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-   -   Atheist bus campaign in CH (https://www.englishforum.ch/swiss-politics-news/43755-atheist-bus-campaign-ch.html)

amogles 19.02.2009 17:29

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Russkov (Post 400327)
This is taught to us by our parents and institutionalized into government and adapted into religion.

according to this, morals really are semi-random, seeing they can be different in different cultures and different over time.

However, one of the most important trials of the 20th Century, the Nurenberg trials, found people guilty for doing things that were

1) under orders from their superiors
2) legal in their country at the time and under the circumstances

The same actions were clearly wrong, however, in the eyes of most of the rest of the world.

Seeing morality and right and wrong are all relative and arbitrary (as you imply), was it wrong to put these people on trial for any crime other than losing a war?

Had they won the war, would it have been okay for them to put Churchill and Roosevelt on a similar trial?

(i'm intentionally leaving Stalin out)

Surely if morality is relative and a matter of perspective it wouldn't have made a diference?

spacelab 19.02.2009 17:43

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by amogles (Post 400255)
How many died in the Holocaust, in Hitler's other achievements, in Stalin's Siberia, in the Second World War? In Vietnam and Cambodia? How many were killed through the hunger socialist mismanagement caused? Or that which free market capitalist imperialism brought upon us?

How many died in the Crusades, in the Spanish Inquisition, in Mohammed's wars of conquest??

Which is the lesser of two evils?

you are asking the wrong question. the real question is: does atheism motivate people to do evil? the answer is no. does religion motivate people to do evil? in the examples you have cited the answer is definitely yes. it is an incidental coincidence that certain evil people happen to be atheists. some simple minded folks claim that without religion or belief in god we have no basis for morality or no reason to be moral. morality is something that we can arrive at through reason, which is a much better tool than, say, the bible - whose morals are literally disgusting. and if the only reason somebody acts 'moral' is because god told them to, that's just pathetic.

spacelab 19.02.2009 17:50

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Velofellow (Post 400292)
Dostojevskij wrote: "without God, everything is permitted", which became a mantra for the communists in N. Vietnam and Cambodia. I know that I would not want to live in a world where everything is permitted.

Jim

sure communists have done some awful things, but so do plenty of religious people, so apparently with god everything is still permitted. i find it amazing that you've never noticed this glaring fact.

amogles 19.02.2009 17:55

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by spacelab (Post 400445)
you are asking the wrong question. the real question is: does atheism motivate people to do evil?

let's analyze this one a little more closely.

if you have on the one hand a system that says that if you do wrong, some sort of God will get angry or punish you or do something else you won't like, and you have on the other hand a system that says that that God being is just imagination and that by consequence if you do evil and are clever enough about it you'll get away without any punishment, which of those two systems gives people the biggest incentive to do evil?

amogles 19.02.2009 18:00

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by spacelab (Post 400445)
which is a much better tool than, say, the bible - whose morals are literally disgusting. and if the only reason somebody acts 'moral' is because god told them to, that's just pathetic.

I don't know which edition of the Bible you are referring to but I don't ever remember coming across any passage (in the Bible or in the holy book of any other major religion for that matter) that teaches that the sole reason people should be good is that God says so.

Brightonite 19.02.2009 18:01

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
SH1T! this thread could be the start of WW3. Wars, are always caused by peoples hunger for power. Religion is just another excuse and it's indoctrinated masses are just the pawns and suckers that get drawn in by their evil leaders, because they are too stupid to have their own individual beliefs. If your mind isn't free, you will never have freedom.

spacelab 19.02.2009 18:07

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by amogles (Post 400455)
let's analyze this one a little more closely.

if you have on the one hand a system that says that if you do wrong, some sort of God will get angry or punish you or do something else you won't like, and you have on the other hand a system that says that that God being is just imagination and that by consequence if you do evil and are clever enough about it you'll get away without any punishment, which of those two systems gives people the biggest incentive to do evil?

since i think god is imaginary, the former. sounds like you are saying the only reason to be good is out of fear of god - how contemptible! at least atheists who act moral are doing so out of conviction not because they fear gods wrath.

Mikers 19.02.2009 18:16

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by spacelab (Post 400462)
since i think god is imaginary, the former. sounds like you are saying the only reason to be good is out of fear of god - how contemptible! at least atheists who act moral are doing so out of conviction not because they fear gods wrath.

Im amazed people are taking in by the whole thing. There is no proof of the existence of god. not a shred. Not, I think, for any religion in the world as far am aware. Relogion is just like supporting a soccer team. its something to believe in that gives people a bit of a purpose if they are lacking it in life.

That said, I support Newcastle Utd, so I think I should maybe pop down the church.

spacelab 19.02.2009 18:20

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeB (Post 400471)
Relogion is just like supporting a soccer team. its something to believe in that gives people a bit of a purpose if they are lacking it in life.

.

excuse me, but these nice people would like to disagree:


Mikers 19.02.2009 18:22

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by spacelab (Post 400473)
excuse me, but these nice people would like to disagree:


What more evidence do you want ? Those chaps have made a music career out of it.

InShan 19.02.2009 18:28

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Arguing that people who have faith have it because they are lacking purpose in life, as about as reasonable a line as "If you don't believe in God, you don't know the difference between good and bad!"

There are lots of reasons to believe in God. There are things science hasn't been able to explain satisfactorily (yet). If someone wants to attribute those things to a 'God'- what is the problem? If someone feels a measure of comfort thinking that their life is more than chance and coincidence, and is actually spiritually meaningful- that's not harmful either.

The harm comes in when we generalise. "People who believe in God are mindless sheep." "People who don't believe in God are evil incarnate."

Both are blatantly untrue. There are irreligious sheep and evil devotees.

Russkov 19.02.2009 18:40

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by amogles (Post 400425)
according to this, morals really are semi-random, seeing they can be different in different cultures and different over time.

Not semi-random, but constantly evolving and flexible. Two thousand years ago tearing people's hearts out every day was pretty sweet day-to-day living for the Aztecs.
Quote:

However, one of the most important trials of the 20th Century, the Nurenberg trials, found people guilty for doing things that were

1) under orders from their superiors
2) legal in their country at the time and under the circumstances

The same actions were clearly wrong, however, in the eyes of most of the rest of the world.

Seeing morality and right and wrong are all relative and arbitrary (as you imply), was it wrong to put these people on trial for any crime other than losing a war?
Absolutely not, just as it wouldn't have been wrong to put the Allies on trial for fire-bombing Dresden, nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and raping 100'000 women in one day in Berlin.
Quote:

Had they won the war, would it have been okay for them to put Churchill and Roosevelt on a similar trial?
Churhill for Dresden, and Truman for nuking Japan, definitely.
Quote:

(i'm intentionally leaving Stalin out)

Surely if morality is relative and a matter of perspective it wouldn't have made a diference?
Of course it would have made a difference. Soldiers killing each other in an officially-declared military conflict and mass genocide of civilians aren't the same and should be judged differently. Your example is thouroughly ineffective.

drsmithy 19.02.2009 18:46

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Velofellow (Post 400292)
Don't think we are going to arrive at a revelation in the course of this discussion, but I do find that the atheist's arrogant, sneering dismissal of people they offend / upset speaks volumes about them.

Of course, that offense pales into insignificance compared to the grotesquely insulting implication - rampant amongst religious believers and already demonstrated in this thread - that they have a monopoly on morality.

This is especially true a) in light of the amount of suffering forced onto others in the name of religion, and b) the hypocrisy inherent to a system where good behaviour is typically justified by fear.

At least the atheists have some sound reasons for being condescending.

drsmithy 19.02.2009 18:49

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by amogles (Post 400455)
if you have on the one hand a system that says that if you do wrong, some sort of God will get angry or punish you or do something else you won't like, and you have on the other hand a system that says that that God being is just imagination and that by consequence if you do evil and are clever enough about it you'll get away without any punishment, which of those two systems gives people the biggest incentive to do evil?

No.

On the one hand you have a system that says you can do evil, then say sorry, and god will forgive you - it's the ultimate example of 'no harm, no foul'. Even better, you can say you're committing evil for god, and you don't even have to deal with a guilty conscience until you can get to a priest to ask for the big guy's forgiveness (before starting another raping and pillaging session the next day).

On the other hand you have a system where a whole bunch of like-minded people have gotten together and set some standards, the breaching of which will get you punished, regardless of how apologetic you are.

drsmithy 19.02.2009 18:51

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AbFab (Post 399154)
As I understand religion, it is supposed to stop you worrying and bring joy into ones life.

The basic principle of the average religion is that you're either born a sinner, or going to hell for eternity if you don't "do the right thing".

Hardly a situation in which one can relax...

amogles 19.02.2009 18:52

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by spacelab (Post 400462)
since i think god is imaginary, the former. sounds like you are saying the only reason to be good is out of fear of god - how contemptible! at least atheists who act moral are doing so out of conviction not because they fear gods wrath.

if you go back and read the post I was actually replying to you'll see that we were talking about the incentive to good or bad, not where the conviction comes from.

drsmithy 19.02.2009 19:00

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by InShan (Post 398929)
I find smug, self-satisfied atheism to be as dangerous a beast as smug, self-satisfied religion (of whatever flavour). If you really want to win people over to your cause, try logic and respect for their intelligence instead of gimmicks.

How do you use logic with a topic whose fundamental basis is irrational belief ?

amogles 19.02.2009 19:03

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by drsmithy (Post 400503)
No.

On the one hand you have a system that says you can do evil, then say sorry, and god will forgive you - it's the ultimate example of 'no harm, no foul'. Even better, you can say you're committing evil for god, and you don't even have to deal with a guilty conscience until you can get to a priest to ask for the big guy's forgiveness (before starting another raping and pillaging session the next day).

On the other hand you have a system where a whole bunch of like-minded people have gotten together and set some standards, the breaching of which will get you punished, regardless of how apologetic you are.

Uh oh, now you've got several different things seriously jumbled up.

This is like saying if I'm caught speeding and pay my fine I'm being let off.

drsmithy 19.02.2009 19:06

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by amogles (Post 400247)
Without God there is no clear definition of what is good and bad.

Even _with_ god there is no clear definition of what is good and bad.

Hint: Not everyone believes in the same "God" as you.

Quote:

Of course atheists do claim there is an absolute good and an absolute bad [...]
They do ? Where ?

Quote:

Originally Posted by amogles (Post 400255)
How many died in the Holocaust, in Hitler's other achievements, in Stalin's Siberia, in the Second World War? In Vietnam and Cambodia? How many were killed through the hunger socialist mismanagement caused? Or that which free market capitalist imperialism brought upon us?

Perhaps, for those of us whose history is a little rusty, you can highlight how these campaigns were founded in atheism, or maybe how professing a lack of believe in religion would save those otherwise destined for death.

You cannot argue that just because a conflict was not religiously motivated, that it was powered by atheism. It is a logical fallacy.

amogles 19.02.2009 19:07

Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by drsmithy (Post 400504)
The basic principle of the average religion is that you're either born a sinner, or going to hell for eternity if you don't "do the right thing".

not really no. Calvinism says that and amybe some derivative sects. But is that all religions? Not that I was aware. And even in these cases it is debatable whether they really mean it that way. Most religions do teach that you can influence where you're heading through your actions.

Quote:

Originally Posted by drsmithy (Post 400504)
Hardly a situation in which one can relax...

In contrast to atheism which is a system which says you're finished and doomed no matter what you do.


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