cut up chuck – the failure of utilitarianism

Economist Bryan Caplan has a post about utilitarianism in which he describes a scenario he calls “Cut up Chuck”:

The “Cut Up Chuck” Case: A homeless guy named Chuck comes into the ER with a treatable leg wound. But instead of treating his wound, Dan the ER doctor realizes that Chuck’s heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys are all healthy and in fact are all matches for five patients upstairs who are at death’s door and in need of donor organs. So Dr. Dan cuts up Chuck, passes out his organs, and saves five people who otherwise would have died. Question: Did Dr. Dan do the right thing?

One major point of the scenario is that it illustrates the common understanding that it is not right to cut up one random person to save five others. In other words, utilitarianism is wrong. The goal of any social or governmental program should not be “to maximize well-being”, to “maximize happiness” or to “maximize life saving”. Personal rights have a huge weight in morality.

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the apostles taught the law

When debating covenant theologians (in this context, covenant theologians are those who believe Paul and Jesus, James and the twelve taught the same ministry), it is not a fruitful use of time to talk about the differences between Paul and James:

Jas 2:24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

It is not enough to show these Christians that both Paul and James have near identical, opposite statements (even using the same Greek work for works/deeds and justification). The faith-alone crowd will attempt to claim that James was speaking in a different context about a non-salvation issue. Alternatively, the works-faith crowd will likewise try to explain away Paul (by saying he is only referring to symbolic law).

Although the two statements on face value contradict, one would have to build an overaching contextual framework for both in a failed attempt to change the immutable minds of the covenant theologians. It does not work.

Instead, the better path is Acts. Acts contains at minimum 3 very distinct instances of the apostles still teaching Jewish symbolic law: Acts 10, Acts 11, and Acts 21.

In Acts 10, Peter is praying on a rooftop. This is about 5-10 years after Jesus had died. Peter sees a vision. It is unclean meat. Peter is revolted.

Act 10:13 And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”
Act 10:14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”
Act 10:15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.”
Act 10:16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.

It takes the voice over three times to get through the Peter. Peter is adamant against eating non-kosher food. This tells us something extremely important about all the previous books of Acts: works were still being taught up until that point. There was no hint with Peter that the kosher food laws had been abolished. Peter becomes thoroughly confused:

Act 10:17 Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate.

Peter wonders about this for a while. This new revelation was shocking to him and he did not know what to make of it. It was not until men from Cornelius arrived that Peter put events together. Of note is Peter’s intelligence. Although his vision was not about Gentiles, Peter learned that the Gentiles being grafted in was paralleled in the kosher food law vision. Peter is not a dense individual, but until this point, Peter had not even considered that kosher food laws were abolished or Gentiles were grafted in.

Again, Peter was the head of the church, an apostle of Jesus, and had fellowshipped with Jesus for 3 years during Jesus’ lifetime and the 40 days after Jesus rose from the dead. Peter knew what Jesus taught. The clear conclusion was that whatever Jesus taught, it included kosher food laws and Gentile exclusion.

In this text, Peter has no clue that the kosher food laws were in jeopardy or that Gentiles were going to be accepted into salvation. Peter states as much. Peter is summoned to a Gentile’s house, and Peter’s first reaction is to talk about how Jewish-Gentile relations are still taboo:

Act 10:28 Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Not only is Peter astonished at this, but also Peter’s friends:

Act 10:45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.

None of these people, even after listening to the ministry of Jesus for three years, had any clue that the Gentiles would be accepted by God. In the next chapter, even more Jews are shocked at this. The text makes clear that they had only been going to the Jews thus far (Act 11:19).

As of Acts 10, no one had any clue that the symbolic law, including kosher, was not still required. For an entire 5-10 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, all Christians were teaching Jewish law! They are all shocked when kosher food laws are deemed non-enforced and Gentiles are given salvation. There is no way that Jesus taught anything except keeping the Mosaic Law. But the covenant theologians will hold that Peter was confused. They believe that for 5-10 years, the entire church was confused about the basic salvation method.

In Acts 15, Peter and James resolve a dispute between their converts and Paul. James and Peter’s converts confront Paul in Galatia and start preaching circumcision. Paul responds harshly and the matter is appealed to Peter and James. Peter and James, at this time, are still preaching circumcision. They hold debates on the issue, with various Christian factions arguing their points. This was not a resolved issue at this point (14 to 18 years after Jesus).

Peter solves the dispute by producing a letter explaining that the Gentiles (only the Gentiles) are exempt from circumcision. This pacifies the Jewish Christians who were in arms about Paul teaching not to circumcise. Both Peter and James, until this point, had not been teaching faith alone, had still been teaching circumcision. All of Christianity believed that circumcision was critical to salvation. This is at least 14 to 18 years after Jesus’ death. To stress this point: 14 to 18 years later, all of Christianity still believes that circumcision is necessary. The incident in Acts 10 did little to change Peter’s core teaching. Peter may or may not have taught kosher food laws, but he definitely was teaching circumcision. Peter’s compromise still mandates Jews circumcise, and only creates an exception for the Gentiles. If the text does not make this clear, the entire resolution is summarized in Acts 21.

In Acts 21, Paul for the last time goes to Jerusalem. There Paul meets with James and the elders. James summarizes Acts 15:

Act 21:25 But concerning the Gentiles who believe [contrasted to the Jews in the previous verses], we have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.”

Notice “we have written”. This is James talking. James is summarizing the resolution of Acts 15. The resolution was that the Gentiles would not have to follow the Mosaic Law, but the Jews would still be required to keep the law. James had been preaching circumcision for 30 years after Jesus. Additionally, James is very concerned that Paul was teaching Jews not to circumcise.

The other events in Acts 21 are of interest as well. Paul is prophesied to be harmed in Jerusalem, but Paul goes anyways. Paul meets with James and the elders to tell them what great things were happening among the Gentiles. James interrupts. James points out that Christian Jews in Jerusalem were all zealous for the law. James relays reports to Paul that Paul had been teaching Jews not to circumcise (true reports (see Romans)). James reminds Paul that the compromise was that Gentiles did not have to follow the law, which did not extend to Jews. James asks Paul to pay for purification of certain Jews to prove to the Jewish Christians that he still taught works.

Paul accepted. But the Christian Jews and religious Jews riot. Paul is rescued by Romans and shipped aboard.

What this tells us is that all of Jerusalem still believed in circumcision. Furthermore, Peter and James did not preach against circumcision or else would have suffered similar fates. In fact, James encourages Paul to counter Paul’s own previous preaching on circumcision. There is no evidence that Peter and James ever gave up teaching circumcision and works for the Jews. Acts shows this very evidently.

When covenant theologians are forced to address Acts, they would rather talk about crazy theories that reconcile the book of James with the works of Paul. That is why showing that basic read skills and the book of Acts thoroughly discredit their theology: theology that they force onto Acts and create crazy narratives if explored.

Questions that Covenant Theologians will not answer:

Prior to Acts 10, was Peter under the impression that the Kosher food laws were required?
In Acts 21, did James believe that circumcision was still required for Jews?
In Acts 15, had the issue of gentile circumcision been resolved yet in the church?

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mosaic sex laws

In Deuteronomy 22 we find the primary Mosaic laws on adultery, rape and consensual sex. The first scenario that is presented is a man marrying a woman. The issue at stake is if she advertised herself as a virgin and if she was really a virgin:

Deu 22:13 “If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and detests her,
Deu 22:14 and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings a bad name on her, and says, ‘I took this woman, and when I came to her I found she was not a virgin,’
Deu 22:15 then the father and mother of the young woman shall take and bring out the evidence of the young woman’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate.
Deu 22:16 And the young woman’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man as wife, and he detests her.
Deu 22:17 Now he has charged her with shameful conduct, saying, “I found your daughter was not a virgin,” and yet these are the evidences of my daughter’s virginity.’ And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city.
Deu 22:18 Then the elders of that city shall take that man and punish him;
Deu 22:19 and they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought a bad name on a virgin of Israel. And she shall be his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days.

In the first conditional, a man just hates his wife for any reason. The man understands that he can get out of the marriage by claiming she was falsely married to him as a virgin. The man claims this is the case. To retort, the parents advocate for their daughter, producing evidence of her virginity (the bloody marital night sheets). The man then is punished and has to pay a fine. The man also loses divorce rights.

But if the woman is indeed not a virgin, then she has defrauded her husband and is put to death.

Deu 22:20 “But if the thing is true, and evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman,
Deu 22:21 then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done a disgraceful thing in Israel, to play the harlot in her father’s house. So you shall put away the evil from among you.

In Israel, it was extremely important not to falsely advertise your daughter as a virgin to her betrothed. Any de-virgining of a betrothed woman was akin to adultery (as the text later states). The punishment for any adultery was death. The text continues:

Deu 22:22 “If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall die—the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so you shall put away the evil from Israel.

This explicitly bans adultery. Both the woman and the man are stoned together (despite the myth that only the woman was to be punished). In this case, a man (married or unmarried) was having consensual sex with a married woman. This text does not seem to cover married (or unmarried) men having sex with unmarried women (like Abraham and Hagar (Gen 16:4)). That activity seems not to have been a crime or sin.

The text goes on to extend adultery to cover betrothed women as well:

Deu 22:23 “If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her,
Deu 22:24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he humbled his neighbor’s wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you.

The text makes clear that the two individuals have sex in a city. Because there were plenty of potential witnesses the woman could not claim she was raped. The woman would have had ample opportunity to stop the rape before or while it was occurring.

What this text is hedging against is two adulterers found in adultery, and the woman trying to escape judgment by claiming she was raped. If she had ample opportunity to expose the rape, she cannot claim rape unless her claim was reasonable. The text explains what claims would be reasonable:

Deu 22:25 “But if a man finds a betrothed young woman in the countryside, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die.
Deu 22:26 But you shall do nothing to the young woman; there is in the young woman no sin deserving of death, for just as when a man rises against his neighbor and kills him, even so is this matter.
Deu 22:27 For he found her in the countryside, and the betrothed young woman cried out, but there was no one to save her.

In these verses, a man finds a woman in a field. This location distinction is important because previously the text talked about a married woman being raped in a populated city. If she did not cry out to attempt to get help then it was assumed that she was performing consensual sex. In a deserted field or warehouse or park, a woman had no opportunity to expose the rape. Her claim should be believed. The implication is that only the man (the rapist) would be put to death.

As in any good court of law, the Mosaic Law deals with evidence. If a woman’s claim is probable, it is to be believed. If a woman’s claim is improbable, then it is to be discarded. Innocent women are not to be put to death. Rapists and adulterers will always be put to death.

But then there is a case of consensual sex (where the woman is unmarried and unbetrothed):

Deu 22:28 “If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out,
Deu 22:29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.

This text is contrasted to the rape in the previous verses. The “finding”, “seizing”, and “lying” are steps in the consensual sex, not the violent forcible rape in verse 22. If these young people are found out, they are to be married. It is best for the woman if this happens, because if she does not make this known then she might be executed for adultery if she then tried to marry under false pretenses. Because this premarital sex was done in secret, the man loses all rights to divorce.

Interestingly enough, the father could always reject the suitor. From Exodus:

Exo 22:16 “If a man entices a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price for her to be his wife.
Exo 22:17 If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the bride-price of virgins.

This admission disallowed suave, undesirable men from just seducing their ways into families. The father could overrule a match. Presumably, then he could advertise his daughter as a non-virgin for marriage.

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government licensing

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does God know all possible futures?

There are some Open Theists who claim God is omniscient in the sense that God knows all possible future possibilities. This claim is not that God knows every single choice any free creature can currently make, but that God knows every free creature that could ever exist and all possible choices they can ever make. No matter what events happen throughout all of history into the future, God, before He created the world, knew those events as one such possibility out of many.

So when people say “God knows all possible outcomes” a Christian needs to stop and wonder “do you have any evidence for that or are you just making up what you want God to be like.” Does God want to know “all possible futures”? Is that something that even matters to God? Does the Bible talk like that about God? Or are we adopting pagan notions of perfection?

God does not talk in the Bible of “knowing all possible futures”. In fact, God specifically states that several things had never entered His mind.

Jer 7:31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

Jer 19:5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:

Jer 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Israel had exceeded God’s expectations for wickedness by sacrificing their children to false gods. God becomes utterly disgusted, lamenting how evil this practice was. God never imagined that this would occur in Israel.

Another telling incident is when God asked the angels for suggestions. If God knew all possible futures, then surely God would not need to put on a farcical brainstorming session. The angel whose plan is adopted could have just been told by God to go do that activity. But the Bible depicts God as receiving suggestions and deciding between them:

1Ki 22:20 And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.
1Ki 22:21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.
1Ki 22:22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.

The Bible is not overly concerned with God’s knowledge. God does not pride Himself in knowledge. God does not try to claim all knowledge. God does not even seem to believe that knowledge, for knowledge’s sake, is worth knowing. The pagan obsession with knowledge is just not present in the pages of the Bible.

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geocentrism and planet movement

Every time I hear an atheist criticizing the Bible’s use of “sun rise” or a creationist criticizing the early Catholic belief that the sun revolved around the earth, I cringe. Both claims come from a fundamental lack of understanding the nature of space.

Does the Earth move or does it stay still? Well, it depends on your frame of reference. Almost everyone has had this experience: they are sitting in a car and all of a sudden the car in front of them starts slowly backing up (OR is your car slowly inching forward?). Unless your sense of balance detected movement, it is hard to tell. When looking at the car in front of you, your vision could not decipher which car was moving.

In the dead of space the problem is even worse. There are no real stable objects on which to gauge speed. There are no trees outside that serve as a frame of reference. If two rocketships are approaching each other there is absolutely no way to say how fast each is going. In fact, without a common point of reference, there is no right answer to the speed of two rocketships in space.

Now to geocentricism. Points of reference are arbitrary. People tend to say the Earth revolves around the Sun because the Sun is gigantic and exerts a lot of gravitational pull. But to say that the Earth revolves around the Sun is to assume the largest gravitational object is the correct point of reference. But that is not a rational dogma. After all, the planet on which we live seems like a better frame of reference for normal life. When I drive a car I say “I am driving 55 mph” not “55 mph plus the speed of the Earth as it goes around the Sun plus the spin of the earth”. Speaking as if the Sun a valid frame of reference for normal life would make you a crazy person.

Astronomers, instead, use the Sun when calculating orbits of planets (this makes the math easier). But astronomers quickly ditch the Sun when they want to calculate galaxy movement. Gravitational centers are not absolute references, but are a trick to make math easier.

Technically, both the Sun and the Earth revolve around each other if gravitational center was the correct frame of reference. Like a fat man swinging around a child, the fat man still has to lean back slightly to offset the weight of the child. The center of gravity is call a barycenter. While the Earth-Sun barycenter lays within the physical Sun, but it is not the center of the Sun. The Sun and the Earth rotate around a point that is not the center of the Sun.

What all this means is that the Earth is a valid frame of reference, but not the only one. Any point can be chosen for which to use. I can use my cat, my sock, a bird, anything. Using my cat’s location to determine my jogging speed or the orbits of the planets would be nigh ridiculous, but not impossible. But there is no absolute frame of reference.

Here is the leading astronomy blogger on this issue:

I have two things to say that might surprise you: first, geocentrism is a valid frame of reference, and second, heliocentrism is not any more or less correct.

Surprise! Of course, the details are important.

Look, I’m human: I say “The Sun rose in the east today”, and not “the rotation of the Earth relative to the rest of the Universe carried me around to a geometric vantage point where the horizon as seen from my location dropped below the Sun’s apparent position in space.” To us, sitting here on the surface of a planet, geocentrism is a perfectly valid frame of reference. Heck, astronomers use it all the time to point our telescopes. We map the sky using a projected latitude and longitude, and we talk about things rising and setting. That’s not only natural, but a very easy way to do those sorts of things. In that case, thinking geocentrically makes sense.

However, as soon as you want to send a space probe to another planet, geocentrism becomes cumbersome. In that case, it’s far easier to use the Sun as the center of the Universe and measure the rotating and revolving Earth as just another planet. The math works out better, and in fact it makes more common sense.

However, this frame of reference, called heliocentrism, still is not the best frame for everything. Astronomers who study other galaxies use a galactic coordinate system based on our Milky Way galaxy, and the Sun is just another star inside it. Call it galactocentrism, if you want, and it’s just as useful as geo- or heliocentrism in its limited way. And none of those systems work if I want to know turn-by-turn directions while driving; in that case I use a carcentric system (specifically a Volvocentric one).

You use coordinate systems depending on what you need.

So really, there is no one true center to anything. I suppose you could say the Universe is polycentric, or more realistically acentric. You picks your frame of reference and you takes your chances.

Geocentrism is only wrong when advocates think that all the planets revolve in near circles around the Earth, rather than a strange path that can best be mapped using the Sun as a reference.

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when the jews were embarrassed by God

In Exodus 32, Moses encounters God on Mount Sinai. God burns in wrath over Israel, who was turning to false gods at the foot of the mountain below. In the text, God wants to destroy Israel, but Moses lays out a rational argument as to why God should spare Israel. God acquiesces Moses and spares Israel:

Exo 32:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
Exo 32:10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
Exo 32:11 And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?
Exo 32:12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
Exo 32:13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.
Exo 32:14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

Around 329BC, Alexander the Great conquered Israel. Alexander’s main push in his conquered territories was supplanting native customs with Greek customs. This is called Hellenization. After his death, Israel was first ruled over the Ptolemaic Kingdom and then the Seleucid Empire. Both of these forces were Hellenized.

Somewhere in this timeframe, a book was written called Jubilees. The author’s intent seems to have been to advocate the use of a solar calendar (as opposed to a lunar calendar). In this book, the author recounts the story of creation through Moses using this solar calendar methodology. What is interesting to note is how the author departs from the text of the Bible with his own version of events. One such passage is this confrontation with God at Mount Sinai.

Whereas in the Biblical text, God is resolved on an action, persuaded by Moses to change, and then later angered by Israel’s continued rebellion, in the book of Jubilees God predicts everything that is going to happen and Moses does not prevail on God to change.

The author must have seen God responding to Moses (changing His mind) as degrading to God. When God is depicted as not knowing how Israel will behave in the future, and continually wanting to destroy them, the author replaces this with a calm version of God who incorporates Israel’s rebellion into an overall plan:

7. And do thou write for thyself all these words which I declare unto thee this day, for I know their rebellion and their stiff neck, before I bring them into the land of which I sware to their fathers, to Abraham and to Isaac and to Jacob, saying: “Unto your seed will I give a land flowing with milk and honey.
8. And they will eat and be satisfied, and they will turn to strange gods, to (gods) which cannot deliver them from aught of their tribulation: “and this witness shall be heard for a witness against them.
9. For they will forget all My commandments, (even) all that I command them, and they will walk after the Gentiles, and after their uncleanness, and after their shame, and will serve their gods, and these will prove unto them an offence and a tribulation and an affliction and a snare.
10. And many will perish and they will be taken captive, and will fall into the hands of the enemy, because they have forsaken My ordinances and My commandments, and the festivals of My covenant, and My sabbaths, and My holy place which I have hallowed for Myself in their midst, and My tabernacle, and My sanctuary, which I have hallowed for Myself in the midst of the land, that I should set My name upon it, and that it should dwell (there).
11. And they will make to themselves high places and groves and graven images, and they will worship, each his own (graven image), so as to go astray, and they will sacrifice their children to demons, and to all the works of the error of their hearts.
12. And I will send witnesses unto them, that I may witness against them, but they will not hear, and will slay the witnesses also, and they will persecute those who seek the law, and they will abrogate and change everything so as to work evil before My eyes.
13. And I shall hide My face from them, and I shall deliver them into the hand of the Gentiles for captivity, and for a prey, and for devouring, and I shall remove them from the midst of the land, and I shall scatter them amongst the Gentiles.
14. And they will forget all My law and all My commandments and all My judgments, and will go astray as to new moons, and sabbaths, and festivals, and jubilees, and ordinances.
15. And after this they will turn to Me from amongst the Gentiles with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their strength, and I shall gather them from amongst all the Gentiles, and they will seek Me, so that I shall be found of them, when they seek Me with all their heart and with all their soul.
16. And I shall disclose to them abounding peace with righteousness, and I shall remove them the plant of uprightness†, 1 with all My heart and with all My soul, and they will be for a blessing and not for a curse, and they will be the head and not the tail.
17. And I shall build My sanctuary in their midst, and I shall dwell with them, and I shall be their God and they will be My people in truth and righteousness.
18. And I shall not forsake them nor fail them; for I am the Lord their God.”

Moses responds:

19. And Moses fell on his face and prayed and said, “O Lord my God, do not forsake Thy people and Thy inheritance, so that they should wander in the error of their hearts, and do not deliver them into the hands of their enemies, the Gentiles, lest they should rule over them and cause them to sin against Thee.
20. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be lifted up upon Thy people, and create in them an upright spirit, and let not the spirit of Beliar rule over them to accuse them before Thee, and to ensnare them from all the paths of righteousness, so that they may perish from before Thy face.
21. But they are Thy people and Thy inheritance, which Thou hast delivered with Thy great power from the hands of the Egyptians: create in them a clean heart and a holy Spirit, and let them not be ensnared in their sins from henceforth until eternity.”

But in this version, Moses is overruled.

22. And the Lord said unto Moses: “I know their contrariness and their thoughts and their stiffneckedness, and they will not be obedient till they confess their own sin and the sin of their fathers.
23. And after this they will turn to Me in all uprightness and with all (their) heart and with all (their) soul, and I shall circumcise the foreskin of their heart and the foreskin of the heart of their seed, and I shall create in them a holy spirit, and I shall cleanse them so that they shall not turn away from Me from that day unto eternity.

The author of Jubilees was ashamed of God as depicted in Exodus 32. As such, the author created a new version in which God predicts everything that would happen, and is not convinced by Moses’ pleading. There is no reason not to think that this was a common Jewish view in the first four centuries BC. The Jews were embarrassed by God.

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