Hi. Tentatively approaching the waters.

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Hi. Tentatively approaching the waters.

 

Auf Sich Der Roeklakunfesvrezahchodelshuk

I'd appreciate it if we reached an understanding early on in our relationship; I will admit head first that I am not without my flaws, but I will also say right now that I expect nothing less from yourself in our dealings with each other. As an ex-atheist, I have been subject to certain sins of pride in my fantasies of religious holocaust, an oxymoron, that.

Anyway, I am coming here not to preach; I hardly expect anyone to listen to what I have to say. I am no religious teacher. It's nice to have some community, though. You could say this is an experiment in wondering just what goes on in the world that I left behind. I am--keeping up with the atheistic "joneses", so to speak. It stems from a desire not to be left in the dust.

Having said that, I shall point out that I am not very fond of the road the New Atheism is leaning. The enlightenment was a revelation, by all means. But to say that it will lead humankind to some new utopia of betterment far greater than Religion ever did, some "Kingdom atop a hill", so to speak, is simply absurd and bound to failure.

I much preferred the secularism of old, which decided to improve society peacemeal and with it's own consent and means, rather than trying to improve the societal norms of other without those same other's consent themselves. I find that that goes against the grain of everything that the original John Locke wanted to protect, and I think that Christopher hitchens and his ilk are becoming dangerously extremist.

Why, just now I saw somebody on this forum with an avatar, of a man in a ski mask. The avatar held the title-As if it were something to be proud of--Atheist Extremist. I won't comment on the morality of the young man who put up such an avatar, but I hope it would make anyone think twice before assuming that atheists are automatically more moral than Theists by virtue of their irreligiosity.

Such a stance is tempting to be sure, but gravely inconcruent with reality. What's more, I had heard about the "smut for smut" campaign, which deeply dissapointed myself. I am not a religious man, but it saddened me to see such a mean spirited act perpetrated against people of faith by atheists who claim to have the higher moral ground. The smut for smut campaign is simply mean. It is a controversial attempt to garner public attention, but that is not the kind of attention that I as an atheist had wanted.

As for myself, I am an hispanic male linguist. Perhaps you might ask some questions, so that I may answer them about myself, if you are interested? You know, the usual: One lump or two, cream or sugar, spot of tea, dear?


v4ultingbassist
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Quote:Why, just now I saw

Quote:

Why, just now I saw somebody on this forum with an avatar, of a man in a ski mask. The avatar held the title-As if it were something to be proud of--Atheist Extremist. I won't comment on the morality of the young man who put up such an avatar, but I hope it would make anyone think twice before assuming that atheists are automatically more moral than Theists by virtue of their irreligiosity.

Such a stance is tempting to be sure, but gravely inconcruent with reality. What's more, I had heard about the "smut for smut" campaign, which deeply dissapointed myself. I am not a religious man, but it saddened me to see such a mean spirited act perpetrated against people of faith by atheists who claim to have the higher moral ground. The smut for smut campaign is simply mean. It is a controversial attempt to garner public attention, but that is not the kind of attention that I as an atheist had wanted.

 

Do you live under a rock?  Atheists are extreme?  Then what the hell do you call what is going on in the middle east? 

 

No offense, but your analysis of atheistextremist is laughable.  You don't know him; all you know about him is his avatar and name, neither of which are even close to the personality I've gathered from this site.

 

Atheists don't claim higher moral ground, we claim personal responsibility for morality.  And trading porn for bibles is like kittens compared to suicide bombs.  They are hardly extremist by modern standards.


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Hello, ZeppelinKapft,

Hello, ZeppelinKapft, welcome to the forum.

ZeppelinKapft wrote:
Perhaps you might ask some questions, so that I may answer them about myself, if you are interested? You know, the usual: One lump or two, cream or sugar, spot of tea, dear?

I'll try a few.

Are you a Christian?

If you are, is the Bible infallible? Interpretation of Genesis? Morality of OT?

If not, Judaism, Islam, Mormon, etc.?  

Evolution? Approximate age of the Earth? Science in general? 

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


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I love the argument

I love the argument "x-atheist", and after you scratch the surface enough you find someone who merely buys into the religious definition of what an "atheist" is.

And as far as atheists claiming they are more moral, no. No more moral or immoral than any other label. ALL humans are capable of the same range of human emotions and actions, both good and bad. What reasonable people should not do is make a label the invention of morals. Morals are not an invention of a label, but part of our ongoing evolution.

You claim you were an atheist. So, even if I bought that argument, and even if Richard Dawkins said tommorow, "God is real", they would still have the same problem Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and pantheists have.

The inability to replicate and falsify the claim of a magical invisible consciousness with super powers and no physical location that resides everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

When I hear someone claim "I used to be" on either side of the issue, it makes me laugh. All that proves is someone changed their position, and degree of education or lack of education DOES NOT equate to universal empirical evidence through replication and falsification.

"Smart" doesn't equal right, otherwise Isis and Horus would be real gods because the Egyptians were master builders.

So you were an atheist. Nope, never heard that argument before.

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Quote: hardly expect anyone

Quote:
hardly expect anyone to listen to what I have to say

Stop your martyrdom complex. There are plenty here that will deconstruct your arguments word for word. AND there are others here, like me, who don't dance down the Yellow Brick road. But rest assured neither the library types or  verbal boxers like me, will fall for the Ruby Slippers.

It isn't that we won't listen to you. It is that you wont listen to us. If you have a friend who is driving a car, and they don't see the red light ahead and you shout "STOP STOP STOP!" Does that mean you hate them? Or does it mean you see danger ahead?

The danger to humanity is their placebo thinking without the willingness to test their placebos. Humanity was stifled by thinking the earth was flat and wallowed in that fear of questioning with the prolonged ignorance and as a result held humanity back from getting closer sooner to what we know now. It wasn't until others said "fuck this, this doesn't make sense" that humanity made progress.

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ZeppelinKapft wrote: Having

ZeppelinKapft wrote:

 

Having said that, I shall point out that I am not very fond of the road the New Atheism is leaning. The enlightenment was a revelation, by all means. But to say that it will lead humankind to some new utopia of betterment far greater than Religion ever did, some "Kingdom atop a hill", so to speak, is simply absurd and bound to failure.

Because religion is doing such a fantastic job...

ZeppelinKapft wrote:

I much preferred the secularism of old, which decided to improve society peacemeal and with it's own consent and means, rather than trying to improve the societal norms of other without those same other's consent themselves.

Religion is trying to do quite a few things to our societal norms without our permission. Calling atheism a religion is old and busted.

ZeppelinKapft wrote:

I find that that goes against the grain of everything that the original John Locke wanted to protect, and I think that Christopher hitchens and his ilk are becoming dangerously extremist.

I challenge you to present concrete examples of how atheism is placing ANYONE in harm's way.

ZeppelinKapft wrote:

 

 

 

 

 

Why, just now I saw somebody on this forum with an avatar, of a man in a ski mask. The avatar held the title-As if it were something to be proud of--Atheist Extremist. I won't comment on the morality of the young man who put up such an avatar, but I hope it would make anyone think twice before assuming that atheists are automatically more moral than Theists by virtue of their irreligiosity.

Way to judge an entire community by simply the appearance of one of it's members. Beware broad strokes with big brushes.

ZeppelinKapft wrote:

The smut for smut campaign is simply mean. It is a controversial attempt to garner public attention, but that is not the kind of attention that I as an atheist had wanted.

Take your toys and go home, then. Have you even READ the Bible? If you made a movie out of it, with accurately-portrayed scenes of violence, I suspect it would garner an NC-17. The porn comparison is not entirely inappropriate.

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

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Quote:I find that that goes

Quote:
I find that that goes against the grain of everything that the original John Locke wanted to protect, and I think that Christopher hitchens and his ilk are becoming dangerously extremist

Ok, so blowing up abortion clinics or slamming planes into buildings is nothing compared to a salty tongue and a pickled liver?

The worst you could accuse Hitchens of is hanging out with Delta House.

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 My Reply:Hi all. I hope

 

My Reply:

Hi all. I hope you don't mind if I steer the conversation away from debating specifics and toward more friendly waters. I personally dislike the mindset that many atheists have, that I myself had, of how all religious people are fanatical and in need of help from the atheist community of enlightenment.

I can tell you that that kind of thinking is pointed to by most religious people as marking the new atheists as hypocrites. Secularism was better when it didn't shove itself down people's throats, which is an interesting argument coming from the theistic side, considering that it is them who wish to convert always the village atheists.

From my point of view, it looks much more like two opposing people on either side of a door. The door swings both ways and both people want the other guy to come to their side of the issue.

As for my own beliefs, no, I am not a christian, though I recognize the beauty and flaws of the bible--what counts as good advice in this day and age and what doesn't. Overall I don't think it's very helpful to split reality up into frozen views... You can't really grasp the universe in the palm of your hand, you know, but then again, if you don't try too, you don't exactly have that problem any more...

As for all the ideas on morality, it's important to keep in mind that we are all our own moral agents, and we are responsible for everything we touch, because we affect everything we touch. We are also responsible for ourselves, and just like that, we can't blame our current situation on anything else but us. Sure, there are things that our out of our control, and yes, that means it's unfair. But because we are our own moral agents, we are still responsible for our own morality.

What that means, of course, is that you can't be responsible for another person's morality. It's important not to force someone to better themselves or to force an "improvement" in someone's life against their will. Because it won't happen. It's not possible, and the only result that will happen is pain, I guess.

Being an atheist activist... well, you guys are starting to suggest some dangerous stuff. Cristopher hitchens suggested in one of his books, I don't remember which, that we premptively strike the middle east with nuclear weapons to eradicate extremism. That's not the kind of sentiment of someone I want in power. I hope you guys can understand that.

Alas, I am babbling. So I should simply stop. Greetings, people.

 


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ZeppelinKapft wrote:Being an

ZeppelinKapft wrote:

Being an atheist activist... well, you guys are starting to suggest some dangerous stuff.  

 

I hope, for your sake, that you feel the same way about religions who explain their beliefs to others.  I hope you realize that your position appears to be that beliefs should be kept personally, and not shared with others.  I would like to inform you that this position is extremely naive, and although idealistic, is not realistic in any way.

 

My point is that if you think personal beliefs should be kept to ones self, and that atheists violate this position, you should act the same towards theists.  The interesting bit is that you are here, telling us we are dangerous, and that we should keep our views to ourselves.  Why, exactly, are you telling us to quiet down?

 

EDIT:

 

Quote:

Cristopher hitchens suggested in one of his books, I don't remember which, that we premptively strike the middle east with nuclear weapons to eradicate extremism.

 

Not a single person here would ever advocate an idea like this.  I doubt Hitchens himself ever did.  What is your source?


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It would seem that if an

It would seem that if an atheist took time to discuss issues on this forum we must be somewhat extremist or just tired of the generalizations that y'all religious types lump us. Really one thing atheists have in common is we don't believe in gods. How we all incorporate this into our lives is not the same. Some are extremely active in speaking out while  some sit quietly by resenting the discrimination that they receive. I cannot go through the channels on my TV set without encountering unwarranted religious propaganda. I consider that extremist. The constant daily barrage of God this and God that constantly reminds me of how I'm different. Then when you speak out, no I'm not happy about a pledge with under god in it or just why should money have the name of a god on it you are demonized and discriminated against.

 

As you say in a later post you are not a Christian so you too are likely exposed to similar forms of ostracizing depending on what form of religion you hold.

But welcome to the forums anyway.

 

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There's plenty of people who

There's plenty of people who would advocate that, which makes it all the more horrifying because the middle east is a wonderful place with wonderful people who belief in loving life and living it well. The only dream they want is a policeman who doesn't beat them up, and yet there was a time when americans thought they were more likely to be blown up than pakistanis.

As for the source, I honestly don't remember how to get it. But since I can't, in all good conscience, ask you to hold true something so radical without backup, it's all right, just discount that he said it until I can find the source again. (I'm in a position where, finding the source in the next five minutes is inadvisable.)


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ZeppelinKapft wrote:the

ZeppelinKapft wrote:

the middle east is a wonderful place with wonderful people who belief in loving life and living it well.

 

Are you ignorant of the RELIGIOUS WARS ravaging that region of the world right now?  Honestly?


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Religious war or not--They

Religious war or not--They are people.


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ZeppelinKapft

ZeppelinKapft wrote:

Religious war or not--They are people.

 

Did I say otherwise?  You said they were happy.  I doubt that's the case in a war.


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The Middle East is a

The Middle East is a standing example of the inability of those religions to help us achieve the peace they claim they aspire to.

 

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

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ZeppelinKapft wrote:Being an

ZeppelinKapft wrote:

Being an atheist activist... well, you guys are starting to suggest some dangerous stuff. Cristopher hitchens suggested in one of his books, I don't remember which, that we premptively strike the middle east with nuclear weapons to eradicate extremism. That's not the kind of sentiment of someone I want in power. I hope you guys can understand that.

That's hardly a purely atheist suggestion. There's certainly more Christians that want to nuke the middle east than any other group. Remember, Sarah Palin said our wars in the middle east were religious battles.

Also, btw,

 

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


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ZeppelinKapft wrote:My

ZeppelinKapft wrote:

My Reply:

Hi all. I hope you don't mind if I steer the conversation away from debating specifics and toward more friendly waters. 

I mind a great deal, actually. It's intellectually dishonest of you, to say the least, to come here and make specific accusations toward atheists - and then fail to address those specifics when asked.

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

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Is anyone actually thinking this way?

ZeppelinKapft wrote:

Having said that, I shall point out that I am not very fond of the road the New Atheism is leaning...to say that it will lead humankind to some new utopia of betterment far greater than Religion ever did, some "Kingdom atop a hill", so to speak, is simply absurd and bound to failure.

 

That atheism is endeavouring to "lead humankind to some new Utopia," to "some kingdom atop a hill"?

What are you talking about? So far as I can tell, atheism is about not believing in god/s. There isn't anything else to it - no faith, no theory of life, no ten commandments, no utopia, no double helping of virgins. As for atheists claiming to hold the high moral ground, I can't imagine this is true. As an atheist I would argue we all hold the same moral ground but that religions endeavour to trademark broadly universal human morality for their own aggrandisement.  

In relation to my photo, Zep, I was raised in a fundamentalist minister's household with threats of hell held to my throat. There is a point in life where you can clearly judge the treatment of your own little child. My reaction to this draconian upbringing as a man is a strong hostility towards religion that I will not recant. I chose that name because in some fierce part of me it was true - not because I was proud of it. I wish my father had been an accountant. Unlike christians and muslims, however, I don't believe humans deserve to die because they hold views that are different to mine. 

Finally, thanks for calling me a young man, Zep. I'm old enough to appreciate that. I guess the mask was worth it. 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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ZeppelinKapft wrote: Why,

ZeppelinKapft wrote:

 Why, just now I saw somebody on this forum with an avatar, of a man in a ski mask. The avatar held the title-As if it were something to be proud of--Atheist Extremist. I won't comment on the morality of the young man who put up such an avatar, but I hope it would make anyone think twice before assuming that atheists are automatically more moral than Theists by virtue of their irreligiosity.

Such a stance is tempting to be sure, but gravely inconcruent with reality. What's more, I had heard about the "smut for smut" campaign, which deeply dissapointed myself. I am not a religious man, but it saddened me to see such a mean spirited act perpetrated against people of faith by atheists who claim to have the higher moral ground. The smut for smut campaign is simply mean. It is a controversial attempt to garner public attention, but that is not the kind of attention that I as an atheist had wanted.

There is no justification for reading an assertion  that "atheists are automatically more moral than Theists by virtue of their irreligiosity" into that.

What is true is not that Atheists are automatically more moral that Theists, it is rather that Theism is an inferior, distorted basis for a moral code. It downplays natural empathy and concern for minimising avoidable harm to others, and gives priority to obedience to a set of 'commandments' from an assumed authority figure. This is not saying that Theists themselves are automatically of inferior morality than Atheists, that depends how much they let religious dogma determine their actions in particular cases.

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Where are theists getting

Where are theists getting this 'New atheist' crap from?  I am not aware of any movement that thinks it is going to create a human utopia simply by removing religion.

Zepp, maybe your first lesson in keeping up with the atheist Jones' is that the 'evil atheist movement' message you are being fed is simply not true.  Are there a couple nutjobs?  Sure, we have even have some here that I wouldn't take home to meet my parents.  But that is just humans. 

Like Bob said, it isn't that atheism is perfect, it is that religion is flawed and no longer serves a purpose.  The middle east *is* religion.  I would rather live in Sweden or Japan than Iran or Nigeria.  Really, what else is there to say?

Oh, and Atheist Extremist is actually fairly moderate.  And I think he is ~47.  In the US that makes him part of the elderly class, legally speaking Sticking out tongue

And if you are not religious, but are an ex-atheist, how do you classify yourself?  I hope it isn't, 'spiritual but not religious'.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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  Hello ZK,  welcome to

 

 Hello ZK,  welcome to the forum.    

 


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You're a linguist ?So what

You're a linguist ?

So what does

ZeppelinKapft wrote:
Roeklakunfesvrezahchodelshuk

mean exactly ?


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 You don't have to explain

 You don't have to explain yourself to me, Atheistextremist. It's like the other nice fellow said: I didn't know your story, so I worked with what I saw on my computer monitor. Information get's messed up on the internet. 

For example: In the previous post I said I wouldn't comment on your morality. As in, I don't know you personally, so I'm reserving judgement against you personally. I know, you didn't seem to pick up on that line in the text. But, that's what happens. Another example would be me calling you a young man: Maybe to yourself that was an underhanded insult, but to me, that was just a regional colloqiallism, no slight intended.

See? Internet disrupts communication.


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BobSpence1 wrote:eading an

BobSpence1 wrote:

eading an assertion  that "atheists are automatically more moral than Theists by virtue of their irreligiosity" into that.

What is true is not that Atheists are automatically more moral that Theists, it is rather that Theism is an inferior, distorted basis for a moral code. 

Ah, but is it not tripping near the point of contradiction to accept the line but reject the other? After all, if theism as a moral code is inferior goods, then you are basically saying that Atheism is better by default.

Which is simply factually untrue. In reality, belief has very little to do with how moral a person is or how kind a person is as a person. Simply put, if a person exercises kindness, they become kind. If they exercise hard-heartedness, then they are hard-hearted. And a person will be kind or hard-hearted this way regardless of what they, intellectually, or spiritually, believe.

Of course, you will have the argument that religion is a tool for obedience, a way to enslave minds that has been entrenched through tradition and exported through conquest. But again, this is too simple a model. Obedience in religion is just one of many many threads of thought, spirituality, and interaction that revolves in the human condition. Any religion is actually a complex organism of threads competing for their share; but not just competing, also cooperating and synthesizing and evolving.

In reality, you have religious traditions that provide many different strains of thought, from the highly obedient, to the highly innovative, and all reflecting a different aspect of Human psychology.


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Anonymouse wrote:You're a

Anonymouse wrote:

You're a linguist ?

So what does

ZeppelinKapft wrote:
Roeklakunfesvrezahchodelshuk

mean exactly ?

Nothing. It's just gibberish. 


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Another "ex" atheist, I

Another "ex" atheist, I thought they were like santa..oh yea nm, santa is in every mall in the country at christmas time.

HI!

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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Um.....

Worst bait ever thrown into the RR waters, IMHO

 

Welcome, regardless.


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No worries Zep

ZeppelinKapft wrote:

 You don't have to explain yourself to me, Atheistextremist. It's like the other nice fellow said: I didn't know your story, so I worked with what I saw on my computer monitor. Information get's messed up on the internet. 

For example: In the previous post I said I wouldn't comment on your morality. As in, I don't know you personally, so I'm reserving judgement against you personally. I know, you didn't seem to pick up on that line in the text. But, that's what happens. Another example would be me calling you a young man: Maybe to yourself that was an underhanded insult, but to me, that was just a regional colloqiallism, no slight intended.

See? Internet disrupts communication.

 

I saw the morality thing in your post but commented generally - given neither of us is in a position to comment on the other.

Ummm. No, I like being told I look like a young man - turned 43 a couple of days ago - so no offense taken there, either.

I've noticed the mask does make intrinsically gentle people react a particular way at times. I'll have to take it off some day.

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


BobSpence
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ZeppelinKapft

ZeppelinKapft wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

eading an assertion  that "atheists are automatically more moral than Theists by virtue of their irreligiosity" into that.

What is true is not that Atheists are automatically more moral that Theists, it is rather that Theism is an inferior, distorted basis for a moral code. 

Ah, but is it not tripping near the point of contradiction to accept the line but reject the other? After all, if theism as a moral code is inferior goods, then you are basically saying that Atheism is better by default.

Which is simply factually untrue. In reality, belief has very little to do with how moral a person is or how kind a person is as a person. Simply put, if a person exercises kindness, they become kind. If they exercise hard-heartedness, then they are hard-hearted. And a person will be kind or hard-hearted this way regardless of what they, intellectually, or spiritually, believe.

Of course, you will have the argument that religion is a tool for obedience, a way to enslave minds that has been entrenched through tradition and exported through conquest. But again, this is too simple a model. Obedience in religion is just one of many many threads of thought, spirituality, and interaction that revolves in the human condition. Any religion is actually a complex organism of threads competing for their share; but not just competing, also cooperating and synthesizing and evolving.

In reality, you have religious traditions that provide many different strains of thought, from the highly obedient, to the highly innovative, and all reflecting a different aspect of Human psychology.

I have argued previously precisely the point that both atheists and theists can be quite 'moral', independently of beliefs or lack thereof.

My point there still stands, that religion provides an inferior basis for morality, relative to our native empathy and instincts as a social species. No assumptions about Atheism necessarily implied, so your first point is based on a misunderstanding. I was NOT referring to the actual behaviour of believers, just the implications of religious dogma with regard to morality.

And of course religion is complex. My point about control is not refuted by other aspects of religion, it is a major aspect of the way religion has been used by people in power.

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


mellestad
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ZeppelinKapft

ZeppelinKapft wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

eading an assertion  that "atheists are automatically more moral than Theists by virtue of their irreligiosity" into that.

What is true is not that Atheists are automatically more moral that Theists, it is rather that Theism is an inferior, distorted basis for a moral code. 

Ah, but is it not tripping near the point of contradiction to accept the line but reject the other? After all, if theism as a moral code is inferior goods, then you are basically saying that Atheism is better by default.

Which is simply factually untrue. In reality, belief has very little to do with how moral a person is or how kind a person is as a person. Simply put, if a person exercises kindness, they become kind. If they exercise hard-heartedness, then they are hard-hearted. And a person will be kind or hard-hearted this way regardless of what they, intellectually, or spiritually, believe.

Of course, you will have the argument that religion is a tool for obedience, a way to enslave minds that has been entrenched through tradition and exported through conquest. But again, this is too simple a model. Obedience in religion is just one of many many threads of thought, spirituality, and interaction that revolves in the human condition. Any religion is actually a complex organism of threads competing for their share; but not just competing, also cooperating and synthesizing and evolving.

In reality, you have religious traditions that provide many different strains of thought, from the highly obedient, to the highly innovative, and all reflecting a different aspect of Human psychology.

The point is simply that morality works best if based on objective results, rather than a ancient pre-defined list of right and wrong that may or may not apply to a modern society.  It is easier to make a fair and just moral code (by the standards of a secular society) basing morality on secular ideas than it is religious ideas.

Both can work, both can fail.  But with religion the only way to really get reform is to re-interpret texts that are very clear.  The Bible says "Kill gay people" and we don't typically do that...but the fact that the Bible clearly states such a thing, and is the basis of many people's moral systems, causes pointless confusion and opportunity for grief.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


D33PPURPLE
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This is utter nonsense. You

This is utter nonsense. You are stereotyping atheists as a fanatical movement to forcefully rid the world of religion. Fortunately, there is a term for such activities and it is called State Atheism. Let me be the one to tell you that a large majority of Atheists do not support this, and those that do have political purposes (*ahem* "Communists" )  for this. Yes, yes, occasionally you run into some disenfranchised teen claiming that religion is the cause of all the evil in the world and that the only solution is to spread hysteria about the religious. But this is nonsense to the mature and rational atheist--the type which I'd venture to say most atheists are because of the very nature of their beliefs (society forces us, for the silliest of reasons, to have to justify our non-belief).

Anyway, I always believed that the best dose against irrationality was a thing called rationality and that the best way to prove something was by having an intellectual debate. Forgive my ignorance, but since when did Atheism correlate with thinking of the religious as fanatics? To the best of my knowledge, Atheists just don't believe in a God/god, and, consequently, when certain theists begin to espouse atrocious actions in the name of their god/God, the atheist will speak out. But this is because the theists actions, in such a case, justify any and all dissent. I'm willing to listen as to why you believe in a god (despite my skepticism that any claim you'll make will be convincing), but first we must stand in a ground of mutual respect. Unless something I say or do specifically implies that you are a radical merely for believing in a god, I'd appreciate it if you'd stop stereotyping every Atheist.

 

~Cheers!

 

 

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

"You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You should be taken outside and shot!"


Kapkao
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ZeppelinKapft wrote: Auf

ZeppelinKapft wrote:

 

Auf Sich Der Roeklakunfesvrezahchodelshuk

I'd appreciate it if we reached an understanding early on in our relationship; I will admit head first that I am not without my flaws, but I will also say right now that I expect nothing less from yourself in our dealings with each other. As an ex-atheist, I have been subject to certain sins of pride in my fantasies of religious holocaust, an oxymoron, that.

You think you've got flaws? You haven't met me, apparently.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)