The greater good

radikal
Posts: 15
Joined: 2009-01-14
User is offlineOffline
The greater good

 Only answer the questions that apply to your position!

To atheists:

We say that christians are irrational. Yet there have been many christians who changed societies for the better - MLK jr, Nelson Mandella, and Frederick Douglas. Is it possible to be irrational and change society for the better? Is this a contradiction?

To christians/theists:

  Atheists are often said to have no "faith." That they don't believe in a greater purpose in life than their own material beliefs. Yet, one of the greatest revolutionaries of all time was an atheist, Karl Marx.  Do you think it is possible for someone to change society for the good without believing in God? If so, where do they get their morality from?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3719
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
radikal wrote:Is it possible

radikal wrote:

Is it possible to be irrational and change society for the better?

Yes.

Quote:
Is this a contradiction?

No. Being irrational and improving society do not contradict.

It's possible to do something good for bad reasons.

In addition, the subject upon which the person is irrational can be unrelated to the person's acts, i.e., Martin Luther King Jr. can have other reasons for doing the things he did. An action could easily be conducted neither because of Christianity nor contrary to Christianity, but simply separate from it. 

 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


treat2 (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
radikal wrote: Only answer

radikal wrote:

 Only answer the questions that apply to your position!

To atheists:

We say that christians are irrational. Yet there have been many christians who changed societies for the better - MLK jr, Nelson Mandella, and Frederick Douglas. Is it possible to be irrational and change society for the better? Is this a contradiction?

Nobody is entirely rational.
Nobody is entirely logical.

Most of us posess a combination of both attributes.

They are not mutually exclusive.

Believing that gods exist does not mean a person must be "evil", or otherwise incapable of any rational thought.

Hence, there are countless Theists that have improved the human condition by employing rational thought.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
 Quote:To atheists:We say

 

Quote:
To atheists:

We say that christians are irrational. Yet there have been many christians who changed societies for the better - MLK jr, Nelson Mandella, and Frederick Douglas. Is it possible to be irrational and change society for the better? Is this a contradiction?

Careful with the "We" and "say that Christians are irrational" part of that.  I lost my Official Handbook of the Church of Atheism, so I can't look up the specific chapter and verse, but since then, I've come to the belief that theists, by virtue of believing in god(s) are necessarily irrational with regard to that particular belief, and probably will be irrational with regard to things directly influenced by their god-belief, but I would never say that theists are less rational people in areas of their life where their theism either wasn't a significant influence, or agreed with rationalism.  (For instance, even that asshole, Yahweh, said it's a good idea not to shit right outside of camp.)

In other words, whenever a person believes in a God who promotes betterment of society in a particular way, or when they believe in a God who doesn't have much to say on the subject at all, or when their personal beliefs override the irrational beliefs inspired by the loonier parts of their theism,  they can easily affect changes for the betterment of society without having to give up the irrational belief in a god.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


radikal
Posts: 15
Joined: 2009-01-14
User is offlineOffline
You all pretty much stated

You all pretty much stated the same point: that it is possible to be irrational on religion and still be rational on other beliefs. However, I don't think religious people separate their rational beliefs from their irrational beliefs. They believe their irrational belief in God falls in line with doing good for society. 

What is my point? My point is that when some believes in changing a society. Rationality is important, of course, but it is not obvious what is the rational position is at the time. There are many religious institutions which change society for the good and bad and for irrational and rational reasons. The prominent Secularists today want to change society in obscure and often obtuse ways. There is no real movement to speak of, and I think the militant atheist movement does a lot to harm this. Religion, on the other hand, organizes people and is more effective at changing society, for the good or bad. You may call it  drinking the kool-aid or sheep syndrome. Religion's grassroots efforts deserves to be applauded.

 

And when it comes to forming a democracy, it is the grassroots efforts that are most effective.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
 What the hell are you

 What the hell are you talking about?

No offense, but I have no clue.  What militant atheist movement?  When's the last time you saw an atheist with a gun in front of... well... anything?

What prominent secularists, and what obscure and obtuse ways do they want to change society?

How can these alleged militant atheists harm a nonexistant movement?

In other words... what the hell are you talking about?  Be specific.  Cite sources.  Try to use specific subjects for your sentences instead of vague terms.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:I've come

Hambydammit wrote:
I've come to the belief that theists, by virtue of believing in god(s) are necessarily irrational with regard to that particular belief,
 The theist is no less rational in believing in god, than an atheist is in disbelieving in God. Its your irrationality that believes that what one reasonably believes in, has to be justified in a way to convince you to believe as well. My cousin who is a republican can quite reasonably hold an opinion that I don't hold, but yet I can find reasonable. But it's delusion, and a cheap means to raise your self-esteem, to claim that atheism is the only rational belief to hold. Even I as a theist am not naive enough, as some other theist are, to claim that atheism is a irrational belief, even though I find a number of atheist to be rather dimwitted and pretty shallow, such as yourself.  I've read a number of your post, half of them are deluded by you masturbortary relationship to your disbelief, and I'd wager you atheism has been far more deluding factor in your life than my theism. So leave you arrogance aside, and get a clue. But i doubt you have the intellectual honesty or reflection to realize how dumbshit you are--you're too drenched by your arrogance to ever perceive that.

 


treat2 (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote:The

manofmanynames wrote:
The theist is no less rational in believing in god, than an atheist is in disbelieving in God.....

"Faith" in gods is by definition irrational.

Moreover, as there is not a shread of evidence of gods, it's illogical, as well.

I'm not speaking for anyone else as these blog length threads bore the shit outta me, but I did notice that at the top of a response to Ham.

Ham can speak for himself...
I'm not defending what he or other recent sters said, as I didn't bother reading them.


radikal
Posts: 15
Joined: 2009-01-14
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote: What the

Hambydammit wrote:

 What the hell are you talking about?

No offense, but I have no clue.  What militant atheist movement?  When's the last time you saw an atheist with a gun in front of... well... anything?

What prominent secularists, and what obscure and obtuse ways do they want to change society?

How can these alleged militant atheists harm a nonexistant movement?

In other words... what the hell are you talking about?  Be specific.  Cite sources.  Try to use specific subjects for your sentences instead of vague terms.

 

 

My apologies. We are differing on a matter of semantics.  By militant atheists, I meant atheists who feel it is their duty to confront and challenge religious people (confrontational, but nonviolent).

The militant atheists consist of sam harris, richard dawkins, and the like. There many anti-war, civil rights, anti-poverty movements that consist of mostly religious people. It does harm them, because it damages secularists reputations who ally with these religious organizations. Which is more important: poverty or religious irrationality? War or religious irrationality? These militant Atheists waste so much time criticizing extreme religious  figures, and ignoring the ones who do good.

As for examples, there are plenty. For example, in The End of Faith, Sam Harris justifies torture and caricaturizes the entire islamic community. He makes no mention of Islamic peace movements. Of the fact that Al Jazeera an arab news netowrk puts our American media to shame.  Nor does Harris mention the history of American Imperialism in the middle east for the cause of religious violence. He just makes an extremely obtuse statement about religion, not even recognizing that there are religious people who are organizing AGAINST the religious extremists.

Richard Dawkins is another example. In the documentary root of all evil,  Dawkins says 9/11 was a purely religious attack. It was not.  So, these atheists criticize all of islam and christianity, but make no mention of islamic and christian peace and poverty movements. Neither Sam harris or Dawkins are part of any significant grassroots efforts, but they damage secularists who are.


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
 treat2 wrote: "Faith" in

 

treat2 wrote:
"Faith" in gods is by definition irrational.

 

Yes, because the idiot atheist creates his own version of what irrational means, so he can claim "faith" in god is irrational. Faith in god is no less rational than having faith in "love" or faith in a principle or an idea.

Quote:
Moreover, as there is not a shread of evidence of gods, it's illogical, as well.

This is silly. If my mother were accused of murdering 100s of little children during the times that I was off at school, I wouldn't need evidence presentable in a court of law, to believe she didn't. Irrationality might set in, in a refusal to accept evidence that she just might have. A better measure of irrationality is not based on what one believes, but in an individuals capability to contemplate and reflect on questions and doubts concerning those beliefs. It's perfectly rational to accept things as true for purely subjective reasons. If we didn't know much about evolution it's perfectly rational to believe that our physical composition is a product of intelligent design, for the same reason we perceive complex structures such as computers as intelligently designed. It may be irrational today to hold that the world is flat, just not so a few hundred years ago.

What renders modern ID theorist as irrational, is their inability to contemplate questions otherwise, their inability to contemplate the arguments against such a position, and the evidence on which these arguments are made.

Our dimwitted atheist, has become accustom to using the term irrational, in such a memetic sort of way, they hear others applying it to God beliefs, so they just mimic the accusations, without ever reflecting on what exactly that means, or how exactly "irrationality" is to be defined, and even hold a naive notion of "evidence" as only that which can be used to make a case that others have to agree with.

I don't have evidence to convince you to believe in God, I do have "evidence" to convince me to believe in God, even it's of a subjective quality. You have a demand for a sort of evidence, that I have no such demand for, in fact I'm rather repulsed by. The god you seek to be convinced of, is to me one not even worthy to be "believed" in, in any meaningful sort of way.

 


SSBBJunky
Superfan
Posts: 209
Joined: 2009-02-06
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote:It may

manofmanynames wrote:

It may be irrational today to hold that the world is flat, just not so a few hundred years ago.

It was still irrational a few hundred years ago.

''Black Holes result from God dividing the universe by zero.''


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote:My apologies. We are

Quote:
My apologies. We are differing on a matter of semantics.  By militant atheists, I meant atheists who feel it is their duty to confront and challenge religious people (confrontational, but nonviolent).

Because I object to being semantically linked to people who would solve problems with violence, I will henceforth refer to myself and those with whom I consider myself a  compatriot (Harris, Dawkins, et al) as "atheist activists."  You'll forgive me if I do not give ground by accepting your innuendo laden moniker, I hope.

 

Quote:
There many anti-war, civil rights, anti-poverty movements that consist of mostly religious people.

Please read the following essay for an example of how a theist based institutionalization of values actually caused poverty while giving every indication of trying to alleviate it.

Myth, Sexuality and Culture:  The Early Influence of the Church

Next, please read the following essay, detailing why anything theistically based which claims to have a solution other than the scientific one is necessarily adding nothing or affecting unnecessarily negative consequences:

Why Theism Cannot Add Good to Naturalism

Please read the following essay detailing why Rational Materialism is the only possible source of reliable knowledge, and why any religious claim to truth is necessarily unreliable at best:

Science:  The ONLY Possible Source of Knowledge

When you've finished reading that, you should be prepared to agree with or offer a reasoned, specific refutation to the following statement:

While religious institutions and theists do often perform acts which are beneficial to society, their theism and/or religion cannot be said to have contributed in any [i]good way to their efforts, which could have been accomplished with at least as much effectiveness without the addition of theist beliefs.

Quote:
 It does harm them, because it damages secularists reputations who ally with these religious organizations.

Huh?  Do you mean... atheists who contribute to the Salvation Army lose their Atheist Decoder Ring?  I don't get it.

Quote:
Which is more important: poverty or religious irrationality?

Hell if I know.  I do know that if religious irrationality encourages people to behave in ways that increase poverty, then the religion is worse, since it is exacerbating a problem that is apparently ubiquitous, but not necessarily rampant.

Quote:
These militant Atheists waste so much time criticizing extreme religious  figures, and ignoring the ones who do good.

I do not oppose the good actions of theists who do good.  I oppose their irrational and dangerous actions.  That's what I write about, and that's what I fight.  You're just sending people on a wild goose chase, as I have already happily conceded that religion doesn't make people completely irrational or evil.  As you've hopefully read in my essays, it unnecessarily exacerbates the bad tendencies in people.

You're setting up a strawman, implying that those who oppose religious irrationality are calling all theists evil, or saying that theists are incapable of good acts.  While it's sad that we are so often caricatured by theists and pacifist atheists, I don't see why the actual, legitimate beliefs which we espouse and hold should be altered to fit what we ought to do if we happened to be as foolish as the people we are portrayed to be.

Quote:
As for examples, there are plenty. For example, in The End of Faith, Sam Harris justifies torture and caricaturizes the entire islamic community. He makes no mention of Islamic peace movements.

Ahem... Please quote and cite Sam Harris justifying torture.  I haven't read it.  If you are correct, then I will certainly oppose that statement.  As for the Islamic peace movements, could you please tell me who they are and what influence they're having on the Islamic Fundamentalists?  If they're not making a significant dent in the overwhelmingly large Islamic Non-Peace movement, why should they be mentioned?  Does Sam Harris, or anyone else, owe you the favor of mentioning every single exception to the overwhelmingly consistent rule?

Quote:
 Of the fact that Al Jazeera an arab news netowrk puts our American media to shame.

I have no qualms with this statement.  What's it got to do with me?  I am not fighting news networks.

Quote:
Nor does Harris mention the history of American Imperialism in the middle east for the cause of religious violence.

I'm also not a fan of American Imperialism.  So what?

Quote:
He just makes an extremely obtuse statement about religion, not even recognizing that there are religious people who are organizing AGAINST the religious extremists.

Again, please show me these groups, and give me some way to judge their effectiveness against the people, both in America and the Middle East, who are promoting violence, hatred, and religious divisions.  Even if most people are moderates, if they cannot or will not effectively control the zealots, then why should I praise them for not being violent?

Quote:
Richard Dawkins is another example. In the documentary root of all evil,  Dawkins says 9/11 was a purely religious attack. It was not.

I've read pretty much everything Dawkins has written.  Though I do not agree with everything he says about religion, I do know that he is not so naive as to suggest that any action as complicated as an international terror attack is completely caused by religion.  Again, you're setting up a strawman to knock down.  Dawkins, et al, are quoted every time they open their mouth in public.  If they have sometimes overstated or oversimplified the atheist position, and I'm sure they have, then should they not be given the same latitude you are demanding for the religious?  Do you propose that I should let Osama Bin Laden be the voice of all Islam?  Should his every utterance be taken as the gospel and incontrovertible reality of the situation?  If not, then why are you demanding that I take every quote-mined snippet uttered by an atheist activist as indicative of some wide-spread movement among atheists to create strawmen of theists?

Quote:
Neither Sam harris or Dawkins are part of any significant grassroots efforts, but they damage secularists who are.

An interesting opinion.  I do not feel the same way, and I daresay I know a lot more about this then you do.  Until I see something more than an unsubstantiated opinion, I hope you'll forgive me for not jumping on your bandwagon.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5487
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:When

Hambydammit wrote:

When you've finished reading that, you should be prepared to agree with or offer a reasoned, specific refutation to the following statement:

While religious institutions and theists do often perform acts which are beneficial to society, their theism and/or religion cannot be said to have contributed in any good way to their efforts, which could have been accomplished with at least as much effectiveness without the addition of theist beliefs.


 

You yourself said that religion forms a group mentality.

 

To do the things MLK Mendella etc... did requires a group. The group they used was already formed and there, they didn't have to form one [whether or not they could have formed their own group I don't know.]

 

 

 

So yes, it can add to the good. This is pretty much the same argument you made to how religion adds to the bad.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
OK, I fail to

OK, I fail to understand why positive social change must be coupled with rationality. Example:

 

On December 16, 1773, three ships arrived in Boston harbor loaded with tea that the government hoped to sell at half the normal price. Mind you, the government bought it for much less than normal and were not passing the saving on to the colonists but even so, the good people of Boston had an opportunity to buy tea for half price.

 

That evening, the men of the city gathered at the local Masonic Lodge for a meeting and oh boy, were they pissed off over the matter! Lacking a time machine to go back and view the matter in person, one can only guess at what happened but I am sure that at some point, someone stood up and proposed that the tea be dumped in the harbor. On getting a rousing positive response, I would bet that that guy shouted “Who is with me?” The rest, as they say, is history (pun intended).

 

How that was rational, I have no idea but that is part of the reason why I live in the nation that basically invented the standard of modern government for the rest of the civilized world. So I may be a bit confused on this but I really don't see the connection between rational and positive social change.

 

Hambydammit wrote:

 

What the hell are you talking about?

 

No offense, but I have no clue. What militant atheist movement? When's the last time you saw an atheist with a gun in front of... well... anything?

 

Gee Hamby, you don't know me very well do you? One of the things that I simply must do before I die is go to a range where I can rent a Taurus Raging Bull 454. Most people around here will not know the details but that is a revolver that you can take down an elephant with. A variant of that is the big fucking gun that Mel Gibson used in the target range scene in the first Lethal Weapon movie. It costs USD $1 every time you pull the trigger (my normal routine being more like USD $0.05 per trigger pull).

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


treat2 (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames

manofmanynames wrote:

 

treat2 wrote:
"Faith" in gods is by definition irrational.

 

Yes, because the idiot atheist creates his own version of what irrational means, so he can claim "faith" in god is irrational. Faith in god is no less rational than having faith in "love" or faith in a principle or an idea.

Quote:
Moreover, as there is not a shread of evidence of gods, it's illogical, as well.

This is silly. If my mother were accused of murdering 100s of little children during the times that I was off at school, I wouldn't need evidence presentable in a court of law, to believe she didn't. Irrationality might set in, in a refusal to accept evidence that she just might have. A better measure of irrationality is not based on what one believes, but in an individuals capability to contemplate and reflect on questions and doubts concerning those beliefs. It's perfectly rational to accept things as true for purely subjective reasons. If we didn't know much about evolution it's perfectly rational to believe that our physical composition is a product of intelligent design, for the same reason we perceive complex structures such as computers as intelligently designed. It may be irrational today to hold that the world is flat, just not so a few hundred years ago.

What renders modern ID theorist as irrational, is their inability to contemplate questions otherwise, their inability to contemplate the arguments against such a position, and the evidence on which these arguments are made.

Our dimwitted atheist, has become accustom to using the term irrational, in such a memetic sort of way, they hear others applying it to God beliefs, so they just mimic the accusations, without ever reflecting on what exactly that means, or how exactly "irrationality" is to be defined, and even hold a naive notion of "evidence" as only that which can be used to make a case that others have to agree with.

I don't have evidence to convince you to believe in God, I do have "evidence" to convince me to believe in God, even it's of a subjective quality. You have a demand for a sort of evidence, that I have no such demand for, in fact I'm rather repulsed by. The god you seek to be convinced of, is to me one not even worthy to be "believed" in, in any meaningful sort of way.

 

Obviously as you began to speak of what is "irrational"
and there as a disagreement as to what is and what isn't...

Please provide a clear definition of what you think
"irrational" means, without using mtaphors and analogies.

Your post privided no hint of
any directly evidence that is
capable of being tested for the purpose of proving the Theist claim of the existence
of gods.

Please do present you've
empirical evidence of the existence of gods whenever you have anything. START A THREAD IN WHICH YOU PRESENT IT. Why limit your discovery inside a post in the midst of some totally unrelated thread. Share your evidence with the forum I would think there are billions of people that would be highly interested in having some of your evidence, and quite a few that would like to test it, that is, if you do have any to share with the world.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5881
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is onlineOnline
 Sam Harris does spend

 Sam Harris does spend about 7 pages in "End of Faith" discussing and comparing "judicial torture", such as explicitly supported by Alan Dershowitz,  which he feels deeply emotionally repelled by, and the somehow less intense feelings generally aroused by "collateral damage" by US forces, even though it seems logically the latter should be more repugnant because of the arguably more nasty injuries and deaths visited on many clearly innocent victims, compared to the more psychological and 'temporary' impact on specific people who have either been caught in the act of attacking 'our side' or strongly suspected of it.

He says

Quote:

Given what many of us believe about the exigencies of our war on terrorism, the practice of torture, in certain circumstances, would seem to be not only permissible but necessary. Still, it does not seem any more acceptable, in ethical terms, than it did before.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
 Pineapple, this is simple.

 Pineapple, this is simple.  Religion taps into the group mentality.  It is not the *only* thing that taps into the group mentality.  By virtue of the fact that religion can add nothing good to morality, it cannot do anything BETTER than non-religious groups.

It can, and does, add things that are bad.

Why is this hard?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5487
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

 Pineapple, this is simple.  Religion taps into the group mentality.  It is not the *only* thing that taps into the group mentality.  By virtue of the fact that religion can add nothing good to morality, it cannot do anything BETTER than non-religious groups.

It can, and does, add things that are bad.

Why is this hard?

 

 

Do you or do you not think that the fact that Mandella/MLK tapped into the religious group mentality helped them?

It would have been much harder for them to accomplish their goals, had they not tapped into an already existing group structure.

 

You seem to have a selective understanding. Group mentalities work both ways. They don't magically change based on whether the deed is good or bad.

 

 

 

 


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
 Let me try this again.

 Let me try this again.  It's very, very simple.

Good people with good (read, "naturally derivable) morals can exploit religious group mentality to affect good.  I've never denied this.  Religion, by virtue of teaching religious (read, "not naturally derivable, and therefore, neutral or less good&quotEye-wink morals, will tend to encourage people to do bad things they would not ordinarily do.

Here's a basic truth table for you (in sentence form because I don't know how to do forms on here.)

Non-religious:  Can see the naturally derivable good.  If good, will do good.  If bad, will do bad.

Religious: Can see the naturally derivable good.  If good, may or may not do good, based on whether or not religion contradicts the good.  If bad, will do the bad, or will do the religious bad (good) and claim to be good.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5487
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote: Let me

Hambydammit wrote:

 Let me try this again.  It's very, very simple.

Good people with good (read, "naturally derivable) morals can exploit religious group mentality to affect good.  I've never denied this.  Religion, by virtue of teaching religious (read, "not naturally derivable, and therefore, neutral or less good&quotEye-wink morals, will tend to encourage people to do bad things they would not ordinarily do.

Here's a basic truth table for you (in sentence form because I don't know how to do forms on here.)

Non-religious:  Can see the naturally derivable good.  If good, will do good.  If bad, will do bad.

Religious: Can see the naturally derivable good.  If good, may or may not do good, based on whether or not religion contradicts the good.  If bad, will do the bad, or will do the religious bad (good) and claim to be good.

 

 

 

Here watch

 

R=Religious

N=Non religious

 

G=Good

B=Bad

 

[edit]

 

To make it clear, G and B denote good or bad with respect to natural morality. This is to prevent the "calling it good" semantics.

 

[/edit]

 

 

First column is the religious satus [N or R]

 

First row is morality derived [G or B]

 

Row matching status is action [G or B]

 

 

 GB
NGB
RG/BG/B

 

 {edit}

 

You seem to be putting the G/B for the religious, yet I bring up that theists get their morality from the same place as atheist, ergo the N row should be the same as R row]

 

{/edit}

I am quite confused that you say that if the good can can be overridden by religion, yet bad can't. Or better put, you mention what happens if the religious goes against the good, but not the bad.

 

Here's a table for religious

 

A 'C' prefix for good or bad denotes that it goes against the religion.

 

You seem to propose the following table:

 

 GCGBCB
RGBBB[?]

 

Shouldn't the CB be filled with G?

 

 

 

 

 


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

 Pineapple, this is simple.  Religion taps into the group mentality.  It is not the *only* thing that taps into the group mentality.  By virtue of the fact that religion can add nothing good to morality, it cannot do anything BETTER than non-religious groups.

It can, and does, add things that are bad.

Why is this hard?

 

Because it's fucking stupid.

If religion can't add nothing "good" to morality, than it can not add nothing "bad" either, it's only cognitive dissonance that allows the stupid as shit atheist to assume otherwise. There's no fairy dust line that prevents one but not the other. For someone who professes his superior knowledge of science, these sort of views of yours begs otherwise, and stand more as testaments for you delusions than for your intellect. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5487
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote:Because

manofmanynames wrote:

Because it's fucking stupid.

If religion can't add nothing "good" to morality, than it can not add nothing "bad" either, it's only cognitive dissonance that allows the stupid as shit atheist to assume otherwise. There's no fairy dust line that prevents one but not the other. For someone who professes his superior knowledge of science, these sort of views of yours begs otherwise, and stand more as testaments for you delusions than for your intellect. 

 

 

 

No need to get your panties in a twist, I was pointing out a similar thing, but I don't think there's a need to go off the rocker, since I want Hamby to actually address the questions I asked and points I brought up rather than give him an excuse not to.

 

 

 


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote: No

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 No need to get your panties in a twist, I was pointing out a similar thing, but I don't think there's a need to go off the rocker, since I want Hamby to actually address the questions I asked and points I brought up rather than give him an excuse not to.

Smiling

Well, i target hamby in the manner in which I do, not because my panties are in a  twist, but because he himself has advocated calling individuals dumb as fuck, if he perceive their arguments to be stupid. I found that to be offensive , and if that's the way hamy likes to operate it's only fitting that it be turned back on him as well, to see if he feels the same when he's on the receiving end. He doesn't like it, that much I know, but he just won't admit it, and that's all that I've ever wanted a confession that he doesn't appreciate being talked to in that way, regardless if his arguments are out of his ass or not. 

Secondly it's a naive pursuit to assume that Hamy will ever admit to being wrong. He's some dude who finds his ego stroked by being a part of a forum of choir boys who idolize him, that's why he feel the need to quote his blog every chance he can get. He won't respond to certain post all together, regardless of how polite or rude you are, just for the sheer sake of avoiding to reveal any sign of intellectual frailty, and out of fear of revealing that much of what he says is hot air. He feels his reps on the line, and since he prizes it so much, he doesn't like to engage in discussions that risk it. 

*edit, i just realized I was in the kill em with kindness forum, so i must apologize to hamy, for being impolite, because this forum area is surely not the place for it. And if I could go back and edit my post I would.

 


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5487
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
I'm saying that don't give

I'm saying that don't give Hamby a reason to dismiss your post.

 

 

 

He does it all the time with me. Apparently taking academic courses in mathematics [including stats] and thinking numbers and calculations have to be used to show a trend means that numbers aren't required to show a statistical trend.

 

 

 

I've gotten used to it and have come to expect it quite frankly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:I'm

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I'm saying that don't give Hamby a reason to dismiss your post.

I apologize, I should have refrained from being so demeaning to him in this area of the site, as well as towards a response he reserved for you. 

But on a side not, his blog entry "Why Religion is Bad -- The Comprehensive Argument", is one of the most pathetic pieces of writings that I've read in such a long time. And I've decided to dedicate a thread when i find the time, to picking it a part for it's superstious beliefs that ran rampant through out. Such as his disney land diatribe about " natural human morality", and such statements of stupidity as this one: "Sure, without religion, there would still be lots of division in human society. It's part of our nature. However, as with morality in general, religion fosters and encourages new criteria for divisions. "

Which as dimwitted as claiming in refrence to the Bloods and Crypts that if we lived in a world free of blue and red shirts, we'd have one less criteria for division, without realizing that green and yellow would arise just as easily to take it's place.  

 

 

 


treat2 (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

 Pineapple, this is simple.  Religion taps into the group mentality.  It is not the *only* thing that taps into the group mentality.  By virtue of the fact that religion can add nothing good to morality, it cannot do anything BETTER than non-religious groups.

It can, and does, add things that are bad.

Why is this hard?

 

 

Do you or do you not think that the fact that Mandella/MLK tapped into the religious group mentality helped them?

It would have been much harder for them to accomplish their goals, had they not tapped into an already existing group structure....

The struggle for civil rights
in the 50's and 60's did have
many religious leaders. However, some leaders were not Ministers or known for their religious beliefs.

As to the followers of the civil rights movement. IT DID NOT SUCCEED BECAUSE IT APPEALED TO FOLLOWERS WHO WERE RELIGIOUS!

THE FOLLOWERS OF THE KKK WERE AND ARE RELIGIOUS!

No. These men were leaders, as they were ministers, BUT that had nothing to do with the REASONS PEOPLE FOLLOWED THEM.


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5487
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
treat2 wrote:However, some

treat2 wrote:

However, some leaders were not Ministers or known for their religious beliefs.

 

Of course there were

 

treat2 wrote:

As to the followers of the civil rights movement. IT DID NOT SUCCEED BECAUSE IT APPEALED TO FOLLOWERS WHO WERE RELIGIOUS! THE FOLLOWERS OF THE KKK WERE AND ARE RELIGIOUS! No. These men were leaders, as they were ministers, BUT that had nothing to do with the REASONS PEOPLE FOLLOWED THEM.

 

I'm sure they could have done it other ways.

 

 

 

I was rather flippantly trying to point out that group mentality isn't a light switch that only helps the bad.

 

 

 

 


treat2 (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Hey Cappy, I understand.

Hey Cappy, I understand.

I'm always flipped out.

BTW. The caps were only to draw attention, not yelling.
I've been on the Net too long to get pissed off at my PC or PDA. lol


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
 Pineapple, that's not the

 Pineapple, that's not the truth table I suggested.  I'll do it without lines and shit:

 

Capital letters = people.

Natural:

........g.........b........

G......g.........b........

B......b..........b........

 

Theist:

........g..........b........

G......b/g......b/g.....

B......b/g......b/g.....

 

This is to say that without theism, good people, when put in the natural position to do good, will do good, and will do bad when put into the natural position to do bad.  Bad people will tend to do bad in all situations, as they have always done.

With theism, good people may or may not do good in a good situation, because religion can only muddy the water, and add the belief that bad is good by virtue of faith.  Of course, there is also the possibility that theism will teach that good is bad, and a theist, thinking he is doing a bad thing, might do a good thing instead.

It may look, at first glance, like you might be better off taking your chances with the theism chart, since there's a chance for good in all categories, and if it were all a 50/50 chance, you'd be right.  However, as I've pointed out, that's not the way it works in real life.  Most people, most of the time, do good things.  That's because it's our ESS (evolutionarily stable strategy).  Human society holds together as a result of the evolutionary math that encourages mostly good behavior.  Bad behavior is a small percentage of our behavior in life, so far from taking a blank slate and flipping coins at random, religion is taking a behavior pattern that is mostly good and weighting it towards bad in all categories except for B/b, which is mostly bad anyway.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:This is to

Hambydammit wrote:

This is to say that without theism, good people, when put in the natural position to do good, will do good, and will do bad when put into the natural position to do bad.  Bad people will tend to do bad in all situations, as they have always done.

Yes, we love the divisions and delusions. There's a thin line between good and bad people, if the situations were the same the distinctions would be fairly null void. It's a delusions of one's morality, brought on by prospertity that makes the need for moral behavior fairly non-existent (there little reason to rob when everyone has a equal piece of available bread.), to see it as reigning supreme in a life of fortune, and assuming that carries over it situations of misforturne. It's all a delusion to characterize a morally good person, by his acts, and external conduct, for which the reasons for them may be far from moral. It would be a delusion to claim that rich kids are more moral than the poor kids, because they are less likely to act violently, and cruelly.

The line between good and bad people is a thin win, and easily crossed when need be. 

Quote:
th theism, good people may or may not do good in a good situation, because religion can only muddy the water, and add the belief that bad is good by virtue of faith. 

Really, religion muddys the water of moral behavior? The atheist is lest muddled in his moral behavior than the theist? And this is not you peddling a faith position? Do you have any scientific study or research to support this claim, and would you like to be honest and say you pulled it out your ass, because it gave you the warm and fuzzies?


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5487
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
I'm still not convinced that

I'm still not convinced that people will do the opposite of what morals they derive.

 

 

The problem I have with it is that Theists tend to pick and choose which rules they follow. Not even Kent Hovind says that we should stone homosexuals. Hell even Fox news spoke out against the Phelps family.

 

The Bible for example, from what I'm told, can be cherry picked to support pretty much anything, and yet in order to cherry you first must have a base.

 

Also deriving for example something that is bad, will most likely go against our natural instincts, and as such will cause cognitive dissonance, and I would put my money on instincts.

 

The Failure of  Absitence only education is a perfect example. Having sex isn't "evil" in terms of natural morality, yet religion teaches it as bad, and it doesn't work because it goes against our instincts.

 

If what you say is true, it should have worked, since apparently religion would be able to override the naturally derived stance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3719
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
For the most part, people

For the most part, people tailor their religious beliefs to fit their naturally and culturally derived morality. Religious institutions, in general, conform to nature and social zeitgeist as well. 

Pineapple wrote:
If what you say is true, it should have worked, since apparently religion would be able to override the naturally derived stance.

I think, most of the time, it doesn't work at all.

The differences are much more striking in science than in morality.  

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5487
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
butterbattle wrote:For the

butterbattle wrote:

For the most part, people tailor their religious beliefs to fit their naturally and culturally derived morality. Religious institutions, in general, conform to nature and social zeitgeist as well.

 

 

That's what I'm trying to say. However, to complicate things on my end, religion is part of the social zeitgeist and the social zeigest is a result of the basic instincts.

 

So you can see the complication.

 

 


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:The

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

The Failure of  Abstinence only education is a perfect example. Having sex isn't "evil" in terms of natural morality, yet religion teaches it as bad, and it doesn't work because it goes against our instincts. 

I'm not a huge fan of the term "natural morality", even things that we find to be instinctual immoral, can in fact by another standard be moral. Homosexuality is one such example, whose opposition arises from an instinctual repulsion, that some males perceives as a threat to the purity of male bonds. Individuals find homosexuality to be wrong from the same instinctual bases for which they determine other forms of immorality such as incest, wrong. 

The other erroneous thinking on your part assumes, that what we deem as instinctively evil, and act upon, we then perceive as "good".  I have difficult time staying faithful in relationship, though I find cheating on the women I'm with to be totally wrong, I act on my sexual desires regardless, but I don't engage it calling "bad" good. Immorality is in fact is often acting on our instincts, and often times acting moral can be acting in opposition to those instincts. 

Children who are taught Abstinence only education, and yet engage in sexual activity, are not necessarily acting in accordance to what they feel isn't wrong in the first place, they may just as well be acting on what they feel is wrong to begin with, like my friend who slept with her cousins fiancee. She acted on it, not because she felt there was nothing wrong with it, but the allures of doing what's wrong are often quite strong. This is the Pauline dilemma, of doing what we perceive as wrong, because we have a will present that makes it alluring.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thomathy
SuperfanBronze Member
Thomathy's picture
Posts: 1861
Joined: 2007-08-20
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote:I'm not

manofmanynames wrote:
I'm not a huge fan of the term "natural morality", even things that we find to be instinctual immoral, can in fact by another standard be moral. Homosexuality is one such example, whose opposition arises from an instinctual repulsion, that some males perceives as a threat to the purity of male bonds. Individuals find homosexuality to be wrong from the same instinctual bases for which they determine other forms of immorality such as incest, wrong.
Bizarre.  You may have a problem with the use of 'natural morality', but is homosexuality (or incest) a useful analogy?  You don't think, rather, that people find it repulsive (which isn't to say anything about the morality of something) for some reason other than that it is 'instinctually' so?  Is there anything actually immoral with either incest or homoesxuality, even from a natural perspective?  And if morals are to be derived from something other than nature or our nature, should there be a particular problem with that?  Are you of the opinion that morals should be prescribed by god?  And if they should or are, is there any justification on how those morals would be superior to those contrived by humans?

 

Quote:
The other erroneous thinking on your part assumes, that what we deem as instinctively evil, and act upon, we then perceive as "good".
The Captain didn't assume any such thing.

Quote:
I have difficult time staying faithful in relationship, though I find cheating on the women I'm with to be totally wrong, I act on my sexual desires regardless, but I don't engage it calling "bad" good. Immorality is in fact is often acting on our instincts, and often times acting moral can be acting in opposition to those instincts.
I don't disagree that we may or may not act moral or immoral in accordance to or in opposition with our instincts, but cheating on the women you're with is only immoral if it's a violation of the terms of your relationship (which could be why you find it totally wrong) and acting on your sexual desires at that point has nothing to do with sex being wrong but in your behaviour being contrary to some agreement you made.

Quote:
Children who are taught Abstinence only education, and yet engage in sexual activity, are not necessarily acting in accordance to what they feel isn't wrong in the first place, they may just as well be acting on what they feel is wrong to begin with, like my friend who slept with her cousins fiancee. She acted on it, not because she felt there was nothing wrong with it, but the allures of doing what's wrong are often quite strong. This is the Pauline dilemma, of doing what we perceive as wrong, because we have a will present that makes it alluring.
Once again, you're not talking about sex being wrong.  You're talking about a girl who slept with someone who was in a relationship.  Abstinence only education educates people not to have sex until they are married, it doesn't teach people not to commit acts of adultery (which I hope you know aren't bound to acts of sex).  Since you're talking about sex being wrong (before marriage, assumedly), however, can you point to an objective reason as to how sex is wrong?

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
 Quote:That's what I'm

 

Quote:
That's what I'm trying to say. However, to complicate things on my end, religion is part of the social zeitgeist and the social zeigest is a result of the basic instincts.

 

So you can see the complication.

Captain, I really don't see where your problem is.  I've addressed the issue of "circular causality" between religion and "society."  Even if society "causes" religion, which "causes" bad things to happen, the problem of religion being bad still exists.  I'm happy to concede that anything which happens in society is a product of human nature and society.  My argument is simply that we are equally capable of controlling our religious instincts and our instincts for sexism, racism, and cruelty to "others" (those in the out group).

Sure, religion is a product of society, so ultimate "cause" for religious ills can be traced to human nature.  That's a banal point.  All human experience is our genetic programming reacting to the environment.  The effort to improve the human experience is really the effort to change the environment such that people react in better ways, forming a better society.  My little corner of this effort is getting people to stop believing things on faith.  Religion is the biggest offender in this category.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5487
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:Captain, I

Hambydammit wrote:

Captain, I really don't see where your problem is.  I've addressed the issue of "circular causality" between religion and "society."  Even if society "causes" religion, which "causes" bad things to happen, the problem of religion being bad still exists.  I'm happy to concede that anything which happens in society is a product of human nature and society.  My argument is simply that we are equally capable of controlling our religious instincts and our instincts for sexism, racism, and cruelty to "others" (those in the out group).

Sure, religion is a product of society, so ultimate "cause" for religious ills can be traced to human nature.  That's a banal point.  All human experience is our genetic programming reacting to the environment.  The effort to improve the human experience is really the effort to change the environment such that people react in better ways, forming a better society.  My little corner of this effort is getting people to stop believing things on faith.  Religion is the biggest offender in this category.

 

 

 

That's part of my problem, not all of it.

 

The other part of the problem is I don't think religion can go against the naturally derived morality as you imply.

 

 

 

 


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3719
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:That's

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

That's part of my problem, not all of it.

The other part of the problem is I don't think religion can go against the naturally derived morality as you imply.

Hmmm, perhaps, in most cases, religion doesn't directly oppose natural morality, but manipulates it.

For example, 9/11. I'm certain, that even to the highjackers, part of their conscience shouted that something was wrong with flying planes into buildings and killing thousands of innocent people. So, Islam doesn't just slap terrorists on the forehead and tell that it's okay; it utilizes many opposing instincts to overcome the repulsion against killing innocent people.

- It turns Westerners into an out-group.

- Honor for their families. (in-groups)

- Virgins in paradise. That's self interest + sex.

- They're following the will of Allah, so they're actually doing the right thing and they're middlemen, following orders.  

On top of that, they believe America threatens their people and their way of life, which is not entirely inaccurate. Often, terrorists may feel that they are fighting in self-defense from America, and that's usually validated to a certain extent as well.

Additionally, as MOMN stated, not all natural morality is spiffy. Opposition to gay marriage is partly rooted in natural morality; men are disgusted by the thought of other men having sex, probably because they're not reproducing. Yet, gay marriage is also strongly supported on the left because we have the concepts of fairness, human rights, etc. So many of our instincts contradict.

Thus, what we really need to do is to combine natural morality with reason to determine what ought to be. I think this is where religion can do the most damage.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5881
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is onlineOnline
We have a hierarchy of

We have a hierarchy of drives and instincts which can conflict. Patriotism (defense of the group one identifies with), submission to authority, fear of punishment, etc, regularly get thousands of people in military forces to kill and even inflict torture, which (hopefully) are against some very basic instincts.

Religion can indeed exploit and change the emphasis on the same feelings, in much the way butterbattle describes, to get people doing all sorts of things they wouldn't do without it. Repetitive training also can de-sensitize people to their natural revulsion to some actions. The military clearly does this, and religious ritual and training similarly. Religion also works on reinforcing and magnifying any natural revulsion to other things, like homosexuality.

This ability to modify the effects of our 'instincts' is a key thing that makes our species so adaptable.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
butterbattle wrote:For

butterbattle wrote:

For example, 9/11. I'm certain, that even to the hijackers, part of their conscience shouted that something was wrong with flying planes into buildings and killing thousands of innocent people.

Well, you're quite "certain" is meaningless, and speaks more of the limited form of life you come from than anything else.

If i were to watch my mother killed, or members of my community dying everyday, if I was exposed to these sort of happening every 15 minutes. Or if I was like Nabeel Masood, a 16-year-old who exploded himself in the Israeli port of Ashdod the previous April. Who Scott Atran (a scientist who actually studies suicide terrorist) tells the story "shortly before the attack, Nabeel had received word that he had received a scholarship to study in England, but the two cousins he most loved were then killed in an Israeli raid, so he went to the Mosque and prepared himself to die.", I'd be far more than capable of committing a heinous sort of attack in retaliation. 

I have a deeply committed sense of love for my family and friends, and even for my close community, that if someone were to murder or rape my sister, I'd be more than capable and fairly driven to murder the perpetrator, and perhaps even his loved ones, to make him feel what my loss felt like.

I understand our typical atheist has such a cookie cutter notion of human nature, from where your "I'm certain" is derived from. Those conditions of suffering, and misery from which a sense of depravity manifests itself, are so removed from their own comfortable lives that they barely get it. Its why you hold that mythical belief that it's religion and not the capacity of human nature that motivated the terrorist. What they miss is that human history is drenched with the heinous stench of human cruelty, not to long ago we were a nation who found spectacle, a family event, to witness the lynching of men, and even children. So much for being so certain huh? DO you feel those white families, had a conscious that shouted that there was something wrong with what's being done here? or did they relish it with enjoyment, that even if there was a cry out of consciousness, it's was too muted to ever have any meaning. 

I've always been quite prone to facepalming when exposed to village atheist who attempt to expound on human nature, particulary in relation to morality, because it's so naive, and so detached from reality, and so candy coated that one has to gag. 

 

 

 

 


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3719
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Okay, then, I'm probably

Okay, then, I'm probably wrong there. Since they are fighting an out-group, the 9/11 hijackers might have carried out their mission gleefully.

However, I don't see how this responds to the claim that religion was an important factor.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
bHowever, I don't see how

butterbird wrote:

However, I don't see how this responds to the claim that religion was an important factor.

Well, religion was not an important factor, and this is the view of nearly every person and organizations that actually studies the matter. The 9/11 terrorist, were far from the most religious of Muslims, Muhammad Atta had a penchant for gambling, boos, and hookers, and surely not an example of a righteous Muslim. In fact mosque attendance is a negative indicator for potential suicide terrorist (check out Scott Atrans Beyond Belief videos). Individuals that attend a mosque regularly are less likely to become suicide terrorist than those that don't. 

The study by MI5, the arab terrorist, are typically religious novices: "Few were brought up in strongly religious households with many lacking religious knowledge and rarely practising their faith. Some were involved in drug-taking, drinking alcohol and visiting prostitutes."

The village atheist hypothesis that arab terrorist are motivated by their religion, has been shown to be false by nearly every scientific endevour that studies the matter; the actual evidence is actually contrary to that view. 

"The data show that there is little connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism, or any one of the world’s religions. . . . Rather, what nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland”~ Robert Pape, director of the University of Chicago's,  "Chicago Project on Suicide Terrorism".

It's about time the atheist drops the blame 9/11 on religion line, since this is contrary to the actual facts. 


The Doomed Soul
atheist
The Doomed Soul's picture
Posts: 2148
Joined: 2007-08-31
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote:"The

manofmanynames wrote:

"The data show that there is little connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism, or any one of the world’s religions. . . . Rather, what nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland”~ Robert Pape, director of the University of Chicago's,  "Chicago Project on Suicide Terrorism".

It's about time the atheist drops the blame 9/11 on religion line, since this is contrary to the actual facts. 

 

If thats his conclusion, the man is clearly full of shit

What Would Kharn Do?


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5487
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote:Well,

manofmanynames wrote:

Well, religion was not an important factor, and this is the view of nearly every person and organizations that actually studies the matter. The 9/11 terrorist, were far from the most religious of Muslims, Muhammad Atta had a penchant for gambling, boos, and hookers, and surely not an example of a righteous Muslim. In fact mosque attendance is a negative indicator for potential suicide terrorist (check out Scott Atrans Beyond Belief videos). Individuals that attend a mosque regularly are less likely to become suicide terrorist than those that don't. 

The study by MI5, the arab terrorist, are typically religious novices: "Few were brought up in strongly religious households with many lacking religious knowledge and rarely practising their faith. Some were involved in drug-taking, drinking alcohol and visiting prostitutes."

The village atheist hypothesis that arab terrorist are motivated by their religion, has been shown to be false by nearly every scientific endevour that studies the matter; the actual evidence is actually contrary to that view. 

"The data show that there is little connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism, or any one of the world’s religions. . . . Rather, what nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland”~ Robert Pape, director of the University of Chicago's,  "Chicago Project on Suicide Terrorism".

It's about time the atheist drops the blame 9/11 on religion line, since this is contrary to the actual facts. 

 

Links to said studies?

 

I've read Robert Pape, and am currently reading Mia Bloom.

 

But I haven't seen the studies by Atran.

 

 

 


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
The Doomed Soul wrote:If

The Doomed Soul wrote:

If thats his conclusion, the man is clearly full of shit

Judging that the conclusion by "Chicago Project on Suicide Terrorism" is based on analysis of every known case of suicide terrorism from 1980 to 2005, we'd have to wonder who's really full of shit. You want us to believe the conclusions of Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins like, whose views are based on their dimwitted intuitions, rather than the views based on the actual evidence, and data we have on hand. 

If anyone is full of shit, it's more likely to be you. 

 

 


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:We have a

BobSpence1 wrote:

We have a hierarchy of drives and instincts which can conflict. Patriotism (defense of the group one identifies with), submission to authority, fear of punishment, etc, regularly get thousands of people in military forces to kill and even inflict torture, which (hopefully) are against some very basic instincts.

Well, your "hopefully" amounts to being no more than a religious delusion. Look no further than children who enjoyed the torturing of animals, such as a girl friend of mine who enjoyed throwing cats into trash can, even when often they stopped moving all together. The instinct to inflict cruelty is no less "basic" than the instinct not to inflict it. Bears are capable of eating their own cubs, yet our atheist has such a candy coated view of human nature, as something pure and good, unlike the nature of other animals, but just corrupted by external forces such as religion. 

Quote:
Repetitive training also can de-sensitize people to their natural revulsion to some actions. The military clearly does this, and religious ritual and training similarly. Religion also works on reinforcing and magnifying any natural revulsion to other things, like homosexuality.

Really? The military training attempts de-sensitize people to their natural revulsion? This comes as news to me, and I've served several years in the marine corps, as an artillery man. Please, I would love to hear about the sort of training you're talking about?  

Secondly our revulsions are lessened by continual exposure to the things we found to be revolting. Roaches are more revolting the first time you find them in your home, but become less revolting the more time you spent around them. My parents who had to kill their own animals when they were growing up, are far less revolted, in fact not revolted at all, when witnessing the butchering of animals for meat, though I with the comfort of being able to buy my meal at a grocery store, totally blind to how it got there, could barely strum the courage to milk  a cow. 

A society in which starving children are a rarity are far more prone to be revolted at the notion of impoverished children, than a society for whom impoverished children are a facet of their every day lives. If you were to walk the streets of Bombay, you'd find the multitudes of privileged people as indifferent and almost oblivious to the suffering around them.

I've run into many Marines, particulary senior ones who are cold and so indifferent to the notion of death, who could kill and who have killed with out barely a wink of remorse or feeling at the taking of lives, it's wasn't training, or teachings that got them their, but rather their continual exposure to the dying, to the loss of friends they witnessed, to the countless lives they'd already taken. 

 


treat2 (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
...religion is part of the social zeitgeist and the social zeigest is a result of the basic instincts...

Just to concentrate on the later part:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
...the social zeigest is a result of the basic instincts...

Cappy, do you mean that you view the social zeigest is as a result of our DENYING our basic instincts, OR it is from following our basic instincts?


The Doomed Soul
atheist
The Doomed Soul's picture
Posts: 2148
Joined: 2007-08-31
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote:If

manofmanynames wrote:

If anyone is full of shit, it's more likely to be you. 

If there was ever a topic to NOT call Doomy out on...

It would be one where he doesnt have first hand experience >.>

What Would Kharn Do?


daedalus
daedalus's picture
Posts: 260
Joined: 2007-05-22
User is offlineOffline
radikal wrote:To atheists:

radikal wrote:

To atheists:

We say that christians are irrational. Yet there have been many christians who changed societies for the better - MLK jr, Nelson Mandella, and Frederick Douglas. Is it possible to be irrational and change society for the better? Is this a contradiction?

 

Yes it is a contradiction.  Christians are irrational and can not change things for the better.  If they do, they weren't REAL Christians!  Eye-wink

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


radikal
Posts: 15
Joined: 2009-01-14
User is offlineOffline
 Quote: Please read the

 

Quote:

Please read the following essay for an example of how a theist based institutionalization of values actually caused poverty while giving every indication of trying to alleviate it.

Myth, Sexuality and Culture:  The Early Influence of the Church

Next, please read the following essay, detailing why anything theistically based which claims to have a solution other than the scientific one is necessarily adding nothing or affecting unnecessarily negative consequences:

Why Theism Cannot Add Good to Naturalism

Please read the following essay detailing why Rational Materialism is the only possible source of reliable knowledge, and why any religious claim to truth is necessarily unreliable at best:

Science:  The ONLY Possible Source of Knowledge 

You've jumped the gun here. I am an atheist, and the activism I speak of have little to do with dominant theistic institutions. I agree that the dominant theistic institutions have caused more harm than good.  However, there are churches and religious people who are part of a movement that challenge these dominant theistic institutions. MLK jr was condemned by his own church for speaking out against the vietnam war. Martin Luther, a christian himself,  challenged the catholic church.  Nelson Mandela challenged the white religious establishment, while remaining a christian himself. Black liberation theology challenged white supremacy while keeping christian beliefs. My point is that we must be careful when criticizing religion as a whole, because there are religious people who do good, and we alienate them only focus on the bad. 

 

Movements are not based on science, unless you want to include ethics and morality in science. Science is amoral. It is the tool for which the people in power use to justify their exploitation.  Every great empire has said, "We are more advanced, therefore we are more morally great." I would suggest studying  the history of class struggle, civil rights, peace movements, women's rights. None of them happened because they were more scientifically gifted.

 

Quote:
While religious institutions and theists do often perform acts which are beneficial to society, their theism and/or religion cannot be said to have contributed in any [i]good way to their efforts, which could have been accomplished with at least as much effectiveness without the addition of theist beliefs.

Then what is the point in ridiculing these christians if some of them are doing good for society, as you admitted? Wouldn't be far more benefitial for atheists to ally themselves with these christians who want to change society for the better? Calling all christians irrational, and painting  them all as extremists or indirect supporters of extremism only hurts movements that improve societies.


Quote:
Huh?  Do you mean... atheists who contribute to the Salvation Army lose their Atheist Decoder Ring?  I don't get it.

No. Im not talking about that. Im talking about christians who are in Palestine defending the rights of palestinians against Israeli occupation. Im talking about christians who protested against the iraq war from the beginning, and risk their lives in Iraq to help bombing victims. Im talking about christians who fight racism in despotic countries and are staunch defenders of the constitution. You will say that they don't need their christian beliefs to do this. This is irrelevent. The fact is that they are christian, and they connect their irrational beliefs with good causes. Should we not support that, instead of alienating them?

Quote:

I do not oppose the good actions of theists who do good.  I oppose their irrational and dangerous actions.  That's what I write about, and that's what I fight.  You're just sending people on a wild goose chase, as I have already happily conceded that religion doesn't make people completely irrational or evil.  As you've hopefully read in my essays, it unnecessarily exacerbates the bad tendencies in people.

These religious people who do good for society are not doing anything dangerous and their irrationality is trivial.  If theists do good  things regardless of their irrational beliefs,  then they can also do bad  things  regardless of their irrational beliefs. It seems to me you want to focus more on the bad than good, which i think is counter-intuitive. Im not talking in terms of absolute good and evil. The issue, to me, is that many atheists focus on the  bad  (irrational) parts of religion, which does little to improve society and ignores the religious people who help society.

Quote:
You're setting up a strawman, implying that those who oppose religious irrationality are calling all theists evil, or saying that theists are incapable of good acts.  While it's sad that we are so often caricatured by theists and pacifist atheists, I don't see why the actual, legitimate beliefs which we espouse and hold should be altered to fit what we ought to do [i]if we happened to be as foolish as the people we are portrayed to be.[/quotei] 

It is wrong on either side to paint the other unfairly. I will be the first to defend any atheist  who is painted as immoral by christians. Given that this is an atheist forum, however, I am defending christians who do good for society, and they are largely ignored by atheists. Look at all the videos by rational responders, they rarely talk about movements toward peace in the middle east, neither do Dawkins or Harris. Their job is to rally the  atheist support  by getting them to focus on solely religious extremists.

Quote:
Ahem... Please quote and cite Sam Harris justifying torture.  I haven't read it.  If you are correct, then I will certainly oppose that statement.  As for the Islamic peace movements, could you please tell me who they are and what influence they're having on the Islamic Fundamentalists?  If they're not making a significant dent in the overwhelmingly large Islamic Non-Peace movement, why should they be mentioned?  Does Sam Harris, or anyone else, owe you the favor of mentioning every single exception to the overwhelmingly consistent rule?
 

P. 194

"... why spare the rod with suspected terrorists? What is the difference between pursuing a course of action where we run a risk of inadvertently subjecting some innocent men to torture, and pursuing one in which we will inadvertently kill far greater numbers of innocentment, women, and children? Rather, it seems obvious that the misapplication of torture should be far less troubling to us than collateral damage."

P197

"Opponents of torture will be quick to argue that the confessions elicited by toture are notorious unreliable.... This objection seems to lack its usual force. Make these confessions as much as you like -- the chance that our interests will be advanced in any instance of torture need only equal the chance of such occasioned by the dropping of a single bomb." 

These are obviously statements one could expect from Fox News, or from Limbaugh and company - and that is exactly my point. As for me misstating  Dawkins  he said it in the documentary. Go to richard dawkin's myspace page, or look at his html banners: it says imagine no religion with the WTC still standing. This clearly tries to convince people that if there was no religion, there would still be a WTC. That is overly simplistic and naive.

As for movements in religious countries, there are tons of them. But even if there was only one, that should not deter atheists from supporting their cause, for these movements support peace and democracy. They are far more effective at promoting democracy than the Western's  "war on terrorism" (which Sam Harris and Dawkins support). This "war on terrorism" creates far more fundamentalists. And these theists are far more likely to gain support for peace in their countries than some atheist who criticizes only the religious extremists, and not the Western occupiers of middle eastern countries.

Here is a list of peace, antiwar, and democracy supporters in the middle east:

Tariq Ali (critic of US foreign polcity and advocate for democracy in the middle east)

Yanar Mohammed (head of the organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq)

Sima Samar (chairman of Afghanistan's human rights panel)

Bans Jens (Feminist journal in Iran)

The better question is: What are atheists doing to support these peace movements in the middle east? The response of these "new atheists" have been that we don't support any religious movements because they are all irrational. Even if there was only one religious peace figure in the middle east, we should support him or her, whether we are atheist, muslim, christian, or hindu.  It would be hard to judge their effectiveness because of western aggression and increasing hatred for western occupation. Even if they don't have that much support yet (which i dont believe),  we should support them anyway. Would you not have supported MLK jr because he was religious and unpopular in the beginning of his career? It shouldnt matter how much support they are getting. It is the principles they stand for which matter.

Quote:
I have no qualms with this statement.  What's it got to do with me?  I am not fighting news networks.

[I'm also not a fan of American Imperialism.  So what?

 

It's good to hear you say this.  I did not know this, and I takeaway that criticism toward you. Dawkins and Harris however rarely mention American imperialism, same is true for most of the rational responders. Atheists should ally themselves with critics of american imperalisms regardless of religion.