Hi Mom! I'm an Atheist. Photo credit: Jennifer Boyer / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Radical faith drives suicide bombers to wreak havoc in the far corners of the planet. Radical faith drives shooters to kill innocent people in a workplace around the corner. Radical preachers exacerbate differences of opinion about abortion, marriage, and end-of-life issues, setting communities against each other.

Fundamentalists of all stripes — Christian, Muslim, Jewish — have at least one thing in common: They think  they are right, and everyone else is wrong. They restrict rather than enhance individual rights. And we know from history that such efforts can breed genocidal conflicts and wars.

But atheists believe that the problem goes deeper than radicalism. They take the position that the problem is…religion itself.

Which raises the question: Does true religious freedom encompass freedom from religion?

One person who has thought deeply about these matters is David Silverman, the president of American Atheists, and one of the most unapologetically and bluntly outspoken atheists in the world.

In expounding his views he makes a crucial point: paradoxically, a greater tolerance for atheism would better preserve the separation of church and state — the constitutional provision that protects religious freedom by preventing one denomination from suppressing others.

Silverman talks to WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman about why atheists are so hated, why they have so much trouble getting their message heard, and why, just now, they may be making a breakthrough.

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Related front page panorama photo credit: Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World (Thomas Dunne Books), Stained glass window at Ely Cathedral (Girish Gopi / FlickrCC BY 2.0)  , David Silverman (BDEngler / WikimediaCC BY-SA 3.0)

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IdPnSD
IdPnSD
5 years ago

You are fighting God. You have mentioned that religion needs money, power, relevance etc. Separation of church and state will kill religions etc.

But you have not realized that money is the root cause of all problems. Remove money all religions will automatically vanish. All wars, terrorism, racism, poverty, unemployment, pollution, migration will also vanish if you can remove money.

You mention that for generations, from birth, we are brainwashed by religions and by God. But you have not realized that in the exact same way we have been brainwashed by money and its need. Yet we see that money is the root cause of religious terrorism.

Fight against money. Create money-less economy (MLE). Truth can come out only under MLE. Only MLE can create One World from day one. Take a look at the MLE chapter in the free book at the blog site on Soul Theory . It is sad that you do not allow a link to the book.

planckbrandt
planckbrandt
5 years ago

Religion serves the oligarchy. These creeds serve the project of divide and rule, which is why they get so much funding and support in media and amongst politicians. Atheism will never serve the oligarchy, as only creeds that divide people up and provide an alternative reality will be supported and sustained by the oligarchy. What needs to be acknowledged in this discussion is the money from the petroleum military industrial complex that feeds the conflicts in the Middle East. The religions are fighting each other because they are baited in an economic system where masses of people are being deprived of their basic needs. All the monotheist religions provide enemies and scapegoats for all the bad things happening in the world. They cover up for the oligarchs who are the ones really in charge, and the religious wars were funded precisely to serve the purposes of oligarchs. The French “religious wars” resulted in a shift of the crown from House of Valois to House of Bourbon, and the Civil War in England was fought by merchants against aristocrats to get control of the land. Monotheist religion serves this purpose. It has always served empire builders since Cyrus the Great first introduced it. The manipulators need to be seen and acknowledged in any discussion about religion and atheism. The oligarchs also hate the separation of Church and State. They are the real beneficiaries here.

Klaus Peters
Klaus Peters
5 years ago

I am a believer and I believe in God. I know religion has caused so many wars. Why, power over people, any religion does this. I do not go to church anymore because of their misuse of power and cover ups.

As a kid I wanted to know why class mates called me the devil, they were Catholics. I went to Sunday school at my local church and asked my Protestant (Lutheran) pastor, why?

We had a long discussion, he formed my life.

Never hate, believe in your faith, no matter what other people say and respect others who have different beliefs to you – and he also mentioned atheists. This pastor has looked over my shoulder all my life. Yes I married a Catholic and she does not call me a devil, even after 43 years.

naoma
naoma
5 years ago

I have bot been involved in religion since I left at age 9. Yes, I just walked out – hid in the bushes outside the church and then wandered out when the church let out. It has been many, many years ago and I have had a wonderful life without this “religion.”

NAOMA
NAOMA
5 years ago

I have been a non-believer since age 9 when I walked out of Church and never went back. Have had a great life.

kam
kam
5 years ago

Most atheists make god and religion a singular argument. Many people are anti-religious but are not outright anti-god; they may recognise that religion, with all its flaws and contradictions, is not the answer, but they also realise that nothing else has the answers either and – they may be agnostic – are still open to possibilities. A fundamentalist atheist is as flawed as any fundamentalist believer and, ironically, as it is a belief structure, so too is any agnostic. Whilst I can’t dismiss everything he says, Silverman’s view of agnosticism is generalised, biased and inaccurate. By the way, I have never been ‘oppressed’ for not believing in god – but then, I don’t live in America. Perhaps he need to get out more. How does his view on religion give him the definitive answer on climate change? His views are just opinions – beliefs – just like everyone else’s.

Ian Cooper
5 years ago
Reply to  kam

Science has plenty of answers. The fact that it can’t answer some questions does not mean that gods are reasonable alternatives.
Fundamentalist atheists do not advocate killing anyone for not being atheists. Fundamentalist believers do believe in killing nonbelievers. That is just one reason why atheism is not as flawed as theism.
As for David Silverman, he’s an atheist activist. His chosen form of activism doesn’t involve climate change. Why should it?
Silverman’s views on what an atheist is correspond to the dictionary definition – if you don’t believe in a god, you are by definition an atheist. You don’t have to be “anti-god” – you just have to lack belief.

Simon
Simon
5 years ago
Reply to  Ian Cooper

Lack of belief in god does not make a person an atheist. It would be rather agnostic, or non-believer. The atheist states firmly: there is no such thing as god, his/her belief system does not have place for god. So, what I am saying is, it is not they do not believe in God, they firmly believe there is no God. Do you see the difference? An activist-atheist typically targets Christian organized religion. Scientism raised to a level of religion is typical among atheists.

From Our Twitter Page
5 years ago

(Comment by reader @DeadPrecariat) I’m an atheist but I’m not tempted to believe the jingoistic propaganda that wants to call a billion people barbarians.

Ian Cooper
5 years ago

When people choose to follow the teachings of books that say things like “But that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman.” (2 Chronicles 15:13) and “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.” (Quran 8:12), it’s difficult to see such people as anything but barbarians.

Also, there are far more than 1 billion people who follow these teachings. As of 2005, it was estimated that 54% (3.6 billion people) of the world’s population considered themselves adherents of an Abrahamic religion.

As an atheist, you should know that the Christian and Jewish Bibles require their adherents to stone you to death, while the Quran requires Muslims to decapitate you. Given that fact, are you sure it’s “jingoistic propaganda” to call people who follow those holy books barbarians?

As for me, I tend to think the fact that the Christians, Jews and Muslims have not deleted these passages from their holy books suggests that they are indeed barbarians.

dean53
dean53
5 years ago

Atheists just want other people to chunk their religion, and then let atheists tell them what to believe instead. Atheists want to be god and they don’t want any competition for supremacy. Sort of like what happened in the USSR, China and North Korea.

Dr Rotwang!
5 years ago
Reply to  dean53

In no universe are the above statements correct.

As an atheist, here’s what I want: I want people to not use their beliefs to justify anything they do which affects anyone else, especially when that limits the freedoms and happiness of other individuals.

It’s not about ‘competition for supremacy’ — it’s about religious beliefs not conferring any supremacy, special status, or ‘righteousness’ in social, economical, political or scientific matters.

Believe whatever you want, that’s your problem. Don’t make it mine.

John
John
5 years ago

This argument is as old as it is lame. Genghis Khan, Taras Bulba, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Alexander the Great, Roman Caesars, inter alia massacred millions for reasons having nothing to do with religion. Atheists are just as lethal as religious fanatics, and sometimes worse.

As far as God goes, atheists are right. For them, there is no God. Believers are also right. For them, there is a God. It only makes sense to not believe in something you have never experienced.

Ian Cooper
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Sure, people can do bad things, no matter what they believe. But atheists don’t have a holy book telling them that they must do evil in order to be good. Religious people do. That is the difference. Only religion has the capacity to persuade good people that evil things are good.

Atheists don’t have a holy book that commands them to kill religious people. Christians, Jews and muslims all have holy books that specifically require them to murder atheists. Jews and Christians must stone atheists to death (Deuteronomy 13:6-11, Deuteronomy 17:2-20, 2 Chronicles 15:13), while Muslims must decapitate them (Quran 8:12).

And whereas atheists almost never kill in the name of atheism, religious folks have often killed for religion. That’s why we have reports of crusades, jihads, holy inquisitions and murders of apostates, atheists and blasphemers throughout history.

This is why religion must end.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Ian Cooper

Again, very subjective and clearly misreading the scriptures. These were commandments to the Jews about the Jews, from the God of Israel. If you read further, you will see that God commanded the Jews to treat foreigners and strangers who were at peace with Israel just the same as Jews. Also, Gandhi was very religious and very peaceful, as was Jesus Christ. Although many people professing to be Christian have committed horrible atrocities, just as Roman Catholics did for centuries in Europe, Jesus Christ never harmed anyone at any time for any reason. True Christians follow his example.

If only religion compels good people to do evil, it follows then that all persons in atheistic dictatorships that obey the laws are bad people. Also, look at the presidents of the United States who have committed atrocities and war crimes, like invading innocent countries and torturing people. Is everyone who has complied with their governments bad? Would that include you?

Bob Bobson
Bob Bobson
5 years ago

“Radical faith drives suicide bombers to wreak havoc in the far corners of the planet.” — Religious ideology is more often a secondary variable when discerning causes of suicide bombing (and most other acts of terrorism). Political, economic, and societal oppression of varying stripes are better determining factors, as studies by Robert Pape (2010), Richard Jackson (2007), and Jeroen Gunning (2011) have persuasively argued.

Ian Cooper
5 years ago
Reply to  Bob Bobson

If holy books didn’t support murder, I might be persuaded. Unfortunately for your argument, religious texts support both the murder of nonbelievers and offer martyrs a reward in Heaven for those who die during the act. So while faith may be a secondary motivator for wreaking havoc, it DOES motivate and it offers an escape for the oppressed, which may be a big reason why we don’t see atheists blowing themselves up in churches or flying packed airliners into skyscrapers.

Jan Scott
Jan Scott
5 years ago

The problem with atheism is that it ignores all the secular religions like feminism and capitalism.

dean53
dean53
5 years ago
Reply to  Jan Scott

Also ignored are the wholesale slaughter committed by atheistic Communists. Other guilty parties include the adherents to the secular religion of Egalitarianism, political partisanship, and PC.

Dr Rotwang!
5 years ago
Reply to  Jan Scott

Ahhhh…I’m sorry, but that statement made no sense to me. Atheism isn’t interested in those things -be they religions or not- because they’re not part of the definition of atheism. Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or gods — nothing else. Some atheists are feminists, some are not; some atheists are capitalists, some are not. Some atheists like beef jerky, some do not. We could keep going.

One may as well say, “The problem with atheism is that it ignores proper tire rotation and zoning laws in Butte, Montana”.

Ehsan Butt
5 years ago

Vatican & Atheists Are Circus Partners for Marketing & Sale of their Mutual Business

Dr Rotwang!
5 years ago
Reply to  Ehsan Butt

Hold on, let me open my check from Atheism, Inc. and see what my profits are this week.

…oh, yeah, that’s all imaginary. Well! I’ll imagine I got a million dollars! And a mansion! I could sit around and imagine stuff all day.

SuzanneTaylor
SuzanneTaylor
5 years ago

Being by heritage Jewish, it’s one of those contradictions so ordinary as to provoke no reaction to America being described as a Christian country, and that a test of integrity is whether or not you are a person of faith. That’s on top of there being many gods, each believed in as ‘The’ one.

How’s about we address that now? Can we tell the truth that there is no anthropomorphic god? Come on. It’s us being people making up a supreme person as the pinnacle.

Better to see that this universe is so unfathomable that whatever is its source deserves our passionate appreciation. Thank you, god force, for this drama with an ever-changing cast of characters and then who knows what? It is our time now, yours and mine, and despite a tendency to see death as happening to other people it’s a brief performance and woe is us for being collectively unhinged.

I wonder about a plea to the world to have a ‘god conversation’. We could put all the contradictions on the table to see how dysfunctional they make us and how human-made they are. Let’s talk not about what God says but what it is that created us. Our minds will be in high places just from the conversation itself.
Can we have that?

Then, maybe, instead of god-based battling we can be looking from the same place, the same experience, the same understanding, where gratitude and appreciation would come naturally. That’s the attitude where we’d care for each other instead of opposing each other.

Can we take on big issues? Otherwise we are moving the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Brand New Key
Brand New Key
5 years ago
Reply to  SuzanneTaylor

Lesb

From Our Twitter Page
5 years ago

(Comment by reader @JamesVonBorcke) I think the problem is that we’ve allowed the Religious Right to redefine ‘#secular’ as ‘#atheism’ in the public view.

Rachel Slurz
Rachel Slurz
5 years ago

Live by the Book and die by it as well. Christianity profited by being written down. It could be carried from town to down. It also fixed its message, which is anachronistic and totally unsuited to the sensibilities of today. Modern day society doesn’t allow the mass slaughter of people as in the Noahchian flood, the Canaanites, nor Sodom and Gomorrah.

Christianity adheres to a time that is long gone. It too should be long gone.

Open Mike Knight
Open Mike Knight
5 years ago
Reply to  Rachel Slurz

Brucey is a pssy.
Your type usually dies of AIDS. Great. Keep going with your self-genocide program.

Kenneth Fichtl
Kenneth Fichtl
5 years ago
Reply to  Rachel Slurz

Religion is nothing more than lessons of common sense, and a guide post for humanity. Humans need to be free to choose. Like the forms of government, religions to will change. The time we have is extremely short. We can’t even master the basics of survival. We are blessed with reason and conscience yet fail most tests. Humans are shallow and need a God to keep them in line. For What purpose do we exist? What is the price we pay?

Ian Cooper
5 years ago
Reply to  Kenneth Fichtl

Lessons of common sense? Let’s see some, shall we:

2 Chronicles 15:13
“But that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman.”

Quran 8:12
“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them

Matthew 10:28, 13:42, 13:50, 25:41, 25:46, Mark 9:43 or Revelation 19:20? Common sense? These are visions of Hell! Eternal torment is the sentence for those who do not believe. This is not a message of common sense: it is a ridiculous threat – believe or be damned.

dean53
dean53
5 years ago
Reply to  Rachel Slurz

Modern day society has sanctioned the mass slaughter of the Middle East, which has been orchestrated for the past 7 years by the “enlightened” “progressive” American political caste. But, hey, at this point, what difference does it make?

Jonathon R
Jonathon R
5 years ago

Could be God isnt the problem, it’s what we have done to his religion. Like everything else the problem lies in man, not God.

I very much doubt turning your back on him is the solution to the mess we made.

Ian Cooper
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathon R

How do you turn your back on a being that doesn’t exist? It would be like turning your back on the Tooth Fairy.

Rachel Slurz
Rachel Slurz
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathon R

God doesn’t exist and the Bible was written at a time that is no longer relevant

lesterthegiantape
lesterthegiantape
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathon R

How do you turn your back on a being that’s everywhere? Asking for a friend.

John
John
5 years ago

If you are referring to omnipresence, yes, but God cannot be sensed with our senses, since God is not made of matter. God is in our universe supernaturally, not physically. You turn your back on God when you deny his will… in that you have free will to do so.

lesterthegiantape
lesterthegiantape
5 years ago
Reply to  John

I think we have different ideas of what free will means. If you can be consigned to eternal torment for exercising a choice, it’s not much of a choice.

I prefer a somewhat less insecure deity.

John
John
5 years ago

I think you rebutted your own objection in stating correctly that one can end up in hell. The can implies, in Christian doctrine, at least the majority of its belief systems, that there is a possibility. The possibility hinges on faith and works or faith alone for some protestants. Regardless, a choice is clearly allowed in this case.

lesterthegiantape
lesterthegiantape
5 years ago
Reply to  John

“I think you rebutted your own objection in stating correctly that one can end up in hell.”

You’re completely out to lunch on that, starting with “I think”. See you in oblivion!

John
John
5 years ago

Lol! Hope to see you in heaven whenever you decide to love God instead of hating him, most likely due to not getting what you wanted or want in life…

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  Jonathon R

Gods are impossible and Jesus never existed.

Johnny Jeremy
Johnny Jeremy
5 years ago

“Religion needs to die”

I think that kind of rhetoric will more likely encourage people to cling to their religion and even embrace their ‘tribe’ more zealously. It’s like the reason why you don’t want to bomb civilians in a war. It helps recruitment.

I think this guest overstates the power of religion in America and is using atheism as a means to prosecute his personal ‘jihad’ against religion. His brand of atheism is highly ironic.

Also, his reference to Denmark and the other Scandinavian countries as a bastion of secular atheism is also highly ironic.

Doesn’t he know that all of the Scandinavian countries have national religions? He talks about the virtues of state and church separation, yet references a part of the world where that separation doesn’t exist and makes it the model of the atheist state.

The irony of course is that while he presents a soft Lutheran theocracy as the model for the atheist state he gives no quarter to the very country where secularism took root as a foundational means of governance!

An even deeper irony is the religious fervor and zealousness this man has for his cause. ‘Religion is a lie’ is one thing ‘Religion needs to die’ is quite another. Does he not see that he employs the same radical mindset of his supposed opposition? Is his ‘crusade’ and atheistic ‘dogma’ a much better brand of zealotry than those he criticizes?

He appears to embrace atheism with a near Jacobin fervor. We tried the Jacobin approach to religion. It didn’t end well. I think it would be more prudent to embrace our strong, peaceful, secular American heritage and leave any closeted Jacobin tendencies behind.

Yes, look at the soft Lutheran theocracy in Scandinavia. See how in spite of their culture many are atheists. There is some wisdom there my friend. Theists, Atheists, and agnostics can strike a balance and live peacefully and respect one another. Nothing good will come from going to war against God at the expense of your neighbor. Same nonsense, different name.

Trust me. I have atheists, theists, and agnostics in my family and we all treat each other with respect and never declare war on each other over the big questions. Keep an open mind and be good to each other.

Ian Cooper
5 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Jeremy

I know David Silverman is well aware of the theism or secularism of Scandinavian and US governments. The fact is that the people of these nations often do not reflect their government’s stance.

As for zealotry, the difference between atheist zealotry and religious zealotry is that, historically, atheists have never killed people simply because they disagree with the idea that that there are no gods. Religious people, on the other hand, have killed many unbelievers. Let’s not forget that religions brought us the Crusades and the Inquisition, which hunted down and burned heretics, witches and atheists for hundreds of years.

I think there’s a huge difference between David Silverman’s statements that religion (the belief system, not its adherents) must die and historical Christians’ demands that atheists (not atheism, but atheists) must die. To label Silverman’s statements as a “Jacobin crusade” is hyperbole of the most disgusting kind.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Ian Cooper

What are you talking about? Read up on history… the biggest mass murderers were atheists – Stalin and Mao, way more than Hitler. They killed religious folk and destroyed centers of worship as Marxists because they thought religion was the opium of the people. Further, under atheism morality is subjective, a figment of your imagination, so all your criticisms against religious violence, which through incidence rate and population sample pales in comparison to deaths caused by atheist leaders against religious, are moot, because evil and good are subjective under atheism. Nature is morally neutral, humans have no inherent worth distinct from other animals, we’re just complex bags of protoplasmic stardust under a naturalistic view. Common sense here…

Rachel Slurz
Rachel Slurz
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Those are outdated canards. Those examples you mention nave nothing to do with non-belief. However, Abrahamic religions all advocate mass slaughter as the simplistic solution to world problems. Atheism advocates no slaughter of any kind. I find that a better alternative.

And yes you can very easily be moral and not Christian.

Ian Cooper
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Stalin and Mao just happened to be atheists. Neither of them murdered “for” atheism. And I suspect you know this. If you don’t, any reasonable reader does.

Theists like Saint Cyril, Grand Inquisitor Torquemada, Saint Pedro Arbries and Pope Pius V, on the other hand, murdered for God. Christians killed 3 million Jews during Europe’s centuries of religious persecution, before Hitler came along – all killed in the name of Christianity. While I’m sure there are a few individual cases of atheists killing folks simply because they were religious, it was not on anything like the scale religious folks did.

Evil and good are subjective under theism too. That is why slavery is supported in the Bible, and why it was supported by Christians until the 19th Century, but also why it is not supported now.

Bad people do bad things, but for good people to do bad things, that requires faith in a god. That is the fundamental difference between theism and atheism.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Ian Cooper

Read Mark Riebling’s book refuting your association with Hitler and, accurately, Catholicism. They were at odds.

Stalin and Mao killed millions more than the nearly 4000 in the inquisition, which used secular governmental death punishments. They destroyed places of worship, denied new ones being created, and deliberately killed millions of religious folk. Read up on Mao and his Cultural Revolution period. Basically, learn your history…

Absolute eternal commands are not identical to objective morality, your argument about changing morality is a misinformed strawman, refuted ages ago by theologians.

Further, under atheism, since it’s all subjective, raping babies isn’t really wrong… what an absurd worldview to hold. You may disagree, but those are it’s logical implications if morality is subjective… learn to face the absurdities of atheism with courage, be like Sartre, not like Hitchens…

Dana Zikas
Dana Zikas
5 years ago
Reply to  John

The totalitarian regimes of Stalin and Mao were interested in destroying any institutions that might vie for influence within their societies, and religious institutions have always wielded a large share of power and control within societies. That is what made them a target for Mao and Stalin. Granted Stalin had a personal axe to grind with regard to the Church in Russia.
Also, it is not a universal position among atheists that morals are “subjective” nor ethics merely relative. I’m with Sam Harris (among others) largely, believing morality is based on “facts” of evolutionary development: empathy, reciprocity, etc. that mostly equip us to make determinations of how we go about increasing and sustaining human well-being. This being nothing like a willy-nilly, relativistic, free-for-all of modes and attitudes of behavior.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  Dana Zikas

Indeed. When Stalin came to power there were only about 500 Orthodox Russian churches left (down from 54,000), but when he died there were about 25,000.
Nikita Khrushchev initiated his own campaign against the Russian Orthodox Church and forced the closure of about 12,000 churches.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Dana Zikas

The fact that they did not need to conform to a standard of morality, which on the other hand, Christians for example do, says something. Further, though you grant that religious institutions were destroyed, which you should grant, because it’s history, it was allowed so under a state atheist dogma… Key word: allowed, not contradicting any moral conduct that can be seen as objectively binding. Further, the destruction of theism leaves place for what? Atheism… State sponsored atheism destroying purposefully, religion, leaves atheism. Repression of religious expression leaves what? Atheism. It was done why? Because of the intention to spread atheism… Not sure how any reasonable, un-biased person can argue with this…

Yes, it’s true that plenty of atheists claim that morality can exist under atheism, but that’s just their opinion. Fact is, morality can only be objective in order to be binding. Obviously, to believe in subjective morality, it is no different than saying morality is a figment of the imagination. This is not really something that is debatable, these are inescapable logical implications. As for whether atheism leads to subjective morality, first, nothing can exist under atheism (from nothing, nothing can come), but for the sake of argument, yes, only subjective “morality” could exist, which is identical to non-existent morality (non-binding oughts and responsibilities). Do you have a moral foundation that is compatible with atheism? For example, contract ethics is not binding or objective (contract can be broken without moral evil, contract itself is subjectively defined as ethically binding), nor is utilitarianism (definition of good is subjectively defined), nor Kantian imperatives (though Kant believed in God supposedly).

Brian Westley
Brian Westley
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Fact is, morality can only be objective in order to be binding.

This is ridiculously wrong.

Obviously, to believe in subjective morality, it is no different than saying morality is a figment of the imagination.

Nope.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian Westley

Do you have any rational argumentation to give which can back up your assertions? I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but here’s a refresher: you’re making bald assertions (assertions without evidence)… Don’t you have anything better to do?

Brian Westley
Brian Westley
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Do you have any rational argumentation to give which can back up your assertions?

You first….

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian Westley

Since you have given me enough evidence that you are unworthy of debate, considering your previous replies several posts above, I will repeat my evidence once more only:

Under atheism, morality is subjective, due to nature being morally neutral in its physical sense, and due to no objective standard of morality (read the definition of objective). This is equivalent to saying it does not exist outside human minds, which is to say it does not exist at all, because oughts and responsibilities, in order to be binding and actually meaningfull, must belong to a standard outside the human subject’s mind, whether individual or group.

It thus logically follows that any moral judgement is meaningless under subjective morality, since the standard is one’s own mind, and any person can make up any standard they wish, since it is subjective… “Man is the measure of all things”, as Protagoras said… Yet Socrates destroyed the validity of the relativistic beliefs of Protagoras and the other Sophists (similar to modern day atheists in a lot), by pointing out their absurdity and lack of common sense.

you state:
“Mental constructs exist as mental constructs.”

…which leads to the conclusion I am showing; that if morality is simply a mental construct, then it is not binding, and entirely subjective, and thus, good and evil do not exist… Thanks for agreeing… and it shows you have no idea what you’re talking about, since you contradict your own purposes.

-Yes, Mars continues to be one of the most disingenous interlocutors I have ever communicated with online… I would not praise a person who lies on purpose, especially after being proven wrong time and time again (again, drawing a similarity to the ancient Sophists of Socrates day)… but under atheism, there is no objective, not man-dependent, moral standard to substantiate that it is morally evil to lie…

It’s pretty simple, common sensical stuff. If you don’t want to understand (since I’m sure you’ll get it, it’s common sense), then it would be unwise of me to waste time with someone who is content with purposefully lying and spreading ignorance. If you truly do not understand the necessary conclusions in the argument provided, go to apologetics sites or re-read what I wrote until you get it. All the info is there, undebatable, and bound to the definitions of objective and subjective, and morality, with the implications of all them being necessarily led to their conclusion by logic.

Brian Westley
Brian Westley
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Since you have given me enough evidence that you are unworthy of debate

Praise the prophet TheMarsCydonia:
Under atheism, morality is subjective
Atheism says nothing about morality at all.

which is equivalent to saying it does not exist outside human minds, which is to say it does not exist at all
Mental constructs exist as mental constructs.

because oughts and responsibilities, in order to be binding and actually meaningful, must belong to a standard outside the human subject’s mind, whether individual or group.
Assertion without evidence.

It thus logically follows
As your premises are false, what follows is not relevant.

TheMarsCydonia
TheMarsCydonia
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian Westley

I do not understand why John intends to prove us right every single time.

As previously said:

“Do not expect him to ever justify or support his claims of objective morality but to always baldly assert that it is objective and then ask for you to support your morality”

And in the comment above, you can see that John spent the whole comment about “morality under atheism” while completely avoiding morality under theism.

Brian Westley
Brian Westley
5 years ago
Reply to  TheMarsCydonia

I suspect he’s a devotee of Catholic fascist Michael Voris.

Ian Cooper
5 years ago
Reply to  John

We already covered the Stalin and Mao thing.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Ian Cooper

No you haven’t actually, you have failed to provide a single source to back your views up, including your cliam that there was not the killing of religious persons and institutions, places of worship on purpose…

“And who can deny that Stalin and Mao, not to mention Pol Pot
and a host of others, all committed atrocities in the name of a
Communist ideology that was explicitly atheistic? Who can dispute that
they did their bloody deeds by claiming to be establishing a ‘new man’
and a religion-free utopia? These were mass murders performed with
atheism as a central part of their ideological inspiration, they were
not mass murders done by people who simply happened to be atheist”

-Dinesh Dsouza

How about Stalin?

“Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’

“Since then I have spend well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”

Nobel prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“Apparently it was just an amazing coincidence that every Communist of historical note publicly declared his atheism … .there have been twenty-eight countries in world history that can be confirmed to have been ruled by regimes with avowed atheists at the helm … These twenty-eight historical regimes have been ruled by eighty-nine atheists, of whom more than half have engaged in democidal acts of the sort committed by Stalin and Mao …

The total body count for the ninety years between 1917 and 2007 is approximately 148 million dead at the bloody hands of fifty-two atheists, three times more than all the human beings killed by war, civil war, and individual crime in the entire twentieth century combined.

The historical record of collective atheism is thus 182,716 times worse on an annual basis than Christianity’s worst and most infamous misdeed, the Spanish Inquisition. It is not only Stalin and Mao who were so murderously inclined, they were merely the worst of the whole Hell-bound lot. For every Pol Pot whose infamous name is still spoken with horror today, there was a Mengistu, a Bierut, and a Choibalsan, godless men whose names are now forgotten everywhere but in the lands they once ruled with a red hand.

Is a 58 percent chance that an atheist leader will murder a noticeable percentage of the population over which he rules sufficient evidence that atheism does, in fact, provide a systematic influence to do bad things? If that is not deemed to be conclusive, how about the fact that the average atheist crime against humanity is 18.3 million percent worse than the very worst depredation committed by Christians, even though atheists have had less than one-twentieth the number of opportunities with which to commit them. If one considers the statistically significant size of the historical atheist set and contrasts it with the fact that not one in a thousand religious leaders have committed similarly large-scale atrocities, it is impossible to conclude otherwise, even if we do not yet understand exactly why this should be the case. Once might be an accident, even twice could be coincidence, but fifty-two incidents in ninety years reeks of causation!”

-Theodore Beale.
Ammi, Ken (June 11, 2009). “Atheism [quoting Vox Day]”. Creation Ministries International. Retrieved on July 19, 2014.

Of course, who would expect an anti-theist to honestly look at what their historical atheist faith has done for humanity? With such a small pool of prospective leaders (atheism was and is a tiny world minority), how could it have such a high incidence of brutal leaders?

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  John

‘Stalin and Mao killed millions more than the nearly 4000 in the inquisition’

Your number is a delusion.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

1500 or so—-“Kamen, Henry (1998). The Spanish Inquisition: a Historical Revision. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-07522-9.”

Mao, one source, 36 million, a modest source…

Mark O’Neill. A hunger for the truth: A new book, banned on the mainland, is becoming the definitive account of the Great Famine. South China Morning Post, July 6, 2008.

Of course, wouldn’t expect an anti-theist to care about truth when it proves they know less than they wish to be percieved as knowing…

“Apparently it was just an amazing coincidence that every Communist of historical note publicly declared his atheism … .there have been twenty-eight countries in world history that can be confirmed to have been ruled by regimes with avowed atheists at the helm … These twenty-eight historical regimes have been ruled by eighty-nine atheists, of whom more than half have engaged in democidal acts of the sort committed by Stalin and Mao …

The total body count for the ninety years between 1917 and 2007 is approximately 148 million dead at the bloody hands of fifty-two atheists, three times more than all the human beings killed by war, civil war, and individual crime in the entire twentieth century combined.

The historical record of collective atheism is thus 182,716 times worse on an annual basis than Christianity’s worst and most infamous misdeed, the Spanish Inquisition. It is not only Stalin and Mao who were so murderously inclined, they were merely the worst of the whole Hell-bound lot. For every Pol Pot whose infamous name is still spoken with horror today, there was a Mengistu, a Bierut, and a Choibalsan, godless men whose names are now forgotten everywhere but in the lands they once ruled with a red hand.

Is a 58 percent chance that an atheist leader will murder a noticeable percentage of the population over which he rules sufficient evidence that atheism does, in fact, provide a systematic influence to do bad things? If that is not deemed to be conclusive, how about the fact that the average atheist crime against humanity is 18.3 million percent worse than the very worst depredation committed by Christians, even though atheists have had less than one-twentieth the number of opportunities with which to commit them. If one considers the statistically significant size of the historical atheist set and contrasts it with the fact that not one in a thousand religious leaders have committed similarly large-scale atrocities, it is impossible to conclude otherwise, even if we do not yet understand exactly why this should be the case. Once might be an accident, even twice could be coincidence, but fifty-two incidents in ninety years reeks of causation!”

-Theodore Beale.
Ammi, Ken (June 11, 2009). “Atheism [quoting Vox Day]”. Creation Ministries International. Retrieved on July 19, 2014.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  John

> “Creation Ministries International”

Bwahaha!

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

…which is derived from statistics taken by Professor Rummel: nice ad hominem (trying to smear the person instead of addressing the argument, which includes smearing a source without providing evidence that the source is incorrect) though… It is a logical fallacy as I’m sure you know…

Here’s another one, straight from another atheist involved at the time around Lenin’s atrocities:
— Leon Trotsky, The ABC of Materialist Dialectics:

“We call our dialectic, materialist, since its roots are neither in heaven nor in the depths of our ‘free will’, but in objective reality, in nature. Consciousness grew out of the unconscious, psychology out of physiology, the organic world out of the inorganic, the solar system out of nebulae … Darwinism … was the highest triumph of the dialectic in the whole field of organic matter.”

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Communism was just another religion, an ignorant attempt to manipulate people, based on invented nonsense.

Ian Cooper
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Stalin and Mao just happened to be atheists. Neither of them murdered “for” atheism.

Theists like Saint Cyril, Grand Inquisitor Torquemada, Saint Pedro Arbries and Pope Pius V, on the other hand, murdered for God. Christians killed 3 million Jews during Europe’s centuries of religious persecution, before Hitler came along – all killed in the name of Christianity. While I’m sure there are a few individual cases of atheists killing folks simply because they were religious, it was not on anything like the scale religious folks did.

Evil and good are subjective under theism too. That is why slavery is supported in the Bible, and why it was supported by Christians until the 19th Century, but also why it is not supported by Christians now.

Bad people do bad things, but for good people to do bad things requires faith in a god. That is the fundamental difference between theism and atheism.

Brian Westley
Brian Westley
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Further, under atheism morality is subjective

Under Christianity and all other religions, morality is also subjective — unfortunately, many members of these religions think it’s objective and claim to know exactly who their god wants dead, or what religious laws everyone must follow.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian Westley

Do you have any evidence to prove your bald assertion that morality is subjective under theism?

According to you, since morality must be subjective, since you used the word also, raping babies is not really a morally evil act. Of course, I haven’t found an atheist who will admit this logical implication, but logic has its rules, and it doesn’t change for atheists.

Also, my point about Marxist atheists at the helm of atrocities, to promote a secular government has not been addressed by an atheist yet, reasonably, since the leaders in question destroyed places of worship, and killed worshippers, also forbidding expression and construction of new places of worship. Common sense dictates that the atheists here think they can drown out reason with likes… safety in numbers can be blinding…

To the other poster:
Hitler was deist or atheist. Regardless, modern scholars agree, he was anti-Christian. Read the recent historical book (written by an atheist) about Pope Pius and his assassination plan. Goebbels was an atheist… read the author’s interview with Sam Harris: he dislikes common ignorant atheists giving uninformed opinions about Hitler and Catholicism. Hitler being a practising Catholic? Mao and Stalin not killing religious folk on purpose? Lol! Good luck convincing anyone that already looked up this stuff !

Brian Westley
Brian Westley
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Do you have any evidence to prove your bald assertion that morality is subjective under theism?

Easily. Compare all the “objective” moral systems and see that they disagree:

Is polygamy moral?

Is gay sex moral?

Is eating pork moral?

The answer depends on what god you think exists, which is subjective. It doesn’t even matter if morals really are objective, since we have no objective way to derive them, only subjective methods. So they are, in effect, subjective.

According to you, since morality must be subjective, since you used the word also, raping babies is not really a morally evil act.

Wrong. I see you don’t understand the difference between objective and subjective.

Of course, I haven’t found an atheist who will admit this logical implication, but logic has its rules, and it doesn’t change for atheists.

It doesn’t change for you, either.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian Westley

Although all of your objections are meaningless under an atheist view, since morality is subjective under atheism (notice, not necessarily does the atheist have to believe it, it’s simply implied under atheism as a logical implication), and anything goes… and defeats every moral argument you make in the first place, since you have no objective moral foundation:

Yes, polygamy is immoral because of the greater foundation in familial trust, love and efficiency found in two persons. This is also the most wide spread form of marriage for a practical reason. If you think polygamy is a superior familial form, go ahead and provide argumentation proving it so, and explain why it has not been practiced among the majority of peoples throughout history.

Eating pork? I don’t think so, I’m a Catholic so… (Levite laws were understandable for their time as far as hygiene goes, common sense, and not an eternal moral commandment).

Other moral beliefs and norms that may change throughout time, if they are not eternal moral commandments, then under my faith, they can change… There is nothing at all contradictory about this, and further, it has nothing to do with being an argument against objective morality, since you’re confusing eternal moral laws with objective moral laws… Eternal moral laws for example, are:

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Those are eternal objective laws. Other objective commandments may exist, that change throughout time, while remaining objectively good or evil dependent on space-time situations, and ultimately, on God as the standard.

Again, you have failed to provide an adequate rebuttal to the fact that raping a baby is not morally wrong under your view. It seems either you don’t understand, or probably don’t want to understand, that if morality is subjective, evil and good do not exist, and thus, raping a baby is not evil. This is common sense, except for biased atheists of course. It seems on the contrary, you do not understand what subjective and objective mean… Google the definition of subjective and “do the math”.

Brian Westley
Brian Westley
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Although all of your objections are meaningless under an atheist view

You have no idea what an “atheist view” is, just your straw man view.

since morality is subjective, and anything goes
“Subjective morality” does NOT mean “anything goes”.

Yes, polygamy is immoral
Then why did your god approve of it in the old testament?

How can polygamy be “objectively immoral” when there are religions that claim to be objective which permit it as moral?

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian Westley

Maybe instead of denying my objections, form a rebuttal against them…

You must then:

-Provide a definition of subjective morality, and then proceed to provide evidence showing that it is binding and objective, (otherwise it’s a figment of the imagination)… seeing your response, you intentionally must have ignored what I wrote in the parenthesis… which is what happens when you do not fulfill the criteria following the —and then… part.

-as stated, there are eternal moral laws, and non-eternal moral laws… At that time, the new religion was at war, with a higher ration of women to men, so it could be allowed, reasonably… This is why I stated that there is a practical reason it is chosen today… This is also why it is not an eternal moral commandment. This is the same reasoning to be applied with other levite laws regarding sabbath, pork and hygeine, etc… In other words, learn to judge people in their cultural context.

-Most importantly, you cannot coherently make any moral judgements without being contradictory… None of your moral exhortations or condemnations have any weight, since they are all non-binding. Of course, I haven’t gotten a proper rebuttal on this yet, not suprised though. Your only rebuttal so far was:

-About the 700 wives of Solomon, obviously if any of you have ever read the bible with honest eyes, you would see that Solomon saw his lust for women as his major fault and sin… and one he knew he would pay for. Regardless, God did not approve of this action, and Solomon’s guilty heart substantiates the moral code he was breaking. Thus, for the purposes of this discussion, your objection proves my point, that polygamy was frowned upon in contexts when it was not necessary (which in Solomon’s time, was not, due to a bigger population, and the high chance of religious dis-unity brought by pagan worship, which Solomon explicitly feared would be brought by his addiction), and that Solomon acted on sin, but through guilt, acknowledged that he was committing an evil against the moral standard, one which he later paid for.

It strikes me as too far-fetched to believe anyone can honestly look at these weak objections, like Solomon’s wives, and without giving an honest read of the context, judge a religion’s grounds for objective morality on that. It is logically incoherent to arrive at a conclusion finding the grounds non-existent, on account of some non-existent dual moral code between Solomon’s actions and the “natural law”. The atheists’ objections strike me as too infantile in intellectual rigor and coherence.
What atheists make of reality is secondary to what atheism implies logically…

As you know, I will not be writing new comments to you, due to your willful ignorance, which was proven another comment further down below this section. I have updated it to reflect on whatever I thought should be addressed in your new one .

Brian Westley
Brian Westley
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Maybe instead of denying my objections, form a rebuttal against them.

I have been doing just that. You insist on using your straw men instead.

Provide a definition of subjective morality, and then proceed to provide evidence showing that it is binding and objective, (otherwise it’s a figment of the imagination)

That doesn’t even make sense. Subjective is subjective, not objective — it doesn’t “magically” become objective somehow.

as stated, there are eternal moral laws, and non-eternal moral laws.

As asserted by you, with no evidence.

Most importantly, you cannot coherently make any moral judgements without being contradictory.

Sure I can. It doesn’t make sense to your view of atheism, but that’s your problem, not mine.

TheMarsCydonia
TheMarsCydonia
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian Westley

Then why did your god approve of it in the old testament?

Not only is King Solomon, with 700 hundred wives and 300 concubines, seen as the wisest of men (for a rather reckless judgment), god also answered his prayers personally; a courtesy he does not bestow upon the non-polygamous.

However, let me share a piece of my experience with John:
Do not expect him to ever justify or support his claims of objective morality but to always baldly assert that it is objective and then ask for you to support your morality.

And then eventually ignore you if you keep challenging him.

Brian Westley
Brian Westley
5 years ago
Reply to  TheMarsCydonia

You are a true prophet.

TheMarsCydonia
TheMarsCydonia
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian Westley

I wished there would have been a way for me to write what I predicted John’s answer would be, without him seeing it. When he would have made his usual “You can’t make moral criticisms, morality is subjective under atheism”, it would have showed how he is a rather one-trick theist .

Samantha Cruz
Samantha Cruz
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Is slavery immoral?
Is rape immoral?
Is murder immoral?

Your Bible condones taking slaves and condones rape and despite the “commandment” against murder your ‘god’ demands murder for some pretty immoral reasons such as ‘picking up sticks on the sabbath’. He’s even on record committing over 2 million murders himself, including 42 boys who committed the apparently unforgivable ‘sin’ of ‘making fun of a mans bald head’.

Yeah, I think I’ll look elsewhere for morality lessons.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Samantha Cruz

Atheists can’t make any coherent moral judgements in the first place, because morality is subjective under atheism. Also, the biggest mass murderers in history were atheists, check out my replies to Jim Jones…

TheMarsCydonia
TheMarsCydonia
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Well, you certainly are predictable John. Try (and fail) to make morality subjective under atheism to deflect how subjective , and evil, it is under christianity.

Even if morality was subjective under atheism, it would not make it objective under christianity, nor would it make slavery and genocide moral.

Now, please provide us your predictable answer…

Dr Rotwang!
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Killing people is a bad idea, because they have stuff to do. I don’t want to be killed, either, so I won’t bother killing anyone — that’s guilt and trouble I don’t need, and a jerky thing to do anyway.

I HAVE DONE THE IMPOSSIBLE! I MADE A COHERENT MORAL JUDGEMENT! WITNESS ME, ALL SHINY AND CHROME!

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Dr Rotwang!

Notice your standard is subjective…

Dr Rotwang!
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Notice it’s also rational, reasonable, compassionate, considerate, ethical, and not a jerk move. ‘Top of that, I arrived at it by myself, without having been told what’s right and what’s wrong.

Religions don’t have a monopoly on compassion and ethics, after all.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Dr Rotwang!

Morality, if it is based on reason alone, is subjective. Anyone can reason: who has the correct way of reasoning? What moral truth is there to reason about if its all just in your mind ? Subjective – understand the contradiction? No, it is not ethical, your claim is circular, because subjective ethics do not exist beyond being an ideology.

Samantha Cruz
Samantha Cruz
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Theist morality is also subjective. “Thou shalt not murder” is very subjective when the very same book demands murder for multiple ‘offenses’.

Clearly, you didn’t read the rebuttal to your ‘reply to Jim Jones” because Hitler was not an atheist nor were his followers, and atheism was not the reasonfor the mass murders by Mao or Stalin or Pol Pot.

I don’t blame Hitler’s Catholic faith for his atrocities. He committed his atrocities because he was a horrible person despite whatever he claimed to believe in (and even if you try to claim that he wasn’t a “real” Catholic: he very clearly used his ‘Catholic faith’ to inspire the masses). His faith is no more to blame than is Buddhism for the mass starvations in China under Mao.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Samantha Cruz

Wrong… theist morality is objective because the standard does not originate from human minds. Read up on what subjective and objective mean in relation to morality…

Goebbels was an atheist, Hitler was anti-Catholic, and a deist or atheist. Mao and Stalin murdered religious persons (and destroyed their institutions) because Mao and Stalin both wanted to promote an atheist state. You have no idea what you are talking about. Read my sources given in other comments. You provided none of course. I have about 6 sources below in comments regarding the atheist regimes. This includes Trotsky’s blatant endorsement of materialism in dialectical materialism, part of Marxism, but you’d know this had you done your homework.

Mao was atheist, he killed Buddhists, learn about the so-called Cultural Revolution – your historical ignorance is easy to see here.

TheMarsCydonia
TheMarsCydonia
5 years ago
Reply to  John

No, John, you are wrong. Baldly asserting theist morality is objective will not make it true.

Worse, under Christian morality, owning a person as property is not wrong, drowning a baby is not wrong, etc.

Baldly lying that Hitler was a deist or atheist will not make it true either. Hitler was theist, he believed in a god. Furthermore, Nazi Germany was christian. These are facts that you cannot dispute.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  TheMarsCydonia

I will leave just one large defeating rebuttal, you can respond as you wish, as you will most likely not merit a response, basing myself off of our historical discussions, and your willful denial of evidence:

“According to Max Domarus,
Hitler had fully discarded belief in the Judeo-Christian conception of God by 1937, but continued to use the word “God” in speeches” from wikipedia, from

–Max Domarus (2007). The Essential Hitler: Speeches and Commentary. Wauconda: Bolchazy-Carducci, p. 21.

“Hitler emphasised that Nazism was a secular ideology founded on modern science.” from wikipedia, from
-Richard J. Evans; The Third Reich at War; Penguin Press; New York 2009, p. 547

Hitler’s promoting religion publicly while denouncing it privately was explained as actions “that suited his immediate political purposes.”
-Conway, John S. (1968). The Nazi Persecution of the Churches 1933–45. p. 3,

Goebbels, Hitler’s atheist right hand man:
Goebbels wrote that the Fuhrer knew that he would “have to get around to a conflict between church and state” but that in the meantime “The best way to deal with the churches is to claim to be a ‘positive Christian’.” From wikipedia, from Fred Taylor Translation; The Goebbels Diaries 1939–41; Hamish Hamilton Ltd; London; 1982; ISBN 0-241-10893-4; p.76

“once the war was over, [Hitler] promised himself, he would root out and destroy the influence of the Christian Churches”.

–Alan Bullock; Hitler: A Study in Tyranny; HarperPerennial Edition 1991; p 219

Deism or Atheism:
“conflating God and nature to the extent that they became one and the same thing…” and that “For this reason, some recent works have argued Hitler was a Deist”
—-Hitler’s faith: The debate over Nazism and religion; Samuel Koehne; ABC Religion and Ethics; 18 Apr 2012

Belonging to Hitler youth, you were banned of participating in religious youth parties…
Religious education was not permitted in the Hitler Youth and by 1939, clergymen teachers had been removed from virtually all state schools.

—Richard Overy; The Third Reich, A Chronicle; Quercus; 2010; p.157

“It is in this sense of mission that Hitler, a man who believed neither in God nor in conscience (‘a Jewish invention, a blemish like circumcision’) found both justification and absolution”
—Alan Bullock; Hitler: a Study in Tyranny; HarperPerennial Edition 1991; pp 215 6″

” In private, he could be ambiguous. Evans wrote that Hitler repeatedly stated that Nazism was a secular ideology founded on science, which in the long run could not “co-exist with religion”. From wiki – Richard J. Evans; The Third Reich at War; Penguin Press; New York 2009, p. 547

A refutation of your following bald assertion:
“Worse, under Christian morality, owning a person as property is not wrong, drowning a baby is not wrong, etc.”

My reply:

As stated previously, and you continuously ignore, atheists cannot make moral judgments with any weight, since there is no objective standard from which to make judgements.

Further, according to Christianity, those things are indeed considered immoral. This is how slavery was put to an end, by Christians like Wilberforce, not by atheists, who had nothing positive to provide the anti-slavery movement. Biblical references were used by opposite camps as should be expected, but the correct interpretation won. Atheists on the other hand, did nothing to further the process…

Drowning babies? Ask a Catholic priest, or some minister of another church to justify that it is o.k., in our historical context, that it is not wrong to drown a baby… If you pull out a bible verse, arguments abound online that explain it by its proper context. I’ve never seen a good “biblical moral contradiction” given by an atheist that wasn’t answered by an apologetics site (also, you didn’t provide the passage, which surely is for some ulterior reason besides defense of truth). Further, and again, all your moral arguments fail, as you cannot objectively state anything is good or evil under an atheist worldview. Under atheism, we are protoplasmic bags of stardust, brain determined robots, predetermined by past electrical brain discharges… Nature is morally neutral in its particle or wave make-up (whatever QM interpretation you can think of), and by definition, subjective morality is a non-existent, imaginary conceptual construction…

As for theist morality, none have asked me to provide evidence for it in this thread. I have provided it to you, and you have failed to defend against it. We’ve been through this before, and of course, because after being defeated so many times in arguing with me, you pretend I have not made an argument in defense of Christian morality…

1.) God is good by nature, thus his commands are not arbitrary…

2.) God is good by nature because such a being contains no potency, but full actualization. Since evil is a privation of good, and is not a substance, then that which exists is good, while evil is its privation of perfection. Since God is fully actualized, then God is perfectly good by nature. For more information, read up on Aristotle and Aquinas. Of course, I have already given you this information, which you never properly addressed, and I don’t expect you to, you’re an anti-theist, not a wise person.

TheMarsCydonia
TheMarsCydonia
5 years ago
Reply to  John

Unfortunately, my response to your long self-defeating comment will not post.

Samantha Cruz
Samantha Cruz
5 years ago
Reply to  John

You are attempting to twist the definition of “subjective” to fit your theist agenda. You should check an actual dictionary for the real meaning of those terms.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Samantha Cruz

‘Subjective’, in subjective morality means that moral oughts and responsibilities are dependent on someone’s mind. This means they are merely opinions. The exclusive objective morality means that moral values, oughts and responsibilities exist whether you agree with them or not… Not to be confused with moral absolutism, which many unlearned atheists tend to be confused about on the reg…

Regardless Samantha, if you’re going to waste my time with things like this, please do take your own advice and study before you post. Respect my time as I respect yours (as I provided educated information with standard definitions, such as subjective morality, which is a specific definition, not identical to subjective alone without conditions).

Samantha Cruz
Samantha Cruz
5 years ago
Reply to  John

This entire premise is wrong; The basis for what you claim to be the “definition” of “subjective morality” vs “objective morality” is purely a construct of the Church arguments during the early days of the Protestant Reformation where they attempted to establish their Bible as the only “true” source of morality; thus I still say that the entire reason you are trying to misapply “subjective” vs “objective” is because you are trying to twist this into a theist agenda.

“Subjective” has a very clear meaning.
“Objective” has a very clear meaning.
the fact that you are misusing those meanings when you apply it to your “logic” for your argument about morality is simply invalid outside of your limited theist views.

Slavery is very clearly immoral despite it being totally sanctioned by your bible.

Murdering your children is wrong even if your kids talk back to you.
Murdering men is wrong even if they pick up sticks on the “wrong day of the week”.
Making sex slaves out of the captured virgin females after your “glorious” battle where you murdered and executed all of the defeated male prisoners (after they had surrendered); including the infant boys is immoral even if Moses claims that he spoke to your fairy tale in the sky.

As I said before. I’ll look elsewhere for morality lessons.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Samantha Cruz

Slavery was stopped by Wilberforce and other Christians. Not atheists. Yes, some Christians get religion wrong and misinterpret the bible like atheists do. They see what they want.

Subjective is mind-dependent whIle objective is not… thus subjective morality is based on human opinion, imagination… still don’t want to admit this? No God? Then no moral good or evil, which to exist requires an objective standard. Your objections have been refuted, you have no further excuse… Stop wasting my time.

Ian Cooper
5 years ago
Reply to  John

“Yes, some Christians get religion wrong and mis interpret the bible like atheists do. They see what they want.”

Yes, and that’s the problem: Christianity is not a moral system. There is both morality and immorality in the Bible, so people interpret it to suit their own desires. That’s why we can get both gentle Christians and violent Christians. If Christianity truly was a moral system, that could not possibly happen, because there would be nothing in the Bible supporting violence or intolerance.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  Ian Cooper

Your response is guilty of the logical fallacy of non-sequitur… Specifically, your objections had nothing to do with my quote, and cannot be considered proper rebuttals…

– That some misinterpret the bible ( like atheists and others,) does not lead to the conclusion that there is no correct way to interpret it…

– Further, it has nothing to do with whether the standard of morality is God or not.

– Lastly, whether or not Christians act on their interpretations does not determine whether the standard is God or not…

– You make the common mistake other atheists do, which is confusing ontology with epistemology. How people learn about morality, or their beliefs on it, is not identical to whether a foundation actually exists. As stated, to be objective, it must be mind-independent, and prescriptive, which requires a metaphysical being…

Every objection you posted was a non-sequitur in the form of a strawman, and could have been avoided by proper understanding of logic and theology… You have proven you lack this basic understanding.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  John

> Hitler was deist or atheist. Regardless, modern scholars agree, he was anti-Christian.

By that ‘logic’ so is the Pope.

Patchwork Patty
Patchwork Patty
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian Westley

Brianna, the old queen nerd

Brian Westley
Brian Westley
5 years ago

Oshtur, the self-hating gay that uses “queen” as an insult.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian Westley

Religion tells you to do what you’re told, not what is right.

Morality tells you to do what is right, not what you’re told.

Luminous
Luminous
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian Westley

Fruitcake

Brian Westley
Brian Westley
5 years ago
Reply to  Luminous

I didn’t get any fruitcake over Christmas this year.

nha16
nha16
5 years ago
Reply to  John

You said: One fallacy of atheism is that “humans have no inherent worth distinct from other animals” …I believe that to be the truth. We are no better or worse. We are part of the whole.

John
John
5 years ago
Reply to  nha16

Although I disagree, humans have moral moral worth than other animals, due to having more perfecting (good) properties, and most importantly, being made in the image of God, I am at least glad you’re honest about it.

nha16
nha16
5 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Jeremy

You said “It’s like the reason why you don’t want to bomb civilians in a war. It helps recruitment.” …I always thought it was so you wouldn’t kill them.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Jeremy

> Doesn’t he know that all of the Scandinavian countries have national
religions? He talks about the virtues of state and church separation,
yet references a part of the world where that separation doesn’t exist
and makes it the model of the atheist state.

Finland:
The holiday weekend filled pews in some churches, but regular church attendance at Finland’s Lutheran services continues to fall. Just 1.8 percent of parishioners go to church weekly. Religion remains a very private affair for Finns—even for those who are active churchgoers.

Ian Cooper
5 years ago

The article speaks of “radical” faith leading to violence. I disagree. Those who follow scriptural calls to be violent (and let’s be honest – there are many such texts) are no more “radical” than is a member of an online forum who follows the forum guidelines. This is merely orthodoxy. What most modern Christians, Jews and Muslims consider to be “standard” belief is often actually liberal, and radically so, because much of it is not supported by scripture – and that means it can change. In 100 years, religion could easily move towards greater (and thus more violent) orthodoxy.

Let’s take what Christianity and Judaism say about atheism for example: in both the Torah and the Bible, the sentence for disbelief is not simply to allow unbelievers to go about their business, as modern liberal Christians and Jews do. The prescribed punishment is stoning to death. That’s right – Christians and Jews are required, by holy law, to take stones, and throw or hit the atheist with them until he dies from it!

Deuteronomy 17:2-5
“If there is found among you, …. a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing his covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshipped them,….which I have forbidden, and it is told you and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently, and if it is true and certain that such an abomination has been done…, then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones.

Islamic texts are similarly murderous:

Quran 8:12
“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them

These texts have been used by believers to support the murder – and often the lawful murder – of unbelievers throughout history. Such texts are indefensible and should have been excised long ago as non-canonical, in the same way that books that were considered “ungodly” were removed by councils of early Christian Church leaders.

Sure, modern liberal believers repudiate such texts, but repudiation is nowhere near good enough. Until Christian, Jewish and Islamic leaders decide to remove them, they continue to threaten and they can come back with full force. The fact that they still exist is why we see Christians killing people at abortion clinics, it’s why the ‘Kingdom of Israel’ terrorist group existed in the 1950s, it’s why we see the killings done by Islamic terrorists and it’s why we see believers telling gays and atheists they’re going to Hell. Modern believers need to make a choice: either they believe the holy texts, or they don’t. If they don’t, these texts should be excised. As long as they remain within holy books, atheists can’t trust Christians, Jews or Muslims to live and let live, because history shows us that they don’t. Religion is potentially far too dangerous for atheists to simply ignore.

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