Intellectual Dishonesty

Fateless7
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Intellectual Dishonesty

I find that one of my favorite questions to ask Christians is whether they would obey their god if their god commanded them to murder a loved one (child, wife, etc, Abraham style). However, most of the time, the Christians I talk to respond with a non-answer, or an answer to a different question: "I don't think my god would ask me to do that." In recent e-mail correspondence with a Christian, I illustrated the problem with such an answer as follows:

Original question: "If God commanded you to murder your wife or suffer in hell eternally as punishment for disobedience, would you do it?"

The question the theist answered: "Would God ever ask me to do such a thing?"

I think that's an effective demonstration that my actual question was never answered. I asked if the Christian would commit the murder or not-- I did not ask if their god would do such a thing. Has anyone else encountered this issue, and if so, how did you deal with it?

A large number of Christians tend to avoid answering this question at any cost. I can only think of one Christian who answered honestly, to which her response was, "Yes, if I knew that God was really asking me to, I would have to kill you." I suspect that the implications of either answer are the reason that theists try to avoid answering so fervently; either they submit themselves to a "might makes right" sense of morality, or they find themselves with the realization that their god does not establish an absolute morality. They decide morality for themselves, which becomes most evident in a situation where a believer disagrees with what his or her god has requested of them.

Another good question is: Would you murder a loved one if commanded by God to do so, but you knew there would be no punishment for refusing? Is it possible for your god to wield any power over you without offering reward or punishment?

I suppose that saying, "I don't think my god would ever do that" implies that the theist's god must meet a moral standard deemed acceptable by the theist her or himself. When it comes to the problem of evil, I frequently hear the argument that God knows infinitely more than humans, so what we think is bad may actually be for a greater good that only God knows of. Well, how can a theist holding such a position then say, "I don't think my god would ask me to murder my wife (child, friend, etc)." Is that to say that you know better than your god in certain situations?

Just some thoughts from an atheist.


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Good stuff. The Euphythro

Good stuff.
The Euphythro argument is great stuff, but wording it into a snappy argument that a fundy could understand in a single conversation is something I'm still working on. It's finding the wording that will make them understand the point directly.
(I said fundy rather than theist because theists don't necessarily believe that morality is defined as 'what God says'.)

For instance, in response to the "Would God ever ask me to do this?" I would like to say:
"Why wouldn't he? Who knows what God might ask of you next? Have you a reason for denying such a possibility?"

The aim would be to pressing them into saying something like:
"God wouldn't do something so horrible/nasty/immoral."
Then I might say:
"Why wouldn't God do something like that? You say that morality is defined by what God wants but you want to limit what God wants to fit a moral code?"


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Fateless7 wrote:

Fateless7 wrote:

Original question: "If God commanded you to murder your wife or suffer in hell eternally as punishment for disobedience, would you do it?"

The question the theist answered: "Would God ever ask me to do such a thing?"

And this was a Christian/Jewish/Islamic theist? And they never heard of Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son as a test?


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This was a Christian

This was a Christian theist, namely JP Holding of tektonics.org. Here are excerpts from our e-mail correspondence:

JP Holding:

("I don't think my god would ask that&quotEye-wink.

That's a perfectly valid answer....too bad. You may as well demand as answer to the question, "If beans defied gravity would you still eat them? Yes or no?" and then claim that it is "dishonest" to point out that beans will never defy gravity. Nice to be able to set your own rules for what is "honest" and what is not, but too bad -- save that for gullible people.That said, what would in this scenario happen to the person sacrificed? Would they be eternally in heaven? If so, what would be objectionable about a "yes" answer, since it is merely predicated to be a bad one based on YOUR understanding of death as the end of existence, as opposed to being merely a transition to something better?Me:You want to know if your wife will get a reward for being murdered. So, the original question is too absurd for you to answer, but when you get to tweak the question so you can answer in a way that seems moral to you (murder is simply a means to a greater end), you are willing to answer. Why are you afraid to answer the original question? If beans defied gravity, would I still eat them? Yes. Beans may never do such a thing, but I can still answer the question. "But, but... beans would never do that! Please don't make me answer the question!" No cop-outs, please. You have not answered the question. You pulled the classic theist move: "I will change the question to suit what I'm comfortable answering".Which he then responds to with an e-mail, subject: "Oh, and another reason why your question is stupid":http://www.tektonics.org/uz/2muchshame.htmlI don't buy the understanding of hell as "eternal suffering".Too bad. Maybe you'll learn that just because the guy in change of SAB was a dummy when he was a Christian, that doesn't mean they all are. I then read the article he referred me to and refuted him using the article itself:Your claim:I don't buy the understanding of hell as "eternal suffering".The refutation:"The data would indicate that the primary focus of eternal punishment is the denial of the honor accorded to those who reject God's offer of salvation, and who bear themselves the shame and disgrace Jesus took in their stead. Therefore there is no inequality in the "suffering" -- these persons have denied God His ascribed honor;"

Ok... right here, the reference you provided states that 1) hell is punishment and 2) it can be called suffering, and if the weeping and gnashing of teeth doesn't indicate suffering, what does? It's right there, plain and simple: Hell is eternal punishment/suffering; the suffering exists in the form of the "denial of honor".
Therefore, hell = eternal suffering.Can you please answer the question now, or are you going to keep throwing out ad hominems and running from it?
His reply:Oh yes. I am so sure that is what you meant by "suffering" when you asked the question. Laughing out loud Better oil your bicycle before you pedal it any further backwards.So you can see that this guy is better at using ad hominem than making any viable arguments. He tried to distract me from the issue at hand in his last e-mail by directing me to his refutations of the SAB, saying that the SAB's author had been too "chicken and stupid" to handle them.The conclusion I have to make is that this guy simply avoids any questions which might undermine his faith. Debating with him is pointless because he will either evade questions or try to change the focus of the debate to something he thinks he has an answer for.


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Ouch. Yellow... white...

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Yellow... white... brown...

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Why wouldn't you just say

Why wouldn't you just say no? If God wants someone dead he can sort it out himself.

It always confused me why God in the bible orders that XXXX people get wiped out and that someone else should do it for him. Not so all-powerful imo.

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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Hi.  I'm new.  I'm a

Hi.  I'm new.  I'm a Christian and I like questions.  Also, I despise ad hominem arguments.  I'd like to try to give a response to the question.  The answer to how to get more Christians to answer it probably less to do with you and more to do with the Christians.  If Christians read the Bible more and churches taught more theology, you would have less timid Christians.  Whatever I am, I'm not timid.

<>     An answer might go like this: God did ask his friend Abraham to sacrifice his only son once (every Christian should immediately think of this story when your question arises).  Abraham, obeyed God's command and was ready to sacrifice Isaac before God stopped him.  He is praised for this faith in God's command.  But, if the answer ends here, God does appear much like a big capricious bully.  Abraham is his goon.  It doesn't matter if God called of the hit in terms of the moral implications. 

<>So, a good answer to the question has to explain two things 1) why God would ask Abraham to kill Isaac and 2) why God would provide a way out.  The answers to both questions come from examining the fundamental idea of Christianity, the Trinity.  All things gain their being from the being of God.  God is not a bare force.  God is a community of persons sharing an essence.  Morality (and salvation for that matter)is not a matter of submission to an outside authority it an invitation to participate in the inner life of God.  Why is murder wrong then?  Because God created all things out of the overflowing joy of his communion with himself.  Murdering another human is the greatest act of severing communion humans are capable of (with the exception of blashpheming the Trinity, which RRS advocates).  Thus, it is wrong, because it is a refusal to join in the community of God.

<>Finally, this would still be might makes right morality except that we link the idea of God's love expressed in the Trinity with the idea of creation.  The universe is created out of the overflow of God's love.  So long as we are in this universe (and "we" in the sense of a community of human beings only has a meaning in this universe) God will never command us to do anything unloving.

/It's dangerous to add this, but I will.  I admit my response isn't simple, or maybe even complete, but it's better than I could do right now in terms of grounding morality if I was an atheist.  I said this is dangerous because it makes it sound like my belief in God is grounded in my moral beliefs.  It's not.  It just seems to me that you seem to be upholding the moral belief that murder is wrong.  I don't know how to uphold that belief except through Christianity.  So, if you are actually saying "murder is wrong", I would very much like to know how you justify it (probably after you critique my answer).  But, it seems to me that if theism is a mental disorder, morality is an even more sinister one./ 


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Quote: An answer might go

Quote:
An answer might go like this: God did ask his friend Abraham to sacrifice his only son once (every Christian should immediately think of this story when your question arises).

It's interesting that you bring this one up but not Jephthah from Judges 11:29-39. He made a deal with god to sacrifice the first thing that came forth from his house if God would help him commit genocide on the Ammonites. Well god gladly helped smite all those Ammonites and when Jephthah came home, out comes his daughter to greet him. Holding true to his bargain with god, she was set up as a burnt offering. No hint of god even considering a way out on this one. Now certainly it wasn't god that told Jephthah to kill her, he decided that himself, but he isn't being portrayed as evil in any way here. If anything it reads as though Jephthah is the victim as he rends his clothes, while the daughter gladly accepts being killed for her father's deal with god.

Quote:
It just seems to me that you seem to be upholding the moral belief that murder is wrong. I don't know how to uphold that belief except through Christianity. So, if you are actually saying "murder is wrong", I would very much like to know how you justify it (probably after you critique my answer). But, it seems to me that if theism is a mental disorder, morality is an even more sinister one.

Simple way to uphold "murder is wrong" without the need for a skydaddy-morality. Humans are, by nature, social creatures. One of our best adaptations to survive environments is our ability to function in coherent groups, or societies. To that end, anything that fundamentaly disrupts the ability for human societal units to function can be considered bad for humans as a whole as the collapse of a societal group for humans would be somewhat akin to the removal of color-change for a chameleon. If humans were to simply go around killing other humans, society would begin to break down. The same goes for such thing as lying, stealing, rape, or violence in general. I'm no expert on moral philosophy, but to me it seems that morality is to an extent wired into us by genetics.

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Quote: An answer might go

Quote:
An answer might go like this: God did ask his friend Abraham to sacrifice his only son once (every Christian should immediately think of this story when your question arises). Abraham, obeyed God's command and was ready to sacrifice Isaac before God stopped him. He is praised for this faith in God's command. But, if the answer ends here, God does appear much like a big capricious bully. Abraham is his goon. It doesn't matter if God called of the hit in terms of the moral implications.

Though your initial conclusion is valid, you have a problem with a term. How is it possible for a human to be a "friend" of God? What does the word mean in this context? Friends are people who have a voluntary, mutually beneficial relationship and who enjoy some kind of rapport with each other. For what I hope are obvious reasons, it is not possible for God to have this kind of relationship. It might not be pertinent, so I'm not going to stick on it at this point, but it is a potential problem with your answer.

Quote:
The answers to both questions come from examining the fundamental idea of Christianity, the Trinity.

It's arguable that this is not really a fundamental idea of Christianity, since it doesn't actually show up until approximately 150 to 200 years after the birth of Christianity, but again, this might not end up being pertinent.

Quote:
Murdering another human is the greatest act of severing communion humans are capable of (with the exception of blashpheming the Trinity, which RRS advocates).

I've skipped over most of the next paragraph because there are so many incoherent terms and meaningless sentences that it's simply impossible to understand what you're trying to say. This sentence, however, is ironic. If a Christian kills another Christian, he is simply ending the temporary separation of the victim from his god, and sending him to eternal bliss.

If a Christian murders a non-believer, then god is ultimately responsible for the non-believer's presence in hell, because it was god's own disciple who ended his life prematurely, preventing any chance of the non-believer converting and getting to share in communion with god.

Consider now an atheist who commits murder. We can say objectively that an atheist who kills another person believes that he is ending the only existence that another person has, and that is clearly the worst possible infringement upon that person's happiness that is possible. There is no difficulty in assigning moral value to it. The Christian doctrine actually muddies waters that are otherwise clear.

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God will never command us to do anything unloving.

Exodus 17: God commands Joshua to kill all of Amalek.

********

Exodus 21:20And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.

21Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.

********

Exodus 32:27And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.

*********

Numbers 15:32And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.

33And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.

34And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.

35And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.

36And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.

********

 

Numbers 21:32And Moses sent to spy out Jaazer, and they took the villages thereof, and drove out the Amorites that were there.

33And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan: and og the king of bashan went out against them, he, and all his people, to the battle at edrei.

34And the LORD said unto Moses, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon.

35So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive: and they possessed his land.

********

Joshua 8:22And the other issued out of the city against them; so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side: and they smote them, so that they let none of them remain or escape.

23And the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him to Joshua.

24And it came to pass, when Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness wherein they chased them, and when they were all fallen on the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, that all the Israelites returned unto Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword.

25And so it was, that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai.

********

********

There are dozens more examples in the OT of god commanding people to murder thousands of people (Often simply for the crime of "occupying the land that god was going to give to them!). At this point, you might protest that this is all OT, and that under the NT covenant, god doesn't ask for nasty stuff from his followers.

Jesus himself upholds the atrocities of the OT:

Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Jesus says that worse fates than that of Sodom and Gommorah will befall cities whose inhabitants reject the message of Jesus.

Matthew 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Jesus predicts great violence, instigated on his account:

Matthew 10:

35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

*******

This is but a small sampling of the instances in which the NT corroborates the cruelty of the commands of the OT god.

Now, I am perfectly willing to admit that Jesus does advise love from time to time, as well, but it is fallacious to discard the enormous number of instances where Jesus and Yahweh advocate, and explicitly command murder, and even mass murder or genocide.

Your statement that god will not command us to do something immoral is empty, based on the proof in the bible itself.

Quote:
I admit my response isn't simple, or maybe even complete, but it's better than I could do right now in terms of grounding morality if I was an atheist.

Your lack of ability to comprehend the social origins of morality, or your ignorance of the origins doesn't impact the validity of the arguments.  If you are ignorant of the evidence, or choose to discard it out of hand, it does not diminish the strength of the argument.

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I said this is dangerous because it makes it sound like my belief in God is grounded in my moral beliefs.

Actually, it makes it sound like your belief in god is grounded in ignorance of evolutionary science.

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It just seems to me that you seem to be upholding the moral belief that murder is wrong.

Again, definitions may be a sticking point. Murder is normally defined as the unjustified killing of another person. The U.S. believes in killing. This much is abundantly clear, both internally and externally. The definition of murder depends on the laws of a society. Laws have varied through history, and Christian states are not even remotely exempt from the variance.

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I don't know how to uphold that belief except through Christianity.

Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved. Frans de Waal.

If you admit your ignorance of the research on this topic, you're hardly qualified to make an objective decision.

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So, if you are actually saying "murder is wrong", I would very much like to know how you justify it (probably after you critique my answer).

Very perceptive observation. I have recommended a very good book to you after critiquing your answer. Are you going to actually do your homework, or are you going to continue to argue from ignorance?

 

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Fateless7
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Thanks for your posts guys!

Thanks for your posts guys! Great reading.

I wanted to comment on the initial issue (intellectual dishonesty). The guy I was "debating" with, JP Holding, is actually considered a troll. Google "JP Holding". Brian Flemming, the creator of "The God Who Wasn't There", even has a blog entry about JP Holding where he calls him out as a troll, revealing that JP's real name is Robert Turkel. Robert uses a variety of aliases, including female names such as Sheila. Robert then posts articles on his website by "guest speakers" which are actually Robert himself, in order to make it look like he has supporters. You can read about it here at Brian Flemming's blog:

http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/archives/002146.html

Well, by his fourth e-mail, after I had refuted all his arguments against the validity of my question (would you murder if God commanded you to) he told me he told me I was "getting old fast" and invited me to "come play" at theologyweb.com. Now, at theologyweb.com, he apparently has a little group of followers that get off by throwing childish insults such as "moron" and "dum dum" at people who can't respond to them.

Yes, I'm serious.

They make a thread for each month, for example, "September 2007 Screwballs" where they compete with each other to find the biggest "moron" they can ridicule.

JP was trying to get the thread closed after he tried to ridicule me within the thread. He did his usual thing, made no rational arguments whatsoever, and called me "Moron" "Jimbo Jr" and "Dum Dum". The admins hadn't closed the thread. I came into the forum and not only posted the entirety of our e-mail correspondence, but I also posted the link to Brian Flemming's blog entry about him along with some quotes from it.

In short, it was awesome. You can see the end of the thread here if you're curious.

http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/archives/002146.html


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Argh! Quoting and Linking Challenged.

Here's the actual link to their September name calling thread, lol:

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?t=101263&page=24


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Wow, its like watching a

Wow, its like watching a group of grade school children gang up to pick on someone in the playground.  And obvious lack of any debate or research skills going on there... not just because of the continued Ad Hominem, but the fact that none of them seemed to realize what that means by continuing it after you called them on it.  If they do know what it means, then damn... lost cause there.

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HumanisticJones

HumanisticJones wrote:

Wow, its like watching a group of grade school children gang up to pick on someone in the playground.  And obvious lack of any debate or research skills going on there... not just because of the continued Ad Hominem, but the fact that none of them seemed to realize what that means by continuing it after you called them on it.  If they do know what it means, then damn... lost cause there.

You went! Interesting, huh?

The funny part about it is, many of the forum members could be Robert Turkel himself under an alias. He doesn't have to respond directly to refutations he can't handle, then-- he just pretends to be five other people to create the illusion that everyone thinks his opponent is a "dum dum".

Lol...


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Quote: I suspect that the

Quote:
I suspect that the implications of either answer are the reason that theists try to avoid answering so fervently; either they submit themselves to a "might makes right" sense of morality, or they find themselves with the realization that their god does not establish an absolute morality.

I would pose a third option: theists are not totally convinced that the "voices" they hear telling them to do such a thing are actually coming from their god or from a psychotic episode.  That lack of surety is a good thing. How many have died at the hands of their "prophets" who have heard the "voice" of the lord?  Kool Aid, anyone?

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reason to believe God

I think you question if a christian would obey God if he would ask him to kill someone is totally sick , and nonsense at all. Do you want to proof what with the answers ? our relationship with God is based on love. And everything God does, is motivated by love, even if we do not understant everything God does, ore asks us to do. And we are Christians, because of God's love, and because we love him, and want him in our lives. Do you think you are on the better track, ignoring him , and questioning God, and people that believe in him ? Reading , what you write here, i have the feeling your life is totally empty, without objectives at all. The only thing that mooves you is probably only to please yourseld, as your ego beeing the center of your life. All what surrounds you, you see it only in the perspective : how can it serve ME ? isn't it ?

isn't it ?


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Quote: I think you question

Quote:
I think you question if a christian would obey God if he would ask him to kill someone is totally sick , and nonsense at all. Do you want to proof what with the answers ? our relationship with God is based on love. And everything God does, is motivated by love, even if we do not understant everything God does, ore asks us to do. And we are Christians, because of God's love, and because we love him, and want him in our lives. Do you think you are on the better track, ignoring him , and questioning God, and people that believe in him ? Reading , what you write here, i have the feeling your life is totally empty, without objectives at all. The only thing that mooves you is probably only to please yourseld, as your ego beeing the center of your life. All what surrounds you, you see it only in the perspective : how can it serve ME ? isn't it ? isn't it ?

If God allows evil for unknown reasons (implied by your mysterious-ways remark), how can you say those reasons are good ones? By admitting to not know the reasons you've also admitted you don't know if they're good or not. Yet, you're pretending to have knowledge of them anyway. You are purporting to know things you truly don't know, which amounts to breaking the commandment of not bearing false witness.

Furthermore, psychoanalyzing people you don't know is not a good idea. To mirror what you've done, "I think all theists turn to the Heavenly Father because they hate their real father and they do this for selfish reasons." If you think that sounds silly, guess how your psychoanalysis sounds.

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angelobrazil wrote: I

angelobrazil wrote:

I think you question if a christian would obey God if he would ask him to kill someone is totally sick , and nonsense at all. Do you want to proof what with the answers ? our relationship with God is based on love. And everything God does, is motivated by love, even if we do not understant everything God does, ore asks us to do.

If it is nonsense then why, in the Bible which is the word of your god supposedly, does god ask more than one person to kill for him.  Abraham, Joseph, Jepthah by way of a deal... all these men commited murder for their god.  If all that God does is out of love, then surely those murders we products of such love.  So the question still stands, if God asked you to commit murder, would you?  If you want to know what would be proven with these answers... think of it as a test of the statement, "Without religion you would have good men doing good and evil men doing evil, but to have good men doing evil requires religion." 

angelobrazil wrote:

And we are Christians, because of God's love, and because we love him, and want him in our lives.

Well, god wants you to kill a man to keep him in your life... do you do it or not?

angelobrazil wrote:

Do you think you are on the better track, ignoring him , and questioning God, and people that believe in him ? Reading , what you write here, i have the feeling your life is totally empty, without objectives at all.

I can't speak for Fateless... but I personally have a good number of objectives in my life (sometimes too many) and I ask the same thing.  And yes I think I'm on a better track for refusing to live my life as if a book of fables is literal truth.

angelobrazil wrote:

The only thing that mooves you is probably only to please yourseld, as your ego beeing the center of your life. All what surrounds you, you see it only in the perspective : how can it serve ME ? isn't it ?

isn't it ?

All lifeforms are driven to self-service at some level, even altruism can be seen as self-serving.  However, the concious thought isn't generated completely by our genes, we also have our experiences that add into it.  For me, I see things in lots of perspectives given the situation... no need to stick to just one... unless of course you live your life entirely by a single book that supposedly hands you your life stance.

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angelobrazil wrote: And we

angelobrazil wrote:

And we are Christians, because of God's love, and because we love him, and want him in our lives.

So, basically, you are a Christian because you love him and you want God in your life. It's all about you, you, YOU! Isn't it?

Isn't it??

Quote:

Reading , what you write here, i have the feeling your life is totally empty, without objectives at all.

You mean objectives such as survival, happiness, well being, friendship, financial security, education, productivity, contribution to a successful society in which others may survive and prosper, and healthy, enjoyable relationships with women?

Check your feelings. You may find that you're better off thinking rationally than guessing with your feelings. Or maybe it's that you have a problem with the fact that people don't need your god.

Quote:

I think you question if a christian would obey God if he would ask him to kill someone is totally sick , and nonsense at all. Do you want to proof what with the answers ?

I want to prove that most people would refuse to do such a thing because it offends their own sense of morality. Meaning that their god is not the source of morality. Some people do say yes to the question, but these kind of people are the ones who drown their babies in the bathtub and end up in jail.

 


pariahjane
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angelobrazil wrote: Do you

angelobrazil wrote:

Do you think you are on the better track, ignoring him , and questioning God, and people that believe in him ? Reading , what you write here, i have the feeling your life is totally empty, without objectives at all.

Could you please point out, specifically, what was said here that would make you think someone's life is completely devoid?  Seriously, I'm curious. 

If god takes life he's an indian giver


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extant1 wrote: Morality

extant1 wrote:

Morality (and salvation for that matter)is not a matter of submission to an outside authority it an invitation to participate in the inner life of God.  Why is murder wrong then? 

This is an attitude many theists, those of the Abrahamic faiths in particular, portray that bothers me more than anything... You presume that, without god, one cannot determine "right" from "wrong"...

I feel that much of this attitude comes from the bibles teaching that we are all born of sin, and that we must find god to get help finding the "right" path.

My opinion is that the writers of that line of reason, meant to help those who truly do have "sinful" thought. They meant to say: "Hey, it's okay, as long as you don't act on it."

This line of reason, I believe, is how so many pedophiles found their way into the church. The bible guided them to god in order to steer themselves away from their "sinful" thought. (The more sinful the thoughts; the more need to get close to god; therefore priest) ((Too bad it didn't work out that well for so many of them...))

The problem is, this reason implies everyone has such thoughts. In fact the bible pretty much says so flat out. They don't.

Not everyone is born with such wicked, nasty, thoughts. The bible means to soothe your "soul" by telling you it's okay that you think such wicked things, because everyone does... (Honestly, do you really think everyone drools over the thought of devouring the flesh and blood of small children?)

 ...it lies. I don't think that way. I don't need the fear of god to keep from killing, raping, and pillaging. It offends me that the bible, let alone those who follow it, implies I do.

We behave, and need to, because we recognized thousands of years ago that we can get much MUCH more out of life if we work together. Today, more than ever, this should be incredibly obvious.

If we don't work together, and help eachother, rather than just take for ourselves and damn everyone else, we go back to hunting and foraging for ourselves... no more modern luxuries of any sort, and every day is a struggle between life and death. Religion was just the first phase of trying to make this whole society thing work. I think we're beyond it now.

One final point: Because of the calling to those with "sinful" thought, I feel the most frightening thing about religion is how utterly filled to the brim it is with people who truly do, or at least think they do, need the fear of god to keep themselves in line. Millions of people who aren't sure they can control themselves flock to follow more people who aren't sure they can control themselves (and some who prove they can't). It's even worse now with modern societies acceptance of homosexuality, because without homosexuals the church loses its most innocent "sinners", leaving the pedophiles and would be murderers, etc. in charge.

 

HumanisticJones wrote:
"Without religion you would have good men doing good and evil men doing evil, but to have good men doing evil requires religion." 
Especially when those with the most "sin" are the most driven to find god, and so rise to the top of the church only to lose to themselves in the end. The point of religion seems to be to call these "sinners" in and keep them in line, but it all goes to hell when they end up in charge...


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pariahjane

pariahjane wrote:
angelobrazil wrote:

Do you think you are on the better track, ignoring him , and questioning God, and people that believe in him ? Reading , what you write here, i have the feeling your life is totally empty, without objectives at all.

Could you please point out, specifically, what was said here that would make you think someone's life is completely devoid? Seriously, I'm curious.

Christians go under the false perspective, that without god, people are prone to suicide because they lack hope in their life. That, or people cannot do good without the guidance of god. Yes, here at the RRS, we concentrate more on reassuringthe suicidal and guiding the atheists to good instead of evil. 

 

In all seriosness, we all make our own reasons to live on. We do not need god to understand that life is worth living. Infact, i think more atheists have fun than christians. 

I'm infallible. I don't know why you can't remember that.


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Fateless7 wrote: I wanted

Fateless7 wrote:

I wanted to comment on the initial issue (intellectual dishonesty). The guy I was "debating" with, JP Holding, is actually considered a troll. Google "JP Holding". Brian Flemming, the creator of "The God Who Wasn't There", even has a blog entry about JP Holding where he calls him out as a troll, revealing that JP's real name is Robert Turkel. Robert uses a variety of aliases, including female names such as Sheila. Robert then posts articles on his website by "guest speakers" which are actually Robert himself, in order to make it look like he has supporters.

 I've debated the deck-stacking worm... he expects people to presume the validity of his  methodologies off-the-bat; not very productive, even before the invective.

Quote:
Well, by his fourth e-mail, after I had refuted all his arguments against the validity of my question (would you murder if God commanded you to) he told me he told me I was "getting old fast" and invited me to "come play" at theologyweb.com. Now, at theologyweb.com, he apparently has a little group of followers that get off by throwing childish insults such as "moron" and "dum dum" at people who can't respond to them.

Yes, I'm serious.

They make a thread for each month, for example, "September 2007 Screwballs" where they compete with each other to find the biggest "moron" they can ridicule.

I've tossed around on theologyweb for a few years, and these observations are accurate; Robert (heh heh) is treated like the end-all source of wisdom by a dozen or so fascists that own and moderate the board; they ALL use the same type of invective and disingenuous rhetoric as he does... it's cult-like, really. 

Thanks for the links!


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real Wyzaard wrote: I've

real

Wyzaard wrote:

I've tossed around on theologyweb for a few years, and these observations are accurate; Robert (heh heh) is treated like the end-all source of wisdom by a dozen or so fascists that own and moderate the board; they ALL use the same type of invective and disingenuous rhetoric as he does... it's cult-like, really. 

Thanks for the links!

You're welcome! Thanks for posting. I haven't seen you here before, but I'm actually fairly new myself, so welcome!

I made a point in another thread about debating with apologetics. I think if you're gonna do that, then you need to do so within one particular Bible. For example, apologetics frequently cite back to the Hebrew text, which is really only saying that there are two Bibles which say completely different things.

Plus, if you have to cite a different Bible to validate the Bible in question, doesn't that just mean that it was translated wrong?

Why don't the apologetics translate it correctly then? They should give people a real Bible to read, because the existing translations are apparently defective.

I can't go back to TheologyWeb... not since I've learned there are such things in the world as Robert followers. Lol... But like I said, how are we to know which ones are Robert himself and which ones are real, separate people?


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Fateless7 wrote: I can't

Fateless7 wrote:

I can't go back to TheologyWeb... not since I've learned there are such things in the world as Robert followers. Lol... But like I said, how are we to know which ones are Robert himself and which ones are real, separate people?

 

I would use the term 'people' loosely... as some of them advocate christian reconstruction in all it's horror, I really don't feel comfortable admitting them into the human family... they abandoned the rest of us long ago.  


Fateless7
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Wyzaard wrote: Fateless7

Wyzaard wrote:
Fateless7 wrote:

I can't go back to TheologyWeb... not since I've learned there are such things in the world as Robert followers. Lol... But like I said, how are we to know which ones are Robert himself and which ones are real, separate people?

 

I would use the term 'people' loosely... as some of them advocate christian reconstruction in all it's horror, I really don't feel comfortable admitting them into the human family... they abandoned the rest of us long ago.  

*gulp*.

Thanks, now I will definitely never go to TheologyWeb! LOL.