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Ask An Atheist Anything

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posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen
Other things aside, because this sort of encompasses your argument, are you saying that the belief that abortion is wrong is purely one derived from religion? That, in the absence of religion, abortion would be viewed, universally, as being good, or at worst, ambivalent?


My statement indicates nothing about whether abortion is right or wrong. Plenty of people find it abhorrent yet have no incentive to kill anyone over it. Find me someone who has murdered or attempted to murder an abortion doctor that wasn't influenced by religion.




posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 12:43 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen
Seems to me that, rather than trying to eliminate religion, one would be better served to get people educated to what it really means. If everyone lived the way that the passage in Luke indicates is the simple, condensed core of what living in Christ means, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, abortion killers, 9/11 bombers, none of that would exist.


Well, since you brought up Hitler.....

Hitler knew full well about christianity and professed himself to be a religious person, stating many times that he felt he was doing god's work. Now, we could say he severely misinterpreted the message of the bible and I'd agree, but he is exactly the type of person I am referring to....



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 12:50 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by adjensen
Seems to me that, rather than trying to eliminate religion, one would be better served to get people educated to what it really means. If everyone lived the way that the passage in Luke indicates is the simple, condensed core of what living in Christ means, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, abortion killers, 9/11 bombers, none of that would exist.


Well, since you brought up Hitler.....

Hitler knew full well about christianity and professed himself to be a religious person, stating many times that he felt he was doing god's work. Now, we could say he severely misinterpreted the message of the bible and I'd agree, but he is exactly the type of person I am referring to....


Thank you. I knew this about Hitler - - but I try never to bring him up. Way too many people love to throw Hitler and Communism into a discussion with no real knowledge of either.

My ancestors were Palantine Prostestants. Another religious persecution history - and why my family became Americans in the 1700s.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 02:15 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by adjensen
Other things aside, because this sort of encompasses your argument, are you saying that the belief that abortion is wrong is purely one derived from religion? That, in the absence of religion, abortion would be viewed, universally, as being good, or at worst, ambivalent?


My statement indicates nothing about whether abortion is right or wrong. Plenty of people find it abhorrent yet have no incentive to kill anyone over it. Find me someone who has murdered or attempted to murder an abortion doctor that wasn't influenced by religion.


Well, if we want to descend into the pit of semantics we got out of in that other thread, I would suggest that none of them have been influenced by religion, they've been influenced by a wrong interpretation of religion. But that's something of a cop-out, so I won't claim it. I agree that there is a correlation between religious fervor and abortion killers. But since we can't analyze it without the religious aspect, it's difficult to say whether one follows another.

I don't know any atheists who are virulently anti-abortion, but it doesn't follow that people become virulently something solely as a result of religion, since they get worked up about all sorts of things in which religion plays no role. And it requires no leap in logic to say that a person may come to a strong stand on some issue, for whatever reason, and then gravitate to others who hold the same position, validate it and intensify it.

So I don't deny the correlation, I just question whether it's a simple cause and effect. The sample size is too small, and will hopefully always be too small, to allow the determination that the only reason one is pushed to kill an abortion doctor is due to religiously derived beliefs.

Doesn't matter for the larger argument, though.

Your Hitler comment doesn't add anything that I didn't already say, and ignores the fact that my postulation was that if Hitler lived by that passage in Luke, you'd have nothing to say about him. I said nothing of his motivations, though I see a grab for power and glory, not a belief that he was doing the Lord's work.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by Annee
I found the majority of Christians to be extremely hypocritical - - using god as it suits them. Most were petty and vindictive.


I'm sorry that this was your experience. Mine has been significantly different, but that's largely because I don't view many people who call themselves Christians to be much more than casually connected to the faith. Church, to far too many, is a social club with about as much relevance outside of Sunday morning as the rules at the Elks Club.

But I've been surrounded by persons of deep and solid faith for a lot of my life, and they are amazing people. Not brash, not argumentative, not gossiping, just good people who love God and apply his teachings to their lives.

I lived with one of them for four years, and the way that she led her life, with Christ at its centre, and yet still very much in this world, was beautiful. It didn't matter if you were her husband, her daughter, her friend or someone she'd just met, she radiated love and hope to everyone.

I still struggle with being that way, myself, though I think I'm closer than I was ten years ago. Does it make me hypocritical to profess that I need to love everyone, but feel resentment when they treat me poorly? No, that shows mere weakness, though if I ran around telling you that you needed to love everyone, but made no efforts to do so myself, that would be another matter.

Is it possible to have a "home grown" morality that allows one to view all people equally, and love them equally, even when they call you names, spit at you, defame the things you find important? Yes, I suppose that it is. But in my life, the small number of people that I've seen behave that way have all been people of true faith.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen
Seems to me that, rather than trying to eliminate religion, one would be better served to get people educated to what it really means. If everyone lived the way that the passage in Luke indicates is the simple, condensed core of what living in Christ means, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, abortion killers, 9/11 bombers, none of that would exist.


When will you learn that merely tallying up the ammount of "evil" atheists is not a valid argument against Atheism. An atheist commiting "evil" acts doesn't do it in the name of Atheism, or abdicate power from a unprovable being because that is the exact critisism of theism.

He might do it for some political target, or believes he is doing the greater good, is that justification for what Hitler did as good? no.

I'm saying that otherwise morally sound people are pre-disposed to do evil things in the name of God, with their scriptures justifying the means, it doesn't just stop at that more wicked acts; it allows them to indoctrinate their children, it allows them to teach out of date social conformities, which cause tension and pressure on our civilisation and society, no democracy, just absolutist values from an old book of literature.

When will they learn that their preachings should not be commended with respect. Just as in secular society, someone promoting gay hatred would be disrespected. Or how about an adult believing in fairies, and santa claus, i don't see it will be respected, especially in the scientific community; a belief without evidence.

Deny ignorance, evolution is a fact.

[edit on 31/7/10 by awake_and_aware]



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 03:03 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen

I lived with one of them for four years, and the way that she led her life, with Christ at its centre, and yet still very much in this world, was beautiful. It didn't matter if you were her husband, her daughter, her friend or someone she'd just met, she radiated love and hope to everyone.



You DO NOT need a god to know love - to express love - or radiate love and hope.

God has nothing to do with it - - other then being an excuse to behave positively. I do not need an external excuse.

What exactly is love? It is acting on an internal emotion (emotions are internal not external) What causes emotion? A chemical reaction in the body.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 03:07 PM
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reply to post by Annee
 


I don't think there's going to be any reasoning soon; he finds truth in his book, you could prove to him love exists without God, what use is it, they deny themselves the obvious truth.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware

Originally posted by adjensen
Seems to me that, rather than trying to eliminate religion, one would be better served to get people educated to what it really means. If everyone lived the way that the passage in Luke indicates is the simple, condensed core of what living in Christ means, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, abortion killers, 9/11 bombers, none of that would exist.


When will you learn that merely tallying up the ammount of "evil" atheists is not a valid argument against Atheism. An atheist commiting "evil" acts doesn't do it in the name of Atheism, or abdicate power from a unprovable being because that is the exact critisism of theism.


Where did I say anything about "evil" atheists in that passage? What makes you think that I believe that atheists are evil? I think even TD would agree that, although I'm pretty sure that he's wrong, I don't think he's evil.

Evil people do evil things. They'll continue to do them, regardless of what justification they come up with.



Deny ignorance, evolution is a fact.


What on Earth makes you believe that I don't support evolution? I've not said it, and you want to know why? Because I support evolution.

You sure seem pretty touchy and judgmental for someone who claims to be open minded and "right".



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by Annee

Originally posted by adjensen

I lived with one of them for four years, and the way that she led her life, with Christ at its centre, and yet still very much in this world, was beautiful. It didn't matter if you were her husband, her daughter, her friend or someone she'd just met, she radiated love and hope to everyone.



You DO NOT need a god to know love - to express love - or radiate love and hope.


Who said that you do? All I said was that I see it in people of faith a lot more than I see it in people who have a more casual (or nonexistent) connection to the church. That's been my experience. Yours was that Christians are hypocrites, but you didn't see me rip into you for that observation, did you?

You guys sure like to read into things and make sweeping generalizations from pretty specific statements.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 03:44 PM
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Firstly, apologies for the mis-understanding, i'll be the first to admit when i have misterpreted.

Just the warning to the old theist argument of: "Well Stalin was an atheist" as if Atheism is a reason for trecherous or wicked acts.


Because I support evolution.


So you'd agree that most species have NOT been intelligently "designed" or created?



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 03:52 PM
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I want an atheist to tell me why we should steer clear of death and psychological and physical pain. I also want to know why I should be careful not to negatively affect others with my actions.

[edit on 31-7-2010 by ChickenPie]



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 04:02 PM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
reply to post by Annee
 


I don't think there's going to be any reasoning soon; he finds truth in his book, you could prove to him love exists without God, what use is it, they deny themselves the obvious truth.


I know. I can't stand Dr. Laura - - but one thing I learned from her is "cut through the crap".

When the bottom line message is: "we need a god" - the bottom line is "we need a god".

No matter how much ya try to - pad it - twist it - angle it - rationalize it - the message comes through loud and clear: "Man can't exist without believing in a god" - "Man is incapable through intelligence and logic to make decisions and know how to behave -- without an external force".

Not buying it. Not even from Walmart.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 04:04 PM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
Firstly, apologies for the mis-understanding, i'll be the first to admit when i have misterpreted.

Just the warning to the old theist argument of: "Well Stalin was an atheist" as if Atheism is a reason for trecherous or wicked acts.


Because I support evolution.


So you'd agree that most species have NOT been intelligently "designed" or created?


Depending on how specific you want to be about "intelligently designed or created," I'd go so far as to say all species have likely not been done so.

I like the idea of design in a grand sense, but at the level most people think of it, no, I'm okay with a purely scientific view. Makes sense to me, from both a theological perspective and from outside that.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 04:06 PM
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Originally posted by Annee
No matter how much ya try to - pad it - twist it - angle it - rationalize it - the message comes through loud and clear: "Man can't exist without believing in a god" - "Man is incapable through intelligence and logic to make decisions and know how to behave -- without an external force".


That's not the point at all. But if there is no God, then our rationality and morality are ultimately arbitrary, because in such a world it would have had originated from natural processes. Natural processes do not think nor do they have any vision for the future. However, if we live in a world where God does exist, then our rationality and morality ultimately came from an intelligent source that has vision. That is more meaningful.

[edit on 31-7-2010 by ChickenPie]



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 04:07 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by awake_and_aware
Firstly, apologies for the mis-understanding, i'll be the first to admit when i have misterpreted.

Just the warning to the old theist argument of: "Well Stalin was an atheist" as if Atheism is a reason for trecherous or wicked acts.


Because I support evolution.


So you'd agree that most species have NOT been intelligently "designed" or created?


Depending on how specific you want to be about "intelligently designed or created," I'd go so far as to say all species have likely not been done so.

I like the idea of design in a grand sense, but at the level most people think of it, no, I'm okay with a purely scientific view. Makes sense to me, from both a theological perspective and from outside that.


But to science, its an illogical and unnessisary assumption; Stephen Hawking has said we don't even know for absolute certainity that the universe hasn't always been, is, and always will be; where would a creator come in there, when infinity is introduced?




Hubble's observations suggested that there was a time, called the big bang, when the universe was infinitesimally small and infinitely dense. Under such conditions all the laws of science, and therefore all ability to predict the future, would break down. If there were events earlier than this time, then they could not affect what happens at the present time. Their existence can be ignored because it would have no onservational consequences. One may say that time had a beginning at the big bang, in the sense that earlier times simply would not be defined. It should be emphasized that this beginning in time is very different from those that had been considered previously. In an unchanging universe a beginning in time is something that has to be imposed by some being outside the universe; there is no physical necessity for a beginning. One can imagine that God created the universe at literally any time in the past. On the other hand, if the universe is expanding, there may be physical reasons why there had to be a beginning. One could imagine that God created the universe at the instant of the big bang, or even afterwards in just such a way as to make it look as though there had been a big bang, but it would be meaningless to suppose that it was created before the big bang. An expanding universe does not preclude a creator, but it does place limits on when he might have carried out his job!


[Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1988), pp. 8-9.]

Peace



[edit on 31/7/10 by awake_and_aware]



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 04:10 PM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware

Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by awake_and_aware
Firstly, apologies for the mis-understanding, i'll be the first to admit when i have misterpreted.

Just the warning to the old theist argument of: "Well Stalin was an atheist" as if Atheism is a reason for trecherous or wicked acts.


Because I support evolution.


So you'd agree that most species have NOT been intelligently "designed" or created?


Depending on how specific you want to be about "intelligently designed or created," I'd go so far as to say all species have likely not been done so.

I like the idea of design in a grand sense, but at the level most people think of it, no, I'm okay with a purely scientific view. Makes sense to me, from both a theological perspective and from outside that.


But to science, its an illogical and unnessisary assumption; Stephen Hawking has said we don't even know for absolute certainity that the universe hasn't always been, is, and always will be; where would a creator come in there, when infinity is introduced?


So you believe eternity is plausible only when we're not talking about a God then?



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 04:14 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen

Who said that you do? All I said was that I see it in people of faith a lot more than I see it in people who have a more casual (or nonexistent) connection to the church.


I don't think "see" is the right descriptive here.

I think "relate" is a better descriptive here. Or maybe "association".

At 64+ I've lived "many lives". I always find it interesting that when you are in a particular "life" you view it as the right one for you. But when you move on into a different style of "life" - - - you see the flaws in the previous one.

I think your "normal" daily associations affect your viewpoint.

I don't think you really have a clear viewpoint outside that association.





[edit on 31-7-2010 by Annee]



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 04:21 PM
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Originally posted by Annee
No matter how much ya try to - pad it - twist it - angle it - rationalize it - the message comes through loud and clear: "Man can't exist without believing in a god"


This is not true and not even close to what I said. Please stop misrepresenting my statements.



"Man is incapable through intelligence and logic to make decisions and know how to behave -- without an external force".


My statement was not that one needed to get this from God, but from somewhere other than themselves. Before you, I have never seen anyone claim that society, parents, church, etc are unnecessary for the development of morals and ethics.

Good grief. Haven't you noticed that, as a parent, sharing is something that needs to be taught? Do you honestly believe that, if you never said one word about it, that greedy little kid who is "mine, mine, mine" would eventually sort it out on his own? Without any input from you, his friends, or anyone else?



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 04:21 PM
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reply to post by ChickenPie
 



So you believe eternity is plausible only when we're not talking about a God then?


Where did i profess my belief in eternity? I was merely showing the poor assumption of God stating the POSSIBILITY that the universe could be infinite, It is plausible, what does eternity have to do with God?

What i'm trying to say is i don't have "faith" in infinity, and i don't have "faith" in God until such a concept can be rationalised, demonstrated scientifically.


[edit on 31/7/10 by awake_and_aware]



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