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Thread: God Speaking...anyone listening?

  1. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by SentimentalSlop View Post
    But what good is a conscience if there is no higher being to guide it?
    If you are are a German civilian facing the allied march on Germany in WWII and encounter a badge-wearing, atheist, British trooper with a gun, would you think (i) "He's wearing an atheist badge, there's no hope" or (ii) "I hope he has a conscience". I'm betting you would think (ii), because you would think having a conscience is a good thing, even if it's an atheist conscience.

  2. #167
    Registered User WyattGwyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SentimentalSlop View Post
    There can only be right and wrong if there is a being who has authority over us mortals. That's the only way.
    This moral philosophy is grievously defective and dangerous. Behaving according to a rational ethical system is naturally rewarding to many among the religious and non-believers alike. One does so because it feels good, allows one to respect oneself, and makes life better for oneself and others. It is the basis of any high functioning society. It is something that should be expected of every adult human being. Those who need the threat of violence from a supernatural being to keep themselves in line exhibit the moral development of children. Dogs can learn the code of morality you espouse if one is willing to beat them enough. Human beings should aim higher.

  3. #168
    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    Of course there is. If a religious zealot beats me up for expressing an atheist view, then they are wrong, in my opinion. As I live in a civilised society, the forces of law would probably agree with me, and the religious zealot would get locked up. There is no absolute right or wrong, but that doesn't stop people & societies from defining right and wrong, and acting on those definitions.



    But individuals in a democracy are not mighty, so they tend to agree that beating people up, because of their views, should be outlawed, or they themselves might got beaten up. In a democracy, an agreement to treat each other decently "makes right", and this doesn't need religious fanaticism to back it up.




    There has been some progress. People have slowly, and painfully, learned how to treat people better. Slavery ends, child labour is halted, women get the vote, atheists are allowed to attend Cambridge and are not thrown out for writing atheist pamphlets (as happened to Shelley...)



    Law and emotion can be powerful, and habits of virtuous behaviour can be built up from childhood, even in atheists . I feel no inclination to perform murder, rape, or genocide (!)



    Atheists have a conscience! It's this kind of argument, put forward by moderate Christians, that leads to atheists being persecuted. Christian extremists take the argument and say, "I agree, he doesn't have a conscience, burn him!"



    How can he be certain of getting beyond law? Look at all the tyrants who have fallen recently, even running a country doesn't let you off scot free. Think of Sadam, even when he was running Iraq he was always in fear of his life. If you treat people badly you must fear being badly treated yourself. That said, some people might get away with external justice being imposed on them, so we must continually defend justice. If a tyrant dies comfortably in his bed it's an incentive for us to try better at dethroning tyrants, and not retreat into fanatical religious quetism by trying to instill the belief, "he'll get his in hell", when there is no evidence that this will happen.
    1) If there is no absolute right and wrong, then there is no right and wrong. It's made up. And notice how you say, "in my opinion." What if the religious zealot says "Well, in my opinion, I'm right"? What are you going to say to him or her? I'm not condoning religious zealots harassing atheists, by any means. It's pointless and barbaric.

    2) Once again, might makes right. That doesn't make it right. Lots of countries have different views about what's right and wrong. Who's right?

    3) Slavery still goes on, by the way. And where you think that Christians had no part in this progress is beyond me. Look at reverend MLK.

    4) I believe everyone has a conscience. Where did I ever say that they don't? All I'm saying is if someone doesn't believe in immortality (God), then their conscience doesn't mean much. It's reduced to being a product of your upbringing, environment, and DNA. It's not worth much then if it's formulated by such petty things.

    5) People get beyond the law everyday. Many people commit heinous crimes and die comfortably in their beds having never gone to prison.
    Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

  4. #169
    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    If you are are a German civilian facing the allied march on Germany in WWII and encounter a badge-wearing, atheist, British trooper with a gun, would you think (i) "He's wearing an atheist badge, there's no hope" or (ii) "I hope he has a conscience". I'm betting you would think (ii), because you would think having a conscience is a good thing, even if it's an atheist conscience.
    How am I supposed to know what I'd think in such a situation if have never experienced it? But, yes, I would probably think the latter, sort of.I don't believe there is such a thing as an "atheist" conscience, whatever that means. You seem to think that I believe atheists are morally-depraved animals. Many atheists are very humane and kind people. I love atheists, too. My sister is a self-proclaimed atheist. I love her with all my heart. Why would you think I would look at an atheist as some second-class citizen?
    Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

  5. #170
    Quote Originally Posted by WyattGwyon View Post
    This moral philosophy is grievously defective and dangerous. Behaving according to a rational ethical system is naturally rewarding to many among the religious and non-believers alike. One does so because it feels good, allows one to respect oneself, and makes life better for oneself and others. It is the basis of any high functioning society. It is something that should be expected of every adult human being. Those who need the threat of violence from a supernatural being to keep themselves in line exhibit the moral development of children. Dogs can learn the code of morality you espouse if one is willing to beat them enough. Human beings should aim higher.
    Is that the only reason why someone should do something "ethical" because it's rewarding and makes them feel good? Some people out there don't feel very good when helping an individual or contributing to society. What are you going to tell them to convince them otherwise? What logical reason are you going to give them as to why they're wrong? Some people like raping, murdering, lying, and doing various other horrible things. The only reason you can give that person is "It's just the nice thing to do." That's not a reason. If someone can be an *** and then be dead for eternity, then why are they obligated to be kind, selfless, and forgiving? Why shouldn't they just live the life they want, no matter how virtuous or heinous it might be?

    And believe it or not, there is a lot that we can learn from little children. You don't give them enough credit.
    Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

  6. #171
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    3) Slavery still goes on, by the way. And where you think that Christians had no part in this progress is beyond me. Look at reverend MLK.
    I know slavery still goes on, and where do I say Christians had no part in progress? (Of course, only some Christians pushed for progress, and only in some aspects, and progress was very slow, and held up by Christians in general.) Until recent times, in much of Europe and the USA you had to be a Christian, or pretend to be, to be part of anything. For instance, you couldn't be an atheist student at Cambridge, in the early 19th century, as Shelley found out.

    4) I believe everyone has a conscience. Where did I ever say that they don't? All I'm saying is if someone doesn't believe in immortality (God), then their conscience doesn't mean much. It's reduced to being a product of your upbringing, environment, and DNA. It's not worth much then if it's formulated by such petty things.
    A conscience doesn't mean much if its based on the fictional orders on a non-existent sky daddy.

  7. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by SentimentalSlop View Post
    You seem to think that I believe atheists are morally-depraved animals. Many atheists are very humane and kind people. I love atheists, too. My sister is a self-proclaimed atheist. I love her with all my heart. Why would you think I would look at an atheist as some second-class citizen?
    Because you say things like: "if someone doesn't believe in immortality (God), then their conscience doesn't mean much."

  8. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by SentimentalSlop View Post
    Is that the only reason why someone should do something "ethical" because it's rewarding and makes them feel good? Some people out there don't feel very good when helping an individual or contributing to society. What are you going to tell them to convince them otherwise?
    It's rational to act ethically, and most people have the ability to use rationality. But you don't need to convince the hard core of irrational sociopaths, just pay them well to do a job that leads to good outcomes for everyone. And make sure you have a sufficiently punitive prison system to keep their minds on what will happen if they act out. Christianity didn't work any better than our current system at keeping sociopaths on the straight and narrow, just look at all the crime in earlier times when Christianity was the dominant ideology!

  9. #174
    Registered User Delta40's Avatar
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    Lol there must have been a reason why so many people were burned at the stake...not to mention being hung drawn and quartered.
    Before sunlight can shine through a window, the blinds must be raised - American Proverb

  10. #175
    @Mal4mac But it doesn't mean much. They might act according to their own morale, but that doesn't mean their conscience is any better than someone else's, or makes their conscience right. Everyone's conscience is different. Not all beliefs are the same, I'm sorry.

    And that's pretty ballsy of you to say that God is a fictional, non-existent being. How do you know that? Are you God? How do you have so much knowledge to know that he doesn't exist? It's one thing entirely to say you don't believe in God, and another thing to say he doesn't exist. Keep that in mind.

    @Delta40

    Yeah, it sucks that people were persecuted and killed for not being Christians, but I hope you do know that Christ never taught that and that such monstrosity is completely contradictory to Christianity. And please don't begin to pull out OT Bible verses like most people end up doing. It's utterly embarrassing and easy to refute.
    Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

  11. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by SentimentalSlop View Post
    And that's pretty ballsy of you to say that God is a fictional, non-existent being. How do you know that? Are you God? How do you have so much knowledge to know that he doesn't exist? It's one thing entirely to say you don't believe in God, and another thing to say he doesn't exist. Keep that in mind.
    Would you consider it "ballsy" to deny the existence of the tooth fairy? Actually, I don't know anything "for sure". But the existence of Yahweh, for me, is about as likely as the existence of Zeus or the tooth fairy, or the actual existence of truly fictional character like Alice in Wonderland or Bugs Bunny. In these cases, I think it's a fair enough to say these are all fictional, non-existent characters; that's what I believe!

    Yeah, it sucks that people were persecuted and killed for not being Christians, but I hope you do know that Christ never taught that...
    What about the recent persecution of atheist students at the LSE Fresher's Fair? Would Christ have kicked them out for wearing a Jesus & Mo t-shirt? My guess is he might have, he has a track record of persecuting people by kicking them out of buildings, i.e., the money changers in the temple. Who's he to say how a building should be used? What a thug! Money changers are useful people, try going to France without using them.
    Last edited by mal4mac; 10-17-2013 at 05:53 AM.

  12. #177
    If you're comparing God to the tooth-fairy, it just shows that you haven't thought about the existence of a higher being all that much and all that seriously. And that's fine and whatnot to not believe in God, I don't care, but please say something a little smarter than that. God, particularly the Christian God, gives us an absolute reason why we must be humble, love each other, forgive one another, look after the most vulnerable and helpless of society, be slow to anger and not hate, and why suffering on this earth makes sense. Not only that, but Christianity has a god that has done all those things. You don't believe in God, fine, but how could you even compare him to the tooth-fairy? Has the tooth-fairy ever saved anyone or done anything significant besides putting a quarter under someone's pillow in the middle of the night?

    Christians are persecuted too, whether it be at your typical college campus in America or being blow-up or shot in predominately Muslim countries. It happens, believe it or not, especially if you're a Christian who actually takes his faith seriously. Persecution is not good from any side, my friend. I understand. You're shot and killed in some places of the world too.
    Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

  13. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by SentimentalSlop View Post
    Has the tooth-fairy ever saved anyone or done anything significant besides putting a quarter under someone's pillow in the middle of the night?
    So, you are saying the christian god has saved people?

    When did this happen?
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

    Anon

  14. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by SentimentalSlop View Post
    If you're comparing God to the tooth-fairy, it just shows that you haven't thought about the existence of a higher being all that much and all that seriously.
    Well I did mention Zeus. Why believe in God rather than Zeus? There are actually modern stoics who proclaim a belief in Zeus. Or why not Allah or Odin? Why so many Gods? It's because they don't exist, because there is no evidence for any one of them.

    Christians are persecuted too, whether it be at your typical college campus in America or being blow-up or shot in predominately Muslim countries...
    Yes, all for not believing in some God, or believing in a different God. Give up believing in any God, and maybe some of this irrational violence will go away, there would then be no religious excuse for it.

  15. #180
    User Name is backwards :( Eman Resu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
    So, you are saying the christian god has saved people?

    When did this happen?

    Long before your Spaghetti Monster started reading Ayn Rand.


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