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Customer Discussions > Faith forum

Blasphemy, why is this term necessary?


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Initial post: Nov 16, 2009, 4:22:51 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 9, 2009, 11:53:52 AM PST
As an all powerful god is alleged to be the final decider of each individual's fate after death, why is the term blasphemy relevant or necessary?

If an individual decides to be offended on gods behalf (it's as if god is incapable of sorting our his own affairs!), that's their affair, but why is it necessary to institute a procedure that aims to protect god from people who state that they do not believe in him, or believe in a different god?

Is it assumed that god is so petty, vain and vulnerable to criticism that if he is not revered constantly he will fly into a tantrum like a 5 yr old child?! Whatever happened to the human saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"?

We all know that however much we deny it, words can hurt us emotionally, but this is god we are talking about!!

Posted on Dec 10, 2009, 4:41:01 PM PST
Gr8ful2bHis says:
According to Christ Jesus, blasphemy is attributing the work of God to the devil. Evidently He felt it needful to specify that any other sin can be forgiven, with the sole exception that of blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2009, 11:47:02 AM PST
Do you ever have an original thought, or do you always feel the need to rush to the bible every time someone asks a question?

You didn't answer my question, but instead sought a passage from the bible that could be interpreted in such a way that it might answer the question, but doesn't. I repeat, why is an all powerful god in need of protection from man, who he is supposed to have designed and created and whose views he must be aware of?

The fact that you feel that he is in need of such protection is a sign of weakness and insecurity on his part and it must be embarassing for you to have to defend him?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2009, 6:54:31 AM PST
You contradict yourself, something I see increasingly.
Blasphemy primarily relates to God and not other people.

blasphemy
early 13c., from O.Fr. blasfemie "blasphemy," from L.L. blasphemia, from Gk. blasphemia "a speaking ill, impious speech, slander," from blasphemein "to speak evil of."

====================

While etymologically blasphemy may denote the derogation of the honour due to a creature as well as of that belonging to God, in its strict acceptation it is used only in the latter sense. Hence it has been defined by Francisco Suárez as "any word of malediction, reproach, or contumely pronounced against God: (De Relig., tract. iii, lib. I, cap. iv, n. 1). It is to be noted that according to the definition (1) blasphemy is set down as a word, for ordinarily it is expressed in speech, though it may be committed in thought or in act. Being primarily a sin of the tongue, it will be seen to be opposed directly to the religious act of praising God. (2) It is said to be against God, though this may be only mediately, as when the contumelious word is spoken of the saints or of sacred things, because of the relationship they sustain to God and His service.

Blasphemy, by reason of the significance of the words with which it is expressed, may be of three kinds.

It is heretical when the insult to God involves a declaration that is against faith, as in the assertion: "God is cruel and unjust" or "The noblest work of man is God".
It is imprecatory when it would cry a malediction upon the Supreme Being as when one would say: "Away with God".
It is simply contumacious when it is wholly made up of contempt of, or indignation towards, God, as in the blasphemy of Julian the Apostate: "Thou has conquered, O Galilaean".

===================================

Yes, why is this term necessary :)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2009, 2:03:43 PM PST
Bertenshaw, you are not only presuming to read the mind of an all knowing creator but attribute very specific emotions and reactions as well. If you want to know why a word is relevant or necessary, it helps to go back in history and examine that word's usage. Most of it applies to the ancient nation of Israel and not to us today. Even this phrase "blaspheming the Holy Spirit" could simply mean a life of rebelling against the strong calling to accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior. I don't see God as needing constant fawning, flattery, and attention. At least the scripture doesn't portray that.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2009, 8:23:50 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 29, 2009, 8:24:35 AM PST
Dream on TDS!

Contradict myself I think not!

Wikipedia definition of blasphemy

Blasphemy is irreverence toward holy personages, religious artifacts, customs, and beliefs. The Abrahamic religions condemn blasphemy vehemently. Some countries have laws to punish blasphemy. Some countries have laws to give redress to those who are offended by blasphemy. Those laws may discourage blasphemy as a matter of blasphemous libel, vilification of religion, religious insult, or hate speech. The idea of blasphemy makes the word amenable to colloquial usage.

Additional:
The word "blasphemy" came via Middle English blasfemen and Old French blasfemer and Late Latin blasphemare from Greek âëáóöçìÝù, from âëÜðôù = "I injure" and öÞìç = "reputation". From blasphemare also came Old French blasmer, from which English "blame" came.

In its most simplistic form it is merely a weapon to use against those whose views and beliefs differ from the existing feeble and childish orthodoxy, which includes believers of all the other `heretical' religions and those who do not believe.
The fact that the word exists at all is testimony to the inherent weakness of any belief in supernatural gods who exhibit the self same traits as their creators, namely....man.
Also the fact that it has to be supported by menacing *threats of violence and even death in order to try to subdue dissent of even the mildest kind is laughably contemptible and highlights the desperation of those who strive to retain authority and feel the need to do so!

*Check out the Jewish torah, Islamic quran, Christian bible, etc.

Coming from someone who consults and individually interprets their contradictory holy book in a manner that best fits the myths and hearsay that the book (which was, like all of them, written by men for men and for the benefit of men) was based on, you demonstrate hypocrisy of the highest order!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2009, 9:07:19 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 10, 2010, 10:20:41 AM PST
Critic:
I am not presuming anything of the kind, by the way my name is Paul.

The god/s you speak of is/are figment/s of your imagination and in all the holy books demonstrate human emotions and failings (mimicking their human creators), which if they actually existed, would be a frightening prospect!

Science has banished during the last 500 years, most of the reasons why gods were invented/created in the first place, namely ignorance and fear of the unknown.

Through the passionate, patient, persistent and exciting pursuit of knowledge, men and women have provided to everyone (at least those of us who want to know) rational, provable and reproducible (in other words evidence) explanations of basic phenomenon and processes such as; the hydrological cycle (rainfall and evaporation of water), lightening, rainbows, diseases, the importance of hygiene, the orbital mechanics of the solar system, how the sun (and all the trillions of stars in all the billions of galaxies throughout the Universe) provides heat and light, the Universe, evolution of plants and animals, the geology of not just Earth, but other planets and bodies such as Mars, Venus, the Moons of Earth, Jupiter and Saturn, etc. What's more this knowledge opens our eyes to a beauty denied to those who deny the knowledge in the first place and prefer fairy tales and myths to reality.
Whereas religion has strived (and failed miserably) to silence those who would bring enlightenment to people.
Question.
If god doesn't need constant fawning, why is there any need for him to stress so forcibly in the bible the need to worship him and no others? In fact the first 4 commandments are devoted entirely to this requirement and the rest do not form a very extensive or comprehensive list either! The human race, however has laws (against racism, rape and child abuse for instance) that either god thought were not very important, or simply forgot to mention. Either explanation gives a very poor impression of an all knowing all powerful god!

I'm sure that writers of all the holy books would, if it were possible to show them, be amazed at what we now know and would probably be embarrassed by how some people cling to outdated and redundant ideas and beliefs like frightened children.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010, 7:51:48 PM PST
R. Robinson says:
religion sucks. and god (whichever of the millions out there) dont really care about our plight

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2010, 10:48:58 AM PST
Perksy says:
I'm sorry you feel that way! God ( one in the Bible) is good ALL the time. Anyone who chooses to be faithful to Him and live right will see that.
I am by no means a "Faithful" by Abba's ( God's) standards, I'm still a sinner, but He has shown me goodness as of late when I started to work towards changing myself the RIGHT way. I got a LONG road ahead of me, but I know if I keep at it enough, I will see MORE of Abba's goodness. But you got to be willing to follow Him and let Him lead you, instead of trying to decide everything or mostly everything yourself. Something I've learned the hard way. I was more trying to fix myself my own way when I should be seeking the council of Abba and letting Him lead me and trust in Him instead.

Posted on Mar 31, 2010, 2:16:25 PM PDT
GoneToTexas says:
Since I am not a Christian, nothing I say about Christianity is blasphemy. You can only blaspheme about your own religion!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 1, 2010, 10:43:33 AM PDT
Rainbow, Critic TDS, etc,

If god is good all the time (and by god I presume you mean the god described in the bible) why did he favour Abels sacrificial offer of meat to Cains offer of the fruit of the land (Genesis, C4)? Any parent (or person for that matter) innately knows that favouritism with regard to regard to ones children (or adults for that matter, especially in the workplace) is bound to lead to feelings of frustration and even anger, yet god was surprised that Cain was aggrieved by its actions (we would call it, `pissed off') which would have been obvious to any person alive at the time, whether they be religious or not?
And can you explain why god (who is everywhere and knows everything) was initially unaware of Cains killing of Abel? Then he cursed Cain (who couldn't have known he had done anything wrong as the commandments that listed murder as a, `Thou must not', hadn't been written yet) that the ground on which he farmed would forever be barren and he would thenceforth live as a fugitive and a vagabond? But the first thing this supposed vagabond did was to become the first architect by building the first city??
After Cain had told god that he was afraid, that as vagabond men would kill him, god said that whoever slayeth him would have vengeance exacted on him (it is presumed that the killer would be a man not a woman) sevenfold!? God appeared to be so concerned for Cain that it marked him (the man who had killed his brother!) so people would know of the consequences of killing him!
Talk about a mistake prone deity! It sounds more like one who is still at deity kindergarten!

Also can you explain why your god or any of his lacky angels, didn't intervene when the two daughters of Lot decided to get him drunk on wine (this is a familiar theme as Noah got drunk on wine and his sons played a practical joke on him many months after the ark grounded for which Hams baby son Canaan - whose mother is not revealed - got the blame!), whilst hiding from god in a cave, so that they could have sex with him (without either his knowledge or consent on two consecutive nights) on the pretext that they wished to save their seed? By not acting, either to prevent the acts, or to condemn them afterwards and take its usual revenge, god implicitly approved of their actions.

It doesn't need a god or one of his many prophets to point out the inherent wrongness of the above scriptural tales. When they were written, they probably wouldn't have been out of step with normal nomadic desert life, whereas today in our more enlightened times, they certainly are!

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2010, 12:32:33 AM PDT
Maranatha says:
Did you ask that question because you wanted an answer, or only to argue?

Posted on May 2, 2010, 1:34:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 27, 2010, 2:32:57 PM PDT
Maranatha,

I wanted to hear and am very interested in religious believers rationale as to why such a term is necessary.
If their god is as compassionate, intelligent, understanding and powerful as they insist it is then why do they feel the need to protect it from insults uttered by its creations, ie:- us?
We are acting in a totally predictable way that it planned and presumably desired when he created us, so it should not be surprised at our actions.
And in the final analysis, if the afterlife were to exist, God will, in their words, get its revenge (an emotion it seems to revel in) by judging everybody, with no right of appeal and send them to eternal fire and brimstone in hell (which the christian churches have stated does not exist!), or eternal boredom in heaven (which for consistencies sake and to be fair, must have the same status as hell)!
So why do people living now who profess to being offended on gods behalf, insist on retribution right now during their lifetime? Gods judgement will surely come when their (the supposed blasphemers) brief life ends (after all we don't live for 900+years anymore, including Adam who was supposed to die after eating the apple, but didn't for some unexplained reason. Or was god just bluffing and therefore lying, which is not exactly a very good start to humanities education!)? This attitude seems rather arrogant, selfish and impatient and god doesn't appear to object very strongly or we would be experiencing some of its legendary wrath!
Unfortunately, their responses and reasoning have not been very impressive and I'm sure would miserably fail to convince a 5 yrd old child, unless that child had been brought up to believe, without question, that which its parents had convinced it of

Posted on May 2, 2010, 6:28:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 2, 2010, 6:29:14 PM PDT
Maranatha says:
PNB said, "...wanted to hear and am very interested in religious believers rationale as to why such a term is necessary."
======================

I don't know if the term 'blasphemy' is used by other faiths, or not. I do know it is used in the Bible. Not sure if it's used there more than once, would have to look.

The Lord Jesus used it in conversation with the Pharisees. They had attributed something He had done (I believe it was a healing) to the devil. At that point, He taught them about blasphemy. What He said there is important to believers because of its serious consequences.

So - as to why 'the term is necessary' - it's used in the scriptures. Off the cuff, I cannot think of a term which would be synonymous.

Hope this helps.

Posted on May 2, 2010, 6:53:50 PM PDT
'blasphemy is a victimless crime'

let's face it, it is always the worshipers who punish the blasphemer. they can't bear the thought that not everyone believes the way do and don't take their god(s) seriously. if there is some deity that corresponds to a particular belief system, it certainly should be able to handle some mockery and derision.

Posted on May 3, 2010, 6:24:13 PM PDT
Maranatha says:
In the Christian faith, blasphemers are not punished by anyone except God Himself.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2010, 1:56:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 9, 2010, 2:03:33 PM PDT
Bertenshaw,

This may not answer your original question but it is interesting to note that, Jesus himself was accused of blasphemy, and you could make the case he was technically convicted and crucified for blasphemy as well.

When "Christians" accuse others of blasphemy, often it seems a kind of repeat of the above. We've all seen it: An honest and principled person makes a valid point (or asks a hard question) that offends religious sensibilities; hence he or she is denounced as a blasphemer (or some similar charge).

If they accuse you of blasphemy, keep in mind you may very well be in good company.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2010, 2:16:25 PM PDT
Maranatha says:
Jesus was accused of blasphemy because He identified Himself as God. When He said, "Before Abraham was, I AM", the Pharisees knew exactly what that meant. They did not receive Him, to put it mildly. They tried to kill Him the very first time He ever spoke publicly; that day, He preached from Isaiah 61.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2010, 2:45:32 PM PDT
Kevin Bold says:
I can't imagine why you'd ask, unless you're into being blasphemous.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2010, 2:51:01 PM PDT
Nova137 says:
If God is Spirit and Indwelling, then if you profanely blaspheme the Holy Spirit, it is really you yourself who ends up spiritually wounded, not God.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2010, 10:21:39 AM PDT
Maranatha says:
If we have committed our lives to the Lord and the Holy Spirit lives in us, that doesn't mean we ARE the Holy Spirit -- it means He lives in us. The Lord tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit, and He also says the Holy Spirit will not always strive with man. There will come a point that the Holy Spirit will leave if a person continually grieves Him.

Posted on May 10, 2010, 3:43:10 PM PDT
GoneToTexas says:
I'm not a christian so it is impossible for me to blaspheme about the god of the Bible.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2010, 4:11:58 PM PDT
Robin MacKay says:
Oddly enough, that declaration involves the aforementioned blasphemy as it includes a knowledgeable rejection.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2010, 2:19:28 AM PDT
GoneToTexas says:
No it doesn't. You can only blaspheme against your own god or gods. Otherwise, everybody would be a blasphemer against some god! All non-christians would be blasphemers against the god of the Bible and all non-Muslims would be blasphemers against Allah.

I don't follow any god so it is impossible for me to blaspheme.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2010, 2:19:51 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 11, 2010, 2:21:50 AM PDT]
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