Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
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01-03-2013, 04:27 PM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
It's an old gag. I thought it was obvious. I assumed it meant he was a troll from the beginning but given how people come up with screen names on the internet, I considered that it might just be a name in poor taste from someone who isn't intentionally trolling.

Of course, his posts have led me back to the original assumption, that he's only here to troll.

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01-03-2013, 04:36 PM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
I don't think Heywood understands that a psychopath would not care about gods. They would simply act in accordance with whichever neuron misfired first and go on from there.

IF we assume the psychopath had been indoctrinated into, say, Christianity... lets say as a fundamentalist Pentecostal specifically, it might be possible that their indoctrinated belief would have an effect on them. Though it would almost certainly cause them to view others as some kind of evil and attempt to eradicate it or perhaps think their urges (lets go with Heywood's assumed homicidal urges) to be a result of the Holy Spirit's guidance, all the while still following the misfired neurons order.

But all this is assuming that the psychopath in question is one of homicidal tendencies. It is entirely possible for a psychopath to simply feel little or no emotion thus being pretty apathetic toward everything and simply going about their own lives not caring about anything else.

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
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01-03-2013, 07:06 PM
Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
Didn't David Koresh start out Christian? Would you feel safe locked up by him? Jim Jones? A grand inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition? A comfy chair?

Edit: My bad. A chair is not a Christian.

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01-03-2013, 07:17 PM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
(01-03-2013 04:27 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  It's an old gag. I thought it was obvious. I assumed it meant he was a troll from the beginning but given how people come up with screen names on the internet, I considered that it might just be a name in poor taste from someone who isn't intentionally trolling.

Of course, his posts have led me back to the original assumption, that he's only here to troll.
I apologize for making this thread. I can see how many would interpet it as trolling. That wasn't my intention.
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01-03-2013, 07:54 PM
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.

The opposite is also true. A psychopath hears a voice from god telling him to kill people or someone, so he complies. After all no body goes to hell for carrying out the word of god.

But if he knew about schizophrenia wouldn't he seek help instead of murder?

I think the problem you are having is thinking about morality with out fear being the only thing that stops people from harming one another.

Reason, empathy, self interest, social rewards and many other things I can not think of off the top of my head are reasons why people do not harm one another.

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02-03-2013, 12:06 AM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
Personally, if I was in a room with a murderous psychopath, I'd find it even scarier if he was a theist.

I don't have stats on mass murderers, but I'm just thinking of all the people in the news that kill their families because they think god wants them to. You couldn't reason with a person like that.

That being said, a psychopath is a psychopath. I don't think their religion or lack thereof is even important, unless they are one of the ones hearing voices supposedly from god telling them to kill. If a person is mentally ill in that way, they aren't gonna be rational anyway.

But as others have said, no, I can't see how atheism could be responsible for mass killings. It is not a ideology, it is only an answer to the question "Do gods exist?" It also has nothing to do with morality or capacity to harm others, so the question in the OP is fundamentally flawed.

The problem here with the OP is that he, like many theists, assume the only reason people behave morally is fear of hell. This is demonstrably untrue.
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02-03-2013, 12:21 AM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
(02-03-2013 12:06 AM)amyb Wrote:  The problem here with the OP is that he, like many theists, assume the only reason people behave morally is fear of hell. This is demonstrably untrue.
I don't assume that. I have never stated or made the argument that if a person is an atheist they are immoral.
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02-03-2013, 12:36 AM (This post was last modified: 02-03-2013 12:54 AM by fstratzero.)
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
(02-03-2013 12:21 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(02-03-2013 12:06 AM)amyb Wrote:  The problem here with the OP is that he, like many theists, assume the only reason people behave morally is fear of hell. This is demonstrably untrue.
I don't assume that. I have never stated or made the argument that if a person is an atheist they are immoral.

I think the reason why that person might think that you did assume that is...

(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.

And the title of your thread.

Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?

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02-03-2013, 01:46 AM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
(02-03-2013 12:36 AM)fstratzero Wrote:  
(02-03-2013 12:21 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  I don't assume that. I have never stated or made the argument that if a person is an atheist they are immoral.

I think the reason why that person might think that you did assume that is...

(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.

And the title of your thread.

Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?

The title of this thread was ill concieved. The thread itself was ill concieved. I wish now I hadn't even started it....so I will grant you that.

However it does not follow that just because I believe the fear of hell to be a deterent that means I believe that if somone is an atheist then the must be immoral.
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02-03-2013, 01:51 AM
Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
(02-03-2013 01:46 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(02-03-2013 12:36 AM)fstratzero Wrote:  I think the reason why that person might think that you did assume that is...


And the title of your thread.

Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?

The title of this thread was ill concieved. The thread itself was ill concieved. I wish now I hadn't even started it....so I will grant you that.

However it does not follow that just because I believe the fear of hell to be a deterent that means I believe that if somone is an atheist then the must be immoral.

So then your originally stated observation was simply attempting to relate correlation with causation? Or do you have some other reason to believe atheism a more logical cause? Or have I misunderstood?

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