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Is Atheism a Dodge?
Posted: 11 February 2012 11:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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DarronS - 11 February 2012 07:46 AM

I understand you now. You are too weak to accept reality so you wrap yourself in comforting mythology. As Bertrand Russell said, there is something contemptible about people like you.

Well, sure: If I was on my way to hell and I met someone who was going on to eternal life even though they may have committed technically more sins than I, then sure, I would find that person contemptible.

Perhaps it is the smugness of your fear-turned-faith that we find so offensive. Perhaps it is willful ignorance you display while refusing to open your mind to reality that annoys us so much. Perhaps it is your refusal to think outside the narrow confines of your religious views that frustrates us. Perhaps it is the same tired clichés you offer in lieu of reasoning that we find so exasperating. Perhaps it is the combination of all these that make us lose respect for your and your fellow theists.

First off, respect from atheists is not something a believer should court. If the atheists respect you and still won’t turn and be saved, then there’s something wrong with you as a believer.

But let’s say you’re right and that there is no God, no spirit world, no life after death, then how dare you tell me how I should live my life or what I should believe? You’re just dust to dust like me. In fact, you’re taking up natural resources that I could use to further my comfort, or at the least you have possessions I could take to enjoy my life better, and how dare you tell me I can’t do that? We’re just evolving animals right? The fittest survive, right?

Now I don’t know you and you don’t know me, so I don’t know which is the case, but what if I’m stronger than you? On what grounds do you appeal to my generosity, my love of humanity to stop me from killing you? (and yes, I’m deliberatly quoting the drill sergeant from “An Officer and a Gentleman”)

Are you going to duck out with some mock sense of outrage and claim, “If I don’t know; I must be a sociopath?” Or do you have a legitimate response to this ethical question, because it happens all over the world all the time.

[ Edited: 11 February 2012 11:10 AM by Egor ]
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Posted: 11 February 2012 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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macgyver - 11 February 2012 06:51 AM

This is so full of ignorant self serving assumptions its really hard to know where to begin. What makes you think an atheist is any less bound to do the right thing than a believer. For an atheist there is only one lifetime. There is no opportunity to redeem ones self. We are more inclined not less to get it right the first time. As others have said above, we can;t go around killing and raping and then expect absolution from some non-existent being.

Well that’s the point. You don’t need absolution, if you are correct in your atheism.

What total BS and arrogance it is every time a religious believer claims that atheists can’t be moral. An athiest’s morality is a far more honest morality because its not forced upon them. They perform moral acts because they want to not because they are concerned about eternal damnation.

QED. What if tommorrow, you decide you don’t want to? Then what was good today is bad tomorrow, and what was bad is good.

Your comment that no one is moral is incredibly self serving. Perhaps you are such an immoral individual that you need the restriction of religious handcuffs to keep you from committing heinous acts. That doesn’t mean everyone else is. Its just comforting for you to believe everyone else is the same as you because it absolves you of a certain amount of self loathing and guilt.


Believe me, the loathing and guilt remain. But you sound pretty content with yourself. How did you do that? Are you saying you never sin?

If your argument were true then most crimes would be committed by atheists and in fact just the opposite is true. the vast majority of criminals are believers even before they get to prison where their motives for believing could easily be questioned.


Anyone can mouth any belief. What we believe is evidenced by what we do. Granted, there are the slip ups, even murder could be a slip up in some cases, but for the most part, what we believe, we do.

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Posted: 11 February 2012 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Egor - 11 February 2012 11:08 AM
DarronS - 11 February 2012 07:46 AM

I understand you now. You are too weak to accept reality so you wrap yourself in comforting mythology. As Bertrand Russell said, there is something contemptible about people like you.

Well, sure: If I was on my way to hell and I met someone who was going on to eternal life even though they may have committed technically more sins than I, then sure, I would find that person contemptible.

There you go again, limiting your thinking to the narrow confines of your religion. I am not going to hell because hell does not exist.

But let’s say you’re right and that there is no God, no spirit world, no life after death, then how dare you tell me how I should live my life or what I should believe? You’re just dust to dust like me. In fact, you’re taking up natural resources that I could use to further my comfort, or at the least you have possessions I could take to enjoy my life better, and how dare you tell me I can’t do that? We’re just evolving animals right? The fittest survive, right?

Now I don’t know you and you don’t know me, so I don’t know which is the case, but what if I’m stronger than you? On what grounds do you appeal to my generosity, my love of humanity to stop me from killing you? (and yes, I’m deliberatly quoting the drill sergeant from “An Officer and a Gentleman”)

Are you going to duck out with some mock sense of outrage and claim, “If I don’t know; I must be a sociopath?” Or do you have a legitimate response to this ethical question, because it happens all over the world all the time.

The key word is ethical. There are many ethical theories which preclude you from killing me. Get your nose out of your Bible and read some of the great works. Hume and Peter Singer are good starting points. Utilitarianism, Consequentialism and Virtue Ethics all give us excellent reasons to cooperate and not go around just taking what we want. If ethical considerations are not good enough for you then consider the consequences. Do you want to spend the rest of your life in prison? Also, consider that if you try to kill me I will defend myself. You may be bigger and stronger than me, but that does not mean you will come out of the fight unscathed, or even alive.

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Posted: 11 February 2012 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Egor - 11 February 2012 10:49 AM
GdB - 11 February 2012 12:26 AM

Say, I give you a ticket for the movies. Would you refuse it with the argument that the movie will come to an end?

Funny you should mention that, because who can deny that life is all about the end, just like in a movie. Either we are racing toward annihilation, or we are racing toward judgment. If annihilation, then what we do doesn’t matter. If judgment, then everything we do matters.

Would you mind to answer the question?

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Posted: 11 February 2012 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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DarronS - 11 February 2012 11:39 AM

There you go again, limiting your thinking to the narrow confines of your religion. I am not going to hell because hell does not exist.

So the wager goes.

The key word is ethical. There are many ethical theories which preclude you from killing me. Get your nose out of your Bible and read some of the great works. Hume and Peter Singer are good starting points. Utilitarianism, Consequentialism and Virtue Ethics all give us excellent reasons to cooperate and not go around just taking what we want.

Uh huh, tell that to the drug dealers here in New Orleans. Tell them what a treat it is to read Hume or Singer. Why don’t you get your nose out of your sophistry and realize that only might makes right. So if there is no God, then my might makes right. If there is a God, then His might makes right. Will you at least admit that obvious truth?

If ethical considerations are not good enough for you then consider the consequences. Do you want to spend the rest of your life in prison?

No I don’t, but what if I use my IQ and I can get away with it? Intelligence is part of might makes right. It’s either mine or God’s. Prison is part of might makes right—and prison is what you have on your side. So, who’s mightier?

Also, consider that if you try to kill me I will defend myself. You may be bigger and stronger than me, but that does not mean you will come out of the fight unscathed, or even alive.

Good point. You might kick my ass or shoot me. So what have we learned? Might makes right. Either mine, yours or God’s. If there is no God, we better get some guns (or heck, let’s go whole hog and spring for the hydrogen bomb, 60 megatons!).

But if there is a God, and if He is opposed to my committing armed robbery, and I know that He is in my case, then even if I can get away with it, I may lose my relationship with God, and if I do, I will go to hell. And I can’t kick God’s ass or shoot Him or blow Him up.

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Posted: 11 February 2012 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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GdB - 11 February 2012 12:26 AM

Say, I give you a ticket for the movies. Would you refuse it with the argument that the movie will come to an end?

No, because a movie is all about the end. Life is also all about the end, but in the case of atheism, it would be like going to a movie that ended abruptly before the dénouement , that is before the plot points had been resolved. And if that’s what I knew about the movie, I would never want to waste my time seeing it. In fact, I’d kind of be a fool to sit through it, wouldn’t I?

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Posted: 11 February 2012 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Egor - 10 February 2012 11:50 PM

They absolutely refuse to look at the implications of their belief system.

I said it in another thread, but I think it bears repeating here: an appeal to consequences is invalid when it comes to the question of whether or not God exists.

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Posted: 11 February 2012 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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Egor - 11 February 2012 10:54 AM

I can’t speak for all theists on this one, but only for myself as a Veridican. Life is a training ground; everything is a lesson or a test. If one does not transform into the substance of Christ, spiritually speaking, they will not be able to learn the lessons, pass the tests, or go on to heaven where they are given much more power to create than they have here—kind of like a lucid dream. In death, we do not find God. We only go on to the next phase of existence on our way to a union with God—if we are transformed into Christ before death, that is. If not, well, that’s another topic for another post.

Quite a baroque story, and far as I can tell not even consistent with what the vast majority of Christians believe, much less people of other religions.

Doesn’t it concern you that you are one of the only people in history and living today to have “realized” this “truth”? Do you really think you are that good?

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Posted: 11 February 2012 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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Egor - 11 February 2012 11:08 AM

But let’s say you’re right and that there is no God, no spirit world, no life after death, then how dare you tell me how I should live my life or what I should believe? You’re just dust to dust like me. In fact, you’re taking up natural resources that I could use to further my comfort, or at the least you have possessions I could take to enjoy my life better, and how dare you tell me I can’t do that? We’re just evolving animals right? The fittest survive, right?

You shouldn’t do certain things because they are immoral, not because some powerful man in the sky is going to hurt you in some unfathomable way after you die. (Nor, for that matter, because you are going to be reincarnated into the soul of a toad or some such thing).

We have no evidence of powerful men in the sky, just as we have no evidence of reincarnation. So adverting to them as the supposed solution to ethical problems is useless. One might as well say that Sauron will come and get you. Or the Joker.

If someone doesn’t care about morality, then there really is no reasoning with them. Then it’s best to lock them up for the safety of their neighbors. Fortunately we have governments and police forces who are at least somewhat good at this most of the time.

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Posted: 11 February 2012 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Egor - 11 February 2012 10:49 AM

What is even worse, is the fact that religious people will accept the criminal in their midst, as long as he/she repents, yet you condemn atheists as being immoral just because they don’t believe in a god and therefore no redemption.

Absolutely! And not just religious people. People in general would rather be associated with a repentant criminal than a known atheist. That’s because the criminal seems to have a moral foundation. The atheist is just good at the time for no known reason, which means they might not be good five minutes from now.

From my perspective, your argument is this: it is better to have faith, so that you will be threatened by hell, so that you will keep your faith along with the attached moral code, than it is to base your beliefs on reason and evidence. I hope you see from my perspective that this is unacceptable.

Not to mention, for those who know God, being around an atheist is literally being around someone who is spiritually dead, and that’s just a very negative environment.

And being around people who are spiritually alive can be scary and dangerous, because they’re delusional and who knows what they’ll convince themselves of next - there is no evidence I can present to refute their faith.

And let me ask you this: If atheism is true, how do you ever come to the notion of something being good or bad? Things would just be what they are—no right or wrong about it.

In the absolute physical sense, that is true. But secular ethics is a human construct, a contract. Something is good or bad as defined by the contract. In that sense it is objective. But it is not absolute like theistic ethics, which is good because it can change according to new data about the world.

Write4U - 11 February 2012 04:21 AM

This “helping hand” is practised by many higher order mammals. This is clearly evident in our emotional response to seeing a newborn baby or even an animal. Don’t we love and care for puppies and kittens? Don’t we try to heal a wounded animal?

Yes we do. Don’t we build chemical weapons and nuclear bombs and drop them on those same puppies and kittens and newborn babies? I find your statement about our innate goodness particularly appalling juxtaposed to the tortures in Africa where the newborn is cut out of the mother and then tossed up and caught on a bayonet. Or where we good Americans call waterboarding “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Worldwide violence per capita is on the decline. Secularism is on the rise. Correlation is not causation, but this doesn’t seem to support your position that man is inherently evil, does it? If your position is true, with rising secularism we should expect to see more violence. This isn’t the case.

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Posted: 11 February 2012 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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Egor - 11 February 2012 11:08 AM

But let’s say you’re right and that there is no God, no spirit world, no life after death, then how dare you tell me how I should live my life or what I should believe?

How dare I reason with you and present evidence to support my arguments? How dare you tell me how I should live my life and what I should believe without any good reason or evidence to back it up!

You’re just dust to dust like me. In fact, you’re taking up natural resources that I could use to further my comfort, or at the least you have possessions I could take to enjoy my life better, and how dare you tell me I can’t do that? We’re just evolving animals right? The fittest survive, right?

Sure, go ahead and try behaving immorally for a living. See how well you survive

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Posted: 11 February 2012 12:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Egor - 11 February 2012 12:03 PM

The key word is ethical. There are many ethical theories which preclude you from killing me. Get your nose out of your Bible and read some of the great works. Hume and Peter Singer are good starting points. Utilitarianism, Consequentialism and Virtue Ethics all give us excellent reasons to cooperate and not go around just taking what we want.

Uh huh, tell that to the drug dealers here in New Orleans. Tell them what a treat it is to read Hume or Singer. Why don’t you get your nose out of your sophistry and realize that only might makes right. So if there is no God, then my might makes right. If there is a God, then His might makes right. Will you at least admit that obvious truth?

Jesus Christ, is this what your religion teaches you? Might makes right? And you call us immoral?

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Posted: 11 February 2012 01:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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Egor - 10 February 2012 06:11 PM
Occam. - 10 February 2012 06:02 PM

By the way, Everyday Atheist, I think the reason Egor hasn’t responded to your question about “two-way communication” requires him to admit auditory delusions. smile
===
Occam

Oh yeah, you’re so inherently moral aren’t you? You just have morality built in to your genes, don’t you? That’s why you immediately—immediately—resort to ad hominem attacks, against the very rules of the forum you moderate, just as soon as you are challenged by a theist.

Like I said, the one thing I know is you’re not good, because no one is. The difference between you and I is that I know I’m not, and I don’t delude myself.

I can’t help but smile at your double standard, Egor.  You immediately take umbrage at my joking comment, while repeatedly stating that atheists don’t and can’t have morals, far more of an ad hominum attack.  It seems apparent to me from your posts that you have no capability of objective thinking, but must attack positions that are different from your own.  According to psychological studies, this behavior is driven by hidden uncertainty, and hoping to bolster your belief if you are able to convert others.  I suggest that you work towards being more comfortable with your subconscious shift towards atheism.

Occam

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Posted: 11 February 2012 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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Egor - 11 February 2012 12:03 PM

Uh huh, tell that to the drug dealers here in New Orleans. Tell them what a treat it is to read Hume or Singer. Why don’t you get your nose out of your sophistry and realize that only might makes right. So if there is no God, then my might makes right. If there is a God, then His might makes right. Will you at least admit that obvious truth?

I’m so disappointed! I grew up in New Orleans and found very few people with ideas so ignorant as yours. The music and diversity usually opened minds. Of course the educational system there left much to be desired.

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Posted: 11 February 2012 01:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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dougsmith - 11 February 2012 12:29 PM

Quite a baroque story, and far as I can tell not even consistent with what the vast majority of Christians believe, much less people of other religions.

That’s because I’m not a Christian. I’m a Veridican. I suppose I’m a Christian in the sense that I follow Christ, but I’m not part of the Christian religion.

Doesn’t it concern you that you are one of the only people in history and living today to have “realized” this “truth”? Do you really think you are that good?

Maybe I’m a trendsetter. Who knows?

dougsmith - 11 February 2012 12:35 PM

You shouldn’t do certain things because they are immoral, not because some powerful man in the sky is going to hurt you in some unfathomable way after you die. (Nor, for that matter, because you are going to be reincarnated into the soul of a toad or some such thing).

Immoral says who?

We have no evidence of powerful men in the sky, just as we have no evidence of reincarnation. So adverting to them as the supposed solution to ethical problems is useless. One might as well say that Sauron will come and get you. Or the Joker.

You’re right, but there’s lots of evidence for the existence of God.

If someone doesn’t care about morality, then there really is no reasoning with them. Then it’s best to lock them up for the safety of their neighbors. Fortunately we have governments and police forces who are at least somewhat good at this most of the time.

Morality says who? The law? People with guns and prison cells? Fine, just admit that is the basis of your morality. Might makes right. Then we can take the next step in the debate.

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