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Re: A Challenge to Richard Dawkins and the Atheists

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:09 am
by Aetixintro
And thus everyone is without responsibility...? :roll:

Re: A Challenge to Richard Dawkins and the Atheists

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:14 am
by Wootah
Aetixintro wrote:Let me add, please:
Wootah wrote:If there is a God then atheists have morality. If there isn't a God then we have no morality. So why worry
There is, of course, no guarantee that Atheists thereby follow or exercise any morality! Christians and other people are alert to the morality aspect of life in this regard, hence Christians! :)
So true but then you can belong to a religion and not follow morality.

Re: A Challenge to Richard Dawkins and the Atheists

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:08 am
by Wootah
John wrote:
Wootah wrote:If there is a God then atheists have morality. If there isn't a God then we have no morality. So why worry :)
Just so I'm clear, are you saying that you support the divine command view of morality?

I.e, what God does is good rather than God does what is good?
I would say God is good. I know when we go into the details of that it can break down in some ways. But the intention is good :)

Re: A Challenge to Richard Dawkins and the Atheists

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:50 am
by Aetixintro
Wootah wrote:So true but then you can belong to a religion and not follow morality.
But then again, this is a less honest/conman "religious" person! :)

Re: A Challenge to Richard Dawkins and the Atheists

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:29 am
by John
Wootah wrote:
John wrote:
Wootah wrote:If there is a God then atheists have morality. If there isn't a God then we have no morality. So why worry :)
Just so I'm clear, are you saying that you support the divine command view of morality?

I.e, what God does is good rather than God does what is good?
I would say God is good. I know when we go into the details of that it can break down in some ways. But the intention is good :)
If God is good then goodness, and thus morality, must exist outside of God so it is perfectly possible for the atheist to be moral.

Perhaps the atheist has to discover morality for themselves but what gurantee does the religious person have that the morality their religion teaches them hasn't been corrupted?

Re: A Challenge to Richard Dawkins and the Atheists

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:13 am
by Wootah
John wrote:If God is good then goodness, and thus morality, must exist outside of God so it is perfectly possible for the atheist to be moral.

Perhaps the atheist has to discover morality for themselves but what gurantee does the religious person have that the morality their religion teaches them hasn't been corrupted?
I agree that atheists can be moral. Indeed we have clear observations of this. But why is the question?

Re: A Challenge to Richard Dawkins and the Atheists

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:36 am
by John
Wootah wrote:
John wrote:If God is good then goodness, and thus morality, must exist outside of God so it is perfectly possible for the atheist to be moral.

Perhaps the atheist has to discover morality for themselves but what gurantee does the religious person have that the morality their religion teaches them hasn't been corrupted?
I agree that atheists can be moral. Indeed we have clear observations of this. But why is the question?
If we need to ask why an atheist would act morally does that imply that only religion provides a reason to act morally? If that's the case then what reason does religion provide? The greatest incentives offered to the religious (Judeo-Christian at least) tend to be based on reward (heaven) and punishment (hell) which makes me wonder whether such behaviour really counts as being moral in any meaningfull way.

Re: A Challenge to Richard Dawkins and the Atheists

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:01 pm
by Wootah
John wrote:If we need to ask why an atheist would act morally does that imply that only religion provides a reason to act morally? If that's the case then what reason does religion provide? The greatest incentives offered to the religious (Judeo-Christian at least) tend to be based on reward (heaven) and punishment (hell) which makes me wonder whether such behaviour really counts as being moral in any meaningfull way.
Not religion. As we know not all religions can be right and yet we can all still be moral. So religion isn't the reason we can act morally. Similarly we can't accuse religious people of not being moral simply because they are trying to go to heaven and not hell - being moral or not exists regardless.

Re: A Challenge to Richard Dawkins and the Atheists

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:36 pm
by chaz wyman
Aetixintro wrote:Thanks, Wootah, it's a fine series of answers! :)

However,
Aetixintro wrote:...that Hitler and Stalin have not been primarily motivated by Christian beliefs!
I don't get your following sentence in the context of this. It says:
Wootah wrote:Which Christian teaching motivated their beliefs?
Let's speculate that Hitler has been most interested in Eugenics and a kind of Darwinism (and possibly Utopia in the far end) and that Stalin has been most interested in Power and Control, being a control-freak. Excuse me if I pathologise these two people, but they are responsible for killing a large number, thus I draw the conclusion they must have been marked by insanity to a significant extent! Ahhh... I speculate... :)

There is no insanity in genocide. It has been committed by rational people since the dawn of time. It follows a cultural and often religious logic. There are many examples in the bible where god is directly responsible for the crime.
No one person has to loose his mind to commit genocide, it just has to fulfil some kind of commonly understood imperative such as those 'others' believing in the wrong god or being some kind of threat.
It is often committed in a calm and banal way. Hannah Arendt's account of the trial of Adolf Eickman describes a system in place whereby the Jews and others were the victims of a simple administrative and legislative change a simple as moving a list of name from one column to the other. Schindler's list was one example of how easy it was to save many lives by making sure their names stayed in one column rather than another.
Christianity cannot be held directly responsible for genocide. THe Pope could have done more the resist, and would have been better to have not supported the Nazis throughout the war. Anti-semitism, though, has been a strong part of Germ,an cultural logic as can be demonstrated from the worlds of Martin Luther, Germany's greatest theologican. Hitler's skills was to mimic religious authority in the formation of his state. Stalin worked just as well by also mimicking the totalitarian logic of the church.


In a way this whole argument "atheist no morals vs religious morals" is a non-argument. There is no such thing as an atheist who cannot also be identified with many other things: wife, husband, son, conservative, liberal, painter, gardener, judge, jury, criminal... ad infinitem.

Accusing atheism of being amoral is about as useful as accusing a fish of being flightless. It misses the point entirely.
Atheism is s reaction to religious ideas. Definitively that only includes the idea of god, but by implication it also includes a reaction against ANY kind of Big-Brother mentality. In this way I stand as an atheist against God, Hitler and Stalin.



Re: A Challenge to Richard Dawkins and the Atheists

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:21 pm
by Aetixintro
I only answer shortly until then. I have this to write:
chaz wyman wrote:In a way this whole argument "atheist no morals vs religious morals" is a non-argument. There is no such thing as an atheist who cannot also be identified with many other things: wife, husband, son, conservative, liberal, painter, gardener, judge, jury, criminal... ad infinitem.

Accusing atheism of being amoral is about as useful as accusing a fish of being flightless. It misses the point entirely.
Atheism is s reaction to religious ideas. Definitively that only includes the idea of god, but by implication it also includes a reaction against ANY kind of Big-Brother mentality. In this way I stand as an atheist against God, Hitler and Stalin.
The objection to the rant and crusade from the atheists is that they are blind to the fine sensitivities religious people have toward ethics as the way to God (that also is a foundation for meaning)! Thus, atheists and atheism may tear down very important institutions and intuitions in society that work cohesively and incredibly constructive humans to humans, in interpersonal relationships! The society may come down if one forces through this headless (to some extent) movement (by these atheists and atheism)! This is the very concern! Just because you need it "under your microscope" doesn't make it right!

Re: A Challenge to Richard Dawkins and the Atheists

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:29 pm
by Wootah
Chaz, the bold font. Let's hope it's not permanent marker!
chaz wyman wrote:There is no insanity in genocide....
I pretty much agreed with you here. If you kill your enemy it does solve the problem.
In a way this whole argument "atheist no morals vs religious morals" is a non-argument. There is no such thing as an atheist who cannot also be identified with many other things: wife, husband, son, conservative, liberal, painter, gardener, judge, jury, criminal... ad infinitem.
Agreed.
Accusing atheism of being amoral is about as useful as accusing a fish of being flightless. It misses the point entirely. Atheism is s reaction to religious ideas. Definitively that only includes the idea of god, but by implication it also includes a reaction against ANY kind of Big-Brother mentality. In this way I stand as an atheist against God, Hitler and Stalin.
Atheism is non-belief in God. Let's not make it a banner. I might confuse it with being a religion....

Re: A Challenge to Richard Dawkins and the Atheists

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:53 pm
by Arising_uk
Aetixintro wrote:And thus everyone is without responsibility...? :roll:
How so?
From my point of view the 'great man' and many more would be held culpable for the deeds, rather than this 'it was all his fault the evil swine'. Although the one grasping the pivot-point would, in my opinion, be more culpable.

Re: A Challenge to Richard Dawkins and the Atheists

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:53 pm
by Aetixintro
Arising_uk
It's meant ironically...! :)

Re: A Challenge to Richard Dawkins and the Atheists

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:39 pm
by chaz wyman
Aetixintro wrote:I only answer shortly until then. I have this to write:
chaz wyman wrote:In a way this whole argument "atheist no morals vs religious morals" is a non-argument. There is no such thing as an atheist who cannot also be identified with many other things: wife, husband, son, conservative, liberal, painter, gardener, judge, jury, criminal... ad infinitem.

Accusing atheism of being amoral is about as useful as accusing a fish of being flightless. It misses the point entirely.
Atheism is s reaction to religious ideas. Definitively that only includes the idea of god, but by implication it also includes a reaction against ANY kind of Big-Brother mentality. In this way I stand as an atheist against God, Hitler and Stalin.
The objection to the rant and crusade from the atheists is that they are blind to the fine sensitivities religious people have toward ethics as the way to God (that also is a foundation for meaning)! Thus, atheists and atheism may tear down very important institutions and intuitions in society that work cohesively and incredibly constructive humans to humans, in interpersonal relationships! The society may come down if one forces through this headless (to some extent) movement (by these atheists and atheism)! This is the very concern! Just because you need it "under your microscope" doesn't make it right!
You have a fine imagination. Which particular institutions are being "torn down" by atheism. It seems to me, looking around that the churches are doing a very good job in tearing down their own buildings and selling oof the land to property developers because no one is bothering to go to church anymore. The reason is that people are pissed off with being preached to and told how to behave. That does not render society "headless"in any respect. Many nations have done without religion controlling their activities for hundreds of years. And thank fuck. Atheism provides me with freedom from doing the amoral bidding of the church.

Re: A Challenge to Richard Dawkins and the Atheists

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:53 am
by chaz wyman
Aetixintro wrote:
Wootah wrote:So true but then you can belong to a religion and not follow morality.
But then again, this is a less honest/conman "religious" person! :)

Or worse still: you can be religious and follow the morality to the letter of the Book. Then you can happily stone your unfaithful wife; you can keep her tied to the kitchen sink; you can put homosexuals in gaol; and attack your religious neighbours with holy war.