"But Jesus did not say that!"

More thought experiments. [This is a simple courtesy to those who have no interest in participating in one.]

Recently, a friend sent me this video:
It is a common example of someone trying to reason with a deeply religious person and the eventual failure to convince the religious person despite rational discourse. The host, Maajid Nawaz, attests to being a Muslim himself.

The point of contention was the hijab. The entire exchange is focused on why the caller would believe she has to wear one. An argument offered is that the hijab is not required by the Quran, but instead imposed by some male in a hadith somewhere.  The conversation then descends into a series of fallacies and the call ends without a resolution.

Normally, I would love to dwell on the caller, but this time I want to focus on an argument by the host. To stress this, I'll provide another example. This time from my main man John Fugelsang, on Twitter.  Those of you who do not have time to waste, Fugelsang is a comedian, has his own satellite radio show, and is a Christian.  A "liberal" Christian as many would like to classify him. Here he is, arguing with Joe Walsh about abortion. (It does not matter if you support or oppose abortion here, my focus is on his argument.)
On other occasions, he has forwarded similar arguments:

So I would like to pose these questions: What if, the Quran did mandate the hijab? What if the Bible did have Jesus speak out against abortion?  Would it then be morally correct to demand that Muslim women wear their hijab (to be modest, whereas Muslim men don't have to)? Would abortion be punishable for Christian women?

I find the argument "because the book/prophet/alleged God does not say so" to be intellectually vapid.  As if what differentiates morality from lack of it is what someone said in a book!

Further, Jesus never mentions what to do against tyrannical rulers. Not once in the entire Bible is he cited in opposition to the rulers of his time: the Romans. He does not even appeal against crucifixion—a horrific form of the death penalty—or even implores those oppressed to the cruel Romans to rise up in revolt, or at least civil disobedience.  Does that mean Christians should simply accede to the demands of their rulers?

If one adhered to the logic that "Jesus was silent on…" then you have to arrive at the same conclusion: Kneel before Drumpf.  Which, incidentally is what the white evangelicals are doing. Would they not be considered good Christians?

I find it unreasonable to accept morality based on what an alleged deity or his prophet decreed centuries ago, and that is before one indulges in the mental gymnastics involving the alternate true meaning of the words in the Bible. Abortion can be deemed moral or immoral (or even amoral) solely on the facts and a sound logical argument, but definitely not because someone said so, or worse, did not say anything.

Likewise, and this is a closely related argument offered by the same folks for exigent situations: "What would Jesus do?" Often abbreviated as "WWJD."

In fact, this is best considered in the context of the Holocaust. WWJD indeed? If we are to follow his actions (or silence), it is very likely that he'd have let the massacre take place unimpeded, deferring to Hitler since one has to render unto Hitler what's his, and probably delivered a sermon at Auschwitz telling those about to enter the gas chambers that their reward will be with his father in Heaven. That this life did not matter at all. After all, the Bible portrays him as non-violent and very silent on the tyranny of the Romans.

Your thoughts?


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