My only comment on this thread is why can't a muslim speak his mind here? I didn't see that he was advocating pedophilia, I saw him dissing Judaism and Christianity. This may not be the place for it, but why is it any less acceptable than so many other topics we have addressed?
Pedophilia with 3-year old slave girls in the Bible!
Each culture considers its current values and practices as a norm; we have become so bright as to consider ours as a norm by which to judge the entire world history.
That's laughable but woe to whoever laughs about it.
I looked around a bit on that link, and I have to say I was shocked. "Genital Parenting", even the expression makes my stomach turn. I don`t fully agree with your statement above, though. If we were to follow the line of thought (of...cultural relativism), anything goes, anything is acceptable, as long as it is part of the culture, and doesn`t break the norms of that particular culture. Which would mean that arranged wddings (with or without force) is ok, cutting of limbs and stoning is ok (for the society as a whole, of course, not for the poor guy being dismembered/stoned), having sex with children is ok, etc, as long as it is common practice within that particular culture (or at a particular time). I strongly disagree with this (and consequently, you could say that I believe some cultures are better than others, which, I agree, sounds arrogant), but it is an interesting topic. Maybe an idea for a new thread?
It is true that we should not judge older cultures by current values and practises. After all, what are current values and practises. During the killing times of Aborigines and Native Americans, everybody knew it was wrong. It was justified by saying that they were pagan, inferior, sub-human, or terrorists (in the language of the day). Current practises have not changed.
Everybody knew that slavery was wrong, but attempted to justify it anyway.
Similarly I have not been referred to any injunction against pedophilia in the Bible, and unfortunately given the history of Christian Churches and the Watchtower society, this was certainly needed.
Nevertheless common sense says that sex with children was unnatural. Of course the definition of adulthood was certainly younger than that which it is today and generally related to puberty. But the same principles were applicable by the standards of the day, notwithstanding that the definition of adulthood may have been a little younger than it is today.
The bible is crucially lacking in any condemnation of the rape of children, (even as defined at the time, i.e. prepubescent children) which was every bit as horrific as it is today.
There are many verses in the bible which command the killing by the Israelites of the little children and sucklings, even the children still in the womb. I am not going to bother referencing them because you know they are there.
As for taking the virgin women, this is of course an English translation and we need to know the genuine hebrew word which was used to know the correct interpretation. Almost by definition, a biblical woman is not a virgin, i.e. when a girl is ready for marriage, she gets married and becomes a woman.
I think you're right to an extent.
The Koran is written probably a thousand years after the books of Moses were written (having been written during or after the exile in Babylon). Insofar as it regards the life of Mohammed, it is written contemporaneously and so Mohammed's life is capable of closer examination.
Determining the age of Asia when she was married by Mohammed seems to be the important thing, i.e. was she a woman as defined at the time (pubescent) or a child (pre-pubescent). If she was pre-pubescent then the question becomes whether Mohammed waited for her to mature or not. I do not know the answer to this but I have no reason to assume that Mohammed had sex with a pre-pubescent girl (committed pedophilia as defined at the time).
As for Moses and the other biblical prophets, and the actions of the ancient Israelites, these 'records' are older, and generally not written contemporaneously, again subjected to editing and re-writing, (as well as translation). When ancient Israelites were married, we have no knowledge as to what that entailed. Again I would have no reason to assume that pre-pubescent girls would be married and subjected to sexual intercourse, as a rule. I would assume as a matter of logic that amongst the ancient Israelites that marriage would correlate to puberty.
However in my view, the instruction to the Israelites to kill all but to preserve the virgin girls and take them as their wives, would almost of necessity mean the virgin children, since a woman would be married and hence no longer a virgin. Hence taking the virgin's for wives would certainly mean taking the virgin girls the vast majority of whom would be as a matter of necessity, pre-pubescent.
I agree. There are universal truths.
Hellrider & Hallelujah,
I hear you... but I'm definitely not a moralist (any longer). That does not mean I advocate non-intervention in anything (I have stood for a number of "causes" in my life, and I certainly don't regret it), just that I don't believe anymore in absolute good and bad as you do (and I respect that).
One lesson I have learnt from ethnology is that actual practices, whether "normal" or "deviant" (by any standards), always make sense in a given symbolical and cultural structure. And you can't change them without modifying the overall structure. Not that it shouldn't happen (that would be, again, a moral judgement, albeit paradoxical). It is bound to happen as a result of intercultural power struggle, and even more so in the present context of economical globalisation.
All colonialist actions in history have justified themselves with propaganda talk about the "barbaric" practices of conquered cultures. "Human rights" and "democracy" play a similar role in backing up current Western actions in other parts of the world as "saving/educating the savages" in former Christian colonialism. Humanitarian NGOs have taken the place of missions, at the side of military and commercial powers. Again, I don't mean that this shouldn't happen. It happens. But it is culturally destructive. We cannot export features of our system (such as individual rights) without exporting the global system in which they work and make sense. Of course it will be modified through the exportation process too.
Also, it is always difficult, if not impossible, for the dominant structure to question itself. Our view of childhood (in reference to sexuality, violence, labour, education etc.) is our current "sacred space," which we have to regard as an absolute -- which it is sacrilegious not to regard as an absolute. We are bound to treat it as non-negotiable, no matter the number of children that will suffer from it (through war, for instance).
My view is not conservative, it is tragic. Throughout human history there have been children crying, and it won't stop.