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Old 06-19-2014, 04:25 AM   #41
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Let us all speak about politics and star wars and ignore the illogical and unreasonable fine of paying 8000 times the weight of earth in gold for 100 times of fornication/adultery!
 
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:09 AM   #42
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H123, agreed.
 
Old 06-19-2014, 05:11 AM   #43
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The purpose of a "law" is not to collect a fine . . . nor is it to control the personal lives of individual Baha'is...

The Baha'i Faith is not a legalistic Faith where "laws" are held over peoples heads and strictly enforced by a clergy (which we don't even have) or any form or behavior police (which is against everything the teachings present). Some clarification on the roll of laws and our Assemblies (including the UHJ):

“...not everyone achieves easily and rapidly the victory over self. What every believer, new or old, should realise is that the Cause has the spiritual power to re-create us if we make the effort to let that power influence us, and the greatest help in this respect is prayer. We must supplicate Bahá’u’lláh to assist us to overcome the failings in our own characters, and also exert our own will-power in mastering ourselves.”

Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny, p 441

Giving guidance to Assembies, the Guardian said:

“You should not pry into people's affairs, and only in cases of flagrant immorality should you consider imposing sanctions . . . be patient and forbearing. The emphasis should be on education rather than on rigid enforcement of the law...”

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p 382

“Assemblies are, of course, discouraged from probing unnecessarly into details of personal lives...”

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p 395

“...under no circumstances should any Baha'i ever be suspended from the voting list and deprived of his administrative privileges for a matter which is not of the utmost gravity.”

Shoghi Effendi, Messages to Canada, p 51

----

“depriving a believer of his voting rights...is a severe disciplinary measure and not a spiritual sanction.”

Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p 16

“The suspension of voting and other administrative rights of an individual, always conditional and therefore temporary...constitutes merely an administrative sanction...”

Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p 81

---

So the discussion about the future of society is indeed in order, for the laws are an arrow pointing to human moral behavioral expectations, SELF POLICED, in order to foster and build a better society for all humans.
 
Old 06-19-2014, 05:19 AM   #44
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That the penalty for adultery is enormous (though its application may never be fully enforced in a ridiculous case like the one you suggest) is to emphasize the importance for not committing adultery. The UHJ would have all discretion as to whether or not it chooses to impose any fine at all.

You have not, however, asked the important question, the only question of value here, which is, why is not committing adultery so important?

I will offer my thoughts on that subject... I have posted this before, so some of you may have seen it:

----

I believe that religious laws, regarding sexual behavior in particular, are supremely misunderstood – especially in the United States. We see them as restrictions on our freedom, as intrusions into our personal lives and as barriers to enjoying life to its fullest. After all, why should God care if I have a little fun?

And there is the rub – I don’t think God gives a lick if I have a little fun, I think God even wants me to have a little fun! So why the restrictions, why the caution – especially with regard to Sex?

Here is my take:

One special emphasis in most religions is to do no harm (reference the prevalence of the “Golden Rule”) to others, or to one’s self - but let’s focus on harm to others for now. This emphasis is especially strong in the Baha’i Faith:

“THERE is no paradise, in the estimation of the believers in the Divine Unity, more exalted than to obey God's commandments, and there is no fire in the eyes of those who have known God and His signs, fiercer than to transgress His laws and to oppress another soul, even to the extent of a mustard seed.”

(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 79)

“He hath cherished and will ever cherish the desire that all men may attain His gardens of Paradise with utmost love, that no one should sadden another, not even for a moment…”

(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 86)


“Be vigilant, that ye may not do injustice to anyone, be it to the extent of a grain of mustard seed.”

(Baha'u'llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 179)

“O people of Baha! Ye are the dawning-places of the love of God and the daysprings of His loving-kindness. . . Be not the cause of grief, much less of discord and strife.”

(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 27)


The point is, intimate relations, while physically enjoyable, are very personal, very emotional and very complex. One can even characterize them as “dangerous.” Not in the sense of endangering one physically (although that can be the case), but dangerous to the psychologically – spiritually.

Consider, for instance, that the majority of movies, songs, poems, novels, etc. etc. are about love, and especially lost love; broken hearts. Why. They aren't about broken legs? They aren't about lost shoes? Contemporary art is largely based on the enormous pain and damage that can be done to one emotionally.

Assuming, and I think it can be assumed, that sex is one of the ultimate expressions of love and the ultimate acts of trust and intimacy, it also carries with it the ability to cause some of the ultimate amounts of pain and spiritual/psychological damage: depression, self loathing, suicide...

I digress for a moment...

Regardless of what people say, regardless of one’s insistence that one is only interested in a casual encounter and acceptance of both parties to such an encounter there is NO GUARANTEE that the act will not elicit an emotional response, a “connection,” an attachment. The acts, in and of themselves, because of the degree of intimacy and openness necessary, require trust and some measure of faith in your partner – these are things that are not awarded lightly by the human psyche.

That being said, I submit that it is impossible to know and certainly impossible to guarantee that one can engage in casual sexual relations and not risk doing some emotional harm to one’s self or one’s partner in the endeavor. And we all know that emotional harm can be far more painful, far more life altering and far more enduring than physical harm. Shoot, look how emotional we get just watching someone get their heart broken in a movie! Because we all know how painful it is in real life.

I un-digress...

Marriage is a promise, a contract, an formal agreement between two parties and between those parties and society that, among other things, promises that I (the first party) will do no harm to you (the second party). Our intimacy is sacred to me, our unity is sacred to me, and above all, your trust, is sacred to me. Marriage is the promise to do no harm.

True, this is often NOT what marriage means today – but, IMHO, it is part of what it SHOULD mean.

Therefore, the warnings and restrictions with regard to sexual behavior outside of a social and religious contract (marriage) within the Baha’i Faith – and other faiths – are there to prevent us from doing harm to others. That contract, marriage, is there to, in a sense, guarantee the emotional support and stability necessary to offset, or rather to sanctify and beautify the giving of one’s openness, trust and intimacy to another human being. That marriage doesn’t always work this way is a shame (to say the least) but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t work this way – or that it isn’t meant to.

OK, I am almost done. Therefore, from my perspective, religious laws – especially laws regarding sexual behavior – are there for our spiritual protection and the emotional protection of those with whom we come into contact. They are not draconian limitations on our personal freedoms and our “right” to have fun; they are there to assist us in the very noble goal “that no one should sadden another, not even for a moment…”

----

I have not even mentioned above, that adultery between married persons destroys the trust and fabric of the bedrock of the social structure - that being marriage (another topic for another time)

So why is the penalty for adultery so high - to make a point. IT IS IMPORTANT to self, others and society to NOT DO IT.
 
Old 06-19-2014, 05:22 AM   #45
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OK, I have posted the following before too, but h123 keeps coming back to the same obsession with laws...

Laws

For those who are not Baha'is who have been reading this, I have been thinking. The "problem" here may be based on the perspective of religion held by h123, and the fact that it seems to be very different from the practice and composition of religion in the Baha'i Faith.

I have been a baha'i for about 30 years. I became a Baha'i in college. Here is what I know of the Faith in practice and presentation and composition from my 30 years of experience:

The Baha'i Faith is NOT a faith of laws.

The Baha'i Faith does NOT have individuals or organizations who watch over the members to make sure they follow laws.

The Baha'i Faith's "laws" come in two general types:

1) spiritual directives designed to foster personal enlightenment and personal growth.

2) social directives meant for the current (and future) Baha'i community.

let me restate part of #2 - MEANT FOR THE BAHA'I COMMUNITY.

The laws of the faith exist to foster personal and community growth. They are NOT to be used to determine the validity or the piety of OTHERS within the Faith, and especially outside of the faith!! They do NOT apply to people who have not CHOSEN to be Baha'is.

For that matter, as Baha'is, how we personally apply the "laws" of the faith is, for the most part, up to us as individuals. The Assemblies and the House of Justice are there to give us guidance, and for us to turn to for questions and clarification - they do not monitor or pry into our personal lives and there are MANY quotes and directives that make it clear that they SHOULD NOT pry into our personal lives.

When our actions and behavior directly involves others in the community - then we are expected to behave well and to apply Baha'i principles that are relevant to human social interaction - if we don't, then the Assemblies may get involved, usually because there is a conflict BECAUSE we didn't behave well towards others by NOT applying Baha'i principles.

I speculate that h123 comes from a religious tradition that emphasizes law and obedience to law as a measure of faith and piety.

I suspect that he is trying to apply that understanding of religion and of measuring holiness and piety to the Baha'i Faith - it just doesn't work, because that is not how the Faith is organized, what the Baha'i Writings teach or how the Faith is practiced.

The Baha'i Faith is focused on personal spiritual growth (personal application of guidance - not "laws" - from the Writings), unification of community (application of guidance to the Baha'i community - and promotion of spiritual principles of unity, love, acceptance, peace, education, etc. in the larger society), service to humanity, and love of God - not draconian application or pointless debate over the meaning and application of "laws."
 
Old 06-19-2014, 06:28 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kernk View Post
The purpose of a "law" is not to collect a fine . . . nor is it to control the personal lives of individual Baha'is...

The Baha'i Faith is not a legalistic Faith where "laws" are held over peoples heads and strictly enforced by a clergy (which we don't even have) or any form or behavior police (which is against everything the teachings present). Some clarification on the roll of laws and our Assemblies (including the UHJ):

“...not everyone achieves easily and rapidly the victory over self. What every believer, new or old, should realise is that the Cause has the spiritual power to re-create us if we make the effort to let that power influence us, and the greatest help in this respect is prayer. We must supplicate Bahá’u’lláh to assist us to overcome the failings in our own characters, and also exert our own will-power in mastering ourselves.”

Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny, p 441

Giving guidance to Assembies, the Guardian said:

“You should not pry into people's affairs, and only in cases of flagrant immorality should you consider imposing sanctions . . . be patient and forbearing. The emphasis should be on education rather than on rigid enforcement of the law...”

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p 382

“Assemblies are, of course, discouraged from probing unnecessarly into details of personal lives...”

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p 395

“...under no circumstances should any Baha'i ever be suspended from the voting list and deprived of his administrative privileges for a matter which is not of the utmost gravity.”

Shoghi Effendi, Messages to Canada, p 51

----

“depriving a believer of his voting rights...is a severe disciplinary measure and not a spiritual sanction.”

Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p 16

“The suspension of voting and other administrative rights of an individual, always conditional and therefore temporary...constitutes merely an administrative sanction...”

Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p 81

---

So the discussion about the future of society is indeed in order, for the laws are an arrow pointing to human moral behavioral expectations, SELF POLICED, in order to foster and build a better society for all humans.
No one was going to enforce this law on anybody or pry into their private lives. Furthermore, we were not speaking about the philosophy of this law or why it has been decreed and it's purpose.

Baha'is are obliged under the direct order of Baha'u'llah to pay this sum to the UHJ. This is what Baha'u'llah says regarding these laws:
"Those verses containing commands or prohibitions, such as rituals, the payment of blood money to the victim's relatives for manslaughter, crimes, and so forth, are intended to be implemented according to their literal meaning."
Tablet on Interpretation of Sacred Scripture (<I>Ta'wíl</I>)
These must be implemented according to their literal meanings, they are not to be ditched based on my understanding or metaphorical belief about it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kernk View Post
That the penalty for adultery is enormous (though its application may never be fully enforced in a ridiculous case like the one you suggest) is to emphasize the importance for not committing adultery. The UHJ would have all discretion as to whether or not it chooses to impose any fine at all.

You have not, however, asked the important question, the only question of value here, which is, why is not committing adultery so important?

I will offer my thoughts on that subject... I have posted this before, so some of you may have seen it:

----

I believe that religious laws, regarding sexual behavior in particular, are supremely misunderstood – especially in the United States. We see them as restrictions on our freedom, as intrusions into our personal lives and as barriers to enjoying life to its fullest. After all, why should God care if I have a little fun?

And there is the rub – I don’t think God gives a lick if I have a little fun, I think God even wants me to have a little fun! So why the restrictions, why the caution – especially with regard to Sex?

Here is my take:

One special emphasis in most religions is to do no harm (reference the prevalence of the “Golden Rule”) to others, or to one’s self - but let’s focus on harm to others for now. This emphasis is especially strong in the Baha’i Faith:

“THERE is no paradise, in the estimation of the believers in the Divine Unity, more exalted than to obey God's commandments, and there is no fire in the eyes of those who have known God and His signs, fiercer than to transgress His laws and to oppress another soul, even to the extent of a mustard seed.”

(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 79)

“He hath cherished and will ever cherish the desire that all men may attain His gardens of Paradise with utmost love, that no one should sadden another, not even for a moment…”

(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 86)


“Be vigilant, that ye may not do injustice to anyone, be it to the extent of a grain of mustard seed.”

(Baha'u'llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 179)

“O people of Baha! Ye are the dawning-places of the love of God and the daysprings of His loving-kindness. . . Be not the cause of grief, much less of discord and strife.”

(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 27)


The point is, intimate relations, while physically enjoyable, are very personal, very emotional and very complex. One can even characterize them as “dangerous.” Not in the sense of endangering one physically (although that can be the case), but dangerous to the psychologically – spiritually.

Consider, for instance, that the majority of movies, songs, poems, novels, etc. etc. are about love, and especially lost love; broken hearts. Why. They aren't about broken legs? They aren't about lost shoes? Contemporary art is largely based on the enormous pain and damage that can be done to one emotionally.

Assuming, and I think it can be assumed, that sex is one of the ultimate expressions of love and the ultimate acts of trust and intimacy, it also carries with it the ability to cause some of the ultimate amounts of pain and spiritual/psychological damage: depression, self loathing, suicide...

I digress for a moment...

Regardless of what people say, regardless of one’s insistence that one is only interested in a casual encounter and acceptance of both parties to such an encounter there is NO GUARANTEE that the act will not elicit an emotional response, a “connection,” an attachment. The acts, in and of themselves, because of the degree of intimacy and openness necessary, require trust and some measure of faith in your partner – these are things that are not awarded lightly by the human psyche.

That being said, I submit that it is impossible to know and certainly impossible to guarantee that one can engage in casual sexual relations and not risk doing some emotional harm to one’s self or one’s partner in the endeavor. And we all know that emotional harm can be far more painful, far more life altering and far more enduring than physical harm. Shoot, look how emotional we get just watching someone get their heart broken in a movie! Because we all know how painful it is in real life.

I un-digress...

Marriage is a promise, a contract, an formal agreement between two parties and between those parties and society that, among other things, promises that I (the first party) will do no harm to you (the second party). Our intimacy is sacred to me, our unity is sacred to me, and above all, your trust, is sacred to me. Marriage is the promise to do no harm.

True, this is often NOT what marriage means today – but, IMHO, it is part of what it SHOULD mean.

Therefore, the warnings and restrictions with regard to sexual behavior outside of a social and religious contract (marriage) within the Baha’i Faith – and other faiths – are there to prevent us from doing harm to others. That contract, marriage, is there to, in a sense, guarantee the emotional support and stability necessary to offset, or rather to sanctify and beautify the giving of one’s openness, trust and intimacy to another human being. That marriage doesn’t always work this way is a shame (to say the least) but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t work this way – or that it isn’t meant to.

OK, I am almost done. Therefore, from my perspective, religious laws – especially laws regarding sexual behavior – are there for our spiritual protection and the emotional protection of those with whom we come into contact. They are not draconian limitations on our personal freedoms and our “right” to have fun; they are there to assist us in the very noble goal “that no one should sadden another, not even for a moment…”

----

I have not even mentioned above, that adultery between married persons destroys the trust and fabric of the bedrock of the social structure - that being marriage (another topic for another time)

So why is the penalty for adultery so high - to make a point. IT IS IMPORTANT to self, others and society to NOT DO IT.
That was a nice lecture on your thoughts about marriage and adultery. But, we were not discussing these matters here.

Furthermore, the case I mentioned was not ridiculous and was based on real life. Sex twice a week, after one year = 104 times. After 3 years 312 times. Let's lower the number: for 20 times of sex the gold is reduced to 34000 kilos. Is it now any more reasonable and implementable?
 
Old 06-19-2014, 06:41 AM   #47
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I think kernk said that this was his/her understanding.

And to your point, the math is obvious. Who can afford to have sex outside marriage? No one except maybe Bill Gates can do it beyond around 10 or 15 times, and even Bill can't afford around 20 or so times.

The average person maxes out their assets around 5 offenses. A poor person (I.e. American Middle Class) should stop after 1.

LOL all US middle class folks are now poor. Thanks US corporations!

Last edited by LogicalReason; 06-19-2014 at 06:43 AM.
 
Old 06-19-2014, 07:06 AM   #48
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I personally think that I can understand the pain of adultery, having been cheated on once before myself, which made it difficult to open up to another person for a while. It was (still is) actually refreshing to have a Baha'i girlfriend who had no expectation of sex and would not cheat on me for anything. And so, even though I know that religious laws against adultery were actually made in the past to ensure that a father's property (his daughter) remained valuable (since fornication was seen as stealing from the father, hence the payment of silver), and this is evident through the fact that women are the ones who are supposed to cover up in Islam and not men, which again treats women like property, I respect her decision.

However, I still think (and have seen before) that as long as the participants are not married or in a serious relationship with other people, and they are using protection it really doesn't matter what happens. Sure, people can get hurt, but people can get hurt in almost anything and some measure of risk is assumed for everything. In the vast majority of cases that I've seen, most of the harm comes from the overly prudish attitude Americans have towards talking about sexual issues in a healthy way, not (as many seem to think) a Sodom-like permissiveness.

Last edited by SmilingSkeptic; 06-19-2014 at 07:08 AM.
 
Old 06-19-2014, 07:09 AM   #49
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A physically stunning Russian girl once told me that we Americans are too concerned with our bodies. "These are just body parts, plain old skin and flesh" she said.
 
Old 07-17-2014, 08:52 PM   #50
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I think the whole owing money to the UHJ thing is stupid, why does money have to be so apparent in religion...I lol'd at how much gold do I owe. Baha'u'llah probably only wrote that because that was the practice in his time, we're supposed to be progressive still owing money and gold is ridiculous, I tend to not follow the little laws of the Baha'i Faith (Don't attack me) which rule my life. I hate when religion decides what you do.

Person: What religion are you?
Me: Baha'i
Person: What about political party?
Me: ...Baha'i...


It's a bit foolish, I believe in a God, I believe in the prophets but again, progressiveness, I advocate marijuana and gay marriage. So I mean, seriously.


But a note to H123, please don't cause arguments. I know you're trying to make the Baha'i Faith look bad but don't do it like this, ask questions don't just smear the name of the Faith.
 
Old 07-18-2014, 03:11 AM   #51
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I am sure h123 thinks he has a valid point, but as usual he does not.

The point that is missing in his argument is that in each case the fine would need to be imposed by the House of Justice, and they must use their discretion it's not automatic, and therefore could never increase to sums greater than all the gold in the world or anything rediculous like that. It could not and would not be applied in the current state of human society, either, we are not ready for it.
 
Old 07-18-2014, 04:03 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcc View Post
I am sure h123 thinks he has a valid point, but as usual he does not.

The point that is missing in his argument is that in each case the fine would need to be imposed by the House of Justice, and they must use their discretion it's not automatic, and therefore could never increase to sums greater than all the gold in the world or anything rediculous like that. It could not and would not be applied in the current state of human society, either, we are not ready for it.
Absolutely correct.

Just another attack by people who do not understand how the Baha'i faith works, when dealing with any breaking of the laws, The institution must consult upon each different case, with compassion. Each case will be different and it is only when people insist in their disobedience when the Institution will be striving to lovingly teach the person the the reason for the law, that a penalty will be imposed. And as this law has not as yet been enforced it is not even a point as yet. But of course the day is coming when hopefully mankind will be mature enough that this law, which will apply only to Baha'is will be enforced.

Loving regards
 
Old 07-18-2014, 09:41 AM   #53
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And, as I have mentioned in other places, the emphasis on "laws" misses the point all together. The Baha'i Faith (and other religions, for that matter) are not lists of laws that MUST BE FOLLOWED. The laws are there for our benefit and guidance, and to point in the right direction for our personal and the worlds peaceful growth. h123, I believe, comes from a "tradition" (not a religion) of strict and prevalent laws and of literal and close-minded control. It is unfortunate that he/she must live like that and more unfortunate that he/she assumes others do, or must live like that.
 
Old 07-18-2014, 09:47 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmilingSkeptic View Post
...Sure, people can get hurt, but people can get hurt in almost anything and some measure of risk is assumed for everything....
And, this is actually the point, IMHO, we can not be dismissive of the possibility that "people can get hurt" especially when that hurt could be caused by our actions. Or when the hurt to ourselves can be caused by our actions.

Religion is, at the heart and in the spirit of its very purpose, there to protect ourselves from harm and protect us from doing harm - ideally, any harm.

A potential hurt caused to a person because of infidelity, or because of a broken relationship can completely destroy a person's life, doing so much psychological damage as to cause them pain for decades, or even cause them to take their own life.

Not causing harm to others should be at the front of our minds, not dismissed as something that has a potential for happening anyway, so it doesn't matter of I am the one creating the potential for harm or not.
 
Old 07-18-2014, 12:21 PM   #55
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Excess liberty

Quote:
Originally Posted by kernk View Post
And, this is actually the point, IMHO, we can not be dismissive of the possibility that "people can get hurt" especially when that hurt could be caused by our actions. Or when the hurt to ourselves can be caused by our actions.

Religion is, at the heart and in the spirit of its very purpose, there to protect ourselves from harm and protect us from doing harm - ideally, any harm.

A potential hurt caused to a person because of infidelity, or because of a broken relationship can completely destroy a person's life, doing so much psychological damage as to cause them pain for decades, or even cause them to take their own life.

Not causing harm to others should be at the front of our minds, not dismissed as something that has a potential for happening anyway, so it doesn't matter of I am the one creating the potential for harm or not.

Second guessing Baha'u'llah, especially by such as claim to believe in Him, is the fool's way to hell.


. "Consider the pettiness of men’s minds. They ask for that which injureth them, and cast away the thing that profiteth them. They are, indeed, of those that are far astray. We find some men desiring liberty, and priding themselves therein. Such men are in the depths of ignorance.

. Liberty must, in the end, lead to sedition, whose flames none can quench. Thus warneth you He Who is the Reckoner, the All-Knowing. Know ye that the embodiment of liberty and its symbol is the animal. That which beseemeth man is submission unto such restraints as will protect him from his own ignorance, and guard him against the harm of the mischief-maker. Liberty causeth man to overstep the bounds of propriety, and to infringe on the dignity of his station. It debaseth him to the level of extreme depravity and wickedness.

. Regard men as a flock of sheep that need a shepherd for their protection. This, verily, is the truth, the certain truth. We approve of liberty in certain circumstances, and refuse to sanction it in others. We, verily, are the All-Knowing.

. Say: True liberty consisteth in man’s submission unto My commandments, little as ye know it. Were men to observe that which We have sent down unto them from the Heaven of Revelation, they would, of a certainty, attain unto perfect liberty. Happy is the man that hath apprehended the Purpose of God in whatever He hath revealed from the Heaven of His Will, that pervadeth all created things. Say: The liberty that profiteth you is to be found nowhere except in complete servitude unto God, the Eternal Truth. Whoso hath tasted of its sweetness will refuse to barter it for all the dominion of earth and heaven." — Kitáb-i-Aqdas.
 
Old 07-18-2014, 12:23 PM   #56
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Yep.
 
Old 07-18-2014, 12:28 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kernk View Post
And, this is actually the point, IMHO, we can not be dismissive of the possibility that "people can get hurt" especially when that hurt could be caused by our actions. Or when the hurt to ourselves can be caused by our actions.

Religion is, at the heart and in the spirit of its very purpose, there to protect ourselves from harm and protect us from doing harm - ideally, any harm.

A potential hurt caused to a person because of infidelity, or because of a broken relationship can completely destroy a person's life, doing so much psychological damage as to cause them pain for decades, or even cause them to take their own life.

Not causing harm to others should be at the front of our minds, not dismissed as something that has a potential for happening anyway, so it doesn't matter of I am the one creating the potential for harm or not.
I mean that, just because people can get hurt in the course of premarital sex, or in an intimate relationship, does not mean that people can't use their brains and have loving, completely non-marital, sexual relationships. The law seems like a bizarre pre-feminist holdover from the 19th century, if I may be so blunt.
 
Old 07-19-2014, 09:51 PM   #58
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I mean that, just because people can get hurt in the course of premarital sex, or in an intimate relationship, does not mean that people can't use their brains and have loving, completely non-marital, sexual relationships. The law seems like a bizarre pre-feminist holdover from the 19th century, if I may be so blunt.
When I think of any issue of morality, I think of it in a relational way. For example, last year I had a roommate who argued sex with multiple partners is completely healthy according to scientific findings. After two years with your married partner, sex just goes downhill. It's perfectly fine, he said. The idea that premarital sex is wrong, according to him, is outdated. If he were a painter painting his view of morality here, he would have painted himself and his partners--with no other context or background. Better to consider the whole, I think.

So the problem for me is that most people flaunt their ability to attract the opposite sex--especially when they are younger. Consider Facebook as an example. Young teenage girls and boys boast about their sexual exploits on their newsfeed. Well, at least I have seen it a lot. Don't just consider the two people in the relationship: What about others reading the newsfeed? They cause a lot of sadness for those not able to attract physically attractive people of the opposite sex. Consider the anger in young teenage boys about not being able to attract the girls they desire, and then seeing some other guy describe his time with her. People sharing my former roommates view often don't think about the psychological harm they cause others outside of their relationship. A second issue is that, when you have multiple partners, you're more likely to think of them as tools for your own pleasure, and they are dispensable as soon as you perceive they stop pleasing you.

In reflection, I don't think allowing premarital sex and sex with multiple partners is the answer; it's the complete opposite of the other extreme in which no sex is preferable. Baha'u'llah's law causes the least psychological harm for the whole. Not only does it consider the whole, it also considers your own spiritual development by challenging people to not see one another as mere tools. Instead, in human relationships we should sharpen one another's development in virtues. See Aristotle's view on friendship, because this is how he defines true friendship. The same holds true for marriage. Have you ever seen a person concerned with loving sexual relationships also concerned with their development in virtue? I haven't. At least not in the loving way of the Baha'i ideal, in which virtuous development is essential to a loving relationship.

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Old 07-19-2014, 10:05 PM   #59
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When I think of any issue of morality, I think of it in a relational way. For example, last year I had a roommate who argued sex with multiple partners is completely healthy according to scientific findings. After two years with your married partner, sex just goes downhill. It's perfectly fine, he said. The idea that premarital sex is wrong, according to him, is outdated. If he were a painter painting his view of morality here, he would have painted himself and his partners--with no other context or background. Better to consider the whole, I think.
He's not wrong to think that there is a benefit to sexual experience, as sexual inexperience due to our society's sex-negativity and refusal to properly educate teens on safe sex often leads to a dissolution of marriages due to lack of chemistry. I'm not sure if he meant that it's OK to cheat on your married spouse (wrong because you made a promise to be with that person forever and now you're breaking it) or OK to cheat on your girlfriend (less wrong, but still wrong). I would hope he meant serial monogamy but I could be wrong.

Quote:
So the problem for me is that most people flaunt their ability to attract the opposite sex--especially when they are younger. Consider Facebook as an example. Young teenage girls and boys boast about their sexual exploits on their newsfeed. Well, at least I have seen it a lot. Don't just consider the two people in the relationship: What about others reading the newsfeed? They cause a lot of sadness for those not able to attract physically attractive people of the opposite sex. Consider the anger in young teenage boys about not being able to attract the girls they desire, and then seeing some other guy describe his time with her. People sharing my former roommates view often don't think about the psychological harm they cause others outside of their relationship. A second issue is that, when you have multiple partners, you're more likely to think of them as tools for your own pleasure, and they are dispensable as soon as you perceive they stop pleasing you.
If you want to ban premarital sex for your members based on the belief that that is commanded by your God, that's fine. I can't and don't want to challenge that. But if you want to claim it's somehow indicative of a "permissive society" (as I've heard from many other people) with claims like the above, you need to provide proof. About 90% of Americans have had premarital sex at least once in their lifetimes. If treating someone like a tool for pleasure was a consistent outcome of premarital sex then this would be a widely-reported and well-studied problem. But it is not AS MUCH of a problem as people think, as this article makes clear in regards to popular perception of "hookup culture" (by the way, every generation thinks the future generations are "going downhill" if you will):

Is hookup culture overblown? - Salon.com

I maybe heard people boast of their sexual exploits once or twice in my entire career in middle or high school. I think that the problem isn't people having sex when they're teens. It's people having unsafe and uninformed sex with their only education coming from media and pornographic stereotypes catering to an extremely sexually repressed (not liberated by any stretch of the imagination otherwise people wouldn't turn to pornography or AshleyMadison so much). Besides, I (and most reasonable teens- contrary to popular belief not all teens are ruled by their hormones) never really hung out with the few people who would use women as sexual conquests, because I knew that if I was to have a girlfriend, it would be by being myself and not a jerk.

Quote:
In reflection, I don't think allowing premarital sex and sex with multiple partners is the answer; it's the complete opposite of the other extreme in which no sex is preferable. Baha'u'llah's law causes the least psychological harm for the whole. Not only does it consider the whole, it also considers your own spiritual development by challenging people to not see one another as mere tools. Instead, in human relationships we should sharpen one another's development in virtues. See Aristotle's view on friendship, because this is how he defines true friendship. The same holds true for marriage.
That might be the ideal for marriage. But a homosexual or heterosexual couple may have that in a sexual relationship or marriage. Marriage isn't a magic spell that somehow makes all instances sex perfectly OK or not selfish in any way. All marriage really is (in the eyes of the law anyway) is a formalized legal commitment as love is not necessarily involved. The idea that it is a seal of approval from God leads to people in religiously conservative areas marrying just to have legitimated sex before their hormones make them explode.
 
Old 07-20-2014, 04:26 AM   #60
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I mean that, just because people can get hurt in the course of premarital sex, or in an intimate relationship, does not mean that people can't use their brains and have loving, completely non-marital, sexual relationships. The law seems like a bizarre pre-feminist holdover from the 19th century, if I may be so blunt.

Yes, it is possible, and many do it, but it is an exception. You have a lot of Faith in intelligence, but interpersonal relationships on that level are not about intelligence, and are not easily made "rational." They are about nonrational, nonphysical things - trust, safety, faith, unity, self-worth, kindness, humility, vulnerability...

These are spiritual things and marriage provides the foundation of commitment, devotion, and safety upon which to build a safe relationship (when it is done right). Take my word for it, if for no other reason than I am old, even when someone "thinks" they have it down emotionally, sex is dangerous - as dangerous as a loaded gun. People get killed and have there lives distroyed over "a little fun" it is not something to be flippent about or to wright off as unimportant.
 
Old 07-20-2014, 04:40 AM   #61
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... All marriage really is (in the eyes of the law anyway) is a formalized legal commitment as love is not necessarily involved. The idea that it is a seal of approval from God leads to people in religiously conservative areas marrying just to have legitimated sex before their hormones make them explode.
This is not what Baha'i marriage is about. It is NOT about legitimizing sex, it is about unity, safety, friendship, community, intimacy (on every level), equality, family (nuclear and extended)....

Again, I am old, I have seen many things, relationships void of these things are of little worth and are often remembered with regret rather than as the great time they were supposed to be at the time.

I don't expect you to take my word for it, and I will try not to argue it further, but experience and wisdom (not just mine) says, if you arnt just being the devils advocate, you are in for a world of hurt.
 
Old 07-20-2014, 05:49 AM   #62
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I think the whole owing money to the UHJ thing is stupid, why does money have to be so apparent in religion...I lol'd at how much gold do I owe. Baha'u'llah probably only wrote that because that was the practice in his time, we're supposed to be progressive still owing money and gold is ridiculous, I tend to not follow the little laws of the Baha'i Faith (Don't attack me) which rule my life. I hate when religion decides what you do.

Person: What religion are you?
Me: Baha'i
Person: What about political party?
Me: ...Baha'i...


It's a bit foolish, I believe in a God, I believe in the prophets but again, progressiveness, I advocate marijuana and gay marriage. So I mean, seriously.


But a note to H123, please don't cause arguments. I know you're trying to make the Baha'i Faith look bad but don't do it like this, ask questions don't just smear the name of the Faith.
Well put. pretty much my views as well.
 
Old 07-20-2014, 10:45 PM   #63
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Yes, it is possible, and many do it, but it is an exception.
Based on what evidence? Seems like a blank assertion to me.

Quote:
You have a lot of Faith in intelligence, but interpersonal relationships on that level are not about intelligence, and are not easily made "rational." They are about nonrational, nonphysical things - trust, safety, faith, unity, self-worth, kindness, humility, vulnerability...
And that exists in equal measure in non-marital and marital as well as heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

Quote:
These are spiritual things and marriage provides the foundation of commitment, devotion, and safety upon which to build a safe relationship (when it is done right). Take my word for it, if for no other reason than I am old, even when someone "thinks" they have it down emotionally, sex is dangerous - as dangerous as a loaded gun. People get killed and have there lives distroyed over "a little fun" it is not something to be flippent about or to wright off as unimportant.
Being an adult is about logically assessing those risks. Sex is dangerous, sure, and it is also fun, but somewhere in between is where most people are- married or not they're being intelligent about this sort of thing and finding a way to make it work. Otherwise it would be a RAMPANT problem rather than something that ebbs and flows. Many people are able to have fulfilling sexual relationships (not an "exception" or minority) without being married. Plenty of people also wait until marriage. Neither view is necessarily right or wrong for EVERYONE.

Again, I am not in any way trying to say that your religious objections are wrong. I disagree with them, but they are yours. Just don't try to make them scientific objections too, as you will not be able to prove that there are statistical reasons behind your disagreement.

Last edited by SmilingSkeptic; 07-21-2014 at 12:02 AM.
 
Old 07-21-2014, 12:08 AM   #64
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This may seem like a stupid question, but how is it determined who is an adulterer? If I was having an extra-marital affair, I can't imagine rocking up to the LSA and telling them all about it. If you were that able to betray the one you loved the most and who trusted you more than anyone and had already taken sacred vows to them, why would you care to go tell the LSA what you did and cop the fine which if applied would financially cripple you and your family, on top of humiliating them further?

Aside from direct admission personally of adultery, how would they even know and judge that you had done it 100 times and thus owed a fortune in fines? If you had done it 100 times, clearly you have no conscience about your faith or your spouse or the potential for fines, so I don't see such a person would officially admit to it. No doubt I am missing something here though, so feel free to try to explain it to me.
 
Old 07-21-2014, 05:10 AM   #65
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Based on what evidence? Seems like a blank assertion to me.



And that exists in equal measure in non-marital and marital as well as heterosexual and homosexual relationships.



Being an adult is about logically assessing those risks. Sex is dangerous, sure, and it is also fun, but somewhere in between is where most people are- married or not they're being intelligent about this sort of thing and finding a way to make it work. Otherwise it would be a RAMPANT problem rather than something that ebbs and flows. Many people are able to have fulfilling sexual relationships (not an "exception" or minority) without being married. Plenty of people also wait until marriage. Neither view is necessarily right or wrong for EVERYONE.

Again, I am not in any way trying to say that your religious objections are wrong. I disagree with them, but they are yours. Just don't try to make them scientific objections too, as you will not be able to prove that there are statistical reasons behind your disagreement.

I understand, and also have to disagree (not on simply religious terms).

In my opinion, and based on some reading and study in social studies, etc., emphasis on the individual over and above a devotion to the good of and maintenance of society as a whole, is (when carried to extremes) distractive to both the individual and society as a whole.

Sex is a social behavior, marriage is a social behavior, work, driving, taxes, carrying weapons, education, government, medical care, shopping, recreation - social behaviors. If taken to even moderate extremes, there is plenty of historical and sociological evidence that shows that an over emphasis on the individual (or on the collective) will damage both.

The "adult" approach to any social behavior is to balance individual needs/desires with those things that also benefit, and do not damage others.

Individual "rights" are a good example. Here in the States we have this disproportionate belief in individual rights. "I have the right to do (essentially) whatever I want!!" When the truth is, my rights end where they endanger or preclude YOUR rights.

As adults, our approach to any social behavior, including sex, must respect the right of both parties to safety (emotional safety).

Best, IMHO to not put myself in a position where I may do enormous harm to another person, rather than to assume that they are aware and of MY intentions to "have some fun" and share in that intention ONLY.

People are not always straight forward in sexual situations - they may want to "convince" me that they are the right monogamous partner for the rest of my life. They may think that sex will make me fall in love with them - even if I (as an "adult") have insisted that this is "just for fun." Perhaps, after a sexual encounter they may fall in love with me!! Even though they didn't intend to. Then I leave - sticking to the "fun only" principle. Perhaps children are created!!

I can't know for sure what damage may be done. "Restrictions" on sexual behavior (whether social or religious) are really to help us as "adults" understand that there are serious ramifications to our sexual behavior.

Harming another human is (to me) the worst thing I can do. Why put myself in a situation where I can do so great damage just so I can have a little fun. How about I find a "safer" way to have that fun??

Last edited by kernk; 07-21-2014 at 05:21 AM.
 
Old 07-21-2014, 07:46 AM   #66
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I understand, and also have to disagree (not on simply religious terms).

In my opinion, and based on some reading and study in social studies, etc., emphasis on the individual over and above a devotion to the good of and maintenance of society as a whole, is (when carried to extremes) distractive to both the individual and society as a whole.

Sex is a social behavior, marriage is a social behavior, work, driving, taxes, carrying weapons, education, government, medical care, shopping, recreation - social behaviors. If taken to even moderate extremes, there is plenty of historical and sociological evidence that shows that an over emphasis on the individual (or on the collective) will damage both.

The "adult" approach to any social behavior is to balance individual needs/desires with those things that also benefit, and do not damage others.

Individual "rights" are a good example. Here in the States we have this disproportionate belief in individual rights. "I have the right to do (essentially) whatever I want!!" When the truth is, my rights end where they endanger or preclude YOUR rights.

As adults, our approach to any social behavior, including sex, must respect the right of both parties to safety (emotional safety).

Best, IMHO to not put myself in a position where I may do enormous harm to another person, rather than to assume that they are aware and of MY intentions to "have some fun" and share in that intention ONLY.

People are not always straight forward in sexual situations - they may want to "convince" me that they are the right monogamous partner for the rest of my life. They may think that sex will make me fall in love with them - even if I (as an "adult") have insisted that this is "just for fun." Perhaps, after a sexual encounter they may fall in love with me!! Even though they didn't intend to. Then I leave - sticking to the "fun only" principle. Perhaps children are created!!

I can't know for sure what damage may be done. "Restrictions" on sexual behavior (whether social or religious) are really to help us as "adults" understand that there are serious ramifications to our sexual behavior.

Harming another human is (to me) the worst thing I can do. Why put myself in a situation where I can do so great damage just so I can have a little fun. How about I find a "safer" way to have that fun??
Yes, that sort of thing happens in premarital sex. But that's like saying that because some people die in car accidents nobody should be allowed to drive cars anymore. The majority of the time, there is no evidence that anybody really gets hurt.
 
Old 07-21-2014, 08:00 AM   #67
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Yes, that sort of thing happens in premarital sex. But that's like saying that because some people die in car accidents nobody should be allowed to drive cars anymore. The majority of the time, there is no evidence that anybody really gets hurt.
No evidence that anyone gets hurt? an assumption yes

As for cars the reason there are rules and laws, yes
Just as God has sent down for this time certain rules and laws re sex and marriage, yes

Loving regards dear friend
 
Old 07-21-2014, 08:04 AM   #68
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This may seem like a stupid question, but how is it determined who is an adulterer? If I was having an extra-marital affair, I can't imagine rocking up to the LSA and telling them all about it. If you were that able to betray the one you loved the most and who trusted you more than anyone and had already taken sacred vows to them, why would you care to go tell the LSA what you did and cop the fine which if applied would financially cripple you and your family, on top of humiliating them further?

Aside from direct admission personally of adultery, how would they even know and judge that you had done it 100 times and thus owed a fortune in fines? If you had done it 100 times, clearly you have no conscience about your faith or your spouse or the potential for fines, so I don't see such a person would officially admit to it. No doubt I am missing something here though, so feel free to try to explain it to me.
Big smile, a good question Grace

As with these hypothetical questions they are often not based on real life.

Regards to you
 
Old 07-21-2014, 08:18 AM   #69
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No evidence that anyone gets hurt? an assumption yes

As for cars the reason there are rules and laws, yes
Just as God has sent down for this time certain rules and laws re sex and marriage, yes

Loving regards dear friend
The thing is that everybody has different rules. One religion should not purport be the basis of morality for EVERYBODY. Plenty of people can and have done this without getting hurt, because there is no evidence that EVERYBODY has gotten hurt by premarital sex and that nothing bad ever happens in marriage.
 
Old 07-21-2014, 08:50 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by SmilingSkeptic View Post
The thing is that everybody has different rules. One religion should not purport be the basis of morality for EVERYBODY. Plenty of people can and have done this without getting hurt, because there is no evidence that EVERYBODY has gotten hurt by premarital sex and that nothing bad ever happens in marriage.
Dear friend one religion does not enforce morality on everybody, as shown in all the Holy books, man has free will to do as he wishes, only those who wish to obey God, obey His laws.

Now I know you are going to say but, certain religious people try to enforce their ideas on others, and I would agree with you, but I also believe with you that these people are in error, they are not obeying God's law, and there ideas will never be supported by the majority, because there way only divides people into different camps of opposition.

As our friend Sen has pointed out The Baha'i faith supports the division of politics and religion.

Now you say plenty of people have done this (I suppose the, this, is sex outside of marriage) yes you are correct many do, now I am not sure of how many plenty is, but this proves my point that people have free will, because I would assume that many of these people also declare to be a member of a certain religion, so in fact they are choosing to disobey, that is there choice.

Now you appear and I say appear to feel that if the Baha'is become a majority in any one land that they will impose Baha'i law on all of the citizens of that land, while I am very positive in my belief that this would never happen. Baha'i laws are for Baha'is only, and again only if they wish to obey.

Now you make a great assumption that plenty of people are having sex outside of marriage without being hurt. You say "because there is no evidence that EVERYBODY has gotten hurt by premarital sex", you appear to overlook a great deal of evidence to the opposite of your assumption. Sorry but really you need to look deeper into the problems our society is facing from free sex as it were. Yes some people appear to enjoy this life, but many do not, and many who say they enjoy this life often change their minds as some point.

And yes bad things happen in marriages, but again sorry if this offends you, I would dare to say these bad things are caused by people with a low spiritual awareness, just because they say they are religious does not mean they are.

Have you studied the Baha'i marriage? There is so much more, I feel assistance for Baha'is re marriage, and guidance. I use the word guidance again the Institutions try to guide couples re marriage and justice, there is no compelling, no enforcing as you and I may understand from the old ways of doing things.

Again loving regards to you.

Last edited by BlinkeyBill; 07-21-2014 at 08:52 AM. Reason: spelling error
 
Old 07-21-2014, 09:12 AM   #71
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One religion should not purport be the basis of morality for EVERYBODY.
From what I can tell, almost all the religions agree that premarital and extramarital sex is extremely socially destructive.

Science says the same thing:

The Social Pathologist: Sexual Partner Divorce Risk

Of course, people really and truly don't want to hear this, for very obvious reasons.
 
Old 07-21-2014, 09:19 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Matthew Light View Post
From what I can tell, almost all the religions agree that premarital and extramarital sex is extremely socially destructive.

Science says the same thing:

The Social Pathologist: Sexual Partner Divorce Risk

Of course, people really and truly don't want to hear this, for very obvious reasons.
Thank you Matthew for the link to the risk, have read many reports myself, the reason I objected to the assumption that free sex caused no problems and that there was no evidence of such.

Loving regards
 
Old 07-21-2014, 09:24 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Matthew Light View Post
From what I can tell, almost all the religions agree that premarital and extramarital sex is extremely socially destructive.

Science says the same thing:

The Social Pathologist: Sexual Partner Divorce Risk

Of course, people really and truly don't want to hear this, for very obvious reasons.
No, the ancient religions agreed on this for purposes of social control and now that that is unpopular it is disguised as trying to be couched in scientific terms. The science is mixed on this. Some studies say living with a partner is detrimental, others say it isn't.
 
Old 07-21-2014, 10:30 AM   #74
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The science is mixed on this.
Perhaps you can cite some studies that show that sexual promiscuity is a good thing for society?
 
Old 07-21-2014, 10:58 AM   #75
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Perhaps you can cite some studies that show that sexual promiscuity is a good thing for society?
Not only is your question loaded as you're phrasing this in traditionally negative terms- but take a look at things like virginity pledges (which are proven not to work), Rumspringa, lack of sex education in this country, and other such things. For centuries, America has sexually repressed itself and this has not only lead to ignorance of sexuality, but an unhealthy obsession with it that is fed by popular media.

And yet the fact that not everybody in America who has premarital sex runs into problems (which seems astounding) means that these problems have more to do with sex negativity than "promiscuity." The science on why this is is emerging, mainly because it was taboo to even talk about sexuality in frank terms, preventing science from investigating it well for decades. And yet we now know, for instance, that homosexuality is not a choice, that informing teens about what happens during sex makes them more likely to wait to have sex...

I'm not asking that you change your religious opinions on what you believe God has commanded you to do (even though I will respectfully disagree). However, that does mean that everybody who DOES have premarital sex is somehow just driven by animal desire, or that they are always heading for disaster.
 
Old 07-21-2014, 11:54 AM   #76
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Yes, that sort of thing happens in premarital sex. But that's like saying that because some people die in car accidents nobody should be allowed to drive cars anymore. The majority of the time, there is no evidence that anybody really gets hurt.
I have to respectfully disagree. People are adversely effected by relationships all of the time - why do you think we have so many songs, and movies, and books about it. Why so many crimes of passion, and suicides.

But, again, you miss the point. The point is for ME to avoid putting MYSELF in a position to hurt myself or another. The point is not to BAN sexual relationships, the point is to regulate the behavior (ideally self-regulate behavior).

It is very much like driving a car, actually. While I can drive a car as an adult, I also should drive the car within the guidance of traffic laws. While accidents can happen - and do - the reality is there would be many fewer accidents if people would drive within the speed limit, follow posted traffic rules, maintain their cars, practice patience and behave with courtesy and compassion.

That is, you can self-regulate your driving behavior to minimize the possibility of harming yourself and/or others. Same with sex.

Last edited by kernk; 07-21-2014 at 11:56 AM.
 
Old 07-21-2014, 11:59 AM   #77
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However, that does mean that everybody who DOES have premarital sex is somehow just driven by animal desire,
I think it's pretty obvious that most people having sex are doing it "driven by animal desire", regardless of whether or not they are married.

The question is - is having lots of sexual partners healthy for an advanced society with extreme division of labor and a requirement for permanent families? I think the evidence I have seen is pretty clearly "no". I'd certainly study any research showing otherwise you might to choose to provide.

The point of marriage is to harness our innate biological nature in ways that strengthen society instead of eroding it.

Quote:
or that they are always heading for disaster.
No, of course they are not always heading for disaster. I'm just citing what usually happens, which is the point of statistics.

Last edited by Matthew Light; 07-21-2014 at 12:16 PM.
 
Old 07-21-2014, 12:19 PM   #78
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I think it's pretty obvious that most people having sex are doing it "driven by animal desire", regardless of whether or not they are married.

The question is - is having lots of sexual partners healthy for an advanced society with extreme division of labor and a requirement for permanent families? I think the evidence I have seen is pretty clearly "no". I'd certainly study any research showing otherwise you might to choose to provide.

The point of marriage is to harness our innate biological nature in ways that strengthen society instead of eroding it.



No, of course they are not always heading for disaster. I'm just citing what usually happens, which is the point of statistics.
No, the point of marriage in a non-religious context is just to formalize families. That's it. You can go off about how sex for procreation only is God's ideal for sex but people get married for plenty of different reasons than just to have a family. And they have sex for other reasons than just lust. To do otherwise is massive generalization.
 
Old 07-21-2014, 12:25 PM   #79
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As to the original question, in my view, this law and most other laws of the Baha'i Faith are spiritual laws. As I understand the matter even if the majority of the population of a country is Baha'i and the policies of the government of that nation is driven by Baha'i principles, it has no right to interfere with the personal and spiritual life of any soul. The law mentioned here is a spiritual one and it is the individual who decides, in full faith and with utmost sincerity to pay the price for its punishment. Anything other than this, would turn the world into what we have now in most of the middle east.

This law is not put forth so that the Universal House of Justice can make money. It is rather a civilized way to punish the transgressions of people from the perspective of their religion and faith, a way to clear their conscious. It is made to be a means of God's forgiveness and as such must be made voluntarily. If one is forced to make the payments then there is no spiritual merit in this action, and whether one pays or not, in my estimation, makes no difference.
 
Old 07-21-2014, 12:32 PM   #80
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Joined: Jun 2014
From: United States
Posts: 726
Quote:
Originally Posted by armin View Post
As to the original question, in my view, this law and most other laws of the Baha'i Faith are spiritual laws. As I understand the matter even if the majority of the population of a country is Baha'i and the policies of the government of that nation is driven by Baha'i principles, it has no right to interfere with the personal and spiritual life of any soul. The law mentioned here is a spiritual one and it is the individual who decides, in full faith and with utmost sincerity to pay the price for its punishment. Anything other than this, would turn the world into what we have now in most of the middle east.

This law is not put forth so that the Universal House of Justice can make money. It is rather a civilized way to punish the transgressions of people from the perspective of their religion and faith, a way to clear their conscious. It is made to be a means of God's forgiveness and as such must be made voluntarily. If one is forced to make the payments then there is no spiritual merit in this action, and whether one pays or not, in my estimation, makes no difference.
My only point is to ask that you allow that people who are not Baha'is may have reasons for not marrying, have at least sometimes weighed the positives and negatives, and are not inevitably doing wrong every time they have sex.

I do have to ask something, however. Say that the government became majority Baha'i. Would it start passing laws against alcohol again? Or try to repeal marriage equality and criminalize homosexuality again? That would pose a bunch of constitutional problems.

Last edited by SmilingSkeptic; 07-21-2014 at 12:48 PM.
 
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