Contesting Christianity: Consequentialist Arguments

Sign with line through Christian cross(This post is part 9 of the series entitled “Contesting Christianity.” Please see the index for the other posts in this series.)

Falling DominoesThe last set of arguments I wish to discuss is comprised of what are known as “consequentialist arguments.” In other words, these are arguments that, instead of dealing with the truth of Christianity, instead talk about what the consequences would be if Christianity were false. This is an enormously popular strategy, and anyone who has discussed with a Christian the reasons why he or she believes is likely to have at one point heard the statement, “But if Christianity isn’t true, then ______.”

However, the first thing to note about consequentialist arguments is that they are all fallacious. They employ an informal fallacy that is known as an argument from consequences. It is a fallacy because the good or bad consequences that would follow if a certain statement were true says nothing about the truth of that statement.1 For example, I cannot argue that because the idea that the sun goes around the earth is easier for me to comprehend, therefore the sun truly does go around the earth. This is a bad argument. But regardless of whether consequentialist arguments are good or bad, they are prevalent, and therefore I would like to deal with a few of them.

Purpose and Meaning

The Meaning of Life - Eye ChartOne often can hear people claim, “If God does not exist, then life has no meaning!” In my own religious days, I heard this countless times from pastors and teachers. But the first question that comes to my mind is, “So what?” Let’s assume for the moment that this claim is true (I will come back to contest that in a second). Does this tell us anything about whether God actually does or does not exist? No. It only tells us that life would be bad if God didn’t exist, so we should hope that he does. But if God does not exist, are we supposed to embrace the terrible consequences of the truth, or instead hide under a protective blanket of wishful thinking? Well, I happen to believe that knowing the truth is important. It helps us to make good decisions about what to do with our time, our money, and our energy. So even if God does not exist, and even if such a fact has terrible ramifications for our purpose and meaning, we should be brave and accept that awful truth and prepare ourselves the best that we can for the consequences. After all, for my part I would rather know that there was no meaning to my life rather than be deluded into chasing after false meaning. No meaning would be bad, but living my life in a fantasy land seems worse to me.

But is it in fact true that God is required to have purpose and meaning? I hardly think so. In my own life at least, I have many sources of purpose. I have family that I love, friends that I care about, hopes and dreams to strive for, personal interests to pursue, jobs and schoolwork to help me grow, and the list goes on. Sure, God can give you some overarching “plan” or “purpose” that can provide meaning. Church can provide a social network. Religion can provide traditions to cherish and pass on, and can give structure to one’s life. But none of these are exclusive to religion. I can create my own plans for my life, I can find social networks through community groups and sports teams and co-workers and social clubs, and I can find other traditions to share and other ways to structure my life. God can be a source of meaning, but he is far from having exclusive dominion in that area.

Of course, as I say this, I know the standard response is, “But God is the only one who can provide ultimate meaning and purpose.” This word “ultimate” is typically poorly-defined, but I take it to mean something like “greater than ourselves” or “imposed on us from above.” But it’s not clear how this is better than any other meaning or purpose. If you lived in an oppressive dictatorship that required you to cut your lawn with scissors each morning, this would provide your life with a purpose that was greater than yourself and that was imposed upon you from the government above. But I doubt you would classify this as something particularly meaningful to you or a greater purpose than, say, your purpose to take care of your family. Or similarly, if God had created us so that we would produce as much carbon dioxide as possible, that would qualify as an “ultimate” purpose, but would it be a better purpose in any sense?2 It doesn’t seem like ultimate purpose from some outside source is intrinsically any better than a purpose that I could come up with myself. It seems like there must be some measure of a purpose’s quality, that even God’s purposes for us must live up to.

Man on deathbed saying, "I should have bought more crap."The way I see it, purpose and meaning should be evaluated the same way regardless of the source. Certainly, some things are going to be more meaningful for us than other things. And some things should be evaluated as “bad” purposes (like, say, the purpose of slaughtering children). But once purpose and meaning filter through these processes, the source no longer matters. If I find something meaningful, it is meaningful to me. And that’s it. It does not matter if it is “ultimate” or “temporary” or “all-encompassing” or “trivial”. If I find something to be meaningful, I can say, “This ______ provides me with meaning right here, right now.” And under this model, then, God is certainly not the only source of meaning and purpose.

Morality

Morality Road SignsIf there’s one term that gets applied to atheists more than any other, I would wager a guess it would be “immoral”. Similar to the previous claim about purpose and meaning, it is often said that “without God, morality means nothing.” Of course, also similar to the previous claim, one can then ask, “So what?” Even if we accept that as true, if God does not exist, then God does not exist. The undesirability of a world without morality does not make it any more likely that God in fact exists.

But again, setting that aside for a moment, I’d like to challenge the idea that morality does not exist without God. Call me strange if you like, but when I concluded that God did not exist, I did not go out and rape or murder anyone. I didn’t even consider it. And throughout the world, there are millions of other atheists that are the same way. Now why is that? Well, most directly, I tend to be a decent human being because when I was little, my mother taught me to share with the other children and to not say bad things or hurt other people. I suspect that most of us, growing up, had similar experiences. We were taught by our parents or caregivers that it’s not nice to pull Sally’s hair or steal Tommy’s truck. And so, while our moral conscience has grown more refined, it’s still there telling us that it’s not nice to do things that other people don’t like. That’s the reason that most people don’t grow up to be serial killers and rapists, and it seems like even if God were conclusively proven to be non-existent tomorrow, that mothers would still go on teaching their children to share their toys.

But isn’t this sort of morality just a set of social customs rather than some objective set of rules for everyone at all times? Well, perhaps. But I think that it can be rooted in something much deeper. There are certain basic facts about how a society must operate. To explain this, let’s imagine a simple society with just two people. I think it is pretty clear that if one person kills the other one, that society ceases to exist. Or if one person steals something from the other person, that second person is more likely to just move off and find some other place to live. Societies where people keep decreasing the social interaction, in short, are less likely to stick around. And conversely, societies where people encourage and maintain social interaction are more likely to continue to exist. We can recognize very basic concepts of prosocial and antisocial behaviour from thinking in this way. And as far as I can tell, all human societies have done is essentially stick the label of “good” to behaviours that are prosocial and “bad” to behaviours that are antisocial. But these ideas of prosocial/antisocial are rooted in the very basic rules of social interaction. They aren’t social constructions. It simply is a fact that prosocial behaviours benefit other people, and that antisocial behaviours hurt other people. There is no God required to provide us with these rules. (Indeed, I find it silly to think that without God’s help, we would have never figured out that killing people in cold blood is generally not a good idea.) These rules are simply inherent in the basic functioning of every society. And so, the only question is whether to call those rules “morality” or not. I think it lines up pretty well with what we tend to think of when we talk about morality. So, morality and objective moral rules can exist without God.

Pascal’s Wager

Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal

This is a fun little argument. Blaise Pascal, a 17th century mathematician and philosopher, came up with an interesting little argument that still gets used today. In Pascal’s Wager, he imagines two scenarios: either God does exist, or he does not. That’s fairly straightforward, right? Now, within each of these two scenarios, one could either choose to believe in God (theism), or not to believe in him (atheism). If God does not exist, the theist was wrong, but has lost nothing. The atheist was right, but what has he gained? He dies and that is the end of him. On the other hand, if God exists, the theist is right, and gains infinitely by going to heaven. The atheist is wrong, and suffers infinitely by going to hell. Examining this state of events, then, Pascal argues that one should believe in God, since it offers the greatest net benefit.

Pascal's WagerAt first glance, this may seem reasonable and logical. It makes sense, after all, to choose the option which offers the greatest chance of gain, right? But let’s not be so hasty. Before I attempt to explain why this argument is a poor one, let me remind you that this is a consequentialist argument. It gives no credence to the evidence that may be present either in favour or against God’s existence. In fact, it implicitly assumes that there is a 50% chance that God exists (and 50% that he does not). Otherwise, one would have to adjust the wager to include a weight corresponding to the likelihood of God’s existence. For example, is it still reasonable to believe in God if there is a 99.999% chance that he does not exist and only a 0.001% chance that he does? That is something that one would have to decide, but the point is that the original wager makes no attempt to examine evidence. It is only dealing with consequences of belief.

Now let’s take a closer look. First off, are “God exists” and “God does not exist” really the only two options? Think about the dizzying variety of Gods that have existed throughout human history. Every culture and geographical region has had their own God or set of Gods. In addition, the consequences of belief or non-belief in these Gods is different depending on the God! For instance, non-belief in the Christian God might get you an eternity in hell (unless your a universalist Christian, that is), but non-belief in Brahman of Hinduism might get you reincarnated to try again. Since the consequences are different, we can’t really lump them all together, but must calculate the net benefit for each God. Once this is accounted for, the logical choice would then be to choose the God with the most wonderful heaven (or the most terrible hell) to maximize your gains and minimize your losses.

But we can go even further! Since, as I said, the argument does not account for any evidence whatsoever, we can’t even stop at just Gods that humans have come up with over the centuries. We have to include even possible Gods! After all, if we are going to examine all the options to make sure we are choosing what’s in our best interest, possible Gods must be examined as well. So, for instance, we should consider Gods who couldn’t care less about humans, and Gods who create a hundred versions of yourself, which all experience eternal bliss or damnation depending on your choice, and Gods who reward people who don’t believe in him and punish those who do. Is this sounding silly yet or should I keep going? The underlying point is that basing what you believe on mere rewards or punishments is foolish; however, if one accepts Pascal’s initial premises that a) we must choose and cannot remain agnostic, and b) we are incapable of knowing whether God exists, then at least we need to do the calculation correctly.

Of course, at a more basic level, even if one only considers the Christian God, one has to wonder whether God might be a little displeased with someone believing in him merely because they are hedging their bets to get the biggest payoff. This sort of belief seems a little insincere. I don’t think an all-knowing God would be fooled by such a tactic, and he might view it as somehow “cheating”. If this means that instead of being rewarded for belief you are punished for insincerity, the wager seems to have backfired on you.

Calvin and Hobbes - Pascal's WagerIn summary, it seems that Pascal’s Wager is a poor way to go about deciding what one believes. In order to correctly assess the payoffs, we have to consider a limitless number of possibilities. If evidence is indeed present either in favour of or against God’s existence, it seems more reasonable to base one’s beliefs on what the evidence shows to be most probably correct, rather than gambling on what will provide the biggest payoff.

Conclusion

As I said at the beginning of this article, consequentialist arguments do not have anything to say about the truth of God’s existence. They are more often used as emotional rhetoric to scare people into thinking that life without God is undesirable. Pascal’s Wager is the same thing, merely couched in sophisticated language to hide its fallacy. Please note that when I say that statements like “God is necessary for meaning and purpose” or “God is necessary for morality” are wrong, that too says nothing about whether God in fact exists. It only challenges the idea that life without God is somehow undesirable. But when it comes down to it, if God’s non-existence was undesirable but true, I would want to believe it. And if God’s existence was undesirable but true, I would equally want to believe it. Truth is important, and of immense practical value to us as human beings. To know the truth about reality and what it is like is crucial to living an effective life. So please keep in mind that, regardless of whether you agree with my counter-arguments above about morality or purpose or Pascal’s Wager, neither the arguments nor the counter-arguments have any bearing on what is actually true about God’s existence. For that, we must examine the evidence, whatever and wherever it might be.

More Information

Notes:

  1. I am aware that stating the consequences of a statement can in some cases be justified. For example, if one argues that B is a consequence of A, and then points out that B is not present, then this provides evidence against A. However, an argument from consequences is not discussing the truth value of B, but rather the desirability or undesirability of B. Or, of course, if the discussion is involved with determining whether to take the course of action A, then the consequences are certainly relevant. But there we are not dealing with the truth of A, but rather the desirability of A. []
  2. Thank you to Luke Muehlhauser from Common Sense Atheism for this example, found here. []

29 responses to “Contesting Christianity: Consequentialist Arguments”

Frank

Interesting read Jeff:

On some stuff we will need to agree to disagree.

I want to quickly, counter argue two things:

But I think that it can be rooted in something much deeper. There are certain basic facts about how a society must operate.

And then you continue to expand on this.

Here’s the question: Since God does not (in your opinion)play a role in morality, how do you explain certain societies that do ‘kill’ that do do ‘bad’ things. Let’s take the extreme islamic terroists? Or North Korea? Both of those two groups, along with many other groups, would permit killing for a cause. What about african people groups that run around rampant using child soliders, killing and burning down villages? They to, would also say what they are doing is moral.

In our society alone, countless of people are abuse victims, rape victims, fraud victims. Where do they get their sense of morality?

Obviously you’ll argue that it is up to society to teach the good rules and the bad rules, but what if the rules that are being taught differ from society to society? How is morality then defined?

Morality cannot be a subjective matter, because if so, then we have a problem, as everyone’s opinion will be what justifys their morality.

A society without the idea of God, is dangerous to say the least, because when a society operates without a God, they in turn become their god. Would you not agree?

One last thing,

Is whether or not God exists, more of a faith issue? I agree that we have to have logical faith, but don’t you think this all comes down to faith. I have faith in the Christian belief and you have faith in the athesist set of believes. You have faith that your facts are true and I have faith in the Bible. Faith is the cornerstone of any set of beliefs.

Anyways, thanks for your articles, very interesting read. Cheers.

Jeff

Frank, these are good questions. I was worried that I didn’t explain myself enough on the issue of how to ground an objective morality on basic social processes, so I’ll try to give a bit more detail.

Your main question has to do with, “What about the differences between societies?” And that’s certainly a valid question. But there are several possibilities. For some issues, the context definitely matters. For instance, we might say that it is wrong to beat up your boss, but it is okay to beat up someone who has broken into your house to steal your stuff. One is quite clearly anti-social, whereas the other is a reaction to an act that is already anti-social, so it is more of a “punishment” or an attempt to stop that act. So clearly, a description of morality based on social processes is not always going to give us a set of clear, unambiguous rules. There are general guidelines, but the context is important.

Second, of course, there are also social and cultural norms that can “override” these moral guidelines. When looking at Nazi Germany, it does not adequately explain the situation if one says “The Germans were all evil people.” Many of the people involved in the Holocaust were normal, every-day people like you or me (that’s the scary part!). But what we can say is that there was this pervasive social ideology that “overrode” what we might normally consider pro-social or anti-social. The ideas about Jews being trouble-makers and less than human took them out of the normal set of persons who deserve to be treated morally. This is why I draw a distinction between pro-social/anti-social and right/wrong. Societies can change the labels of “right” and “wrong” and attach them to different actions. But pro-social and anti-social are built into the very fabric of social interaction itself. I’m arguing that most of the time these two groups of terms line up, but that sometimes they don’t. That explains the similarities between morality that cultures have, but also the differences.

Finally, I’ll just point out that even if we have an objective sense of morality, that doesn’t mean that everyone follows it. Like you said, we have victims of abuse, rape, and fraud. But that’s not an argument against the idea that there are these “rules”, but rather an argument against the idea that people always follow the rules. And I never claimed that.

Morality cannot be a subjective matter, because if so, then we have a problem, as everyone’s opinion will be what justifys their morality.

Here we have an argument from consequences. You’re saying that morality can’t be subjective, because otherwise it would lead to some unfavourable conclusions. But that says nothing about whether or not morality is subjective. It only says that you wouldn’t like it if it was. I tend to agree that it would suck if morality was subjective. But if we truly have no objective source of morality, we’re just going to have to live with those unfortunate consequences. But like I said, I am of the opinion that we do have a source of objective morality.

A society without the idea of God, is dangerous to say the least, because when a society operates without a God, they in turn become their god. Would you not agree?

No. Take a look at countries like Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. These countries are some of the most atheistic countries on earth, and yet they are democratic, have low levels of crime, have extremely high standards of living, and are charitable as well. If you are trying to say that “becoming their [own] god” means some sort of selfish behaviour, this simply is false if one looks at the actual facts. There are many countries with a high level of “organic atheism” (meaning not an atheism forced upon it by government laws) that are consistently rated as having some of the highest standards of living on earth. Including a low rate of wealth inequality, which is more than can be said for a more religious country like the US.

Is whether or not God exists, more of a faith issue? I agree that we have to have logical faith, but don’t you think this all comes down to faith. I have faith in the Christian belief and you have faith in the athesist set of believes. You have faith that your facts are true and I have faith in the Bible. Faith is the cornerstone of any set of beliefs.

When you say “logical faith”, I no longer know what you mean by “faith”. I don’t think it takes faith to believe that facts are true. That’s rationality. If I look outside and it’s snowing, I don’t have faith that it’s snowing. I have evidence, and if the weight of the evidence demonstrates that it’s snowing, the reasonable conclusion is that it is snowing. It doesn’t take faith to believe in evidence. It takes faith to believe in something without evidence or that contradicts evidence. So no, I don’t think that I have faith, other than in the trivial way that you seem to use it to talk about “believing the facts”. I would have faith in the Bible as the word of God if the evidence showed that it was a reliable document; however, since it does not, I don’t believe it is the word of God. If you have come to the conclusion that the evidence shows that the Bible is reliable, then fine. We have examined different evidence or have different ideas about what constitutes reliable evidence. But I wouldn’t call your conclusion “faith”, either. But I think that once you get into metaphysics and supernatural beings, it’s very difficult to have proper evidence for such beliefs—so I don’t think that any Christian (at least the ones with traditional beliefs) can completely base their beliefs on reason and evidence. There seems to always be some faith involved for them.

Frank

Who’s to say that countries like Denmark, Sweden, and Finland are good countries. Your opinion of “what is good” is defined by your view of morality – making you your own judge of morality, making you your own ‘god.’

For instance if I said Communist Dictatorship is a good model of governance, you might say ‘No its not, because’…and proceed to give me arguments of why it’s not good. The arguments that you would use, would be based on your view of morality – a view that is subjective and based on your belief of how the world operates and your own personal experience.

So with that in mind, the Communist Dictator would also be defining morality, based on his belief of how the world operates and his/her own personal experience.

Two different opposing views of morality, both decided upon by the same measure of judgment – belief and experience.

Unless there is a higher objective standard for morality to operate under then we have a massive problem. Now you did say, “I am of the opinion that we do have a source of objective morality.” So what is that source?

Now you also argue that countries with organic atheism are good because they meet certain criteria, but then again those statistics are subjective to you. You are saying that wealth inequality is bad, and charity is good. I might argue the opposite.

When I say logical faith, I am saying that we weigh the evidence and come up with an answer. But it takes faith to believe the evidence. For instance, did you come up with all your arguments? No, of course not, you used different sources to research your arguments, you are putting ‘faith’ in your sources of evidence.

Everyone operates with some form of faith when it comes to defining and living under a worldview, which in return defines our morality and everything else in life.

You have faith, you belief your atheistic worldview, you don’t have 100% concrete evidence that God does not exist, you may have some evidence, but you don’t have 100% evidence, because you are finite and mortal. Therefore, your belief system is a system of faith. Faith in your evidence and the sources of evidence.

All religion, set of beliefs, is based on faith, whether or not that is Christian or atheism.

Religion is a set of beliefs, atheism is a set of beliefs, and therefore, atheism is a religion.

Jeff

Frank, I don’t know what your point is here. You’re trying to argue that morality is subjective so that you can argue that morality is objectively based on God? Is that what you’re trying to do? That doesn’t seem to make much sense to me.

What you’ve said is that since everyone has their own opinions on morality, therefore morality is subjective. However, the two are actually distinct. For instance, let’s taken as given for a moment that the earth is round. Now, I could have my own opinions on it and believe that it is flat, but I would be wrong. That doesn’t make it subjective, though. It just means I have wrong beliefs. So if morality truly is objective, that doesn’t mean that everyone is going to agree on morality. It just means that some people will actually be right, and some will be wrong (note that we might not actually even know which ones are right or wrong — but they will still be right or wrong).

So the fact that people don’t agree on morality has nothing to do with whether morality is subjective or not. What matters is if we can come up with a theory of morality that a) has a convincing ontology of where morals come from, and b) lines up in most cases with what people think of when they think of “morality”. Note that this second criterion isn’t a necessity, but it does help us understand why we are calling it a theory of morality instead of a theory of snovilan.

So you asked me, “So what is that source?” The source, as I’ve already mentioned, is the characteristics of basic social interactions, i.e. the ability of an action to be pro-social or anti-social. That is my argument for part (a) of where morals come from. For part (b), I argued that generally speaking, when people think of “right” actions, they think of pro-social ones, and when people think of “wrong” actions, they think of anti-social ones. That helps us to determine whether we’re actually talking about morality, or just some theory of social behaviour.

That’s it. That’s all there is to my theory (although I could go into more detail, of course). Do you dispute either of those two claims? And if so, why?

Regarding what you’ve said about faith, while you’re free to use the word in that way, I think that tends to distort how people generally use the word. “Faith” typically has connotations beyond just “weigh the evidence and come up with an answer”. People don’t normally talking about having faith in gravity, or having faith in the chair they are sitting on, or having faith in the sun rising tomorrow. The process that judges use isn’t typically described as “faith”. So when you use the word as something so trivial like that, I think it has more potential to confuse people, and probably can be used to “smuggle in” some connotations that people wouldn’t normally accept. For instance, negative connotations like “Atheists rely on faith too!” like faith is a terrible thing that they were “caught” using.

Whatever. If you want to use your definition of faith, then fine—I have faith in my reasonable conclusions. So does everyone else on the planet. They have faith that their pillow is not going to turn into a rhinoceros during the night. But I question whether such a word is actually meaningful.

Anyway, I fully acknowledge that I don’t have “100% concrete evidence that God does not exist.” I never claimed I did. And most atheists do not claim such a thing. I merely say that there is no good evidence to believe that God exists, and since I only believe things that have good evidence to support them, I don’t believe God exists. It’s a negative claim, rather than a positive claim that “God definitely does not exist.”

Your final statement that atheism is a religion is a whole different issue. Religion has even more connotations than faith! And I think most people would typically consider religion to be more than just “a set of beliefs”. By that definition, political parties would be religions, economics would be a religion, physics would be a religion, and so on. The word would lose all its meaning with a definition that broad. Heck, dogs and cats would likely have religions with that definition. Most people would tend to include aspects such as traditions, rituals or ceremonies, communal gatherings, beliefs about the supernatural or metaphysical including some sort of deity, and so on. Obviously, people disagree on just what constitutes a religion, but to me, it has to be more than just “a set of beliefs”. Whether your adjusted definition includes atheism—whatever. I don’t really care. But such a weak definition leaves you ripe for misunderstandings with, well, virtually everyone.

Gandy

Frank said …”Here’s the question: Since God does not (in your opinion)play a role in morality, how do you explain certain societies that do ‘kill’ that do do ‘bad’ things”

Howdy Frank.

Do you mean like when some Christian folk used to be involved in stoning people to death ?.

Did God sort of make a mistake and provide humans the wrong moral plan? .And did God change his mind later?.

Or is it more honest to simply admit that humans often learn as they go along?.

Frank you say to Jeff ….” Who’s to say that countries like Denmark, Sweden, and Finland are good countries. Your opinion of “what is good” is defined by your view of morality – making you your own judge of morality, making you your own ‘god.’

For instance if I said Communist Dictatorship is a good model of governance, you might say ‘No its not, because’…and proceed to give me arguments of why it’s not good. The arguments that you would use, would be based on your view of morality – a view that is subjective and based on your belief of how the world operates and your own personal experience. ”

Frank your argument runs in complete circles and in (my opinion) achieves very little along the way.

The thing is Frank , the Christian group thought stoning people to death was a great idea , a one stage in ancient times.The argument they used back then to approve stoning folk to death , was based on their view of morality at that time.

Because God never ever appears in person to provide us with the moral view that is honestly objective in the sense of being provided by a deity.

Your argument here goes in complete circles.You argue but this and but that with Jeff …And yet you have nothing differnt to offer….In effect your argument is all about whether a group of Christians should be those who are allowed the right to decide whats moral for all us humans , or whether other humans views of moral should be just as valid and also taken into account.

See the thing is Frank you argue that morals provided by God is of some sort of higher value …Yet these morals also only come from mind of religious men.

Your argument is based on deceit that religious people have used to pull the wool over people eyes for many years.

I could make the same claim and suggest my moral view were provided by God ..This is exactly the same claim made by Christians.So what makes the Christian Godly moral view , and better than my Godly moral view that i claim ?.

Nothing .Just an ancient old book is about all.An ancient book riddled by moral view of ancient people written back in times when many men were still often heartless barbarians.

You worry about people deciding on the wrong moral view and making mistakes.

Yet at the very same time you turn a blind eye ! to remembering the fact that this is exactly the very same thing ! Christians once did , when they sanctioned the stoning of people to slow painful deaths of great torment.

In our countries moral view has most often been based on moral thought of the faithful folk .Hense why laws of freedom of faith exists, which has also allowed Christian cults to form which have then also abused people.I have had personal experience of this ,and over the years have even watched quite a number of people be driven to suicide.

These laws of freedom of faith that allow for these abusive Christian cult to still exist, are moral veiw traditionally provided to us by Christian groups , who also claimed their moral view was provided by God.

So Frank does your God really like allowing laws of freedom of faith , that then in turn drives some people to this extreme pain and suicide?.

Or will you be honest and admit that obviously God never has been involved in moral views adopted and implemented by humans.

Because the problem is Frank , it doesnt help claiming God has been involved in moral views when the truth is he hasnt.Wishing something were so , doesnt ever make it so Frank.

I might wish i were 20years old again Frank , but me wishing that i were 20 again , wont ever help me get any younger will it.

So im far better off to atleast be a little honest with myself ,and be upfront and simply face the honest truth of the matter.

Gandy

Frank said …”Your opinion of “what is good” is defined by your view of morality – making you your own judge of morality, making you your own ‘god.’”

Frank you describe exactly ! what the Christian and Islamic or Hindu groups also did.

So you making a moutain out of a mole hill.

Until some God arrives here on earth in person.Groups of humans will continue to provide the moral view , just as they always have done , whether the group be Christian ,Islamic , Hindu or atheist

Your argument is completely circular

Gandy

Frank said….”Everyone operates with some form of faith when it comes to defining and living under a worldview, which in return defines our morality and everything else in life.

You have faith, you belief your atheistic worldview, you don’t have 100% concrete evidence that God does not exist, you may have some evidence, but you don’t have 100% evidence, because you are finite and mortal. Therefore, your belief system is a system of faith. Faith in your evidence and the sources of evidence.

All religion, set of beliefs, is based on faith, whether or not that is Christian or atheism.

Religion is a set of beliefs, atheism is a set of beliefs, and therefore, atheism is a religion.”

Frank going by your suggestion of what equals faith ,it would suggest it was valid to think it possible the tooth fairy might exist.

You would say ..Look Gandy you are not 100% sure the tooth fairy dont exist .You would say ..Gandy its only “faith” what makes you believe the tooth fairy dont exist.

But this is rubbish Frank .This is propaganda.

The fact is we do have some evidence that suggest the tooth fairy very likely dont exist ..And part of that evidence is that we have no evidence available to suggest that the tooth fairy does exist.

And the same for God .Atheist do not believe by faith …Atheist belief arebased on evidence …The evidence that evidence of the tooth fairys and Gods have not become available .

This is evidence Frank …It is not about faith .And it is totally dishonest of faithful folks who keep on promoting this kind of deceit.

If evidence of tooth fairys and gods was freely available , but i chose to disbelieve in the existence of tooth fairys and Gods….Then that would be me living by faith…The “faith” that i would hope these things dont really exist , even though that thought goes totally against the “evidence” that is available.

You are wrong Frank.

1..When no evidence of God is available , yet the faithful still believe God exists …That amounts to following “faith”

2…When no evidence of God exists ,and atheists disbelieve God exist …That amounts to following the “evidence” that is available

Be faithful if you please to Frank …But atleast try and keep your faith “honest” .Dont be pushing this deceitful type of propaganda folks of faith have become traditionally very well known for happily promoting.

If you choose to do so …Dont expect atheists should need to feel any respect for you.We have been labeled with this kind of deceitful propaganda by folks of faith for far to long now.

Atheism is not founded on faith like religion is.

Atheism is founded on the “evidence” that is freely available

There is no good evidence available that God exists …Therefore atheism is not founded on faith

Frank

Jeff, I am not arguing that morality is subjective, I am arguing that your “statement” in the previous post, that Denmark, Sweden, and Finland are good countries because in your opinion they are good countries, because of their “organic atheism” is subjective. And therefore, whether or not it’s a good or bad country is in the eye of the beholder and is completely subjective.

I said

“Unless there is a higher objective standard for morality to operate under then we have a massive problem.”

Morality must be objective, there must be a higher standard of morality that we operate under, if not, then we are leaving the judgment of morality – what is good, what is bad – in the hands of finite, immoral, mortal humans, that will always be subjective.
Your argument, about the earth being round, (although whether the earth is round or flat has nothing to do with morality) is a bad argument. The fact is this, when it comes to morality, you and I could have our own subjective opinion and still be both wrong. For instance, you might say “stealing is right under the right circumstances” – ie. Stealing a loaf of bread for a starving child is right because the life of the child trumps the act of stealing. I might argue that “stealing is always right.” – ie. I can steal whenever and however many times I want. We might both be wrong, because the moral code could be “Don’t steal, ever.”

My point is this, when deciding morality, if

“What matters is if we can come up with a theory of morality that a) has a convincing ontology of where morals come from, and b) lines up in most cases with what people think of when they think of “morality”.

Then we are still operating under a moral code, or theory of morality, that is subjective, because the theory or code, was developed by finite, immoral, mortal beings, who will always do what they ‘feel’ or ‘think’ is right.

As much as you or they may want to be objective, they are still subjective, because their theory of morality is based on their ‘social interactions’ or experiences and beliefs of what is right and what is wrong.

Morality must always be objective and never be left to be decided upon by the eye of the beholder. There must be a higher code, a higher standard that defines our morality.

Now to faith.

Faith is defined as

“the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, concept or thing.”

Therefore, with that definition in mind, I do have faith in the chair I am sitting in, sure I have done it over and over and over again, but there is a slim chance that the chair may break or may not hold me. (even though I am not grossly fat.)

Atheism, tends to not use the word faith at all, because they don’t want to be associated with a religion, or an idea that may not be 100% conclusive, but the reality is, is that every single person operates under the idea of faith.

Whether or not “the word faith is actually meaningful” has nothing to do with whether or not we use the word faith. The fact is, is that what you belief to be true, is based on your faith in a certain system or certain evidence that you believe points to truth. Everyone Christian or non-Christian operates under the ‘law’ of faith.

Religion is defined as

“a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a supernatural agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”

Political parties are not a religion, they may align with a religion, for instance a socialist or capitalist may be aligning their view of law and moral code with a “Christian belief” or a Communist may be aligning with a “atheistic belief.”

If we take our definition of religion, which by the way is found on Wikipedia, which is a credible source, if you can write your “contesting Christianity” articles using Wikipedia as one of your main sources, then Atheism is a religion, a set of beliefs, which contains a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Therefore, Jeff, you are very much a religious chap!

(and so is your friend Gandy, which I might add I will respond to, in my next comment, below.)

Jeff

I am arguing that your “statement” in the previous post, that Denmark, Sweden, and Finland are good countries because in your opinion they are good countries, because of their “organic atheism” is subjective.

I never said these countries were good because of their organic atheism. I only said that these countries are (largely) atheistic, and yet they do not seem to have “become their own gods”, which I took to mean “become selfish and self-serving”. I never even claimed that either selfishness or selflessness was “good” or “bad”. I was only disputing your claim that “A society without the idea of God, is dangerous to say the least, because when a society operates without a God, they in turn become their god.” I would not feel in any danger of living in a place like Sweden, because they have some of the lowest crime rates in the world.

Now, you’ve said much about morality and subjectivity, but let me get to the crux of your argument here:

Then we are still operating under a moral code, or theory of morality, that is subjective, because the theory or code, was developed by finite, immoral, mortal beings, who will always do what they ‘feel’ or ‘think’ is right.

First off, if morality truly is based in fundamental aspects of social interaction, then it is not subjective. It is rooted in the fundamental way the world works. Yes, people can have their own opinions of it, but this would not change the actual truth of the matter. That’s why I used the idea of the shape of the earth as an analogy. This is something where people can have their own opinions of it, but it doesn’t change what is actually the case. You seem to be confusing the subjectivity of opinions (which are subjective by definition) with the subjectivity of the concept itself.

Furthermore, the idea that morality is grounded in the commands of God is also a moral theory. It has a name in the philosophical literature: Divine Command Theory. That is a theory of morality which says (essentially) that rightness and wrongness are determined by what God has told us to do or not do. Now, if God truly has decreed certain things, this is the fact of the matter. But people will have their opinions of what he has said or whether he exists or which God exists. So by your definition, this morality would be subjective. But this is the wrong way of looking at it. People’s opinions are subjective, but (if this theory is true), then God’s decrees are a fact about the world and are objective. All I’ve done is say that instead of being based in God’s decrees (whom I don’t think exists), morality is actually based in the fundamental characteristics of social interaction, which are equally separate from the ability of humans to change or alter. Does this clarify things?

With what you’ve said about faith: Fine, whatever. If you would like to define faith in that manner, then sure, everyone uses faith. I don’t think this provides us with any real meaning, since it would apply to virtually every single aspect of our lives and doesn’t help to distinguish one thing from another, but whatever. Let’s just put that one to rest and move on.

I agree much more with this new definition of religion that you’ve provided. As you can see, it encompasses more than just “a set of beliefs”, like you originally described. But let’s be clear about just what atheism is. Atheism is a lack of belief in God. It has exactly one statement to make: “I don’t believe in God.” That’s it. The word “a-theism” literally means “not theism” or “not belief in God”. So as you can see, it’s not a set of beliefs. It’s a lack of one belief. It also has no moral code, no devotions or rituals, and technically doesn’t even include anything about the purpose of the universe or the existence of other supernatural beings. Of course, many atheists are also materialists or naturalists, which are the ideas that the material world is the only thing that exists. But this isn’t necessary to be an atheist. (For instance, there are atheist Buddhists and atheist Jews and even atheist Christians.) So no, I don’t think atheism is a religion whatsoever. Perhaps naturalism might be, or secular humanism (which is essentially a moral code plus a little more), but atheism by itself is just a lack of belief in God. That’s it.

Frank

Jeff,
Great debate.
We will have to agree to disagree.
Great debate!

I am done debating, because people like Gandy, make it impossible to debate, one because he/she doesn’t know how to spell, and write actual sentences and two, he is clearly unopen to any opposing ideas.

send me an email to continue the debate if you want. If not, well it was great debating.

Frank

Gandy,
Let’s be frank with each other, no pun intended. 🙂

You have a very poor idea of what the Christian belief is all about. (I’d love to actually meet you face to face and get more into it, but for the sake of time and actually revealing our true identities, I will proceed to respond to your comments that in my mind are uneducated and written out of spite…anyway, here I go.)

No. I don’t mean in like some Christian folk stoning people to death. (Where did you come up with that?)

No. God did not make a mistake and provide humans the wrong moral plan. And No, God did not change his mind.

God never condones sin, or ‘immorality.’ The fact is this is that the entire human race is immoral and sucks at not doing what is right. I hope you agree with this, because if not, you might be the only person that I ever have talked to that has never done anything wrong.

——

Now I will try to make sense of your next arguments.

I don’t think Christians have the right to choose what is moral and what is right, because everyone, the entire human race, is immoral. We have all done something wrong, and we all have the capability of doing great harm and wrongs.

Gandy, I believe that if we are all immoral, none of us can decide objectively what is right and what is wrong, because our view of morality is based on our “social-interaction and experiences.”

If God does not exist, then morality is subjective, and is chaotic. If that were the case I could kill you and your family, because I think that is the morally right thing to do, and I could justify my act based on logical reason and subjective experiences. Now obviously you may disagree with my act of killing and your moral code may be different to mine, but the fact is we both may have come up with our moral code by using the same measurements, social interactions and experience. In this scenario, and if God does not exist, then I am right and you are right. Truth and morality is relative.

Now if God exists and is interested in us, then moral code does exist, because God would then be the “ruler” of the human race and the “judge” of morality.

When you say, “God never ever appears in person to provide us with the moral view…” I would then argue that Jesus is God and I would argue that Jesus existed, was fully human, and therefore, was God coming to earth where he taught his followers how to live and how to interact in society.

Gandy, you said “I could make the same claim and suggest my moral view were provided by God…”

You could do that, but then if your moral view and my moral view contradicted (which they would) we would then have to go to the higher standard of morality, which I would argue is God, in whom we read about and can know through the Bible.

You said, “Just and ancient old book is about all. An ancient book riddled by moral view….” You clearly, have never studied or read the Bible. And everything you are saying is ‘hear-say’.

You said, “Yet at the very same time you turn a blind eye…” I never turned a blind eye, in fact, above I say it’s wrong.

—-

I am sorry that you have seen people commit suicide because of Christian cults.

Christian cults, are wrong, and whenever a cult pushes someone to the brink of suicide, most likely they are interpreting the Bible, the higher standard of morality, in a wrong way. So, I am sorry that your experience with Christianity is so negative.

—-

You said, “Will you be honest, and admit that obviously God never has been involved in moral views adopted and implemented by humans.” I won’t admit that, but I will admit that humans have interpreted God’s moral views in a wrong and selfish way, that did and still do, more harm than good.

—-

You said, “Until some god arrives here on earth in person. Groups of humans will continue to provide the moral view, just as they always have done, whether the group be Christian, Islamic, Hindu, or atheist.”

My friend, that is a great insight. However, that is what the Christian faith is. The difference between Christianity and Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism, is that God did arrive here on earth in person, in the form of Jesus. Now you can argue against that, but the fact is, is that is what separates Christianity from every other religion. The Christian God entered humanity and became human!

—-

Tooth Fairy time.

Sure, I could have faith that the tooth fairy
exists.

When I lost a tooth, I would put it under my pillow, and wake up in the morning and there was a loonie. My experience would tell me that someone took my tooth, and tradition would tell me that that someone is called the tooth fairy. Obviously, the tooth fairy is my parent, my parent is the tooth fairy, therefore, the tooth fairy does exist, just not in the form of a flying ballerina in a tutu and carrying a wand.

Gandy, even Jeff agreed, that you DO NOT HAVE 100% FACTUAL EVIDENCE that would disprove the existence of God, therefore, you cannot say with assurance that God does not exist. Within your concept, there is still a chance that God exists.

Therefore, your belief is based on faith that the evidence is concrete enough to disprove the existence of God.

Gandy, your interpretation of the evidence is based on faith. You may look at the evidence and decide there is no God, but the reality is, is you are putting faith in the evidence.

What if the evidence did point to God? Would you believe? Probably not.

Finally, Gandy, you said this, “there is no good evidence available that God exists…”

There is all no bad evidence that disproves that God exists.

Frank

Gandy,
Here I go. I will try and keep this response short. Cool?

You said this “But this cannot be right if the early Christians were following morality provided by God…Because earlier according to early Christians, they though God had said it was fine to stone people, Frank.”

Sure, I have no idea where you find Christians stoning people. But that would go completely, 100% against the Bible. Gandy, here is my belief, and its accepted by many Christians, is that Christianity, was never meant to be a religion. In fact, I would argue, that God hates religion. Religion is humanity’s way of trying to impress God.

Now you may argue, that the Bible is about religion, because it’s a set of beliefs and rules. I would argue that it is not, persae. Christianity isn’t about rules. Sure, there are the 10 commandments which were given to the Israelites, and the rules in Leviticus, but God’s purpose for those rules, were to simply to set apart his people, from the rest of the worlds immorality and religious practices.

In the New Testament, Jesus is asked a question along the lines of this “what is the greatest commandment.” Jesus replies by saying something like this, “If you are going to follow me, you must Love God first and love others second.”

See, the Christian faith, is about one thing, about realizing that God is real, exists, and wants to be part of our lives, he makes this possible through Jesus. In a sense God is a jealous God, because God wants us to worship him, he doesn’t want us to be caught up in other man-made religions, but he wants us to be fully devoted to him, and the way we do that is by how we love and treat those around us.

So with that said, Gandy, stoning is wrong. Murder is evil.

The Christians you talk about are absolutely wrong! In the New Testament (the second half of the Bible) Jesus is confronted by the religious leaders who are accusing a woman of committing adultery. The law of the time stated that the consequence for the act of adultery, for the woman, was stoning. However, Jesus responded by asking the person, who had never committed anything wrong, to throw the first stone. No one threw any stones at the woman, cause no one was perfect.

—-

Now to the point of God making a mistake:

Gandy, you got the whole story of the Bible wrong. Humans are ‘sinful in nature,’ from the day each of us was born we entered into a sinful world, doing things that are wrong, all the time. Why is that? You might say this “If God wanted everyone to do what is right he wouldn’t have allowed evil to be created?” Valid point Gandy, but here’s the answer:

Imagine, you created something that was so advanced that it had a brain, it had DNA, it had cells, it was the most advanced thing ever created, and then you programmed it to always do what is right, never to do what was wrong. By doing that you take away the created things ability to make choices, freewill – in a sense instead of creating an independent thing, you have created a puppet, programmed to do everything you want it to do.

Humans, you and I, are not puppets, we are not some being created by God, programmed to live a certain way, we are created with the ability to choose, the ability to think, the ability to act on our thoughts, or to abstain from acting on our thoughts. The greatest thing that God did when he created us was he created us with the ability to actually make a choice. The greatest act of love was for God, to allow us to either reject him or to accept him.

So obviously, with that said, you and I, Christian or Non, atheist or non, have the ability to choose, to choose good or evil. To choose immoral or moral.

Now is or was there ever the perfect Christian, no, of course not. Religious Christians who follow and interpret the Bible in weird and wacky ways, in the past and still today are stupid, they have committed evil things, they are not loving God and loving others. They have missed completely the idea of what it means to be a Christian.

Gandy you said “And to try to suggest that, you also need to turn a very blind eye to your own history.”

In no way am I turning a blind eye to the negative history that some people in the name of the Christian God, are responsible for. Now, you must also understand that there is and was a lot of good things that Christians are responsible for, I don’t think you could argue that Mother Theresa wasn’t good.

You said this “You see Frank without God arriving on the scene in person; absolutely anyone can make these claims of possessing divine guidance. And take the stoning saga as an example; folks of faith have already proved they were being deceitful claiming to be divinely guided right? That is unless you wish to admit God makes mistakes?”

Gandy, I can claim that God told me to stone so and so, but clearly my action of stoning is evil and immoral and goes completely against the great command to love God and love others. Obviously above I explain how God did not make a mistake.

You said something about round and square wheels and trial and error.

Gandy, do you really think, the first murder committed was a test of morality by trial and error? Do you actually think that the first murderer did not know what he was doing was wrong? Do you actually think the first person to steal from someone or steal someone’s wife was actually trying to figure out morality on a trial and error process? No of course not!

You said, “For if we needed God to provide an objective view, we would not bother visiting a number of doctors to ask them all what their opinion was on what surgery we should have …We would even need to pray to God to ask him for and objective opinion on what the speed limit should be.”

Trying to compare surgery choices and morality is like someone trying to compare oranges to a Boeing 747. God created the human mind and therefore created the brain of a doctor to figure out what is wrong with you. If you’re sick go to your doctor.

God created the brain and the mind to know what is right and what is wrong.

Law and civil law, is to be determined using our brain that God created. I don’t think God cares if I drive 50kms or 100kms on a street, God cares though that I follow the laws of the land, unless the laws of the land disobey his commands of how to live that are found in scripture. For instance if the law of the land, was to kill my second child, I would not kill my second child.

You know that stoning someone is wrong, not because you saw it, but because you innately know that killing is wrong, it’s called a conscience. A conscience that was created by God, so that you would know what is right and what is wrong.

Instead of messaging me on here, email me at frank.m.shepherd@gmail.com.

Gandy

Frank before christianity (old testiment)this was still Gods word ,given to men by the so called divine guidence.

And this God suggest stonings and all sorts of gruesome stuff Frank.Frank im not interested in emailing somebody who turns a blind eye to the obvious, you are no different to my family.You are not willing to face these things front on , instead you sidestep these issues.

You even go as far as to basically admit it when you said …” The Christians you talk about are absolutely wrong! In the New Testament (the second half of the Bible) Jesus is confronted by the religious leaders who are accusing a woman of committing adultery. The law of the time stated that the consequence for the act of adultery, for the woman, was stoning. However, Jesus responded by asking the person, who had never committed anything wrong, to throw the first stone. No one threw any stones at the woman, cause no one was perfect.

The religious leaders Jesus confronted were followers of God , therefore their laws would have been built around Gods will.

Frank i dont mind if you going to drop your bottom lip and suggest you wont talk about it here anymore , just so long as other people including the youth who will be those who form the future can see this .My family are like you Frank , when the going gets tough and questions get hard to answer, they run away and refuse to discuss matters anymore.

Whether you like to admit it or not Frank your own bible shows much sign of morals evolving.This cannot be if Morals are provided to humans from God.

You say…” Trying to compare surgery choices and morality is like someone trying to compare oranges to a Boeing 747.God created the human mind and therefore created the brain of a doctor to figure out what is wrong with you. If you’re sick go to your doctor.

God created the brain and the mind to know what is right and what is wrong.

You admit here that humans have a brain that can help us decide whats right and whats wrong.You try to suggest decisions about morals are so very different to making decisions about morals , yet you fail to make any decent suggestions why.

There is no reason why the act of stoning people could not be just like somebody trialing a Boeing 747 , and through trails and experience , as tme goes by finding out that there was problems! that demanded ! humans should need to make some changes.

And this is exactly what happened within your own holy bible Frank ,when we see how morals evolved and changed between the first and second testiment.

You say…” You know that stoning someone is wrong, not because you saw it, but because you innately know that killing is wrong, it’s called a conscience.

Frank come down off your faith-cloud for a moment and take off those faith blinkers.I know that stoning people is wrong, but early humans obviously did not think so. (please refer to your bible Frank)

Some places still kill people today Frank , what do you think happens in lethal injection chambers in jails.

Whether you like to admit it or not Frank , its silly to not think seeing something has a far bigger impression on people.Why the heck do you think some men go to war poerfectly fine , yet come home with P.T.S.Ds Frank?.

You are simply not being honest ! if you wont admit that seeing stonings in person must have made a very big impression on those who experienced it.

Why do you think humans used a nuclear bomb , yet later dicided against …Did the idiots lose their conscience Frank ? …Or were their moral thought evolving through time and experience.

Frank you prove how totally worthless ! faith is , if you cant even bring yourself to at least be a little more honest.

I am not impressed.I am disgusted.I am even more convinced i have done the right thing giving faith in Gods a big miss.

Look what it does to people…It makes them blinkered and willfully blind ! like you display here Frank.

Is it any wonder my family rots in a cult.

Gandy

I had said…” You admit here that humans have a brain that can help us decide whats right and whats wrong.You try to suggest decisions about morals are so very different to making decisions about morals , yet you fail to make any decent suggestions why.”

I mean to say you said making decisions about surgery are so very differnt to making decisions about morals.

You are very wrong about this Frank.Early people who were involved in stoning people,were little different to the U.S.A trailing nuclear weapons on Japan.

Folks in the U.S.A didnt lose their conscience when they used nuclear weapons , they were just trialing and experiencing and learning new things , and as they learned their moral view also evolved along the way, with what they learned.

Gandy

Hi Frank 🙂

Sorry if anything i said sounded spiteful , i didnt mean to be spiteful or nasty or anything else.I will admit feeling frustrated when dealing with theists sometimes ,but sometimes it feels like chasing theist rabbits up and down rabbit warrens.

But anyway just so long as you know i honestly dont feel any personal hatered toward you or any other person of faith.By the way to put it Frankly , nice pun! i like it 🙂

You said …” No. I don’t mean in like some Christian folk stoning people to death. (Where did you come up with that?)

No. God did not make a mistake and provide humans the wrong moral plan. And No, God did not change his mind.

God never condones sin, or ‘immorality.’ The fact is this is that the entire human race is immoral and sucks at not doing what is right. I hope you agree with this, because if not, you might be the only person that I ever have talked to that has never done anything wrong.

Frank i came up with that because of the previous comment you had made .

You had said …” Here’s the question: Since God does not (in your opinion)play a role in morality, how do you explain certain societies that do ‘kill’ that do do ‘bad’ things”

You asked Jeff how does he explain societies that do bad things .I said like stoning people to death like was written within the bible.

But you reply ….” God never condones sin, or ‘immorality ”

But this cannot be right if the early Christians were following morality provide by God …Because earlier accoring to early christian, They thought God had said it was fine to stone people , Frank.

Now i understand God doesnt provide humans the moral view , and thus i can explain how this mistake was made .Its just a matter of morals evolving Frank …Because as you already admit God wouldnt make mistakes .

Yet we see these mistakes were made by humans.

Now you cant try and tell me God provided faithful folks with moral views , only when they so happened to the the right ones Frank .Can you ? …If you suggest this then how should we know when your God is providing the right or wrong moral view Frank ? ..Does your God pop down to earth to tell us when we got things wrong ? , or do us humans find out by trial and error.

See the thing is Frank you faithful folk claim God was guiding humans before Jesus arrived on the scene also …So you see you cant wriggle out of this fact that either God made a mistake , or else humans it comes down to the fact that you need to admit that humans view of morals obviously evolved.

And thats what i was trying to point out Frank .You asked Jeff …” how do you explain certain societies that do ‘kill’ that do do ‘bad’ things” ”

But the fact is you faithful folk did absolutely no different ..And yet here you are standing all proud and feeling wonderful ,while being like a pot calling the kettle black.

Now this is silly practice.All you do by doing this is promote theist propaganda that people without faith in God are immoral….And to try to suggest that , you also need to turn a very blind eye to your own history.

Now how can that be so honest Frank ?.

You say…” I don’t think Christians have the right to choose what is moral and what is right, because everyone, the entire human race, is immoral. We have all done something wrong, and we all have the capability of doing great harm and wrongs.

Gandy, I believe that if we are all immoral, none of us can decide objectively what is right and what is wrong, because our view of morality is based on our “social-interaction and experiences.” ”

But hang on a moment Frank …early folks of faith decided stoning people to a slow and painful death was ok .So please lets be honest , obviously faithful folks do think its ok if the “faithful groups ” of people get given the right to choose what they think is moral or not.Sure these faithful folk make subjective claim to having obtained devine guidence …But this is no more an objective view than if a group of atheist decided to be deceitful and try making the very same type of claims.

You see Frank without God arriving on the scene in person ,absolutely anyone can make these claims of possesing devine guidence.And take the stoning saga as and example ,folks of faith have already proved they were being deceitful claiming to be devinely guided right? ,that is unless you wish to admit God makes mistakes?.

You say to me…” If God does not exist, then morality is subjective, and is chaotic. ”

Ok how about i say this …If God does not exist , whether a round wheel or a square wheel honestly works best is purely subjective view ,and decisions being made as to whether round wheels or square wheels should be used , is chaotic .

Now does that make good sense to you Frank ..Do we really need God to pop down to earth and help us decide whether a round or square wheel might work out best ?.

No of course we dont need God to help us decide these things do we Frank ..We decide by trial and error ..We used our brains and experience ….Just as those folks did when they trial stoning folks to death and saw what a terrible nasty slow death it was .And saw how it left many people who watched it with P.T.S.Ds .

Frank your faith has clouded you ability to understand humans can simply work out moral view , just the very same way with experience and by use of their brains they can also find out whether a round wheel or square wheel is what works out the best.

Now i dont say this in a nasty way Frank …Im just being honest here.You are making a mountain out of a mole hill by trying to suggest without God humans cannot find a way to come up with a type of “objective view” .For if we needed God to provide an objective view , we would not bother visiting a number of doctors to ask them all what their opinion was on what surgery we should have …We would even need to pray to God to ask him for and objective opinion on what the speed limit should be .

Frank it is been a deceitful load of propaganda that faithful have promoted that tried to suggest we needed Gods for obtaining an “objective view”.If this were honestly so , our world we live in would soon become totally immpossible ..And our brains would become totally worthless.

Gandy

Frank you said…” If God does not exist, then morality is subjective, and is chaotic. If that were the case I could kill you and your family, because I think that is the morally right thing to do, and I could justify my act based on logical reason and subjective experiences. Now obviously you may disagree with my act of killing and your moral code may be different to mine, but the fact is we both may have come up with our moral code by using the same measurements, social interactions and experience. In this scenario, and if God does not exist, then I am right and you are right. Truth and morality is relative.

Yes Frank and thats exactly what happened , there was a time when moral view thought it ok to stone people .There was a time when the prevailing moral view thought it quite fine to accuse people of being witches and burn them at the stake .There was a time when moral view thought it quite ok that Christian cults be allowed freedom of faith which meant people like me had out family life destroyed and wasted.

Frank your faith clouds you ability to reason properly , yes indeed morality has been subjective, and is chaotic.Its because humans are who is deciding.The only object view we have is by combining opinions and experience and using our human brains to help us decide what works best .Sadly this takes time.Sadly some people were stoned to death or burned at the stake accused of being witches , and people like myself must need to have our family lives on this earth wasted , while groups of people like you and others try and learn something from these mistakes.

Sadly absolutely no God ever suddenly arrives on the scene Frank , to supply any better form of objective view.

Frank

Gandy, subjective morality is BS man. Something tells me that in a million years someone will be having the same debate! Morality does not evolve and progress and get better and better. Since the beginning of time, murder has happened, and guess what murder is still happening.

You said this “yes indeed morality has been subjective, and is chaotic.Its because humans are who is deciding. The only objective view we have is by combining opinions and experience and using our human brains to help us decide what works best.”

That is an absolutely retarded argument, you said “Morality is subjective and chaotic, because humans are deciding what is moral.”

then you say, So since that doesn’t work, let’s take humans who have created morality that is chaotic, and now lets take more humans and come up with objective morality, that is good.

huh? Gandy, if I take one person who sucks at hockey and can’t even skate, and now take more people who suck at hockey and can’t even skate, do you think my team will get better?

Not at all.

Gandy

Frank said…” Gandy, subjective morality is BS man. Something tells me that in a million years someone will be having the same debate! Morality does not evolve and progress and get better and better. Since the beginning of time, murder has happened, and guess what murder is still happening.

Frank just because moral thought evolves, does not mean humans will all stop doing bad things.Frank much of the world realized its not really moral to have nuclear bombs , does this evolution of moral thought mean all people will agree to follow this evolution of moral thought ? .No of course not.

Goodness me Frank , even having faith groups in this world does not mean people will all behave the way we hope they would do.You are faithful , and yet you still show how completely willing you are to deceitfully try and manipulate and twist the discussion.You have your faith, and yet you still cannot be straight up about matters.

But this does not mean that moral thought doesnt evolve.

You are a fool Frank if you cannot see that morals have evolved .Read your freaking bible again Frank , without having the faith blinkers on.See how that between the old and new testiment, its even recorded evidence in your own holy book! that plainly shows how moral thought was evolving.

I dont much like calling people fools.But people who are faithfully ignorant piss me right off no end.My own family life has been ruined by fools who are faithfully ignorant.And i feel great empathy for all those who lost their lives in Jim Jones cults or through being burned at the stake, because fools were faithfully ignorant and were not willing to be more straight up and honest about matters.

All because faithful fools refuse to take their blinkers off.

And the simple fact is….You are acting foolish Frank

You manipulate and twist matters Frank when you try to suggest somebody here is suggesting moral view is completely subjective.Moral thought is no more subjective that view of road code , or surgery practice or use of nuclear weapon is.

Humans achieve a type of objective view , by combing all the different opinions to help us decide what is more likely to be correct.We look at all the opinions without bias of who`s opinion it is,and try to gain an objective type view by seeing what all the available evidence suggests.Just exactly like people do when they will ask a number of doctors for a opinion, and they gain a type of objective view by basing conclusions on what the evidence mostly seems to suggest.

Human society is no more likely to condone murder than they are likely to suggest use of a square wheel rather than a round wheel.Human society found out a very long time ago that murder cannot be condoned in a social society that hopes to achieve more harmony.Condoning murder within a social society has no more hope of working out , than does idiots who might like to trial use of a square wheel rather than a round wheel.

This is why universally humans dont bother condoning murder.And universally they dont bother using square wheels either.

If humans have much the same type of brain and feelings , then with these type things we should not have any reason to expect they would not make much the same conclusions.

Gandy

Frank you said …” Now if God exists and is interested in us, then moral code does exist, because God would then be the “ruler” of the human race and the “judge” of morality.

When you say, “God never ever appears in person to provide us with the moral view…” I would then argue that Jesus is God and I would argue that Jesus existed, was fully human, and therefore, was God coming to earth where he taught his followers how to live and how to interact in society.

Frank your God obviously dont give a damn my family life on this earth has been wasted away.Your God never gave a damn either when folks were being stoned to death or were burned at the stake having been accused of being witches.

It is a sad thing for me to deal with when this world is full of so many people like you who feel Gods are involved in these matters.I have only one life , and yet sadly it takes lifetimes for people like you to learn these things.Yet you call me spiteful when i sound frustrated and a little angry.Do you know what it feels like Frank to watch your family life slowly fade away , promoted by people of faith who even suggest they follow moral view of loving Gods?.

Frank Jesus sounded like a mighty fine guy quite often.But sounding like a mighty fine guy is still a very long way short of proving he were a God.Having a book written about a Guy who sounded real cool , is still a long way short of proving it were the actual truth.Frank you claim Jesus was God just as many others do.Islamist make their claim to fame…Hindus do too ..And so on

Frank your faithful opinion of your chosen group , is no more objective than anyone else who trys makeing the same claim.

You say…” You could do that, but then if your moral view and my moral view contradicted (which they would) we would then have to go to the higher standard of morality, which I would argue is God, in whom we read about and can know through the Bible.

What higher standard Frank ? …Dont you see your claim that the Christian bible is Gods word and a “higher standard of morality” , is no more an “objective view” than if my group tried to make the very same claim.

There is no HONEST higher standard we can turn to Frank .This is where i have been trying to explain to you just how circular and silly this type of argument thests try using , is .It is as childish as bunch of school children standing in a play ground , trying to claim one group holds more magic than the other does.

You said…” You clearly, have never studied or read the Bible. And everything you are saying is ‘hear-say’.

Oh well Frank if you are being honest in your judgment that everything i say is “hesr-say” , then you will be able to provide objective proof that Jesus actually arose from the dead.And to do this you will need to have Jesus arrive here on the scene in person …Because im not interested in listening to biased view recorded in some ancient book written by theists , theist that even today EXTREMELY OFTEN still prove what deceitful people they often are .Prove how they are fully prepared to do and say anything thing, for matters of their own gain.

Yet for some reason Frank , just like those who follow Benny Hinn like a puppy dog , you are fully prepared to be totally convinced by an ancient book written by these very same type of theists.A book that has been proven to contain many things which are very suspect.A book written by scribes years after.A book that it is even publically known to have had certain books kept from being included , by early folks of faith .The same type of folks of faith who even to this very day ! still often prove how very extremely untrustworthy they actually are.

Yet you would happily believe them, while judging me as being full of hear-say.

You say…” Christian cults, are wrong, and whenever a cult pushes someone to the brink of suicide, most likely they are interpreting the Bible, the higher standard of morality, in a wrong way. So, I am sorry that your experience with Christianity is so negative.

But Frank evidently your faith book was writeen through help of devine guidence .Yet here you are trying to blame those who try their best to interpret it , for any damage it causes …Folks of faith like you have been passing-the-buck like this for many years now.You are not prepared to accept responsibility for the problem this book causes.Instead you play this game of passing the buck on to people who try their very best to interpret a book that has indeed managed to confuse VERY MANY.Thus you are like folks who would willingly deny that nuclear weapons are bad ,if you feel it suits your personal agenda.You would willingly place fualt on my family,so long as you retain your beloved faith.And then you also will try and telling me that you honestly do follow a loving caring God.

How many people must need to suffer Frank before folks of faith will finally agree to become more honest?.

Frank

I am arguing in circles? You continue to argue about stoning people, when I have already said its wrong!

You know, if I am atheist and I believe that there is no god and no objective moral code, and I went and committed murder because I was doing trial and error, do you think the judge in court would actually declare me innocent, because I don’t believe morality is objective?

I am sorry, that you have had a negative experience with Christians.

You said, “Frank Jesus sounded like a mighty fine guy quite often. But sounding like a mighty fine guy is still a very long way short of proving he were a God.” True. But what if he was God, how would that change your view of God? That is the true Christian belief, that Jesus was actually God in human flesh.

You said, “Oh well, Frank if you are being honest in your judgment that everything I say is “hear-say” , then you will be able to provide objective proof that Jesus actually arose from the dead.”

Okay, provide objective proof that, Napoleon existed? Did you see him? No. You read books of historians, who read books of those who were eye-witnesses to the existence of Napoleon.

The Bible records the resurrection of Jesus, and is written from those who saw Jesus alive after he died.

If you can argue the Bible is not accurate, then I can argue Wikipedia or whatever other sources you use to write papers on figures in the past, is wrong in accurate as well.

Horrible argument!

Gandy

Frank said…” Okay, provide objective proof that, Napoleon existed? Did you see him? No. You read books of historians, who read books of those who were eye-witnesses to the existence of Napoleon. ”

Frank you are side stepping again .You know Napoleon does not effect people lives the way faith does.Whether Napoleon existed or not does not continue to promote a faith which continues to effect so many peoples lives.

Wikipedia does not lead members of a Jim Jones cult to their death does it Frank.

You are a sad man Frank if you cant see this difference.But then you are faithful , and i see in you ! the very same cold heartless feelings , that have also devoured my own families conscience.

Your world revolves around Franks hopes of obtaining eternal life.Faith ,the selfish gene.

All those who were burned at the stake , or they who were led by faith to follow Jim Jone to their death ,were but a contingency,so Frank could hold onto his GAMBLE of hopefully gaining his own eternal life.

Frank i feel so sorry for your lack of a conscience , where by you are so willing to degenerate this debate and compare need of proof about Jesus to need of proof about Napoleon or Wikipedia.

You know Napoleon or Wikipedia does not cause so many people to faithfully abuse people.You know these things never led to the death of those burned at stakes or for faithfully following ministry of Jim Jones.

But you dont care enough to keep this discussion in perspective.You dont mind if faith caused these people deaths, you still going to compare need for proof of Jesus with proof of Napoleon or Wikipedia.

Because all that matters most to Frank ,is Franks hope of gaining eternal life for himself.

Frank if those folks burned as witches do happen to exist on the otherside in some way , i bet your suggestions here make them feel extremely sick !…As they see you willfully degenerate the great importance there is for us humans to know proof about these matters of faith.

Gandy

Frank said…” You know, if I am atheist and I believe that there is no god and no objective moral code, and I went and committed murder because I was doing trial and error, do you think the judge in court would actually declare me innocent, because I don’t believe morality is objective?

No Frank, because you know us humans live in social socities.Just because people are atheist and people might have their own opinions about matters. We still live in social socities Frank .So as such it is not a world run on law of anarchy.We use democracy and suchlike to try and live in a social society that creates the most harmony possible.

Social society has come a long way.Social society has learned a very long time ago that murder cannot be condoned.These things have already been learned , and you know this !

This rubbish you put forward is just propaganda you faithful try to use.And its very deceitful.

The more i see folks of faith using these deceitful type arguments.The more extremely glad i am, that i no longer follow these faiths and exist with them in their faith camps .Because people like you Frank , prove you cannot even keep this type of conversation a little bit honest.

Gandy

Frank said…” I won’t admit that, but I will admit that humans have interpreted God’s moral views in a wrong and selfish way, that did and still do, more harm than good.

Oh ok so you suggest my family purposely chose to interpret this bible in a way that would cause our family the pain that it has.You suggest that all within this cult are harsh mean and nasty folk who are evil and dont care about their own flesh and blood.You suggest that all others elsewhere that live within cults or burned witches at the stake and suchlike , were all simply mean and nasty people who purposely chose to interpret this book wrong , in hope that they could them cause extreme harm to people.

Frank im sure you mean well.But i dont agree with your judgment.I will not agree with judgment which has continually caused so very much pain and suffering. Lest i also become involved in the continued promotion of such wronful judgment of these people.

You said…” My friend, that is a great insight. However, that is what the Christian faith is. The difference between Christianity and Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism, is that God did arrive here on earth in person, in the form of Jesus. Now you can argue against that, but the fact is, is that is what separates Christianity from every other religion. The Christian God entered humanity and became human! ”

Frank “pride” speaks loudly , but proves very little .You claim is little better than anyone else making the same claims.Your claim is little different to Benny Hinn followers claiming their guru does more honest miracles than somebody elses guru does.

What more Frank while people like you continue to make these unfounded claims ,this faith is promoted and somebody somewhere in this world must need to suffer for your action of being involved in continued promotion of this faith.When folks continued to carry on promoting Christianity after people were burned at the stake , it was only a matter of time until people like myself would need to be born into faith abuse , and end up paying for the priviledge of other people like you ! to have the right to die holding onto your faith cuddly-rug.

You said…” Gandy, even Jeff agreed, that you DO NOT HAVE 100% FACTUAL EVIDENCE that would disprove the existence of God, therefore, you cannot say with assurance that God does not exist. Within your concept, there is still a chance that God exists.

Therefore, your belief is based on faith that the evidence is concrete enough to disprove the existence of God.

So what you are saying is because we cant be 100% sure , that means we should take a stab in the dark and make a guess.So in effect Frank , you see what happen to me and my family as being like a type of contingency plan .We should need to suffer the way we have , just incase people like you might have the chance to receive eternal life.

And then you will also tell me you follow a moral God who is caring and loving and kind.

Frank you are stretching the boudary of what amounts to faith .Tell me Frank when the cops use DNA to help put a rapist or murderer away ,to hords of faithful folk like you spring up and claim …But your honor..we cant dare convict this man on use of our “faith”

See Frank in my opinion you are stretching the truth of what amounts to faith ..You are fully willing to do this because it suits your faith agenda …You are fully prepared to stretch these facts , even if people like myself must need to pay for it , with our whole family lives upon yhis earth.

And then you will try and convince me you honestly follow a moral God who is loving caring and kind.

Yet i know that deep down you do understand that it is not just a matter of faith which atheists follow .You know we follow the evidence , and the evidence we follow is that evidence for the existence of God is little more than books written by theists , theists that even today are extremely well known to be deceitful and uncaring of others .Theist who are fully prepared to let others need to suffer , so that they can hold onto their faith in receiving eternal life for themselves.

You say…” My experience would tell me that someone took my tooth, and tradition would tell me that that someone is called the tooth fairy

Here you discribe how you followed the evidence .In this situation you dont mind admitting it was the evidence that was available that you followed …And if i said no Frank , you were not following evidence you were only following your faith …You would think im being slightly deceitful and think Gandy is stretching the truth! because it suits Gandys agenda of having faith in the tooth fairy.

And yet when it suits you and you faith Frank , you will quite happily have double standards.

And because of this situation people like myself must need to be born into places of faith abuse ,and we will continue to pay for your deceitful practices of stretching the truth when it suits your agenda.

And then you will also try to convince me you are a caring kind person , who follows a moral loving and caring and kind God

Frank just because we cannot be 100% sure that no God exist …Does not mean we follow faith.

You cannot be 100% sure the tooth fairy dont actually exist …But you follow the eveidence that suggests that most likely the tooth fairy does not exist.

This is the best we can do Frank. This is the fairest and most safest and kind way we humans can live.And any God that exists will understand that , unless this God was an unthoughtful and unkind and very uncaring nasty being.

And if folks of faith thought about this more honestly they would understand that no moral God could ever condemm people to hell, while providing so very little evidence of his existence.

But alas , faith has a way of putting blinkers on the faithful , specially when faith is accompanied by manipulative tactics of fear designed to control peoples thoughts through tormenting suggesting of some place called hell.

I know this very well .Because it is this fear of hell what puts blinkers on my own family, and turns them into the cold hearted people they have become.If it wasnt for this torment of suggestions of hell that were designed to control people minds within fear , just as the likes of Hitler also used to help control thoughts of people around him .

My family would very likely not be the cold hearted people they have become.

But you wont see that will you Frank ..Your fear for yourself and your own safty in hope of not needing to end up in a place you have been indoctrinated to believe is called hell where people will suffer endlessly , wont allow your mind to even considder what i have said .And this is exactly the same type of manipulative fear tactic what Hitler used to keep his men tossing Jews into the gas chambers.

Do you honestly think all those German folks were simply inhuman heartless folk too Frank?, like you seem to suggest my family are, because your faithful mind wants you to continue to believe my family purposely interpreted the scriptures the way they did.

You said…” What if the evidence did point to God? Would you believe? Probably not.

Frank thanks for judging me so unkindly .Its what i have grown to expect from the faithful.I do understand it suits their faith ! , to allow themselves to believe this of us atheists.

You said…. ” There is all no bad evidence that disproves that God exists. ”

Frank you continue on with your faith if you dont mind being like German who was fearful of Hitlers threats , who prefered to throw Jews into the gas chamber and harm and kill women and children , to save his own life.

But when you die remember this Frank ..Folks will continue to suffer in cults , because of people like yourself ,who felt your hope of eternal life was worth more than the life of others on this earth.People will need to continue to suffer under the opression of religion , because people like you believe in a nasty God who would throw people into hell ,even though obviously God never made matters clear.

If i were you Frank dieing as a theist ,having been a part of promoting something that had indeed caused so very much harm in the name of God .I would need to hope no afterlife existed for fear of meeting some of those poor souls that burned to death at the stake.

See Frank if indeed i need to face some God ,at least i can face God and be honest when saying my action revolved in caring about the future of others who came after me.

Will you be able to face God should you meet one , and make the same type of claim Frank ? ..Or will you need to admit your feared only for yourself ! and saving your own skin ?

Frank

Gandy,

Your wrote this, “But when you die remember this Frank ..Folks will continue to suffer in cults , because of people like yourself ,who felt your hope of eternal life was worth more than the life of others on this earth.”

Hmm…so eternal life, which is forever, is not as important as people living approximately 80 years of life on earth. Interesting?

Also, I don’t think people will get involved in cults because I wrote a reply on a blog.

Gandy, you finished with this irrational, and very offensive statement “Will you be able to face God should you meet one , and make the same type of claim Frank ? ..Or will you need to admit your feared only for yourself ! and saving your own skin ?”

What the heck does that mean?

I won’t even respond. You don’t know me. You are comparing me to some cult bimbo who stones people. That would be like me saying to that you are just like the atheistic murderer. If you want to debate, debate with morals, be kind, tolerant and open; don’t be judgmental and quick to throw mud, because you had a bad experience with someone who called themselves a “Christian.”

I am sorry your family life was tormented by someone who used religion to justify his actions, but for the love of God, don’t use your experiences to justify lumping everyone into the same evil category.

I will not respond to your comments anymore, email me if you want to continue this debate at frank.m.shepherd@gmail.com.

Gandy

Frank said…” Hmm…so eternal life, which is forever, is not as important as people living approximately 80 years of life on earth. Interesting?

Frank you have absolutely no proof that eternal life even exists.And yet people like you are still quite willing to gamble with many people lives on this earth , just incase you can gain eternal life.So faith is a selfish thing isnt it Frank, faith revolved around hope of gaining for the self.Faith dont care who else gets hurt along the way ,just so long as Faithful Frank has a chance of hopefully obtaining his own eternal life.

You find what i say offensive Frank …Is your conscience getting to you Frank ?..Does it make you feel a little uncomfortable to considder people like you ! are promoting that what often gambles with many peoples lives upon this earth?.That what gambled with the lives of those accused as witches and burned at the stake.

You ought to feel a little uncomfortable Frank there is good reason for it.Empathy fires your feelings Frank ,you are considdering how it might feel if it were your life! being wasted on this earth by people promoting faith in an afterlife.

Frank

Gandy,

Let’s get a few things straight. I am not backing down from this debate because i feel guilty. In fact, the opposite is true. As I read your arguments and (your grammar) I cannot help but think that 1) Your either in grade 5 because you can’t spell or write the english language, and/or 2) you cannot put together any coherent thought. So please, for the love of God, proofread your text and summarize your thoughts, to prevent rambling and incoherency.

Moving on.

I’m not responding to all your arguments, simply because I have a life, and a job, and a wife, and well better things to do then just spend hours debating over and over again the exact same topic.

However, I will respond to your “main idea.” You say, God cannot exist and objective morality cannot exist, because in the past, people in the name of the Christian God, acted immoral, (ie. Stoning your relatives.)

I replied everyone acts immoral and just cause they claim to be acting on behalf of a God, does not mean at all, that the God they claim to be working for is actually in support of what they are doing. Can we agree that this happens? Please.

Second, you brought up the Bible and stoning people in the Bible, please show me where you found this? Support your argument with text from the Bible and I will then respond. Thanks.

You continued on about nuclear bombs. And how after an atomic bomb was used people realized it was wrong. So Gandy, with your idea of morality evolving, do you think dropping a nuclear bomb and killing millions of people, is the proper way of figuring out whether or not a nuclear bomb is immoral or not? I would tend to think, that someone probably knew or thought “Hey, when i drop this bomb, millions of people are going to be killed and die, this is wrong!” Now, the act still happened, however, I don’t think they were doing “trial and error” to figure out whether or not an atomic bomb was an immoral or moral act. Gandy, just so you know, anyone who would think that is an idiot.

Now you went on and on about Christians, or as you like to call them “faithful” in the past who have down evil. Like I said there are muslims who have done evil, hindus who have done evil, buddhist, nudists (joke! Laugh Gandy!) and guess what atheists!

Gandy, because you like to point out so called “Christians” who were evil. (I would argue they are not Christians.) Let’s just for the fun of it, look at some of these famous atheists, in the past 100 years or so, that have well acted evil!

1. Than Shwe the dictator Myanmar/Burma. Than Shwe is an atheist and therefore has an atheist government and because he has the largets army of child soldiers that must mean every atheist believes child soldiers are morally okay? Right… (Gandy this is your train of thought.)

2. Kim Jong Il – North Korea dictator and Atheist. Just in case you didn’t know he is responsible for over 4 MILLION Koreans deaths. So with your logic, all atheists, must think genocide is morally acceptable.

3. Jeffrey Dahmer – serial killer. He said this “if a person doesn’t think that there is a God to be accountable to, then what’s the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges?”

4. Jim Jones – he was a leader of christian cult that had his followers all committ suicide. However, he said this “I took the church and used the church to bring people to atheism.” Interesting…

All that to say, in every religion, Christian or atheisim, there are people that do evil things, in the name of their beliefs. Gandy, you cannot argue that Christianity is evil, because people were stoned to death.

When it comes to Christians, I know more Christians who are active humanitarians and social activists. I know Christians who have given up wealth and material success to work with orphaned children and exploited children. I know Christians who are digging wells in Africa. I know organizations who are sponsoring children so they can have education and food. I know churches who give away their money to help the needy in their community. I know Christian doctors and nurses who travel to developing countries to give medical aid. In recent natural disasters, like Haiti and Pakistan, I know Christians and Christian organizations who have either gone to those countries or provided supplies for those countries.

Gandy, here is my main idea. The Christian faith is about this “Love God and Love God, by loving others.” Gandy, in all that you have debated, you have not once replied to my point that the Bible clearly commands Christians to Love God and love others.

I don’t think someone’s earthly life is less important then my eternal life. I think God commands me to invest all of who I am in making sure people life life to the fullest. Yes eternal life is important, because well its forever, but so is our earthly, physical life. Anyways, Gandy, I am expecting a harsh rebuttal, but before you write, actually consider what I wrote.

Gandy, here’s a youtube from Penn an atheist, and his view on someone evangelizing to him. I think he states why evangelism from a Christian is a good thing. You might disagree with what the Christian may be saying about the after-life, but nonetheless, it’s a very valid point that Penn makes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdvES4_MJ5Y

Cheers.

Gandy

Only just returned back here today Frank.My grammar is poor because christians i grew up among found it hard to read the Bible that you interpret “clearly commands Christians to Love God and love others”.And as such i had a rough time in school,and also got sexually abused,and the only way i could see at the time to help stop myself feeling like i was drowning in the psychological and physical abuse, was to run away and try and find a way to make my own way in the world,when i was still aged only 15.I did this under threats from priests and family to have me returned to this faith group by the police.And im sure you can quickly guess why they never bothered to ring the police to try carrying this threat through huh.

I didnt come back here until now because debating christians has a way of making me feel kind of angry,and then that leaves me feeling bad,because i like people and specially people like Jeff who`s blog this is.And id rather forget about my own interests sometimes,if it means i dont need to hurt or offend other people.Which is partly why to this very day i still have not reported the sexual abuse to the police.

Im not going to debate this matter with you anymore Frank,im not backing down either.But realize maybe we are best to agree to disagree.You mention the bible talks about love and what not.Yet in my opinion leave out all the other mean and harsh nasty parts that “clearly” exist within it also too.You claim it “clearly states” things,suggesting maybe either many theists must be total dim-whits or specially evil or something.Because they often sure did make a real botch-job of managing to interpret what you claim to be clearly stated.

And you totally miss my point with regard to objective morality.If morals were objective morals directly delivered via Gods to humans,man should not have had no good reason at all to make mistakes such as stoning people to death for many years like they did.Morals are subjective and this helps account for why humans stoned people to death,until they finally slowly learned better, allowing their morality to slowly evolve into the type of modern “objective” human view that tells us today,that it actually seems very barbaric and terrible torture to stone people to death.

This also helps explain why some Islamic folk might still stone people today,while also claiming to have the same close connections to God that Christians also try claiming they have.Thus morals are subjective depending on views,and only move toward a more “object view” through time and experience,very much like human production of safe cars and transport, or maybe even things like political organizations, with the phenomena we see at present of more countries trying to evolve! and make a push toward adopting democracy.

All the very best to you Frank.And absolutely no grudge held toward you either on my part.Plus no need to apologise for anything.My explaination of my use of bad grammer ,was simply an explaination,and not me wining or about me expecting anyone to need to feel sorry for me.One thing about my life is it helped me grow pretty tough skin.

Peace !

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