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Atheism, Religion, & Morality

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by RRedline, Dec 24, 2002.

  1. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember


    I don't need religion or an invisible man in the sky to scare me into believing that it is <i>good</i> to be nice to fellow human beings. Believe it or not, even an atheist can understand the benefits of a society free of murder, rape, theft, etc.

    Your god did not invent good or evil. In fact, it is my belief that man invented your god! I won't impose my beliefs on anybody else, but I will express my opinions, especially when asked for them.

    I feel it would be wrong for me to walk up to you in the street and smack you in the head with a club. I feel this way because I wouldn't want you or anybody else to do it to me. My reasoning is 100% god-free, and I bet every religious person would agree that the "no clubbing" law is <i>good</i>.

    Why do I, or anybody else, need your god and your church and your Bible to understand what is <i>good</i> and what is <i>evil</i>? 99% of what we refer to as good or evil is just plain common sense anyway.

    I feel that many religious people are hypocrites and do nothing to promote good over evil, but I won't make generalizations against them the way you do towards atheists.


    ethics: Original thread, which this one was split from, can be found <a href="http://www.globalaffairs.org/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5405&perpage=15&pagenumber=4">here</a>
  2. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    You are apparently unwilling to accept that most atheists certainly HAVE put effort into the consideration of God. You just can't accept that after many years of consideration, some people arrive at different conclusions than you do.

    One example of a non-religious organization that tries to help people is the ACLU. As much as I and many of you despise some of the things they do, they are trying to make the world a better place. Their definition of "good" may differ from your church's(and even mine or ours), but they are not out there spreading evil for the sake of spreading evil. Or does this example not count because they don't have your church's blessing?

    There most certainly are secular organizations that try to better humanity. Or do you want an anti-God/better humanity message? If that's the case, then I would nominate Americans for the Separation of Church and State for consideration. In my opinion, they are trying to better society, but I'm sure you will disagree.
  3. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    Sorry about that. Usually when religion is being discussed, it shifts into these types of posts. Unfortunately, I don't know a whole lot about the exact topic of this thread. Maybe I should have just kept my mouth(fingers) shut?

    (And yes, I know that this post was just as much off topic as my previous few...my apologies once again...)
  4. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Nope. Not at all. Please continue along with Jim as well. I think he bowed out when things got a bit heated but I am sure he would be willing to discuss this with you in another thread?

    I can join in and hopefully keep the religious folk focused on what it really means to be an Atheist (hint: it's not being anti-religion).
  5. IamZed

    IamZed ...

    I am unconcerned about any specific evil that can be thrown upon the church. I decided long ago it was all evil. How can the church go wrong at going wrong?
    Discussing singular digressions deters concentration from the goals of the institute itself.
  6. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Actually Ethics I saw a discussion instead of a one sided proclaimation, so that I didn't need to be the only one talking about the church does good in this thread. As to Rredline one sided proclaimations, is that during this time of year millions of Americans are celebrating their Saviour's birth where his road to the Cross on Cavalry is started, for the sins of all people. So Rredline's lack of enjoyment of this season is in his anger about all things religious.

    I am on this pilgrimmage to my home typing from my parents home computer without broadband. Good is not the province of religion only, but only that people who are religious, (not just appearing religious) take time on one day a week to ritually inquire into what is good. This is what they advocate and seek by that advocation, doesn't mean they are good or better than others but they merely ask the question once a week. Some people who are atheist live moral lives but many never consider the question of morality.

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
  7. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    What a condescending load of crap. Trent Lott was all over the news Sunday going into church. If that is the answer on morality he is considering I'll pass and contemplate my navel. I don't believe for one minute that more people contemplate morality in church than outside. And I don't believe for one minute that Christians are more moral than agnostics or atheists.

    But if the only way you can face the world is to assume some superiority over others, feel free. That is how we have racial hatred in the world, the need for somebody to feel better than somebody else. I find that I get by very well assuming people have the capacity for good and then judging them on their actions rather than their beliefs in tooth fairies, Santa Clause, or a virgin birth.
  8. jamming

    jamming Banned

    What a condescending load of crap is in your answer, WhinyTop.
    Only your beliefs are valid, that is sure the "pot calling the kettle black". So why are your beliefs more special than mine, because you feel they are due to your logic and reason? Still they are no more or less beliefs.

    I didn't say that Christians are more moral than an agnostice or athiests, you keep saying that. I just said that they make a decision that once a week to go to a place where they have the option to consider the moral questions with other around them. Your superiority, is what is setting you apart from Christians, but this is not about Christians alone. Followers of any religion or belief system is an anathma to you. You refuse to acknowledge that their going to Church/Temple/Shrine is some how not anything more than an empty gesture that none of them believe in. That may have been such in your experience but that is not true for many of them. I am not one such believer, because I do not question once a week at Sunday Services. I question almost everyday of my life. Doesn't make me better because I don't have the answers, anymore than you. However at least I ask the question that many people ignore in their lives. Doesn't make me moral or correct any more than your beating down of religion.

    See you and Rredline hate religion for some percieved slight, or the assumption you have that a religious person must feel better than you because you aren't. Actually, I don't even think about you or others who don't practice religion. I think abou what I am doing and you are adding the value judgement to that question. I am saying that what would you rather a person like Trent Lott be doing? If Lott went into to help poor blacks, you would only accuse him of pandering. In going too church you say the Senator is trying to set himself above others. Maybe he's just a human being like everyone else with their own short comings. Maybe Trent is seeking an understanding of his failures, with other felow human beings who are in the same boat.

    Your hatred of religion and or God, is what you choose to do. For that hatred to be so real that you have to challenge anytime that religion is in public discourse really does nothin to beliefs of others. Don't just tell me that you and Rredline only challenge Religion being in the governement their has never been a thread on religion that you have had a positive thing to say about it. Religionis important to me, but unreasoning hate anger is the same for the non-religious as the religious, it will be interesting to see how you and Rredline rationalize your hatred in future posts in this thread or others.

    Your blind rage against religion is yours and his "cross to bear", but it really shows that you consider that the religious would treat you the same as you treat them in their hatred. This is the unreasoning anti-religous response that I wastalking about earlier in this very thread. I feel your hatred and disdain for me in your assumption of what I mean and in your responses to me. It does nothing to help your point with me or others, I do not assume by your action or inaction any such behavior. I just know where I was when I didn't think about moral questions and those of my friends I knew around me. Nothing specail about being religious except having the questions asked by you and others that you fellowship with. Which means that if the person strives to, that they might learn from those around them. But since you cannot learn anything about life from the religious becasue they believe in things, what does it say about your belief in mankind, your logic, and/or your reason. :_
  9. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Jim, I can't answer for Shiny or RR, but as I've seen this thread fill up with this crap, rather than sticking to the topic of Pope Pius' tacit complicity in the holocaust, I'll go ahead and throw my two cents into the ring with regards to the christian religion.

    My undying contempt for the religion falls into 2 categories...

    <li>The belief by its practitioners that its proselytization isn't unwelcome, and that somehow the victim of it will surely be grateful if they listen long enough and convert; ending all pretense of thinking for themselves.

    <li>The moral record of the religion down through the ages is reprehensible and indefensible.

    Delve into the word religion a little farther and we discover that its etymology is derived from the latin religio or religare, which means to bind back, tie together or to make one. Since unification with a supreme being is at odds with christianity both in terms of the trinity and the complete unworthiness of the supplicant, a pretty good case can be made that christianity in and of itself does not meet the inherent definition of religion.

    To base a belief system on the concept that a supreme being builds a garden, creates a couple of people and says "Okay, I made this garden for you, and you can pretty much do whatever you want. Look kids, I gotta split for a while, but just stay away from that tree over there, it's got a lot of information and I'd rather you didn't get your grubby little paws on it."

    God splits, and of course the two noobs run right over there and eat some of the knowledge...God comes back, sees what they've done and tears up the lease.

    I can't imagine doing anything like that to naive children...offering up the supreme temptation and then going ballistic when they succumb. It sure doesn't sound like the basis of religion to me, but rather the basis for poor mental health, the need for <strike>witchdoctors</strike> psychiatrists, and the invention of psychotropic drugs.

    Then to further postulate that this same being of untold power would dare knock up a little Jewish girl and then see to it that the offspring from that union is tortured to death, all in the name of redemption is equally farfetched. The whole concept of moral redemption from a rigged game is in and of itself a sham.

    Now, as to the actions of Pius, he did nothing more and nothing less than any politician would do in his shoes...he acted first to assure the security of his position and his bureaucracy. This I would submit makes him an unconscionable prick equivalent to Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton...albeit Pius' actions (or inactions) visited more damage on the world than either of the two presidents.

    Had Pius invited the wrath of the nazis in defense of the jews, in all likelihood, the church would have been diminished to the point that we wouldn't have the Boston Archdiocese attempting to claim freedom of expression under the first amendment in an attempt to shield itself from the very moral lawsuits over its decision to employ and shield pedophiles.
  10. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    To your point, Jamming, I do not hate any religion. I welcome you to believe as you will. I only stand up when you take a moral position totally untenable. I said it once and I will say it again. I judge people as they are rather than by their beliefs. You would do well to do the same.

    And the only other time I go on attack is when religious zealots try to impose their religion on me. So actually I consider it in defense.

    Don't flatter yourself. I don't hate you and do not have disdain for you. You and I agree on many issues. My disdain is for your moralizing and your seeking of any moral high ground due to your beliefs. Read your posts and you will see over and over your comments disallowing any morality or good from non-believers. Unless you allow for the possibility that your foes can also have good intentions you can not engage in dialog, just posturing.
  11. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    I consider myself to be religious, I guess. I'm Jewish, and it's important to me to be Jewish. Jews don't proselytize, though (even the Lubavitchers are only interested in irritating Jews, not gentiles), and we are perfectly comfortable with questions or disputes about faith. As I've said before (and as not all Jews agree with me), Judaism is about what you do, and how you live.
    I don't think there's anything wrong with anyone believing what they believe, but I have to agree here with most of what Shiny and Rredline have been saying. I've been a victim, many times, of the assumption of Christianity, and the assumption that Christianity is just plain good for everyone, and no one should ever reject it. I'm not atheist, and I'm not anti-Christian, but I want to live in a country that is religion-neutral. That's the only way that I, and my Hindu and Moslem and Christian friends and colleagues can have the space to be who we are. My atheist friends, too, should have the same right...the right not to have their government endorsing (preferring, more usually) something which they do not share. Jamming, your contention that atheists (or I think you said "most") don't even think about morality is ludicrous. And insulting.
    To the subject of this thread....
    I know very little about this pope and his actions during the holocaust. But would I be surprised that he didn't do much to help the Jews? (or Gypsies or Communists, or homosexuals) No, not at all. Popes have never been friends of the Jews, (or Gypsies or Communists, or homosexuals).
  12. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    This is why I never ever had a problem with Jews nor Buddhists.
  13. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Great post, Coot. May I also mention that I thoroughly enjoy your input in any thread? That baby avatar can write some doozies. :)
  14. IamZed

    IamZed ...

    I agree with the ethical man. I have always had no problems with Jews or Buddhists, but what does that say?
  15. Scott

    Scott Some Assembly Required

    i am not the slightest bit religious, but i can care less what religion someone is. not being religious doesn't make me a bad person. i still have morals and goals, and i try to be the best person i can. i help pretty much anyone i come across that needs my help, without expecting anything in return.

    in my mind, i don't need to think there's some great power that no one has seen that will punish me for anything wrong i do. i know the difference between right and wrong, and i choose to do the right thing, even without religion----that's all that matters in my mind.
  16. Violet1966

    Violet1966 Stand and Deliver Staff Member

    I really don't understand why people bash the concept more then the organization which tries to dictate what it should all be like. I am a religious person. I have taken from the Bible, and other religions as well, what I needed to be a spiritual individual. I don't let some humans who have formed some finger pointing club, tell me how I should live. I don't feel guilt where they try and tell me I should. This way...I feel no hate for the scriptures as they are. I take in the lessons and try and see the bigger picture. To let someone read a lesson to you and dictate what it means, is just ridiculous.

    You can be religious and not love the concept of church. My church is my home. No one can dictate to me how I should live. I still believe in God and I believe that he'd be pretty pissed off if he knew that some imposter's were trying to speak for him. I believe in Jesus or at least the concept which followed the Old Testament, of Jesus. I believe that was an evolution of the religious concept to help us let go of hate and persecution. To not judge others. To live as we want and let others live how they want, but living with the faith in God that had evolved to be more accepting....more understanding.

    When I see someone taking an Atheist stand I often wonder why they tossed the whole picture instead of just tossing what was being force fed them? You can still have faith in God and not have any respect for organized religion ;)
  17. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    Violet, I didn't just sit down one day and say to myself, "I am tired of these Catholic nuns trying to brainwash me! I think this church is crap, so I'm becoming an atheist!" :)

    On the contrary, it took me many, MANY years of asking myself questions(because I wasn't allowed to ask anybody else in my life) which I was too ignorant and too innocent to answer. Many religious people pretend to have the answers, but I eventually realized that nobody does. The idea of a supreme being is just silly to me. I didn't "toss him out" of my life anymore than I tossed Santa out on his ass. It was more of a self-realization.

    If I can not come to the conclusion that God is real, then I can't really go about choosing a church or even a religion. I can't even make up my own, which seems to be the popular thing to do these days. ;)
  18. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    In case I didn't get my point across from the last time, let me try again.

    Being an Atheist is not being anti-religion. Just because you have some people that want to ban Christmas in their houses doesn't mean that all Athiests want the same thing.

    We do not judge all religion folk by Louis Farrakhan, Fallwel, or Bakers, so why are you lumping all of the Atheists this way?

    All I want, and this is my biggest most disgusting problem with any religion, (not Judaism nor Buddhism) is to be left alone. Don't preach to me how more moral you are, how goody tooshies your kids are, or how you are holier than thine.

    Arrogance, superiority, classifications, and hatred for people who are not like you is everything that God and his followers taught against. If you want to shove things in my face, be ready to get it shoved down back, for all it does is repulse me and makes me happy I am not religious.

    If I had the power I would not get rid of religion, or beliefs in higher dieties. I believe Religion serves the community, and many people benefit from believing. It gives sick hope in living, it gives the poor a shining beacon, and it certainly helps more than it destroys, no matter how focused we are on the fundementalists in this world.

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