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Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

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Old 03-19-17, 08:45 PM   #3276
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
What is strange is to see someone totally ignore the paragraphs that a fellow forum member specifically highlighted to make sure that the message wasn't missed...highlighted paragraphs that completely invalidate the critic's argument.

Reading the entire article and paying attention is crucial to understanding exposition of texts.

As the article points out (in the highlighted paragraphs), a passage can be referring to a specific group in that passage, but that doesn't invalidate biblical commands elsewhere that apply to other groups. It's like the Beatitudes which are so frequently misinterpreted. Just because they are speaking of spiritual attitudes and not physical conditions does not invalidate other passages talking about needy people.

It is interesting to note nonbelievers who disregard the Bible in total and religion in general or open theists who basically say that anyone can believe anything simultaneously presume to argue with exposition derived from theologians who have spent a lifetime of studying scripture in depth. It seems disingenuous to argue that everything in the Bible is "open to interpretation" while in the same breath insisting that there are clear-cut meanings.

That's using highly-selective and inconsistent argumentation.

You can't have it both ways. Either there are "actual meanings" or there aren't.
No, see YOU can't have it both ways. If the "least of these" isn't the poor and the sick, but other Christians, then it doesn't matter how much lip service you pay to doing right by the sick and the poor when you've made it clear that Christians will always come first. I don't care how much you bold or highlight to distract from the real implications of your ideology. Some of us have gotten extremely good at seeing through your bullshit to the heart of what you're actually communicating.

Second, if you're going to ignore me, then fucking ignore me. Enough with this condescension. Responding to my posts without directly addressing me, and claiming you won't speak with me because I won't be civil to you is immature. I'd rather you ignored me completely.
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Old 03-20-17, 02:30 AM   #3277
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

Supermallet...there is no pleasing creek..one way or another. Its like talking to a brick wall when common sense is debated. Ignore him...many of us have and it makes reading these threads much easier. He's doing more harm than good to his cause...as it pushes people farther away from his type of radical religious ideology.
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Old 03-20-17, 06:45 AM   #3278
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Originally Posted by FiveO View Post
Supermallet...there is no pleasing creek..one way or another. Its like talking to a brick wall when common sense is debated. Ignore him...many of us have and it makes reading these threads much easier. He's doing more harm than good to his cause...as it pushes people farther away from his type of radical religious ideology.
And there we have it. "there is no pleasing...."

Translation: When people won't agree with our viewpoint, they just "can't be pleased." They just "won't acknowledge common sense."

Just a few "common sense" reactions to what you wrote:

1. Your post indicates that there is no "debate." It is every bit if not more dogmatic in their views than those expressing biblical views.

2. For those espousing "thinking for themselves," there surely is a lot of advice being given to each other...along with mutual support.

3. Since you brought up "brick walls," it may be enlightening to note the tone of comments and which views they represent. Which posters routinely fall back upon faulty readings of the views they are attacking (while steadfastly refusing to acknowledge their misunderstandings of the text when it has been shown to them with proof) and which ones routinely fall back upon insults when all else fails (disregarding the ones who only post the same insults over & over)?
Since "marketing" seems to be a concern of yours, do you feel that the posters here make atheism look attractive judging by the nature of their comments? Does it make atheism look like the realm of tolerant, kind, good-hearted, civil people?

4. Of course "ignoring" opposing viewpoints (actual viewpoints, not mindless insults from those who have no interest in "debate") makes "reading these threads easier." If your sole purpose is joining in with and/or being entertained by insults, it's understandable that you wouldn't want the fun interrupted by actual discourse.

5. I don't know to whom your "doing more harm than good" is directed (since, obviously, atheists whose mindset is bent on attacking Christianity should be encouraging that, would they not? Is that not "common sense?"). Likewise, the "driving away" comment. That's a familiar refrain and has been addressed before, but maybe you missed it earlier, so here's the response to that.

Biblical Christians don't "market" Christianity. Christians are commanded to preach the true gospel, not the gospel that people want to hear. Those preaching the false gospel that "God loves you just the way you are" are loved by the atheists in this forum...and why not? If God "loves us just the way we are" and will welcome all to Heaven despite our rebellion, disobedience, disbelief, etc., then who needs God? We can live any way we want and still go to Heaven. The goats love the Judas goat who leads them to destruction telling them all the way, "Everything is fine...you'll be just fine."

For those who don't believe that Christianity is something to be peddled like soap and who believes that all Christians are commanded to do is to preach the truth, "driving them away" is an idle threat. If you are one of the elect, the Holy Spirit will draw you to God by granting you a spirit of repentance for sins and the gift of faith. Short of that, unbelievers are unable to believe the truth. That's what the Bible teaches. No one has to "drive us away" when we're unbelievers...we're already there from the moment of our conception. And there we will stay regardless of what worldly techniques are used to "market" Christianity. The world can offer flashier entertainment, bigger swimming pools and gyms, more self-congratulatory pats on the back, and anything else designed to please our own desires.

And yet...despite all the "driving away" talk...we don't see the "tolerant" talk from churches who compromise the truth as converting lost sinners. Those churches are losing members by the droves as people realize that there is little to no difference between their "brand" of theology and that of the world. When there is no substance offered, people will look elsewhere to get their feel-goods.

It's interesting to note the number of posts from nonbelievers applauding "liberal" Christian views...and yet, in all that time, we have not seen any of those nonbelievers showing affinity for those views actually being "converted" to that version of "Christianity." Evidently, those views...so similar to the views already held by nonbelievers...aren't "attractive" enough to convince nonbelievers to join up.

6. It is sad to note that orthodox views of Christianity are now found to be "radical." Even nonbelievers in the past would have acknowledged that the views clearly taught in the Bible were the "actual" views of Christianity.

Now I have a question for you:

Could you please give an example of an instance in which discussions here have changed your firm convictions about your nonbelief? It can be either from those you abhor or from those whose ideas you find appealing.

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4

Last edited by creekdipper; 03-20-17 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 03-20-17, 07:23 AM   #3279
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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No, see YOU can't have it both ways. If the "least of these" isn't the poor and the sick, but other Christians, then it doesn't matter how much lip service you pay to doing right by the sick and the poor when you've made it clear that Christians will always come first. I don't care how much you bold or highlight to distract from the real implications of your ideology. Some of us have gotten extremely good at seeing through your bullshit to the heart of what you're actually communicating.

Second, if you're going to ignore me, then fucking ignore me. Enough with this condescension. Responding to my posts without directly addressing me, and claiming you won't speak with me because I won't be civil to you is immature. I'd rather you ignored me completely.
So it's all about what you want, eh?

I said that I would grant your wish to not have a conversation with me, but I'll make a one-time exception since you continually bring this up. Also out of respect for a formerly-cordial although adversarial relationship which has been abandoned.

I'm going to "condescend" to instruct you as an elder would instruct a younger person who has demonstrated a radical change from earlier, respectful tones...and who apparently wants to rewrite the rules of the discourse.

Look at your own words. You say that "you don't care" what is presented to you or how much proof is presented to disprove your contentions...you are still going to reject the evidence. In other words, everyone representing that viewpoint is a liar in your view. Your words are to be taken at face value, but their words aren't

And yet you find others to be "condescending?"

You state repeatedly that you have no intention of carrying on a civil conversation. You engage in name-calling and insults. You say that you don't want to converse with someone else. And then you act insulted when the person grants your wish and stops attempting to converse with you...especially when the other person isn't interested in uncivil conversations and insult-fests. You find your approach to acting uncivilly to be the example of "maturity" and declining to do so to be "immature."

And yet you find others to be "condescending?"

So, when others grant your wish and you are frustrated in your attempts to draw them into arguments, you now complain when points raised are addressed indirectly (despite your continued attempts to insult). You want to be able to make any sort of false claim you want without your claims being addressed...because, unless the person addresses you directly and plays by "your rules," you don't want your ideas examined.

And yet you find others to be "condescending?"

A few words of advice: Perhaps in the future, if you want conversations with someone, don't state that you don'twant conversations and then complain about it when that happens. It looks bad for you. And when you go out of your way to personally attack others, it looks bad when you complain that "He/she won't talk to me." And when others decline from adopting your preferred methodology of "conversation," it looks bad when you then want to demand that they conform to whatever terms you want to set. And want to reserve the right to post unchallenged remarks if the others refuse to indulge your "style" of "debate."

Yelling at people is not "conversation"...at least, that's not how I was raised to understand the term.

If the practical results of atheism included your approach of demanding that people do what you want, especially when your newly-preferred method is an exchange of insults, perhaps you might explain how enmity toward Christianity produces a superior type of "conversation" and "debate."

To paraphrase another poster: You're not helping your cause.

I still love you, Mallet, despite your personal attacks. If you find the remarks to be "condescending," perhaps you should examine your posts from an objective standpoint. Forget the content...just look at the approach you have been taking and what you think your objective is. Ask yourself if you think your approach demonstrates maturity. You're not talking to me, you're talking at me. And I don't wish to return the favor.

Any time you decide that you do wish to have civil discourse, I'll be happy to resume the direct conversations. No apologies for past insults are necessary...they are just water off the old sea lion's back. Until then, though, I'll continue to abide by your wishes (I do have a say in whether or not I'll participate in uncivil conversations) but will continue to offer the occasional corrections to things which I find to be illogical or demonstrably false.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12:8

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Old 03-20-17, 07:24 AM   #3280
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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who believes that all Christians are commanded to do is to preach
There are passages in the ancient psychology book that directly contradict being commanded to preach.
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Old 03-20-17, 07:28 AM   #3281
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Any time you decide that you do wish to have civil discourse, I'll be happy to resume the direct conversations. No apologies for past insults are necessary...they are just water off the old sea lion's back. Until then, though, I'll continue to abide by your wishes (I do have a say in whether or not I'll participate in uncivil conversations) but will continue to offer the occasional corrections to things which I find to be illogical or demonstrably false.
ME, ME, ME, ME, ME. Has to be the way I want it, or I will contradict myself like always.
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Old 03-20-17, 08:10 AM   #3282
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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One point that has come up repeatedly but never been sufficiently addressed by atheists/agnostics/open theists:

Using defining terms given by self-professed atheists here, atheism simply means a lack of belief in deities. Other nonbelievers make distinctions between atheists and agnostics, whereas others insist that they are "agnostic atheists."

Regardless, that is the one (and only) qualification necessary to make a credible claim to being an atheist. It addresses a belief...but not behavior.

As has been pointed out many times before, that means that an atheist can be either the greatest philanthropist in recorded history or the greatest human rights abuser in recorded history or anything in-between and still make a credible claim to being an atheist. The only qualification for being a "true atheist" is nonbelief in God(s).

On the other hand, religions (Christianity, to match the thread title) have a codified set of beliefs. People can argue about what those beliefs mean or how they should be applied, but there is no dispute that there is a codified system of beliefs contained in a text that is used as the basis for most groups identifying as "Christian." And even atheists appeal to those commonly-understood tenets when it suits their purposes in themselves labeling actions as "Christian" or "non-Christian."

As much as some would like to pretend that anyone can call herself/himself a "Christian" and do anything he/she pleases and have the former claim accepted as believable, that is refuted by the sacred texts used by nearly all groups calling themselves "Christian." You may have some outliers who maintain that one doesn't have to even believe that Christ existed to be called a "Christian," but I believe that any objective, unbiased poll would show that view would be unacceptable to the majority of Christian groups, including those independent, one-church "groups." Andf the Bible would be used as the determining source.

The upshot is that there are codified standards that are used to identify orthodox Christian beliefs. Within the large tent calling itself Christianity, there are some that have abandoned some historic tenets and adopted new stances that conform to societal attitudes regardless of what the Bible says. Even then, within those churches, there are believers who hold to the standard tenets of faith in Christ for salvation and for holding to biblical standards as their basis for morality.

Atheism can make no such claim. An atheist can adopt many of the same standards embraced by most Christians or can reject them. An atheist can live according to most of the last six of the Ten Commandments, or they can reject all ten of them. And no atheist can tell the latter that he/she is "not a true atheist" based upon their behavior.

The Christian, on the other hand, can point to the Bible and tell someone whose life is antithetical to biblical principles that the Word of God refutes that person's claims. Christians still sin, but someone who has truly had a radical change of heart & mind in his attitude toward repentance and obedience will not consistently, repeatedly, willfully disregard God's commands. At least, not according to the Bible.

There are those who maintain that there are "good Christians" and "bad Christians." If describing behaviors, that would be true (for a limited time, although one cannot find any biblical support that one can live for years in rebellion toward God while still calling himself "Christian." That is a fallacy perpetuated by those who would excuse their own sin or from nonbelievers who want to use those falsely claiming the mantle of Christian while obviously contradicting the tenets as proof of the deficiencies of Christianity). But it used to describe actual spiritual rebirth and regeneration, the proof is in the pudding, as they say. When a person's behavior refutes what he/she professes (in common parlance, "practicing what they preach,"), it is identified as making false claims. And that works in every other area of life...again, as has been pointed out many times and never refuted.

Most Christians and most atheists are not as good as they could possibly be and not as bad as they possibly could be. The difference is that Christians can point to a standard that comes from an authority beyond themselves which will still be applicable tomorrow.
Bumped to give second opportunity since passage of time has given time to prepare rebuttal.

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. Proverbs 29:18

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Old 03-20-17, 08:14 AM   #3283
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

Evans can pick and choose and move goal posts to make their form of christianity suit their own exact needs. Selfish, pride and fear fueled.

Never trust and bigoted Evan.
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Old 03-20-17, 08:19 AM   #3284
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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[b]He's doing more harm than good to his cause...as it pushes people farther away from his type of radical religious ideology.
But only the immoral atheists and de facto atheists... oh wait... that's pretty much everybody here and well over 90% of the world's population.

Guess that leaves this:

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Originally Posted by FiveO View Post
Its like talking to a brick wall when common sense is debated. Ignore him...many of us have and it makes reading these threads much easier.
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Old 03-20-17, 08:21 AM   #3285
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

Another question for nontheists.

Nontheists sometimes (often, actually) complain that theists say that "atheists don't have any morality." Theists generally do not say that; in fact, a lot of theists maintain that nontheists adopt many of the same moral principles as theists. Borrowed capital.

Nonetheless, here's the question:

What is the source of individual atheist morality, and how can that individual insist that his/her views be imposed for others?

Related questions:

If there is no objective moral truth that exists outside individual opinion...or if the term "morality" is just a handy euphemism for biological programming...then when actions and attitudes are described as being "wrong," is that an actual value judgement or does it only describe what is presumed to be biologically pragmatic from an evolutionary standpoint?

In other words, when an atheist uses words such as "evil," "wrong," "immoral," etc., what philosophical weight or meaning is conveyed by those words?

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13-14

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Old 03-20-17, 08:36 AM   #3286
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Supermallet...there is no pleasing creek..one way or another. Its like talking to a brick wall when common sense is debated. Ignore him...many of us have and it makes reading these threads much easier. He's doing more harm than good to his cause...as it pushes people farther away from his type of radical religious ideology.
You would need to know what his cause is first before determining whether or not his words are harming his cause.

There is a segment of Christians who have a distorted interpretation of John 15:18-19:

John 15:18-19, "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. [19] If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."

They believe that being hated by unbelievers is to be received as a badge of honor. That it doesn't matter WHY they are hated but only that they are.

The proper interpretation of those verses is that we Christians will be hated in spite of our behavior, not because of it. We are to walk as Christ walked... in humility, love, and truth.

They also ignore this command...

1Pe 2:12, "Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation."

I'm not saying or implying that creekdipper is one of those people (I don't know), but just to offer a little insight that there are Christians who believe that.
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Old 03-20-17, 08:57 AM   #3287
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Old 03-20-17, 09:03 AM   #3288
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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There is a segment of Christians who have a distorted interpretation of John 15:18-19:

John 15:18-19, "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. [19] If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."

They believe that being hated by unbelievers is to be received as a badge of honor. That it doesn't matter WHY they are hated but only that they are.

The proper interpretation of those verses is that we Christians will be hated in spite of our behavior, not because of it. We are to walk as Christ walked... in humility, love, and truth.
This. It's pretty much widely accepted that there will be disagreements on religious beliefs that border on hate, which is what that passage is referring to. What the passage doesn't say is that it is OK to be a dick to people because they will hate Christians no matter what. The vast majority of Christians find a way to share their beliefs without coming off as a dick.

But if you were to read creekdipper's posts, he makes it very clear that other self professed Christians are not hated only because they are changing the message so to not offend the recipient. Given that, FiveO's post was spot on.

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Old 03-20-17, 09:07 AM   #3289
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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I'm not saying or implying that creekdipper is one of those people (I don't know), but just to offer a little insight that there are Christians who believe that.
That is true. And we usually seem them featured on national news regardless of how small their group, on television programs asking for donations, etc. Their entire message consists of insulting the opposition without self-examination.

When you say, "We are to walk as Christ walked... in humility, love, and truth," that is biblical.

Christ spoke the truth to people regarding their absolute need for repentance for sins. Christ humbly submitted to the Father's will despite the personal consequences. Christ spoke the truth out of love for His elect whom He came to save. He consistently made a distinction between those who were given to Him by the Father and those who would reject the gospel...and made no compromise in God's standards.

And while some embraced the message and asked what they must do in order to be saved, others attacked Jesus (and his followers) for that same message which excluded the rebellious and unrepentant. And Christ affirmed all of scripture, quoting liberally from the Old Testament.

The free offer of the gospel is made to all people. As Calvin taught, we are to regard all men as the elect since only God knows for sure who will repent and believe and who will not (the repentant thief on the cross is a great example...he had no time for "good works" to redeem himself, and few would have considered him to be a candidate for Heaven if his own testimony is true). And yet the Bible (which you have accurately acknowledged represents "the words of Christ...Christ being The Word incarnate) speaks in uncompromising terms about those whom God rejects, including the "lukewarm," the rebellious antagonists, the persecutors of Christ's church, and others who are created to be "vessels of wrath."

That's not an "ear-tickling" message to a rebellious world or apostate church which values inclusion above fidelity, but it's the true gospel message. We are all born as sinners who cannot please God (and do not even desire to please Him, being self-centered creatures) and who are helpless to save ourselves apart from Christ's sacrificial work on the Cross. That is the only attitude which God's Word says will be acceptable in His sight. Anything else falls short and is a lie told to earn the approval of men, not God. It may be done out of misplaced good intentions, but the effect is the same.

Do you agree?


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Old 03-20-17, 09:29 AM   #3290
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

And...once again...note the name-calling that some immediately fall back upon in lieu of offering a rebuttal to what has been posted. When insults are your only response, what does that say about your philosophy?

If someone hates what the Bible actually says about sin, salvation, damnation, hatred of God, persecution of God's church, God's demands, etc., that has been going on from the beginning of the creation of humans. You have a lot of company.

But at least those persons shouldn't presume to know what the Bible actually says when they don't study the Bible and are not Christians and have website signatures that basically call all believers in any religion morons while simultaneously pretending to have respect for Christianity. When the animosity toward religion compels them to proclaim in the world in every thread in which they post in every forum, that declares their true feelings toward religion and those "stupid enough" to become believers.

Nonbelievers in this forum have expressed hatred of Christianity, fear of Christianity, disdain for Christianity, and an assertion that there is no such thing as true Christianity while simultaneously talking about "actual" Christian beliefs. And they are occasionally joined by "open theists" who also reject the Bible and say that anyone can believe anything (except clear truths) and be accepted by God.

Nothing new, as the same attitudes and behavior are recorded in the Bible.

And the questions for atheists continue to be ignored in favor of personal attacks.

To quote an oft-repeated phrase around here..."very telling."

14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”[f] 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. Romans 9:13-14
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Old 03-20-17, 10:31 AM   #3291
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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What is the source of individual atheist morality, and how can that individual insist that his/her views be imposed for others?
The sources are varied. For example, consequentialism (in its various flavors such as utilitarianism and ethical egoism) identifies human goals and ascribes morality based on their ability to further those goals. If our goal is to live a life free from fear of being hurt, then murder and violence become immoral. There is also moral realism, which posits a scientific approach to morality (basically, we can assess moral statements such as "murder is bad" to determine whether they are, in fact, accurate). Quite frankly, this is an area of philosophy that has been in development for millennia and in particular for the last two or three centuries, and I'm not going to try to summarize Jeremy Bentham, Bertrand Russell, Immanuel Kant, Jean-Paul Sartre, and the countless others who have devoted thought and time and ink to answering these questions.

I would also point you to the writings of Socrates, who more than 2000 years ago refuted the idea that morality depends on the divine in Euthypro ("Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?").
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Old 03-20-17, 10:55 AM   #3292
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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The sources are varied. For example, consequentialism (in its various flavors such as utilitarianism and ethical egoism) identifies human goals and ascribes morality based on their ability to further those goals. If our goal is to live a life free from fear of being hurt, then murder and violence become immoral. There is also moral realism, which posits a scientific approach to morality (basically, we can assess moral statements such as "murder is bad" to determine whether they are, in fact, accurate). Quite frankly, this is an area of philosophy that has been in development for millennia and in particular for the last two or three centuries, and I'm not going to try to summarize Jeremy Bentham, Bertrand Russell, Immanuel Kant, Jean-Paul Sartre, and the countless others who have devoted thought and time and ink to answering these questions.

I would also point you to the writings of Socrates, who more than 2000 years ago refuted the idea that morality depends on the divine in Euthypro ("Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?").
I appreciate your willingness to offer a civil response. It's moving toward answering my question but not getting at the heart of it.

Let me rephrase using your post above: What does "science" mean when it calls something "bad?"

To go back to the earlier question, is that a philosophically-based value judgment (which is outside the realm of science) or a biologically-determined judgment based upon pragmatic results? Is the latter what you mean by "consequentialism?"

In other words, is it "bad" because it's "bad in itself" or "bad" because it interferes with biologically-programmed "goals?" If the latter, does that mean that philosophy is largely a result of trying to come up with rationales consistent with the biological goals? Does the term "bad" change its actual connotation while retaining the same denotation?

Apologies for clumsy wording but hope the idea comes through and makes sense.

Edit: Btw, I'm not sure that the term for what Socrates said should be "refuted" so much as "disagreed with." It seems more like a chicken/egg argument with him musing without taking a position. Theists would say one thing; nontheists would say another.
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Old 03-20-17, 11:08 AM   #3293
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

There is no moral absolute. "Morality" is meaningful only in the context of sentient beings capable of understanding the consequences of their actions and reflecting on those consequences. We don't call a lion "immoral" for killing an antelope, or a praying mantis "evil" for killing her mate. We humans define our morality, and for some of the most basic questions come to the same conclusions regardless of our reasoning - murder is wrong, rape is wrong, theft is wrong, etc. That speaks to the human condition, and our ability to empathize with others.

I don't think there is any ultimate, objective authority to which we can/should look for our morality. We essentially have to try to agree to the rules we live by - that's why societies are so messy, there are many conflicting ideas, but we seem to be able to agree on a lot.
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Old 03-20-17, 11:30 AM   #3294
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Supermallet...there is no pleasing creek..one way or another. Its like talking to a brick wall when common sense is debated. Ignore him...many of us have and it makes reading these threads much easier. He's doing more harm than good to his cause...as it pushes people farther away from his type of radical religious ideology.
You're right, I shouldn't let him get to me. I think he bothers me because he puts on a veneer of understanding, but in the end all he does is regurgitate the evangelical brainwashing.
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Old 03-20-17, 11:48 AM   #3295
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
I appreciate your willingness to offer a civil response. It's moving toward answering my question but not getting at the heart of it.

Let me rephrase using your post above: What does "science" mean when it calls something "bad?"

To go back to the earlier question, is that a philosophically-based value judgment (which is outside the realm of science) or a biologically-determined judgment based upon pragmatic results? Is the latter what you mean by "consequentialism?"

In other words, is it "bad" because it's "bad in itself" or "bad" because it interferes with biologically-programmed "goals?" If the latter, does that mean that philosophy is largely a result of trying to come up with rationales consistent with the biological goals? Does the term "bad" change its actual connotation while retaining the same denotation?

Apologies for clumsy wording but hope the idea comes through and makes sense.

Edit: Btw, I'm not sure that the term for what Socrates said should be "refuted" so much as "disagreed with." It seems more like a chicken/egg argument with him musing without taking a position. Theists would say one thing; nontheists would say another.
I hope you won't take this as a dodge, but I need to run to the airport, so I'm not going to have time to address your questions in depth. And, in any event, I have not studied the various philosophical schools in enough detail to serve as a thorough conversational partner on this topic.

In terms of moral realism, you ought to check out the writings of Philippa Foot; I think she did more to develop that school of philosophy than anyone else.

Consequentialism is an entirely different framework which is more grounded in pragmatism as the term "pragmatism" is colloquially used (though pragmatism has a distinct meaning in ethical philosophy). Consequentialism looks at the consequences of an action to assess its morality.

Socrates did address the question posed in Euthypro, concluding that good must be extrinsic to the gods (and, by extension to our world view, to God) because otherwise good could be changed arbitrarily at the whim of God, and good would therefore be meaningless. Note, however, this presumes limits on God's sovereignty (God, in this view, is not omnipotent because he couldn't make murder be good). It's important to note that many philosophers -- including Aquinas, for example -- have rejected this as a false dilemma, and my point in raising it wasn't to disprove God, but to point out that philosophers have been discussing non-theistic bases for morality for millennia.
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Old 03-20-17, 05:43 PM   #3296
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

Not seeing your response as a dodge at all. I've been away from the computer since noon myself and just checked back to see your answer. I have to package some orders myself, so I'll check back later to give your and Bando's posts the attention they deserve.

Thanks for the responses, guys.

Last edited by creekdipper; 03-20-17 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 03-20-17, 09:19 PM   #3297
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Old 03-20-17, 09:27 PM   #3298
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

^ "They think it's discrimination... if they can't discriminate against you!"

"You know who thinks like this... Islamists thinks like this."

That piece is so totally spot on!
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Old 03-21-17, 01:29 AM   #3299
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

This is why I've been using terms like American Taliban to describe evangelicals. If not letting you use your religion to run roughshod over society is discrimination, then we're all fucked. Because this is a game of who can run furthest to the right, and at the end of that you get fascism. How long until some Christian religious group demands to bring back stoning as punishment for using their god's name in vain?
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Old 03-21-17, 06:53 AM   #3300
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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How long until some Christian religious group demands to bring back stoning as punishment for using their god's name in vain?
They're called dominionists and reconstructionists. They already exist.
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