Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
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02-03-2013, 10:36 AM
RE: 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.
Well, there we are: and why is that? Maybe that deserves it's own thread.

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02-03-2013, 11:56 AM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
(02-03-2013 01:46 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  However it does not follow that just because I believe the fear of hell to be a deterent[sic] that means I believe that if somone[sic] is an atheist then the must be immoral.

Sinfulness =/= Morality

It sounds like you are confusing the two. Are atheists sinful? Sure, no point in following the commands of a god you don't believe exists. But not everything labeled a sin is immoral, and case in point, many other things demanded by god are clearly immoral.

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02-03-2013, 02:10 PM (This post was last modified: 02-03-2013 02:47 PM by Starcrash.)
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.

At best, this is "post hoc" reasoning... correlation doesn't prove causation. Even if atheist beliefs and mass shootings both increase, that doesn't mean that one causes the other. Computer speed is also increasing every year; should we blame faster computers for mass shootings? But we can do better than simply point out a logical fallacy here.

Is it reasonable to think that a fear of hell prevents Christians from doing evil? According to popular Christian interpretation of the bible, belief in God is what prevents a Christian from going to hell, not avoidance of evil. Whether a Christian spends his or her lifetime on a street corner preaching or a lifetime killing as many people as possible, that Christian will go to heaven. So why would hell be a deterrent?

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02-03-2013, 04:53 PM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
If you qualify as a homosexual, adulterer, disobedient child, witch, or other undesirables, God not only makes exceptions to the "thou shalt not kill" rule (that are in the Bible), but promotes the killing of such people as punishment for their sins. So if a Christian believes that someone qualifies for mortal punishment, he may feel obliged to carry it out. And that has been the case for the entirety of Christianity's history. Everything from religious persecution, to executions for sins, to today's homophobia is easily validated by the holy book.

In those cases, hell is not a deterrent, because the killer feels he is doing God's work.

Even if the killer does not qualify the victims as sinners or enablers of sin, hell is not an effective deterrent. Most mass shootings are not the product of logical thought. If the shooter has a severe mental illness, he may feel worthless and not care about his punishment, or he may not even consider it due to his state of mind. Depressed people won't always fear hell. Schizophrenics won't always think clearly. Anger makes people temporarily stupid. Greed narrows people's vision. Feelings of betrayal make the world disappear.

Hell is a deterrent to those who stop to think. If you aren't thinking clearly due to an abnormal mental state, the deterrent is ignored or forgotten.

If something can be destroyed by the truth, it might be worth destroying.

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02-03-2013, 05:13 PM
RE: Is atheism responsible for mass shootings?
Atheism is not a requirement for any thing other then a disbelief in a supernatural claim. To say atheism is a "reason" for mass murder is like saying people who call a "off" a channel on a T.V.

Anyone, name me ONE quote from an atheist killing in the name of atheism, I will quote ten thousand quotes from the religious doing murder in the name of their religion.
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