Hey Mariano .Told these folks on this blog how hard it is to get religious folk to even bother to debate sometimes. https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=20363000&postID=4321969195499316980&page=1Said i`d tried to to discuss matters a few times with you on your blogs before , but so far you just ignored my comments .Its not very helpful , specially if you really know what you are talking about .Who are you trying to convert the Christians ? , what about us Atheist who know so little and need your wisdom .Here`s hoping you have a change of heart .
Gandolf;My dear sir, if I must apologize to you, I am prepared to do so since I have no idea who you are, I have never heard of you before, I do not ever recall ever getting any comments from you, I certainly have never rejected comments from you, and certainly do not recall you attempting to engage me in debate.If my memory fails me to such a great extent then I will apologize.If you wish to debate something please feel free to drop by.aDios,Mariano
Im very sorry Mariano i was mistaken please ! look at that blog again for my reasons and also my public apology. Maybe though part of it might have a bearing on this blog .I agree what could possibly be wrong with urging ethics/morals etc .I think we manage to end up with many of the same ethics/morals because these all came from our earlier ancestors in the first place and so it seems quite natural we should still come up with some of the same.You say "One exception would be that secularists generally believe that it is right, good, ethical/moral and certainly legal to brutally murder beautiful, perfectly healthy, innocent, and defenseless human beings."Well many of us dont think its so great and in fact i personally dont think there would be many women who actually enjoy it .There are many reasons why these things happen though sometimes its money sometimes its young kids that are bored it may even be older kids trying to be happy in this life they find themselves born into .Rapes,mistakes you name it it happens .But dont we need to remember we are all in this world and have played a part in whats its become.So if its through need of money you and i have to do with money so did our forefathers.I dont see how condemming the end product really changes the problem.And after all should we expect! in this type of economy that all parents should be struggling to bring up all their offspring.Would that be fair on the kids would it be more moral that so many more should struggle.Look im not at all for abortion in fact i do what i can to not be personally involved in it.But i try to look past the present problem and try to understand the reasons a little if i can.We as humans are all on a learning plain i believe its not level its not perfect.We evolve as we go sometimes for the worst sometimes hopefully for the better .No differnt i dont think to where it could be said as humans we evolved between the the history recorded within the old and new testaments. Where once we immorally stoned people to death for something so little.And found out maybe later that it wasnt such a great idea cause for starters maybe some wrongly accused people met their final end . We could find many things within that very book that many if not most of us would abhor today .Yet it was all part of us humans learning by our mistakes along the way , just as we also learn when we get things right .You say.If ethics/morals evolved along with our cognitive abilities then they may be the mere byproduct of the random chemical makeup of our brains and therefore, ultimately arbitrary.Well no i think its a common sense approach as ive tried to explain above .If you look at my apology you will also see maybe where we learn and why we learn .Its about getting along as a group.We are sociable we have found its better together we need each other .So we work out through trials and tribulations what works best .We can see this happened in many tribes for awhile they fought it went back and fourth on and on etc until they got sick of seeing their loved ones dead and realized it was better they didnt . Regarding where we came from well what Dawkins says is his opinion , i cant be sure so i havent made my mind up on the matter .But we learn more and more as time goes by.Should proof of God/s be found then im not closed minded to that theory .But my opinion is i wont believe by default ,just because we dont really know that doesnt mean i need to make my mind up and think oh well there must be a god and have faith in anything .Yet with the awe and thought and inquisitive mind of early man i can see how he would have thought about these things and wanted to have something to believe in .And in not knowing thought maybe theres a god .You say.How do I know that an ethical/moral action today will not be unethical/immoral tomorrow?As above how did the people of old finally decide it was immoral to stone people to death for instance.Trial and error and common sense approach in the end.The same works in vice versa .You said.When secularists commit evil they violate nothing.But when i wrongly accused you today i violated you unfairly as a fellow human ! .Should i murder i violate society and humans within it.The moral codes those humans together decide on and have done so since time began .You say.In this case ethics/morals are most certainly guaranteed to be tentativeYes i think they should be what ever we base our morals on .You wouldnt wish us still to stone people to death today ?.And we have had mass slaughter in the past non belief is not needed for that is it ?.Next regarding whos good and whos bad well i dont think religion has a manopoly .I think people would be good without religion people would also be bad but the good also hold atleast a little responsibility in why some of them are (we as society) .Some religious are even bad with religion by making it a money gathering thing pulling the wool over people eyes with pheoney miracles and all sorts etc.But there is one thing for sure the good that are good without religion will do so out of the kindness of their own hearts , not having any belief that tells them they need to.It would be a shame to think if there was no religion many folk who are good now whould not be ,and what does that say about them then if this was a fact ?.Can it be said their goodness is honest ?.You say.I would imagine that it is because they borrow their morals from Christianity What if the morals were muslim morals yet still suggested to be from a god ?.I suggest even the morals of christians are just evolving morals of man .Having already shown that they evolved between the old and new testament.I think nature has been simply callous—indifferent to a lot of suffering, lacking a lot of purpose at times .I think it started a long time ago and if for instance stoning people to death for instance was once seen as not cruel .We get some idea of just why .We humans still have much to learn and no doubt many mistakes still to make along the way while we do .It could be said abortion is a blessing for many, many, many women and maybe for many children who might grow up poor and in all sorts of sad situations to many to discuss here.We need to fix all those problems of these things first ! before we even think of banning such things as abortion and thinking badly of women who do it .Cause lets face it you dont think they really enjoy abortions do you ! im right in thinking that arnt i ? .Anyway Mariano thanks for your blog thanks for being ready to discuss .Once again sorry for what happened it was because of my mistake but i still apologize .Best wishes to you and your family!
Dear Mariano, I just found your blog, and it's really interesting! I wish you had an RSS feed so I could get updates, but I'll bookmark it. I cover similar topics, but with far less subtlety, on http://thewhitelilyblog.wordpress.comI imagine you are finding that people cannot read. I am not one of them by only a few degrees, but still I had no difficulty interpreting this post and its audience and its purpose. Your mission is perfectly clear, and you sure are doing it beautifully. The internal contradiction of modernism is a bigger blight than--than litter! Are you Catholic? (Someone is waiting for you in the Blessed Sacrament, to listen.)Yes, the earth is nice. Thanks for making it nicer. Safer.
So are you going to tell us how abortion is immoral, or are you just going to leave it as "baby killing"? Because killing IS legitimate in many cases.As an aside, morality also differs on treatment of gays, sexuality and other issues. Humans aren't apes- we are primates. There is a difference. Our closest relatives are the chimpanzees.As for morality evolving... well, it has changed over time. The Romans were evil by our standards and the Huns would be counted as inhumane monsters.The change has mostly been due to a widening of human empathy and an increase of life expectancy, making life more valuable and secure.It is worth noting that Ignersol's (a famous atheist from the 1800s) ethic are extremely similar to those of people today, as are Lucretius's works. So morality is pretty consistent, even if its application is not."If ethics/morals evolved along with our cognitive abilities then they may be the mere byproduct of the random chemical makeup of our brains and therefore, ultimately arbitrary."Which is why chemistry is entirely arbitrary? Wait- it is an exact science, even though it deals with "random chemical makeup"."Moreover, precisely when did a sufficient distinction take place from ape to man so that we became responsible for ethical/moral behavior? Are apes to be held accountable?"We hold dogs accountable for their actions. I don't think apes are a big stretch."Secularists condemn persecutions by Christians without foundation. Christianity condemns persecutions by Christians with a foundation. When secularists commit evil they violate nothing. When Christians commit evil they violate the moral code."Except the Christian moral code is, by your admission, not based on reality, but on the will of God. So it is a fiat code- no better than what you accuse secularism of being."One issue of concern is that we should never base ethics/morals, our worldview, on science because science is constantly changing."So we shouldn't use vaccines because medicine is constantly changing? Are you familiar with the idea of "levels of confidence"? More to the point, SCIENCE hasn't changed for 3 centuries- the theories have."Such is the case of eugenics, racism, sexism, social discrimination, mass slaughter, etc."None of which were supported by arguments that would pass muster, and all of which occurred because the scientists had the bias inbuilt from the society. Intellectuals repeatably find theories to support the existing structure.I'll go on soon.
I'm back- that was quick."But how could we condemn an action today if we do not know if it is no longer unethical/immoral? How do I know that an ethical/moral action today will not be unethical/immoral tomorrow? Who will inform us, some great council of secularists? A neo-authoritarianism? A neo-dogmatism?"Usually we rely on a person's conscience. It generally works. When we get disagreement, we require people to give reasons. I know- empathy and rationality- what a concept!"Such is the case of eugenics, racism, sexism, social discrimination, mass slaughter, etc."Except that racism, sexism, social discrimination and mass slaughter preceded science. In fact, you can date these things back to the beginnings of civilization.Science only provided the justification in some societies that claimed to value science, but, unsurprisingly, it was pseudoscience- it didn't meet the required rigor that science traditionally has to meet because it received results people wanted to hear."They claim that they would be good anyway. Firstly, we must ask them what good is, since their ethics/morals include the murder of beautiful, perfectly healthy, innocent, and defenseless human babies in unimaginably brutal manners."And your ethics include letting that beautiful baby die in the gutter because taxing people to provide for nutritional help would be "punishing success". Once again you don't say WHY abortion is wrong- you merely assert it.Here is a hint. List all the circumstances where killing is acceptable. Discover the rationale for each. Now, where does abortion fit?"Secondly, their statement would require omniscience since in no other way could they possibly know that they would be good anyway."Right, because the people of the Soviet Union were entirely morally depraved... wait a minute, the majority where atheists and they still managed to be good people!"They appear to make this statement based on an a priori commitment to the absolute truth of their position: since there is no God, no supernatural agent with the ability to change us, then random chance would have caused these people to become good, somehow and for some reason (or actually no reason at all)"Which is why the crime rates and warfare levels were so high in dark age Europe? Was it because they had no true Scotsman?"And what about bad people, are they destined to be bad? Will it be said of them they would be bad anyway?"Some of them are- what do you think sociopaths are?"In this case a viable logical conclusion is that violent/oppressive theists cannot be condemned for merely following what they will be in any case."Why? We know that if you raise people in certain environments they turn out quite evil and merciless. What do you think the point of military training is? To get people to pet bunnies? NO! It is to get them to be able to obey orders and kill people."They also state that religion does not have a monopoly on good deeds even though the question did not imply this, it is merely a zinger of an inference. Then again, some secularists claim that only atheists have pure motives."Actually it does- "force for good" means that atheists don't have it. As for pure motives... if you believe you are going to get a reward for your actions, it isn't really pure, now is it."They also mention Charles Darwin as an example of a motivator of modern social and moral progress but, as we shall see in the next section, a racist and sexist should hardly be hailed as a positive role model. But perhaps this gives us a window into their concept of good."Because all atheists think that, right? Lets be fair though- no one is perfect. Or do you only want people as pure as driven snowy as moral exemplars? Sorry MLK- you are out. As is... everyone else."The last issue to raise at this point is that, just as in any worldview, there is on the one hand, the stated worldview and on the other, what people choose to do in the name of the worldview. For instance, individual Christians, and even Christian movements/churches, may teach racism, persecution, and sexism but they could never viably substantiate these views from the Bible."Because the bible never has any discrimination in it, right? I guess the Egyptians all deserved genocide?"The simple fact is that people, regardless of chronology, geography, theology or secularism, have consistently resisted progress."The British Navy, after the adoption of the Ironclads were obsessed with being on the bleeding edge, Japan took to industrialization with 110% enthusiasm after crushing the samurai, the US is known for its love of technology, etc.As for social innovation... the US rides itself on individual liberty and equality. We went from a slave owning, genocidal aristocratic society to... what we have today in... 300 years. That is 6 generations?"This may very well be, although I would imagine that it is because they borrow their morals from Christianity as no secular moral concepts have ultimate foundations."Except there were moral people beforehand."And why not, just consider the words of Prof. Richard Dawkins: “nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous—indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.” "Nature isn't moral. Morality requires moral actors, which is why inaminate objects or physical forces are exempt.
Gandolf;Thanks for clearing up the misunderstanding and for the great comments and questions.But why did you apologize? You could have just as easily lied and stated that I was lying and that I obviously deleted all of your comments. Why be moral? According to evolution, I am just a bio-organism. According to the internet I am just a bunch of ones and zeros. I am not in your tribe, group or anything else. So why? It is as if your conscience is striving towards something—a standard, a perfect pattern or something beyond you, beyond me, beyond survival, beyond chemistry, beyond biology.On the issue of abortion—agreed, this is a very difficult topic. I wonder if the “many reasons why these things happen” are “reasons” or “excuses.” Certainly, there are both sorts—some justifiable, such as the mother’s life in jeopardy and others are not, such as wanting to have engage in intercourse and while not wanting to sire a child, for example.I could not agree more that “Condemning the end product” does not “really changes the problem.” The problem is often a moral one, an irresponsibility one, a wanting all the fun and none of the responsibility one, a creating a cause and not wanting the effect one, a dehumanizing human babies one. How do you propose we deal with those problems?In referring to “the end product” we are referring to brutally murdering a beautiful, healthy, innocent and defenseless human baby. Let us swallow this full force and, from this stand point, ask if there is any “reason” for murdering the innocent. I am not sure what you mean by “this type of economy” since I do not know where you live—global economy? North American economy? Capitalism? Socialism?I can certainly understand both the reasons and excuses—I understand them intellectually but cannot excuse or justify them morally. We may learn as we go but apparently, we are supposed to look the other way when a person makes a purposeful conscious adult decision to engage in intercourse and then they are surprised when pregnancy results. They then hire a “doctor” to brutally murder a baby (actually, millions upon millions of millions of beautiful and healthy little babies).I must say that I found your comments about Old vs. New Testaments contrived and generic.“how did the people of old finally decide it was immoral to stone people to death for instance. Trial and error…” This is an evolutionary interpretation and not what the text claims for itself. It has not been “shown that they evolved between the old and new testament” it has been asserted. We can iron this out is you wish.We may assert that we should get along with groups and care about our society and fellow humans but why?If “The moral codes” are merely those which “humans together decide on and have done so since time began” then how can I condemn the Nazi “moral” code since the majority of Germans decided it? As you stated “they should be what ever we base our morals on.” People may not be stoned today (perhaps in some countries they are) but we do put people to death—and rightly, justly, morally so.As to some religions being money scams and phony miracles, etc. The Bible pointed this out starting about three and a half millennia ago. The fact is that the Bible deals with morality in the real world and so it tackles the issue from various vantage points in order to cover the whole of humanity. Both atheists and theists have various motivations for morality. Both can have good or bad motivations. Both may act out of fear of punishment or expectation of reward. Or both may act out of a pure motive. But we cannot know a person’s thoughts or motivations so it is not moral to judge them on that criteria.“abortion is a blessing”“abortion is a blessing for many, many, many women”“abortion is a blessing for…many children”My oh my, this saddens me to no end.Pardon me for a pointed statement but: in this regard your reasoning is far too generic.You state “abortion is a blessing for…many children” but let us restate this red in tooth and claw: you, not some abstract but you my dear sir, consider it a blessing to brutally murdered beautiful, healthy, innocent and defenseless human babies.Why is stoning immoral but abortion a blessing?Here are some of your reasons: “abortion is a blessing for…many children who might grow up poor.” What is poor? 1st world country poverty? 3rd world country poverty? 1st world poverty is 3rd world wealth. What scale do we use? And if it is a blessing to abort kids who would be born into poverty, why not murder 10 yr olds who already actually live in poverty?And why is poverty an index anyhow, it strikes me as arbitrary. The overwhelming majority of the whole planet’s population has always lived in “poverty.”“abortion is a blessing for…many children who might grow up…in all sorts of sad situations” so why not murder 10 yr old in sad situations? By what criteria do we measure “sad”? Sad can be meth-addicted pedophiles or not having a flat screen TV in your bathroom—ok, that is a little exaggerated :o)I agree that “We need to fix all those problems of these things first.” But secularists do not want the real solutions because they are moral solutions.Christians state that a person should find a partner, get to know them very well, make a commitment to them, get married for life, then move in together, then engage in copulation, then have children, then stay together and raise a stable family.But secularists spit on this idea and turn it on its head. First fornicate at will, then maybe get the person’s name, then have various children with various people, then move it together, then move out and do it all again with copious personages, force the child to live out of a suite case or redefine “parenting” as “signing a monthly check.”In other words, Christian morality is rejected, then the inevitable outcome occurs, then the death “solution” is offered, then Christians say “That’s no solution and is immoral,” and then Christians are put down for not being realistic and for being prudish. If Christian morals were followed this would not have happened in the first place. If whatever you want to call it morality is followed then we can only expect what we have today. Ah, but, everyone will not follow Christian morals. True, and everyone will not follow what′cha′ma′call′it morals either. So the question is to what shall we strive? Because it is toward that which we strive that will determine towards what we lean.“lets face it you dont think they really enjoy abortions do you” No, I do not think that beautiful and healthy human babies enjoy being torn into little bits of meat—Silent Scream shows this. But I know that you are asking whether women (and men) really enjoy abortions. No, and that proves that they are doing something wrong. Although some pagans are quite literally turning abortion into a ritualized blessing. Some atheists are simply prescribing a secular version of abortion as blessing.FYI, yesterday I posted on the pagan abortion ritual blessing at my Life and Doctrine blog.By the way, what would you consider to be “proof of God/s”?Shalom aleikhem and aDios,Mariano
Samuel Skinner;My dear sir, I find that when you cut and paste my entire post and merely add little jabs here and there your thoughts become quite disjointed and your comments become phantasmagoric.You can hurl as many elephants as you wish but the fact is that in your rejection of God you have opted for a worldview that is incapable of even defining evil. It is impotent in the face of evil. It does nothing about evil. It offers no justice when evil is done. It is amoral. It manages to make evil even worse. It turns evil into a benefit for the evil doer who gets to enjoy it. The problem of evil is one of the very best reasons for rejecting atheism.Yes, I understand that you can proclaim this and that about evil, you can condemn all those with whom you disagree. But you are like a person standing on a grain of sand shaking your fist and proclaiming, “I am king, and I decree…”By the way, the biologist Prof. Richard Dawkins claims that we are not only descendants of apes but that we are apes. Since you know better than he, please send him an email correcting his erroneous view and cc me so that I may be privy.aDios,Mariano
"You can hurl as many elephants as you wish but the fact is that in your rejection of God you have opted for a worldview that is incapable of even defining evil."You hear that? It is the sound of no examples or rebuttals."It is impotent in the face of evil."By definition all ideas are. It is people who deal with evil."It does nothing about evil. "Once again, people." It offers no justice when evil is done. "No, it offers proof. Justice is the duty of the courts."It is amoral."So is democracy. "It manages to make evil even worse."Proof?" It turns evil into a benefit for the evil doer who gets to enjoy it. "People do evil because they get a benefit out of it. You seem to object to that because.. you don't like it? The tuth, once again, stands above your preferances."The problem of evil is one of the very best reasons for rejecting atheism."Only if you have never heard of Plato."Yes, I understand that you can proclaim this and that about evil, you can condemn all those with whom you disagree. But you are like a person standing on a grain of sand shaking your fist and proclaiming, “I am king, and I decree…”"Appeal to ridicule. I DON'T accept subjective ethics or hold myself as a final arbitrar. You do. After all, I know I am falliable- you know the mind of God! Who is the one with hubris here?"By the way, the biologist Prof. Richard Dawkins claims that we are not only descendants of apes but that we are apes. "My error. I looked it up and apes refers to a small portion of the primate family. It includes chimps.You also ignore the whole point on abortion. You declare that abortion is wrong... without saying why. Evidence is NOT your strong suit.
Thanks for the Reply Mariano .Why did i apologize you ask ,well for starters i was wrong ive found in life theres nothing wrong with making mistakes specially if you learn something .And secondly im not out to make enemies and i like the idea of being able to comment on your blog .Part of learning morals is learning to get along together .You are not in my tribe or group ? oh well your opinion i accept , but i believe we are in the same group in more ways than we might understand 1, we both blog on the net 2, this world we both live in .3,we are both interested in the problems the world faces .etc .My standard has come from the experience of learning through listening and watching other people etc and noting that there are certain ways to get along better.Also through mistakes .The older i get the more i try to follow these ideas.I think the bible quote "do unto others as you would have others do unto you" is a written example of another (man) of wisdom from days of old who tried to pass this knowledge on in his own way.Regarding abortion and whether these things are "reasons" or "excuses".I would suggest they could be both ,surely there has to be a reason for an excuse .You suggest some to be justifiable reasons, whilst some are not .Well i dont personally take that opinion , because i personally believe that while we live in this monetary world with all the cogs and imperfections that make it turn to judge these people would be very unfair.You say people break up relationships without marriages yes well that may be so ,but there have been many tribal communities in the past that had no marriages yet families stayed together.I personally think the problems more lie within society.It can be seen in differences between large and small communities .Its easy to judge and condemm these things isnt it without thinking to much into the reasons.Which is why im not personally going to be involved in any judgement of these matters .Yes the youth of today get into the sack with each other to easily ,but what are their family and community lives like ?.Do they have good reason for much hope in this world?can they see a future? is global warming going to leave them with great promiss of a future ? a future that we adults left them .There is so much to take into account in these matters , so much that what you and i might discuss would only scratch the surface.We will have to disagree on the morals of abortion regarding whether a child should be born into certain lives or not.I have seen enough in my life to know that certain children live in terrible situations , your morality seems to suggest these kids are better to live this way .Im not these kids i dont know what they went through i can only try to amagine what life was like for them! so i wont make that call on such .If the world was a more equal and fair place maybe then i would agree .Yes im talking about Capitalism and lots of things.And i think there is a very big differnce between a 10year old child and a embryo,dont forget ! im not for abortions but i have some understanding of reasons why they happen.Its easy to put it down to irresponsibility but how responsible have our forefathers been in what type of world they have left for their offspring ? surely the egg comes before the chicken .Yes mine is a evolutionary interpretation regarding the change from stoning people to death and the change that then happened later in the bible .Im sure the bible text has reasons suggesting why this came about , they would have to of course wouldnt they .Otherwise the book would then be seen as only the fallible word of man , and no word of any god.Trouble is this is not the only situation of immoral situations being talked about within this book , im no bible scholar but there is even situations where it suggests rape of a enemies women .But i will leave that discussion for you and somebody else more scholarly in the bible ,my interest in that is only to show just how morals can evolve.And have been evolving since time began.If my comment is seen as contrived and generic, well just let me say im a very simple person i look at things how i see them .I dont calculate any hidden attacks.I merely point out that morals have always evolved in my opinion."We may assert that we should get along with groups and care about our society and fellow humans but why?" 1+1=2 ...If we look to iraq for instance and count the costs we can see why .We either learn by mistakes or make them again.We learn also when we get things right ."then how can I condemn the Nazi “moral” code since the majority of Germans decided it?"I dont think you should condemn any German people most are very friendly these days 1+1=2 there would not be many german people that would want to kill in war these days.The moral they/we learnt then was that war was not really a good thing.Silly that we do it again , but humans are silly things at times .Sometimes it takes us a long time to learn properly. Well i will not be involved in any suggestion that any people being put to death is a moral thing .I would need to know everything about these peoples lives before i could have any opinion on that .I abhor murder but i also know there is many reason why people turn into these murderers .It is no fair equal world out there."As to some religions being money scams and phony miracles, etc. The Bible pointed this out starting about three and a half millennia ago."Oh yes of course they did Capitalism has been around for a very long time , and it has always been seen for the problem it is .Its all part of a break down in society and communities and causes many problems along the way.They would have had to be quite blind to not even see it way back then."but you my dear sir, consider it a blessing to brutally murdered beautiful, healthy, innocent and defenseless human babies."Dear sir would you wish me to live a terrible life in such a uncaring world full of Capitalism , if my poor parents on looking for a bit of love from each other had been involved in the act of making love which involved me being conceived ? .Yes i agree it would be a situation much better avoided! but life on this earth can be a lonely sad one at times .I would not begrudge them what might be the only fun they might be able to afford and enjoy , neither would i ask them to bring me into a life they could not be in a position to look after me properly in .I wish they used some method to avoid this , but allow them that they need not be expected to be totally perfect in such an imperfect world.I would hope that in future more would first be done to fix these imperfections that all account for the many reasons why these things happen in the first place.There are poor people in most countries there is devisions and a break down in community spirit also.Not only is being poor the problem but Capitalism causes a break down in society and community.People move apart and become distant."Why is stoning immoral but abortion a blessing?"Stoning is usually of people already born ! .Not embryo`s which in humans is up to the end of the second month.Why if Christianity is the answer has not this world developed into the good world you speak of ? .I suggest its because part of this book suggests that capitalism is quite ok .Even this book teaches separation division and excommunication etc .I dont think these religious books are in fact the answers some people would like to suggest they would be.And people right down through time have seen these contradictions and inconsistencies.The same old equation being used 1+1 does not equal 2 in this case. Proof of God/s would be physical .All the best wishes to you and your family , Mariano
Well, if you actually rebut anything I say, I will consider changing my tune. Honestly, the reason I say so little is your assertions are so vapid. I know, I know- evidence."In referring to “the end product” we are referring to brutally murdering a beautiful, healthy, innocent and defenseless human baby. Let us swallow this full force and, from this stand point, ask if there is any “reason” for murdering the innocent."This is essentially your entire anti-abortion argument. That it is killing innocent babies. Which is completely detached from reality. For starters, it isn't till late into pregnancy that they even warrant the label- for the most part they are simpler than a chicken. As for innocence, that is irrelevant- cows are innocent and we still kill them. Your entire argument is an emotional one without any real logical backing.Needless to say, for the most part it is hard to attack something if it is entirely an assertion with no logical build up.As for defining evil, I use a dictionary for that. See? That wasn't too hard. You seem to think evil is something physical because... you don't say actually. Not surprisingly atheism doesn't do anything about evil. Neither does baseball. Or cotton candy. Atheism is NOT about morality- that is the job of (drumroll) morality! Atheism is about how reality is.As for grandstanding, you are the one whose rebuttal of atheism comes down to "they are evil because they support abortion". And why is abortion wrong? You don't say! Wow- I wasn't aware that personal opinion is the foundation of ethics.Dawkins was right. Opps.
Samuel SkinnerMy dear sir, atheism has brought you to such a lowly state, my heart breaks for you. Let us consider just how detached from reality and basic human dignity you have become. A detachment and parsing which I imagine comes from reductionism.From what you have stated at various times, it seems that you allow other people to do the thinking for you such as courts, dictionaries, etc. Thus, you reduce reality to definitions.You stated that my essential anti-abortion argument is that it is immoral to kill innocent babies, which you claim is completely detached from reality and that my entire argument is an emotional one without any real logical backing.I am attempting to imagine what your thought process is like:I would learn that “doctors” are hired to brutally murder beautiful, healthy, innocent and defenseless babies. Rather than allowing myself a rightful emotional response based on prima facie human dignity (if nothing else), I demand logical backing for condemning such actions.[Personally, I would find it stunning if someone had to explain to me why such actions are to be condemned. I would think that I had either become much too pseudo-intellectual for my own good, and the good of humanity, or that my worldview lead me down a road of ever increasing darkness]So what would I do next? I would get a dictionary and look up the word “baby” and based upon grammar I would state, “It isn't till late into pregnancy that they even warrant the label.”However, allowing a grammatician (or a medical dictionary) to define “baby” for me removes me from reality—but it does take me in the dehumanizing direction that I want to go…When we are functioning in the real world we note that when a woman who wants to have a baby gets pregnant she refers to her baby as a “baby” from the very nanosecond that she finds out that she is pregnant. She does not say, “Honey, honey, I am bearing a conceptus,” nor “Ooo, the byproduct of conception is kicking,” nor “I am setting up the crib for my zygote,” nor “I am knitting a sweater for my little embryo.” No sir, no such dehumanization is evolved when a woman wants her baby nor when human dignity is in view.Thinking of, and speaking of, babies in terms like conceptus, byproduct of conception, zygote, embryo, etc. are appropriate for medical/scientific discussions but not moral discussions. This is because the very purpose of abortion is to ensure that a human being stops living.Yet, thinking of, and speaking of, babies in those terms would be beneficial when I want to, at the same time, talk myself into believing that I am a moral person while supporting baby murder.In order to justify myself, to myself, I would state something as reductionist and dehumanizing as, “For the most part they are simpler than a chicken.” And I would tell myself that this makes it alright.Then, when I thought about the fact that lives are being purposefully ended, even though they did nothing to deserve death but are innocent, I would further dehumanize human life and state something like, “As for innocence, that is irrelevant- cows are innocent and we still kill them.” Viewing the world though an atheist, reductionist, materialist lens I would see no difference between beautiful, healthy, innocent and defenseless human babies and cows or any other mere bio-mass.Of course, this would also mean that I am so detached from reality that I am not aware that “partial birth” abortions were just made illegal in the USA a couple of years ago. This sort of abortion has a very particular purpose to it—it is when a “doctor” holds a perfectly viable baby and crushes its skull or impales its skull until that little baby stops living—dies. Of course, “illegal in the USA” does not mean that they do not take place and does not mean that it does not take place outside of the USA.Yet, if I found myself holding to such a subhuman, inhuman, inhumane, dehumanizing, undignifying view I would wallow in self-loathing and promptly abandon my worldview.But allow me to ask you this: what do you consider to be a logical build up to argue against the brutal murder of beautiful, healthy, innocent and defenseless human babies—by the millions upon millions, mind you?As for the issue of “evil,” I will deal with that in one of your other comments. Now to the issue of evil:Let us begin with the problem you run into by not writing down a cogent thought but rather, cutting, pasting, parsing and taking jabs: you quote my first sentence and proclaim “You hear that? It is the sound of no examples or rebuttals.” Firstly, one sentence, particularly a first sentence, is not meant to be the whole of the argument nor a rebuttal. Secondly, who told you that I was attempting to rebut anything? I made an observation. But that is an aside.On topic: you stated in your other comment was your modus operandi for defining “evil” is as follows: “As for defining evil, I use a dictionary for that. See? That wasn't too hard.” As I stated in my response to your comment in which you dehumanize human babies, you are misusing dictionaries by taking the definition of a word provided by a grammatician and allowing the grammatical definition of a words to be the premise upon which you build your worldview.Thus, according to you, abortions do not murder babies because the grammatical definition of “baby” does not apply to the bio-organism whose life is brought to an end. This is a disconnect between grammar, ideas and reality. The life of human beings are being ended by the millions even if you hide behind a grammar dictionary and say, “Not so, not according to grammar.”Now we learn that “evil” is whatever a dictionary tells you. Which dictionary? What year was it published? In which country—Nazi Germany, Stalin’s Russia, The Buddha’s India, a modern day 1st world country, a 3rd world country of millennia ago?You claim that atheism does not do anything about evil and that neither does baseball, this is actually quite fascinating to think about—baseball is far superior to atheism.I claimed that atheism is impotent in the face of evil and you retorted that “By definition all ideas are.” Yes indeed, atheist are dealing with impotent ideas while Judeo-Christianity is dealing with a potent being.Baseball was created by intelligent designers.The IDers established a “moral code” known as the rules of baseball.The IDers established a judicial system of referees who would make the calls and consider the rules in order to settle disputes.The IDers also established a hierarchy by which the ruling of the judges could be appealed.The judges administer the rules and can either prevent the breaking of them or bring justice when they are broken.Etc.Therefore, baseball is potent as an idea in action.Atheism is impotent in the face of evil because, as you state it, “Atheism is NOT about morality- that is the job of (drumroll) morality!” and because in an absolutely material existence there is no grounding upon which atheist can premise morality—thus, morality becomes just another impotent idea. One that human beings invented in order to control other human beings and to do so with threats of punishment, perhaps.I also stated that atheism “offers no justice when evil is done” to which you retorted, “No, it offers proof. Justice is the duty of the courts.” I am not sure that I understand—atheism offers proof when evil is done?—so, apparently, atheism is NOT about morality but it offers proof of immorality.Moreover, the very reason that atheism “offers no justice when evil is done” is that, on your view, “Justice is the duty of the courts.” Thus, if you escape the courts (which courts—Nazi Germany’s, etc.?) you got to enjoy your evildoing and atheism and its amoral stepchild are impotent. The evildoer simply got away with it—this is lack of justice.Therefore, atheism manages to make evil even worse because it guarantees that evil’s only purpose is to benefit the evildoer who gets to enjoy it and may very well get away with it with no justice being done. Of course, people do evil because they get a benefit out of it but this fact does not deal with the fact that atheism and its amorality do nothing about it but attempt to get courts to agree to a set of laws and attempt to incarcerate or execute evildoers.Sir, in my previous response I did not mean to ridicule you in the manner of dismissing you. I was attempting to paint a picture of a faulty, or nonexistent, foundation.I wished to ask, since you “DON'T accept subjective ethics” what sort do you accept?Also, how does your dictionary define “hubris” as pride, ambition or otherwise.aDios,Mariano
GandolfActually, I agree: in the words of that rapper/preacher/philosopher MC Hammer, “We’re all in the same gang” (did I really just quote MC Hammer???).Let me state at the outset that I am no Bible scholar either but the claim that the Bible “suggests rape of a enemies women” is atheist mythology—it does not exist in the Bible. If you are not very sure about the Bible’s contents it is better to either: get acquainted or simply avoid the topic.Also, this may be a mere misstatement but when I asked "how can I condemn the Nazi ‘moral’ code since the majority of Germans decided it?” I was referring to the majority German population at the time of the Nazis and not any German people of “these days.”I am afraid that I will mostly not be able or willing to deal with much of what you state since your concerns appears to be capitalism and an overemphasis on all of the world’s ills. You tie capitalism to the world’s ills and then tie the Bible to capitalism to the world’s ills. Consider the largest capitalistic society in the world today, the USA. What is the USA’s worse health problem? Obesity. Imagine that, we have such an overabundance of money and food that our greatest health challenge is too much food.I find it a bit unsettling that you do not judge people who have abortions but you judge circumstances enough to claim that a baby is better off being murdered than being born into circumstance that you judge to be substandard.Also, when you state, “Even this book teaches separation division and excommunication etc.” (actually the Bible is a set of books) you seem to be passing negative judgment on the Bible. Also, separation division and excommunication can be, I say can be, very beneficial for society. This is why we have jails and prisons and why Inuite tribes still practice these forms of shunning.However, you more so than not seem to be stating that since morality is evolving we cannot condemn any actions in the Bible. This would be a logical position. If I understand that correctly then I have two comments. One, is that if this is the case then make sure that you do not let any condemnations of the Bible accidentally slip by, for the sake of consistency. Two, if this is your position then you are holding to a much more consistent and logical position than the New Atheists and many of their adherents who, at the same time, claim that morality is evolving and condemn the Bible for immorality.If stoning immoral but abortion a blessing because “stoning is usually of people already born” then what is the difference between already born and not? Both are alive, both are human. One contains more information than the other—the difference seems arbitrary. I am sorry but I am not sure what “Not embryo`s which in humans is up to the end of the second month” means.You asked, “Why if Christianity is the answer has not this world developed into the good world you speak of?” There are various reasons why having the answer does not necessarily follow to solving the problem perhaps mostly, people rejecting Christianity for whatever reasons.I hope that you do not mind a somewhat pointed statement: atheism is sort of like walking around a big city whilst hanging your head and looking down all of the time. What would you see? Nothing but filth, grime, broken sidewalks, garbage, squashed roaches, etc.An atheist may say, “Hey, we are here, in the here and now, let’s clean this place up. That will give our lives meaning.”Certainly, and that is a good thing however, since atheism guarantees that very soon you will end, life will end, the earth will end and the universe will end ultimately, nothing matters at all in the least bit. You could spend your life performing the most horrendous acts of brutality or the most benevolent acts of compassion—and in the atheist end it will all be irrelevant. Now, if you walk solely looking straight up you will see the beauty of the sky, clouds, birds, etc. but you will trip, fall, twist your ankle, stub your toe, etc.So, better to keep our heads level. In this way we can both, see where we are going and see the sky with its promise of heaven. God offers the material and the spiritual realm. With eternity in sight we act for the better of humanity today, in the here and now, knowing that our actions have eternal consequences.Lastly, you stated that “Proof of God/s would be physical.” I see a few problems here already:If you do not know God, how do you know God gives off proof?What is the proof that would persuade me that proof is required?Why think that a non-physical being gives off physical proof?What would be physical proof of God’s existence?Shalom aleikhem and aDios,Mariano
Hi Mariano . Let me say first of all i trust that you would not think of all atheists you might encounter as all the same.Just as i take each believer by their own personality , i hope you would do the same.You might find it a little strange but i actually do have quite a number of religious friends even though we differ on beliefs.It is that i look past the cover of the person and read further into the book of their personal personality so to speak.I think it is more true than we realise that in many ways we are all in the same gang .So while on that note let me answer first one question you had .Regarding cleaning this planet up you said:Certainly, and that is a good thing however, since atheism guarantees that very soon you will end, life will end, the earth will end and the universe will end ultimately, nothing matters at all in the least bit. You could spend your life performing the most horrendous acts of brutality or the most benevolent acts of compassion—and in the atheist end it will all be irrelevant.Dear sir as an atheist do you suggest with my non belief i then have no care for my children or even my fellow man and his children that will inherit this earth after i am gone?.I tell you this is so wrong and i ask that you would give me some credit that though i might not have belief in gods i still carry some love in my heart.Though i have no belief in gods does that mean i must then be totally void of any spirituality ,can i not value the company and joy of my children and feel love and want to see that their life and their childrens life might be full of the same joy.I understand you do not like atheism (non belief)but i do personally feel it maybe blurs your vision of our personal personalitys in thinking of us of non belief as a whole , yet i suggest that if i suggest that belief in gods does not always equal people who are good you would surely have to agree .Then i ask why then should those of no belief have to equal that of being bad.Im spiritual in much the same sense of the American Indian in that i do not take this world and what it provides totally for granted.I will leave the bible to the scholars at this time because yes as i think it has been all part of our evolution process of thoughts and morals etc as humans ,you are right i judge not anything written within it that may even now seem to be immoral in these present times.If ever i quote these writings it is for observation not condemnations , i observe that things changed and it suggests to me this to be in likeness of that of man .Mans thoughts and morals change and even though these men were often wise , i will still see them as men who can be wrong and see no good reason or proof to suggest these thoughts in this book or any other religious book to be of anything more than thoughts of man.Not words of any gods !.You ask :Why think that a non-physical being gives off physical proof?I ask why not ? is it because the wise men that (wrote) these book said he doesnt ?.I then think if i am to believe their suggested thoughts of such wisdom, am i not infact in essence putting my faith in man ?.I then ask myself why does your thoughts that maybe i shouldnt expect any physical proof ,hold any more matter of truth than me thinking and wondering that maybe i should to be sure !??.Surely my thoughts of wanting real proof ! might be looking for a little more fact about matters than juggling and deciding which religion and god i might decide to follow that is so very often decided by in which clan/tribe i might be born which i feel has just been based on thoughts of man in early life trying to find reasons for life on earth .I merely talked about capitalism as one thing on this earth where we might have sown seeds of part of the breakdown that we see in life today ,which we call evil and also sadly i personally believe allow ourselves to easier way out by these religious books that in effect allows us to do these things by suggestions that somebody like adam and eve started these problems and so it becomes kind of ok as long as we ask for forgiveness .A bit of a cop out really! in my way of thinking.We set this belief in concrete by thinking their is nothing that can be done and that we as humans are condemmed to carry on until somebody comes and fixes (our) problems for us.Any thinking to the contrary seems is to be seen as atheism and evil ??.You say:"I find it a bit unsettling that you do not judge people who have abortions but you judge circumstances enough to claim that a baby is better off being murdered than being born into circumstance that you judge to be substandard."I dont think i judged that at all.What i allow is that i will not always judge people for what they do in these matters.I have some understanding of people and the situations in life that they find themselves in , of which as we all have played a part in this world as it is today.Then surely we are at least partly to blame ,and so before i condemm anyone for what they do surely matters what make life the way it is should be addressed first.As ive said i dislike abortions ! and ive also said surely nobody in their right mind would think women actually enjoy them ? .And the saddest thing is many women are tortured by some that oppose abortions as they walk into clinics .And even worse there is cases in places where they have been banned where parents have had their young daughters die who they didnt know were pregnant, through them taking drastic action of using some back alley operation that used unclean utensils.Yes separation and excommunication can maybe be beneficial for society ,but surely society would be much better to be inclusive and without it.After all is it not partly through such separation that wars and fighting and class statice and even poverty and suffering etc evolves that also leads to things such as abortions theft murder and who knows what else.And then murderers are then thrown in jail and with little thought as to these matters ,we judge that it is justice that some of these people are put to death .And for those that might be wrongly convicted , it to often seems it matters not!morals so quickly go out the door."I am sorry but I am not sure what “Not embryo`s which in humans is up to the end of the second month” means."What im saying is that abortions at least in the country where i live are never done past the 2nd month in which the forming pregnancy is an embryo.Its the early stage of developement im no expert but i guess maybe the brain matter has not formed .If that is the case does it then feel pain ?.Look i dislike abortion , i doubt that many people really would think its nice.But there is many situations and reasons why these things happen , i dislike abortion ! but i think fixing the problems that lead to these situations is what matters most.And its just to easy i think to make such things sound like the worst evil around whilst forgetting things that could actually be causing them.Where i live other options for these women are always discussed first ."There are various reasons why having the answer does not necessarily follow to solving the problem perhaps mostly, people rejecting Christianity for whatever reasons."But these religions have been very widespread for many years.Infact in the U.S.A isnt it very much still a big majority."I hope that you do not mind a somewhat pointed statement: atheism is sort of like walking around a big city whilst hanging your head and looking down all of the time. What would you see? Nothing but filth, grime, broken sidewalks, garbage, squashed roaches, etc."No i wont allow myself to be offended , because i believe its all part of a misunderstanding.As a athiest you being a believer generally judge me as a whole and maybe put me in a box with all thats evil on this world.Kind of like im some brother of hitler or something.But i dont mind that im looking down like you suggest to what i see here , because i feel maybe i then have a better understanding of what maybe needs to be changed than maybe i would have if i always looked straight ahead or up towards the clouds waiting for somebody to clean the mess up for me .I could maybe say that because you like to always look straight ahead or up to the clouds ,what trips you up is you fall over the real mess that you maybe should be spending more time cleaning up.I in turn hope you also do not mind that somewhat pointed statement.I honestly mean no offence , its a matter of opinion .Like many of my religious friends as i read past the covers of their book , i can see a person who though differnt from myself with differnt thoughts . I still find i can like .Plus i have grown up with being judged by those of religion all my life , and so i have grown with some understanding to try to make some allowances for it.I will admit that just as you might at times lose patience with atheists ,i also find myself forever having to remind myself not to let my emotions take over.But from my experiences i have found that the most caring people ive encountered has definetly been amongst those without faith .These people will help you for no other reason than they honestly care .Whilst those that strive to have suggested religious morals that they keep ,do more so because the book they reads suggests they should .And to often with their mind so confused they seem to overlook being human , and tend to forget.Mariano the discussion is good.Best wishes to you and your family.
Gandolf;Thank you so much, I am glad that you opened your last comment as you did because it gives us both occasion to elucidate our points of view.There is a misunderstanding as to what I am trying to get at:The statement of mine that you quoted was purposefully hyperbolic and was meant to make this point: yes, atheist can epistemically assert morality, compassion, empathy, etc. But what is the ontologicaly behind it? Is there any rational upon which the epistemology is premised? Thus, certainly, you can feel love, joy and have “spirituality”—no question about that.My questions do not deal with the individual behavior, thoughts or feelings of the atheist. What I am trying to understand is the why, the reasons for the assertions, the explanations that go beyond “I feel therefore, I am justified,” the rational which atheism is supposed to represent.Moreover, while I may “not like atheism” I love atheists and consider them as the individuals that they are. Whilst arguing against athe“ism” one is forced to generalize to a certain degree but may still state that the critique of this or that apply to “some” or “most” atheists, etc.I hope this explain things enough for you to understand that to infer that my curiosity amounts to thinking of you as being in a box “with all thats evil on this world. Kind of like im some brother of hitler or something” is a fallacious overstatement and a half—and a bag of chips :o)As to evolving morality: I must admit that the more I think about it the more I do not see it.Just for FYI purposes, I think that if you make statements such as that the world’s scriptures, or the Bible in particular are “Not words of any gods!” you will be asked “How do you know and then you will have to either familiarize yourself with the content well enough to actually condemn it as fallacious or make a broad assertion to the like of, “I know because there is no God,” etc.It may be that some religions (though I do not know of any) or some religious people (and I may be aware of some of these, very rare, characters) think that there is nothing that can be done and that we as humans are condemned to carry on until somebody comes and fixes (our) problems for us. If I am looking straight ahead I can see both up and down, that was the point. To claim that I do nothing is fallacious you and I both do something in the here and now. Yet, there are worldly problems and spiritual problems. We can, and for example Judeo-Christianity always has, work on worldly problems. Yet, the ultimate spiritual problem, our rebellion against God, is something that we cannot ultimately fix for or by ourselves.As for the abortion issue I would suppose that you, logically, also do not condemn pro-life advocates right. A stunning minority may “torture” women as they as they walk into clinics but surely you also have some understanding of people and the situations in life of the extreme pro-lifers (I am just seeking to ascertain how far your empathy and non-judgment go).Furthermore, no, no, no I would also and of course not state that women actually “enjoy” them. But, as I am sure you read in my post Sacred Abortion there are women who are attempting to turn abortion into a wonderful spiritual experience. We agree that sane women do not “enjoy” abortion, either do the babies, but worldwide 46,000,000 abortions are taking place.I think that in considering the very, very difficult and complex topic of abortion we should be very, very careful to not dehumanize the beautiful little babies. A medical description of a pregnancy may state that up until the 2nd month the baby is a conceputs, a zygote, an embryo, etc. Yet, if you ask a pregnant woman about it her baby was a baby from the very moment that she found out that she was pregnant. She will never call her baby by medical terminology. She personalizes that baby for what it is a human person, her little baby. Dehumanizing the baby is done in order to justify what is being done, and what is being done is that purposeful action is being taken to stop a living being from continuing its life. The baby is being abortion because someone does not want that person to exist anymore. The issue of pain is pain more arbitrary than not, we cannot murder people who have already been born as long as we anesthetize them first. I have four children, one who is still developing within my wife and I have seen ultrasounds when the baby was about two weeks old and I could see my babies beating heart (it looked like a pinto being with a little spot going bump, bump bump, bump).I agree about fixing the problems that lead to these situations is what matters most. But what is the problem and the fix. The problem and its fix have been known for millennia and yet, people with free-will chose what they will even to the tune of 46,000,000 per year.I likewise will not get offended as I have been treated terribly by atheists just because I have different ideas then they (this includes their mistreatment of my wife and children as well).I think that in the case of atheists being more helpful than thou you should carefully consider that your judgments of both atheist and theists are based on presumptions and are therefore unjust judgments.“These people,” you generalize, “will help you for no other reason than they honestly care.”But you do not know this because you do not know their thoughts nor motivations. No, it does not follow merely from the fact that they are atheist that they must therefore, have pure motives. For example, they may be motivated to help you with expectations that you will help them back, or in order to be thought of highly, or be labeled “a good person,” or to feel good about themselves, or in order to be able to say that atheists have pure motives, or because they think that you are pathetic and cannot take care of yourself, or, or, or, etc. Just some ideas.Moreover, it also does not follow that theists “do more so because the book they reads suggests they should.” Firstly, this is tantamount to saying that my children do not have pure motives to do good because I suggest that they do it. Secondly, you, again, cannot know their motivation or thoughts. Thirdly, when I help someone I do not notice myself thinking “I do it because it is suggested that I do it.” I just advise caution so that you do not place theists in the same sort of boxes that you do not want to find yourself in.I have written on these issues in two essays, if you are interested:The Red Light of Punishment Only Atheists Have Pure MotivesOn the issue of a non-physical being not giving off physical evidence, this has nothing to do with the Bible but is self evident: what if I asked whether a dry object will leave behind wet evidence? Would you state, “Sure, why not?”aDios,Mariano
Hi Mariano.Humanity is whats behind it.The same humanity that allows me to have understanding for some things people might do even if maybe there might be some things they might do that i might personally wish they didnt.I dont personally think religion can allow for this humanity.It might try to show some humanity by focusing on abortions or charity etc,but then lacks in the same humanity by being judgmental in not being able to see the wider picture and have understanding why abortions and poverty happen.Being that i think religions are made up from judgments of thoughts of religious (men) of old.They then i think are bound in much intolerance and because they are stuck in laws made so long ago with less understanding of matters.It seems to me to be these religious folk are quite happy to boycott abortion clinics etc making a big song and dance about what wrong people might be doing to the unborn child etc .Yet they spend little time reflecting on why these things might often come about or whether those they have voted into power in governments for instance might have some bearing on matters.With my understanding and in fact taking a thought of yours! dissection of religion and knowing its long held traits of often being quite judgmental.And with its thoughts through reading religious books often set on a selfrighteous note that i personally believe to be old age thoughts of no more than mere man.In my humanity i also have some understanding and do not lay any blame on those who follow in well meaning,yet i feel sadly in some blindness with such indoctrination and rigidity that there thoughts stuck in the past written in the past cannot understand or keep pace in a modern world.You said:As to evolving morality: I must admit that the more I think about it the more I do not see it.Well to be honest i would never expect any indoctrinated religious person to see anything that might show their belief to show posibilities of maybe containing thoughts of only mere mortal man that could be wrong and might not be of divine thoughts of any God/s.That might show up through changes made ,these very books have written rules in scripture to protect this disbelief.That would show a lack of what is known as faith and i think faith has long shown the world that it will believe and follow the most crazy beliefs even though they may seem quite silly to many people.The belief such as that the sacrifice of an adult human being to the gods for promise of good crops in the field,comes to mind.Sure it doesnt happen like this today , but it has done in the past.Yet these religions folk would denounce and in fact devilise the thought of the unborn child being sacrificed as an embryo for what ever reason in a imperfect world ,that these very religious folk have often in fact at least played a very big part in producing. Mariano like you my thoughts are speaking in general of religion just as you speak the same of that of atheism ,and i single out nobody most of all im not pointing any finger at you personally.Yes i have some understanding of pro lifers, these people follow their beliefs that i understand.And they are not at all ruled by any law that they must personally partake of any abortion ,i believe thats a good thing.Yet these folk seek to rule the lives and choices of other people as well! they judge and seek to govern them by legislation,yet pay little attention for instance as to the governments they vote into power who might manipulate other countries for wealth and cause wars killing thousands of women and children in the process etc.Costing millions to the economy in the process and in doing so making the idea of not being involved in abortions and bringing up families, ever so much less likely .With their votes for warmongers they greatly help create a world the youth of today has little faith in seeing a future in ,then judge them for what they do.Yet still for instance ABORTION is where they judge the evil to be at !.Ideal place to be/start casting the stones at Mariano ??.In any dissection of matters would this suggest to be of any great intelligence of thought ?.Yes i have some understanding of these pro life folk they have great ideals,even if i might think these people seem to have their judgments all to often aimed at others and away from themselves in what i believe is ignorance in not thinking first about how they might in fact be contributing to the problem in some way themselves.But thats religion.Thats blind faith.These people since time began have been blinkered in a holy than thou attitude born out of the religious writings of mere men from days of old.Regarding peoples motivations to help ,i see no reason to argue any further.But i will say all the other reasons you might give to suggest why i suggest likely and likely through humanity but definetly not thought reading any religious book that might suggest they should have to.And for what ever reason i suggest it is more likely to be pure .You said:Moreover, it also does not follow that theists “do more so because the book they reads suggests they should.” Firstly, this is tantamount to saying that my children do not have pure motives to do good because I suggest that they do itMy friend like the religious book do you offer threats of eternal damnation to your children for non compliance?.Do you suggest your children will burn in some hell?.If not i suggest your comparisons carry very little honesty of reason without taking into account these very real implications of religious effects.Yet i understand that faiths makes people often overlook these matters so easily.One thing for sure with what ever reason a non believer may have for helping ,it cannot ever be said he does it out of any fear of any eternal damnation.I do not mind people trying to put me in any box that i personally know i do not fit.See i dont mind any that suggest atheists to be void of the many things they might suggest they are,when from experience i personally know this notion to be quite false.If it were to upset me then it might be because it might hold some truth.You said.On the issue of a non-physical being not giving off physical evidence, this has nothing to do with the Bible but is self evident: what if I asked whether a dry object will leave behind wet evidence? Would you state, “Sure, why not?”Yes well i know if i was for instance (faithful) in it being a fact that there were pink unicorns i might say well these unicorns are very hidden animals ! just because i cant provide any actual physical evidence doesnt mean we should not have any faith in believing in them etc.No i thinking logically would not expect a dry object to leave behind a wet evidence,mostly because my experience of wet and dry objects suggests this does not often happen.But once again i dont see the comparison you try to make really,although in trying to understand from the thoughts of the faithful i do understand you making it.Because it seems this non-physical God as you seem to try to suggest it ,is only expected to leave evidence when it suits.He leaves us this world and universe =said to be physical evidence of God.Leaves us written scripture =said to be physical evidence of God etc .Yet though he leaves all this other physical evidence we should not expect to see any real physical evidence of him personally.With all due personal respect to you Mariano!, it does seem a bit all to kinda convenient.By the way regarding this:To claim that I do nothing is fallacious you and I both do something in the here and now. Actually i worded that wrong it was more meant to be worded to suggest that maybe religious thoughts in thinking of the wider aspect of matters tend to make many folks rely to much on divine intervention that may never happen .That might in fact hold no matter of fact .It is that problem that i personally can see some danger in there being religions.Specially if religions are in fact focused on written words of mere man of old ,that though do hold much wisdom might also hold much unwise judgments and mistakes of mans thinking.That one scripture might suggest loving one another and thoughts such as leading by example,elsewhere it might be said separations and excommunication is good in that it was not with peace these thoughts are brought to us but to divide like a sword.The thing is if these thoughts are thoughts of men and not word of God,then thought they contain much thoughts of wisdom they also carry much (confusion) and unwise thoughts that do cause division and unhappiness.If this being the case if we look both in the past and in fact the here and now we can see the confusion these writings have caused.I suggest any deity that could think to create this universe would not ever be likely to write books of such written confusion that would be so hard to dechipher and follow and leave traps for his children to fall in , this phenomenon is very much a long proved trait of that of mere men.It just seems so very illogical ! .You suggest that god would not be expected to provide physical evidence.Do you suggest these religious books as word of god are fine to confuse so many also,as God in speaking to his children to seek to save them from evil need not speak with easy to understand logic either?.Mariano i dont get to use a computer all the time so my reply has been a little rushed.Best wishes !.
Gandolf;I hope to find you well.So sorry to keep you waiting. I have not forgotten about you.I am in the middle of teaching and writing an article to be published (and have a very pregnant wife, etc., etc.).aDios,Mariano
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