Weren't the columbine shooters atheist? I might be mistaken though.
@Kierkegaard, No, there were rumors that they targeted people who were christian in the shooting but that's been debunked. That's probably where you heard that though. But after doing some research I found that one was christian but I couldn't find what the other one was. From what I could find, the attack wasn't religiously charged or anything, they both just had mental health issues
@K1lgore, ah, my mistake. Although pretty much everyone who does a mass killing has a mental disorder of some sort. Cause you have to be seriously mentally retarded to believe that massacring innocents somehow benefits your cause, religious or not.
@Kierkegaard, True, but sometimes people can get too brainwashed. Like basically what all islamic terrorists are doing. They're not even crazy, they're just so brianwashed into thinking what they're doing is right. That's even worse than being nuts.
Stalin and hitler where atheist. Killed almost 100 million people together. Still think atheist don't kill?
@bezerkman1, Hitler was a Chritian though. Both of them were terrible people, but it goes to show that religious/non-religious beliefs do not make you a good or bad person.
@K1lgore, please checkout dinesh D'Souza on youtube title how do I know god exists
@bezerkman1, What does that have anything to do with what I just said?
@K1lgore, he talks about mau from china hitler from Germany and Stalin from Russia being atheist and killing over 100 million people in this century aline
@K1lgore, he denounced Christianity tried to lessen its influence on Germany. Just look at the Wikipedia page on hitler religious beliefs
@bezerkman1, That's simply not true though. Adolf was a christian and followed his beliefs until he died. Mao was not an atheist, he definitley believed it gods. Stalin is the only confirmed Atheist. But even he was brought up christian and he was even going to be a priest. Im not arguing about their religious beliefs, what im saiying has all of the evidence backing it
@bezerkman1, Lmao just because wikipedia says it, it doesn't make it true. It's well documented that he was very religious
@K1lgore, just bec a person is brought up believing something means nothing. Google hitler religious beliefs
@K1lgore, Hitler's religious beliefs are questionable https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler Stalin though was an atheist Mau I'm not sure anymore
@bezerkman1, No, as I said wikipedia is not a credible source. Adolf Hitler was indeed NOT atheist but he was a catholic christian. And Mao was anti-religion politically, but still had his own personal beliefs. The only one you are correct on is Stalin.
I can't stand people who over use "like" and "um" often in their speech. Think, then talk.
@Doctor Krieger, Communism is Statolotry, so by nature it isn't atheistic.
@Doctor Krieger, *insert no correlation*
Communist leaders are only ever anti-religion because it makes people easier to control, same as everyone havingone religion makes it easier to control. Typically when a leader does that, they replace it with something else. They claimed religion was a tool to control people (which is basically what it originally was), so they would create their own set of rules for the citizens to practice, like what North Korea has now. Besides, almost all communist dictators still practiced religon, they just didn't let their followers practice.
Nothing about being an atheist alone can cause people to do unrational things as there isn't a book or a set of rules that tell people what to do. However, in almost every religous belief or text, there are plenty of things that may cause somebody to kill in the name of. Especially religons like islam.
@K1lgore, le communist manifesto
@Doctor Krieger, That still isn't an argument. Communists were only anti-religion because it made people easier to control. They themselves were typically still believers. Atheism didn't lead to communism, unlike how most religions led to many, and most dictatorships.
The point of what the guy in the pic said is that Atheism has not been a reason that people have done irrational things like blow up places, but religion has in many, if not most cases.
@K1lgore, nobody kills in the name of science because one of the first rules of sociology (which is a science) is that for society to function, what one is allowed to do, all are allowed to do.
The area where this fails to stop evil is when sociopathy and/or arrogance get involved. The mentality of a scientist who conducts unethical experiments is "if I was the test subject, I'd undergo the same procedure. But my intellect is needed on this side of the experiment to properly document and use the research."
It's a weird convergence of arrogance and modesty. It's an attitude that no one deserves special attention and no one is really important, but at the same time it's a refusal to accept that there are other people as smart as them (since truly intelligent people are all too aware of how stupid most humans are).
The bigger problem with human psychology is that once you've killed, it becomes fundamentally easier to kill again, regardless of reasons.
@K1lgore, I never said that atheism lead to communism. I suggested that communists are, by their doctrines, militantly atheist. Observation of reality suggests this to be true.
Unless you can prove to me that all communists are not genuine atheists OR that their founding doctrines were in some way theistic, there's no point in asserting that communism isn't atheistic in nature.
@Doctor Krieger, statolotry is antithetical to atheism, as worshipping a political leader or royal family is a form of worship, or theism.
@Doctor Krieger, also, religion is still performed in communist countries. They're just often forced to practice in secret.
@I Are Lebo, theism is the belief in a deity. The state is not a deity, therefore worship of state is atheistic worship.
Also, religion and theism are not synonyms.
@Doctor Krieger, prove that The State isn't a deity.
It has the power to give you life. It has the power to take it from you. It is responsible for your existence. Your parents, their parents, their parents all belonged to The State, and so will you, your children, their children. The State is eternal. The State is all knowing. If you misbehave, The State will punish you. If The State has a task for you, you will comply without question. Your every breath belongs to The State and you will love The State to your dying breath because The State is also responsible for all the good in your life. And there is good in your life. Because The State provides.
Your defence of your point is much weaker than mine. Communism is not, by definition, atheist. It can be. But then, Capitalism can also be either religious or atheist. There is no correlation between political system and religious beliefs. They are interchangeable.
@Doctor Krieger, After doing some more research on the topic, here is what I have to correct myself with:
Communism itself is not atheistic nor does it require atheism. The only reason why this was ever an idea is because of Marx's criticism of religion. There is nothing about communism that requires atheism. It's just simply how the soviets did it. Another reason is just because they don't want to share power with another organized group. Instead of atheism they could replace it with anything. That's what north korea did.
And yes, most soviets were officially atheists, but as soon as the union fell, Christianity popped back up immediately. So either all of them changed their beliefs, or they were just pretending.
@K1lgore, I'm sure many of them continued to practice Christianity in secret.
@I Are Lebo, Yeah that's what I meant. Unless an entire nation became reborn christians
@Doctor Krieger, seems like we got a lot of commies here huh? But for real, you're right. Every single communist nation has been either officially or if not officially very strongly oppressively anti-religion. Cuba. Russia. North Korea...and it's funny the closer societies get to communism the more they seem to abandon religion.
@HammerOfHerertics, What are you talking about? America's atheisim population is skyrocketing but we're just as anti-communist as ever
@HammerOfHerertics, eh, I think that's more correlation than an actual causal relationship. Most atheists I know are libertarian leaning anarcho-capitalists/classic conservative/classic liberal. Essentially ranging from extremely limited government to moderately limited government. On the whole they're more conservative in terms of governmental power over the people (i.e. They voted for Gary Johnson to Kasich) than nearly *any* of my religious friends (~90% most of whom were adamantly in either the Trump or Hillary camps, both of whom are big government with limited power to the people) so I'm highly skeptical of that supposed relationship.
@K1lgore, perhaps could one's fervent belief in the absence of a god compel him/her to commit violent acts upon religious people believed to have been 'brainwashed?' (I use single quotes to denote that it is a phrase I've heard, not that you directly said)
@JayCutlersDeadGhost, I would say that's possible, but that's not directly from being an atheist. They may get that idea from someone or something, but atheism is just not subscribing to a belief in religions or gods, there are no texts, or set of rules or anything that tells anyone to do anythint. Any action done by someone is in no way influenced by atheism itself. The only atheists who would commit a violent act in the name of atheism are mentally unstable people. However, islam is a great example of how someone can not be insane, but rather be brainwashed into believing the violent acts they commit are justified.
@HammerOfHerertics, it's not that they abandon religion, it's that they abandon theist religion.
Atheism means no belief in a deity, not no religion.
@I Are Lebo, prove that the state IS a deity.
@Doctor Krieger, did you not read my comment? I literally just did.
The North Koreans view their leader as a deity, the Japanese and Chinese used to, and the Russians view the country itself as a pseudo deity.
The problem here is the lack of a clear definition of the word deity.
@K1lgore, seems unlikely
@Doctor Krieger, but in any event, and in any interpretation, you are incorrect about communism being atheism and vice versa. There's some crossover, but they are not the same.
@I Are Lebo, worshipping something like a deity does not a deity make.
Also, I never said communism is atheism. Hell, I didn't even say it isn't religious in nature. I said it is atheistic, because by all evidence it is.
People were killed under communist states solely for theism. Why are you so quick to dismiss this clear example of atheism-driven genocide? It's not like I'm extrapolating from it to accuse all atheists.
@Doctor Krieger, you are misusing a lot of words there. Firstly, if the word 'theism' meant 'a one God system of faith', then the term 'monotheism' would be redundant. Theism is the technical term for an organized system of faith.
Secondly, in one single sentence you just said that communism is not atheism AND that communism IS atheism. Make up your mind or clarify your language, because you are arguing against yourself.
What genocides were committed by atheists towards what you call theism? I recognize that you aren't labelling all atheists as communists (which is good because that's silly).
As was mentioned earlier, communist leaders crack down on religious practices because it helps them have tighter control over the populace. It's a political issue, not a religious one. Religious groups can be fairly easily militarized, and form rebel groups or militias. THAT'S the number one reason why dictators ban most forms of worship, not because they disagree with what the people believe.
@I Are Lebo, no, religion is an organized system of faith.
Theism is the belief in one or more deities.
Theism is necessarily religious. Religion is not necessarily theistic.
So, communism is, by doctrine, atheistic, even if by implementation it has so far also been religious.
So, when a state with an inherently atheistic doctrine kills theists because their beliefs conflict with that atheism, yes that is atheism-driven genocide.
Finally, I'm certain that you cannot prove that atheism played no part in the militantly-atheist policies of past and present communist dictators.
@Doctor Krieger, that's interesting, but still besides the point. Everything that isn't about God (or Gods) is not therefore intrinsically atheistic. That's not what atheism means. Looking at it that way, balloons are atheistic, because they have nothing to do with God.
You can't kill in the name of a lack of something. A lot of people try to label atheism as it's own form of faith and it isn't. Atheism is a lack of faith in God (or Gods).
You can't be aggressively lacking in something. That makes no sense. There is no such thing as 'militantly atheist', and I'm not sure where you're pulling a lot of these terms from.
@Doctor Krieger, atheism is not belief in no god, it's a lack of belief in there being a god. There's a big difference there. It's neither a system of faith nor a system of fact.
Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack.
@Doctor Krieger, It isn't an Atheism driven genocide though. It was power driven genocide. Sure, believing in a religion was a reason why one would be executed, but that's not the only thing. People weren't allowed to believe or so many other things. Stalin, like any other communist leader or dictator just wanted power. Im sure he didn't care what people believed, it just made people easier to control if everyone believed the same thing. If Stalin began invading other countries and such, trying to spread Atheism, yes it would obviously be an Atheist driven genocide. But, it was a power and communism driven genocide. Hitler was a catholic, but everything he did, while most likely trying to enforce his own beliefs, his genocide was driven by the want for power and the hatred for jews.
@Doctor Krieger, you said something earlier and I forget to ask you about it. What did you mean you mean by "worshipping something like a deity does not a deity make".
Then what makes a deity a deity?
@I Are Lebo, my best guess is that he means a deity must be divine or supernatural in nature, which, to be fair, all dictionary definitions of deity are in reference to gods/goddesses.
However I'd argue making anything the supreme being or power in your life deifies that thing because it fills that particular point in one's life so his point doesn't really matter anyway. Sure, by dictionary definition the state cannot be a deity, however it can *effectively* be the supreme power and focus of idolatry on a societal scale
@I Are Lebo, hopefully I made sense there, I'm exhausted beyond normal cognitive function lol
@Sven and Otar, hence my classification as a pseudo deity.
However, the Japanese literally referred to their emperors as "living gods" and revered them as actual gods upon their deaths. It was (from my understanding) a big part of their lives.
Actually communism is an atheist ideology and they do commit terror attacks
@Memes Or Death, in those cases the attacks aren't carried out in the name of communism, they're carried out in order to expand communism, in the same way that dictators perform attacks on their people to enforce a dictatorship, and as with stuff like the Vietnam war, capitalism tries to quash communism to fortify capitalism. Those aren't holy wars, they're political ones. A religious attack is carried out to appease whatever deity demanded it.
@Memes Or Death, Also, communism includes the worship of the state, so it's not atheist.
@UmActually, theism- belief in the existence of a god or gods. Just because you worship something doesn't mean you believe that it is a god
@Memes Or Death, Statolotry creates a diety of the state or your leader. That's not atheistic, just by concept.
@UmActually, atheism- the disbelief in the existence of god or gods. Unless they believe that the state or their ruler is a god then yes its atheist
@Memes Or Death, That's Statolotry. Statolotry is making your government a deity, or a god. Also, Atheism is the disbelief in a god, but atheists are also Agnostic, meaning that they don't subscribe to a religion or religious ideals.
@UmActually, no not exactly they worship as an idol, they don't believe it created the universe. God and idol are not the same thing. Communism expressly does not believe in god
@Memes Or Death, Isn't Idolotry the antithesis to atheism as well? It's the deification of a person, place, object or concept.
@UmActually, unless you believe that idol is in fact a god then no, atheism by definition only means you don't believe in god. You can dedicate yourself to anything you want, as long as you don't believe in god you are an atheist
@Memes Or Death, So spiritualists that don't have a god but worship spirits are atheists?
@UmActually, if they don't believe that those spirits are gods, yea they are atheist
@Memes Or Death, That's such an illogical bar to set. Most tribal religions worldwide didn't have gods, but spirits, are those atheistic? No. Religion is opposed to agnostic atheism and vice versa.
@UmActually, nope you can have a religion and still be atheist. The definition of atheism is the disbelief of existence of a god or gods. Nothing illogical there whatsoever actually. It's kinda black and white. You either believe there is a god, or you don't believe there is a god
@Memes Or Death, Except true atheism is agnostic, so, no, you can't be an actual atheist and be religious, because religion is itself the belief in either the exaltation of certain humans or the belief of otherworldly forces.
@UmActually, except I'm going by the definition so no that's not true
@Memes Or Death, That's like saying anyone who believes in Jesus and God are Christians. So Charles Manson and his cult were Christian.
@UmActually, the only requisite to being a Christian that is actually carried through any Christian sect is the belief in God and Christ as the savior. So yeah Manson was a Christian because he said he was the second coming of Christ, indicating he believed in Jesus Christ as a savior.
@UmActually, on everything but the Manson thing I agree with you. MOD does not understand what Atheism is, likely because of a poorly defined dictionary.
Having said that, Manson's cult was an offshoot of Christianity. There are a number of offshoots, many of which are cause for embarrassment. The Jehova's Witnesses, The Westbourough Baptists, and too many others to name.
Are they 'true' Christians? Mostly no.
Religion is like branches on a tree, and there aren't many trees. If you could trace every religion back to their origins, they should all come from the same place. And remember, Christianity was an offshoot from Judaism.
@Memes Or Death, where did you get your definition from? Because it is incorrect. Atheism isn't anti-god. It's anti-theism. Being an atheist means having no faith in any established religion. It doesn't even mean having no faith, though it often does coincide with a total lack of faith.
I am an atheist because I have seen no evidence of a higher power, or at least not one that I deem worthy of worship.
As for religious institutions, I truly believe that Christianity is, in a massive way, ruining our planet. They're not alone in it, but I could rant for an hour about all of the evil Christianity has wrought and still is... um... 'wroughting?'
Anyway, I don't really wanna go there. Point is, if you actually subscribe to the tenants and beliefs of any organized religion, then you are not atheist, regardless of whether or not you believe in a god or gods.
Also, 'god' is a pretty loosely defined term. The Japanese revered their emperor as a living God, and the North Koreans absolutely
see the Kim Dynasty as divine.
Dictators look at religion as yet another tool, to be used or discarded as needed. You can't base the beliefs of people stuck in Communist countries on the whims of madmen like Stalin or Mao.
You'll get a biased result if you do.
@I Are Lebo, you are incorrect. Theism, Merriam Webster-belief in the existence of a god or gods; specifically : belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world Dictionary.com-the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation (distinguished from deism). Atheism merriam Webster-a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods. Dictionary.com-the doctrine or belief that there is no God. If you can find me one that says different I'll be happy to see. Someone who believes in god but no established religion is a deitist I literally gave a definition earlier, should probably double check before you tell someone that they are incorrect
@I Are Lebo, you are not at atheist because you don't believe in the main religions. You don't believe in the main religions because you are atheists
@UmActually, the state is not a deity, therefore it is atheistic worship.
@Memes Or Death, interesting. I suppose it is possible that I have been misusing the word atheist, but in every context I have seen it used it has been referring to a oppositional viewpoint to religion. If atheism is not anti religion, what term is?
Also, that definition is very lax on determining what is a God. If Theism and religion are not synonymous (as I always thought they were), but is instead referring to a One True God type of religion, then I am still an atheist. I look at the world today and I see a place that is very obviously NOT under the watchful eye of an all seeing, all knowing, all powerful benevolent being. It is also clearly not under the control of an an all seeing, all knowing, all powerful malevolent being.
Chaos is what I see. There are patterns in the chaos, but nothing recognizably intelligent. That doesn't mean there isn't any, I simply cannot see it.
I also see no benefit to worship, but that's it's own issue.
@I Are Lebo, that's because most religions you are talking about are theistic religions meaning that they have gods. But an atheist could be apart of a nontheistic religions such as Buddhism. Or even humanism but I think they see themselves as a god so I'm not sure. And jwouldn't call said spirits gods so I'd imagine they are technically atheists. Some one who believes in a god but not any established religion is a deitist. Someone who accepts the possibility of a god and possibility that there is not a god would be agnostic. And someone who doesn't believe in any god, so they could not believe in any theistic religion would be an atheist. And of course someone who believes in an established religion would be apart of said religion.
@I Are Lebo, the root word for theism atheism and so on is theos which directly translate into god.
@Memes Or Death, the problem is the squabble over the definition of 'god'. Jesus Christ shouldn't qualify as a God, yet he is revered as a saviour. Muhammad was a prophet, yet is revered nearly as much as Allah.
Being Buddhist should preclude one from being an atheist because their faith is in an impersonal type of deity. A force of nature as a deity as opposed to a sentient being. Taoism would be similar. It is a theism, even though the Tao is not an actual individual. Buddhism and Taoism are not monotheistic religions, but they both revolve around putting your faith in a higher power.
You and Krieger are both too hung up on the literal description of God or a god. It's not as black and white as 'a magic man in the clouds'.
At their core, all religions are about Gods or other types of higher powers, so I don't really see the distinction between theism and religion. It's just the interpretation of what a god is that differs.
@I Are Lebo, theos definition-god. Ism definition-denoting system principle or ideological movement. So it's an ideologic or philosophic movement centered on god. God having to be the center. So if you have an ideological movement/religion not centered on god it won't be a theistic religion. Take humanism. It's an ideological philosophical movement centered around self. No god is involved. Unless you consider yourself a god then I guess technically it is a theistic religion
The bottom line is, if you put your faith in a higher power, whether it is a God, a god, or something like a god, you are not really atheist.
There's no rule book for being atheist, though, so this is all conjecture and opinion anyway.
@Memes Or Death, that's stretching the definition of God a little, but depending on how arrogant a humanist is, I guess that could fall under the same category.
But as for statology, I would consider it to be neither theism nor atheism. That's more like elevating a political or national affiliation to the same level as theism or ideology. I think it's similar to a cult. Cults tend to worship a central individual more than any actual deity, so where would that fall?
@I Are Lebo, I feel like the definition of theism is fairly cut and dry. I'd ask the individual and not try and define the entire religion. If the individual says no there is no god then he is atheist. And if the majority of the individuals that claim to practice that faith say that there is no god, I'd say at that point yes it's okay to say it's a nontheistic religion
@Memes Or Death, I fail to see how a religion that preaches a lack of gods is still a religion.
Also, atheist is not "there is no God". This is a very common misconception. Atheism is "I have seen no evidence of a God." The difference is small but meaningful.
@I Are Lebo, no that's agnosticism. Religion as defined in merriam Webster- the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance. God OR the supernatural. So you can have religion with out a god. Atheists do not believe in god. Period end of sentence no argument about it. If you accept the possibility of god, because you can't prove a negative then you are agnostic. Most people are actually in fact agnostic when they say they are atheists
@Memes Or Death, what about someone who would not worship a God that would allow the world to be the way that it is, if they even exist at all?
@Memes Or Death, also, for the record, just because it's in the Miriam Webster doesn't automatically make it accurate. They recognize the word twerk as a real word, so....
I'm sure that no one could prove that Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, or John Wayne Gacey weren't followers of some faith, but I'd be willing to be that they weren't
@Captain Magma, i think he means to say that atheism is never the REASON behind violence. People commit religion-fuelled crimes all the time but an atheistic crime is just a normal crime by default.
@Captain Magma, Jeffrey Dalmhar is on record of saying he felt no wrong doing his crimes from an atheistic view morality is all relative...
He claimed to have become a Christian, and recognized his evil actions for what they were.
But of a summery paraphrase, but he made that point in a TV interview before he was murdered in prison.
@Captain Magma, Manson got his followers high on LSD and claimed he was the second coming of Christ so...
@LawyeredApe, That could just be manipulating a group of people
When it comes down to it, no one can prove if they were or not. Even if thsy say they are, they could be just saying it for an interview to make himself look like he's changed/ maybe get out of jail
The main point here is kind of what @YUNoJump said, these people were not driven ny faith to do these things, they did it because they wanted to. While he said they weren't driven by atheism to do these, my point is that not all crazy people are driven by some faith to do things
@Captain Magma, Christianity is simply a belief in God and Christ as the savior, outside of that everything varies based on sect, meaning it comes down to self adhered labels like many other things. Similarly, Atheism is not believing in God and everything outside of that varies depending on person, again leading to a self adhered label. It's no different than looking at a shooter and trying to pin them as Dem or Repub based on who they say they support, it's all self adhered labels.
@phalcon , You are correct, from an atheistic view, morality is all relative. But, from any religious perspective, it is also relative. All religious texts are pretty open to interpretation. Only difference between the two is that atheism by default, can't give anyone any ideas or reasons to do something irrational. However, religion has plenty of things that can give someone the idea to do something irrational. Especially killing in the name of.
@K1lgore, and yet depending on the religion it can give the idea of saving lives, and loving your fellow man. After I become a Christian, I became a paramedic.
The thing with atheism, is it doesn't give anyone ideas to do good either....
And ultimately one can argue from an atheistic point of view, all the moral good we do is done either for selfish reasons (if I do good maybe good will be done back to me?) or as a means of self preservation, or the preservaton of one's genetic lineage.
And further with morality relative, one could argue morality is ultimately meaningless (see nihilism philosophy etc). So one has the potential of doing great evil if they can find a way to justify it.
Eg, eugenics, let's kill off half the world's population to save the planet... Etc... One can rationalize almost any evil as good.
@phalcon , I never said religious people can't be good people, most of them are.
I hope you can see how hypocritical your 3rd paragraph is. "All the moral good we do (atheists) is done either for selfish reasons (if I do good maybe good will be done back to me?)" Don't you realize that's exactly the point of religion? If you follow the set of rules, you get to go to heaven. You do good, you get rewarded.
The difference between atheists and religious people is that atheists are good people because they want to be good people. Nothing tells us to be so, anything good we do is because we want to do good. However, religious people do good to get into heaven, to be rewarded. Atheists arent expecting something in return for being good people.
To clarify, im not saying atheists are better people than religious ones. The difference is we just realize we can be good people without a book or anything telling us to do so.
@phalcon , Also on your last statement: You're right, anyone can rationalize almost any evil as good. Including religious people. I can list literally millions of religious people who have done horrible things, including Hitler. Hitler was a Christian, yet he is one of the most evil people of all time.
@K1lgore, well in an atheistic world view, there is no such thing as good or bad, as it's all relative and what people currently accept as good or bad.
As for my faith, no actually it doesn't teach doing good gets you to heaven. In fact the Bible clearly teaches that doing good won't get you into heaven at all.
It's about if your sins, and the debt you owe to God for commiting them have been paid off or not. And there's nothing we can do to pay them off. The only Jesus death is satisfactory payment. We need to either accept that gift to us, or we can reject it.
But no, my faith clearly teaches good works have no bearing on getting in or not.
Now why do we do good works? Because we are to love our fellow man. Because we have been show mercy undeserving, we should show others it as well.
Sorry but good works to get into heaven is a common misconception.
And trust me, lots of people try that.
@phalcon , your particular flavor of Christianity teaches that, other flavors however teach differently. You also state that you only became a paramedic after becoming a Christian, which is fine, however you are implying (even if it wasn't purposefully) that someone who isn't Christian wouldn't become a paramedic or attempt to help others which simply isn't true. I know plenty of Atheists who work very hard and risk their lives regularly to protect and heal others.
@phalcon , it's more about rationalizing evil as necessary, rather than as good.
Killing a hundred to save a million is a necessary evil, but that doesn't make it good (assuming there wasn't a third option).
@I Are Lebo, the point is there is no such thing as good and evil from an objective view in atheistic world views.
What is good to one might be bad to another. The only way people decide is they take a vote.
So tell me does a, popularity opinion make something right or wrong? What if it was popular opinion to make blacks into slaves?
I'm sure you wouldn't argue that that would be good if society thinks its good.
Good and bad are simply what society considers to be moral or not moral in a a-theistic society.
And one could easily argue what's "necessaey" is a good thing. In other words doing the needed thing is good.
@LawyeredApe, I implied no such hard thing. My point wasn't who become paramedics, rather ones motivations for one may be drastically different because f how they view things.
As for my flavour of Christianity? Nope it's not mine, it's the bibles. I've had to change my position on topic a over the years because my version was contradictory to the bibles version. So I had to shift my views to match scripture.
@phalcon , I think you know very well that there are more types of Christian religion than just the one you follow and adhere to? Whether it's Episcopalian, Baptist, Lutheran, etc. plays some role in a particular Christian's beliefs that doing good will earn them a reward.
@phalcon , the Catholic Church down the street from my neighborhood preaches that the more good deeds you do, the more likely you are to get into heaven. They have food drives and other charity events and advertise them as "working your way into heaven through charity"
So the "good works to get into heaven" may not be true at your place of worship, but at many others it is.
@phalcon , not true. Something that causes unnecessary and avoidable suffering in others is objectively evil. Something that elevates the quality of someone else's life (from their own perspective, not yours) is objectively good.
There absolutely is such a thing as objective good and evil, it's just that figuring what is what is more complicated than what religion offers and involves proper analysis of every situation.
Slavery is objectively evil because it places your quality of life over that of your slaves. I determine what is good and evil for myself, not based on what society states.
Here's a proper example. I used to shoplift a lot. I'm very good at it, and never got caught. I had a list of rules, some of which were to prevent myself from getting caught, some of which were to limit the consequences should I get caught anyway, and some were ethical. I refused to steal from a mom-and-pop shop because doing so directly hurt the owners. Big box stores on the other hand have a
portion of their budget set aside for loss prevention that is covered by insurance. My theft from Loblaws or Dollarama or Shopper's Drug Mart was a victimless crime. No ones salary was reduced, no one was fired.
It is still a crime, and I stopped doing so. Not from ethical concerns, but from practical concerns. The only way to not get caught committing a crime is to stop committing it. It was inevitable that I'd be caught, and even with my precautions, the cost of getting caught simply wasn't worth the reward.
The reason why I started stealing in the first place was necessity. I was living off of $600 per month and had to subsidize my food budget via theft. That doesn't make it right, but it also doesn't make it evil.
The world has far more shades of grey than good or evil issues. The point is, however, there is absolutely such a thing as objective good and evil. Taking the stance that only a religion or a society can determine right from wrong is a cop-out.
Great evils have been done by those with good intentions, and the same is true in reverse. The world is not so simple as to distill everything down to good and evil and it is childish to think otherwise.
Man...the religious people are having a really difficult time wrapping their minds around this. But at the same time, it's a typical religious debate tactic. Hear an argument; change a few elements (and thus the entire argument); make a point against the NEW and obviously flawed argument
Atheists don't usually commit crimes because we are privileged white people. Oh no! Who am I offending?.... Myself, really.
He needs a haircut
Aww I'm late I missed the flame wars
@Luna 5, Oh well I'll give my 2¢ anyway:
So a lot of people will argue that atheists commit violent acts just like theists do - totally true. I'm not arguing that. I agree with the guy in this pic though because while religious extremists will commit atrocities in the name of their respective religion, you never see atheists committing crimes *in the name of atheism*. Violence by atheists tends to have another purpose like political power or money etc., so falls into the same category as all the non-ideologically motivated crime committed by people who happen to be religious or theistic.
Communism and facism/autocracy is not the same. Communism in theory is not about controlling the masses. Now autocracies, those are about controlling people and tend to be based around a religion. As that makes it easier to control people.