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Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Great “God in Society” Atheism / Theism Debate

Please note that this post has been moved to True Freethinker’s Atheism category.


  1. The first answer can be accurately rephrased in at least to ways, such as, “Atheism has been the cause of many wars, pogroms. et cetra.” Or, “Completely non-religious, non-theistic factors have been the cause of many wars, pogroms. et cetra.”

    Please- I'd LOVE to hear an example. You can't give one because it simply isn't true- atheism has caused NOTHING.

    So the commies attacked believers. And this was caused by atheism... how? You are aware that revolutionary movements almost always attack established religion and replace it with their own?

    7% of wars were entirely religious wars... that is nice to hear. How is that anything but bad? It is like saying "sure millions died- but most people die from other causes". Tabbacco execs would love such a blank check.

    Their refusal has biblical grounding. It is their interpretation, as... unique as yours. Remember- this is a God that called for the we-we to be cut- it isn't that far out.

    Have you heard of antitheism? It IS an ideology, and thus CAN be responsible for things. Unfortunately, ripping a book that has a billion copies isn't so destructive.

    As for the communists see destroying the competition. The French Revolutionaries did the same thing- including creating a new religion.

    Simple. They are from the DEFINITION of morality. Morality is about people's happiness, well-being, etc. As such it is emperical. Choosing to be moral isn't- it is a personal choice.

    “…if one’s faith fosters a respect and an appreciation for the beliefs and practices of others, that should be a good thing for international relations. Conversely, if one’s personal theology is superior-istic, or condescending toward other faiths, and that faith largely informs one’s foreign policy, then that foreign policy is going to have nothing but headaches and fire fights.”

    Yeah- that is an incredibly stupid line. By definition ALL beliefs come attaced with the implication that those who disagree with you are wrong. This isn't a problem- unless the beliefs aren't supported by evidence.

    In which case neither side will budge.

    Humanity has been very wrong- bacteria, the Earth's shape, are outsiders human, is slavery bad- all these people got wrong. I have no problem declaring the majority of the human race is wrong- after all, we insisted that during the Cold War, when a good chunck of the world's population was for the Reds.

    The reason he attacks theism is he is aiming at ALL religions. In this case he is attacking flaws in all religions- a category which includes Christianity. Hey- it IS a timesaver.

    Specific flaws in Christianity alone are mostly irrelevant- they can be... "editted". Literally- they removed referances to unicorns and dragons in the newer additions. It is the belief system itself that also causes problems.

  2. “an example” – ok, the bloodiest century in human history in which the void left by atheism was filled by hundreds of millions of human lives. Until atheists come to terms with their bloody history they will only appeal to the youthful ignorant or the purposefully blind.
    You dogmatically proclaim that “atheism has caused NOTHING,” guess what, that is your interpretation of atheism.
    I am sure that you are aware that if 7% of wars were, what you refer to as “entirely” religious wars means that 93% were not. But I know the atheist tact – all attention on the 7% and non on anything else, especially atheism’s iron fist.
    “they can be... ‘editted’. Literally- they removed referances to unicorns and dragons in the newer additions.”
    Please- I'd LOVE to hear an example. You can't give one because it simply isn't true. Please direct me to even one single manuscript that refers to unicorns and dragons.

  3. You do realize that when you counter you trend need to be specific and factual? I'm going to have to fill in the dots.

    You are claiming that the 20th century was the bloodiest ever and it was due to atheism.

    The twentieth was the bloodiest due to technology and population size. At no time in history had so many people populated the planet.

    As for being caused by atheism lets look at the two big ones- WW1, WW2 and the commies.

    WW1 was nationalism. No atheism here.

    WW2 was started by the Nazis in 1939 or the Japanese in 1931 (if you are Chinese). The Japanese believed their ruler was a living God, the Italians were Catholic as were the Germans. Hitler himslef was a theist- although his specific faith is under constant argument.

    It was probably Christian, but definately not orthodox- believing you have a mission from God though is very Catholic- it is hard to tell.

    The third part is the Commies, who where atheists AND antitheists. Part of their death tool was from their obsenely stupid agricultural plans. This was caused by planning and a lack of understanding of economics. The other part was caused by crushing dissidents. This was caused by their desire to stay in power.

    It is possible to state that anitheism was responsible for their prosecution of the church... except in BOTH cases the Church was associated with the Old Regime and the Old Ways. In Russia the Czar was the head of the Orthodox Church and the Emperor of China ruled by divine right.

    In addition, religion was considered one of the old ways to be eliminated and was tied to such practices like foot binding and the like.

    The only instance that had a sembalnce of being based on antitheism is Albania where the leader declared his nation the worlds first and only atheist nation. Of course, this was the same leader who broke with the Soviet Union when they became less repressive and dumped Stalinism, so, while it may be antitheism, the leader wasn't exactly sane.

    Atheism is the lack of belief in Gods. A definition is NOT a personal interpretation.

    It depends on the wars. The shortest war involved a couple of hours where the local ruler pissed of the British, they shelled his palace and sent troups in. Only a couple of people died. On the other hand, the 30 Years war was like WW2, except with flintlocks and primitve weapons... and worse. Raping, looting, pillaging- the country was entirely devestated. It depends on how brutal the wars themselves were.

    As it is "religious war" is nebulous unless you define it. Is it wars that were a religious cause? Wars that the leader claimed they were doing God's will? Wars where the ruler claimed divine right?

    Here is a good example of how they are... edited.

    Google- making impossible claims easy to verify or disprove.

  4. Samuel Skinner,
    As for “Google- making impossible claims easy to verify or disprove.” It appears that you ended your research before it really began.
    I would imagine that you did something that is sadly very, very common. You probably typed “unicorn” and “Bible” into Google. You found the word “unicorn” in a text, looked at another version where you did not see the word “unicorn” and that was the end of it.
    But what is a unicorn? What was the original term utilized to mean? Does the Bible define what a unicorn is? Does it present the idea of a magical mystical one horned horse? Did you find any of this in the Bible? These, and others, are the questions that a true skeptic would ask.
    What I suspect is that since you are, as it were, looking for trouble you found a word and uncritically (and un-contextually, grammatically and historically) filled the word with your own definition without consider the various question that logically follow – the simplest being: how the unicorn is described.
    Let us be fair about this issue, please take a moment to read a post that I wrote about this. I tried to be careful and consider the various issues involved: The Horn of a Dilemma? The Bible Mentions Unicorns.
    The same can be said about “dragons.” There are dragons today - they are known as “Komodo Dragons.”

    On the issue of war, etc. I actually agree with you more than it may seem. “Religion has been the caused [sic] of many wars” is about as generic as “Atheism has been the cause of many wars.” There are many more factors to account for in either, and every, case. I think that the generic counterstatement is a good response for the generic statement but yes, ultimately inadequate.
    Even if a religion would motivate its fanatics by promising them 72 virgins in paradise, the motivation many not be said to be religious since the fanatic might be more motivated by the titillation of his nether regions than by any ideas of eternity with their god. Likewise, a regime premised on atheism turns to social Darwinism and concepts of higher and lower races struggling to survive as the fittest they may be more motivated by seeking to gain territory, resources, etc. Surely, the motivations are a complex tapestry.
    This is why statements by atheists such as Prof. Dawkins’ “Imagine, with John Lennon, a world with no religion…” are so very myopic and theist’s referring to Hitler as an atheist are equally misinformed and simplistic.
    My point is that when the charge is made that religion causes war because the warriors and their regime were religious it is fair to counter ditto for atheism. But yes, ultimately these are too generic.
    I have been preparing a large (perhaps four part) essay dealing with Hitler, Stalin, Nazism, Communism, Atheism and Christianity premised upon responding to statements made by Prof. Dawkins and will leave this issue be until them (it may yet be a few weeks before I get it done though).


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