitimate rights of the day to collect money from people or throw them out or prosecute them - even if it was hinted they should have a moral obligation not to do so.

I could be missing something completely but in an abstract way, owners of popular intellectual property, with legal rights to it, seem to fit the model of tax collectors as portrayed by parts of the bible. Can anyone speculate more about the role of Jesus and tax collectors?


jesterzog Fight the light


From what little I know... (3.00 / 1) (#55)
by skim123 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 02:15:38 AM EST

There's a story in there where the Romans ask Jesus to pay tax, if I remember correctly. He (Jesus) makes some statement about how the coins have Caesar's face on them so it's OK to pay them as tax to the Romans. Shit, I'm missing a whole hell of a lot there, but that's all I remember!

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
1 Peter 2:13-14 (4.00 / 4) (#46)
by bigbird on Tue Jan 02, 2001 at 11:21:22 PM EST

1 Peter 2:13-14:
2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
2:14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
Seems clear enough, although everyone interprets stuff differently. The "give unto Caesar" was important enough to be in three of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The question asked of Jesus was "Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?". Is it lawful to give tribute unto RIAA and MPAA, or not?

As an aside, I disagree strongly with my father-in-law on this issue, as he (an avid Napster user) feels that copyright is wrong. I view it as the law of the land, which I can disagree with, but break at my peril (with notable exceptions which are totally offtopic).

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16

Submit to the law of the land? (none / 0) (#90)
by marlowe on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 01:14:53 PM EST

What if the law of the land requires you to turn in to the S.S. any Jew you find, so he can be turned into candles?

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
with notable exceptions which are totally offtopic (none / 0) (#96)
by bigbird on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 03:25:12 PM EST

This has been covered well by others already in this discussion. I generally agree with the following statement:
Comment #54 by malikcoates
At the same time it appears that he followed most of the laws of the land excepting religious matters. My best guess is that he would do whatever he believed to be legal unless it was a matter of religion.
Where actions required under law do not conflict with what I believe, then I cannot put forth a good reason for breaking a law. In a case like the one you describe, it will come down to my own fear and personal weakness. While the right thing would be to break the law, many people did not do the right thing in your historical example. Without having been in the situation, I would hope to break that law, with the following in mind: Matt 16:26: For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

copyright has been perverted... (4.33 / 3) (#50)
by rebelcool on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 01:17:42 AM EST

copyright law as we know of it today originated in the late 1800's to protect the rights of authors. During this time magazines, newspapers and digests were becoming popular. They were small businesses - sometimes employing only 1 person. To gather the stories for the magazines, they would pay authors, typically by the word. Authors also tended to be eccentric people who didnt hold other jobs, therefore, this pay-by-the-word was their means of living.

Unfortunately, many magazine editors were unscrupulous, stealing stories from competitors and putting them in their own without any regard or payment to the author. This is where copyright came in, and made this practice illegal.

So copyright's original purpose was noble - protect the works of the author from being copied without his permission or compensation.

In a way, one can think of napster's users as the unscrupulous editors of millions of magazines. However at the same time, copyright law has been twisted by the recording industry into protecting THEIR bottom line instead of the artists.

The problem with napster is that small bands *do* get hurt. Bands such as metallica and dr. dre aren't impacted all that much. Other bands such as MDFMK are hurt because since they arent well known, they dont do many concerts. Where napster *is* good is how it spreads the word. But it's not enough. This is why a modest fee ($5-$10) is reasonable for napster.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

WWPUIXD? (3.50 / 6) (#51)
by eskimo on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 01:34:54 AM EST

What Would Pope Urdan IX Do? For the record, I have no idea if there was a Pope Urban IX. It just looks funny.

I don't know about Jesus. He'd probably roll with it. Jesus was about as non-proprietary as a cat could be on his own. If he did anything they talk about in the Bible, that is. But the concept of religion is not as rosey in the big picture. The Bible was specifically NOT translated into any language but Latin until Guttenberg's printing press. In other words, it was VERY proprietary. Certainly the word was intended to be spread, but only by authorized agents. And you had to pay them.

Furthermore, there are all kinds of passages in the Bible about not interpretting God's word. So in a way, the Bible is not exactly an 'open source' production.

Jesus was probably very anti-IP, and pro-open source. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, was the first Microsoft. Other Churches are guilty as well, but with their head start, the Catholic Church clearly still leads the way.

I am my own home. - Banana Yoshimoto

All kinds of passages (4.50 / 2) (#59)
by bigbird on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 03:20:09 AM EST

The Bible was specifically NOT translated into any language but Latin until Guttenberg's printing press.

Much of the New Testament was written in Greek. The Old Testament was available in Hebrew. And John Wycliffe translated the Bible to English in 1382 - somewhat prior to Gutenburg. And this site indicates the presence of an Anglo-Saxon translation dating to 995 AD. I am only mentioning English Translations found in 2 minutes on Google, there may be others.

Furthermore, there are all kinds of passages in the Bible about not interpretting God's word.

Surely you must be referring to pasages like the following:
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place(whoso readeth, let him understand)
Mark 7:14 And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
2 Timothy2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

For more information on interpretation, look here first, or here. Thanks.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

Read Your Sources (none / 0) (#82)
by eskimo on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:58:17 AM EST

Was this some sort of 'rules of evidence' test for me, to see if I check sources? Your own source points out that by 500AD, the Bible had been translated to over 500 languages. It goes on to mention though, that in 600AD, 'LATIN [ibid] was the only language allowed for scripture.'

995 had an Anglo-Saxon translation. Just on its own, that being the next entry on the timeline you provided, means there was 395 years of pure, unadulterated MONOPOLY. Furthermore, Wycliffe's version was a handprinted manuscript. I think that it is safe to argue that the propagation of the Latin Bible during those 400 years was considerably more significant than any of the few handwritten transcripts produced up to the printing press. The first complete Bible printed in the English language apparently wasn't produced until 1534AD. Suddenly we are approaching a MILLENIUM of completely proprietary information.

Regarding interpretation, I was probably thinking (also from your source, though I had heard this):

Revelations 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:...

Maybe I am wrong, but that sounds A LOT like an EULA. It certainly does not have an open source feel to it.

I am my own home. - Banana Yoshimoto
[ Parent ]

I prefer flyfishing (4.50 / 2) (#100)
by bigbird on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:07:34 PM EST

to travelling in a boat at a constant rate while using live bait and hardware such as lures, spinners and weights.

Furthermore, Wycliffe's version was a handprinted manuscript.

I understand that there was a bit of a shortage of printing presses in Europe prior to Gutenburg. Cannot imagine why. Every other bible in existance was also handprinted.

LATIN was the Only Language Allowed for Scripture

Perhaps you missed the title of the page: The Transmission of the Bible to English. Hardly a surprise that it did not cover other languages in great detail. Also, it was the Pope (a human) in Rome who restricted the Bible to Latin. An unfortunate event (tragedy, from my perspective) in history, nothing more, nothing less. Move outside of areas influenced by Rome (into places such as the Middle East, Asia Minor, etc) and there was no such decree in force. Also, IIRC the Textus Receptus (koine Greek) never went out of style in the eastern half of the Roman Empire (after the breakup of the Empire)

Adding or altering is quite different from Interpretation. I interpret everything I read in light of my beliefs and experiences, including everything from the newspaper to your comment. How can anyone avoid interpreting something as they read (and is converting squiggles of ink on a page into something that our brains can process considered to be interpretation)?

I do not have time to continue, but I trust the above will suffice for you?

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

Not Trolling (none / 0) (#107)
by eskimo on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 06:27:55 PM EST

First of all, the rate does not have to be consistent. Changing the rate is a convenient way to change the depth of a bait. Furthermore, changing the direction of travel affects the rate of baits on either side of the boat. Second of all, especially in saltwater fishing, you can also vary the depth lures or baits travel at with a planar. Downriggers use weight, but they are really nothing more than an outrigger that goes down. They have a clip which releases the bait after a strike.

I also don't understand how you could misinterpret my post for a troll. Discussion to gain knowledge will always have a jigger of strife. I can't imagine anybody I agree with on everything teaching me anything.

Now, onto your post. First of all, your flippant dismissal of my point about Wycliffe's manuscript being handwritten seems sort of silly. Especially when I pointed out in my post that according to YOUR timeline, they had nearly four hundred years to copy their little monk hearts out. Wycliffe's manuscript was little more than an oddity; soething for other monks to look at while travelling. I was not considered scripture. It was not used to teach or preach in the same ways as the Vulgate Bible of St. Jerome.

The funniest thing of all, though, is that you completely missed my point. My argument was that the Bible was made proprietary by the Catholic Church, hence the title of the original post, 'WWPUIXD?' By arguing that there were people outside the sphere of influence of the Roman Catholic Church, you are not arguing the point.

I am not anti-Bible, or even especially anti-religion. It interests me to discuss these things. I am sorry if I somehow insulted your sensibilities. You can take comfort knowing that I will probably never understand the Bible like you do. That's coolio with me.

The fact remains, Pope Damasus commissioned the collection of over 35,000 biblical texts for Jerome to analyse and translate. For you to argue that those 35,000 texts were not somehow diminished as a result is foolhardy. It also goes against one of your other sources, on interpretting the word, which argued itself that words should be viewed in the context of the day.

Lastly, and Jerome would almost certainly agree, by interpretting, you always add something, because you are looking at the subject matter through your experiences. The difference was, Jerome was beatified because God himself allegedly helped him interpret the other 'flawed' texts into the text used for the last 1600 years.

As for whether or not I personally interpret. I most certainly do. I believe it is unavoidable to observe something without altering it in some way. Of course I don't expect to go to heaven or hell when I die. I'm just telling you what the Bible says.

I am my own home. - Banana Yoshimoto
[ Parent ]

But still deep-sea fishing (none / 0) (#113)
by bigbird on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 09:18:58 PM EST

I could not find reference to your most recent points in your earlier posts. In my first post, I took issue with your statements "The Bible was specifically NOT translated into any language but Latin until Guttenberg's printing press. In other words, it was VERY proprietary." and "Furthermore, there are all kinds of passages in the Bible about not interpretting God's word." People complain all the time about US-centric / Euro-centric. I could care less, but you made a blanket statement which was only true in very specific circumstances: European areas under control of Rome, and certain EUROPEAN languages within those areas. And even then you were still technically wrong, no matter how little impact you think Wycliffe had. You did not mention impact, only the production of a translation..

As far as "flippant dismissal", please answer the following in detail: how exactly was every other text produced in Europe prior to Gutenburg? Handwriting (including calligraphy) would be my guess, unless woodcuts were more prevalent than I recall.

Most people at that time were illiterate anyways. Whether the Catholic church preferred that is irrelevant to me. The literate Catholic priests could have made up and preached anything they felt like, and gotten away with it. A lame analogy follows, but is something prorietary just because most people cannot make use of it? If so, I could call bras and dresses proprietary, as I cannot make use of them.

My argument was that the Bible was made proprietary by the Catholic Church, hence the title of the original post,'WWPUIXD?' By arguing that there were people outside the sphere of influence of the Roman Catholic Church, you are not arguing the point.

Your knowledge of Rome likely surpasses mine, but the Catholic Church is not, and never has been the Christian faith. The only conditions where Catholic == Christian may be in Europe, 600 AD to the Reformation. In addition, perhaps you could tell me what percentage of the literate population had some limited access to a Latin bible? That would help back up your claim of "proprietary". Overall, I would say that this is the first time you have clearly defined your argument and it is still restricted to Western Europe. Rome could do whatever it wanted, and it would not make a bit of difference in Asia Minor, or areas influenced by the Eastern Orthodox church. If you limit your argument I will agree with you. If you want to say Rome is the world, you are wasting your time.

For you to argue that those 35,000 texts were not somehow diminished as a result is foolhardy.

Sorry, I must have missed the part where we discussed Jerome earlier, or what relevence it has to any of our previous posts.

It also goes against one of your other sources, on interpretting the word, which argued itself that words should be viewed in the context of the day.

How so? What if most of the words in the bible were the same in different texts, and we were dealing with multiple copies within your 35,000? What if early writings of the church fathers were generally word for word with the current text? What if John William Burgon is right:

Call this text Erasmian or Complutensian, the text of Stephens, or of Beza, or of the Elzevirs, call it the Received or the Traditional, or by whatever name you please--the fact remains that a text has come down to us which is attested by a general consensus of ancient Copies, ancient Fathers, and ancient Versions.

The difference was, Jerome was beatified because God himself allegedly helped him interpret the other 'flawed' texts into the text used for the last 1600 years.

Text used by Rome. Hate to break it to you, but the Bible I read is based on the Textus Receptus, as you may have noticed in my previous quotes and my sig. Jerome never altered it, and his Latin Vulgate has little or no bearing on this discussion, or the original MLP topic posed by enterfornone. The Textus Receptus is still used in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and they pretty much spurn Latin translations such as the Vulgate. BTW, beautification is a Roman tradition, with no real foundation I have observed in the Bible. So what if a few popes and cardinals thought he was great. He very well may have been a great man, but his beautification is really offtopic here.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

We Are Not Arguing (none / 0) (#114)
by eskimo on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 09:47:22 PM EST

Okay, fine. The fact that there are translations makes them inherently proprietary. This might have been a raw deal, but there are so many regarding religion (Dante has a special place in Hell for people born before Jesus). Without mass printings, they were available for the most part to the clergy. No matter how old the Textus Receptus is, I doubt Joe the Farmer was able to buy a copy, or trade it for a chicken, or whatever. You still miss the grand point, though. The Bible's Proprietary information IS SALVATION. Therein lies the problem, no matter what church you belong to.

My point about manuscripts was that there were literally thousands of friars handy with the quill who for a thousand years copied the Bible. Wycliffe's version was the result of the works of one man. Even though nearly all manuscripts were handwritten, there was a lot of work going into the propagation of the Vulgate Bible.

In response to your analogy, I would point to the above statement, that the Bible is proprietary only because Salvation is proprietary. The original story was about what Jesus would do, so I am not sure the discussion has anything at all to do with Asia, or Micronesia, or wherever. This is clearly a Western discussion. That said, The Holy Roman Empire WAS the world. Yes, there were other religions and other forms of Christianity, but they were more about Christianity than the HRE.

Jerome is also VERY important to the discussion, because whether or not your text is affected one iota by the Vulgate, the Vulgate was affected by your texts.

As for the percentage of the literate population that could access the Bible, I would argue that for the most part, nobody but the clergy had access to the Bible. That goes back to the contents of the Bible being proprietary, though, administered by trained and faithful proffessionals, who had endured various trials to prove their love of God above all else.

Lastly, I once again want to point out that I am not religious, and definitely not Catholic. If you were insulted that I lumped you in with the Roman Catholics, I am sorry. Perhaps that was heavy handed of me, but let's face it, this is a pretty 'broad strokes' kind of topic anyway. Criminy, this is about evangelical money.

I am my own home. - Banana Yoshimoto
[ Parent ]

No worries (none / 0) (#116)
by bigbird on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 12:40:38 AM EST

Lastly, I once again want to point out that I am not religious, and definitely not Catholic. If you were insulted that I lumped you in with the Roman Catholics, I am sorry.

Don't worry, I did not feel that you indicated any such thing, and did not feel insulted at any time - only as annoyed as you likely were that we did not seem to be talking about the same thing, and we kept ignoring each others points. I focused on what I felt were glaring errors in your statements, and was not very interested in the broader picture you were trying to paint (even though I still disagree - this is not really a Western discussion. There was a Christian church in Ethiopia long before there was one in England). It seems to me that you were less worried about the relatively minor points. Difference in perspective, I imagine.

Monopoly and proprietary are not words that tie in well for me with the church, although some excesses prior to the Reformation (papal bulls, indulgences, etc) might fit the definition of monopoly. This is not my specialty, but I recall that there was significant competition between different branches - Franciscans, Dominicans, and the like. The words you chose - monopoly and proprietary - fit well with the concept of intellectual property, but I believe you could do a much better job developing the idea.

How much control did Rome really have from 600-1600 (and in what areas), what were the positive and negative impacts, and how did this impact the dissemination of the information. Did Rome act as a jealous copyright holder, and hopw well does the analogy stand up to historical evidence. With the presence of the Byzantine Empire next door to Rome (the Eastern Orthodox Church had essentially the same information, but perhaps a different view towards the dissemination of the information) can you really consider the information to be proprietary? Most of my issue was with nitpicks, while I believe that answering the above would be interesting and topical. Not that anyone has that much time on their hands, though. Have a good evening.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

translating the bible (4.50 / 2) (#91)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 01:31:05 PM EST

The Bible was specifically NOT translated into any language but Latin until Guttenberg's printing press.

This is true, except for the translation into Syriac. Oh crud, I also forgot Coptic languages (Bohairic, Sahidic, Akhmimic and Fayűmic) Hmm, there is also Geez. Darn it, I forgot to include Slavonic. I can't believe how silly I am, I forgot Armenian. And there is also Arabic. The Gothic translation is also notable. These are just the ancient translations. The Bible had also been translated to Spanish, Dutch, Scandinavian, Polish, Hungarian prior to the fifteen hundreds.

The truth is that in the first millenium, the Christian Church typically actively translated the Bible into the vernacular of whatever country was currently the target of evangelism. The Cyrillic alphabet used by Russians was invented for the purpose of translating the Bible into Slavonic.

While the Pope did forbid the translation of the Bible into some vernaculars for specific political reasons, we would do well to remember that the history of the Bible (and its translations) is not limited to translations into English. Also, to equate the pre-Reformation Christian Chruch with Roman Catholicism is to ignore the Churches that have equally as ancient traditions such as Syrrian Jacobites, the Coptic Christians, and the Orthodox Churches as well as the Churches that have been around for nearly as long such as the Armenian Church.

[ Parent ]

When I stretch, I can touch the bottom... (4.00 / 1) (#93)
by eskimo on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 02:08:10 PM EST

My knowledge of religions in general, is more than casual for sure, but not as in depth as yours. Still, with the internet, I have discovered two things. First of all, we can still have a discussion. Second of all, I can learn stuff. This is what k5 is about.

I understand that the Bible was widely translated. I acknowledged it in a previous post. Still, from about 600AD up to about 1000AD, Latin was the exclusive language. I have been trying to find the Bull that says so, but have had little luck so far. I did find this, which is the Papal Bull which says mass can only be performed in Latin. It was issued just about a hundred years after Guttenberg, presumably in response to some aspects of the Reformation. I am pretty sure this was pretty strictly enforced until 1969.

Still, this is a good example of the Roman Catholic Church guarding their intellectual property.

I am my own home. - Banana Yoshimoto
[ Parent ]

one thing I think you are missing. . . (4.00 / 2) (#95)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 02:34:14 PM EST

I think you are missing a key point I tried to make. Contrary to popular opinion in the US, the Roman Catholic Church was not the sole representative of Christianity prior to the Reformation.
I understand that the Bible was widely translated. I acknowledged it in a previous post. Still, from about 600AD up to about 1000AD, Latin was the exclusive language. I have been trying to find the Bull that says so, but have had little luck so far. I did find this, which is the Papal Bull which says mass can only be performed in Latin.

It doesn't matter if the Pope mandated that the Bible be translated into Venusian and liturgy was only to be said in Plutonian. While a good deal of Europe was under the sway of the Bishop of Rome during the Medievil period, there were many other Churches translating the Bible into other languages at the same time. The Greeks, Bulgarians, Russians, Syrians, Ethiopians, Armenians, etc. never bothered to learn any type of Latin because the liturgy and scriptures were translated into their native tongue very shortly after Christianity came into their geographical areas. The Roman Pontiff never had control over these Churches like he had over the Church of Western Europe prior to the Reformation.

[ Parent ]

I understand... (4.00 / 1) (#106)
by eskimo on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 06:06:09 PM EST

Like I said, with my 'just above casual' understanding of the issues, I do not know the proportion of Eastern Christians to Western. My education was very focused on the Holy Roman Empire. I do not know if this is because they were as pervasive as portrayed, or if my teachers or their curriculi were bad. I am just trying to stick to what I know.

But you might have missed some of my initial point. The Roman Catholic Church might seem 'Microsoft-ish,' but that doesn't preclude some upstart Ostrogoths, or whoever from having their own BeOS Bible.

I am my own home. - Banana Yoshimoto
[ Parent ]

To a limited extent I agree (none / 0) (#122)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 08:44:31 AM EST

As and aside:
My education was very focused on the Holy Roman Empire.

This is typical. It was certainly what I was taught. Most books readily available on the "history of the world" or the "history of the Christian Church" are really the "history of the world as influenced by western Europe" or "history of the western Church." I bought into the hype for a long time until I started reading ancient history. What the folks two or three thousand years thought of their world is often vastly different than what we think about their world.

The Roman Catholic Church might seem 'Microsoft-ish,' but that doesn't preclude some upstart Ostrogoths, or whoever from having their own BeOS Bible.

I agree with you that the late Medievel Catholic Church was very Microsoftian. This authoritarian bent of the Church of Rome was a relatively late occurence. Prior to the Great Schism between the eastern and western Churches in 1054, the undivided Christian Church had a conciliar organization. Bishops only outranked other bishops in terms of honor and as persons to appeal contested situations to short of calling a council or synod of bishops. Toward the end of the first millenia the bishop of Rome began to believe that he ought to have absolute control over the entire Church. The eastern bishops refused to acknowledge this new power of the Pope. The result of this was in the year 1054 the Pope excommunicated the patriarch of Constantinople (and subsequently all other bishops that refused to acknowledge the supremecy of the authority of Rome).

There are many parallels between Microsoft and the Church of Rome. One could argue that the Papacy through having the right resources at the right time rode the coattails of Charlemagne into having supreme control over western Europe is very analogous to Microsoft riding the coattails of IBM into having supreme control over the personal computer industry.

However, when western Europe is generalized into the entire world, my bowels in an uproar. This is where the analogy falls short. Compared to the rest of the world, western Europe is a fairly small piece of real estate. Arguably, the personal computer industry is a much larger portion of the computer industry as a whole than western Europe was to the rest of the world in the late medievel era.

As an aside, its not just the Ostrogoths that have BeOS. The Bulgarians, Serbians, Greeks, Russians, Albanians, Macedonians, etc. all had their own translations of the Bible. And that's just Europe. If one also looks at Asia (including Asia minor and India), and Africa, one finds a tremendous variety of translations of the Bible.

[ Parent ]

I can only debate what I know... (none / 0) (#131)
by eskimo on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 02:48:09 PM EST

That said, I have learned a little from this discussion, and that is beautiful. I certainly didn't mean to churn your innards. I find the concept of religion more interesting than the history of it. Still, learning about religion has taught me a little about the history. Enough to almost keep up. I do take a little solace in knowing that perhaps some of the less enlightened French users were thankful I didn't make this about LDS just because it is American.

My Ostrogoth comment didn't necessarily preclude other groups from having Solaris, or whatever. I am running out of OSes that are proprietary.

Also, I am not sure of the statistics regarding percentage of Roman Catholics before the Reformation, but (and this was on a Google tangent) even by the year 2005, only about 1/10th of the world's population will be online. Now we've veered away from OSes, I know, but I have to go to work now. Still, if just a tenth of the world was Christian then, though I am sure there were more Christians, then I think the ratios would actually be pretty close. If I have time at work, I'll look it up more thoroughly.

I am my own home. - Banana Yoshimoto
[ Parent ]

I can only debate what I know... (none / 0) (#132)
by eskimo on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 02:48:59 PM EST

That said, I have learned a little from this discussion, and that is beautiful. I certainly didn't mean to churn your innards. I find the concept of religion more interesting than the history of it. Still, learning about religion has taught me a little about the history. Enough to almost keep up. I do take a little solace in knowing that perhaps some of the less enlightened French users were thankful I didn't make this about LDS just because it is American.

My Ostrogoth comment didn't necessarily preclude other groups from having Solaris, or whatever. I am running out of OSes that are proprietary.

Also, I am not sure of the statistics regarding percentage of Roman Catholics before the Reformation, but (and this was on a Google tangent) even by the year 2005, only about 1/10th of the world's population will be online. Now we've veered away from OSes, I know, but I have to go to work now. Still, if just a tenth of the world was Christian then, though I am sure there were more Christians, then I think the ratios would actually be pretty close. If I have time at work, I'll look it up more thoroughly.

I am my own home. - Banana Yoshimoto
[ Parent ]

WWJD? (1.00 / 11) (#52)
by mattc on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 01:57:14 AM EST

Drink blue kool aid and pray for the return of comet hale-bopp, like any other good cult leader. (and maybe even get in a gun battle with the government)

Ethics and Morals (3.80 / 5) (#53)
by iCEBaLM on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 02:14:24 AM EST

Well, I don't think "intellectual property" is very ethical for the following reasons:

1. How can anyone claim sole ownership of an *idea*?
2. It isn't real property, if you copy it you don't deprive someone else of it.
3. Preventing people from having information is a detriment to society.
4. Sharing is ingrained into our being by our parents and society, yet now it, all of a sudden, isn't ok to share.

That being said I do believe content providers deserve money for their *work*, I do believe copyright is a necessity however it has been perverted, and I don't believe patents are necessary. This may make musicians shift from making money through record sales to making it through actual performances, as it once was back before audio recordings.

As for what Jesus would do, I don't really care, and if he did he wouldn't have left our sorry asses to rot on this blue ball.

-- iCEBaLM

Its just as ethical as normal property (3.50 / 2) (#65)
by zakalwe on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 08:08:30 AM EST

1. How can anyone claim sole ownership of an *idea*?

It isn't really any more illogical than claiming sole ownership of a thing. When it comes down to it, any sort of ownership is solely a legal artifact (and there are philosophies that think even this should not exist.) In reality we have a mix of owned things (possessions, land etc), and free/shared things (Air, public property). IP is similar, and I think most of the way we decide is fair enough, though its often not implemented well.

2. It isn't real property, if you copy it you don't deprive someone else of it.

But you are depriving someone of the benefit of it. And if there's no benefit, why should anyone create it in the first place.
The reason we have property laws is that they benefit society - If we had no preventions to stealing, everyone would have to waste lots of time and effort protecting their possessions, and there would be no incentive to produce stuff that could just be taken. IP laws are no different. Your flaw is perceiving property as some sort of right, rather than a mutually beneficial legal concept.

3. Preventing people from having information is a detriment to society.

And preventing hungry people from stealing food is damaging society too. This doesn't mean we should allow theft. Yes, ideally everyone would be able to take what they want, and should produce what they can. This system is called communism, and doesn't work for physical property. I don't think intellectual communism will work either, or at least not without some other incentive to produce.

4. Sharing is ingrained into our being by our parents and society, yet now it, all of a sudden, isn't ok to share.

But you can't share what isn't yours, and under the law, intellectual property isn't yours. I've tried to point out why I think this is a good thing in general, and just as justified as "normal" property, but basicly in order for this argument to have any merit, you'll have to show that you do own, or have the right to share something.

[ Parent ]

Re: Its just as ethical as normal property (5.00 / 1) (#78)
by Spendocrat on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:51:04 AM EST

Owning an idea is somewhat different than the owning of a thing, because when you own a thing, nothing stops me from going out and getting or making my own such thing, providing I have the means and the knowledge to do so. The "problem" with IP is that it stops you from going out and making your own thing. Essentially it makes it illegal for you to use an idea that you didn't think of first, and grants a monopoly on an idea that's much greater than the monopoly property rights gives you over your physical posessions.

[ Parent ]
What about land ownership? (5.00 / 1) (#135)
by zakalwe on Sun Jan 07, 2001 at 07:37:29 AM EST

nothing stops me from going out and getting or making my own such thing
If I own a piece of land there is no way of you "going out and making your own" such location. The only way you can obtain the location is by taking, or buying it from me. For intellectual property, you can do the same. Lots of other things are also unique - original works of art for instance. Does this mean these are the same category?

Nothing about owning the rights to a song or book prevent you from going out and writing a different song or book. All it says is that you can't do with it what the owner says you can't do.

Essentially it makes it illegal for you to use an idea that you didn't think of first
If you think of it independantly after the person then yes it shouldn't be IP. Patents, and software patents in particular, are an area where things are much more dubious, and I am opposed to software patents for this reason. There is some benefit in encouraging innovation by granting patents, but showing that an idea is new, and non-obvious is something that does not have the standards it should.

However, for things like music and books, I find it very hard to believe that you would write the exact same novel or tune, so I think that protection is justified, though I might disagree with the current system for how much, and for how long.

, and grants a monopoly on an idea that's much greater than the monopoly property rights gives you over your physical posessions.
Yes because IP, as you pointed out, is different to physical property though the reason is that information can be freely and perfectly copied. This means that the "Monopoly rights" we have over physical property are completely irrelevant. The only reasonable application of them would be to force that only one copy should exist at any time, which would be both useless and unenforcible.

The point I was trying to make in my previous post was that there is no universal "right" to property rights beyond the needs of society. Being able to own property is beneficial, and gives an incentive to produce, so the concept of ownership is enforced by law. The same applies to IP, but because it is different, a different concept of ownership is needed in order to give an incentive to produce it. If you want to claim that owning IP is wrong, then you'll have to show that there is some right beyond the law to which you "own" physical property.

[ Parent ]

An honest answer (4.16 / 6) (#54)
by malikcoates on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 02:15:32 AM EST

Ok, here goes my best shot at an answer. I don't believe in God, but I have read the Bible and think this is an interesting question.

Jesus is well known as someone who did not care about proper social behavior. The guy associated with tax collectors and women of ill repute and treated them as he treated everyone else. When he felt that someone was disrespecting God he could get very angry and destroy property. At the same time it appears that he followed most of the laws of the land excepting religious matters.

My best guess is that he would do whatever he believed to be legal unless it was a matter of religion. The law considers copyright violation a form of theft, and I think Jesus would as well.

Now if you really want a fight you should ask what Jesus would do about religious rock.

Jesus would ask the Jews to give it to the Moslems (1.00 / 2) (#73)
by your_desired_username on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 09:32:56 AM EST

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

[ Parent ]
Discussions like this can never be objective (4.80 / 5) (#56)
by yigal on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 02:50:21 AM EST

I just finished reading the book 'The Name of the Rose' by Umberto Eco. This book is, apart from a nice detective, also a historical/philosophical work. One of the larger questions posed in this book was whether or not Jesus actually had any possessions.

Basically, the then-current pope and his followers were convinced of his wealth. Not just because they were faithfully interpreting the Bible, but because it fit in their life. Imagine being one of the most powerful and wealthy persons and having no moral support for that!

Opposed to the pope is the order of Saint Franciscus, who preached poverty. While the order an sich at that time was no longer poor, they at least believed it with their mouths. The pope saw them as heretics, because they threathened him in is power.

I think this principle applies to discussion as well. If you're an avid Napsterian, I don't think you'll believe Jesus would condemn this. On the other hand, if you have a (financial) benefit in IP, you'll shout that Jesus was a big supporter of it.

Taken to a higher level, I'm afraid that the question 'What would Jesus do if...' can be nothing more than a silly excuse to do exactly what you believe, based on your own moral grounds. In discussions such as this, the question is not 'what, objectively seen, does the [insert religious work(s)] say about this?', but 'how can I interpret [insert religious work(s)] so as to support my point of view?'. I'm just reminded of the 'media bias' article recently posted...

Nevertheless I voted +1, Front, because there still might be some jewels in this discussion.
.sigmentationfault

"render unto Caesar what is Caesar's", I (3.33 / 3) (#57)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 02:58:37 AM EST

or in other words, Jesus' position on most such matters was that his followers should obey the prevailing law, while working to create the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
But, in said "Kingdom of Heaven"... (none / 0) (#74)
by Michael Leuchtenburg on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:06:04 AM EST

What would the IP laws be?

[ #k5: dyfrgi ]
[ TINK5C ]
[ Parent ]
aahhhhh (none / 0) (#80)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 11:44:29 AM EST

that's "What Would Jesus Think?", an altogether more difficult question. :-)

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Christocentric people offend me (1.58 / 12) (#58)
by evro on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 03:18:14 AM EST

I find offensive your implication that Jesus was an actual person that actually existed, and moreover your assumption that I would care what this mythical figure would think about anything at all.

Remind you of the snobby "Too US-Centric" people?

---
"Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"
You are too easily offended (3.75 / 4) (#60)
by bigbird on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 03:33:36 AM EST

Should I then be offended at your implication that that Jesus was NOT an actual person that actually existed, and moreover your assumption that I don't care what He would think about anything at all?

Remind you of the self-centered "My opinions are all that matters" people?

---

And if the above also offended you, c'est dommage :)

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

Taking offence (3.33 / 3) (#68)
by finkployd on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 08:40:11 AM EST

I take offense that you took offense to someone else. In fact I take offense to every idea that does not perfectly conform to my views. How dare you exibit a viewpoint that I do not believe in in a public forum?

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Have you ever read anything on this site? (none / 0) (#130)
by evro on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 02:36:17 PM EST

That was sarcasm, though I thought it would come through even without gay <sarcasm> tags. While I was partially serious, I really was just giving a nod to all the "K5 is so America-centric and I find that so offensive" people, who IMHO should just go find another site, or post more non-America-Centric news and then the problem would be solved.
---
"Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"
[ Parent ]
Parody (none / 0) (#133)
by bigbird on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 03:28:29 PM EST

You might wish to note that my reply to your original comment (the one you rated "1") was a parody of your original comment.

Why waste time giving "a nod" to comments which are totally useless? There is little that is more foolish on this site than someone taking the time to say "This is a waste of my time". If it is a waste of your time, move on to another story. If not, voice your displeasure at the topic / writeup in in an editorial comment while it is in the submission queue, vote -1, and get on with your life.

Believe whatever you want, but it's not like your comment added anything to the discussion. That may be the reason why the only replies to date make fun of your original post.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

Why so offended? (none / 0) (#134)
by communista on Sat Jan 06, 2001 at 10:48:19 AM EST

He probably did exist. I'm not going to go to church and thank him for "All he's done" because I don't believe that. More than likely, Jesus was a philosopher. He had revolutionary ideas. He was a smart man. Nothing more.

It kind of reminds me of a South Park episode when the town was at the school football game. One of the guys in the crowd started to pray and said "Dear Jesus, I ask you for your help..." and they panned to Jesus in the crowd who said "Leave me alone..."

I'm sure it's not entirely like that. But as an agnostic, I do believe that the Bible has some fallacies. I personally don't believe everything I read...

But to be offended? Maybe he did exist. Do you have to acknowledge it? No, but others do by choice and always will. They'll write about it. They'll talk about it. Some of them may even piss you off...But it's inevitable. I understand and respect your opinion, but I think it's a bit much to post something to the effect of 'how dare you post this!!' But again, your opinion. Not mine.
/me fucks shit up!!!!
[ Parent ]
Pagan Perspective... (4.66 / 3) (#61)
by Electric Angst on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 03:57:55 AM EST

As a Neopagan, I can point to another religious culture with very different viewpoints on many moral issues, and bring up the was the Intellectual Property debate seems to be presented among it.

With no clerical center, the most powerful single force in the Pagan community is the Pagan press. This means everything from web sites such as The Witch's Voice to Llewellyn publishing. The fact that these media outlets have a vested interest in the intellectual property debate, they display a clear bias against any form of piracy, some going so far as to call it "bad karma". (An interesting side note, Neopaganism, arguably one of the most non-structured and personally independent religions in the entire world, gains most of it's adherents from the works of several for-profit corporations, the Pagan publishers.)

Of course, the advantage of being a Neopagan is that no voice rings out supreme, except that of a God (and even those are put into question sometimes...) While those with financial interest in Neopaganism may maintain a solid front on the intellectual property debate, individual Neopagans themselves often end up choosing differing sides. While no solidly anti-IP Neopagan voice seems to make any impression on the general community, the very power of that stance itself has caused many individuals and covens to consider IP a decaying institution.

What do I think? Well, I see it this way... If people were allowed to pick up easy-to-fly, cheap rocket packs at any Radio Shack, (or make them themselves out of readily available parts), would it still be possible to enforce the same restrictions we hold on our airspace? In other words, something should be done to protect the interest of the creator (perhaps not the current media institutions, though) while accepting that the technology has made our current system worthless.
--
"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
Some thoughts on the question at hand (3.00 / 1) (#67)
by pw201 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 08:33:21 AM EST

Yep, render unto Caesar and so on. The one time that Jesus addresses government and laws he says that paying taxes is OK. Some people think that saying is a later addition to make Christianity acceptable to Romans, of course, but I think showing people the head on the coin and saying "who's that, then?" sounds like the sort of thing he'd do. (Reminds me of the story about the woman caught in the act of adultery).

So, on the whole I think he'd be in favour of obeying the government. But there was something in Third Way (Christian mag) recently about Christian support for anti-capitalist protests, the Jubilee 2000 campaign on third world debt, and so on. While I don't think that violence is acceptable for Christians, it was interesting to see people pointing out how much of the Old Testament is concerned with social justice (take the prophet Amos, for example).

Some people see the battles over IP as being about who will control what we read and see in the future. If using things like Napster is a way of protesting against the powers that want to control such things to the detriment of the people who actually use them, it seems to me that this might be OK.

Probably most use of Napster is about avoiding having to pay for something, though, so such high ideals do not apply :-) Still, it's something I'll be thinking about some more. Good article.

Interesting (4.00 / 2) (#70)
by finkployd on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 08:47:48 AM EST

I find it interesting that self described pagans and athiests sound more familiar with the Bible and Jesus's teaching than many self described Christians :) I really respect that in someone, as I've found that to not believe in something, you really must understand it first.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
Property, Theft, and The Big Guy on the Cross (5.00 / 9) (#71)
by acestus on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 09:17:35 AM EST

Only rarely to do I get a chance to use my formal training as a theologan, so I'll answer this with glee.

St. Augustine says, in On the Free Choice of Will that the goal of a Christian life is (among a few other things) happiness, and that this happiness is found by only desiring to have those things which we are guaranteed -- namely, God's love.

I won't reproduce his argument, but it's a fairly good one. In light of that premise, it's good to reread the commandments. "Thou shalt not steal" isn't there because we must respect others' property, but because we shouldn't want it anyway, especially if it's going to cause someone else grief.

The Benedictines, modifying on a theme from 2 Thessalonians, say that "to work is to pray." All our efforts should be directed to the glorification of God and Creation. Metallica should see its music as prayer: a work done for God's glory. By seeing it, instead, as a method to acquire, they promise themselves an unhappy life. Napster is wrong, but it's a wickedness against the wicked. Metallica should offer their psalms up freely. They can claim that they offer their songs to the Lord for free, but to consumers at a price, but that is not a true glorification. No one can serve two masters.

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
The artist should give without concern. The Lord provides. Property itself may not 'be theft', but it leads to misery, and both the thieves and the victims suffer from their belief otherwise.

Acestus
This is not an exit.
Some references (5.00 / 2) (#75)
by rafael on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:19:02 AM EST

Here's what the Catholic encyclopaedia says about property. There's nothing about intellectual property, but this explains that (1) private property is "indispensable for human society in general" but that (2) the rich should not take advantage from their goods, but must share them with the needy. People who think that intellectual property is a natural prolongation of private property (is this the opinion of the Catholic Church?) may extrapolate this text to intellectual property.

[ Parent ]
talking past each other and ownership of property (2.00 / 1) (#103)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:31:34 PM EST

First, I thinkt that you and acetus are talking past each other. Acetus was addressing what the owner property should do. You are addressing what the owner of property can do.

Not all Christians are called to be monks. But all Christians should look to the monastic movement for inspiration about a better way of life. The difference between radical Christianity and political movements such as communisim is the element of Choice. In the Christian community (whether it be Protestant like JPUSA, Taize, The Bruderhoff, or traditionally monastic Orthodox/Catholic/etc.) individuals choose to give up property while Communism forces everyone to give up property.

There is no real quarrel here. The Church calls followers of Jesus to give up private possessions, but it will not force them to.

[ Parent ]

"Yes it's illegal... (4.00 / 2) (#72)
by reshippie on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 09:18:41 AM EST

I just don't think that it's wrong."

That pretty much sums up what I think. Therefore, when it comes to bands that I really like and respect, I only take live mp3s, that you can't find on a cd.

As for taking mp3s from other groups, many of the mp3s that I own I would not buy on a CD. They are nice to have, but I could live without them. I sure as heck am not going to pay $15-$20 US just to get 1 nostalgic song.

Those who don't know me, probably shouldn't trust me. Those who do DEFINITELY shouldn't trust me. :-)

Jesus would be a Karma whore on slashdot :) (1.00 / 6) (#76)
by retinaburn on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:24:58 AM EST


I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


It's an anachronism (4.00 / 3) (#77)
by Aidan_Kehoe on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 10:49:47 AM EST

Intellectual property only dates from the ideas of certain French intellectuals ~1600 ad; Jesus would probably have found it funny that anyone expects payment for something which they didn't physically make. Therefore, pay the record company for the CD, but not the singer.

Various churches in the mean time have probably grown accustomed to the concept; it wouldn't surprise me hugely if the Catholic Church hadn't, tho'.

--
There is no TRUTH. There is no REALITY. There is no CONSISTENCY. There are no ABSOLUTE STATEMENTS. I'm very probably wrong. -- BSD fortune(6)
"Thou shalt not steal" (4.50 / 4) (#84)
by Khedak on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 12:30:34 PM EST

I actually read somewhere... Hmm, here it is... It says "The Hebrew word translated here as "steal" had a very narrow application. It referred to kidnapping and selling a person into slavery. Since slavery has now been abolished in North America, this commandment is no longer applicable. In modern times, the commandment is interpreted to mean the stealing of any piece of property. This is unrelated to its original meaning."

So the Bible isn't really "clearly" saying anything about property, intellectual or otherwise, except that you can't steal people and make them your property.

Interesting, eh?

Jesus would abrogate property as we know it (3.50 / 2) (#88)
by dj@ on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 01:03:21 PM EST

I think Jesus would find the whole idea of property unfortunate in the first place, and intellectual property even more blasphemous since it's such a rude extension of the original concept of property.

When the early Americans purchased land from the Native Americans, the Native Americans didn't have a similar idea of property. This is why such huge tracts of land could be purchased for such a low price, as the Native Americans no doubt didn't realize that they were selling themselves out of future use of the land. The concept of property more closely resembled posession. If you are using something, it is rude for someone else to come and grab it from you. This doesn't mean that when you stop using it, you shouldn't allow other people to start using it. It's called sharing. A monopoly on the use of land, however, leads to violence, just as a kid in kindergarten who won't share illicits a violent response from his peers.

K5 not inhabited by bible scholars (3.50 / 2) (#94)
by DesiredUsername on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 02:21:23 PM EST

Good grief, did none of you pay attention in Sunday School? What relevance does "Thou Shalt Not Steal" have on "What Would Jesus Do"? None! The Ten Commandments are Old Testament. Jesus specifically superceded these laws with the following "two commandments": "Love God with all your heart, etc. Love your neighbor as yourself."

So it sounds like Lars should make his songs free to me, but I should make sure he has food and clothing.

Play 囲碁
I'm certain (3.50 / 2) (#97)
by enterfornone on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 03:50:32 PM EST

There are a number of instances of Jesus saying that you should obey the ten commandments.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
So cite one (3.00 / 1) (#98)
by DesiredUsername on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 03:52:55 PM EST

The proof is in the pudding.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
luke 18:20 (5.00 / 1) (#102)
by enterfornone on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:29:06 PM EST

18 A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
19 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone.
20 You know the commandments: `Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.' "
21 "All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.
22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Does Jesus mean the only thing you have to do is give everything you own to the poor, or that you should do this in addition obeying the commandments? It isn't clear by I would say it appears to be the latter. Or do the commandments apply only to this man (as many suggest the "give everything to the poor" only applies to this man)

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]

people in glass houses shouldn't interpret. . . (5.00 / 3) (#101)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 04:24:53 PM EST

Go back and read the passage again.
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: `Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." [Matthew 22:34-40]

Jesus no where supercedes the ten commandments. He simply states that all of the ten commandments (and the rest of the law and the writings prophets as well) are summed up in two commandments, love God and love your neighbor.

Perhaps you are conflating this passage with Jesus' new commandment layed down in the book of John:

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." [John 13:34,35]

Regardless, nowhere does Jesus say that it is now okay to steal, covet, worship graven images, disrespect your parents, commit adultery, murder, etc. . . The ten commandments are still in force.

[ Parent ]

Look again (2.00 / 1) (#124)
by DesiredUsername on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 09:57:44 AM EST

"Jesus say that it is now okay to steal, covet, worship graven images, disrespect your parents, commit adultery, murder, etc. . . The ten commandments are still in force."

"All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

I didn't say Jesus negated The X Commandments...I said he superceded them. Which is exactly what the passage you quote (and I was referring to) says. So the word "steal" in "Thou Shalt Not Steal", has to be interpreted according to the over-arching schema of God- and neighbor-love.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
on superceding (5.00 / 1) (#127)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 11:58:01 AM EST

I wonder if to a certain extent we are not simply talking past each other. When I think of supercedeing something, I think of replacing an old thing with a new thing. I don't know that Jesus words in Matthew 22 can properly be said to replace the decalogue. Saint Paul also has something to say on the same topic.
Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others. You can never finish paying that! If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill all the requirements of God's law. For the commandments against adultery and murder and stealing and coveting - and any other commandment - are all summed up in this one commandment: "Love your neighbor as yourself." [Romans 13:8,9]
I do not believe that was Jesus' intent in the dialogue with the Pharisee to replace the decalogue (or the rest of the law) with new precepts, but rather He simply pointed that the two greatest commandments summarized the entire body of the law. There is no replacement of an old thing with a new thing occurring within this passage. Matthew 22 and Romans 13 are speaking of replacing the decalogue with two new commandments, but rather they are speaking of the precepts that underly the entire body of Scripture.

These precepts were not meant to supercede Scripture. This understanding of the Mosaic law is not even original to Christianity. This condensation of the Law and the Prophets was well understod before Jesus was born. This understanding was part of the Midrashic tradition handed down from generation to generation by the Hebrews.

The Rabbinic Wisdom page has some parallels to this teaching of Jesus.

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Lev 19:18). Rabbi Aqiba (ben Joseph) said: --"This is the great principle of the Torah."
It happened again that a certain stranger came before Shammai and said to him: --"I will become a proselyte providing you teach me the whole Torah will I'm standing on one foot." (Shammai) knocked him down with the builder's rule in his hand. (The stranger) came before Hillel, who made him a proselyte. He told him: --"What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary. Go, learn (it)!"

Also see Johnny - Who?

The Pharisees didn't compose a concise unified group, but rather a whole spectrum of emphases ranging from very strict to the more lenient. In Jerusalem there were two major schools; that of Hillel and Shammai. The school of Hillel was more lenient and emphasised study of the Torah. They held that the greatest two commandment were "Love God with all your heart ...etc. and love your neighbour as yourself."


[ Parent ]
Do What the Episcopal Church Does... (4.00 / 2) (#105)
by Ruidh on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 05:23:56 PM EST

The Book of Common Prayer as approved by the General Convention has been placed in the public domain. Any one can publish and distribute and create derivative works without paying royalties. This means that there are a lot of web sites with the full text of the BCP. I find the principles of the GNU philosophy merge pretty well with Jesus' philosophy. Give it all away for the good of all. Roy "Married to an Episcopal priest" Murphy
"Laissez-faire is a French term commonly interpreted by Conservatives to mean 'lazy fairy,' which is the belief that if governments are lazy enough, the Good Fairy will come down from heaven and do all their work for them."
Love your neighbor--& the artist is your neighbor (3.66 / 3) (#108)
by J. J. Ramsey on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 06:28:39 PM EST

Breach of an artist's copyright at least threatens to compromise the artist's income. It gets a bit more complicated than that, since often those who like unauthorized MP3s of an artist's work may very well buy the artist's CDs as well, but the fact is that an artist makes money off of CDs, not freely downloaded MP3s. At the very least, someone subscribing to WWJD should pay the artists whose work they listen to, as a kindness to the artist and to help support him or her.

--I am a fool for Christ. Mostly I am a fool.--
you're right in one point (none / 0) (#112)
by camadas on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 08:38:34 PM EST

Artists don't make money on downloaded mp3s, because they don't sell music that way. It was their choice not to do business that way, mp3 are not that new anymore.

I have some mp3s, some cds, but I don't listen to cds, I prefer my mp3, illegal or not, sound quality reduced or not. If there were no mp3s, i'll probably still wouldn't buy their cd, because of what i get from the price i pay.

As for Jesus, I don't recall he selled tickets or written speeches, and after all he was a star back then.

[ Parent ]

WWJD? (3.50 / 6) (#109)
by deadsea on Wed Jan 03, 2001 at 06:40:44 PM EST

JWRTFM!

WWJD? How the smeg would *we* know? (3.00 / 2) (#117)
by Nimey on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 01:11:56 AM EST

How can anyone claim to know the mind of another? Especially if you're a Christian and believe that he's rather beyond us mortals? Seems a bit arrogant, does it not?
--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

knowing the mind of Jesus (4.00 / 1) (#123)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 09:49:41 AM EST

Nimy:
How can anyone claim to know the mind of another? Especially if you're a Christian and believe that he's rather beyond us mortals?

(1) The vast, vast majority of Christians believe that Jesus was fully human as well as being fully God. To claim that we can not understand Jesus because he is far beyond us mortals is to misunderstand the doctrine of the incarnation.

(2) Scripture teaches that we can know the mind of Christ.

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ. [I Corinthians 2:11-16, my emphasis]

Nimy:

Seems a bit arrogant, does it not?

Only if one does not understand Christian doctrine.

[ Parent ]

Copyright and the bible (2.00 / 1) (#118)
by rafael on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 03:05:16 AM EST

I just had a thought. Imagine Matthew suing Luke, Mark and John because they wrote books relating the same story, with the same characters...

Re: Copyright and the Bible (none / 0) (#125)
by Ruidh on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 10:16:41 AM EST

Big problem with that: St. Paul says in Corinthians that Christians shouldn't sue one another. Not that that stops a lot of poeple today. 1 Corinthians 6:5-7 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother goes to law against another--and this in front of unbelievers! The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?
"Laissez-faire is a French term commonly interpreted by Conservatives to mean 'lazy fairy,' which is the belief that if governments are lazy enough, the Good Fairy will come down from heaven and do all their work for them."
[ Parent ]
Jesus... (2.00 / 1) (#128)
by PenguinWrangler on Thu Jan 04, 2001 at 12:10:19 PM EST

...was a long-haired hippy layabout. Living off a diet of bread and fish he turned the water into wine because he was too cheap to get his round in.

Jesus Christ. The world's first hippy bastard!
"Information wants to be paid"
What would Jesus do about intellectual property? | 135 comments (105 topical, 30 editorial, 0 hidden)
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