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Old 06-09-2014, 11:38 AM
 
4,456 posts, read 3,706,160 times
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Quote:
As you can see from the statements above, the religious conveniently move the
goal posts to suit their needs. Because while it's good enough to make general,
blanket claims about all Atheists lacking morality, when we then discuss
Christians and Muslims, we must shift our focus to the specifics concerning each
individual, making sure to discount all variables that might expose the inferior
quality of morality laid down in the Bible and Quran
You know I do not subscribe to that silly notion that atheists do not have 'morals' But frankly when I hear that all religion must go to the dung heap and all that 'inferior morality' would you take a stab and suggest how the new atheistic world would deal with the loss of that 'inferior morality'? For myself, I do subscribe to the notion of tolerance in beliefs. I believe we need a pluralistic society when it comes to that.
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:51 PM
 
Location: the Orion Spur
91 posts, read 85,574 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
You know I do not subscribe to that silly notion that atheists do not have 'morals' But frankly when I hear that all religion must go to the dung heap and all that 'inferior morality' would you take a stab and suggest how the new atheistic world would deal with the loss of that 'inferior morality'? For myself, I do subscribe to the notion of tolerance in beliefs. I believe we need a pluralistic society when it comes to that.
I'm happy to respond, but I'm not certain I understand what you're asking. I understand your question above in bold. But as to the other sentences, I think you may be misunderstanding my post when I use the phrase "inferior morality." I ask that you reread the last few pages of the discussion, paying attention to the prison sub-discussion, in order to understand the context of my statement, which I made to underscore the point that if Christianity and Islam are the model for morality as advertised, then perhaps there should be much fewer Christians and Muslims in our prisons. I made this statement in response to the often made, but erroneous, assertion that US prisons are full of Atheists because Atheists have no sense of morality.

I'm tolerant of other viewpoints, and I'm not, at this moment, advocating that we eradicate the Bible and other religious texts; however, if they don't work, why keep them? I also believe that we can all follow the same moral principles without fear of losing any freedoms or culture, as I think you're suggesting. For instance, the Golden Rule works for everyone. "Don't torture small children" can be applied uniformly. So can "treat people with kindness, dignity, and respect."

I hesitate to write a lengthy post, because from the quality of the writing and reasoning I've seen from my peers in these threads, I have little doubt this topic has probably been discussed before and at great length. I assure you I'm not trying to punt. So I'll give a brief outline of how I would respond to you. Since this is off the top of my head, I might later add more sections.

Argument from Theory

If you are unfamiliar with the multitude of great political philosophers who have presented theories of morality and justice, I'd encourage you to take time and study them. As a sample in no particular order: Epicurus, David Hume, John Stuart Mill, Jean Jacque Rousseau, Marcus Aurelius, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Hobbes, G.E. Moore, Baruch Spinoza, Friedrich Nietzsche, Thomas Paine, John Locke, Bertrand Russell, the Dhammapada, the Tao Te Ching, and I was especially drawn to John Rawls' concept of the "Veil of Ignorance" explained in his book A Theory of Justice (1971). Unlike Christianity, I don't believe any of the theories of morality are fear-based.

Argument from Practice

I am serious when I say that if the Bible isn't working, perhaps we should try something else. It's clear to me that most Christians either haven't read the Bible, or don't understand the Bible. Or, they understand the Bible and wilfully choose to disregard its moral teachings. You may respond that that's not the Bible's fault. But perhaps it is, because for whatever reason, the moral teachings of Jesus don't seem to be influencing the actions of Christians. Just look at the actions of Christians.

This is where I next provide a lengthy diatribe, describing how Christians actually practice their religion. But one quick question:

If Jesus is our best role model, please help me understand what moral lesson am I to learn concerning "Why Jesus Cursed the Fig Tree." I've been curious about this one for a long time, but I've actually never discussed it with anyone. I'm curious to hear your thoughts. It's Mark 11:12-25 (NLT)

--"The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. He noticed a fig tree in full leaf a little way off, so he went over to see if he could find any figs. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. Then Jesus said to the tree, 'May no one ever eat your fruit again!' And the disciples heard him say it. ... The next morning as they passed by the fig tree he had cursed, the disciples noticed it had withered from the roots up. Peter remembered what Jesus had said to the tree on the previous day and exclaimed, 'Look, Rabbi! The fig tree you cursed has withered and died!'"--

That's the entire story. So, if I go to a restaurant that has sold out of the evening's special, am I permitted to curse the restaurant, intending for it to go out of business and die?

Now go read what the Apologists say about the fig-tree story. They mostly say it's a metaphor, but it's not clear at all that it is. Some apologists don't even bother to repeat the story accurately. Perhaps this is a good example of how "not everything can be fixed in Post." See "Mr Deity and the Days" I copied from the joke thread. (The first minute is slow, but it gets funny. Try to make it to minute 4. It ends at 4:30.)


Mr Deity and the Days - YouTube

Argument for Modern Issues

There are issues the Bible simply doesn't address. As just a few examples: democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, privacy rights, genetic engineering, abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research, not to mention the many ethical issues relating to business practices. The Bible doesn't address these issues, yet we can discuss and debate them to reach moral decisions without religion or God.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:51 PM
 
Location: Hyrule
8,398 posts, read 9,892,998 times
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I think religion's goal, or should I say the goal of people who search for God and religion is to have a friend or fairy that can help guide them through a life they think is hard to do alone. Something to lean on if you will. Someone to talk to when down, beg for forgiveness, ask favors of and cure them of illness.
Spirituality is as good as most drugs on easing the difficulties of life from what I understand. If only used for this purpose I wouldn't mind it much but it is also used as a weapon in a gang fight when it comes to letting go of frustrations with gays, atheist, and liberals.

It is a shame to say the least. Something that helps them so much can also help them hurt others in it's name.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,087,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppySead View Post
I think religion's goal, or should I say the goal of people who search for God and religion is to have a friend or fairy that can help guide them through a life they think is hard to do alone.
It is as you say, Poppy: people think life is hard to do alone, rather than thinking that having help can sometimes be helpful. I think we should appreciate and value actual help we get from actual people, but that we should not live in terror of being alone, either. Because we are all born alone, live alone, and die alone, ultimately, anyway. This is not a nihilistic or depressing view, unless you want to respond to it in those ways. It just is what it is. I think it was Dickens that said, "every human creature is a profound secret and mystery to every other." This is true, and the sooner we embrace rather than deny this reality, the less dependent we will be on the favor of others (with either the favor or the others being real or imagined) in order to feel good about ourselves.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:10 PM
 
40,085 posts, read 26,750,404 times
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Default What is the main goal of religion?

I think that religion is obviously oriented to power and control over people. It is hard to deny. Belief in God iiiis more difficult to assess . . . and most of your posts have been about that it seems. It is typical of atheists to equate religion with belief in God as if they were inseparable . . . but they are not. Social reasons probably dominate the roles religion plays in the lives of believers in God. But belief in God does not necessarily fill a need for an invisible friend. I can testify that it actually involves an experience of reality that is undeniable to those who have it.
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:55 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,282,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ll0OoO0ll View Post
Atheism is actually man made.
Religious people at least their holy books as a sign of God. Atheists have absolutely no proof and no way to prove there is no God.
Still waiting for you to take that philosophy 101 course in "Onus of proof" so you will stop being this wrong, this often.
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:22 AM
 
3,637 posts, read 2,698,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
It is typical of atheists to equate religion with belief in God as if they were inseparable . . . but they are not.
Depends on how much lee way your definition of -religion- actually contains I would guess. When we think of religions like the monotheisms and polytheisms and so forth I would be interested in how you could declare -those- to be seperable. You simply can not have one without the other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
involves an experience of reality that is undeniable to those who have it.
I do not think many people have denied your experience - or doubt that it is undeniable to you. It is what you make of that experience - how you claim to have had it - what you think it was - and what you think it means - that we think is one step short of comedy.
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:51 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,087,623 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I think that religion is obviously oriented to power and control over people. It is hard to deny. Belief in God iiiis more difficult to assess . . . and most of your posts have been about that it seems. It is typical of atheists to equate religion with belief in God as if they were inseparable . . . but they are not. Social reasons probably dominate the roles religion plays in the lives of believers in God. But belief in God does not necessarily fill a need for an invisible friend. I can testify that it actually involves an experience of reality that is undeniable to those who have it.
The tired old "it's relationship, not religion" false dichotomy is something I no longer buy into. Religion, they say, is man reaching up to god, but True Christianity (tm) is god reaching down to man. It doesn't matter for purposes of this discussion; either one is a man made belief about god -- his existence and how we relate to him or he to us. Religion is merely the systematization and codification of those beliefs.

I know that you make the distinction between god and our beliefs ABOUT him but to me that is also a pointless distinction. We cannot relate to god or take any action in response to god without believing or knowing something about him. Since no one has even gotten to first base by demonstrating his existence there is nothing we know about him, so it's all belief, all the time.
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:55 AM
 
446 posts, read 399,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
Still waiting for you to take that philosophy 101 course in "Onus of proof" so you will stop being this wrong, this often.
Onus of proof of what?
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:03 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,282,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ll0OoO0ll View Post
Onus of proof of what?
For substantiating unfalsifiable claims. As I said, it is philosophy 101. Take a course in it. It is time you will not lament the loss of.
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