Damn Right I'm Angry: Part Two

kellym78's picture

Read Part One 

The Jewish Aphilosopher   (Yeah - the A was intentional - figure it out)
 

 

Conflating Ayn Rand's objectivist philosophy, of which I am not a fan, with atheism before the actual article even begins is just the tip of the iceberg. His depiction of atheists is nothing short of bigoted and disgusting. He's "The Jewish Philosopher"? I can't even find the philosophy under the pile of steaming shit that he excreted onto his site. I'm telling you this up front only because you're going to need those hip-high waders and possibly protection for your monitor before reading further.

He starts off with the claim that we cannot define what we mean by god when we say we don't believe in one. I have yet to see a theist who can give a coherent definition of their god, and they do believe in it. Projection, anybody? He claims that we don't mind the concept of a creator (which we do, mainly because it has no basis in factual data), but that we're terrified by the ever-looming punishment awaiting us from his loving god, and so we just pretend he doesn't exist. Let's turn this around-I propose that it is you doing the pretending. There is not a shred of evidence to support your ridiculous beliefs in some anthropomorphic voyeur with sadistic tendencies, but you are so terrified of the fact that one day you and everyone you love will simply cease to be. So, you just imagine that you're immortal so you don't have face the truth about life-there is no higher purpose other than what you assign to your life; there is no afterlife and you'll never see grandma again; sometimes life just sucks so learn to deal with it.

Atheists are also "invariably highly selfish people" and it's "impossible to find a well-documented case of an atheist who was kind, honest, sober, and sexually responsible." Of course, he also tries to covertly pull out the communism card as well. Where the fuck does this guy get off? What kind of statistical data can you present for your claims, Stein? We are all mean, lying, drunken nymphomaniacs, right? Well, chew on this for a minute-you are a bigoted asshole who can only validate his own beliefs by caricaturing those of others. One would expect more from a descendent of a group that once faced the same kind of prejudiced rhetoric.

He believes that science has disproven atheism with quantum mechanics and the Big Bang. First of all, the only way to disprove atheism is to prove theism. That certainly didn't happen with either of those scientific endeavors. He says that we "apparently don't depend on any evidence." Again, can anybody see how theists tend to project the shortcomings of their belief onto us? We don't need evidence to suspend belief in the supernatural! It is up to you to present the evidence that proves the existence of your imaginary friend! Apparently, Stein is even worse with science than he is with philosophy, and that is impressive.

Stein should familiarize himself with a recent Barna study that I referenced in a previous blog post before he makes the claim that there is a "linkage between pornography and atheism" that is evident in demographic studies and the fact that "The expansion of the Internet has made pornography more widely available and at the same time atheism seems to be becoming more popular." The difference in porn consumption by christians (there are no studies to my knowledge that focus on Jews) is negligible at best. This is another survey on christians and pornography that refutes his point. The only linkage between atheism and pornography is that we don't need to pretend to not have sexual urges, and we don't need to repent after we watch it.

He reiterates his hypothesis about our denial of god in this way:

Many people, especially young males leading secure lives in developed countries, feel no need for the comfort of religion. Furthermore, they are attracted to a very selfish, self-indulgent way of life, an attraction perhaps encouraged by viewing pornography. Therefore, in order to remove any feelings of guilt, they simply deny the existence of any divine judgment or afterlife.

That's not a non sequitor or anything. (/sarcasm) The excoriation continues with the piece de resistance-my favorite quote in the whole article. I'll let you savor it.

Atheism is not a philosophy; it is a symptom of narcissism and hedonism. Calling atheism a religion is like calling alcoholism a religion. It's a bad choice, a moral failing, perhaps a disease.

Now, for all of the criticism that we take for making the claim that theism should be considered a mental disorder, at least in some cases, we make the exception for the average person with the disclaimer that belief in god is still delusional, it just may not be causing that person any hardship at the present time. Here, we have a blanket statement on the moral character of every atheist. Not only does he clearly have no evidence to support his claim, but his false analogy is fallacious nonsense. Not to mention ignorant, asinine, and absolutely disgusting. If his assertion is true, why are less atheists in prison than our population would warrant? Why are atheistic societies healthier and have less violence and crime? When was the last time you saw an atheist suicide bomber, Stein?

His bigoted moronicism leads him to the conclusion that we deny reality, science confirms religion, and for the icing on the cake-atheism is akin to an addiction. If this is the product of "loving homes of an Orthodox Jewish community," I'll pass. The "brutal violence going on in secular neighborhoods" is an assertion unsupported by any factual evidence and apparently just pulled out of his ass along with the rest of this post. Have you ever been to Israel, Stein? I hear it's really peaceful there.

I try to limit my responses to more intellectual criticism and avoid this type of argument. Even D'Souza has never elicited a response like this one, but these two men are the personification of ignorant bigotry. Their vitriolic rhetoric exemplifies the stigma that atheists in this society still face, but ultimately, it says much more about their character than it does ours. And yet, they wonder why we seem angry.

Everybody's monitors ok?

 


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This piece is part of a year long series (ends Oct 31, 2008) that Kelly of the Rational Response Squad will be writing to address theist talking heads in the media. Kelly is a Psychology major, co-host of the RRS Radio show, and has been featured on ABC debating Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort. All articles may be reprinted in any major media publication or any blog. All articles will be submitted by Kelly or an assistant to the major media outlet that initially published the story as well as to the author of the original piece(when possible). Reprints are encouraged in blogs and must link to source. Reprints in media will be thanked in our book, so please alert us if you repost any story. Media outlets may shorten articles if necessary without removing context. Upon completion, a book and documentary will be made about the year (ending Oct. 31, 2008) and our plight to have dishonest argumentation countered with rational and factual answers in the press. If you would like Kelly to address any major media story from a theist talking head, please post a link to the article in her blog. We welcome messages from leading atheists asking us to refute stories attacking them and their views. At the end of the year the writings will be given some bulk, some supporting citations, and edits from a publisher to be compiled in a book. The book will include a documentary DVD shot from Sapient's vantage point as he works alongside Kelly, asking her questions about the project as it moves along.

Atheist Books

munky99999's picture

Quote: Everybody's

Quote:
Everybody's monitors ok?

My monitor is resiliant. I fried 3 videocards unfortunately in reading this stuff.

 

Seriously. This person's ignorance is a good example why we should support euthanasia. This person is in serious pain of the disease of ignorance.

*I'm not suggesting we kill him. Smiling I am just kidding Smiling

mindcore's picture

This Stein Guy

This Stein guys arguments sound like 50s adds about hygeine. How lame.

Your life is a love story!

  Kelly is mad , and "I'm

  Kelly is mad , and "I'm so Glad"  Smile

Wild we is !  Shread ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Yi7AJvzRUA

More Cream ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUVWXzH_6_Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP6eTyCN3Tc

,the original alblum recordings are even better Smile

Fuck yeah, Kelly is mad, a caring Angel ! Angels are for REAL ! Show your wings ....

 

 

 

 

 

Pissed me off, too

And I blogged about it: http://enigmahp.blogspot.com

RaspK's picture

I am particularly annoyed

I am particularly annoyed by the "well documented atheist moral paragon" Strawman he pulls right there... Who in their right minds would ever sit down and try and document the life of a single individual just because he or she is an atheist? Apart from that, I can easily mention at least a number of such atheists myself - and, frankly, that means that, since there are atheists that don't fit his bill, his argument is blown out of the water.

Never the less, he should go check up on some of the greatest atheist minds of all time - I am sure he would be sadly surprised to notice that some of them not only were perfectly healthy in psychological terms, they also happen to be some of the greatest scientists and inventors of all time. And before someone says that applies to theists too, guess what: we did not assert that every theist is a misogynist, a racist, or just plain stupid, nor that they are sexually rampant perverts. Claims made by theists are only short of suggesting that statistics in Scandinavia don't show just that for atheists, just because the researchers are raped repeatedly and then murdered and eaten raw, or something... You'd think that the lacking morality and depression supposedly inflicting atheists would have turned the lands of fjords into a wasteland - why is that not the case?

Also, I'd love to see them refute Socrates' dialogues over the difference between morality for morality's sake, and morality for fear of punishment (which, interestingly, he considered immoral, unlike Plato's position on the matter). Of course, resorting to theological dogma doesn't really help their case, especially when they say that other religions have it wrong, but angry on the principle that, say, Socrates was also wrong - every one of them.

Once again, very well said, Kelly.

Renee Obsidianwords's picture

This is a gem: "We now have

This is a gem: "We now have proof of what Jews always believed: we do not live in a cosmic perpetual motion machine, an eternally existing universe which keeps ticking away forever according to predetermined natural laws. Atheists seem to have barely noticed this scientific upheaval. They apparently don’t depend on any evidence."

The first sentence....proof of what Jews always believed..... sounds to me like this is the true statement he is trying to make in this article :  "Hi christians, muslims and what not.. I am a jew and we agree with you regarding atheists. Oh by the way, we now have proof of what jews always believed, blah blah blah" 

Slowly building a blog at ~

http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/

More links

It would be helpful to have a link to the first part of your response, as well as a link to the content you're criticizing.

Quote:
I can't even find the philosophy under the pile of steaming shit that he excreted onto his site.

Don't hold back, Kelly, tell us how you really feel. Laughing out loud

RaspK's picture

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:
"Hi christians, muslims and what not.. I am a jew and we agree with you regarding atheists. Oh by the way, we now have proof of what jews always believed, blah blah blah"


Don't you love that? It's alright for theists to stand together and try to beat atheists to a pulp in harmony but, no, all other religions are false by definition - so it says in their ancient tribal book right here! Laughing

Zombie's picture

I find it always amusing

I find it always amusing that its the most vitrolic people who call atheists angry lol.

 

<Edited because Im an idiot>  

Morte alla tyrannus et dei

kellym78's picture

RaspK wrote: Also, I'd

RaspK wrote:

Also, I'd love to see them refute Socrates' dialogues over the difference between morality for morality's sake, and morality for fear of punishment (which, interestingly, he considered immoral, unlike Plato's position on the matter). Of course, resorting to theological dogma doesn't really help their case, especially when they say that other religions have it wrong, but angry on the principle that, say, Socrates was also wrong - every one of them.

I'm sure that "philosopher" doesn't even know what "Euthyphro's Dilemma" is, much less an answer to it. 

Great article, Kelly, keep

Great article, Kelly, keep up the good work.

RaspK's picture

kellym78 wrote: I'm sure

kellym78 wrote:


I'm sure that "philosopher" doesn't even know what "Euthyphro's Dilemma" is, much less an answer to it.



All too true; which reminds me of another thing: when you and Brian went on Nightline to face "not molecular biologists or rocket scientists" (still cracks me up), these two still relied on a principle they either did not know was set down by a scientist who also happened to be a philosopher, or hid the fact, like most religious people do. I mean, of course, Pascal's Wager.

Perhaps the nastiest bit

Perhaps the nastiest bit was one of his responses to an atheist who pointed out that she herself was an example of the type of atheist he didn't think existed:

There were good Nazis too. Take Oskar Schindler.

I think that that is the first time I've seen a Jewish person pull a Godwin. There is a certain sad irony in that.

 

All that is necessary for the triumph of good is that evil men do nothing.

deludedgod's picture

I am genuinely embarassed

I am genuinely embarassed that this vitriolic idiot shares my Ashkenazic heritage. Not even the most brutal critics of theism go to the depths of such outright hatred that this man goes into. Not even Sam Harris, who called the whole of Islam a "cult of death", employs such language. And at least Harris is constructive and eloquent! This man seems to have absolutely nothing to offer whatsoever. He did not present the slightest evidence for any of his assertions. In no way, shape, or form did he present a cool-headed, rational opinion. It was an entirely irrelevant rant drawn wholly from his personal emotions. Added to that, as the above poster pointed out, he violated Godwin's Law. When it was pointed out that his stereotpyes had not the slightest foundation by someone to whom they did not apply, his response was to say that such is analogous to "good Nazis"? Precisely how can such insipid hatred be generated by a mere difference in a single belief about the nature of the universe? Such constitutes the ultimate acid test of something he had already demonstrated numerous times: An inability to maintain a calm, rational argument. Precisely upon what grounds did he base the assertion that "atheists know God exists", or that they are terrified of eternal hellfire?

Him: All atheists secretly belive in God, are terrified of hell, are selfish, evil, immoral drug-abusers who know that quantum mechanism prove God but ignore it and who watch a large amount of pornography, furthermore, they are diseased, and often abuse alchohol

Atheist: I don't do/believe any of these things.

The fact that he responded with the "good Nazi" analogy indicates he acknowledges that his false generalization was blatant nonsense, yet that despite that his interlocutor did not do any of the things he described, he still classed them as being analogous to a "Nazi" not on virtue of their actions, but rather solely because they were atheist! This is not constructive criticism. This is unacceptable hate speech.  

One wonders if he has ever actually discoursed with or met any atheists, or is just regurgitating his irrelevant opinions on matters. He may as well have replaced "atheists" with "black people", or "diabetics".

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism

"most destructive blow"?

I got an email telling me this "blog may be the most destructive blow dealt to Christians so far...." That's pretty sad considering this rant is aimed at such a narrow target and lacks any significant substance.

The writer complains about Stein's statement that atheists are selfish and she asks, "What kind of statistical data can you present for your claims, Stein?" Having not read Stein, I cannot say whether he presents evidence. But, I can say their is evidence atheists are more selfish than the religious--although no reasonable person should ever make such a blanket claim as "atheists are invariably highly selfish people." Check out the new book, "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism," by Arthur Brooks, professor of public administration at Syracuse University. When researching charitable giving and volunteerism, he came to a conclusion that surprised him; religious people are far more giving, even when you discount their giving to religious causes. For example, religious people are far more likely to donate blood or to help a homeless person. Brooks states, "I have never found a measurable way in which secularists are more charitable than religious people."

Now, I realize Democrats are not uniformly secular and Republicans are not uniformly religious, but there is also evidence that Democrats are more racist than Republicans. One study, by Stanford professor Shanto Iyengar found Democrats were more likely to believe whites should get more federal help after Hurricane Katrina than Republicans.

Again, I haven't read Stein, but if this blog is being truthful about his views, the writer still has shown nothing about Christianity--especially since Stein is Jewish. But beyond that, the blogger stated in part 1, Christianity is "a religion that hasn't come up with a new argument in 2000 years." Perhaps the blogger should take a look at Oxford philosopher Antony Flew's new book on why after decades of being a leading atheist he has accepted Intelligent Design. It's not even important whether you agree with ID, but it is clearly asinine to say there has been no philosophical progress in 2000 years.

Or consider that John Locke, whose Treatises of Government became a foundation for America, specifically wrote from a Protestant theological perspective. Is that not philosophical progress? Again, this blog is asinine.

What about morality? Lawrence Kohlberg, the areligious (yes the A was intentional) Harvard moral philosopher, found that people with the highest levels of moral thinking are almost always religious (e.g., Martin Luther King, Gandhi, etc).

I could go on, but it's probably pointless. I've done my part. I've given actual evidence and made real arguments.

RaspK's picture

Check up this crappy answer

Check up this crappy answer of his - it's as if none of us could have been an atheist to respond to him appropriately!

 

silly question

ok, i admit, some of their arguments are as bad as some of dawkins (eg. einstein didn't believe in god, thus god does not exist [this is admittedly a possible misreading of his book, which i do intend to read again.]), but i am sure they also raise some valid points.... even if they do take some finding.
my question is completely irrelevent to pretty much all ur points, as ur points are for the most part justified, although i do find suspending belief with no evidence against almost as logically challenging as believing with no evidence to suport.
anyway, the silly, almost pointless, if not completely pointless, question.
was all the swearing neccessary? sure, ur angry, but u can be angry and civilised as well, or how are u disproving their point? if they're saying ' atheists are not nice', how is telling them they're 'selfish, arrogent p****s' going to help? (usually, i would not have stared that, but it seemed hipocritical not to.) that's like me blowing up ur house because u said 'christians do bad things'.
ok, im done. i apologise for a) my poor spelling, and b) my poor grammer. i'm in no way a linguist, just a 16 year old with a mildly augmented vocabulary (in comparison to most 16 year olds). that's why i study the sciences (mildly ironic for a theist, i know, but i find the two pleasently compatable.)
i am truly sorry if i wasted ur time. which u probably think i did. oh well.
hail jesus, and rule Brittania.

IB_Bio wrote: Check out the

IB_Bio wrote:
Check out the new book, "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism," by Arthur Brooks, professor of public administration at Syracuse University.

To say that Brooks' book is unbiased and the results uncontested is an understatement. The biggest problem is his immediate assumption that taxation cannot be considered a charitable donation, thus denying the label of "charitable" to people who consider that a large part of their giving. To quote Brooks from his website:

Arthur C Brooks wrote:
Let us be clear: Government spending is not charity. It is not a voluntary sacrifice by individuals. No matter how beneficial or humane it might be, no matter how necessary it is for providing public services, it is still the obligatory redistribution of tax revenues.

Of course, a lot of people do in fact believe that their support for government works is charity, and invest time in pushing that. Brooks' criteria allows him to ignore that completely.

IB_Bio wrote:
Now, I realize Democrats are not uniformly secular and Republicans are not uniformly religious, but there is also evidence that Democrats are more racist than Republicans.

Then why mention it? Because it's a cheap shot and sounds good, even if it doesn't quite hit the mark?

IB_Bio wrote:
Again, I haven't read Stein, but if this blog is being truthful about his views, the writer still has shown nothing about Christianity--especially since Stein is Jewish.

Who said anything about Christianity in this case? Oh, yeah, you.

IB_Bio wrote:
It's not even important whether you agree with ID, but it is clearly asinine to say there has been no philosophical progress in 2000 years.

From an atheistic point of view, there hasn't been any. ID is nothing new. It is reheated Creationism. Even the giants of Christian philosophy, like Aquinas, simply used preexisting Greek philosophical ideas linked into the Christian mythos.

IB_Bio wrote:
Or consider that John Locke

The Locke who denied the central Christian tenet of original sin with his view of "tabula rosa"? The Locke who helped lay the foundation of deism? His works are important to the extent that they were foundational in the dissolution of the meld of church and state. I have little doubt that the majority of Christians I know would consider much of his thoughts to be nothing short of a mild blasphemy.

IB_Bio wrote:
Lawrence Kohlberg, the areligious (yes the A was intentional) Harvard moral philosopher, found that people with the highest levels of moral thinking are almost always religious (e.g., Martin Luther King, Gandhi, etc).

Highest levels of moral thinking as defined by....?

IB_Bio wrote:
I've done my part. I've given actual evidence and made real arguments.

I'll grant you did more in one post than either of the bloggers in question did. But I think you need to work more for specifics in your evidence if you want to be more persuasive.

 

All that is necessary for the triumph of good is that evil men do nothing.

deludedgod's picture

I read Stein's reply as

I read Stein's reply as RaspK posted it.

Some philosopher. He doesn't even know what the word "agnostic" means.

This piece of mine is partially directed at Stein:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/the_rational_response_squad_radio_show/general_conversation_introductions_and_humor/12582

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism

RaspK's picture

Funny, his line of thinking,

Funny, his line of thinking, isn't it? "Oh, come on, guys, you all know I am right, so please admit it!"

On Idiocy.

kellym78 wrote:
Again, can anybody see how theists tend to project the shortcomings of their belief onto us? We don't need evidence to suspend belief in the supernatural! It is up to you to present the evidence that proves the existence of your imaginary friend!

I completely agree. that is what bothers me the most. that people just take religion as truth, as the only answer and leaves it to the non-believers to disprove it. we don't have to prove anything! it is up to the people telling me why i should believe in their insanity and inane ritual beliefs to prove that THEY are right. when someone comes up with a scientific theory we don't assume it's right and let people try to prove it wrong. it's the other way around!

people are born without a religious belief, it's taught. but morality? humanity? that's intrinsic. animals take care of their own without religion, as did the very first humans. only killed to eat or in self defence. humans are the only animals who kill for hate, for fun. it's in our blood, our genes to survive and seek happiness. hatred, bigotry and prejudice are taught mostly through religion. if being an atheist is immoral and disgusting, i'd take that ANY day over being a MORAL, hate filled, ignorant, insecure theist.

reply to thatonedude

OK, I'm new to this and won't even try to mess with the quote tags. But, I'll try to reference the points in a way that's easy to follow.

Is paying your taxes being charitable?

Let's suppose you do think that's your charity. Unless the religious fundies are cheating on their taxes, they are paying the same taxes and still giving more of their net income. Plus, your taxes excuse has no bearing on blood donations.

Was it a cheap shot to mention the Iyengar study on racism?

Mentioning Democratic racism was not a cheap shot. It was an indirect evidence that religious people are better people than secularists. I noted that the relationship was indirect so as not to make the absurd "invariably" generalization that Stein is said to have made. Democrats are generally more secular; Republicans are generally more religious. Obama can say all he wants about how people in the blue states worship an awesome God, but you don't agree, I bet. And the evidence that Democrats are generally more racist than Republicans therefore leads to a reasonable conclusion (although indirect and inconclusive) that secularists are more racist.

Who said any thing about Christianity?

If you remember, I began my post by stating I received an email from rational responders saying this blog was a great attack on Christianity. Plus, part 1 of the blog mentioned "a religion that hasn't come up with a new argument in 2000 years." Am I reading too much into that to see Christianity? I doubt it.

Has their been any new Christian philosophy?

You mentioned that "From an atheistic point of view, there hasn't been any." Well, it's difficult to argue with the conclusion that comes from an atheistic view. Of course, you are not going to see anything new. You're likely to see everything as "that God stuff" again.; it's all the same to you. Your comments about rehashing Greek mythology is too complex to deal with significantly here. I'll admit that it is a common liberal (academically) interpretation to see everything in religion as rehashing. But, that's because any similarity is used to justify the view. It's like when they claim Jesus rising from the dead is based on prior pagan beliefs of spring fertility and new birth. That's a stretch, but it comes from the liberal view that everything is recycled, therefore any similarity is the proof of recycling.

Still, there is much to consider. It was the Puritans who first developed the Western idea that the wife should be the closest friend of the man. The ancient Greeks even thought men's best relationships would be with other men. And it was Baptist theology that led to the separation of church and state. Roger Williams, a Baptist minister and founder of Rhode Island, created the first government to ever establish absolute freedom of religion. And it was the Virginia Baptists that refused to support the Bill of Rights unless it contained freedom of religion. Those are some new ideas I bet you appreciate.

What about John Locke?

Yes, Locke had some screwed up theology. But, he always considered himself a Christian, even though he denied the trinity. The point was that he built his ideas from theology.

How did Kohlberg define the highest levels of morality?

Kohlberg's theory of moral development was based on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant (who hated Christians) and John Rawls (who was nonreligious). Kohlberg also built those philosophies onto the psychological research of Jean Piaget. Kohlberg's theory is the most widely accepted and researched theory of moral development in the world.

We're not all this insane!!!!

Hi all it's been a while, it's Joe Moe, theist at large here and I want you all to know that these idiots( allthough they think that they do) Absolutely do not represent all of those out there who have faith in something.
All theists are not completely insane, and don't insist that others believe what they believe. A person calling themself a Christian shouldn't be judging anyone, or putting them down.
Some people abuse the power of their positions, or their access to the media just to try to make others look bad, it is an injustice.
Joe Moe

Splainy?

does anyone else love his comment on his own rant:

"To follow his logic, when God tells me Himself He does not exist, I will believe Him. Until then, I don't want to hear anything from anyone else. I am "up to here" with Science."

what the hell kind of logic is that?

yngve's picture

Well... I'm really sorry

Well... I'm really sorry you have to deal with people ogf that sort across the pond. Their rants, however, clearly show how indoctrination and credulity can thwart a mind.

I'td be fun to ask these vacuum-skulls why we in Norway, with our 64% - and still incereasing percentage - of unbelievers still exist and quite happy and prosperously at that. The expected response would be totally blighted, though amusing and painfull at the same time I guess.

But hey, 2009 might prove to be a really positive thing given Obama is elected. He's by far the most reasonable candidate the US has had for a long time

Keep spreading the rational way of thinking Smiling

If any christian is sure that rapture is imminient, I'll be happy to receive their worldly goods, thus ensuring that said theist don't have trouble with the camel, rich man and eye of a needle problem.

RaspK's picture

That's another hole I

That's another hole I punched in their arguments later, and so have Kelly and Brian and many others around here: if atheists were debauched immoral scum, then explain why Denmark, Norway, and Sweden not only prosper, but have the lowest crime rates all around.

Read his response in my above post - straight from my gmail acount! 

paganbear's picture

Bravah!!! And let me just

Bravah!!! And let me just say, I've given thought to my position. I can't as yet claim the title "atheist" as I've really had little time to express a belief or disbelief in any deity, since I've been too full in the bullshit of the religions and the religious that I've battled to even give thought to that. I though I had, but really, I've just been battling stupidity.

I've recently met a group of people filled with believers and disbelievers who, like me, are sick as hell of all this and love to get together over coffee and discuss the stupid of the day. Believers are often ashamed of what they're seeing, and, like the FSM's *8 I'd Really Rather You Didn'ts*, claim that their God as they believe in him isn't that vain and doesn't give a rat's ass if you believe in him... or okay, some of them say "her". I think if I took on a belief, I'd faster listen to these guys. But I'm too busy (as they are) fighting for the animal and plant life and the environment that this religion-driven culture is killing thoughtlessly, to even care right now about that issue.

I'll say this... atheists are on the rise, and not enough of them are nypmhomaniacs for my taste. Or at least not the handsome furry gay male ones. Dammit. 

Ray, the PaganBear
thepaganbear@yahoo.com
http://www.thestumblingblock.com
Anti-Theists and Rebel Monkeys UNITE!

RaspK's picture

paganbear wrote: I'll say

paganbear wrote:
I'll say this... atheists are on the rise, and not enough of them are nypmhomaniacs for my taste. Or at least not the handsome furry gay male ones. Dammit. 

That must be the funniest retort ever! Eye-wink

great article

Excellent articles Kelly! I find it very ironic that atheists get called "intellectually inept" and at the same time "philosophical dilettante's." Aren't they mutually exclusive or does the author think philosophy isn't an intellectual study?

As someone who does consider himself an intellectual I appreciate your vocabulary which required me to occassionaly have to look up because it expands my own. I wonder if that makes me intellectually inept or a philosophical dillettante? Smiling

Seriously though, the sad thing is that rather than address the argument of the atheist authors mentioned he chose to attack the author instead (argument to the man?). I recognize that style of rhetoric in christians from when I was one. It only serves to try to keep the faithful from reading the subject material themselves. It's an attempt at self-preservation, an act of desperation. Even when I was a christian that argument style ticked me off which I suppose contributed to my freedom from religion.

keep up the good work!

Rob

threerandot's picture

I would guess that this

I would guess that this individual is well aware that his insults, insinuations and claims are bogus. Perhaps he is hoping to hurl enough crap at the dart board in hopes that something will stick. His article is truly desperate. I appreciate your well written response Kelly. I couldn't have said it better.

Quote:
Trillian: We picked them up while we were in Infinite Improbability Drive
Zaphod: But that's Incredible!

Trillian: No... just very, very improbable!
-The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy

voivoed's picture

Atheists in prison

kellym78 wrote:

If his assertion is true, why are less atheists in prison than our population would warrant?

 

Can someone point me to actual data that confirms this claim? I've heard it before, but never in conjunction with a study, census statistics, etc.

Thanks!

Sapient's picture

voivoed wrote:

voivoed wrote:
kellym78 wrote:

If his assertion is true, why are less atheists in prison than our population would warrant?

 

Can someone point me to actual data that confirms this claim? I've heard it before, but never in conjunction with a study, census statistics, etc.

Thanks!

atheistempire.com/reference/stats

 

Atheist Prison Population

Canadian Prisons 1925 Ca. prisoners Atheist/ Agnostic, non-religious Uniterain 0% 0 of 1,2061 Steiner and Swancara
Prison Population executed for murder at Sing-sing 1925 US Sing-Sing Pen. non-religious 0.33% * "The New Criminology," Max D. Schlapp and Edward E. Smith
Prison Population 1925 US Prisoners convicts without
religious training
0.1% * "The New Criminology," Max D. Schlapp and Edward E. Smith
Prison Population 1997 U.S. Prisoners Atheist 0.209% 156 of 74,731 Federal Bureau of Prisons +

 

The hyperlinks to studies are on right, and aren't showing well.  Here's the one for 1997 US prisoners...

Federal Bureau of Prisons 

Unfortunatly the link isn't working right now, so here is the letter from the govt and how it appears on his site...

 By Rod Swift
I have expanded the figures to provide a % of the total respondents, and I have ranked them (they were presented to me alphabetically). These stats were obtained from their computer on 5 March 1997.

Dear Mr. Swift:

The Federal Bureau of Prisons does have statistics on religious affiliations of inmates. The following are total number of inmates per religion category:

Response              Number      %
----------------------------  --------
Catholic               29267   39.164%
Protestant             26162   35.008%
Muslim                  5435    7.273%
American Indian         2408    3.222%
Nation                  1734    2.320%
Rasta                   1485    1.987%
Jewish                  1325    1.773%
Church of Christ        1303    1.744%
Pentecostal             1093    1.463%
Moorish                 1066    1.426%
Buddhist                 882    1.180%
Jehovah Witness          665    0.890%
Adventist                621    0.831%
Orthodox                 375    0.502%
Mormon                   298    0.399%
Scientology              190    0.254%
Atheist                  156    0.209%
Hindu                    119    0.159%
Santeria                 117    0.157%
Sikh                      14    0.019%
Bahai                      9    0.012%
Krishna                    7    0.009%
----------------------------  --------
Total Known Responses 74731 100.001% (rounding to 3 digits does this)

Unknown/No Answer 18381 ----------------------------
Total Convicted 93112 80.259% (74731) prisoners' religion is known.

Held in Custody         3856  (not surveyed due to temporary custody)
----------------------------
Total In Prisons       96968


I hope that this information is helpful to you.

Sincerely,

Denise Golumbaski
Research Analyst
Federal Bureau of Prisons


Now, let's just deal with the nasty Christian types, no?

Catholic               29267   39.164%
Protestant             26162   35.008%
Rasta                   1485    1.987%
Jewish                  1325    1.773%
Church of Christ        1303    1.744%
Pentecostal             1093    1.463%
Jehovah Witness          665    0.890%
Adventist                621    0.831%
Orthodox                 375    0.502%
Mormon                   298    0.399%

Not unexpected as a result. Note that atheists, being a moderate proportion of the USA population (about 8-16%) are disproportionately less in the prison populations (0.21%).

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

"Godwin's Law" and Memetic Idiots

thatonedude wrote:

I think that that is the first time I've seen a Jewish person pull a Godwin. There is a certain sad irony in that.

 

Actually, the sad irony is that so many "freethinkers" don't have the first clue that they are merely repeating a "meme" when they cite "Godwin's Law". Not only that, but they are usually ignorant of the fact that "Godwin's Law" is not necessarily a logical fallacy (as reductio ad absurdum, a related technical term of logic, is also not necessarily a fallacy).

This so-called "law" was "invented" as a social experiment in memetics (you might have to look that one up). So, it appears that "freethinkers" are just as use and spread "memes" as are the religious folk they condemn with references to their own supposedly vastly supperior intellect (usually this intellect is somehow perceived to become very strong once one becomes an outspoken atheist).

That aside, there is nothing that is necessarily wrong with a Nazi comparison if it fits, and many times (not all, as I have known some very kind, given, non-angry, and non-confrontational atheists) it is quite apt, especially when references are made to the "destruction" of Christians.

Everyone has holes in their beliefs, the problem is that atheists tend to point out the holes in others' beliefs without examining their own close enough for any benefit to result. Were they to look very closely, they would realize that atheism has its own "problem of evil", that is there is little to no reason to do anything "good". In fact, there is no such thing as "good" and "evil" (a la Nietzsche) as an atheist precisely because there are no universal "truths" or "laws" and precisely because there awaits no unavoidable justice or punishment for "wrongs" in life or after death. Therefore, many find true, contemplated atheism to be reprehensible upon close examination.

Of course, "freethinkers" are supposed to be skeptics, so hopefully you won't take my word for it if you don't believe me about "Godwin's Law". Go reseach it for yourselves. The supperior intellect should help atheists understand the truth about "Godwin's Law". Just to get you started, I'll provide a couple of helpful links:

"Godwin's Law" (Wikipedia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_Law#_note-WiredMCM

"I seeded Godwin's Law in any newsgroup or topic where I saw a gratuitous Nazi reference. Soon, to my surprise, other people were citing it - the counter-meme was reproducing on its own!" --Mike Godwin (author of "Godwin's Law")
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/2.10/godwin.if.html

Freethinkers indeed! Perhaps mindless, memetic borg... Heh...

Quote: Having not read

Quote:
Having not read Stein, I cannot say whether he presents evidence. But, I can say their is evidence atheists are more selfish than the religious...  When researching charitable giving and volunteerism, he came to a conclusion that surprised him; religious people are far more giving, even when you discount their giving to religious causes. For example, religious people are far more likely to donate blood or to help a homeless person. Brooks states, "I have never found a measurable way in which secularists are more charitable than religious people."

 I have not read the book in question, however, there may be aspects the author ignores. What data did he use? Did he take into consideration that more people identify as religious or theist than irreligious or atheist? Did he take into consideration that the nonreligious or athiests give to charity under their own motivation while the religious or theist may be giving due to group or belief expectations/ pressure. While I don't disagree that the religious contribute greatly to charity, and am gald that they do, the intent and motivation behind the why they do so is an important question.

 

Quote:
Now, I realize Democrats are not uniformly secular and Republicans are not uniformly religious, but there is also evidence that Democrats are more racist than Republicans. One study, by Stanford professor Shanto Iyengar found Democrats were more likely to believe whites should get more federal help after Hurricane Katrina than Republicans.

I have nothing against this statement, mainly because it is both a non sequitur and irrelevent to the question. In a later post, however, you try to make a claim, based on a study that you do not provide a link to or a source for, that since Democrats are more racist than Republicans, then secularists (and, I presume by extention, atheists) are more racist than the religious. Again, this does not follow and is nothing more than equivocation and a bait and switch tactic. That you claim that you realize this at the begining make these tactics that much more egregious.

Quote:
Christianity is "a religion that hasn't come up with a new argument in 2000 years." Perhaps the blogger should take a look at Oxford philosopher Antony Flew's new book on why after decades of being a leading atheist he has accepted Intelligent Design. It's not even important whether you agree with ID, but it is clearly asinine to say there has been no philosophical progress in 2000 years.

That Flew was taken in by arguements from ID creationists (which are just rehashed creationist arguements) is irrelevent for several reasons. First, Flew's expertise is not in a scientific field pretaining to evolution theory that would give his opinion on the matter any real weight and, by Flew's own admission, he has failed to keep up with recent scientific research in the relevent fileds, making this just an arguement from authority. Second, if you are referring to There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind it is doubtful that Flew even wrote the book. Instead, it was written, mostly or completely, by an opportunistic scum fuck named Roy Abraham Varghese, who is listed as "co- author" (you can read about it at http://richardcarrier.blogspot.com/2007/11/antony-flew-bogus-book.html).

Quote:
Or consider that John Locke, whose Treatises of Government became a foundation for America, specifically wrote from a Protestant theological perspective. Is that not philosophical progress? Again, this blog is asinine.

No, this statement is asinine. You are equating philisophical with theological. While one can argue that theology falls within a philosophical branch, of which there are several, to claim that they are one and the same and that progress in one is progress in another is a non sequitur and equivocating (you seem to do this a lot). 

Quote:
What about morality? Lawrence Kohlberg, the areligious (yes the A was intentional) Harvard moral philosopher, found that people with the highest levels of moral thinking are almost always religious (e.g., Martin Luther King, Gandhi, etc).

And? That people "with the highest level" of moral thinking are almost always religious says nothing of the religion itself, just of the person in question. Further, how does intent and motive play into Kohlberg's morality?

Euthyphro's Dilemma

I feel like I'm walking into a flame war with this one, but anyway...

I don't see how Euthyphro's Dilemma is even a problem for a theist. i.e. Are things moral because god said so or ... I would tend to think it was obvious that things are moral, simply because they are the path that will lead to the least problems.

For example, a perfect being, couldn't endorse murder (different from killing), as it is not something that will help people. Sure there may be some circumstances that it may seem like the best choice, but God had to make rules for everyone.

Also, god couldn't endorse theft, cause in general, this is not a nice thing to have happen. According to Christianity, god created the rules to help people... I personally can't think of any of the ten
commandments, or the teaching of jesus that wouldn't help people.
Like, sex before marriage. Sure it's more difficult, and maybe some people like to try before they buy, but you would avoid STDs, unwanted pregnancy. I can't see how a perfect being could endorse this.

I can think of thousands of teachings of so called Christian churches that hurt people (the "god hates fags" is a prime example of religion god would be very angry at), but if god were real, you certainly couldn't blame these silly teachings on him.

Atheism isn't a worldview

First of saying freethinkers are mindless when they repeat Godwin's law isn't true. I believe the rule on the net is the longer a conversation last the instance of Nazi referances rises to one. What Kelly is refering to is that his comment is completely irrelevant- Schindler definately didn't believe in the Nazism, he was a member of the party for profit. By contrast atheism isn't an ideology or religion.

No, since atheism isn't a worldview it doesn't have those problems, like evil and the rest. In fact a materialist worldview deals with evil better than a supernatural view because it assumes justice must be done on Earth.

For the record atheism is the lack of belief in gods. Rationalism the disbelief in the supernatural and materialism is the disbelief in overaching platonic concepts existing free floating in the universe (like purpose). Atheists don't necessarily subscribe in the last two. I do.

There are essentially four reasons to be good. For the greater good of the group, because it is the right thing to do, empathy and the ever popular "or else". Basically asking someone to be good is simply asking them to temporarily set aside their own desires and goals in favor of helping others achieve theirs. And this isn't had to explain or justify.

Flaws, people? Should kids get a seperate category?

This is proof of my hypothesis

Atheists are simply masterdebators. Everyone here uses debate jargon. You guys just like to argue.

TheVoiceOfReason

TheVoiceOfReason wrote:
Actually, the sad irony is that so many "freethinkers" don't have the first clue that they are merely repeating a "meme" when they cite "Godwin's Law".

At what point did I say it was a fallacy? I am well aware of what Godwin's Law is and is not, thank you very much. And if you think that memes are all bad, then I'm not sure you even understand them.

As is perfectly clear in his comments, Jacob's goal is to rile people up, which I must say, he was successful at. He pulled out a Nazi comparison when confronted with an atheist who was the opposite of what he claimed atheists were. It's not a fallacy, it's just piss-poor taste and inflammatory, which was what he was going for anyway. Coming from someone who I would assume would be at least passingly familiar to the atrocity of the Holocaust, I find it to be strikingly asinine.

TheVoiceOfReason wrote:
Were they to look very closely, they would realize that atheism has its own "problem of evil", that is there is little to no reason to do anything "good".

Right. Which is why the prisons are filled to the brim with those rapacious atheists.

TheVoiceOfReason wrote:
Freethinkers indeed! Perhaps mindless, memetic borg... Heh..

Project much?

All that is necessary for the triumph of good is that evil men do nothing.

josephpalazzo's picture

Sad to say but this Jew

Sad to say but this Jew must have taken a page off Hitler's Mein Kampf. There should be a law against such hate literature.

JP

I've done my part. Nice try IB-Bio, but I ain't buying it.

The following is from An Atheist Manifesto http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/200512_an_atheist_manifesto/#

A Dig led by Sam Harris

 

 

Countries like Norway, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom are among the least religious societies on Earth. According to the United Nations' Human Development Report (2005) they are also the healthiest, as indicated by measures of life expectancy, adult literacy, per capita income, educational attainment, gender equality, homicide rate and infant mortality. Conversely, the 50 nations now ranked lowest in terms of human development are unwaveringly religious. Other analyses paint the same picture: The United States is unique among wealthy democracies in its level of religious literalism and opposition to evolutionary theory; it is also uniquely beleaguered by high rates of homicide, abortion, teen pregnancy, STD infection and infant mortality. The same comparison holds true within the United States itself: Southern and Midwestern states, characterized by the highest levels of religious superstition and hostility to evolutionary theory, are especially plagued by the above indicators of societal dysfunction, while the comparatively secular states of the Northeast conform to European norms. Of course, correlational data of this sort do not resolve questions of causality--belief in God may lead to societal dysfunction; societal dysfunction may foster a belief in God; each factor may enable the other; or both may spring from some deeper source of mischief. Leaving aside the issue of cause and effect, these facts prove that atheism is perfectly compatible with the basic aspirations of a civil society; they also prove, conclusively, that religious faith does nothing to ensure a society's health.

Countries with high levels of atheism also are the most charitable in terms of giving foreign aid to the developing world. The dubious link between Christian literalism and Christian values is also belied by other indices of charity. Consider the ratio in salaries between top-tier CEOs and their average employee: in Britain it is 24 to 1; France 15 to 1; Sweden 13 to 1; in the United States, where 83% of the population believes that Jesus literally rose from the dead, it is 475 to 1. Many a camel, it would seem, expects to squeeze easily through the eye of a needle.

actually I think you may be

actually I think you may be wrong in your European elite statements.

With the recent statements by the Archbishop from England pointing out that it was inevitable that Shariah law be accepted as an alternate legal system due to the increasing number of Muslims in England I don't believe the claim that Europe is the least religious is even remotely true.

atheism is most certainly a worldview

Samuel Skinner wrote:
First of saying freethinkers are mindless when they repeat Godwin's law isn't true. I believe the rule on the net is the longer a conversation last the instance of Nazi referances rises to one. What Kelly is refering to is that his comment is completely irrelevant

I wasn't referring to Kelly in particular, but... If it was as you say, then she didn't need to appeal to "Godwin's Law" to label it irrelevant.

Quote:
No, since atheism isn't a worldview it doesn't have those problems, like evil and the rest. In fact a materialist worldview deals with evil better than a supernatural view because it assumes justice must be done on Earth.

These comments are in serious error. First, atheism is certainly both a worldview and an ideology or sites like this would not exist under the banner of "atheism". Such a sophistic argument is merely an attempt to make "atheism" unasailable. Second, to use your language, the reason that atheism "doesn't have those problems, like evil and the rest" is because there is no such thing as evil from such a worldview. Everything is permissable. Such a worldview may assume that justice must be done on Earth, but that justice is only for some...some who are wealthy, strong, and/or intelligent. As most know, especially after years spent on this earth, there is little justice on earth.

Just a parable: A weathly atheist passes a homeless atheist every day. The homeless athiest decides that he hates the wealthy atheist because he has more wealth than he needs and shares none. The homeless atheist decides this man does not deserve to live and murders him in a dark and deserted alley. The homeless atheist realizes that if he is not spotted doing his deed then he gets away with some extra spending money, but even if he is caught he merely goes to jail where he will have a roof over his head and some decent food for a change. He has decided it is a no lose situation, and his lack of belief in a judging and punishing God means that even when he finally kicks the bucket there will be no punishment for his deed, just the darkness of death.

Quote:
There are essentially four reasons to be good.

What determines what is "good"? What does "good" mean? What set of rules do you point to as "good" and why?

Quote:
For the greater good of the group, because it is the right thing to do

Few (and likely none) truly care about the "good of the group" when it is set against personal preference.

Quote:
...empathy

Why have "empathy"? What does that even mean to someone?

Quote:
..and the ever popular "or else"

This is just the fallible human replacement for God, the police and "justice" system (if those things even exist in one's society). Human "justice" is not necessarily fair or just and many times does not even work as it should.

All of those "reasons" for being good are pretty weak, especially when, as I mentioned, compared with a person's individual interests and desires.

Quote:
Basically asking someone to be good is simply asking them to temporarily set aside their own desires and goals in favor of helping others achieve theirs. And this isn't had to explain or justify.

Why would someone do such a thing? Would you set aside your atheism so that we can make this world a better place through my religion? I didn't think so. Doesn't work.

If you haven't (and I can't think that you have from your comments), read some existentialist philosophy. It will explain these things to you more thorougly. Many atheists *wish* "good" to exist because of religious ideals around them. They don't want to be percieved as "evil" by the religious folk. But the cold, hard fact is that atheists are "beyond good and evil" when they closely examine the logical ends of their beliefs.

kellym78's picture

IB-Bio wrote: The writer

IB-Bio wrote:
The writer complains about Stein's statement that atheists are selfish and she asks, "What kind of statistical data can you present for your claims, Stein?" Having not read Stein, I cannot say whether he presents evidence. But, I can say their is evidence atheists are more selfish than the religious--although no reasonable person should ever make such a blanket claim as "atheists are invariably highly selfish people." ... Brooks states, "I have never found a measurable way in which secularists are more charitable than religious people."

Well, it would be a tad presumptuous for you to criticize my response without having read the impetus for it, right?

Please present whatever evidence there may be demonstrating a disproportionate increase in generosity among the religious. More people are religious, so depending on the way the study is done, it could very well be misleading. As for the comment about not finding any evidence of secularists being more charitable than the religious, check out this study which shows that atheist doctors were more likely to care for an underserved (ie poor) population.  

Quote:
Now, I realize Democrats are not uniformly secular and Republicans are not uniformly religious, but there is also evidence that Democrats are more racist than Republicans. One study, by Stanford professor Shanto Iyengar found Democrats were more likely to believe whites should get more federal help after Hurricane Katrina than Republicans. Again, I haven't read Stein, but if this blog is being truthful about his views, the writer still has shown nothing about Christianity--especially since Stein is Jewish.

What does this have to do with anything? 

Quote:
But beyond that, the blogger stated in part 1, Christianity is "a religion that hasn't come up with a new argument in 2000 years." Perhaps the blogger should take a look at Oxford philosopher Antony Flew's new book on why after decades of being a leading atheist he has accepted Intelligent Design. It's not even important whether you agree with ID, but it is clearly asinine to say there has been no philosophical progress in 2000 years. Or consider that John Locke, whose Treatises of Government became a foundation for America, specifically wrote from a Protestant theological perspective. Is that not philosophical progress?

 If the writings of a man suffering from dementia are some kind of proof to you, I can see why you would fall prey to religion. The arguments for god, and christianity, have been the same basic arguments since day one. Maybe the language has gotten more technical, but that's it. "What created all this?" turned into the "Kalaam Cosmological Argument." And what does Locke's political influence have to do with a defense of religion? Grasp for straws much?

Quote:
Again, this blog is asinine.

This comment is even more so. 

Quote:
What about morality? Lawrence Kohlberg, the areligious (yes the A was intentional) Harvard moral philosopher, found that people with the highest levels of moral thinking are almost always religious (e.g., Martin Luther King, Gandhi, etc). I could go on, but it's probably pointless. I've done my part. I've given actual evidence and made real arguments.

Your lack of compelling argumentation is only made worse by your pitiful attempt at wit. I have studied Kohlberg and his theory of moral development says no such thing. If you are reading it from wikipedia and are speaking about the never formally included seventh stage--why do you think it was never included? If anything, the vast majority of religious people would fall into the fourth or fifth stages where social cohesion and order/authority are emphasized. Not to mention that there are plenty of criticisms of Kohlberg's theory, one of which would be the concept of deontological ethics being the highest form of morality. Ever studied Kant?

Come back when you develop something original or intelligent. 

source?

IB-Bio, it would help your case if you actually provided source material for your claims. As it stands now you have NOT provided any "actual evidence" as you claim. I can provide actual verbatim sources of Koholberg's model with specific references can you?

 To learn how to present "actual evidence" I refer you to the most used source for making APA citation understandable, OWL at Purdue. Read it, learn it, know it, then you will be on the road to presenting "actual evidence." HINT: Wikipedia is NOT considered a valid academic source - yet.

 Rob

kellym78's picture

Jumanous wrote: I feel like

Jumanous wrote:
I feel like I'm walking into a flame war with this one, but anyway... I don't see how Euthyphro's Dilemma is even a problem for a theist. i.e. Are things moral because god said so or ... I would tend to think it was obvious that things are moral, simply because they are the path that will lead to the least problems.

Well, you did a good job of not understanding the issue, but it won't necessarily be a flame war. Euthyphro's Dilemma is indeed an issue if you are at all concerned with the nature of morality and its universality or lack thereof. The way that you define morality here seems to be that the ends justify the means. Is that what religion teaches you? Is "not causing problems" the most important issue to consider when facing a decision? 

Quote:
For example, a perfect being, couldn't endorse murder (different from killing), as it is not something that will help people. Sure there may be some circumstances that it may seem like the best choice, but God had to make rules for everyone.

Except himself, right? He murdered enough people, some of them innocent of all except for that which has been passed down from Adam and Eve. (The guy dancing and celebrating who accidentally bumped into the Ark of the Covenant?) How was that helpful? 

Quote:
Also, god couldn't endorse theft, cause in general, this is not a nice thing to have happen. According to Christianity, god created the rules to help people... I personally can't think of any of the ten commandments, or the teaching of jesus that wouldn't help people.

Except when god did endorse theft, like when the Israelites were told to ransack villages and basically pillage and plunder. And I can think of a harmful commandment - Thou shalt worship no other gods before me. Should have been "Thou shalt worship no gods." 

Quote:
Like, sex before marriage. Sure it's more difficult, and maybe some people like to try before they buy, but you would avoid STDs, unwanted pregnancy. I can't see how a perfect being could endorse this.

 Not having sex before marriage is somebody's prerogative, but once you find out that you're sexually incompatible, it hurts people. The entire christian/muslim view on sex is harmful in the way that it instills guilt and shame about a normal biological function into people.

Throughout this entire post, you are presuming that god has the attributes that the christian doctrines have ascribed to him, but there is no evidence for any of it.

"I personally can't think

"I personally can't think of any of the ten commandments, or the teaching of jesus that wouldn't help people."

 

I can think of plenty. First of all the so called "ten commandments" are a christian teaching, NOT Jewish which is what christianity is suppossedly based on. There is no "10 commandments" there is instead the "law" which Jesus said no jot or tittle is removed.

Have you read the Old Testament aka The Law? See for yourself just a sample listing of atrocities in the law which include - instructions for rapeing the women of conquered armies, the murder of children who disobey their parents, slaughtering animals because having children is unclean, and a host of other very harmful things: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/fv/ot_list.html

 What Kelly said is right. What you are doing Jumanous is ascribing to god attributes he does NOT possess. The god of the modern christian is NOT the god of the bible plain and simple and certainly NOT the god of the Old Testament Jews.

deludedgod's picture

Quote: I feel like I'm

Quote:

I feel like I'm walking into a flame war with this one, but anyway... I don't see how Euthyphro's Dilemma is even a problem for a theist. i.e. Are things moral because god said so or ... I would tend to think it was obvious that things are moral, simply because they are the path that will lead to the least problems.

Then congratulations on not knowing what Euthypro's dillema is. In a nutshell: Is good good because god says it is good? Or, does god say something is good because he is god? If the former, "goodness" is an innate property which antecedes God and is hence greater than him, if the latter, the derivation of moral source for an extrinsic being makes the rules arbitrary, and "good" merely constitutes whatever god dictates is good. On the other hand, if you are going to try and derive a maxim, the way Kant did "act only on that which one would wish to become a universal constant" or the one you had: "moral things are those that will lead to the least problems" then you are attempting to derive morality from reason, which does not necessitate any sort of divine command.What you are therefore arguing is that certain things are "good" innate by virtue, and evaluating the actions of god with respect to your standards of "good". So you chose the first option, and unsuprisingly, fell in...which is why it is called a dilemma.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism

RaspK's picture

deludedgod wrote: So you

deludedgod wrote:
So you chose the first option, and unsuprisingly, fell in...which is why it is called a dilemma.


I believe that this a natural conclusion to reach when you assume that there is a "God" that is greater than the cosmos; as you said, people who go that way (i.e. either choose #1 or cannot accept or perceive the possibility of #2) come face to face with that dilemma - and willfully ignore it, or project it unto human nature.

Again, it's ironic how a god would create a being that is, as they suggest, immoral by nature, when it's made in said "God's image" - especially when put in sharp contrast to the benevolent selfishness that can be seen in nature: sure, the individual animal is acting selfishly, but the mechanism strives to make the species thrive.

I was disappointed in the

I was disappointed in the way the your blog was written. It seemed to be more of an attack on the person that you do not like rather than presenting evidence for your position. It must be remembered that in a debate or discussion, when a person begans to call people names, the discussion or debate degenerates into a name calling game, and the purpose of the debate, to communicate truth and reason, is lost. This is true for both athiests and thiests.
Thanks for reading.

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We don't need evidence to suspend belief in the supernatural! It is up to you to present the evidence that proves the existence of your imaginary friend!
There is quite a difference between suspending belief and making a truth claim. To suspend belief means that a person just doesn't believe something. In this, they are not making any claims to truth. If they don't beleive something, they are not saying the opposite is true. For example, if my wife tells me she is pregnant, and I say, "I don't believe it," then I am not saying, "You're not pregnant." I am not making a truth claim. I am just saying, "I don't believe it." If I accused her saying, "You're lying. I know you are not pregnant." Then I would be making a truth claim which would need to be defended and sustained. This scenario makes sense when we approach a court trial. One side is saying, "This person is guilty." The other side is saying, "This person is innocent." Both must make a case. The innocent person must defend the case. Just because they are trying to prove the negative doesn't mean they do not have to make a defense. You are not suspending belief. You have made a truth claim. You have said:
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there is no higher purpose other than what you assign to your life; there is no afterlife and you'll never see grandma again
This statement was not prefaced with, "I don't believe..." Rather, you have made a clear claim to truth. So, how do you defend such a thesis? Please prove your claim. What is your basis for sustaining any truth claim, not just this one? How do you discern what is true and what is false?
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coherent definition of their god
I can give a coherent definition of my God, but would it be of any benefit? It seems to me (and I could be wrong) that you along with everyone else that is readily attacking theism that you have set your heart against God. There is no rational or logical basis to make the claim "There is no God." Why? Because, to say "there is no God" is to say there is no power or being superior than myself. To say there is no power superior than oneself is to say you are the highest being in existence. And if you are the most superior being in existence, (1) why then are subject to the physical laws of space and time? Why can't you do whatever you want when you want? (2) Why do you exist? What is the reason for your existence? (3) Why will you die? Lastly, there is no rational or logical basis to make the claim "There is no God" because to say there is no God leaves only one other hypothesis for the existence of the universe: chance. Those who deny the existence of God believe that the universe originated by chance. Please explain how this is a logical or rational claim? To say the universe happened by chance is the same as saying there is no reason for the existence of the universe. If there is no reason for the universe, then there is no way to sustain any other claim. It means there is no reason for anything. Without a reasonable first cause, there is no reasonable cause for anything. This means there is no way to make any truth claim including the claims that say: "There is no God" and "The universe happened by chance." This is foolishness. There is nothing rational or logical or reasonable about such a claim. To say the universe happened by chance means that everything has happened by chance. And if everything happened by chance, then how can we prove anything? Can you imagine if scientists embraced such a philosophy? How would they ever sustain any claim. The whole of science is based upon reason. When a scientist observes something within the universe, they immediately assumed that it happened for a reason. They then search for that reason. But what if they accepted "chance" as the cause of the universe, they would always have to say, "Well, it happened by chance." For example, why did the apple fall off the tree? Well, it just happened. There is no reason behind it. No atheist can prove or sustain a claim that God does not exist. Most atheists are aware of this. The only way to prove darkness exists is to first show light and then show it's absense. However, if a person has never seen light, they cannot see or understand dark. There is no way to prove God doesn't exist. The atheist can only debunk current truth claims and then say, "There is not enough evidence to sustain such a claim." But, whenever an atheist says, "There is no God," that atheist is making a truth claim. And it is entirely irrational to make such a claim for there is no way to prove it. The point is this: atheism-when it claims that God doesn't exists- is not based upon logic or reasoning. It is a belief system or a religion. It is based upon a deep desire by a person to disbelieve. It is a rejection. As such, it would not matter if any person's arguments were coherent or true, because such atheism is not based upon truth. It claims there is no truth. If there is no truth, is that true? If there is no God, is that true? In conclusion, just because you or anyone else hasn't met God doesn't mean God doesn't exist. There real proof of God doesn't come in an argument and it certainly won't come through the computer. If God does exist, the only way to know is to meetHim. I have met God. I know Him. I don't believe God exists. I know God exists. But don't take my word for it. Go meet Him for yourself. You can't find Him unless you honestly seek Him as God.