Religion and the corruption of morality

28 01 2010

As God does not seem to mind me being blasphemous, at least I haven´t been struck down by lightning, Yet…

I will now muse on morality. Unlike the usual comment made by religious people: ”Without religion the world would be in chaos, there  would be murder rape and all kinds of crime… etc.”, I am of the opinion that there is good and bad, and that all sane people know what’s what.
Really.
Truly.
In their heart of hearts.
Everybody just knows, really, really knows what is good and what is bad. For example:

Bad:
Killing somebody else is bad. Torturing people is bad. Raping people is bad. Abusing and/or having sex with children is bad. Marrying close relatives is bad. Eating other people is bad. stealing is bad, hurting people is bad! Lying and backbiting is bad, etc.


Good:
Helping others is good. Looking after orphans is good. Being kind to children and animals is good. Nursing the sick is good. Teaching other people important knowledge is good. Learning and increasing your own knowledge is good. Saving a drowning person is good. Giving is good, speaking the truth is good, etc.

These examples are to me so clear I don’t know how anybody can not see this as well. Unless they are sociopath and/or homicidal maniacs of course. But then they are dangerously, mentally deranged and very, very abnormal.
So why is that religious people think they are really deranged homicidal maniacs and rapists, but luckily God came along and told them what is right and wrong and now they are good people?
And to go into more detail: why do some people tell me that their particular brand of religion has got ”morals” right, and all other brands of religion have got it wrong???
Kindergarten logic: ”My God is better than your God, therefore our morality is better than your morality, nah-nahnahnah-nah”. Hum, I see a post on religion and infantilism coming on…
Back to religion and morality. Because for the most part good and bad are universal truths, most religions get that, and put up sets of rules and write them down as God’s rules. So far everything is fine. But then comes the snag…


Religion actually screws and twists and corrupts our innate morality.

Let’s pick an example of a bad thing to do, let’s take killing people. Most people know that killing other people is bad, but when religion comes into the equation the moral gets corrupted: Killing people is bad unless it’s in Gods name. Killing people is bad but if they don’t believe in God it is good. Actually it gets more and more bizarre as religion gets more powerful and gains more influence on peoples lives. We see often enough now a days especially in Islamic countries: Killing people is bad, except if they are women who do not confirm to God’s rules. (the interpretation of God’s rules differ extremely person to person as God has never made them clear in the first place.)  Killing people is bad but people who happen to be born (made by God) to have a preference for the same gender should be killed because God (who made them so) wants them dead.

Everything which is bad, which we know is bad, is condoned or even ordered by God in one or most religions for one reason or other, but it’s always a religious reason. How about abusing and raping children? Men of God abuse and rape children entrusted to their care all over the world. Safe in the knowledge that the Religious hierarchy of their faith will protect them. Women are unnaturally suppressed and their lives and minds thwarted because some misogynist made it ”God’s rule”. Old man marry by force very young girls/toddlers and have sex with/rape them, and claim that as Islam allows this disgusting crime, it is God’s will.

Devout followers of religion kill and maim indiscriminately innocent people including women and children. Something they would never have done if Religion had not told them God wanted them to kill and maim. Suicide killers wouldn’t blow themselves up in the middle of a marketplace full of innocent fellow humans if the weren’t convinced that in doing so God would reward them with heaven and sex with ”the Black-eyed”.

Men kill their daughters and sisters because they do not wrap their heads in a piece of cloth, or because they want to get out of a marriage which consists of daily torture and rape, or because they have been talking to a boy, or even just because they want their inheritance or another dowry.

No sane person would kill a woman on such trivial grounds, except a religious person. No society would allow and support such heinous crimes, unless it is a religious society. And no society, unless fuelled by the conviction of religion, would consider 50% of humanity as disposable, the killing of a woman as a minor offence, not warranting special punishment.

No, I’m sorry to be so utterly blasphemous, but God, and religion, are the corrupter of our natural morality, God and religion is the root of evil, not the deliverance thereof.

I shamelessly paste-copy this info to the following video:

A Nazi doctor at Bergen Belsen finishes off torturing the last handful of the day’s batch of emaciated concentration camp children in the name of medical research. Without so much as a second thought he fires a shot into the brain of the 13 year old girl whose ability to remain conscious during the terror of non-anaesthetised amputation has failed and she is of no further use to him. He walks calmly back to his comfortable townhouse and asks his wife how the day has gone and how his two delightful children are. She informs him that Hans has ridden his first pony and Ingrid has been practising her clarinet all afternoon. The Nazi doctor wanders through to the music room and quietly opens the door. There is his daughter picking her nose. He tears into the room and slaps her hand so hard that she starts to cry. “Stop that disgusting habit else I will take your clarinet off you for good! Now go to your room!”

A group of Muslim boys and young men drop the last of the breeze blocks on to the head of their 15 year old relative – to some she is the sister, to others a cousin, to one she is the daughter. While she gives her final twitch of life, he skirt rides up on her naked, bruised thigh and everything stops while one of the suddenly disgusted father reaches over and pulls her skirt back down towards her twisted feet. The final breeze stops her from further twitching.

What is moral to one person is not moral to another. But we all possess a moral sense.
A child can be taught that anything is true – anything! Morality is simply one more of the areas of the human psyche, the human family and the human society that is a blank sheet waiting for the writings of dogma or of free thought .
Dogmatic religion does not own morality. I want to engage with you in some common-sense arguments that might make you think a little more widely about where your morality originated.

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53 responses

29 01 2010
MoQ

Good article Aafke,

It is amazing that religions claim morality when they are so full of unacceptable practices. They also claim there is no morality without religion. For example Christians?/Jews claim that the 10 commandments are proof of their superior moral values. When you look at these, most are common sense items like tho not kill, some are just given too high of a priority like keeping the sabbath, and some that are objectionable like not making carvings. What is more objectionable is what is left out like Slavery and rape. The first is actually permitted under those religions.

I want to also want to expand on the discussion by introducing the topic of morality is ever evolving. I will give 2 examples from Islam and Judaism/Christianity:

– Most Christians and Jews today do not agree that gays should be executed. However, the old testament specifically calls for the killing of gay men.
– Most Muslims do not agree that a man can have sex with a 9 year old. However, their prophet did it.

Now what becomes an issue is that the same group of people will claim that their religion gives them moral guidance and ignore that their believes are actually more aligned with secular values represented by modern laws. These secular laws have evolved with time as they should to provide us a better moral grounding.

I agree with you, religion is not a requirement for morality and in many cases it is a hindrance for the natural evolution of good moral laws.

29 01 2010
Personal Failure

Excellent post. The best explanation for morality is that evolution produced it. Human beings need society. A single human alone is easy prey for things like bears, lions and tigers, but humans together are unstoppable. However, human society falls apart if the individual humans murder each other, steal from each other, etc., which led to our innate understanding, common across all societies, that these behaviors are bad.

29 01 2010
Mezba

Interesting that religion seems to twist some people’s mindsets. Although I would argue that their minds could be easily warped and not by religion all the time too!

29 01 2010
Aafke

MoQ, I think you gave a few good examples of where inner morality supersedes the twisted morality of religions. I am also convinced that stuff like ”kill all the gays” or ”it’s ok to have sex with underage children” has nothing to do with God. The utter depravity of such injuctions are for me proof enough that they were made up by men, not an allknowing caring deity.

And I think it’s every human’s duty to fight every religious rule which contradicts universal truth, or our inate morality.

Personal failure. You make an interesting point. It would also mean that animals have some incling of morality too then. Because they share some of the same basic rules with us….
hmmmm….

Mezba, I agree on that, but I think religion also warps minds of people who might otherwise think straight.

I think there is about a fifth of humanity who are just wired with the religious fundamentalist gene. They are the ones who maybe change religions, or adopt religion later on, and become the ”born again” christian, jew, muslim, whatever. The kind which goes standing in the road with placards ”Jesus wants you to kill all fags” or the western ”revert” who goes all creepy niqabi, or who go ranting about how all palestinians should be wiped out from the holy land of judaisms….

30 01 2010
Abu Sinan

Interesting. I dont think one needs religion to be a moral person. I think it has more to do with the basic nature of that person. A person who is decent is going to be decent whether they are an athiest, Muslim or Jew. A person with skewed moral ideas is going to be skewed whether they are Buddhist or Hindu.

On a side note, when you wrote:

“Suicide killers wouldn’t blow themselves up in the middle of a marketplace full of innocent fellow humans if the weren’t convinced that in doing so God would reward them with heaven and sex with ”the Black-eyed”.”

This is inaccurate. The first “suicide bomber” as we know it today in Lebanon was a Christian female, secular, from a leftist political bent. Her motivation for killing herself had nothing to do with religion.

It also ignores the long history of suicide bombings by those with secular motivations. Many of these were decidedly NOT religious in nature, ie the leftist PKK who did many suicide bombings in Turkey for national and ethnic reasons, not religious reasons.

I could debunk the whole link between religion and suicide attacks, but Robet Pape has already done it for me:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dying_to_Win:_The_Strategic_Logic_of_Suicide_Terrorism

It is based on statistical analysis of a database of international suicide attacks. He looked at 315 sucide campaigns and 462 suicide bombers.

I bet you never knew that 8% of Hizb’Allah suicide bombers were Christian did you? Were they dying for Islam? 71% were communist/socialist.

An interesting book. I highly suggest it.

30 01 2010
Abu Sinan

PS……..I changed religion later on and adopted it later on. I am not one of those “creepy types.” I defy any mold or classification anyone would like to put on me.

30 01 2010
Haleem

Interesting post, as is Abu Sinan’s comment.

I think religion is like a mirror. You see into it a reflection of you and what you want to see. Some people want rules, draconian set of operations and laws telling them what to do so they don’t have to think for themselves. Others see beauty, freedom and do good.

1 02 2010
Lat

I concur with Personal Failure.It’s man’s attitude towards other men that transforms into rules of behaviour.If you see the 10 commandments,it was born of prohibitions.There are more NO’s than Yes’s.It’s aim,I think, is primarily to make a good man a better human being and an evil man to change to a good person.

History is full of religious violence througout history,no doubt.But I also believe that man will find another wonderful excuse to fight,conquer and destroy even without any religious reason.It’s his sick and twisted gene that desires to dominate and control what he sets his eyes on.

I think the lack of human values like mercy,forgiveness and love towards other like us and nature makes the utmost difference bet us and animals.And I believe religions does teach that.But somehow the majority of them just don’t get it!

3 02 2010
Achelois

Very good post!

I think problems arise when our sensibilities find it hard to accept certain ideologies which are sanctioned by religions, for example, polygamy etc.

3 02 2010
intlxpatr

You know I am religious, don’t you?

I don’t thing God is going to strike you dead. I rather think he loves the way you think, and loves that you think about religion and write about it and get people all stirred up.

I think he wants us to question, and to think about these things. I believe the enemy of God is complacency, and rigidity, and thinking WE have it right and everyone else has it wrong.

4 02 2010
Aafke

Abu Sinan, I stand corrected on the suicide thing. I think too that a persons innner working can dictate what kind of believer they are.
I do not mean to be disparaging about people who choose religion later in life. On the contrary, I that would naturally be an informed choice. But you know the kind of ”born-again” people I mean? The christians who go overboard, the muslims who turn total salafi, the people who after they ”have seen the light” have no room for anything else, and become unpleasant in their rigidness.

Haleem Good comment.

Lat and Haleem, you are both right, but wether good or bad, people mould religion to theimselves. and if the leaders of a religion are bad, then there goes the religion. I think people are far to prone to listen to scholars and follow their evil interpretations.

Achelois, that is my point: polygamy is wrong because it hurts women and children. The only ones who really get the benefits out of it are men. But even if you want a more relaxed attitude towards coupling, which might be a point, but to actually allow men the freedom of multiple partners but to to deny the same for women is blatantly unfair. And so it is wrong. And because anybody who has seen it in action can see how bad it is for the women and children you can also claim it is wrong. Everybody should be able to see at first glance it is wrong. But noooo, man-made religion steps in and suddenly wrong is right!

Intlxpatr, I know you are very seriously religious. But you are one of the good ones! All my blogbuddies are the good ones!
You know I started this wicked set of articles because of that ridiculous UN-Anti blasphemy (especially Islam) Resolution? Just as an experiment to test how bad God really feels about being blasphemed.
And until now I haven’t noticed any wrath.
And if God wants me to think I am doing exactely what she wants! 😉

I think we can leave it safely to God herself what she wants to do if there’s any blasphemy about and the UN can leave the topic.

13 02 2010
Colloquielle

I saw this and thought of you : http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20100212/sc_livescience/linkstospiritualityfoundinthebrain

Made for interesting reading!!

xoxo

9 10 2010
Contra

This post is complete nonsense. Good and bad are not universal truths. There is no such thing as a moralistic reference point. Killing, stealing raping are not ‘bad’ even though they are generally discouraged by humanity and I am grateful that they are. They are discouraged by humanity because ‘humans’ as evaluating beings have evaluated such things and other acts of cruelty to be detrimental to society (this does depend on what society though). Stating that they are somehow spontaneously known to be ‘bad’ does humans a great injustice and ignores our progress over the last 20 – 50 thousand years. This evaluation process has been in progress for thousands and thousands of years. If you consider older more primitive societies, cruelty, violence, rape etc. etc. were considered a right or a spoil. They were cherished acts and people would have relished in carrying out those acts. The person carrying out the act would have regarded it as ‘good’ in the sense that it served his or her (probably his) purpose. Making someone suffer in times of antiquity is generally regarded today by our scholars as being the grandest festive spirit there ever was in times long gone. The entire tragic nature of pre – hellenistic Greek poetry is thought to be testament to this.
Over the Christianising process of the west for the past 2000 years, the rather meekly morality of the weak has won out quite soundly. Christianity in its inception was a revolutionary morality as much as it was a revolt against authority. But its aim was to poison the authority and erode it by claiming that the weak were the righteous and blessed etc. etc. The altruistic nature of the ‘good’ you speak of here stems from this meek Christian morality. Christian morality in its inception basically was this – we are weak, what we can do about it; let’s turn things upside down, now the weak are good and righteous and the powerful and the cruel are evil and base. The noble moralities of the past were not ‘evil’ just as Christian morality is not ‘good’. There is no reference point to judge this – that alone is great point of status to humanity, we can evaluate and determine what should be discouraged or encouraged to serve the objective and purpose of the day. Claiming that the weak are good just because they were oppressed people is as nonsensical as saying that the powerful were bad because they were the oppressors. In nature, do we hold anything against a predator because it is a predator? No, it is a predator by instinct and needs to be for its survival. Some would say that this distinguishes us from nature – this is the great flaw with our value base today. We have progressed/evolved passed our predatorial and savage past, but in the past there was innocence about it – it was not evil. However this has gone too far…
This process of giving value to the weak has eroded us too far. Today a slight pessimistic viewpoint underscores people of the west quite acutely. The morals of today to put it conservatively place every natural aspect of human beings who are absolute natural beings as being vile, base and filthy. The idea that humans stand apart and above nature is vile, base and filthy. We are a part of the natural world and we need to step back a few steps and head in another direction. This is the next process in the evolution of our morality and the evaluation of what is good and bad. The meek morality which has been our basis over the last 2000 years has turned us against nature and has made us acutely pessimistic and satiated with life. We need to re-evaluate ‘power’ and head in a direction which is Earth, life and nature positivistic and re-establish some of the innocence of the past. Morality is not ‘twisted’, it is forever changing as we change. But we have to retrogress before we can progress I think. And maybe then we will stop pilfering the crap out the Earth!

10 10 2010
Intracranial Ground Zero

I agree with Contra to a certain extend. I can see a basis of Darwinism in the comment. Nevertheless, yes, it is a morality of the meek, that has become popular in the western world but it still is not the one which makes the world work the way it does. We still have predatory and and preyish behavoir like animals have. We still live according to the rules of the jungle. The only difference: the choice of weapons. At a more primitive state we chose stones, spears axes etc. to reign over inferiors. Today it´s the paperwork. Those dominant alpha-beings of the past, are outdated, but still existant. Those who were physically stronger and faster and could provide security for the tribe or country (depends on the epoche) were the ones back then. We still can see them today as low-life thugs terrorizing their neighbourhoods and leading gangs by the rule of the fist. The alpha-being of today wears a tie and has the power of the paper. Those are the ones who have adapted to the change of our jungle. They can utilize the rules and laws to their own good. So in that point I absolutely agree that thinking of man standing above nature is an illusion, we are still according to the most fundamental laws of it, the predator hunts the prey and the weak will be ruled over or extinguished.
The point I don´t agree in, is the good and evil thing. There IS a universal understanding of good and evil. Researches have proven that. Unfortunately I don´t have the references but if you spend a little time reading Richard Dawkins, you eventually will find them. All over the world, people share a common sense of humanistic morale. It changes through time and evolves like you said but this doesn´t make it less valid or universal in the specific time you are looking at. The world is what we think it is. Since we don´t have universal rules from above which can be proven to come from a higher being or deity, we have to make our own and by defining them they become reality and if they manage to spread across the world, they become universal, at least for a period of time, which lasts several generations, since we speak of evolution of man. It is absolutely unimportant if this universal understanding comes from religion or not. It is present and that´s the way it is.
In taking a step back, I have to say: mission impossible. We evolve the way we do. If we come across a state You would prefer: fine. If not, fine too, but human evolotuin and history is circular, so the chances are not that bad.
We make the same mistakes again and again but with every new incident of mistake, we take it to a new level. Am I still speaking of the topic? I better stop now and wait for the comments to come. =)

11 10 2010
Contra

Reply to Intracranial Ground Zero

I don’t have any time for Richard Dawkins even though I am a strong atheist! Everything he says or writes about is basically a complete regurgitation of the works of others. He is no way original, he is a pompous hack who thrives on anything controversial to get into the popular mind frame – he is a high-jacker. Though he has brought about some awareness.

Now, yes the modern power you speak of, of the power shift to I guess intellectualism and industrial might is quite right. Though, as you said yourself it has a ring of the ‘predator nature’. That is the point I was trying to make. It is generally perceived as a remnant of a predator instinct and shunned, perhaps that is what you meant in your reference to them as preyish animals and shunned them yourself. Why? I will come back to this.

Ok, back to the universal ‘truth’ of good and evil. First off, a universal ‘understanding’ and a universal ‘truth’ are two very distinct things, and both are non-existent.

The fact that there is a lot of uniformity in basic, fundamental aspects of morality around the world has a simple explanation. We are all, after all human. Our senses react in the same way, what I feel as physical pain so does any other functional human. Now, if you think about that in terms of a slow development of the basic ‘in-grained’ aspects of human morality, that is the source, it is a common one. The work of Joseph Campbell for example, he proposed a common spiritual and cultural grounding in human kind that stemmed from what he called the ‘Mesopotamian mixing ground’; or the near east (a proto-indo-European culture base). He showed quite convincingly that all mythical rites and symbols around the world have the same motifs and underlying meanings because they stemmed from a common source and/or thread. This would explain the basic ‘in-grained’ moral concepts as they were developed, but they were developed before the expansion of the dominant conquering culture around the world which carried this ‘in grained’ value system with them.

Now to propose that a universal concept of good and evil stems from some metaphysical/noumenal realm is absurd (like the religious would say as it stems from god, or the new age guys who believe in a great common soul, the pantheists). Even though it cannot be known from us phenomenological beings whether such a realm exists (I really don’t think it does nor do I care), just by looking over history, it can be stated with rather good assurance that all value bases are a creation of humans. Remove humans and you also remove the value base, the ‘good and evil’. Simply put ‘good and evil’ are abstract ideas that don’t really exist, actually they plain don’t exist.

Now back to the issue of power you referred to. That is kind of what I meant by a re-evaluation of power. Just about every religious person and many non-religious people seem to react quite strangely when you mention to them ‘it is time to be your own god’. The reaction is an illogical one and they would be hard pressed to explain it. They would find this and that reason for it, but they are usually only bound reasons referring to this individual or that one. That is the underlying weakliness of today – the underlying pessimism. I asked before why should the powerful people be looked at shamefully? This needs to be re-evaluated. It is high time we made for power again. We have to steer ourselves now, to do this we need to stand as ‘our own gods’ and decree this and that to overcome allot of crisis that are upon us today. The environment and our over-population being the main ones.

And yes, morality can be retrogressed. If we take to the helm, and steer our ship consciously we can control it and re-evaluate. Which is basically what the post-modern era was all about. And on that point, biological evolution could one day be retrogressed too. Perhaps human kind will one day stand proud enough, courageous enough, stern enough and whole heartedly joyous enough without guilt and a sting of conscience to stand at the helm of our own biological ship. But that is a long way, and there are many steps and hurdles.

18 12 2010
Sillyignorantdumbassreligiousperson

your mistake here is the assumption that these morals you so reverently uphold even existed before Judeo-Christian ethics. Ancient civilizations held little regard for the rules you have listed and it was not until the conversion of the Roman Empire that these ideas went mainstream. It is literally a textbook fact that western ethics especially america’s is based upon biblical ideas. Respectively, atheists have shown the same homicidal zealotry, as religious authorities, in Stalin, Mao, and Hoxha. If you have ever heard the names Lincoln, Martin Luther, MLK, Mother Theresa, Jefferson, or Boenhoffer you may recognize men who acted because of religion. I think you are a smart capable man, and a good one too, but your still full of shit.

18 12 2010
Aafke-Art

I don’t agreee, every ancient human population held up the most basic moral rules, and many which the ten commandments or the Quran do not even mention, like ”thou shalt not rape” for example.

Jefferson was at best a deits and probably an atheist, he cut up the new testament into a very small book, the jeffeson bible. it is because of people like Jefferson that the Americans are blessed with a constitution which firmly keeps state and religion seperated.

Mother Theresa was a sycophant to dictators and mass murderers if only they paid her enough money. Which she never used to help the poor and suffering, but to fund more order houses around the world where they collected more poor and suffering without even the most basic medical help to get them as soon as possible to heaven, if they managed to baptize them against their wills on their deathbeds.
Mother Theresa did nothing to alleviate suffering, she revelled in watching people suffer she thoughht it brought them closer to Jesus. She refused a simple medical treatment to a poor ten year old boy which would have saved his life, she preferred to have him die slowly and ”meet Jesus”.
Nice example of religion corrupting true morality.

Stalin and Mao are excellent examples of proponents of ideologies to whom religion is competition to their own dogma, actually a new religion.

18 12 2010
Aafke-Art

If you know anything about church history, you will know that as Pauls faction won control over early Christianity, early Christianity is actually a complete reflection of Roman ideals and morals, that includes the taste for conquering and subduing, the misogynist views on women, the total control the catholic church likes over its subjects and which you still see reflected in many of the current christian sects.

America is not based on Christian ideals. America is based on the ideals of the ”enlightenment”, the movement which helped Europe rise above the religious mire of the ”Dark ages”, the movement which improved peoples ”morality” above the restrictions of religious morality.
Because the founding fathers were well aware of the dangers inherent in religion they made very sure state and religion are absolutely separated.
This is why the Americans currently have the greatest constitution on Earth.

18 12 2010
Sillyignorantdumbassreligiousperson

In truth there is no such thing as escape from religion, every man believes something and will devote himself to that belief with what can only be described as religious fervor.

19 12 2010
MoQ

@Sillyignorantdumbassreligiousperson,

You do not have to accept that assumption about “no escape” from religion. Religion assumes Dogma as the basis of believe. Many of us do not believe in Dogma. So using your metaphor, yes we escaped from religion and rely on our own mind to develop believes. I hope you free your mind from Dogma some day.

Stalin, Mao, and any other political figure ruling with ideologies to further their goals are as dogmatic as religions are.

Note: Religion does not equal believe. You can have believes that are based on facts and not myth and dogma.

20 12 2010
Sillyignorantdumbassreligiousperson

the whole problem with your argument is the idea that atheism is somehow any different from other religions. You’re demonstrating a powerful dogma right here. The only difference is that nobody has bothered to organize atheism so It can have it’s little witch hunts… unless of course you are living in China. In fact the most oppressive governments today are all atheistic. To say that early Christianity was based on Roman ideas, is slanderous and staggeringly amusing. Until, the 4th century, Christians were despised by the Roman empire, accused of cannibalism, incest, baby-eating and conspiracy. At the same time your accusations against Mother Teresa is ludicrous. I’d find the idea interesting if you simply called her a hypocrite, but your attempts too paint her as some kind of conniving sadist are just laughable. Jefferson, too be exact was affiliated with unitarianism, an unorthodox branch of Christianity (while being Deist does not eliminate christian beliefs).

20 12 2010
Sillyignorantdumbasssreligiousperson

the whole problem with your argument is the idea that atheism is somehow any different from other religions. You’re demonstrating a powerful dogma right here. The only difference is that nobody has bothered to organize atheism so It can have it’s little witch hunts… unless of course you are living in China. In fact the most oppressive governments today are all atheistic. To say that early Christianity was based on Roman ideas, is slanderous and staggeringly amusing. Until, the 4th century, Christians were despised by the Roman empire, accused of cannibalism, incest, baby-eating and conspiracy. At the same time your accusations against Mother Teresa is ludicrous. I’d find the idea interesting if you simply called her a hypocrite, but your attempts too paint her as some kind of conniving sadist are just laughable. Jefferson, too be exact was affiliated with unitarianism, an unorthodox branch of Christianity (while being Deist does not eliminate christian beliefs).

20 12 2010
Sillyignorantdumbasssreligiousperson

and are you seriously trying to pull the dark ages card? that is so ridiculous and overused

25 12 2010
MoQ

@Sillyignorantdumbassreligiousperson,

Atheists include anyone that does not believe in religion. There is no unifying believe system between atheists. We just simply do not believe in religion. Trying to make the argument that atheism is like religion is really an ignorant statement, but I do not blame you for trying to live up to your name.

Regarding systems like china who do not have religion and are abusive. They are political systems that happen not to have religion. Atheism is not a political system, nor a religion, nor an ideology for that matter. The system in China is a dogmatic system with its own political agenda and books. I and most atheists do not subscribe to that dogma. The Chinese government does not rule in the name of name of atheism, it does it in the name of their version of communism (which is apolitical system and a party). Learn the difference.

Regarding organizing Atheist, why do you think atheists/none religious have not organized like religion so far? They certainly have larger numbers than most religions at 16% of the world population. The reason is Atheists do not have a common believe system. All what they have in common is their rejection of religion on the basis of lack of proof. Calling atheism a religion is akin to calling baldness a hair color..

25 12 2010
Sillyignorantdumbasssreligiousperson

All atheist really do have a god, they just don’t acknowledge. Obviously in china they worship communism, whereas others may devote themselves to science, and others simply revere practicality. Whatever your belief something is always going to be sitting on the throne of God, whether it’s a cause, a higher being, or even oneself for those so steadfast that they are capable of living their own lives perfectly. Whatever you believe there is always something in that position. I put the Chinese comment to point out that fanatic homicidal psychopathy is just as capable of manifesting itself in atheism as any other religion, which means you can’t complain about the inquisitions and crusades because your own lot has done just as bad.

25 12 2010
Sillyignorantdumbasssreligiousperson

And to say that atheism is not a religion because it lacks organization simply belies your ignorance on the topic (and most topics in general I would suspect). I dare you to find an religion with a central organization. Yes, while their may be organizations within the religion, there is never a central power in a faith system, there always divergent factions. Protestantism and Catholicism, Mahayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism, Sunni and Shi’ite. Obviously atheism has several branches of it’s own, including China’s communism and your’s.

26 12 2010
MoQ

@Sillyignorantdumbasssreligiousperson,

“All atheist really do have a god”

You are disconnected with reality. Repeating a statement over an over does not make it true.

For rational people there is nothing sacred. A political system that does not work can be rejected (i.e. I reject communism). A scientific theory that is proven false through research can be rejected. A religious ideology that is false can also be rejected.

Now contrast this with religion and idol worship. A religious person is stuck with the believes of whatever religion he/she belong to. They also hold the idols in a position of worship with no questions asked.

Yes there are atheists with different believes. But there is no religion, because there is no central believe system or dogma that unite atheist to start with. Comparing atheists to religions like Islam or Christianity misses the point., since the later 2 have Dogma, Revaluations, Deity, etc. Those are what make a religion.

Again saying lack of a believe is a believe system (i.e. a religion) is the definition of an Oxymoron.

You can repeat your statements 1,000,000 times to make you feel good about you choice of believes. But in reality all it does is make you sound foolish.

26 12 2010
Sillyignorantdumbasssreligiousperson

Perhaps I wouldn’t have to repeat it 100 times, if you would bother getting the point the first one. Don’t you get it? If you tell someone that a scientific theory isn’t real, that a political system is wrong they can be in denial just as much as anyone else. If you show a communist logical proof that his system is wrong, he will deny, in much the same way if you showed a religious person proof that god was not real he would refuse to believe it. Atheist have shown themselves just as capable of dogmatic thinking as anyone who worships a deity. And with all due candor, your attack on my own repetition is rather hypocritical as you constantly illustrate your theory of a “dogmaless” religion. Atheism is not the lack of belief, but merely the transfer of belief from God to an object more convenient and comforting too yourselves.

26 12 2010
Sillyignorantdumbasssreligiousperson

And as much as I enjoy looking down on you with contempt and condescension I must pay respect to your Sokka icon

26 12 2010
MoQ

I gave you the benefit of the doubt a few times, but you insist on showing your lack of simple debating skills, which require understanding definition of words that you use.

Go look up what words like Believe, lack of believe, religion, God, communism, etc.

It seems all of these words are jumbled up into one mass of foggy ideas for you. It is impossible to debate anyone that cannot even understand words as people define them in a language.

I do not look down on you with contempt by the way. I just think you are a confused human being. Pickup a dictionary will you.

27 12 2010
Aafke-Art

dumbass, if you don’t speak english you should not engage in debate here. it’s getting boring

Moq, excellent comment thank you

27 12 2010
Sillyignorantdumbasssreligiousperson

I would like to argue the definition of these words with you, but that would be a bit off topic and seeing as this is already gone on for a while, which might further any existing tedium. Besides, semantics is too complicated a subject to discuss in comments. And of course on the matter of contempt, as a human being I sympathize with you, but as a scholar I cannot allow such dereliction to the educated arts. In that respect I should think you a buffoon and an alazon.

28 12 2010
MoQ

LMAO

28 12 2010
Sillyignorantdumbasssreligiousperson

oh that’s a very witty and blistering retort , a text acronym. If your insults are limited to something more at home on facebook, perhaps you should not be engaging in discussions that involve grown up thinking. I pity the reasonable, rational atheist, too be associated with you.

28 12 2010
MoQ

When someone shows their lack of knowledge of basic words and resorts to name calling, debate is not possible. All what is left is for us to laugh at your childish fits.

You are not in need of a debate, you are in need of an education and some humility to match your limited understanding.

Good bye

29 12 2010
Sillyignorantdumbassreligiousperson

hey you started name calling first (and you can’t even spell atheistic communism)

30 12 2010
MoQ

@Aafke, I agree. This person is just too boring. His arguments do not pass the level of first year philosophy course.

I do think he is reflecting on his own intellectual capacity with that name. The funny part he is claiming we are name calling by addressing him/her using the handle he chose for him/herself.

31 12 2010
Sillyignorantdumbasssreligiousperson

your the one who is telling me that the people who first really introduced religious tolerance were baby-eaters, and that Jefferson was an atheist, and mother theresa enjoyed torture

31 12 2010
Sillyignorantdumbasssreligiousperson

For your benefit
“I have now disposed of all my property to my family. There is one thing more I wish I could give them, and that is the Christian religion. ”
-Patrick Henry, a founding father
“It can not be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!”
-Patrick Henry
“I swear upon the altar of God to fight tyranny where I can find it”
-Thomas Jefferson
If you care to pick a fight with these gentleman, then I shall certainly not hinder you

31 12 2010
MoQ

@Sillyignorantdumbasssreligiousperson.

Now that you have failed in making your argument by redefining what words mean, you are trying another weak debating technique “Quote Mining”. Let’s see some more Jefferson quotes. By the way there are hundreds of those against established religion:

– Jefferson on unproven concepts in religion in a letter to Adams:
“To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise … without plunging into the fathomless abyss of dreams and phantasms. I am satisfied, and sufficiently occupied with the things which are, without tormenting or troubling myself about those which may indeed be, but of which I have no evidence.”

– Jefferson on Christianity in another letter to Adams 3 years later (i.e. position confirmed again)
“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”

– Jefferson on the new testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (the biographers of Jesus):
“We find in the writings of his biographers … a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstitions, fanaticisms and fabrications.”

Quote mining works both ways. There are so many anti Christian quotes from Jefferson, that it is questionable if he subscribed to the religion.

31 12 2010
Sillyignorantdumbasssreligiousperson

Despite these quotes Jefferson clearly subdscribed to the idea that a god exists. So, while Jefferson and I do not necessarily see eye to eye he is still not an atheist and by your philosophy evil. (and this is definitley misquoting)

1 01 2011
MoQ

@Sillyignorantdumbasssreligiousperson,

No one said believing in a god is evil, we say religions promote moral values that can lead to evil. Learn the difference. Believing in a generic deity or deities is perfectly fine. It is dogma that we appose whether it is from a mythical god or a human like Mao, Stalin or any dictator.

If Jefferson believed in a god, multiple gods or no god at all, he is still good as he promoted the idea of freedom from dogmatic rule.

After many comments, you are still not getting this point. Try to read what people tell you rather than basing every argument on a strawman.

1 01 2011
Sillyignorantdumbasssreligiousperson

It seems neither of us is capable of understanding the others ideas. Yet, I can understand what you would mean if your trying to tell me that dogmatic thinking is wrong. However, if your trying to tell me that the only chance for avoiding the evils of a dogma lies outside of a belief in the divine is, that is just crude.

1 01 2011
MoQ

@Sillyignorantdumbasssreligiousperson,

You assumed people as having positions they never made. That is called a strawman fallacy in Logic 101 (a first year college class and a must for anyone wishing to be a debtor). After building your strawman, you pursued the route of vilifying people and calling them names for holding such position.

If you look back to my earliest comments to you, you will find that I argued against people with Dogma outside religion. Example I said this, a few days ago:

“Stalin, Mao, and any other political figure ruling with ideologies to further their goals are as dogmatic as religions are.”

Of course I believe Dogma can exist outside of religions. I actually said so. The point is all Dogma is made by man. The only difference is religion uses a mythical being as the authority. Communists in this case replaced the authority with the party and its leader. Both are bad because they aim to control the followers, disallow freedom of thoughts and force people to accept morals based on the benefit of the authority (or the clergy in the case of religion).

I think you have a closed mind. That was evident with you going on for days assuming a position I never made and actually told you otherwise. Could that be because your knowledge about atheist positions are from writings of religious clergy, rather than letting people make their own positions. We are all familiar of this argument that many Christian ministers (in the US at least) use to build atheism as a religion. Your issue is you accepted that position without analysis.

Again, Atheism is simply a lack of belief. Atheists do not have a common religion, dogma, leadership, etc. Atheism is not a religion, a political system, a dogma, etc. An atheists is as likely to be a capitalist ass being a communist.

I hope you are getting my points finally.

2 01 2011
Sillyignorantdumbassreligiousperson

I believe much of this argument is based upon confusion (most arguments are). What I was just trying to say is that there are plenty of assholes in atheism, just as there are in non-atheistic religions. I mean you can say your a different kind of atheist from Mao or Stalin, but I’m still a different kind of Christian from the pope (the pope is kind of an asshole). Truth be told everyone disagrees at some point on their religious ideas. No one is a carbon copy in their beliefs.

2 01 2011
Sillyignorantdumbassreligiousperson

Basically, atheism is no failsafe against dogmatic danger

2 01 2011
MoQ

No one is confused here but you.

I disagreed with your idea that Atheism = Communism. Or the idea that Atheism is a religion.

Atheism is a lack of believe in the existence or the proof of existence of a deity. So it is assumed that it does not protect against anything, because it is not a belief system to start with.

The only protection against Dogma is for people to think freely. Atheists have the ability to be free thinkers, since they do not believe in religious Dogma. That does not necessarily mean they are protected from believing in another dogma.

The main argument, is there is NO Dogma of Atheism………….

I do not have arguments against the last position you had. However, I had an issue and I provided proof against your initial position that Atheism is a religion.

Regarding your argument against the Pope. I do not know what type of Christian you are. Neither it is important to the argument. The point is religions has dogma. If you are a Christian, you have books that you follow. You may even have clergy that help you interpret them. It still makes you a follower of a dogmatic religion. That is not bad in itself, if you do not try to enforce your dogma on others, use it to influence laws/politics, and or try to deny scientific discoveries.

I do not have any issue with spiritual following of religion. It is only when religions try to interfere in the three areas of Law, Politics and Science.

3 01 2011
Sillyignorantdumbassreligiousperson

Whilst, I do disagree to the idea that atheism is truly any different from any other religion, or that their stance allows them to think any more freely, however I recognize the need for the separation of the church and the state, and ensuring zealousy or closed minds do not interfere with such matters.

4 01 2011
MoQ

Square 1 LMAO

4 01 2011
Sillyignorantdumbassreligiousperson

well, thats just great back to the beggining

4 01 2011
Sillyignorantdumbassreligiousperson

we can agree exactly where we don’t agree

23 01 2011
youareajerk

it seems that what you are saying is not relevant at all , at first how can you judge moral or immoral the fact to kill people if it was not mentioned in the religion, how would you inspire yourself without any etchical bases, the religion does bring every ethical bases that the humanity needs. regarding the part talking about islam you are really brief on it and you do not base yourself on any reference please if you want to share ideas not based on any references just keep it for you because it is not relevant at all you are just expressing your opinion as a real fact. while I can tell that in any religion you are allowed to kill without a purpose. Killing somebody is a question that requires a deeper reflection that yours, you cannot generalize by talking about the women who is not believing in god or that you are allowed to kill anybody that believe in any religion, though I am definitely sure that you did not read any religious book. whatever your values of good and bad are definitely limited, you are not accurate at all we can notice a lack of knowledge from your part, how can you base you whole artcile on “the belief of heart” if nobody told you what is good and wrong then you can interprate the situation as you HEART decide it. the moral philosophy overcome all what you said, instead I can advice you at least to do some academic research on the topic otherwise you will be classified as ignorant by the scientists.

25 01 2011
Aafke-Art

Focus please, youreajerk.
Put capitals at the beginning of your sentences.
Try to write at least two sentences which make sense.
Learn English.

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