christians must steal from secular morality.

todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
christians must steal from secular morality.

Christians must steal their moral rules from secular morality. They have no choice, as the bible does not offer a moral system, it only offers a series of contradictory commands and a supposed threat of punishment in the "afterlife" for not following them - a punishment that is given equally to all violaters - whatever the sin.

In reality, christians realize that some actions are more moral than others. They realize that moral actions exist in a heirarchy, and that rape is far worse than stealing a pencil. Yet the bible holds that all 'sins' are equal, as all deserve the same punishment.

Christians also realize that humans can be moral agents... they expect moral behavior from others, and they view their own children as something to value. Yet the bible holds that man is worthless, that he cannot be a moral agent, and that his sole salvation comes from grace.

The fact that a christian can't go five minutes without contradicting his bible and stealing from secular morality says it all.

Find me a theist who finds any of these actions moral:

In Genesis 3:16 god punishes all women, innocent or not, with painful childbirth and subjugation to men.

In Genesis 7:4 god has a bad day at the office, thus decides to drown innocent babies, and animals both wild and domestic.

In Exodus 4:11 god boasts about making people handicapped.

In Exodus 4:23 god resorts to hostage taking and terrorism in order to get his own way. He does this via threatening a baby. Soon, he is slaughtering little babies all across Egypt.

In Exodus 9:19-20 god slaughters Egyptian cattle. Sometimes, cow tipping just isn't enough.

In Exodus 9:29-30 god kills off innocent babies, and whatever cows he missed earlier.

In Exodus 20:17 god tells us not to free another's slaves. Abolitionists beware!!

In Exodus 32:27-28 god tells the sons to slaughter their neighbors: 3,000 men are slain.

In Leviticus 19:20-22 god demands that raping a slave woman is punishable by scourging the victim. The rapist is to be forgiven.

In Leviticus 25:44-46 god tells his followers to make slaves of their neighbors.

In Leviticus 27:3-7 god helpfully provides a pricing guide. According to this guide, as a male between the ages of 18 and 60 years (the most expensive category), I am worth approximately US$25. How much are you worth to god?

In Numbers 14:18 god's idea of justice is explained: little children are to be punished for their great-great grandparents transgressions.

In Numbers 31:1-54 god tells his followers to commit genocide, "sparing" only the virgin girls, who are to be raped. Even god gets some "unspared" virgins.

In Numbers 33:4 god kills of another batch of Egyptian babies. Abortion is a sin because...?

In Deuteronomy 2:33-36 god demands genocide again. No mention of virgin girls this time, unless these children are raped to death...

In Deuteronomy 7:2 god demands more genocide from his followers.

In Deuteronomy 13:12-16 god demands new and improved genocide, now including cattle. Oh, wait, we've had that before. Damn cows.

In Deuteronomy 32:21-26 god glories in being a psychotic terrorist. Don't miss the atrocities of Deuteronomy 28, either!

In Joshua 6:18-19 the omnipotent creator is short of cash, again.

In Joshua 8:22-26 god demands more genocide, plus some more slavery as detailed in Joshua 9:21-27, but this time, in Joshua 10:10-11, we get slaughter and a chase scene!! Go, god!!
In Joshua 10:28-32 god demands still more genocide.

In Joshua 11:6-17 god still demands more genocide. There are more exceptions to "Thou shalt not kill" than there are to a rich man's tax code.

In Judges 1:2-7. god's takes a break from genocide, has his followers kill "only" 10,000 people, but at least they get to torture and mutilate somebody by cutting off both thumbs and big toes!

In Judges 1:12-13 Caleb offers his daughter as prize to anyone who conquers the City of Debir. The girl's cousin wins the contest, thus the prize.

In Judges 1:17-19 god gets back to good, ol' regular genocide. Killing innocent people is serious work!!

In Judges 2:14 god has a temper-tantrum and sells Israel into slavery.

In Judges 3:28-29 & 4:15-16 god reverts to, you guessed it, genocide.

In Judges 5:30 god hands out a damsel or two to each of his rapist soldiers. Booty Call!!

In Judges 10:17 god gets angry at Israel, again, and sells them into slavery, again.

In Judges 12:6 god slays 42,000 innocent people because someone with a speech impediment mispronounces the word "shibboleth". I'll bet you thought the word "lisp" was cruel jest.

In Judges 15:4-8 a "righteous" Samson captures 300 foxes, ties their tails together, and sets them on fire. Abusing animals is almost as righteous as killing babies, apparently.

In Judges 19:22-30, after taking in a traveling Levite, the host offers his virgin daughter and his guest's concubine to a mob of perverts (who want to have sex with his guest). The mob refuses the daughter, but accepts the concubine and they "abuse her all night." The next morning she crawls back to the doorstep and dies. The Levite mounts her dead body on an ass and takes her home. Then he chops her body up into twelve pieces and sends them to each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

In Judges 21:7-23 in order to find wives for the Benjamites, who were unwilling to use their own daughters, the other tribes attacked and killed all occupants of a city except for the young virgins. These virgins were then given to the Benjamites as "wives".

In 1 Samuel 2:10 if god doesn't like you he will send a thunderstorm to break your body into little pieces. In 1 Samuel 2:31-34, if god really doesn't like you, he will cut off your arm, consume your eyes, grieve your heart, and slay your sons & grandfathers. In 1 Samuel 5:6, 9, and 12 we learn that if god really, really doesn't like you, he will give you hemorrhoids in your "secret parts".

In 1 Samuel 5:11 god wipes out another city.

In 1 Samuel 15:2-3 god demands more genocide, this time as punishment for some no doubt petty transgression committed hundreds of years previously by the forefathers of these innocent people.

In 1 Samuel 15:7-34 god goads Saul into torturing & slaying his prisoner, a King.

In Matthew 5:17 Jesus strongly approves of the law & the prophets. He hasn't the slightest objection to the cruelties of the Old Testament.

In Matthew 8:21 Jesus shows no compassion for the bereaved, saying to a man who had just lost his father: "Let the dead bury the dead."

In Matthew 8:32 Jesus abuses animals by sending some devils into a herd of pigs, causing the pigs to run off a cliff & drown in the sea below. The acorn does not fall far from the tree. Was there a local shortage of Egyptian cows? Moo!

In Matthew 10:15 Jesus becomes a terrorist, and threatens genocide against cities.

In Matthew 10:28 Jesus tries to scare people by telling them that his dad can beat up their dad.

In Matthew 11:20-24 Jesus threatens more cities.

In Matthew 12:47-49 "Mister Family Values" himself (Jesus) is disrespectful to his mother and rude to his brothers.

In Matthew 13:41-42 Jesus threatens to send his angels against any who offend him, and send them straight to hell. Love, peace, tolerance, and forgiveness are beneath him, apparently.

In Matthew 15:4-7 Jesus commits hypocrisy by demanding all others to honor their parents. "Sorry about being rude back in Matthew 12, Mom."

In Matthew 18:8-9 Jesus advocates self-mutilation, but for others, not him. He's perfect, thank you.

In Matthew 18:25 Jesus advocates slavery.

In Matthew 25:29 Jesus proposes a system of economy where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

In Mark 5:12-13 Jesus spooks 2,000 pigs, causing them to jump of a cliff and drown in the sea. Is this evidence of more animal abuse, or is the story from Matthew 8:32 getting better with each telling?

In Mark 6:11 Jesus resorts to threatening cities again. Die, innocent babies, Die!!

In Mark 7:9-13 Jesus criticizes people for not killing their children, as they should have, according to Old Testament law. The same law Jesus broke when he was disrespectful to his Mother in Matthew 12:47-49.

In Mark 10:29-30 Jesus will reward men who abandon their wives and children.

In Mark 11:13-14 Jesus kills a fig tree for not bearing fruit, even though it was out of season. Apparently, "Mister Perfect" wasn't much of an agronomist, or ethicist.

In Luke 8:20-21 Jesus is disrespectful to his mother and rude to his brothers, again. Or still?

In Luke 8:27-37 Jesus heals a naked man who was possessed by many devils by sending the devils into a herd of pigs, causing them to run off a cliff and drown in the sea. This messy, cruel, and expensive (for the owners of the pigs) treatment did not favorably impress the local residents, and Jesus was asked to leave. This story does get better with each telling!!

In Luke 10:10-15 Jesus terrorizes entire cities, claiming they will be violently destroyed and the inhabitants "thrust down to hell" for not "receiving" his disciples. No doubt these people preferred their pigs.

In Luke 12:46-47 Jesus likens god to a sadistic, diabolical slave-owner, who will beat you "with many stripes".

In Luke 14:26 Jesus decides that it is not enough for men to abandon their families; they must actively hate them, too. Where is the love??

In Luke 16:17 Jesus declares that all the vicious, irrational laws of the Old Testament are binding forever.

In Luke 17:27 Jesus talks about Noah, neatly demonstrating his own ignorance of science, history, and justice.

In John 2:4 Jesus is, again, rude to his mother. She seems so nice, too.

In John 5:14 Jesus announces that god handicaps people as just punishment for their sins.

In John 7:8-10 Jesus lies to his family about attending a feast.

In Acts 5:1-10 Peter, with god's help, kills a man who sold his possessions, but did not fork over all of the earnings. Why is the omnipotent creator always short of cash?

In Acts 13:48 we learn that only pre-ordained people would be allowed in heaven. So much for freewill...

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
To further clarify:The

To further clarify:

The bible does nothing and can do nothing towards inculcating moral behavior on its own. Christians must steal from secular moral systems, and then merely graft their 'god threats' on top of this moral system. This is necessary. And the reason for this is simple: there is no morality in the bible and there can be no morality in the bible, because the bible holds that 1) ALL 'sins' are equivalent (destroying any moral sense) AND 2) all moral behavior is immaterial, because works cannot save a person, AND finally all people are damned from birth.

However, since christians realize, implicitly, that all of these these points are obviously, prima facie false, they must steal from secular systems, that hold that 1) man obviously has a value 2) all 'sins'are obviously not equivalent and 3) a person cannot be held to be doing anything 'immoral' without intent.

So, whenever you apply some concept of punishment found in the bible to a moral situation, you are actually just grafting something from the bible onto a secular moral system.

In case you care to know: The bible is about obedience, not morality. The bible holds that a person must 1) concede that humanity is worthless, 2) believe that an intelligent, loving god is the most cruel force imaginable, and 3) hold that the best thing a person can do is grovel in obedience before this cruel tyrant, or face hellfire. This is not the inculcation of morarlity, this is coercision. One is forced to obey, or be destroyed.

This is not a moral system. It undermines morality itself. It is merely obedience.

If we look at Kohlberg's stages of moral reasoning, we see that a system built upon punishments and rewards is pre conventional morality, and not a mature moral system at all:

Stages 1 and 2 in the preconventional level involve an "egocentric point of view" and a "concrete individualistic perspective" in which the person makes choices based on the fear of punishment and the desire for rewards.

Stage 1 Punishment/Obedience - Consequentialism. This stage is characterized by avoidance of punishment and unquestioning deference to power as values in themselves. Simple Hedonism. Morality is seen as based on self interest; the goodness or badness of action is determined by their physical consequences, regardless of any human meaning attached to these consequences.

Stage 2 - Instrumental Relativist Orientation - defined by a focus on instrumental satisfaction of one's own needs, as the determiner of "right". Reciprocity may be present, but it is of the "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" kind.

Convential Stage (Late childhood, early adolescence)
In Stages 3 and 4 of the conventional level, persons make choices from a "member-of-society" perspective, considering the good of others, the maintenance of positive relations, and the rules of society. This level generally involves a move towards gaining approval or avoiding disaproval as the basis of morality; law and social rules are seen as valuable in their own right.

Stage 3 - Interpersonal Concordance (Good boy/girl orientation) - this stage is driven by a desire to please or help others with hope of winning their approval.

Stage 4 - Law and Order orientation - Focuses on the maintenance of social order and the importance of authority and strict rules. This is not the blind, unquestioning belief in power of stage one, however.

Postconventional level (This may develop in late adolescence, more likely in our mid 20s and beyond. It may never develop for most of us.)
Persons in the final stages of the postconventional level, Stages 5 and 6, reason from a "prior-to-society" perspective in which abstract ideals take precedence over particular societal laws.

Stage 5 - Social Contract/Legalistic Orientation - This stage involves a recognition of the relative nature of personal values, and the importance of having procedures for reaching a consensus and changing unfair rules. The individual at this stage can separate the legal world from individual differences of opinion.

Stage 6 - Universal Ethical Principle Orientation - This stage involves defining what is "right" in one's own conscience in a way that is consistent with one's own abstract ethical principles that are based on inclusiveness and responsibility to others; there is a clear emphasis on universality, consistency, logic and rationality. The highest stage of moral development in Kohlberg's original theory. Some state that stage 6 is only hypothetical. On the other hand, philosophers like Ken Wilber point to a 7th stage - the centaur - where univeral concern for humanity is combined with a concern for all nature - indentification is broadened to the universe itself, care is held for all nature in a manner such that one cares for the universe around him just as another cares for his own body.

In order for a man to be moral, to reach levels 3, 4, and beyond, he must disregard the claims of theism.

As the philosopher Spinoza stated: "A moral act is never an act done solely for an external reward, it's done because the act, itself, is rewarding"

Christianity can only undermine matural morality....through it's infantile use of external threats. True morality is internal.

Here's a nice quote from Alan Dershowitz who backs this up:

There is a wonderful Hasidic story about a rabbi who was asked whether it is ever proper to act as if God did not exist. He responded, “Yes, when you are asked to give to charity, you should give as if there were no God to help the object of the charity.” I think the same is true of morality and character: in deciding what course of action is moral, you should act as if there were no God. You should also act as if there were no threat of earthly punishment or reward. You should be a person of good character because it is right to be such a person.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


Topher
Topher's picture
Posts: 513
Joined: 2006-09-10
User is offlineOffline
Good stuff. Mind if I use

Good stuff.

Mind if I use it?

Nothing better than using the theists own source book to refute their own claims. (But expect to get the old 'out of context' routine)

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
Topher wrote:Good

Topher wrote:
Good stuff.

Mind if I use it?

Not at all, consider it public domain. Others have asked me if they could use it as well. (such as Franc Tremblay)

Quote:
Nothing better than using the theists own source book to refute their own claims. (But expect to get the old 'out of context' routine)

Absolutely! Please feel free to post updates, corrections, etc....

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Most Christians would be

Most Christians would be very angry if you told them by any sane standard the God of the Bible and Jesus are extremely immoral! But most of them never really read the Bible. I wonder how many more atheists there would be if every Christian actually read it...

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


darth_josh
High Level DonorHigh Level ModeratorGold Member
darth_josh's picture
Posts: 2650
Joined: 2006-02-27
User is offlineOffline
todangst was being mild.

todangst was being mild. There's more.

Perhaps including the story of Uzzah would help to illustrate the obedience thing as well.

2 Samuel 6:6
and
1 Chronicles 13:9

According to the stories, King David wasn't very happy with that smiting. Even in the bible, human morality had problems in relation to god's.

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists.


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
Thanks for the addition!

Thanks for the addition! Please post more when you can.

Great stuff.


darth_josh
High Level DonorHigh Level ModeratorGold Member
darth_josh's picture
Posts: 2650
Joined: 2006-02-27
User is offlineOffline
Sure. In Genesis 20, Abraham

Sure.
In Genesis 20, Abraham lies to a king about his wife/sister and god promises to kill the king even though he didn't know the truth. god's prophet is a liar.
Then in Genesis 26, Isaac uses the same lie to protect his own life.

In Genesis 38
god kills Er for some obscure transgression
then kills Onan for jerking off
then judah's now widowed twice daughter-in-law gets a visit from dear old dad-in-law for some money. Dad didn't know it was her but she showed the gifts. BUSTED! No one gets burnt or stoned and we have twins Pharez and Zarah. Apparently, grandpa-dad's are okay in the bible because earlier Lot gave such a shining example of morality.

In Exodus 22:18 we're not supposed to let witches live. However, the wiccan faith has many, many members that don't fear for their lives. I personally know three and have no desire to allow them to die.

I'll add some more later. It seems obvious so far that even the most 'righteous' men in the bible followed their own morality most of the time regardless of commandment.

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists.


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Yes, genocide is an

Yes, genocide is an extremely immoral way of dealing with people who disagree with you. Any Christian who thinks "Thou Shalt not sufffer a witch to live" is a good moral teaching ought to join the Nazi party. What about the story about Jepthath's (sp) daughter - unlike Abraham's son, she actually was murdered as a sacrafice to God (assuming the story is actually true - highly unlikely since it's in the Bible!)

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


darth_josh
High Level DonorHigh Level ModeratorGold Member
darth_josh's picture
Posts: 2650
Joined: 2006-02-27
User is offlineOffline
Jephthah was in Judges 11

Jephthah was in Judges 11

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists.


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Imagine what aliens would

Imagine what aliens would think of us if all they had to judge us by was the Bible/Torah/Koran! They would probably attack figuring we were too dangerous to be allowed to survive.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


Topher
Topher's picture
Posts: 513
Joined: 2006-09-10
User is offlineOffline
Have these been verified for

Have these been verified for accuracy?


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
Topher wrote:Have these been

Topher wrote:
Have these been verified for accuracy?

Which ones? My list, or all of them?

My list has been gone over... but I could recheck anything you like...

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


Topher
Topher's picture
Posts: 513
Joined: 2006-09-10
User is offlineOffline
todangst wrote:Topher

todangst wrote:
Topher wrote:
Have these been verified for accuracy?

Which ones? My list, or all of them?

My list has been gone over... but I could recheck anything you like...


Generally all of them. But no worries, I'll eventually have a look.

We get the "out of context" reply so much that we usually just dismiss instantly, however it's best to be sure so to not go in with 'blanks'.

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


reason_passion
Rational VIP!
Posts: 158
Joined: 2006-08-17
User is offlineOffline
the "bible"

I can see that ranting about the non-existence of the bible is going to be a specialty of mine.

It's all good that research is done to quote hundreds of verses detailing the atrocities committed in the bible by supposedly godly men and at the request of god, but does anybody seriously contend that this is going to phase anybody of any religious educational background? does anybody think that in the 2000 years of church history, the fact of these statements hasn't been seen and proper arguments created to defend them? I'm not saying the argument work, but as their strength is largely derived from the assumption that the bible is a legitimate conceptual device, quoting verses at them only seems to implicitly afford them better ground than they in fact possess.

rather, what needs to be pointed out is todangst's main idea in the second post of this thread, the fact of christianity's illegitmate means of promoting a valid moral theory based on its own assumptions.

todangst wrote:
As the philosopher Spinoza stated: "A moral act is never an act done solely for an external reward, it's done because the act, itself, is rewarding"

Christianity can only undermine matural morality....through it's infantile use of external threats. True morality is internal.

Here's the issue. Christianity assumes a heirarchical and dominating morality, defended by a being who can kill you for disobedience at a whim. All the actions of the men of god that were requested by god can be justified on this basis and hence quoting their acts doesn't do anything.

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm


jester700
Posts: 105
Joined: 2006-06-27
User is offlineOffline
I think ALL forms of

I think ALL forms of deconversion are valid - different methods work for different people. Some have never read the buybull and will think hard about the immorality & errancy in it. Others can work around that but can be swayed by deeper philosophical or logical concepts. Others maybe by the history of the bible and church itself. So it's all good.


reason_passion
Rational VIP!
Posts: 158
Joined: 2006-08-17
User is offlineOffline
deconverting

jester700 wrote:
I think ALL forms of deconversion are valid - different methods work for different people.

I don't disagree for the msot part, as emotional manipulation is not something I agree with, no matter what idea is trying to be formed.

My point is not about the deconversion, but about the legitimacy of argumentation. If quoting bible verses gets someone to doubt, all well and good, but doubt here doesn't get to the heart of the matter, that being belief in the efficacy of the bible itself and god as sole-arbiter of morality. As such, doubt here can often quite easily be used as a psychological goad to further the strength of the underlying belief system.

Doubt itself isn't our goal, for the christian doubts all the time. It is what is being doubted that we should look at. quoting verses tends to simply make the person doubt their personal ability to understand god's holy book, a point that supports their belief in the nebulous god, since it undercuts their self-confidence.

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
reason_passion

reason_passion wrote:
...rather, what needs to be pointed out is todangst's main idea in the second post of this thread, the fact of christianity's illegitmate means of promoting a valid moral theory based on its own assumptions.

todangst wrote:
As the philosopher Spinoza stated: "A moral act is never an act done solely for an external reward, it's done because the act, itself, is rewarding"

Christianity can only undermine matural morality....through it's infantile use of external threats. True morality is internal.

Here's the issue. Christianity assumes a heirarchical and dominating morality, defended by a being who can kill you for disobedience at a whim. All the actions of the men of god that were requested by god can be justified on this basis and hence quoting their acts doesn't do anything.

Yes.

Christian 'morality' is a preconventional morality.. it's external, it's based on obedience... on fear, on punishment and rewards. Such a "morality' is not a morality at all, it is mere prudence. It's driven by a hedonistic need to avoid torture and seek out pleasure

Real morality is internal. It's part of your character, of who you are. It's a set of values - literally things that you value other than just yourself....

So even if we take the christian at his word, his argument that these biblical actionsa are 'moral' because they are the rules of an unquestionable tyrant, still falls to pieces, because prudence is not a true morality.

And the christian himself refutes himself on this matter, because he himself rejects this paradigm as a moral system in his own daily life... Just look at his actions: he recognizes that some immoral actions are worse than others, he places moral actions on a hierarchy. He expects others around him to be reliable moral agents... he doesn't consider his fellow man incapable and loathsome, but someone to be relied upon. He lives his morals as something internal to him, something to be done because they act itself is a value... he helps others not because he will recieve a reward, but because the helping behavior itself IS the reward.

The christian expects, in other words, that both he himself, and others around him, will operate under a conventional morality, a secular morality, a true morality.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


darth_josh
High Level DonorHigh Level ModeratorGold Member
darth_josh's picture
Posts: 2650
Joined: 2006-02-27
User is offlineOffline
Topher wrote:Have these been

Topher wrote:
Have these been verified for accuracy?

Thus the reason that I posted the whole chapter for most of them.

The examples that I listed illustrate instances where the storytellers seemed to place a higher value on human right/wrong rather than divine in my opinion. Would you agree?

Matt suggested the story of Jephthah to illustrate an instance where 'keeping your word to god' was more important than human right/wrong.

todangst included scripture from both sides.

I would say that it is very contextually accurate with regard to the topic.

Even if we took the hundreds of laws laid down by the bible regarding morality and tried to qualify them with regard to modern law there would be so many instances of humans using their own judgment rather than relying upon religion that it all but negates religious 'morals'.

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists.


caseagainstfaith
Silver Member
caseagainstfaith's picture
Posts: 202
Joined: 2006-09-10
User is offlineOffline
todangst wrote: Not at all,

todangst wrote:

Not at all, consider it public domain. Others have asked me if they could use it as well. (such as Franc Tremblay)

I'm thinking of putting it up on my site, just want a good title and author for it, if okay with you.


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
Well, seriously consider it

Well, seriously consider it public domain, which means if you edit it, or give it a title, it's now yours.

If you want to use my real name at all: chris smith.

I'd just call it: Why christians must steal from secular morality.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


caseagainstfaith
Silver Member
caseagainstfaith's picture
Posts: 202
Joined: 2006-09-10
User is offlineOffline
todangst wrote:Well,

todangst wrote:
Well, seriously consider it public domain, which means if you edit it, or give it a title, it's now yours.

If you want to use my real name at all: chris smith.

I'd just call it: Why christians must steal from secular morality.

Okay, cool. I had planned on editing it some. I'm happy to give you credit for it, or if you don't want it, I'll post it as anonymous or something.


Strafio
Strafio's picture
Posts: 1346
Joined: 2006-09-11
User is offlineOffline
I'll use this to show

I'll use this to show Christians that they read their Bible through a lense of common sense. They choose which bits to take literally and which not to. I'll try and say that it means that they have a concept of 'right' and 'wrong' independent from the Bible.

I can see the topic going to "conscience" and them claiming that God puts morals in us there. I'll have a couple of objections like "My conscience condemns Christian morality" for which they'll accuse the devil of mixing me up...
I'll ask how they know that I'm the one who's mixed up and not them then when they use the Bible as justification I'll remind them they're filtering it through 'common sense'...

What would be handy from you, if you've got time, is an alternative account of conscience. I think you posted on before in IG, about how it's a reminder of parent rules or something like that...
Thanks.


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
Strafio wrote:I'll use this

Strafio wrote:
I'll use this to show Christians that they read their Bible through a lense of common sense. They choose which bits to take literally and which not to. I'll try and say that it means that they have a concept of 'right' and 'wrong' independent from the Bible.

Yes, precisely. They rely on an inter-subjective standard - the morals of their community, which in turn are founded on human empathy.

Take away the bible, and this moral standard remains. The evidence, of course, is the fact that most human moral systems are basically equitable.

Quote:

I can see the topic going to "conscience" and them claiming that God puts morals in us there.

The problem, of course, is there is a direct refutation of this available in the works of Karen Horney and other analysists.

We know from analytical work that we have a more parsimonious explanation for conscience: our conscience is introjected into us, as young children, through the rules and desires of our parents. What becomes our conscience was once the words of our parents, our families, etc.

But this alone is merely the more parsimonious explanation, and not the refutation. The refutation comes from Horney, in her concept of the "Tyranny of the Shoulds"

In her work with patients, she found that many statements stemming from the conscience of her patients were NOT moral in character, only in tone. What I mean by this is that people's conscience often speaks in a moral sounding way on things without any moral bearing.... "I should be able to get through traffic without delay" "I should be able to finish my work faster than my co workers:

These "shoulds" have the same moral tone of any other conscience statement, yet they are without any actual moral import.

So from this, it is clear that there is no "supernatural moral law from a god' introjected into us... our conscience is not merely a set of 'moral rights and wrong' but all sorts of statements that have the tone of 'right and wrong' but not always an actual moral character.

For this reason, it is not only more parsimonious to hold that conscience is a set of family values introjected into us as children, it is logical to reject the idea that our conscience is a moral thermometer set up by any god, seeing as our conscience is not wholly moral at all.

So, once we remove the erroneous presumption that our conscience is solely a 'moral guide' the theist argument loses its power.

I've written a paper on this, in response to C S Lewis' argument to conscience as evidence for a 'god'....

Quote:

I'll have a couple of objections like "My conscience condemns Christian morality" for which they'll accuse the devil of mixing me up...

Excellent point.

Quote:

I'll ask how they know that I'm the one who's mixed up and not them then when they use the Bible as justification I'll remind them they're filtering it through 'common sense'...

heheh...

Quote:

What would be handy from you, if you've got time, is an alternative account of conscience. I think you posted on before in IG, about how it's a reminder of parent rules or something like that...
Thanks.

Well, I must say again that I love posting my responses as I read along.... makes reading statements like this fun.

Again, analysts talk about the form of the superego through introjection -

Introjection is the process wherein what is outside is misunderstood to be coming from inside. It is not a conscious indentification, but an automatic, unconscious, avolitional process of absorbtion of parental images. It happens to us most often in childhood, of course, at a time when, developmentally, we still are not fully able to separate our ideas from those of others....

If you'd like the paper, I will look for it, but I don't have an electronic file anymore....

To me, the key point is this: ask a theist if ANYTHING in his 'conscience' appears to be nonmoral.. if any of the SHOULDS he tells himself have to do with things other than morality... if he can find some, then he has to question why they'd be there at all....

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
caseagainstfaith

caseagainstfaith wrote:
todangst wrote:
Well, seriously consider it public domain, which means if you edit it, or give it a title, it's now yours.

If you want to use my real name at all: chris smith.

I'd just call it: Why christians must steal from secular morality.

Okay, cool. I had planned on editing it some. I'm happy to give you credit for it, or if you don't want it, I'll post it as anonymous or something.

Well then, the solution is to put both our names on it!

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


FreeThoughtMake...
Superfan
FreeThoughtMakesMeTingle's picture
Posts: 173
Joined: 2006-08-14
User is offlineOffline
o_O further more cements my

o_O further more cements my thoughts the bible SUCKS. Could I use this in like a blog or w/e on my myspace page?

Quote:
Religion at BEST - is like a lift in your shoe. If you need it for a while, and it makes you walk straight and feel better - fine. But you don't need it forever, or you can become permanently disabled.

---George Carlin---


Klarky
Klarky's picture
Posts: 70
Joined: 2006-04-10
User is offlineOffline
todangst

todangst wrote:

Yes.

Christian 'morality' is a preconventional morality.. it's external, it's based on obedience... on fear, on punishment and rewards. Such a "morality' is not a morality at all, it is mere prudence. It's driven by a hedonistic need to avoid torture and seek out pleasure

Real morality is internal. It's part of your character, of who you are. It's a set of values - literally things that you value other than just yourself....

So even if we take the christian at his word, his argument that these biblical actionsa are 'moral' because they are the rules of an unquestionable tyrant, still falls to pieces, because prudence is not a true morality.

And the christian himself refutes himself on this matter, because he himself rejects this paradigm as a moral system in his own daily life... Just look at his actions: he recognizes that some immoral actions are worse than others, he places moral actions on a hierarchy. He expects others around him to be reliable moral agents... he doesn't consider his fellow man incapable and loathsome, but someone to be relied upon. He lives his morals as something internal to him, something to be done because they act itself is a value... he helps others not because he will recieve a reward, but because the helping behavior itself IS the reward.

The christian expects, in other words, that both he himself, and others around him, will operate under a conventional morality, a secular morality, a true morality.

Great stuff Chris, I too have been making these points to Christians for some time; although, unlike me, you took the time to commit it to text, and very eloquently done I must say.

I agree that Real morality is internal. To state that one is a moral being, means that the specific individual in question is capable of rationalising and supporting their moral position on any given issue at hand, and they choose a solution based on its own intrinsic reward. This means that they have their OWN moral sensibilities.

A Christian, on the other hand, receives morality as a prescription. Their moral framework is prescribed by another, namely a God.
So with that said, one could argue, as you have done, that Christians are moral despite their religion. I’d perhaps go a little further and say; Christians are Amoral because they do not theoretically posses their own internal morality.


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
Klarky wrote: I agree that

Klarky wrote:

I agree that Real morality is internal. To state that one is a moral being, means that the specific individual in question is capable of rationalising and supporting their moral position on any given issue at hand, and they choose a solution based on its own intrinsic reward. This means that they have their OWN moral sensibilities.

A Christian, on the other hand, receives morality as a prescription. Their moral framework is prescribed by another, namely a God.
So with that said, one could argue, as you have done, that Christians are moral despite their religion. I’d perhaps go a little further and say; Christians are Amoral because they do not theoretically posses their own internal morality.


Yes, if they actually believed what they said, they would be amoral in that sense - even nihilistic - in that they claim their morals come only externally, as a set of hedonistic controls: threats of infinite pleasure or ultimate pain.

The would be 'amoral' in that there was nothing intrinsically valuable about moral actions, in of themselves. Here's a fascinating logical ramifiaction of this: it means that everything would simply be hedonistic prudence... which in turn means that if this 'god' suddenly rewarded rape and murder and punished charity, then the christian would have to switch actions without even a pang of guilt.

(and what would stop this god from doing so? It can't be something intrinsically good about moral actions, that would be a contradiction),

And some christians even make pretense of acting this way... despite the problems. You see it when you ask some of them "what if there were no god' and they respond that they'd no longer see any reason to be moral.

But I don't believe them.... I think that in most cases, they would remain moral, because morality is an inter-personal phenomenon.... we are moral because it is the best way to act when living in a community, and being a part of community is literally a part of what we are.

I know we tend to think of ourselves as individuals, but in a real sense, this is a 'lie' we tell ourselves, even in highly 'individualistic' cultures.

Consider:

We are created through a sex act that literally combines biological elements from two people. There's never a moment where we are literally just one person... we are created as a combination of two.

We develop inside the body of another person. Our first nine months are not even spent 'alone'

For the first years of our lives, to be separated from the direct and constant care of an adult for an extended period of time is a death sentence.

For the first few years of our lives, we need constant humane contace, just to grow up without a serious psychyopathology. Anyone who suffers abuse or neglect faces a serious risk of severe psychological handicaps - including pervasive developmental disorder and, later in life, antisocial personality disorder.

As we develop and step outside of the family circle more often, we often consider this process 'individualization. But ironically, all we really do here is trade one group of significant human contacts for another! We turn from family to friends.

Each step of they way in our development, we are interpersonal beings. In a sense, we have an 'interpersonality' more than we really have just a 'person-ality'. We are social beings, and as such, we have a need for constant human contact. Seeing as this is vital to our existence, it is no wonder that we have the ability to understand the needs of the other, and to balance them with our own, for the good of ourselves.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


Topher
Topher's picture
Posts: 513
Joined: 2006-09-10
User is offlineOffline
todangst wrote:I've written

todangst wrote:
I've written a paper on this, in response to C S Lewis' argument to conscience as evidence for a 'god'....

Is this available anywhere?

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
Topher wrote:todangst

Topher wrote:
todangst wrote:
I've written a paper on this, in response to C S Lewis' argument to conscience as evidence for a 'god'....

Is this available anywhere?

Unfortunately, not at present, as I wrote it in the 1990s and no longer have an electronic copy. I may retype it later in the year, but I've covered the key points here - Lewis is correct when he holds that our conscience has origin outside of us, but he oversteps the bounds of reason by holding that it must come from a god... when it could simply come from our parents.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


caseagainstfaith
Silver Member
caseagainstfaith's picture
Posts: 202
Joined: 2006-09-10
User is offlineOffline
I've gone ahead and posted

I've gone ahead and posted "Why Christians Must Steal From Secular Morality" on my site. I only edited it slightly, so I used your name. I could remove it if you don't want it there.


Polaris
Posts: 14
Joined: 2006-10-04
User is offlineOffline
This may seem ignorant, but

This may seem ignorant, but what about when christians claim jesus taught empathetic actions(I know he is contradictory in other verses), not just obeying commandments. I am talking about golden rule, turn other cheek, etc.... This is still under the guise of punishment, right? So they are copting empathy(emotion)?


Strafio
Strafio's picture
Posts: 1346
Joined: 2006-09-11
User is offlineOffline
I think there's a few things

I think there's a few things you can say to that.
If they buy into some of the more controversial policies (like 'anti-gay' and 'anti non-Christian') then you can say that there's a lack of empathy in those positions.
You can also say that other religions (and secular cultures) also teach empathy, so what seperates Christianity from them.
You also say that they're stealing from secular morality by placing Jesus 'empathy' teachings as more important than the dogmatic 'rule following' teachings.

They'll either reject the controversial policies, (in which case they'll have no reason to convert you as they'll have admitted that other religions/philosophies are just as fine as theirs) or they'll reject the empathy argument.


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
Polaris wrote:This may seem

Polaris wrote:
This may seem ignorant, but what about when christians claim jesus taught empathetic actions(I know he is contradictory in other verses), not just obeying commandments. I am talking about golden rule, turn other cheek, etc.... This is still under the guise of punishment, right? So they are copting empathy(emotion)?

The problem is that the 'jesus' character in the NT equated all immoral actions as equally deserving of infinite torture.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


Strafio
Strafio's picture
Posts: 1346
Joined: 2006-09-11
User is offlineOffline
I was looking at

I was looking at Compilation of works from Todangst and decided that this topic is missing from the collection. Problem is, a simple copy and paste probably wouldn't be appropiate, the topic is split into two posts and the first one involves a list of quotes that would be best served at the end. The second involves the system of morality that is repeated in the Gandhi article (although no harm in repeating it in more detail?)

That's my bit done. Sapient! Todangst! Get to work! Sticking out tongue


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
Strafio wrote: I was

Strafio wrote:

I was looking at Compilation of works from Todangst and decided that this topic is missing from the collection. Problem is, a simple copy and paste probably wouldn't be appropiate, the topic is split into two posts and the first one involves a list of quotes that would be best served at the end. The second involves the system of morality that is repeated in the Gandhi article (although no harm in repeating it in more detail?)

That's my bit done. Sapient! Todangst! Get to work! Sticking out tongue

 

Thanks for the idea, it's in my collection now!

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Interesting... Leviticus

Interesting...

Leviticus 19:20-22 seems to have been revised a bit in the 20th century.  We've gone from scourging the woman to the man offering a ram.

Wonder why that is...

 

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

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


gregfl
Posts: 170
Joined: 2006-04-29
User is offlineOffline
This has always been my

This has always been my argument,albiet not as sophisticated. The thing that always gets me in conversations with christians is that they miss the point entirely and then futilistically proclaim that without god, there is no morality.  period.  Some of them even go so far as to say that without god, they would be a murderer, rapist, thief, etc.

 

The thing is, as Todangst clearly points out, there is no morality offered in the bible.  Stealing a loaf of bread is the same as murdering your mother in cold blood.  So, in order to develop a cohesive moral system, christians look to secular (evolutionary, rational, sensient) morality in order to develop their morality.  So they sin in order to be moral (the lie to protect life argument), they steal to feed, they kill in order to not be killed.  In other words, out of one side of their mouth they credit their moral system to the bible, and out of the other they summarily ignore it so they can develop a rational moral system.

 

It is not only contradictory, it is hippocritical and ignorant.

 

 


Pikachu
Pikachu's picture
Posts: 181
Joined: 2006-08-19
User is offlineOffline
The golden rule in the bible

The formulation as given in NT appear to be a complete rip-off of eastern ethics and is as such an example of wisdom that at some point travelled from east to west.

God had no time to create time.


Strafio
Strafio's picture
Posts: 1346
Joined: 2006-09-11
User is offlineOffline
gregfl wrote:

gregfl wrote:
It is not only contradictory, it is hippocritical and ignorant.

It's a weird hypocracy too...
We're so used to people who tell others they should be doing good and while secretly being naughty. The fundies at my university turn it on the head by being amazingly nice people. It's not that they pull punches. They believe in eternal damnation, that it is just and that humans are dirt and worthless and deserve the worst. They tell you this while giving you free food, looking after you and being genuinely nice... is this kind of hypocracy even a bad thing? :D  

(there was one lass so nice I even considered brainwashing myself into a Christian so I could marry her, but I decided it'd never work. Some contradictions I can live with but to call the Christian God good was too much for me!)


skeptic griggsy
skeptic griggsy's picture
Posts: 37
Joined: 2006-11-01
User is offlineOffline
  Gee, Todangst has

  Gee, Todangst has taken I  what thought was my argument! Yes ,theists indeed use our humanist morality when they reason well in morality: they use reason and facts , not the whims of those men of yore .It is they who use our morlality,not inversely! What is good or bad for humans , other animals and the enviornment is our morality .It is as Bentham put it that pain and pleasure involve themsleves : what others call the sIlver or golden rule.[ That assumes a normal person, not a sadist-masochist,etc. Evolution has bulit into us a moral sense that we have to refine to include all humanity . No god gave us a conscious.[ See my thread and also my blog on the definitive refutation of the free will argumenton on God's morality.]

morgan L lamberth Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.
" God is in a worse position than the scarecow who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder He is ineffable!" Ignostic Morgan"
"Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate meaning." Inquiring Lynn
Please support mental health and take the stigma off metnal illnes!