Atheism: reason or circle jerk?

Jubal
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Atheism: reason or circle jerk?

*Note* It is not my intention to pick a fight, but to ask people to engage in a little self-examination. Please forgive me if I  unintentionally provoke you to anger, it is not my intent.

 

From reading the posts on this site, the majority appear to be from people genuinely pissed off at religion in general, and Christianity in particular.

First, while I understand being angry at the self-righteous, unthinking, bigoted assholes we've all seen, and the horrendous inhumanity that religions in general have perpetrated, the hostility here seems a bit overblown.

While Christianity is the religion a giant majority of Americans claim, the number of people who for instance believe in a literal, wooden interpretation of the Christian Bible is something along the lines of 25%-ish IF THAT.

A huge number of attacks on religion I see here are arguing points that only the ignorant EVEN AMONG CHRISTIANS actually believe.

Get yourselves to some Episcopal churches, or UCC services and listen carefully. Talk to someone with an actual education from something other than Liberty Baptist or Oral Roberts "University" and you'll get a vastly different kind of religion than the shit that makes us all cringe in horror.

While I think their religion is equally as silly as the fundamentalists, I don't think it's worthy of hatred.

If someone is a Deist, while I may disagree with them, whats to really argue over? They believe in something unprovable and unfalsifiable that has little impact on their actions. If it makes them feel better, who cares?

And in fact, my experience is that a GIANT percentage of people who call themselves "Christians" are in fact, when you pin them down, Deists.

On balance, religion has been a bad thing. I don't think anyone can argue this point. The self-loathing, the perverted view of women and human sexuality in general, the concept of Hell, not to mention the pogroms, the burnings, the heretic hunts, etc. We could all list a thousand reasons why religion in general has been bad.

But that doesn't mean it has produced NO good.

Have you ever read Ecclesiastes? There's plenty there to move the heart of the most strident anti-theist.

Could Milton have written Paradise Lost without religion? I find it hard to imagine.

Say what you wish about the Salvation army, but I've worked in soup kitchens on Skid row in several cities, and precious few are the non-religious people offering any help. I was involved with a Catholic Group called Detention Ministries. A group devoted to following Jesus' admonition to "visit in prison." This group does just that, visits inmates in prisons all over the west coast, WITH EXPLICIT PROHIBITION ON PROSELYTIZING. you can talk about God, but only in response to questions, and NEVER to try and preach. I have never, in 25 years of working on inmate issues and prison reform issues, seen more than a very few overtly secular groups who would touch this stuff with a ten-foot-pole.

I could list hundreds of other explicitly religious people and organizations which have done good things and continue to do so.

I'm all for attacking the Fundies' continued attempts to impose theocracy in the USA. I'm all for disabusing people of illusions of "truth" that are nothing more than irrational beliefs. But basically a GIANT amount of what I read on this site is people arguing with positions that NO ONE IS TAKING except a relative handful of fanatics, pissing off every moderate or liberal Christian who reads them and thereby missing a lot of opportunities to actually accomplish something other than self-righteous, self-congratulation over how smart "WE" are vs the "Idiot Theists."

It's like the Abortion debate. Only a fanatic will take the position that a 5-day-old embryo is equivalent to a newborn baby. And only fanatics take the position that women should have an UNQUESTIONED right to have abortions without medical reasons at 8 months of gestation.

But that's the way the argument gets framed every fucking time. The "right-to-life" idiots claim abortion advocates are arguing for 8-month willy-nilly abortions, something not one in 100 abortion rights advocates would agree with, and then the abortion rights crowd defines all people who question the morality of abortion as wanting to make the morning after pill illegal, something a tiny percentage of people actually agree with.

What happens is that we get incredibly lop-sided, poorly thought-out policy decisions that change every time a new political party gets into office.

I'd like to see a world where religion no longer has meaning to people beyond a sense of history.

But we'll never get there for one, because some people will always fear their own death more than they love clear thinking.

And we won't even get close if the only two choices are made to be: "Fundamentalist Wacko" or "Anti-Theistic Fanatic"

 

 


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 The problem happens when

 The problem happens when supernatural entities are referenced in the political sphere. There, decisions that people will make can effect all of us. The fewer people who believe in something immaterial, the fewer people can use that as their lame-ass excuse for bad behaviour. It's also a method of reducing humanity to a pet, which effectively deletes personal responsibility except to one's interpretation of an imagined entity. As creatures we are far too dangerous to let this go.

Moderates encourage the fundamentalists by protecting them from scrutiny. I think Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens have said the same thing, so I'm kicking the proverbial dead horse. The "let people have their religion" angle is insidious because it lets people who have these beliefs be taken seriously. Why should someone believing in an invisible dad not be funny? It's funny! It's funny because it's ridiculous.

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I think what you are seeing,

I think what you are seeing, from the emotion perspective, is perhaps being taken a bit out of context.  You would find just as much emotion and anger at a forum talking about Rock Band and what bands they should get songs for.

This anger and emotional response that you are seeing I largely just see as the product of people allowing themselves to be over expressive due to the anonymous nature of the internet.

People are just dicks when they are on the internet because they can be.

As for the attacks on the religious moderate, the religious moderate are largely the cause of religious fundamentalism and it's the fundamentalism that is really an issue.

Take an issue such as politics.  The political involvement of a religion that influences it's people still has a lot of moderate followers that support it and do what their religious organization says they should do, or at least factors it in with higher regard to their own investigation on issues.  These a bit more extreme right wing religious groups tend to push their influence on government by using the monies and support of the moderates.

I am well aware that, for the most part, people are ignorant to the beliefs they are supporting yet at the same time it is their support that brings about religiously derived laws or opposition to laws.

It is also those same religious groups that are the back-bone of segregation.

By attacking the religion as a hole, perhaps those moderates will shift away and start making up their own minds rather than blindly following the organizations that are abusing their support.

Now, moving on to religious organizations doing good things...

Yes they do good things, but why do they need to be religious organizations? I see no reason to believe that people wouldn't do good things without religion and there are many many secular run charities in the world.  Hell, they could take the monies that they put into their religious organizations and focus that on the charities if not for needing to fund the vatican and all the churches and other religiously paid for buildings, employees, and organizations.

As for the "Anti-theistic fanatic"...I don't see why you would feel that there's only the two polar opposites.  There are many levels of theism that people wouldn't complain for a second about.  If the whole world was truly secular, the theism debate likely wouldn't matter.


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I disagree that only a

I disagree that only a fanatic would give a woman an unquestioned right to abortion at 8 months pregnant - I'd give it up until birth.

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MattShizzle wrote:I disagree

MattShizzle wrote:

I disagree that only a fanatic would give a woman an unquestioned right to abortion at 8 months pregnant - I'd give it up until birth.

You don't consider yourself a fanatic atheist?

You are one of the few that I would classify in this category.


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Jubal wrote:And in fact, my

Jubal wrote:

And in fact, my experience is that a GIANT percentage of people who call themselves "Christians" are in fact, when you pin them down, Deists.

 

If you really pin them down you find they are Atheist or Agnostic. You ask them the reason for their belief, they won't give you a credible answer beyond "their feelings". The real answer they say they believe is peer pressure and fear, this is not belief. So, do I just go along with the lies cause it's not apparently hurting anyone?

If you are around even the most religious of people long enough, you find they slip up and reveal that they don't really believe. Religion is all about lying to yourself.

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Jubal
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MattShizzle wrote:I disagree

MattShizzle wrote:

I disagree that only a fanatic would give a woman an unquestioned right to abortion at 8 months pregnant - I'd give it up until birth.

Ok, you're free to disagree, but I would posit that as a VERY extreme position.

At 8 months, almost all babies will survive outside the womb without heroic medical intervention. If she's so hot to get rid of it, go to the Dr. and get an induced birth or c-section. But barring some actual medical reason for the abortion (as is the case in virtually 100% of "partial-birth" abortions) viability outside the womb without heroic measures would seem a reasonable place to draw the line between a medical procedure and infanticide.

As I recall that's along the same line of reasoning which was used in Roe v Wade, currently law in the U.S.

 

 

 

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Jubal wrote:A huge number of

Jubal wrote:

A huge number of attacks on religion I see here are arguing points that only the ignorant EVEN AMONG CHRISTIANS actually believe.

The majority of christians don't believe you will go to hell if you don't believe in and accept Jesus Christ?

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A partial answer ...

Jubal wrote:

While Christianity is the religion a giant majority of Americans claim, the number of people who for instance believe in a literal, wooden interpretation of the Christian Bible is something along the lines of 25%-ish IF THAT.

A huge number of attacks on religion I see here are arguing points that only the ignorant EVEN AMONG CHRISTIANS actually believe.

 

Which raises the question - are the 75% who do not interpret the bible literally and who hold beliefs concerning their faith which have been moderated to appear more credible in a sophisticated and knowledgable age more or less honest than their creationist brethren? The history of the christian church in all its manifestations has been one of cherry-picking and applying wilful and repeated reinterpretation to the so-called central tenets. I would argue that their honesty is even more questionable than the bible-thumpers. In intentionally warping their own alleged beliefs simply to aid their transmission they are as guilty as any creationist in insulting the intelligence of their peers, but have compounded their guilt with wilful deception of both their peers and - almost invariably - themselves.

Jubal wrote:

While I think their religion is equally as silly as the fundamentalists, I don't think it's worthy of hatred.

Good, since hatred tends to lead to a lack of focus when you make a point of expressing to these people that you have rumbled their duplicity - just as you have also seen through their ploy of reinventing a pack of lies into another pack of lies just to ensure that they can perpetuate them.

Jubal wrote:

If someone is a Deist, while I may disagree with them, whats to really argue over? They believe in something unprovable and unfalsifiable that has little impact on their actions. If it makes them feel better, who cares?

The victims of their duplicity often care, both intended and unintended. And, as others have said before, if nothing else they help also to perpetuate the fallacy that holding irrational views, when they are deemed religious in nature, cannot be openly condemned or ridiculed in society, thus providing elbow room for the fundamentalists to operate.

Jubal wrote:

On balance, religion has been a bad thing. I don't think anyone can argue this point. The self-loathing, the perverted view of women and human sexuality in general, the concept of Hell, not to mention the pogroms, the burnings, the heretic hunts, etc. We could all list a thousand reasons why religion in general has been bad.

But that doesn't mean it has produced NO good.

Don't ever become a defence attorney.

Jubal wrote:

Have you ever read Ecclesiastes? There's plenty there to move the heart of the most strident anti-theist.

Could Milton have written Paradise Lost without religion? I find it hard to imagine.

Say what you wish about the Salvation army, but I've worked in soup kitchens on Skid row in several cities, and precious few are the non-religious people offering any help. I was involved with a Catholic Group called Detention Ministries. A group devoted to following Jesus' admonition to "visit in prison." This group does just that, visits inmates in prisons all over the west coast, WITH EXPLICIT PROHIBITION ON PROSELYTIZING. you can talk about God, but only in response to questions, and NEVER to try and preach. I have never, in 25 years of working on inmate issues and prison reform issues, seen more than a very few overtly secular groups who would touch this stuff with a ten-foot-pole.

I could list hundreds of other explicitly religious people and organizations which have done good things and continue to do so.

Would charitable behaviour stop if christianity was debunked? Would Milton have written something else, perhaps, if his enthusiasm and talent had not been absorbed with a religious theme? How many potential good deeds and works of art have been denied to posterity on the basis of religion? You seem to imply answers to these questions that presuppose religion as a source for goodness and excellence to the exclusion of all other sources. I would vehemently challenge that supposition!

 

Jubal wrote:

I'm all for attacking the Fundies' continued attempts to impose theocracy in the USA. I'm all for disabusing people of illusions of "truth" that are nothing more than irrational beliefs. But basically a GIANT amount of what I read on this site is people arguing with positions that NO ONE IS TAKING except a relative handful of fanatics, pissing off every moderate or liberal Christian who reads them and thereby missing a lot of opportunities to actually accomplish something other than self-righteous, self-congratulation over how smart "WE" are vs the "Idiot Theists."

I would agree completely with you there. Misdirecting one's attack and employing inefficient munitions with ineffective strategy is a sure way of losing any battle, even metaphorically. Quite a lot of the input I have read on these threads since I found the site a few days ago is, to put it bluntly, ridiculous. But if the purpose of the site is to help individuals hone their thoughts, their ability to express them, and ultimately voice their rational mind (possibly for the first time in their lives) then such misguided (and often poorly phrased) ranting must be endured.

Jubal wrote:

It's like the Abortion debate. Only a fanatic will take the position that a 5-day-old embryo is equivalent to a newborn baby. And only fanatics take the position that women should have an UNQUESTIONED right to have abortions without medical reasons at 8 months of gestation.

But that's the way the argument gets framed every fucking time. The "right-to-life" idiots claim abortion advocates are arguing for 8-month willy-nilly abortions, something not one in 100 abortion rights advocates would agree with, and then the abortion rights crowd defines all people who question the morality of abortion as wanting to make the morning after pill illegal, something a tiny percentage of people actually agree with.

What happens is that we get incredibly lop-sided, poorly thought-out policy decisions that change every time a new political party gets into office.

Poor political policy making will always result from pandering to specific ethical stances simply because they are vocal. The solution there is to raise political consciousness, not engage in an ethical slagging match in any case. That way one can hopefully increase the prospect of truly democratic representation by politicians better qualified to create policy. It is not actually a religious question at all, and it is proof as much of how politically moribund US society has become as it is of a christian-right surge to power. The latter could well happen, but essentially it would simply be evidence for the collapse of the US political system's ability to engage and represent its electorate. There are always beneficiaries from such collapses, and they are rarely nice people.

Jubal wrote:

I'd like to see a world where religion no longer has meaning to people beyond a sense of history.

But we'll never get there for one, because some people will always fear their own death more than they love clear thinking.

And we won't even get close if the only two choices are made to be: "Fundamentalist Wacko" or "Anti-Theistic Fanatic"

Thankfully there are many other shades of opinion to which one can subscribe. I suspect you really know that too.

 

 

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MattShizzle wrote:I disagree

MattShizzle wrote:

I disagree that only a fanatic would give a woman an unquestioned right to abortion at 8 months pregnant - I'd give it up until birth.

 

That's completely mental

Wish in one hand, shit in the other, see which one fills up first.


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Jello wrote:MattShizzle

Jello wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:

I disagree that only a fanatic would give a woman an unquestioned right to abortion at 8 months pregnant - I'd give it up until birth.

 

That's completely mental

 

Why? A person isn't developed enough to really have experience until at least age 1 1/2 or so - that's why you can remember anything before then. Only the family would feel anything negative over it's death before then.

Unless you suffer from the "life is sacred" delusion (or the secualr equivalent "life has value in and of itself."  ) Please, life in and of itself is utterly worthless - it's the quality of life that matters - so a fetus/brain dead person's life has no value (other than in the fetus's case if the mother wants a baby.) Quality of life is what matters.

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Quote:From reading the posts

Quote:
From reading the posts on this site, the majority appear to be from people genuinely pissed off at religion in general, and Christianity in particular.

First, while I understand being angry at the self-righteous, unthinking, bigoted assholes we've all seen, and the horrendous inhumanity that religions in general have perpetrated, the hostility here seems a bit overblown.

Welcome to an adversarial relationship, created by religious doctrine, in order to engender such an outlook. The Bible immediately puts an Christian follower at odds with a non-believer by telling them that anyone who questions the writing is working for Satan (whether they know it or not). So, in their eyes, anything we do or say must be in some way a mechanism for ding the work of the devil - thus the propogation of the notion that Atheists are ignoble and angry sadists who just walk around saying mean things about God and Jesus.

When we react to such notions and nonsense as strongly as should be expected, theists say, "See! See! Look at how they're insulting me and my beliefs!", establishing the illusion of atheistic hostility.

The reality is that atheists are not setting-up indoctrination camps or condemning theists with ad hominems related to gigantic global conspiracies or otherwordly forces of the sinister. We're throwing topics up on online forums, doing podcasts and the occassional live debate, and what howling and screaming we do is mostly in agony.

Quote:
While Christianity is the religion a giant majority of Americans claim, the number of people who for instance believe in a literal, wooden interpretation of the Christian Bible is something along the lines of 25%-ish IF THAT.

A huge number of attacks on religion I see here are arguing points that only the ignorant EVEN AMONG CHRISTIANS actually believe.

Yawn. So are you a theist, or just another apologist?

We've been looking for these true, enlightened, oh-so-moderate Christians and welcomed them to take it to the mat with us and show us how their delusions carry more weight than the fundamentalists. They haven't been able to meet us on that challenge (in my opinion, because such persons don't actually exist in the first place).

Quote:
Get yourselves to some Episcopal churches, or UCC services and listen carefully. Talk to someone with an actual education from something other than Liberty Baptist or Oral Roberts "University" and you'll get a vastly different kind of religion than the shit that makes us all cringe in horror.

While I think their religion is equally as silly as the fundamentalists, I don't think it's worthy of hatred.

Except we don't 'hate' it. We demonstrate that it holds no water. As a result of that, thanks to the adversarial relationship I mentioned earlier that theists have been put into with us, the perception is that we must hate them and generally be hateful people.

Quote:
If someone is a Deist, while I may disagree with them, whats to really argue over? They believe in something unprovable and unfalsifiable that has little impact on their actions. If it makes them feel better, who cares?

And in fact, my experience is that a GIANT percentage of people who call themselves "Christians" are in fact, when you pin them down, Deists.

Irrational thoughts, even with the best of intention, only lead to trouble and resentment. Example:

Kyle genuinely believes that a gremlin whom befriended him during his childhood goes around and tinkers with every streetlight he's likely to walk near, and will turn into mechanical bodyguards and leap to his aid whenever they're needed. This belief keeps Kyle happy and confident, encourages him to walk down the street more often than drive and - let's face it - adds some quirk and eccentricity that his friends, family and neighbors appreciate: "What's the harm?"

And if Kyle lived in some secure bubble of perpetual safety, perhaps there wouldn't be any harm. But, of course, he doesn't.

Something bad is going to happen to Kyle, or someone Kyle cares about, one day. And no streetlight will come to the rescue. This will violate the social contract that Kyle has fabricated and signed onto - and will lead to blame. It's not just a bad thing that happened, it was a bad thing that was allowed to happen and is therefore someone's fault (and yes, this may also realistically be the case - but the key is that when you're dealing with a metaphysical element, it doesn't need to be). Of course, constructs of one's imagination hardly make good scapegoats, so the blame is often shifted in some vastly inappropriate direction. Kyle is now inviting all sorts of embitterment and animosity into his life, and that of everyone socially tied to him, and over what? Some baseless notion of personal security.

Quote:
On balance, religion has been a bad thing. I don't think anyone can argue this point. The self-loathing, the perverted view of women and human sexuality in general, the concept of Hell, not to mention the pogroms, the burnings, the heretic hunts, etc. We could all list a thousand reasons why religion in general has been bad.

But that doesn't mean it has produced NO good.

Have you ever read Ecclesiastes? There's plenty there to move the heart of the most strident anti-theist.

Could Milton have written Paradise Lost without religion? I find it hard to imagine.

If we look into the example I provided, we see that - indeed - Kyle's beliefs empowered some positive things in his life. He got plenty of excercize, polluted less and, as a result of his false sense of security, became extremely confident and happy.

The important question is, could Kyle have done this on his own? The fact that he was doing it 'on his own' all along more or less answers that question for us.

We give up far more than what we gain with religion.

Quote:
Say what you wish about the Salvation army, but I've worked in soup kitchens on Skid row in several cities, and precious few are the non-religious people offering any help. I was involved with a Catholic Group called Detention Ministries. A group devoted to following Jesus' admonition to "visit in prison." This group does just that, visits inmates in prisons all over the west coast, WITH EXPLICIT PROHIBITION ON PROSELYTIZING. you can talk about God, but only in response to questions, and NEVER to try and preach. I have never, in 25 years of working on inmate issues and prison reform issues, seen more than a very few overtly secular groups who would touch this stuff with a ten-foot-pole.

I could list hundreds of other explicitly religious people and organizations which have done good things and continue to do so.

And again, these activities do not somehow demand a Christian background. Some, like myself, do believe that the prison system is a wasteful atrocity in need of a complete retooling before they'll have anything to do with it - so no, you won't find us having a sitdown with inmates. I'll bet there are plenty of atheists who don't share my views on that one, however, and are happy to visit inmates: if there's a real statisical faovring of Christians when it comes to volunteer work, you might consider the fact that there are considerably more Christians to do said work than there are atheists.

Quote:
I'm all for attacking the Fundies' continued attempts to impose theocracy in the USA. I'm all for disabusing people of illusions of "truth" that are nothing more than irrational beliefs. But basically a GIANT amount of what I read on this site is people arguing with positions that NO ONE IS TAKING except a relative handful of fanatics, pissing off every moderate or liberal Christian who reads them and thereby missing a lot of opportunities to actually accomplish something other than self-righteous, self-congratulation over how smart "WE" are vs the "Idiot Theists."

...For example...?

Quote:
It's like the Abortion debate. Only a fanatic will take the position that a 5-day-old embryo is equivalent to a newborn baby. And only fanatics take the position that women should have an UNQUESTIONED right to have abortions without medical reasons at 8 months of gestation.

But that's the way the argument gets framed every fucking time. The "right-to-life" idiots claim abortion advocates are arguing for 8-month willy-nilly abortions, something not one in 100 abortion rights advocates would agree with, and then the abortion rights crowd defines all people who question the morality of abortion as wanting to make the morning after pill illegal, something a tiny percentage of people actually agree with.

Let's put the brakes on the arbitrary 'fanatic' label for a second, and actually look at the issue for a moment. Feel free to also read this terrific article by Hambydammit, as it touches this same issue with a hand far more academic than mine:

The first person in your example is taking an absolute, Biblical stance. God says not to spill semen or otherwise abort pregnency, so it is automatically wrong - all arguments removed. The second person in your example is not doing the same thing. They have an actual, debatable, reason for aborting the fully developed infant (whether or not the reason is valid will be another point entirely, and is sort of besides the poit for this argument, given we aren't dealing with an actual example). An action based on reason is never fanatical, because reason demands insight, deduction and understanding.

Quote:
What happens is that we get incredibly lop-sided, poorly thought-out policy decisions that change every time a new political party gets into office.

I'd like to see a world where religion no longer has meaning to people beyond a sense of history.

But we'll never get there for one, because some people will always fear their own death more than they love clear thinking.

And we won't even get close if the only two choices are made to be: "Fundamentalist Wacko" or "Anti-Theistic Fanatic"

The point is that national policy should never even consider law based on religious grounds to begin with. Reason and deduction alone are quite sufficient for a lawmaker or judge to say, "Okay, Christina - you aborted a perfectly healthy full-term baby without good justification. You're being charged with infanticide."

Again, you're misrepresenting an atheistic position. Even the most sadistic action done by an atheist cannot be called 'fanatical', because there will always be a reason for it beyond, "Well, I though God might think it was a swell idea," or "I was possessed by a demon,"

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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MattShizzle wrote:Why? A

MattShizzle wrote:

Why? A person isn't developed enough to really have experience until at least age 1 1/2 or so - that's why you can remember anything before then. Only the family would feel anything negative over it's death before then.

Unless you suffer from the "life is sacred" delusion (or the secualr equivalent "life has value in and of itself."  ) Please, life in and of itself is utterly worthless - it's the quality of life that matters - so a fetus/brain dead person's life has no value (other than in the fetus's case if the mother wants a baby.) Quality of life is what matters.

So by this logic, any person under the age of 1 1/2 can be killed without restrictions, right?


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That's just an estimate, but

That's just an estimate, but no since the family likely wants the baby. I certainly would make the cutoff no earlier than birth - I definitely also wouldn't have the women/girls who got rid of their newborns prosecuted - especially since if there was easy, affordable and legal access to abortion it more than likely wouldn't have happened.

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I dunno...

Jubal wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:

I disagree that only a fanatic would give a woman an unquestioned right to abortion at 8 months pregnant - I'd give it up until birth.

Ok, you're free to disagree, but I would posit that as a VERY extreme position.

At 8 months, almost all babies will survive outside the womb without heroic medical intervention. If she's so hot to get rid of it, go to the Dr. and get an induced birth or c-section. But barring some actual medical reason for the abortion (as is the case in virtually 100% of "partial-birth" abortions) viability outside the womb without heroic measures would seem a reasonable place to draw the line between a medical procedure and infanticide.

As I recall that's along the same line of reasoning which was used in Roe v Wade, currently law in the U.S.

I've been threatening my kids with post-natal abortions for years....

LC >;-}>

 

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Quote:So by this logic, any

Quote:
So by this logic, any person...

*EEEHHH!*

Wrong answer.

Once again, we're opening the door into the world of absolutes. We need to apply deductive reasoning before we get anywhere.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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But we do have absolute

But we do have absolute morals, and they're hard-wired into our brains via the process of evolution, and because of this, not because of any deductive reasoning, I find the concept of killing an unborn fully formed child fiercely abhorant. It's pure instinct, and I can't explain it.

An example of irrational morals that 90 percent or thereabouts of the world's population hold is illustrated by some thought experiments outlined in Dawkins' God Delusion, involving boxcars and different variations of sacrificing one life to save a few lives. I can't be assed with the nuts and bolts, but it all boils down to instinct. For some reason, even though I know that I'm just a wave form, that all the elements that make up my identity are in constant flux, and that the concept of an unchanging "self" is just an illusion, and the stuff that I'm made of is eternal, I'm still scared of death. It's hard-wired into my brain via evolution, and even though it's irrational, I still experience fear.

I think It's the same with the unborn baby. I'm fine with abortion, but killing a baby that has reached full maturity (you know what I mean) in the womb is just plain rotten, and I can't explain why I believe that, and why anyone who thinks it's okay aint no friend of mine. It's murder.

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Jubal, most of what you see

Jubal, most of what you see on this site is in response to fundamentalists because they represent the fastest growing most active group of the theists in the US. Mainstream chritianity is in decline and has been for some time. It is the christian right, as defined by the televangelists on TV every sunday morning, that articluate the views of the people who are pulling a lot of political weight in the country right now.

This site probably wouldn't even exist if it weren't for the numbers of people who are concerned about the political ramifications of the rampant religion of the stupid in America today. If it were just a question of spirituality or philosophy, a lot of people, like myself, wouldn't even bother.

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Jello wrote:But we do have

Jello wrote:

But we do have absolute morals, and they're hard-wired into our brains via the process of evolution, and because of this, not because of any deductive reasoning, I find the concept of killing an unborn fully formed child fiercely abhorant. It's pure instinct, and I can't explain it.

I think It's the same with the unborn baby. I'm fine with abortion, but killing a baby that has reached full maturity (you know what I mean) in the womb is just plain rotten, and I can't explain why I believe that, and why anyone who thinks it's okay aint no friend of mine. It's murder.

So why don't the rest of us agree? I suspect you still subscribe to a bit of that "life is sacred" bullshit the fundies put forth. Calling it "murder" is irrational garbage. Even a 6 month to 1 year old baby isn't really a person. Why do you think especially younger and nonreligious people were horrified by prison sentences for people who killed newborns - their horrified reaction was "It was only a baby!"

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MattShizzle wrote:So why

MattShizzle wrote:

So why don't the rest of us agree? I suspect you still subscribe to a bit of that "life is sacred" bullshit the fundies put forth. Calling it "murder" is irrational garbage. Even a 6 month to 1 year old baby isn't really a person. Why do you think especially younger and nonreligious people were horrified by prison sentences for people who killed newborns - their horrified reaction was "It was only a baby!"

So killing people without friends / family is acceptable?

Is the only restriction on killing living things simply the other people that would be upset?

If I kill you, would that be acceptable? How many others would I need to kill to justify the killing of you as a non-issue?

It's not about life being "sacred" it's simply that I do not feel that you, or someone else, should be able to take the life if another person in our species that is capable of surviving without you simply at your discretion or your own assessment of their analytical abilities.

 


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MattShizzle wrote:So why

MattShizzle wrote:

So why don't the rest of us agree? I suspect you still subscribe to a bit of that "life is sacred" bullshit the fundies put forth. Calling it "murder" is irrational garbage. Even a 6 month to 1 year old baby isn't really a person. Why do you think especially younger and nonreligious people were horrified by prison sentences for people who killed newborns - their horrified reaction was "It was only a baby!"

The rest of us do agree, Matt. The prospect of killing a baby is one that fills all normal people (including you, I hope) with horror. There are very sound, rational reasons for this bias. A healthy society is concerned with protecting its young so that it can prosper in the future. Further, a healthy society is concerned with protecting its weaker members because if it is not concerned with that, there is no reason for the society to exist. Caring for babies is a very labour-intensive, thankless task at first. It is important that babies occupy a special place in all our feelings so that we are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices to raise them.

Your comment that babies are not really people is so bizarre that I can only conclude that you have never seen one. A baby's personality is evident from birth. Only a heartless monster lacking some very basic elements of empathy could hold the position you have expressed.

I hope for your sake that you were engaging in your regular hyperbole here.

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Quote:But we do have

Quote:
But we do have absolute morals, and they're hard-wired into our brains via the process of evolution, and because of this, not because of any deductive reasoning, I find the concept of killing an unborn fully formed child fiercely abhorant.

What's hard-wired into our brains is the understanding that freely killing other members of the species is bad, because it will lead t species extermination. This is hardly a 'moral', and certainly not an absolute value. Programming that says 'I am not compelled to arbitrarily kill others' is much different from programming that says 'killing altogether is bad'.

Quote:
It's pure instinct, and I can't explain it.

And yet...

Quote:
T think It's the same with the unborn baby. I'm fine with abortion, but killing a baby that has reached full maturity (you know what I mean) in the womb is just plain rotten, and I can't explain why I believe that, and why anyone who thinks it's okay aint no friend of mine. It's murder.

...You just did explain it (if vaguely). Essentially, you're opposed to killing babies because you feel it's taboo.

Quote:
It's not about life being "sacred" it's simply that I do not feel that you, or someone else, should be able to take the life if another person in our species that is capable of surviving without you simply at your discretion or your own assessment of their analytical abilities.

Quote:
A healthy society is concerned with protecting its young so that it can prosper in the future. Further, a healthy society is concerned with protecting its weaker members because if it is not concerned with that, there is no reason for the society to exist. Caring for babies is a very labour-intensive, thankless task at first. It is important that babies occupy a special place in all our feelings so that we are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices to raise them.

...And look! More reasons. Note the lack of, "Well, I think it's bad, because such-and-such says it's bad," which is about the only excuse one can reach for when applying an 'any' blanket. Reasons always allow for exceptions, which I think is crucial here. They also take into account our abstraction of the world, which is absolutely necessary for long-term planning.

Unless you're saying that under absolutely no circumstance you can concieve of should would it ever be moral to abort a late-term baby, we're still not crossing that important threshold between absolute and relative morals.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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100 years ago, if every

100 years ago, if every human being alive had been killed a horrific incindent such as the plague, the world would be better off. That's perfectly rational. It makes perfect sense, but I'm glad that we're still around, because I have an irrational love for my life, insignificant as it is. I guess to me, life is sacred. Whatever the hell that means.

But whether life is sacred or not isn't why I disagree with killing babies. I couldn't give a shit whether you define them as human beings or not. If people didn't find the idea of killing fully grown unborn babies horrific, natural selection (coupled with a variation of game theory) wouldn't be doing it's job. It's the same reason why natural selection has weeded out people who aren't morally offended by killing in general. And I am a product of that process, and I have a healthy set of absolute morals hardwired into my brain. It's as natural for me to find your opinion abhorant as it is for me to find killing in general completely vile. The same process has given me an irrational fear of death that serves me very well, or more specifically, serves my genes very well.

My point is, I find your opinion on killing unborn fully grown babies repugnant, and my reason is basically an irrational appeal to emotion. A logical fallacy, but my conclusion isn't necessarily wrong just because my logic for believing it is wrong. And as I illustrated above, there is a rational reason for why I should feel this way, and why everyone should, for the very good of society in general. If everyone were to suddenly adopt your philosophy, the shit would hit the fan. For  a short while, until natural selection weeded the genes that were causing such retarded thinking patterns (diminished activity in the prefrontal cortex? or summat) out of the pool.

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Don't be a wimp. Kill god

 Don't be a wimp. Kill god of abe now.  Open fire, turn on the rage.  This is war against the devil,  abe's god !   ..... KILL KILL KILL that god NOW .... no more nightmares ....  


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Kevin R Brown wrote: What's

Kevin R Brown wrote:

 

What's hard-wired into our brains is the understanding that freely killing other members of the species is bad, because it will lead t species extermination. This is hardly a 'moral', and certainly not an absolute value. Programming that says 'I am not compelled to arbitrarily kill others' is much different from programming that says 'killing altogether is bad'.

 

No, it is a moral. We don't conscioussly think "killing is wrong because if everyone killed freely without care we would all die" anymore than we have sex because we know we have to copulate in order to keep the species going. All our moral hardwiring does is manipulate our emotions so killing makes us feel bad. We can rationalise it if we think about it, but the initial response is emotional.

 

Kevin R Brown wrote:
Unless you're saying that under absolutely no circumstance you can concieve of should would it ever be moral to abort a late-term baby, we're still not crossing that important threshold between absolute and relative morals.

I'm sure we could play some thought games (similar to the boxcar variety that Dawkins used in his God Delusion book) that would illustrate some circumstances where it is, in fact, okay to terminate a fully grown unborn child, but in general, in most cases, I would say it's not only not okay, but it would fall under my definition of murder. And I think it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to assume that 99 percent of the world's population would agree with me, regardless of their politics and/or personal belief system (appeal to popularity = another fallacy, I'm doing well)

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  Science is obviously 

  Science is obviously  our only way we will solve the huge world problem of unwanted pregnancy and therefore abortion ..... In the meantime   So go science .....  


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What philosophy? I didn't

What philosophy? I didn't state my own point of view. I'm simply illustrating why there is no such thing as 'absolute' morality. Morality is, in and of itself, a human abstraction. It is based on more than a simple instinctive set of motives and desires - it's a complex, intuitive system that directly interfaces with the rest of our abstractions in the world (and indeed, evolves and adapts as that abstraction changes). Facing the conundrum of, "Should I abort my full-term baby," the mother has to face the myriad of societal consequences either answer leads to:

"What will my family think?"

"What will the police think?"

"What will my church think?"

"What will my boss think?"

"What will my friends think?"

Etc...

"How will this impact my bank account?"

"How will this impact my living arrangements?"

"How will this impact my career?"

Etc...

"Can I raise a child competently?"

"Is my lifestyle suitable for being a parent?"

"Do I have the time in my schedule to care for a baby?"

Etc...

The answers to the questions, obviously, cannot be 'hardwired' into you. How could they be?

Now, granted, a woman has a lot of time to mull these things over before 8 months is up. Still, that should hardly leave us at an automatic 'killing the unborn baby is morally wrong in every circumstance simply because I find it repugnant," (in a rational society, anyway). Yes, I agree - the mother had a lot of time to think her options over, and now that the baby is full term and certainly capable of independent life, killing it without a very good reason would be disgusting. But who's to say a very good reason won't crop-up? Suppose, in a future time, we develop the tools necessary to determine whether or not a baby will be a sociopath, but can only use said tools reliably after the baby is full term. She we abort it then, when such euthanizing would be arguably the most humane, or allow it to mature into whatever monstrosity? Suppose the mother suddenly becomes flat broke and unemployed for whatever reason, and adding a baby to the mix now would crush any chance of being able to financially stabilize herself? Suppose the mother carried through the pregnancy at the behest of some insipid impregnator, either because he was strongly religious or had power / control issues, but suddenly he leaves the picture - and suddenly she's really not so sure of her qualifications as a parent? Suppose the mother was a 16 year old rape victim who was attempting to hide it until she just plain couldn't anymore, and is about as unprepared for parenthood as a person can be?

This is why logical fallacies are bad to cling to, even when you're openly aware of it. They force you into that corner, eventually leaving you with only: Well, just because! as a last-ditch argument.

Recognition of one's own irrationality does not somehow make it compelling (not to me, anyway).

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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I'm not reading your post

I'm not reading your post because your approach put me off, and I don't feel like dealing with nonsense after coming home from job number two. Actually, I scanned through it, and it doesn't seem very novel or interesting either. Next time, try being less of a dick, and having something interesting to say. Or not. Whatever.


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Kevin R Brown wrote:What

Kevin R Brown wrote:
What philosophy? I didn't state my own point of view. I'm simply illustrating why there is no such thing as 'absolute' morality. Morality is, in and of itself, a human abstraction. It is based on more than a simple instinctive set of motives and desires - it's a complex, intuitive system that directly interfaces with the rest of our abstractions in the world (and indeed, evolves and adapts as that abstraction changes).

I was refering to the philosophy of the person who originally aired his opinion on the matter. I think i was, anyway.

I partially disagree with your definition of morals. I think our morals stem from our emotional responses to actions. At the moment my opinions on morals are completely imformed by Richard Dawkins. (specifically the section in his delusion book that deals with the subject) I found them to make complete sense, and not being an expert in the field, I can't think of any reason to tweak them. There is such thing as absolute morality, and subjective morality, but it is all informed by our hardwiring. I would cut and paste a more in depth and articulate explanation of the whole thjing, but you probrably already know it and understand it, but maybe your interpretation was different then mine, or you just flat out disagree with it

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magilum wrote:I'm not

magilum wrote:
I'm not reading your post because your approach put me off, and I don't feel like dealing with nonsense after coming home from job number two. Actually, I scanned through it, and it doesn't seem very novel or interesting either. Next time, try being less of a dick, and having something interesting to say. Or not. Whatever.

Wow. That's a bad day at work. The topic seems to be successfully jacked by an abortion discussion anyway.

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Then nobody will mind if I...

Holy crap, Another brown haired frowning atheist with a blue shirt and facial hair! Are we seriously becoming a stereotype?!

"But still I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me!" ~Rudyard Kipling

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 Notice that Kevin is also

 Notice that Kevin is also wearing a blue shirt and scowling.


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A common ploy on the part of

A common ploy on the part of the religiously inclined when asked to question the validity of their stance is to try to embroil the debate in matters of ethics. They believe, thanks to having much of their ethical position defined for them, that they are somehow moving the debate into "winnable territory" when they do so, since they normally assume at the same time that the irreligious person has by definition no ethical standards, or inferior standards to their own.

 

What they fail to acknowledge is that the religious mindset not only allows for a myriad different and contradictory ethical standards (sometimes even held by one person) but that irreligious people, being people, are just the same. Neither is less prone to ethical diversion, just as neither is more likely to automatically acquire ethical superiority simply down to where they stand on the existence or non-existence of deities.

 

It is a blind, in other words. And all too often an effective one in the manner of the "if we talk about something else than I can walk away pretending I've won the original argument" manner that people defending untenable positions are often bound to employ.

 

My advice, for what it's worth, is not to be suckered into meaningless side issues. It's shooting oneself in the foot, and doing the religious apologist's job for him. Even should we all arrive at a consensus regarding the rights and wrongs of the abortion issue on this thread it meens doodleysquat in relation to the real issue raised by the OP. Get real.

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MattShizzle wrote:That's

MattShizzle wrote:

That's just an estimate, but no since the family likely wants the baby. I certainly would make the cutoff no earlier than birth - I definitely also wouldn't have the women/girls who got rid of their newborns prosecuted - especially since if there was easy, affordable and legal access to abortion it more than likely wouldn't have happened.

This doesn't really answer the question.  At what point is it no longer permissible to kill a baby?  1 year, 1 1/2, 2?

When does a baby "become a person"?


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I genuinely appreciate all

I genuinely appreciate all the comments folks.

As I said in my little disclaimer, I wasn't trying to pick a fight with anyone, but I think we need to reflect a little on how effective a given tactic will be, given a goal of relegating religion to the dustbin of history.

All I can speak to is my own experience both as a believer and as a non-believer, and as someone who has had plenty of discussions with believers on the subject.

I got mixed up with some simply awful fundies as a youngster, who filled my head full of crap which I spent the next 12 years trying to completely divest myself of.

My journey went from Fundamentalist, to apologist, to pissed-off atheist, to deist and finally back to my present happy state as a soft-athiest (as it's defined by this site, I personally think agnostic is a better description of what I actually believe).

At no point in any of my stages of belief would I have been willing to to even listen to a very hostile argument coming from a self-proclaimed atheist. I did listen to plenty of arguments which were not overtly hostile

The way it worked for me was not some blinding flash of realization. It was a slow process of moderation, learning for myself to separate the rational form the irrational, and the just from the unjust.

The thing that got me to reject the fundamentalist point of view was not evolution, since I NEVER bought into a 6,000 year-old earth. (Genesis was obviously allegory and I always thought a literal interpretation was plain stupid ignorance). What got me to reject that view was HELL. I simply could not possibly rationalize a "loving God" with eternal torment.

That got me to start looking for other answers, mostly in places like the Anglican and UCC Churches, but also in the very liberal Catholic Church which I attended for a while. Eventually, the apologists simply were unable to give me satisfactory explanations for articles of faith, and I was able to conclude for myself that the whole thing was hogwash.

There's a lot more to the story, but I think the thing I'm trying to illustrate, is that most people I've known who have gone from a fundamentalist belief system to one based on rationality have had similar experiences: Moderation of views over time, as education and maturity grow.

For me, I confess that fear of Hell stayed with me, (even though I tried to pretend it was BS) for a LONG time after I'd left the fundies. I think that's very very common. For this reason alone, I would say most "de-conversions" to atheism are not long-term, especially among the young. This pernicious concept is more damaging than I can say, but it is effective at keeping many people in the fold who would otherwise leave, and a big part of why a hostile, or adversarial approach to religionists is not going to be terribly effective.

To answer the claim that the moderates give cover to the fundies, I have to say that this is human nature (defending one's tribe-members even when one knows they are wrong) and a gross misunderstanding of modern fundamentalism and its consequences on the part of many moderate Christians.

For all that I disagree with him on a host of issues, one of the more influential persons in the fight against the modern-day Theocrats is none other than Andrew Sullivan, a Catholic. This is because he's not attacking religion in all its forms, but simply drawing attention to the dangers posed by the Theocrats, as well as their completely inconsistent religious views.

When I talk to a fundamentalist with the intent of changing her mind, I don't even make an attempt to blow over the whole idea of religion, I try to poke holes in the more awful aspects of fundamentalist Christianity, holes which anyone capable of thought and compassion should be troubled by. I also try to point out the fundamentally different message of Jesus from the theology of say the Pentecostals.

I'd love it if she gave up on her religion altogether, but that's extremely unlikely to happen. What I can actually do is to make points that undermine her faith not in Jesus, but in the teachings of hatred, bigotry and pride that are the meat and potatoes of most fundy churches. And to point out that there are plenty of Christian churches that DON'T spend all their time worrying about the end-times or condemning sinners.

I hope that this approach will be more effective over time, in getting her to consider alternatives that are less harmful to the rest of us.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the answer is to attack all irrationality equally. But this doesn't match up with my experience. And I think the idea that religion or similar magical thinking will go away entirely is a pipe-dream. I think at best we can hope to put religion in the same category as say Wicca, with a few adherents, who are regarded by almost everyone as nutjobs.

Oft-times the best can be the enemy of the good.

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Jubal wrote:For me, I

Jubal wrote:

For me, I confess that fear of Hell stayed with me, (even though I tried to pretend it was BS) for a LONG time after I'd left the fundies. I think that's very very common. For this reason alone, I would say most "de-conversions" to atheism are not long-term, especially among the young. This pernicious concept is more damaging than I can say, but it is effective at keeping many people in the fold who would otherwise leave, and a big part of why a hostile, or adversarial approach to religionists is not going to be terribly effective.

I just posted a blog entry talking about the terrorist approach that the Abrahamic religions use just yesterday.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/blog/watcher

 

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Watcher wrote:Jubal

Watcher wrote:

Jubal wrote:

For me, I confess that fear of Hell stayed with me, (even though I tried to pretend it was BS) for a LONG time after I'd left the fundies. I think that's very very common. For this reason alone, I would say most "de-conversions" to atheism are not long-term, especially among the young. This pernicious concept is more damaging than I can say, but it is effective at keeping many people in the fold who would otherwise leave, and a big part of why a hostile, or adversarial approach to religionists is not going to be terribly effective.

I just posted a blog entry talking about the terrorist approach that the Abrahamic religions use just yesterday.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/blog/watcher

 

 

Just a quibble: Jews don't believe in Hell. So Abrahamic in this context is a little unfair.

 

 

Being open-minded isn't the same thing as being vacant.


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Jubal wrote:Just a quibble:

Jubal wrote:

Just a quibble: Jews don't believe in Hell. So Abrahamic in this context is a little unfair.

They don't?  I've been lied too!

*storms off to research*

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Quote:For some religions,

Quote:

For some religions, the afterlife consists of places - heaven and hell for Christians and Jews, for example, and the Garden (paradise) and the Fire (hell) for Muslims.

Religion for Dummies

Rabbi Marc Gellman & Monsigner Thomas Hartman  "The God Squad"

ISBN 0-7645-5264-3

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Watcher wrote:Quote:For some

Watcher wrote:

Quote:

For some religions, the afterlife consists of places - heaven and hell for Christians and Jews, for example, and the Garden (paradise) and the Fire (hell) for Muslims.

Religion for Dummies

Rabbi Marc Gellman & Monsigner Thomas Hartman  "The God Squad"

ISBN 0-7645-5264-3

 

Not trying to be an ass, but I've asked this question of several orthodox Rabbis, and ALL have said NO.

Judaism in not monolithic, and I'm sure you can find Jews who believe in a Christian type Hell. However, this isn't just a minority opinion, it's a TINY minority. It's also the answer I received from my PhD holding professor of Theology who also happens to be an orthodox Jew.

I think whats confusing you (and perhaps the editors of the book you just cited) is the difference between Gehenna and Hell.

"However, for Jews, Gehenna--while certainly a terribly unpleasant
   place--is not hell. The majority of rabbinic thought maintains that
   people are not tortured in hell forever; the longest that one can be
   there is said to be 12 months. It is a spiritual forge where the soul
   is purified for its eventual ascent to Gan Eden [Heaven], and where
   all imperfections are purged. [In this sense, it is somewhat similar
   to the Roman Catholic purgatory, however the time period has a
   definite maximum]. Gehennom (lit: the valley of Hinnom, in Jerusalem;
   i.e. hell) is the sinner's experience in the afterlife. In other
   words, it's the same "place" as gan eiden (lit: the garden of Eden;
   i.e. heaven) -- it's the perspective of the individual that makes it
   one or the other."    --soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Jewish Thought
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/judaism/FAQ/06-Jewish-Thought/section-9.html
 

or:

"QUESTION: Do Jews believe in Heaven and Hell?

ANSWER: Although the Jewish Bible appears to focus primarily on our life and behavior in this world, Judaism definitely believes in Heaven and life after death. The plural form in Genesis 1:26, "Let us form man in our image," indicates that man has a dual nature -- a spiritual soul and a physical body. This is clearly seen in Genesis 2:7, "G-d formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath (soul--) of life and man became a living being."

When a person dies the physical body returns to the earth, but the spiritual soul lives on eternally, as it says, "The dust will return to the earth, as it was, and the spirit will return to G-d who gave it." (Ecclesiastes 12:7)

We do not believe in eternal damnation and hell. The Jewish belief is in a purgatory that purifies the soul of its spiritual blemishes prior to its return to G-d. (Psalm 49:15, II Samuel 14:13, Isaiah 45:17)"   --Jews for Judaism
http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/web/handbook/s_faq.html

It's definitely not the Hell you hear about from Christians, in that it is neither eternal, nor seeking merely to punish, but to purify. While this may seem quibbling to an Atheist, I assure you for a ?theologian, the diffference is enormous. The Christian concept of Hell as everlasting torment as punishment for non-conformity is seen by every Jew I've ever talked to about the subject to be barbaric, and not worthy of God.


 

 

 

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     Quote: What is

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
 

What is hell? Who is punished there?

Hell is a place of fire where sinners are punished after they die. Certain classes of people who deny religion receive eternal punishment there (Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Teshuvah 3:5-6), but most sinners are punished there for only (up to) a year (Mishnah Eduyos 2:9; Talmud Shabbos 33a). 

From "The Basics of Judaism"

http://www.torah.org/qanda/seequanda.php?id=467

Sorry, even if some Rabbis or even most Rabbis believe that no one stays there for an eternity, apparently the idea is still there that some people will spend an eternity.

Quote:

All that descend into Gehenna shall come up again, with the exception of three classes of men: those who have committed adultery, or shamed their neighbors, or vilified them (B. M. 58b).

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=115&letter=G

I won't argue the case that the Jews are much more kind than the other Abrahamic faiths that have sprung from them.  However, it seems like they started the idea of this that christianity and islam took it from.  So I still call foul on them.
 
 

 

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ahem

MattShizzle wrote:

Jello wrote:

But we do have absolute morals, and they're hard-wired into our brains via the process of evolution, and because of this, not because of any deductive reasoning, I find the concept of killing an unborn fully formed child fiercely abhorant. It's pure instinct, and I can't explain it.

I think It's the same with the unborn baby. I'm fine with abortion, but killing a baby that has reached full maturity (you know what I mean) in the womb is just plain rotten, and I can't explain why I believe that, and why anyone who thinks it's okay aint no friend of mine. It's murder.

So why don't the rest of us agree? I suspect you still subscribe to a bit of that "life is sacred" bullshit the fundies put forth. Calling it "murder" is irrational garbage. Even a 6 month to 1 year old baby isn't really a person. Why do you think especially younger and nonreligious people were horrified by prison sentences for people who killed newborns - their horrified reaction was "It was only a baby!"

Okay I have to say something. I think the idea of aborting a baby at a time in its development where outside of he womb it could have a good chance at living (whether it is by itself or with the help of doctors) is  disgusting.

 

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I just don't get why. I

I just don't get why. I literally see nothing whatsoever wrong with it.


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MattShizzle wrote:Even a 6

MattShizzle wrote:

Even a 6 month to 1 year old baby isn't really a person.

I have memories from when I was 1 year old (that I've verified are accurate by asking my parents), and I can tell you that I was a sentient human with thoughts and feelings just like I am today; I just didn't have most of the knowledge I have now.  So, if you're going to say it's okay to kill a 1 year old baby, at least acknowledge that it is what it is: murder.


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Seems Christians aren't the

Seems Christians aren't the only ones who throw around the word "murder" as hyperbole.


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MattShizzle wrote:Seems

MattShizzle wrote:

Seems Christians aren't the only ones who throw around the word "murder" as hyperbole.

 

Matt, how about you start a different thread on abortion rather than totally derail this one.

Thanks.

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Renee Obsidianwords

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:

Okay I have to say something. I think the idea of aborting a baby at a time in its development where outside of he womb it could have a good chance at living (whether it is by itself or with the help of doctors) is  disgusting.

Yeah, I'm all for being cute about a topic, but when it really comes down to it, I'd feel awful about abortion in any stage. If it was a viable fetus ... I'm not sure I could handle that (if I were even part of the decision making, since I obviously can't carry a child). I'm not talking legal rights, since I think Roe vs Wade should be the final word, but strictly on a gut-feeling level, aborting a viable fetus feels wrong (again, unless to preserve the health of the mother following Roe vs Wade).

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Watcher

Watcher wrote:

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
 

What is hell? Who is punished there?

Hell is a place of fire where sinners are punished after they die. Certain classes of people who deny religion receive eternal punishment there (Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Teshuvah 3:5-6), but most sinners are punished there for only (up to) a year (Mishnah Eduyos 2:9; Talmud Shabbos 33a). 

From "The Basics of Judaism"

http://www.torah.org/qanda/seequanda.php?id=467

Sorry, even if some Rabbis or even most Rabbis believe that no one stays there for an eternity, apparently the idea is still there that some people will spend an eternity.

Quote:

All that descend into Gehenna shall come up again, with the exception of three classes of men: those who have committed adultery, or shamed their neighbors, or vilified them (B. M. 58b).

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=115&letter=G

I won't argue the case that the Jews are much more kind than the other Abrahamic faiths that have sprung from them.  However, it seems like they started the idea of this that christianity and islam took it from.  So I still call foul on them.

 

You're going to disagree with ME?

That's it, you're goin' to HELL now!

just kidding:P

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QuasarX wrote:I have

QuasarX wrote:

I have memories from when I was 1 year old (that I've verified are accurate by asking my parents), and I can tell you that I was a sentient human with thoughts and feelings just like I am today; I just didn't have most of the knowledge I have now.  So, if you're going to say it's okay to kill a 1 year old baby, at least acknowledge that it is what it is: murder.

Ok, guys.  Before everyone tears Matt's head off let me actually defend him.

He has Aspergers.  I've got a very mild form of Aspergers but I still have several odd things about me.

One thing that just escapes me is this.  Personal issues that a person has...like...I dunno, genital warts, erection dysfunction, hemroids, etc.  Ok, now I understand that most people would hide these things about themselves and not discuss it in polite situations.  The thing is, because I have Aspergers, I don't know why.  I just know it's true.

One of the biggest things that it has taken me to understand how to do is, that if I know someone has some "embarassing" condition, don't blurt it out while you are standing next to them to someone they don't know very well.  I have embarassed people in the past doing this.

Like say, my buddy is meeting my parents for the first time.  He has hemroids.  We're all standing around conversing in small talk and my buddy starts squirming a little and looking a little anxious.  My parents ask him if everything is ok.  While he stays silent for a few seconds to come up with a non-embarassing answer I blurt out, "Oh, he just has hemroids.  Are they bleeding on you buddy?"

Complete embarassment.  I have bought condoms, hemroid cream, tampons, etc. for friends and family no problem.  A lot of times I have done it for them because they were too embarassed to do it themself.  I don't give a shit.  I honestly don't understand why it is embarassing.

So Matt's inability to understand why killing very young children is bad must be from the same cause.  Aspergers.  I disagree with him on it and find it rather shocking.  But I can understand why he's saying it.

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I have been responding to a

I have been responding to a claim in your original post. I have yet to see any evidence whatsoever that there is anything wrong with abortion pre-birth. I didn't say killing babies is ok - I said it's not nearly as wrong as taking the life of someone who can think. All I have seen are "I don't like it", "I find it disgustng", "It's just wrong" etc. Anyone here should know those are not valid evidence for a position.

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MattShizzle wrote:I have

MattShizzle wrote:

I have been responding to a claim in your original post.

Matt has a point, the original post rambles itself through abortion, so you can hardly blame the guy.

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