A Conversation for Atheism
Hal Started conversation Apr 11, 2000
It's reassuring to know that we atheists do not -necessarily- lack
a moral centre. I, for one, have never had any trouble finding mine, and certainly have never had to search for it in a book of fairy stories.
I have consumed one of the books of fairy-tales, and it did contain some nice pointers on how people should behave. But a lot of that can be found in nearly *any* text. A lot of novells also contain such messages, and so do TV-soaps. However, as with TV-soaps, there is also a lot of BS in 'The Book'.
Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit Posted Apr 16, 2000
Yeah, buying wives with foreskins, killing gays, "hate your parents,"... the big book is a rather poor role model, and the last 2000 years of Western history are the understandable result.
billypilgrim Posted Apr 17, 2000
I would argue that the reverse is true; Western culture has built a religion which supports its values. The religion springs from the values already there, not the other way around....
Just my point of view.
CrazyOne Posted Apr 17, 2000
Hey! That's what I've thought for quite some time. I very much agree with that statement, that the religion is constructed from values we have anyway.
Hal Posted Apr 17, 2000
I do agree that a religion will initially embody the beliefs and ideals, if not behaviour, of its establishing society. This line of argument though must be modified to take account of the fact that Christianity was originally an eastern religion, or more precisely, a Jewish sect. Of course, Roman Catholic and later, the reforming churches have bastardized their religion in their own images. One should shy away from the assumption that any religion has remained true in spirit and detail to its progenitors.
However, once a set of values have been codified into a religion, a greater part of the ability to change alongside the shared values of society may be lost. Those followers whose values do change markedly may find themselves in dispute in matters of detail and are likely to retain a watered-down faith in the doctrines of the religion. (cf. the diminishing church attendance in the West).
In an age of incessant and accelerating change, there is therefore a danger that religions will become associated with the more reactionary elements in a society, and will furthermore provide an idelogical underpinning for those elements. Fanaticsm is dangerous-
you need not appeal to the supernatural when reason will suffice.
Earwig Posted Sep 7, 2000
As one of the most confirmed Atheists on God's Earth (er, figure of speech that), I heartily agree with the premise that not all the godless are morally bankrupt. Some are, most aren't, just as most believers don't kill steal or fiddle with kids, but some do. The fact that you can confess your sins away and start over each week is dangerous and open to misinterpretation.
As an atheist, I cannot categorically state that God does not exist, just as no-one else can state that he (or she) does. However, I can state with 100% confidence that in the face of no concrete evidence to the contrary, I believe that God does not exist.
As one particular author once commented, "Proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing". This seems to indicate that the whole argument is pointless and by definition, unable to be proven either way.
I'll take my chances as I see fit. After all, if as some would have us believe, God is all forgiving, than he will probably forgive this posting and let me upstairs afterwards, hopefully knocking back all those God-bothering hypocrites. If so, what the hell will I find to do for all eternity. Is there a net connection perhaps...
Hal Posted Oct 12, 2000
There's an old Yiddish saying;
"Closer to the Synagogue, farther from God".
Not believing in a God, I can't claim that it's true. Generally speaking, though, I also can't say that there appears to be a gulf between the incipient morality of believers and non-believers.
As for entering Heaven "on the off-chance" there is a God, I can't think of a worse fate.
Once you've done -everything- (eternity is a long time, after all),
what would you do? Bearing in mind that doing "everything" includes every permutation of every possible action. Skiing down Mount Everest wearing a pink tutu, then wearing a blue tutu.. and so on.
Personally, I think I'd be bored by the 1948735th descent wearing differently-patterned tutus, and give up. Then I could start the task of singing every possible song in every possible bathroom.
Martin Harper Posted Nov 6, 2000
I dunno - after I'd skiid down Mount everest wearing a pink and black striped tutu, I might have forgotten what it was like in a blue tutu - never mind what it had been like to sing 'Common People' in Hal's bathroom...
Hal Posted Nov 10, 2000
Hmm... I'm going to lock the bathroom door from now on
Anyway, if it actually existed, I'd prefer to go to Hell.
-it has an "unquenchable flame" (Matthew)
-"everlasting darkness" (Matthew again, IIRC)
-"no rest, day or night"
-"desolation all around"
so we can tell
-it's always night-time
-there's so much to do there, you can't sleep!
-it's in the middle of a desert
In short, it must be Las Vegas.
Key: Complain about this post
- 1: Hal (Apr 11, 2000)
- 2: The Mummy, administrator of the [email protected] Project (A193231) and The Reluctant Dead on the FFFF (A254314) (Apr 16, 2000)
- 3: Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit (Apr 16, 2000)
- 4: The Mummy, administrator of the [email protected] Project (A193231) and The Reluctant Dead on the FFFF (A254314) (Apr 16, 2000)
- 5: billypilgrim (Apr 17, 2000)
- 6: CrazyOne (Apr 17, 2000)
- 7: Hal (Apr 17, 2000)
- 8: Earwig (Sep 7, 2000)
- 9: Hal (Oct 12, 2000)
- 10: Martin Harper (Nov 6, 2000)
- 11: Hal (Nov 10, 2000)