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FORUMS General Discussions Politics The Bible, the Constitution and the Politics of Interpretation
TOPIC: The Bible, the Constitution and the Politics of Interpretation
Created by: sappholovers
Original Starting post for this thread:
Can we objectively discover the true original intent of the words of Jesus, the Constitution of 1789, and Lincoln or is all interpretation to some degree subjective and subject to bias and personal belief or shaped by the times in which it is being interpreted?

In the course of debates in the threads, I've cited passages from the Bible (from Luke and John), a phrase from the Constitution ("promote the general welfare"), and a passage from Lincoln's Second Inugural Address {"All knew that this interest [slavery] was somehow the cause of the war").

Some posters seem to believe that they can discover and have discover and know for certain what is the true meaning or true original intent of such documents. For instance, one poster declares that when Lincoln said, "All knew that this interest [slavery] was somehow the cause of the war," he calls it "propaganda."

I maintain the way PerfectMatch and Lucky read the Constitution and Lincoln's speeches are convicing proof that they too engage in a non-objective politics of interpretation.

I think I can make a good case for my interpretation of the words, but I also believe that I can never be 100% sure about their original intent unless I had the chance to talk to Jesus, the 55 founding fathers (who would probably disagree among themselves about the meaning of "general welfare"), and to Lincoln. I also acknowledge that my interpretation of these words is inevitably shaped by my personal beliefs and values and experience.

But who here can interpret these words perfectly objectivity and without any bias and know positively what Lincoln meant and what Jesus meant and what the founders meant by words that Madison himself described as vague, abstract, obscure and equivocal?

Cons decry the bias of liberal academics and liberal judges interpreting history or the Constitution, but the ones in this Forum seem blind to their own bias, subjectivity and agenda when interpreting these words.

Madison calls the words of a new law "equivocal" and "uncertain" in meaning, but now ProperMatch and Lucky believe that Judges--and themselves--can determine with certainty what equivocal, vague and abstract words mean....without agenda and they seem to believe that Scalia is without an agenda when he interprets the Constitution although another Supreme Court justice charges him with a significant failure of impartiality in judging Gore vs. USA in 2000.

So what Christian in here is willing to commit himself to following the original intent of Christ's words regarding the pursuit of wealth and giving to the poor?

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dzzyred:

I agree with you. There's such a pretense during a Supreme Court nomination review procedure. Everyone claims they will be impartial and not influenced by bias or personal belief. But then they've been selected for their politics.

Rules of legal intepretation--and the checking and balancing of peer review and outside critique--helps to constrain interpretation, but still, whether it is a Conservative judge or a Liberal judge, their interpretations have some measure of subjectivity to them, with some being more subjective at times than others.

In effect, every Judge is something of a judicial activist, and there's been conservative judicial activism and liberal judicial activism.

I'd said whoever makes the strongest claims to objectivity and discovery of origina intent should be examined most closely for their ideology and bias.

Los Angeles CA
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The Communist Party USA has abandoned it's pretense of neutrality .

It is throwing all its energies behind Barack Obama in the race for the Deomocratic Party presidential nomination.

Why?

I'll let three top US Communists explain;

According to Terrie Albano, editor of the CPUSA's People's Weekly World;

The movement that has exploded around Obama is so important. It's antiracist in essence. It's deep and broad and multiracial and multigenerational. It has insightful and sophisticated everyday people active in it. It's the cream rising to the top after the long horrendous period of the Bush administration and ultra right rule since Reagan.

But even if Obama doesn't win and Hillary Clinton does, getting rid of any ultra rightist will take this country forward. And the movement around Obama will influence Clinton.

This kind of upsurge comes around just once in a lifetime. I hope for all progressives - each of us - get involved. Don't stand on the sidelines. Be active. Don't let history pass you by.

Pepe Lozano is a leader of the Chicago Young Communist League and is a People’s Weekly World editorial board member.

Pepe Lozano's late father, Rudy Lozano, was a leading Chicago activist until his murder in 1983. Shortly before Lozano's death, newly elected Chicago Mayor, Harold Washington enlisted him as his liaison to the Latino community.

Rudy Lozano played a big role in building the white "progressive"/Black/Latino coalition that elected Washington, the first black mayor of a major US city.

This coalition was organised by the CPUSA and Chicago's socialist community that would later coalesce into the Chicago branch of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Washington was a longtime supporter of both groups and a probable secret member of the CPUSA. On taking office he proceeded to stack City Hall with communists, socialists and "progressives."

This socialist "golden age" ended with Washington's death in office in 1987, but the alliance that elected him went on to elect Carol Moseley Braun to the US Senate in 1992.

It has also supported Barack Obama at least since his successful State Senate race in 1996.

Destin FL
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Dancing2Some:

I apologize for not responding to your post earlier. I missed it or got diverted.

Dancing: "So, I'm curious, Where do you stand? In a worse case scenario. do you, or dzzy (the only one to respond to your last dozen + post) believe you have the constitutional right to protect your loved one, by the use of deadly force?"

I certainly believe that I have the legal and constitutional right to bear arms and use them to protect my loved ones, including the use of deadly force. It's called the right of self-defense, and I believe Obama and I would be agree with it. I believe in the constiutional right to bear arms, just as I believe in the right to free speech, but just as freedom of speech is regulated in certain ways by the law (e.g., no libel, no shouting fire in a crowded theater), I also believe our right to bear arms can be regulated or controlled.

My father kept lots of guns in our house, and on one or two occasions, when my brother and I were home alone with my Mom, with my father away on a business trip, my Mom had occasion to summon us to get our guns and check out noises she heard. She also slept at times with a pistol under her bed. I would not take that gun, a legal one and registered, away from her. I do not keep a gun in my home. My parents still keep about 10-12 guns in their house.

Los Angeles CA
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Sapp, I generally stay out of these political forums, unless it's to address a very specific point, in my case, usually gun control issues, as, without going into specifics it's where my personal business and passion lies. I came from a very liberal family, and though coming from upstate NY and my family being very pro-Hillary in the coming election, I've always been able to ride the middle of the fence, politically speaking. I'm college educated, and while not to the level of a college professor, I was usually the guy posing the questions to my own professors, 20 some years ago, that would cause them to go, hmmmm? Granted, my passions were not political science and the cival war, but rather my degrees were in biological science-math and later Art, but as I'm sure you'd be aware, I took my share of early American history classes in my day. Sapp, I'm relitively certain that most won't read this far into my post, given my digression and the fact I've displayed no titties, but I'm suspecting that you might. Be that as it may, my digression is only to provide a basis of where I'm coming from. On to my questions: You have not disputed earlier info that I posted in a thread titled "Sway Me", as it pertained to gun control. I wouldn't expect to you to attack my hypothesis, as the voting histories of both Obama and Clinton, clearly indicate that they are not at all "gun friendly" in the eyes of avid legal gun owners, firearm factories, the hunter, the casual gun owner buying a gun for home protection, the gun collector, the gun dealer, or the gal that just wants to have the final last call determinination in where she gets raped and murdered, or walks away. So, I'm curious, Where do you stand? In a worse case scenario. do you, or dzzy (the only one to respond to your last dozen + post) believe you have the constitutional right to protect your loved one, by the use of deadly force?

Reno NV
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all interpretation is subjective and subject to bias and personal belief or shaped by the times in which it is being interpreted...

no question about it.

i will be interested in the responses you receive

Philadelphia PA
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Can we objectively discover the true original intent of the words of Jesus, the Constitution of 1789, and Lincoln or is all interpretation to some degree subjective and subject to bias and personal belief or shaped by the times in which it is being interpreted?

In the course of debates in the threads, I've cited passages from the Bible (from Luke and John), a phrase from the Constitution ("promote the general welfare"), and a passage from Lincoln's Second Inugural Address {"All knew that this interest [slavery] was somehow the cause of the war").

Some posters seem to believe that they can discover and have discover and know for certain what is the true meaning or true original intent of such documents. For instance, one poster declares that when Lincoln said, "All knew that this interest [slavery] was somehow the cause of the war," he calls it "propaganda."

I maintain the way PerfectMatch and Lucky read the Constitution and Lincoln's speeches are convicing proof that they too engage in a non-objective politics of interpretation.

I think I can make a good case for my interpretation of the words, but I also believe that I can never be 100% sure about their original intent unless I had the chance to talk to Jesus, the 55 founding fathers (who would probably disagree among themselves about the meaning of "general welfare"), and to Lincoln. I also acknowledge that my interpretation of these words is inevitably shaped by my personal beliefs and values and experience.

But who here can interpret these words perfectly objectivity and without any bias and know positively what Lincoln meant and what Jesus meant and what the founders meant by words that Madison himself described as vague, abstract, obscure and equivocal?

Cons decry the bias of liberal academics and liberal judges interpreting history or the Constitution, but the ones in this Forum seem blind to their own bias, subjectivity and agenda when interpreting these words.

Madison calls the words of a new law "equivocal" and "uncertain" in meaning, but now ProperMatch and Lucky believe that Judges--and themselves--can determine with certainty what equivocal, vague and abstract words mean....without agenda and they seem to believe that Scalia is without an agenda when he interprets the Constitution although another Supreme Court justice charges him with a significant failure of impartiality in judging Gore vs. USA in 2000.

So what Christian in here is willing to commit himself to following the original intent of Christ's words regarding the pursuit of wealth and giving to the poor?

Los Angeles CA
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(4376 posts)
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TOPIC: The Bible, the Constitution and the Politics of Interpretation