Why Certain Types of Music Make Our Brains Sing, and Others Don’t

"our prediction of musical events remains inexorably bound to our musical upbringing. To explore this phenomenon, a group of researchers met with the Sámi people, who inhabit the region stretching between the northernmost reaches of Sweden and the Kola Peninsula in Russia." - Neroscience News

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Ed Vasicek's picture

Interesting.  We like music in the style with which we are familiar, but with a few surprises in between the predictable.  Similarity with only a moderate amount of variety.  Good formula.

 

"The Midrash Detective"

WallyMorris's picture

Since this is a secular study, it doesn't account for changes in likes/dislikes produced by the Holy Spirit after trusting Christ as Savior. Before I was saved I listened to and liked the Beatles and many other similar groups and styles. Today I do not listen to nor like that music and do not have any desire/interest for it.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

WallyMorris wrote:

Since this is a secular study, it doesn't account for changes in likes/dislikes produced by the Holy Spirit after trusting Christ as Savior. Before I was saved I listened to and liked the Beatles and many other similar groups and styles. Today I do not listen to nor like that music and do not have any desire/interest for it.

That's an interesting observation.  I also listen to almost no "popular"-type music any longer, but not because every single bit of it is musically uninteresting to me, or because I believe the music itself is wrong or problematic.  It's pretty much because the lyrics/associations/etc. of most of that music is opposed to what is laid out in God's word, and I avoid it on that basis.

Dave Barnhart

RajeshG's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

Since this is a secular study, it doesn't account for changes in likes/dislikes produced by the Holy Spirit after trusting Christ as Savior. Before I was saved I listened to and liked the Beatles and many other similar groups and styles. Today I do not listen to nor like that music and do not have any desire/interest for it.

This study provides some basis for believers rejecting even passive exposure (as much as is possible) to unacceptable kinds of music so that their musical tastes do not become (any more) warped over time than they may already have been at the point of their conversion. Christians who falsely assume that all kinds of music are neutral or amoral and on that basis disobey divine prohibitions against the occult endanger themselves and others in that manner because of their acting in accord with their false presuppositions and assumptions about music.

Bert Perry's picture

....the music used in the study is the joik of the Sami, a people that were mostly shamanistic when these genre were created (many still are).  So if we believe that pagan origins of music prevent its use today, precisely what are we going to be able to learn from this study other than that certain features of "pagan" music are preferred and noted by non-members of the group?

For my part, I remember that guilt by association is a fallacy that ought to have no place whatsoever in our discourse.  Everything has guilty associations, especially music (there are no traditions without a pagan association that anyone who knows music can figure), and hence applying GBA arguments necessarily becomes an exercise in pointing fingers at the bete noire du jour, be that jazz, blues, rock & roll, rap , or whatever.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Ron Bean's picture

I grew up enjoying all types of music. I was saved in my late 20's and I was taught by the music "experts" of the time ( Garlock, Larson, etc.) that practically  all types of music were sinful. (Except for hymns, most classical music, and some opera) I came to realize that what I was taught had no solid biblical basis but was based heavily on GBA fallacies, fictional illustrations, misapplication of Scripture, and falsehoods. Music, like art and food, that gives me pleasure is something I can thank God for! (And of course I don't listen to music with profane, blasphemous, or vulgar lyrics.) 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

I'll grant that association doesn't necessarily make something wrong, per se.  And I agree that past associations are not always (or even usually) indicative of current ones.  However, if, in my mind, music I hear consistently brings up images or thoughts of something sinful, that causes me to avoid that music because of association.  Call that what you will.

Avoiding something myself for my own sanctification/benefit is hardly committing a GBA fallacy.  If you want to call that a Romans 14 "weak" conscience, I'm quite OK with that.  Each of us is sometimes the strong or the weak depending on the situation, and each of us has to answer to his own master.

Dave Barnhart

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Everything has guilty associations, especially music (there are no traditions without a pagan association that anyone who knows music can figure)

The claim that "everything has guilty associations" is false. Things that God Himself has made cannot legitimately be rejected because of their supposedly having "guilty associations."

The claim that all kinds of music have pagan associations is also false and begs the question of the origin of all kinds of music as being pagan.

 

Bert Perry's picture

If all of our music is created by people, and it is, Romans 3:23 applies.  Yes, Rajesh, everything has guilty associations.  This is pretty much fundamental.  You cannot have music composed and performed by sinners without any association with sin.

And this is why we don't want to apply GBA fallacies.  Given that we know we must have some music in the church, using GBA becomes an exercise in deciding which associations with sin we're going to act on, and which ones we're going to ignore.  Long and short of it is that it tends to become a decision made on the basis of personal bias, which generally makes these things an exercise not of discernment, but to various degrees of bigotry.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry's picture

Moderator

First, discussions about music are not merely about guilt by association. Second, guilt by association is a real guilt at times. 

Lastly, unless Bert or Rajesh are going to say something new that you haven't said in the past multiple long discussions is this, then don't comment. Let's not continue the nonsense we have had one the past.

RajeshG's picture

Larry wrote:

First, discussions about music are not merely about guilt by association. Second, guilt by association is a real guilt at times. 

Lastly, unless Bert or Rajesh are going to say something new that you haven't said in the past multiple long discussions is this, then don't comment. Let's not continue the nonsense we have had one the past.

I have plenty of new material that I would like to present, but I am not going to allow false statements about me to go unchallenged.

Bert Perry's picture

Larry, if we narrow the question to arguments that particular kinds of music are sinful, we have two basic categories:

1.  Sinful lyrics.  I'm not aware of anyone who actually says we ought to have sinful lyrics in church, so something of a moot point.  People debate what constitutes that, but the principle is accepted by all parties.

2.  Allegedly sinful instrumentation/genre/techniques/rhythms/etc..  This is where the bulk of the actual debate is.

Regarding that second category, it's instructive that the Bible does not name any instrument, meter, time signature, melody, harmony, or other musical category as sinful.  What is done--as Rajesh and Garlock do--is almost always that the music has some connection with some kind of sinful, pagan religion.

In other words, guilt by association.  And since we have no Biblical record of what is and is not acceptable, that's really the only argument that you can make.  

It is also a very selective and "creative" GBA, as again, joik's a pagan art form, so if there's guilt to be had by association, there you go.  And in that light, it's very instructive that Rajesh uses a study of pagan music to argue, really, for his preference for the music predominantly of western European protestants as filtered by those such as Majesty Music.  I may as well use a study on harp adaptations of the music of Metallica to justify my love of Gregorian chant or the toccatas of Bach or Widor.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Regarding that second category, it's instructive that the Bible does not name any instrument, meter, time signature, melody, harmony, or other musical category as sinful.  What is done--as Rajesh and Garlock do--is almost always that the music has some connection with some kind of sinful, pagan religion.

In other words, guilt by association.  And since we have no Biblical record of what is and is not acceptable, that's really the only argument that you can make. 

No, it's not instructive, it's not the typical argument, it's not necessarily guilt by association, and it's not the only kind of argument you can make.

First you are treating the Bible like a catalog or index, which is isn't. The Bible does not set out to identify every single sin by explicit reference. It would make no sense. 

Second, the argument that is typically made is not that the music is merely associated with something sinful (though biblically that might be enough to help if we actually accept the Bible). It is about the inherent thing that music does. And it is not a fundamentalist Christian argument. It has been made by many who are not Christians. We can debate whether that is correct, but at least understand the argument that is being made. 

For instance, the Bible says to build one another up with words. But the Bible doesn't define what those words are. It expects you to know something about words, about language, about communication, about the person, and about the culture in which you are speaking. We probably agree that using the "F" word towards someone is sinful. Yet there is no verse that identifies that word as sinful. We don't need it. 

Most parents have, at one time or another, corrected their children on their tone of voice: "Don't speak to me in that tone of voice." So what would we say if the child says, "God never defines a voice tone that is disrespectful. Therefore, I can speak to you in any tone I want"? No parent would accept that, nor should they. We know something about culture and something about how to apply Scripture to life. Or at least we should know.

Bottom line for me, Bert, is that for all your talking, you don't seem to understand that actual arguments and issues. 

Having said all that, you have hammered this in multiple threads. There is no need to rehash it all here. Move ahead with some new argument. Or frankly, it is completely okay to not comment. Let Rajesh say what he wants. No need to get involved in it.

RajeshG's picture

The notion that everything made by humans "has guilty associations" that are relevant because of Romans 3:23 is a faulty notion. Consider what Scripture taught about something that certain humans were to make:

Exodus 30:25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.

God commanded certain humans to make this holy anointing oil. All the humans that ever obeyed this command had "sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). Nonetheless, God commanded them to make an oil that God declared was holy. In obedience to God, many people in Israel's history made this holy oil.

Asserting that this holy anointing oil had "guilty associations" because of Romans 3:23 because those who made it were sinners does not establish anything of relevance or significance concerning divine acceptance of the legitimate human making of that oil and of the legitimate human use of that oil for the purposes for which God commanded that it would be used in His service.

RajeshG's picture

From the standpoint of Romans 3:23, both Cain and Abel were humans who had "sinned and come short of the glory of God."

God, however, accepted Abel and his sacrifice, but did not accept Cain and his sacrifice:

Gen. 4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.

4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Clearly, the notion that everything "has guilty associations" because of Romans 3:23  is a faulty and irrelevant notion for explaining God's differing responses to the worship offerings and activities of these two sinful humans.

Bert Perry's picture

Larry, don't you think, in light of verses like Ephesians 4:29, that one can make a good case against using the "f" word? That's a very odd way of trying to broach the notion that there are other arguments besides guilt by association in the music wars, don't you think?

(and for reference, I'd include guilt by association fallacies as generally proscribed by that verse as well, really in an even more emphatic way than the "f" word)

To the point, having read some of the works of Gothard, Garlock, and others, what I've seen is "claims that are pretty obviously false" (like Garlock's "heavy metal kills plants") and guilt by association. That's it. If you would like to come up with an argument that is neither, be my guest.

And again, there's a Biblical proscription for that in Ephesians 4:29 and elsewhere, as those guilt by association arguments generally slander someone.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

In a previous post, I set forth how Romans 3:23 does not explain the difference between God's response to Cain vs. His response to Abel. This post further examines God's rejection of Cain's worship.

Cain was made in the image of God. Cain was a recipient of common grace.

Nonetheless, Scripture reveals that God rejected Cain and what he offered to God in worship. Moreover, Scripture does not provide any basis for definitively holding that *what* Cain offered to God in worship was itself acceptable to God for use in worship and that the only problem with Cain's worship was that his heart was not right with God.

The very first recorded account of divine rejection of worship of the true God by humans therefore plainly teaches us that neither imago dei (the image of God in man) nor common grace *guarantees* to us that any specific creative product(s) that people employ in worship today must itself be acceptable to God for use in worship.

Just because people are made in God's image and are recipients of His common grace does not prove that what they creatively produce for use in worship must itself be acceptable to God and pleasing to Him.

RajeshG's picture

1 John 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

In His perfect wisdom, the Spirit has revealed to us explicitly that Cain was of the devil and that his works were evil, but the Spirit intentionally has not provided us with any details about either reality concerning Cain.

This divine revelation instructs us to carefully consider what significance our being told explicitly that Cain was of the devil has for our understanding rightly God's rejection of him and his offering to God.

RajeshG's picture

Probing the similarities and the differences between the sinful acts of Eve, Adam, and Cain is important concerning how we should interpret God's rejection of Cain's worship in light of his being of the devil. Both Eve and Adam actually transgressed a divine prohibition and did what was wrong--the problem with their acts was not just in their hearts.

Given that Scripture never says that either Eve or Adam were of the devil, but it explicitly tells us that Cain was of the devil, holding that Cain chose to do what was pleasing to God but was rejected because he did not do so with a right heart is untenable. Because Cain's "connection" to the devil was greater than it was for either Eve or Adam, understanding that he--much more than they did--would have chosen to do what was displeasing to God is warranted.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Larry, don't you think, in light of verses like Ephesians 4:29, that one can make a good case against using the "f" word?

Yes, I think that. But I don't know how you can based on what you have argued here and in other threads on this. 

That's a very odd way of trying to broach the notion that there are other arguments besides guilt by association in the music wars, don't you think?

No, I don't think it's odd but that wasn't what I was doing in any case. The point is to address your specific claim that we cannot forbid any type of music because God hasn't specified instruments, rhythms, melodies, etc as sinful. Truth be told, he also hasn't condemned that particular set of letters in a particular order. yet you quite easily and correctly see it as a violation of Scripture. 

Why? I would suggest that you understand the principle behind which certain kinds of music are condemned by certain people. And you use that principle in some cases. I would call it a "second premise" argument. You understand that Scripture condemns certain kinds of speech. You also understand the culture around you and what a particular set of letters means in that culture. You can see that the word violates the principle even though Scripture never identifies the word as sinful. 

BTW, it seems you also participate in GBA because those four letters have no inherent meaning and probably would not make sense in many languages around the world. But in English, it is associated with a certain thing and a certain meaning. So you condemn it. And again, rightly so. It just seems inconsistent on your part to condemn something (a particular word) about which Scripture is silent.

To the point, having read some of the works of Gothard, Garlock, and others, what I've seen is "claims that are pretty obviously false" (like Garlock's "heavy metal kills plants") and guilt by association. That's it. If you would like to come up with an argument that is neither, be my guest.

If by "that's it," you mean that the argument of Garlock et al was only guilt by association, then I wonder if you actually understand it, or if you actually have read it or heard it. I heard it firsthand. Garlock was the music director at the church of my childhood. I heard it there, at school, at seminars, on recordings from Garlock and many others. I know a lot of the people involved in the discussion and have had conversations and exchanges (by letter to show you how old this is). I disagree with much of it. But it wasn't only GBA.

And don't forget that GBA is actually a biblical teaching for some things. 

So two points: 

First, GBA is not the be all and end all, kill discussion argument that you think it is. It isn't necessarily wrong and you seem to use it.

Secondly, you understand the principle by which certain people condemn or question certain types of music, and you even use that principle in some cases. 

Whether you agree or disagree is another matter. But I would say don't pretend their argument is something it isn't. The first duty of debate is to try, as much as possible, to present the other side's argument in a manner in which they would agree with it. Then you can proceed to debunk or debate it. 

Bert Perry's picture

....learn the definition of guilt by association, Larry?   Let's start with something basic; a word definition is a definition, not an "association."  If we are going to say that word definitions are mere associations, we need to scrap not only all of logic and rhetoric, but also the authority of Scripture.  Let's keep our discourse here outside of blasphemy, OK?

What guilt by donation is is an argument, one of the genetic fallacies, that because of something linked to the item, it is somehow corrupted.  It is, to use a football analogy, a "15 yards and loss of down" type of logical fallacy, egregious because it so clearly shows the speaker is either unwilling or unable to make a real argument.  To avoid them, you ask a simple question; are you addressing the argument or thing, or are you addressing origins? 

And no, God never, ever uses guilt by association.  Again, that is a frontal attack on the first fundamental, and if God used guilt by association, we would see all kinds of things that were destroyed not because they were part of pagan worship, but rather because they resembled it.  And in that light, it was not all trees used by pagans that were cut down, but only those actually in sacred groves that served as high places or temples.  Also in that light, 1 Cor. 10:25 specifically allows  believers to actually eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols.

Also of note is that if we applied guilt by association consistently--anything associated with sin ought to be abhorred--we therefore more or less place any number of things God intended us to enjoy for His honor off limits, more or less saying "you cannot enjoy common grace".    Again, frontal attack on the first fundamental.

Thankfully, we do not generally do this, but what we do is somewhat worse; we employ this bad logic selectively, so only "some" things get proscribed.  "Joik" of the Sami tells us a lot, for example, but anything associated with the Yoruba (any African-American music or its descendants) is out of line.  We happily use "An der Freude" (Schiller's pantheistic ode) and "Deutschland Ueber Alles" with new lyrics, but not something that uses African-American genre and styles.

In other words, the method becomes a way of reinforcing our own biases that often becomes (e.g. "The roots of rock & roll lie deep in the soil of voodoo") outright racist.

Maybe it's time to abandon this sinful method of "exegesis" and listen to what Scripture actually says.  Things like Psalm 150 and its prescription of percussive instruments and dancing.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

AndyE's picture

Based on what you just said, would it be right or wrong for you to wear a ball cap sporting a playboy bunny head on it to your next family gathering or church picnic?

Bert Perry's picture

Andy, are you really going to say that you can't figure out any reasons not to wear certain logo apparel besides "guilt by association"?  Say, when you wear apparel with a logo, you're advertising for and endorsing that entity,  and probably also providing them with revenue?  That's not guilt by association, that's guilt by guilt.  

This isn't that hard, and when we fundamentalists sink into guilt by association fallacies, we immediately torpedo our credibility with anyone who cares about sound logic.  Want to talk about harming one's testimony? There you go.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

AndyE's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Andy, are you really going to say that you can't figure out any reasons not to wear certain logo apparel besides "guilt by association"?  Say, when you wear apparel with a logo, you're advertising for and endorsing that entity,  and probably also providing them with revenue?  That's not guilt by association, that's guilt by guilt.  

It's the association that makes is an advertizement for the brand, the entity, the philosophy, and the sin.  There is literally nothing wrong with a bunny head -- but it is the association with wickedness that makes it wrong for all the things you just said. You're right. It's not that hard. And it is valid and imperative to do this same sort of thing with music.

Bert Perry's picture

The Playboy symbol is not a generic bunny.  It's been trademarked since before Kennedy became President.  Guilt by association fallacy (ahem) would be a generic bunny not infringing on Playboy Enterprises' trademark.  You were writing, however, about hats with the trademarked symbol.  That is not guilt by association, that is advertising, endorsement, and most likely revenue for Playboy Enterprises, and would be interpreted as such by anyone familiar with that symbol.

And conversely, a hat with a bunny on it (e.g. those in Rack, Shack, and Benny ) would not be guilty by mere rodential similarity to the Playboy trademark.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

By divine design, Genesis 4 is the earliest recorded account of humans engaging in divine worship. God has not given us any evidence about any prior worship being offered to Him.

The account of Cain's unacceptable worship in Genesis 4 therefore serves as a good test case for probing how believers choose to interpret Scripture.

Undeniably, by divine design, God has called our attention to the fact that what Cain offered to God was different than what Abel offered to God. The account also explicitly informs us that God Himself instructed Cain that he had not done well in what he did when he had worshiped Him:

Gen. 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Clearly, the focus in what God has revealed in the passage is on Cain's not doing what was right in worship. Given that the text also calls our attention explicitly to the differing offerings that Cain and Abel brought, the proper interpretation is that God rejected Cain and his offering because what Cain offered to God was not acceptable to Him.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

By divine design, Genesis 4 is the earliest recorded account of humans engaging in divine worship. God has not given us any evidence about any prior worship being offered to Him.

The account of Cain's unacceptable worship in Genesis 4 therefore serves as a good test case for probing how believers choose to interpret Scripture.

Undeniably, by divine design, God has called our attention to the fact that what Cain offered to God was different than what Abel offered to God. The account also explicitly informs us that God Himself instructed Cain that he had not done well in what he did when he had worshiped Him:

Gen. 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Clearly, the focus in what God has revealed in the passage is on Cain's not doing what was right in worship. Given that the text also calls our attention explicitly to the differing offerings that Cain and Abel brought, the proper interpretation is that God rejected Cain and his offering because what Cain offered to God was not acceptable to Him.

Wouldn't it be true that "what" Cain offered to God would have been acceptable during the time of Moses? Deuteronomy 14:22 says, "Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year." According to this, ALL crops are acceptable to God when offered as a tithe. Did the acceptability of crops change between the time of Cain and the time of Moses?

Perhaps it was the "manner" in which the offerings were given that caused God to say that Cain "doest not well". We don't have access to any specific instructions that Cain and Abel were given in regards to their offering, so we should be very careful about being definitive regarding the details of God's rejection, since God Himself didn't give us those details. Saying definitively that the rejection was because of "what" Cain offered seems to contradict "what" God finds acceptable later on.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

In the GBA discussion, I think we're missing (or at least not discussing) the distinction between something actually being wrong, vs. being a problem because of our human fallenness and tendency to associate things in our minds.

I obviously agree that wearing the PB bunny would be an issue due to what it actually represents, but I have certainly heard of at least one case where a missionary saw a native wearing that symbol without having any idea what it represented.  It was much more a problem for the missionary than for the persons in that culture who didn't have that association and thus no idea what was behind it.

In a sort-of similar vein, I remember back in my college days, the show "Miami Vice" was big on TV at the time.  Some guys at my Christian college started wearing the light or white suits with rolled up sleeves that looked just like what the characters on that show wore at the time.  The college made wearing that look against the rules.  Were those clothes themselves wrong?  No.  Was that look wrong?  Certainly not directly, and not in my mind, but it was quite obvious to most who saw those wearing them at the time what they were trying to look like, and it wasn't something very sanctified.  Silly rule?  Maybe, but it wasn't really about the actual particulars, but teaching people why they should try to not look like the world.

Avoiding the use of something (just like dealt with by Paul in all the liberty passages) because of people's consciences is not the same as a GBA fallacy, because it's not declaring that thing to be inherently wrong, but instead, better not to be used in a certain context.  With music, even with a background that heard Garlock preaching from the pulpit, I remain unconvinced that any music is inherently wrong of itself, but there are "association" reasons (among others) I don't listen to or use music (even without problem lyrics) that sounds like e.g. Black Sabbath or AC/DC (beyond the fact I don't enjoy that style of music anyway) or makes people think of those groups or their culture.  Avoiding music for the sake of my conscience or others' consciences hardly seems a bad thing to do, and is certainly not the same as declaring that music inherently wrong because of its associations.

Even if it weren't use of the PB logo, I wouldn't wear anything that even reminded me of it.  In fact, even if it were noticeably different, I'd almost certainly not wear anything with a solitary white bunny icon on it, simply because the association would be too strong in my mind, and probably the minds of many people in our culture.  I couldn't necessarily make that decision for others, but my doing so for myself is not use of the GBA fallacy, but a desire to keep my thoughts sanctified (which is hard enough already), as well as help others.

Now, if it comes to a church codifying association issues in a church covenant, I'm mostly against that due to the fact that culture changes, and church covenants and similar have a way of becoming tradition, then law, without understanding the reasons behind the original thinking.  I understand why people do it, and their reasons for doing so are often good ones, but they don't always take the time to understand the ramifications, or to make sure that such things are periodically re-evaluated often rather than just becoming equal to the doctrinal statement in the minds of members.  Still, that doesn't mean that we can't encourage people to do everything they can (even if their application is different) to avoid being culturally too much like the world around us in appearance or behavior.  Doing so is NOT falling into the GBA fallacy.

Dave Barnhart

Bert Perry's picture

No, I am NOT fine with declaring all images of long-eared rodents off limits because Hugh Hefner abused it.  My goodness, where does it stop?  Do we ban artwork featuring donkeys (say Jesus coming into Jerusalem, or Mary to Bethlehem) because the Democrats associate it with abortion?  

It is worth noting as well that the very premiss of "how do we prevent people from wearing Playboy themed hats if we don't use guilt by association fallacies?" is itself a slippery slope fallacy.  Brothers, is all of logic negotiable when it comes to protecting our cultural preferences?  It sure seems that way sometimes.  For my part, I don't think we can seriously claim to be people of the Word, adherents to the first fundamental, if we're going to ignore the basic rules of logic when it's convenient to us.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Bert Perry wrote:

No, I am NOT fine with declaring all images of long-eared rodents off limits because Hugh Hefner abused it.  My goodness, where does it stop?  Do we ban artwork featuring donkeys (say Jesus coming into Jerusalem, or Mary to Bethlehem) because the Democrats associate it with abortion?  

As I made fairly clear, I don't believe that my applications (based on association or otherwise) should be rules for others.  I would do that only with applications stated directly in scripture.  I will still make such fences for myself (without worrying that it is a slippery slope that will never end), and encourage others to make their own, taking the consciences of others into consideration, as I believe is biblical.

Logic is great as far as it goes, and I respect and use it every day.  The Bible has the right to overrule our human logic to make pronouncements we can't reconcile (c.f. the endless debate over how to balance sovereignty and free will, where God chooses, and we somehow still condemn ourselves).  I don't believe something is made evil by association, but I also don't believe that that is the end of the discussion either.

Dave Barnhart

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