Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
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27-02-2013, 02:30 AM
Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
Please don't hate me for starting this thread. Its not an attack on the validity of atheism. I am, however, suspicious that recent mass shootings might be an artifact of a growing trend in this country toward atheistic beleifs. My thinking goes like this: Imagine a pyscopath who believes in God. If that pyschopath get depressed and decides to kill himself he/she might refrain from killing others in the process because of a fear of going to hell. Remove that fear and you remove a layer of protection from innocent people.

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27-02-2013, 02:33 AM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
Which is why no one ever gets killed in Muslim countries.

Your argument is inherently flawed (not to mention unbelievably simplistic). Do you have any idea how psychopathy works? Do you think psychopaths are normal, reasonable beings who can take it or leave it?

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27-02-2013, 02:39 AM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
The theist psychopath is just as likely to believe that everyone they meet are demons or demon-controlled, and that ridding the world of them is God's will. Do you have any data on whether recent shooters were theist or atheist?

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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27-02-2013, 03:05 AM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
(27-02-2013 02:30 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Please don't hate me for starting this thread. Its not an attack on the validity of atheism. I am, however, suspicious that recent mass shootings might be an artifact of a growing trend in this country toward atheistic beleifs. My thinking goes like this: Imagine a pyscopath who believes in God. If that pyschopath get depressed and decides to kill himself he/she might refrain from killing others in the process because of a fear of going to hell. Remove that fear and you remove a layer of protection from innocent people.
I feel like a psychopath may be offended by this. Psychopathy has nothing to do with whether or not one believes in a god; neither does sociopathy, which is what we see in serial killers. It's all a mix of circumstance mixed with chemicals in your brain telling you to do strange things. See also: homicial ideation .

I know at least somewhere between ten and twenty open atheists, young and old, and none of them have considered killing anyone.

Ironically, even though this isn't the same thing, I was most suicidal while I still believed in a god. No




But at least none of this shit will happen again.
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27-02-2013, 03:18 AM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
"Please don't hate me, buuuut I'm going to say that you and people like you are directly or indirectly responsible for mass murderers and serial killers without any evidence of this or even very solid reasoning, based solely on my complete ignorance of psychology and my being too lazy to Google for fifteen seconds before posting. kthxbai!"



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27-02-2013, 03:32 AM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
A psychopath is going to do whatever he thinks is best for him. He will use any number of things to justify his actions. (Up to and including "Because I felt like it")

Having said that, not all killers are psychopaths; just as not all psychopaths are killers.

When it comes down to it, sure, maybe someone will refrain from killing mass numbers of people purely because of their religious beliefs. At the same time, many others will not refrain from killing mass numbers of people because of their religious beliefs. In fact, they may use those very beliefs to justify said killings. (No atheist ever flew planes into buildings in the name of an empty cosmos)

I don't mind you asking this question, as others seem to, because in the end; religion effects an individual's worldview and, in turn, their actions. So, it's possible that a religious individual would refrain from doing things that an atheist wouldn't. However, there are far too many factors to take into consideration when it comes to things like mass shootings, and I would venture to say that no; Atheism doesn't have anything to do with it. We would need to see all existing angles of a situation (which is, of course, impossible) in order to reach a concrete conclusion. But, from the evidence we can weigh; Atheism doesn't seem to factor into it at all.

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27-02-2013, 03:33 AM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
(27-02-2013 02:30 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Please don't hate me for starting this thread. Its not an attack on the validity of atheism. I am, however, suspicious that recent mass shootings might be an artifact of a growing trend in this country toward atheistic beleifs [sic].


That's like saying, "I'm not racist" and then following it with the most obviously racist thing you possibly could...

Is atheism a possible factor? Yes, in a sea of other possibilities. I'd wager a guess that our gun-loving culture, high religiosity, terrible health care system (especially mental health), divisive political system, failing education systems (a symptom of a greater collapse in our overall infrastructure), and terrible wealth inequality; are all probably much greater factors in the current rise of mass shootings. Were the shooters atheist, or did they kill in the name of atheism? I haven't seen anything to that effect. And even if they had, would they be justified? Not at all, in the same way that you'd argue that if any of these shooters claimed to have done so for Jesus Christ, you'd be arguing that they aren't 'really' Christian...

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27-02-2013, 03:34 AM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
(27-02-2013 03:18 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:  "Please don't hate me, buuuut I'm going to say that you and people like you are directly or indirectly responsible for mass murderers and serial killers without any evidence of this or even very solid reasoning, based solely on my complete ignorance of psychology and my being too lazy to Google for fifteen seconds before posting. kthxbai!"
Well, Phaedrus, spring's just around the corner, hibernation period is over and trolls are coming in droves. Not much we can do about it. Good thing is, they get bored quickly (not as quickly as we - of them, but still...)

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27-02-2013, 03:38 AM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
(27-02-2013 02:39 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  The theist psychopath is just as likely to believe that everyone they meet are demons or demon-controlled, and that ridding the world of them is God's will. Do you have any data on whether recent shooters were theist or atheist?

I have no data on any of the shooters. My suspicions are just that. I am in no way making a claim of fact that a rise in atheism is the cause for the recent mass shootings.
I think your claim about the theist pyschopath is outlandish. A theist pyschopath isn't necessarily going to think everyone they meet is a demon etc.
What I am saying is a theists pyschopath maybe restained from committing harm to others by a belief in going to hell. An atheist pyschopath has no such restraint.

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27-02-2013, 03:41 AM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
(27-02-2013 03:38 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  What I am saying is a theists pyschopath maybe restained from committing harm to others by a belief in going to hell. An atheist pyschopath has no such restraint.
Sometimes. Sometimes not.

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