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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 01-12-15, 08:21 PM   #26
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread


So Spinoza authored your 'bible'?
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Old 01-12-15, 08:25 PM   #27
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

I think a big part of the disconnect here is that the word "good" is taking on multiple meanings in these conversations. The religious have caveats on what is "good" versus what is simply charitable or beneficial. So before we can discuss "good" and "bad" and "evil" and all these other moral constructs, we have to find a mutually agreeable definition of those terms.
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Old 01-12-15, 08:25 PM   #28
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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“Jesus was not sent here to teach the people to build magnificent churches and temples amidst the cold wretched huts and dismal hovels. He came to make the human heart a temple, and the soul an altar, and the mind a priest.”
--Khalil Gibran
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Old 01-12-15, 08:33 PM   #29
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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"And if you would know God, be not therefore a solver of riddles. Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children."
-- Khalil Gibran
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Old 01-12-15, 08:35 PM   #30
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

Why is van der graaf quote-bombing this thread?
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Old 01-12-15, 08:35 PM   #31
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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"God is a lobster."
--Deleuze & Guattari
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Old 01-12-15, 08:37 PM   #32
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Why is van der graaf quote-bombing this thread?
Because these idiotic arguments are hundreds of years old.
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Old 01-12-15, 08:39 PM   #33
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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I think a big part of the disconnect here is that the word "good" is taking on multiple meanings in these conversations. The religious have caveats on what is "good" versus what is simply charitable or beneficial. So before we can discuss "good" and "bad" and "evil" and all these other moral constructs, we have to find a mutually agreeable definition of those terms.
And there, in a nutshell, you have presented a major criticism for atheism, for which the terms "good" and "bad" can have any (or no) meaning.

It's not that atheists cannot have points of agreement with basic Christian principles (i.e. Ten Commandments)...it's that they don't have to agree at all.

Add to that the idea presented by atheism that "morality" (whatever that means) is a purely biological construct, and the ideas of any absolute concepts of "good" and "bad" go out the window (that is, they are reduced to mere pragmatism according to whatever perpetuates existence (for now, that is, since that perpetuating existence seems to be the current default mode for those who deny absolute truth or who advocate an evolving, changing morality that is the result of environment, evolutionary processes, etc.).

If there is not agreement upon what constitutes "good" and "bad" (setting aside the idea that some actions will necessarily favor some individuals or groups over others), then any discussion is pointless. How an anyone criticize any philosophy if there are no agreed-upon standards? Then we're back to "Finders = keepers; losers = weepers.
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Old 01-12-15, 08:44 PM   #34
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Because these idiotic arguments are hundreds of years old.
Umm...never knew that you are a "Young Earther."
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Old 01-12-15, 08:45 PM   #35
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

Which comes back around to my point that "atheism" is not a philosophy, but merely a statement of disbelief. You cannot argue good and bad in atheist terms because atheism alone does not generate moral statements, claims, and judgements. You need to find a moral philosophy that either does not mention a deity/deities, or one that explicitly denies the existence of those beings, and then you can have this discussion. But the reason you tend to get 10 different answers to each question is because "atheists" are not a solid ideological block. There was no Council of Trent for atheists.

You'd do better by choosing a philosophy against which to argue instead of continually making claims on behalf of atheism and then arguing against those claims.
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Old 01-12-15, 08:51 PM   #36
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

But don't do Christians get put into one nifty Box of Explanation and shouldn't they be given a little more philosophical slack when it comes to different beliefs/disbeliefs as well? I vomit whenever The Vatican and The Pope are mentioned, as I don't believe that stuff, especially the process of believing it.
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Old 01-12-15, 09:01 PM   #37
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Which comes back around to my point that "atheism" is not a philosophy, but merely a statement of disbelief. You cannot argue good and bad in atheist terms because atheism alone does not generate moral statements, claims, and judgements. You need to find a moral philosophy that either does not mention a deity/deities, or one that explicitly denies the existence of those beings, and then you can have this discussion. But the reason you tend to get 10 different answers to each question is because "atheists" are not a solid ideological block. There was no Council of Trent for atheists.

You'd do better by choosing a philosophy against which to argue instead of continually making claims on behalf of atheism and then arguing against those claims.
Mallet, I see that as a cop-out. I agree that there is no consistent, agreed-upon philosophy that characterizes atheists (the same can be said for many who claim to be under the "Christian" umbrella while holding highly-contradictory views). However, it is that very lack of an agreed-upon "moral" framework that makes antisocial behavior not only possible but beyond universal condemnation for atheists. An atheist can say, "I don't personally agree with your behavior, but that's just my opinion (which may or may not be shared by others). That's it.

The argument usually goes that atheists don't need "religion" or a deity in order to lead "moral" lives (but, as you yourself say, that term is ambiguous anyway). However, I submit that the majority of those who commit antisocial behaviors ARE atheists in the way they conduct their lives. I can claim to be an atheist or a Christian, but whereas only one expression of belief is necessary to be the former, MOST people would examine standards of behavior to justify the former. I've already stated that Christians do commit immoral acts, but (according to scriptures) sincere, credible Christians express remorse and do not continue to habitually, repeatedly, willfully continue to commit those sins as though they don't matter.

I am not making any claims about atheists other than recognizing what qualifies one as an atheist and also acknowledging that atheists can conform to any set of standards and be a member of the family, so to speak. There must be some connection to and defect in the belief that God doesn't exist since so many who commit crimes are de facto atheists judging by their actions.
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Old 01-12-15, 09:08 PM   #38
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

Slightly off-topic but wondering how many are watching the football championship while posting in this thread.

Duck fan or Buckeye fan (or no fan), mallet?
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Old 01-12-15, 09:26 PM   #39
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Slightly off-topic but wondering how many are watching the football championship while posting in this thread.

Duck fan or Buckeye fan (or no fan), mallet?
Watching game. Only looking at this at halftime. Besides, this is only the 262nd thread like this we've had. As always, countless new points will be made and many minds will be changed so these threads are invaluable. Go Big Ten! Go Buckeyes!
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Old 01-12-15, 09:39 PM   #40
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Originally Posted by spainlinx0 View Post
I thought you had mentioned being Catholic in prior threads?
Nope, must've been someone else.

My aunt started taking me to her Church when I was 5 or 6. I accepted Jesus into my heart one Sunday (I still remember that) and then my parents started to attend, and the rest is history. I understand that for many, religion/church was a negative growing up, and I'm truly sorry that was your experience. For me, it was overwhelmingly positive...I went through kids choir, drama, jr/sr high youth groups, a mission trip, young adult/college group etc. We were fortunate to be a part of a healthy, balanced, vibrant Church, pretty sure it kept my parents together as well.

Of course when I moved out of the house at 22, I had to make my own decision (something everyone does whatever their upbringing) you make your beliefs your own. For me it's all about the basics, a simple faith...trying as best I can to discern what The Bible says, etc. A lot of believers it seems go off the rails on some bad end-times theology, or political issues, etc... I try to keep an even keel, not get caught up in all of that stuff... which just makes people angry and a little crazy...not someone you want to be around.

I just try to wake up and thank the Lord for a new day, try to make the most of them. I fall short every day... there was a line from The Equalizer that struck me - "Progress, not perfection." That perfectly captures it imo.
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Old 01-12-15, 09:42 PM   #41
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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But don't do Christians get put into one nifty Box of Explanation and shouldn't they be given a little more philosophical slack when it comes to different beliefs/disbeliefs as well? I vomit whenever The Vatican and The Pope are mentioned, as I don't believe that stuff, especially the process of believing it.
I do think Christians tend to get lumped together, and I personally think the vast majority of Christians around the world are good people with sincerely held beliefs that don't hurt anybody. But the vast majority of Christians in politics and the media are the Bible-thumping, borderline racist, science-denying, "war on christmas" wackos that give other Christians a bad name. So the image of Christianity we get is skewed.

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Mallet, I see that as a cop-out. I agree that there is no consistent, agreed-upon philosophy that characterizes atheists (the same can be said for many who claim to be under the "Christian" umbrella while holding highly-contradictory views). However, it is that very lack of an agreed-upon "moral" framework that makes antisocial behavior not only possible but beyond universal condemnation for atheists. An atheist can say, "I don't personally agree with your behavior, but that's just my opinion (which may or may not be shared by others). That's it.

The argument usually goes that atheists don't need "religion" or a deity in order to lead "moral" lives (but, as you yourself say, that term is ambiguous anyway). However, I submit that the majority of those who commit antisocial behaviors ARE atheists in the way they conduct their lives. I can claim to be an atheist or a Christian, but whereas only one expression of belief is necessary to be the former, MOST people would examine standards of behavior to justify the former. I've already stated that Christians do commit immoral acts, but (according to scriptures) sincere, credible Christians express remorse and do not continue to habitually, repeatedly, willfully continue to commit those sins as though they don't matter.

I am not making any claims about atheists other than recognizing what qualifies one as an atheist and also acknowledging that atheists can conform to any set of standards and be a member of the family, so to speak. There must be some connection to and defect in the belief that God doesn't exist since so many who commit crimes are de facto atheists judging by their actions.
Again, you are painting a very diverse group with a very large brush. I think you're hung up on the atheist part (which I understand, as your worldview is predicated on the idea that goodness emanates from a specific deity, and that true goodness isn't possible without the existence of that deity), but I think it would be far more instructive to find out what specific philosophy a given atheist operates under. Is it the golden rule, is it Marxism, is it utilitarianism, etc. etc.?

I also think that you are pulling a no true Scotsman fallacy when you say that people who habitually engage in immoral behavior are not REALLY Christians and thus are in fact "atheists", which really veers the discussion into some weird wonderland where anyone other than a good Christian is an atheist. I think it would be far more instructive to say that those people are simply bad Christians because otherwise you're imbuing the term "atheism" with additional modifiers that aren't agreed upon by others who use that term.

Again, if you're looking for a philosophy that allows you to judge the behaviors of people (yourself and others), atheism does not do that. Other philosophies do, and some of those philosophies do so without calling on the supernatural, while others do so while flat out denying the existence of the supernatural. Tell me which philosophy or philosophies in particular you are trying to debate and we can discuss those. But I'm not interested in the list of what creekdipper thinks is the innate traits of an atheist and why those are not good, because then you're arguing against a straw man.

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Slightly off-topic but wondering how many are watching the football championship while posting in this thread.

Duck fan or Buckeye fan (or no fan), mallet?
I'm afootballist.
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Old 01-12-15, 09:47 PM   #42
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

I'll add this, any religion that can produce Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Prince can't be all bad.
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Old 01-12-15, 09:59 PM   #43
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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However, I submit that the majority of those who commit antisocial behaviors ARE atheists in the way they conduct their lives. I can claim to be an atheist or a Christian, but whereas only one expression of belief is necessary to be the former, MOST people would examine standards of behavior to justify the former. I've already stated that Christians do commit immoral acts, but (according to scriptures) sincere, credible Christians express remorse and do not continue to habitually, repeatedly, willfully continue to commit those sins as though they don't matter.
C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

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We must therefore stick to the original, obvious meaning. The name Christians was first given at Antioch (Acts 11:26) to “the disciples,” to those who accepted the teaching of the apostles. There is no question of its being restricted to those who profited by that teaching as much as they should have. There is no question of its being extended to those who in some refined, spiritual, inward fashion were “far closer to the spirit of Christ” than the less satisfactory of the disciples. The point is not a theological or moral one. It is only a question of words so that we can all understand what is being said. When a man who accepts the Christian doctrine lives unworthily of it, it is much clearer to say he is a bad Christian than to say he is not a Christian.
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Old 01-12-15, 10:04 PM   #44
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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I think a big part of the disconnect here is that the word "good" is taking on multiple meanings in these conversations. The religious have caveats on what is "good" versus what is simply charitable or beneficial. So before we can discuss "good" and "bad" and "evil" and all these other moral constructs, we have to find a mutually agreeable definition of those terms.
Since Christians accept everything God orders as good, and God has ordered rape, torture and genocide, I don't think that's possible.
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Old 01-12-15, 10:15 PM   #45
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

Did I just agree with C.S. Lewis? Ugh.
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Old 01-12-15, 10:17 PM   #46
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Since Christians accept everything God orders as good, and God has ordered rape, torture and genocide, I don't think that's possible.
Fooey. All goodness emanates from God. All evil comes from Man. I learned that argument before I was ten.
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Old 01-12-15, 10:30 PM   #47
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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God is the indwelling and not the transient cause of all things.
--Baruch Spinoza
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Old 01-12-15, 10:31 PM   #48
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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“I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind..."
--Albert Einstein
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Old 01-12-15, 10:35 PM   #49
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Knowledge of God is the mind’s greatest good: its greatest virtue is to know God.--Baruch Spinoza
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Old 01-12-15, 10:40 PM   #50
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I'll add this, any religion that can produce Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Prince can't be all bad.
Motown represent .

And going to another place, I'll add Johnny Cash to the list.
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