The cost of atheism
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27-08-2014, 02:32 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 02:25 PM)wazzel Wrote:  
(27-08-2014 02:17 PM)ChristianMan Wrote:  No, as an atheist I expect you to have very poor, inconsistent morality. Which you are demonstrating.

Atheist are no different in the consistency of they morality that religious people. We are all human and exhibit the same traits.

tally up insults in this thread see how the atheists come out. Anyway, by inconsistent I meant that atheists have no universal standard of right and wrong. So each does what is right in their own eyes, or that of their peer group.
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27-08-2014, 02:34 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 02:22 PM)wazzel Wrote:  
(27-08-2014 02:12 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Even though I agree with you for the most part, I think this statement is maybe a bit too strong. I know traditional Catholics who still claim that Matthew and John were the Matthew and John (apostles of Jesus), and that Mark was some sort of secretary to Peter, and therefore at least a secondhand eyewitness. Now, I know that the consensus of modern Biblical scholarship says this is unlikely (and that is my opinion as well), but it's not an exact science, and I don't know that it has been "established". I will grant the possibility that these gospels were written by eyewitnesses -- I just think it's very unlikely. I think the truth is that we don't know who wrote the gospels. Nobody can prove that they were written by eyewitnesses, but I don't think we can disprove it either. We should be careful about claiming things as facts that we really don't know.

The only one written close enough to the crucifixion (in about year 30) to have had an eye witness is Matthew. If you think the righter was young, but old enough to be a part of what was going on, say 15 or so in year 30. That would make that person a minimum of 75 at the time Matthew was written, using the year 90 as a reasonable estimate. That is on the extremely high end of life expectancy for that time. All the other were written far enough away to exceed the normal life span at that time to have been an eye witness.

I don't think we know with any certainty when they were written, either. Most of that stuff is in the form of educated guesses. I'm not disagreeing with the scholarly consensus -- just pointing out that it's not something we know.
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27-08-2014, 02:37 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 02:32 PM)ChristianMan Wrote:  
(27-08-2014 02:25 PM)wazzel Wrote:  Atheist are no different in the consistency of they morality that religious people. We are all human and exhibit the same traits.

tally up insults in this thread see how the atheists come out. Anyway, by inconsistent I meant that atheists have no universal standard of right and wrong. So each does what is right in their own eyes, or that of their peer group.

oooooh the moral theory, here I wrote a paper on that.

Moral Theology is the study of how persons live in response to what God has done for them (Mueller 221).

Morality is concerned with human conduct but goes to a deeper level of personhood, such that our conduct is a reflection of who we are, a reflection of our character (Mueller 221).

Ethics can be defined as a discussion of the formation of human conduct… How responsible human beings capable of critical judgment should live using reflection on fundamental issues in description of concrete cases (Mueller 221).

Conscience is the voice of God written in our hearts, in accordance with the second Vatican Council. Natural law is considered one of the major sources of moral theology and answers the question: how do I know what is good or evil? Christians believe that natural law has been a factor in our decisions of what is morally right and wrong, good and evil (Mueller 222 – 227).

“This people who may personally and individually be moral and good people and have no intention of conflict and harm on others often share a Christian theory called the collective guilt “social sin.” (Mueller 257). The depths that theists go to fabricate the conception of sin knows no bounds, here you can be a good person yet you still have “social sin”. John Paul II said that social sins are “collective behavior of certain social groups, big or small, or even of whole nations or blocks of nations” (Mueller 258). Social sin becomes personal sin of individuals through complicity, indifference, or reluctance of those in a position to exert influence for change who do not do so (Mueller 258).

Catholic social teaching looks to gospel teaching to form the moral foundation the Catholic approach to questions of social justice. And assist the disciple in the ongoing task of reflecting on the challenge of Jesus in the sermon on the Mount and in discerning what it means in a consumer, technological, and globalized society to be poor in spirit and to embrace a sorrowing and the lowly (Mueller 260).


Secular morality is the aspect of philosophy that deals with morality outside of religious traditions. Modern examples include humanism, freethinking, and most versions of consequentialism. Additional philosophies with ancient roots include those such as skepticism and virtue ethics. Greg M. Epstein states that, "much of ancient Far Eastern thought is deeply concerned with human goodness without placing much if any stock in the importance of gods or spirits. Other philosophers have proposed various ideas about how to determine right and wrong actions. An example is Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative: "The idea that actions can only be considered moral if they could be imitated by anyone else and produce good results."

A variety of positions are apparent regarding the relationship between religion and morality. Some believe that religion is necessary as a guide to a moral life. This idea has been with us for nearly 2,000 years. There are various thoughts regarding how this idea has arisen. For example, Greg Epstein suggests that this idea is connected to a concerted effort by theists to question nonreligious ideas: "conservative authorities have, since ancient days, had a clever counter strategy against religious skepticism—convincing people that atheism is evil, and then accusing their enemies of being atheists.

Others eschew the idea that religion is required to provide a guide to right and wrong behavior, such as the Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics which states that religion and morality "are to be defined differently and have no definitional connections with each other". Some believe that religions provide poor guides to moral behavior.

Popular atheist author and biologist Richard Dawkins, writing in The God Delusion, has stated that religious people have committed a wide variety of acts and held certain beliefs through history that are considered today to be morally repugnant. He has stated that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis held broadly Christian religious beliefs that inspired the Holocaust on account of antisemitic Christian doctrine, that Christians have traditionally imposed unfair restrictions on the legal and civil rights of women, and that Christians have condoned slavery of some form or description throughout most of Christianity's history. Dawkins insists that, since Jewish and Christian interpretations of the Bible have changed over the span of history so that what was formerly seen as permissible is now seen as impermissible, it is intellectually dishonest for them to believe theism provides an absolute moral foundation apart from secular intuition. In addition, he argued that since Christians and other religious groups do not acknowledge the binding authority of all parts of their holy texts (e.g., The books of Exodus and Leviticus state that those who work on the Sabbath and those caught performing acts of homosexuality, respectively, were to be put to death.), they are already capable of distinguishing "right" from "wrong." (Boghossian 248).

The well-known passage from Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, "If God is dead, all is permitted," suggests that non-believers would not hold moral lives without the possibility of punishment by a God. This is absurd as all one has to do is look at Scandinavian countries to see that this largely atheist area enjoys being at the top tier of civilization.

Phil Zuckerman, associate professor of sociology at Pitzer College in California, in his article, "Is Faith Good For Us" states the following: "A comparison of highly irreligious countries with highly religious countries, however, reveals a very different state of affairs. In reality, the most secular countries-those with the highest proportion of atheists and agnostics-are among the most stable, peaceful, free, wealthy, and healthy societies. And the most religious nations-wherein worship of God is in abundance-are among the most unstable, violent, oppressive, poor, and destitute."

A study by Gregory S. Paul, entitled "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look," was done and the study's conclusion was that there was an inverse relationship between religion and poor societal health rates. What that means is that the higher the level of religious belief in a country, the lower the level of societal health (more violent crimes, suicides, teen pregnancies, etc.).

So it seems that a plethora of evidence exists to show that not only do we not need religion in our lives to be good humans, but that having it in our lives can be counter-productive and unhealthy.

Works cited


Mueller, J.J., Theological Foundations: Concepts and Methods for Understanding the Christian Faith. Winona: Anselm Academic, Christian Brothers Publications, 2011. Print.



Boghossian, Peter. A Manual for Creating Atheists. Durham: Pitchstone Publishing, 2013. Print.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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27-08-2014, 02:38 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 01:49 PM)wazzel Wrote:  
(27-08-2014 01:45 PM)Chas Wrote:  They are only coming here in waves,
Their lips move but I can't hear what they're saying ...
Are you comfortable and numb yet?

I am, lol! Going to retire for the night. It's been an interesting time. Hard to have any meaningful discussion with anyone though when I'm talking to about 15 people at the same time. The saddest things I read on here were actually from a professing christian, not from an atheist. That was a surprise. Thanks for the exchanges.
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27-08-2014, 02:39 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 02:34 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(27-08-2014 02:22 PM)wazzel Wrote:  The only one written close enough to the crucifixion (in about year 30) to have had an eye witness is Matthew. If you think the righter was young, but old enough to be a part of what was going on, say 15 or so in year 30. That would make that person a minimum of 75 at the time Matthew was written, using the year 90 as a reasonable estimate. That is on the extremely high end of life expectancy for that time. All the other were written far enough away to exceed the normal life span at that time to have been an eye witness.

I don't think we know with any certainty when they were written, either. Most of that stuff is in the form of educated guesses. I'm not disagreeing with the scholarly consensus -- just pointing out that it's not something we know.

Grasshopper I understand your perspective, but it is actually pretty solid. They can break down the books by writing style, comparison writings, usage of certain words, usage of certain language, etc to establish a very finite time period. I am on my way to class right this minute or I would dig up some of my findings on this to expound. Have a good night..

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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27-08-2014, 02:41 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 02:38 PM)ChristianMan Wrote:  Hard to have any meaningful discussion with anyone though when I'm talking to about 15 people at the same time.
We came up with a solution to that problem a while ago; there's an entire section dedicated to one-on-one debates in which only two participants are allowed to post in any given thread. It's called "The Boxing Ring" and you can find it here. I'm sure that there are at least a couple of people who would be interested in such a debate with you.

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27-08-2014, 02:41 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 02:38 PM)ChristianMan Wrote:  
(27-08-2014 01:49 PM)wazzel Wrote:  Are you comfortable and numb yet?

I am, lol! Going to retire for the night. It's been an interesting time. Hard to have any meaningful discussion with anyone though when I'm talking to about 15 people at the same time. The saddest things I read on here were actually from a professing christian, not from an atheist. That was a surprise. Thanks for the exchanges.

Hard to enter serious discussion when you are fending off 15 people, we have an area called the boxing ring where only two people are allowed to publicly enter a discussion, perhaps if you want to have one, I am always ready. have a pleasant evening.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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27-08-2014, 02:41 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 02:38 PM)ChristianMan Wrote:  I am, lol! Going to retire for the night. It's been an interesting time. Hard to have any meaningful discussion with anyone though when I'm talking to about 15 people at the same time. The saddest things I read on here were actually from a professing christian, not from an atheist. That was a surprise. Thanks for the exchanges.

As opposed to your demeaning, pretentious, and judgmental stance towards people? Okay. I'll consider the source and take that as a compliment.

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27-08-2014, 02:41 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 01:48 PM)ChristianMan Wrote:  I think you will find that evangelicalism is doing quite well.


... but not well enough to stop the continuing decline in numbers regularly attending church.
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27-08-2014, 02:43 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 02:17 PM)ChristianMan Wrote:  
(27-08-2014 12:52 PM)morondog Wrote:  God you're so... Rolleyes precious. You think we *give* a damn about your feelings?

No, as an atheist I expect you to have very poor, inconsistent morality. Which you are demonstrating.

Your expectations are biased and untrue. Please join reality.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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