Author Topic: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians  (Read 7090 times)

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Offline Hatter23

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #58 on: November 17, 2011, 05:01:56 PM »
"But for them was it good to do?  When [the Nazis] said 'it is a good thing to kill Jews' were they wrong?"
If they thought it was good when they did it, it was good when they did it...as far as they were concerned.
So if someone, as a member of the society of Nazi Germany, had the courage to stand up and say "It's wrong to kill Jews!" they'd be incorrect.  Nazi Germany as a society had already collectively decided on that particular ethical situation.  There was a vote and everything.
Furthermore, to any members of the society of Nazi Germany, saving Jews by hiding them in attics, say, was by definition evil.  Again, Nazi Germany as a society had already decided on that particular ethical situation.

Right?

Not quite. From the perspective of a person who thought "everything Nazi society states is correct," yes, you would be right. However, the person doing the act did not have this value, by definition. Societies may have a concensus of value judgements, but cannot really make value judgements themselves. We may say so, as a matter of shorthand for "the explicit and implicit concensus of the individuals of a particular group at a time, some of which were given more potency and influence through control of law, media, or money", but the reality of the situation is, they cannot.

« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 05:06:06 PM by Hatter23 »
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #59 on: November 17, 2011, 05:23:10 PM »
So if someone, as a member of the society of Nazi Germany, had the courage to stand up and say "It's wrong to kill Jews!" they'd be incorrect.  Nazi Germany as a society had already collectively decided on that particular ethical situation.  There was a vote and everything.
Furthermore, to any members of the society of Nazi Germany, saving Jews by hiding them in attics, say, was by definition evil.  Again, Nazi Germany as a society had already decided on that particular ethical situation.

Right?
Actually, it was never put up to a vote in the sense that you mean.  Germans as a whole didn't vote on a measure to exterminate Jews.  Most Germans, excepting the ones directly involved, were either unaware of the true situation or had only heard rumors about it.

That aside, yes, societies decide what's ethically right and wrong for themselves.  That is entirely the point.  You're looking at it in hindsight, based on current United States ethics.  Because the United States - today - has decided that genocide is wrong, and you morally agree with that, you are assuming that yours is an objective morality that everyone, at every time, instinctively believes in regardless of whether they say so or not.  But that is not true.

If you had been born a German in 1920, or even if you had been born an American in 1920, you would not have the instinctive bias against genocide that we have today as part of the burden of the Holocaust.  And so, you would likely not naturally assume that it was automatically wrong the way we do today, if you thought about it at all.  And that is because it is not objective the way you assume it is.  It is entirely subjective.  If it were objective, the Holocaust would not have happened.

Offline MathIsCool

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #60 on: November 17, 2011, 06:03:03 PM »
Jaime, reread your response.  You just said the Holocaust wasn't wrong, at the time it was committed.

Hatter, you too.  You said "If they thought it was good when they did it, it was good when they did it...as far as they were concerned."

Just so we're all 100% clear, you're saying Hitler was not wrong (because absolute wrongs don't exist) to murder millions of Jews.

I'd really like to nail this down before we proceed any further.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #61 on: November 17, 2011, 06:21:00 PM »
Let's see, did I say "the Holocaust wasn't wrong, at the time it was committed"?

Nope, don't see it in my post.  Seems like you're the one who needs to reread my response, and not claim that I said something based on what you wanted me to say.

You are trying to make the claim that we get morality from some objective source.  The problem with your opinion is that what humans have considered right and wrong has not stayed constant.  If it had, genocide would either have always been wrong, from the very start, which means the Biblical accounts of genocide against the Canaanites, commanded by God, were also wrong, or it would always have been right, from the very start, which means that Hitler's genocide against the Jews was right, or something in between, which means the 'objective' source of morality isn't consistent.  And that last is a contradiction in terms, because objectivity is nothing if not consistent.

Offline MathIsCool

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #62 on: November 17, 2011, 06:35:27 PM »
Let's see, did I say "the Holocaust wasn't wrong, at the time it was committed"?

Nope, don't see it in my post.

If you had been born a German in 1920, or even if you had been born an American in 1920, you would not have the instinctive bias against genocide that we have today as part of the burden of the Holocaust.  And so, you would likely not naturally assume that it was automatically wrong the way we do today, if you thought about it at all.  And that is because it is not objective the way you assume it is.  It is entirely subjective.

According to what you say morality is (those subjective feelings we have about certain ethical situations) it was not wrong.

So, again, before we proceed any further:

You said the Holocaust wasn't wrong, at the time it was committed.
and
Just so we're all 100% clear, you're saying Hitler was not wrong (because absolute wrongs don't exist) to murder millions of Jews.

You need to agree to follow some semblence of logic before we can proceed.
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Offline C

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #63 on: November 17, 2011, 06:46:54 PM »
"Without God?"  Remember, on my view, God still exists, even if you believe in Him or not.  So yes, people can do good things even though they don't believe in God, like these societies have done.

Right, you said the question is about whether or not things would qualify as good or evil without God. And we agree.

Remember, on your view,

You know all about me now?  &)

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all humanity is is a collection of self replicating fairly complicated chemical reactions.  You know that fizzing stuff a bottle of coke makes when you open the lid too fast?  We're a more complicated version of that - just a chemical reaction.  Given that fizz has no moral duties and obligations (to borrow a phrase from Dr. Craig), can you show why humans have any?

First, I never claimed that we're "just" chemical reactions. Second, as a result of these "complicated chemical reactions", we have come to be sentient beings that are extremely social which led to development in all sorts of areas as a species or separate civilizations once we stopped hunting and gathering and then transitioned into agrarian societies (a lot of us anyway) a long long time ago.

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Well of course we don't require the idea of a god to do good.  Who's arguing that?

You are..your following sentence says it all:

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I'm arguing instead that just as the existence of wet things proves water is a real thing, so too does the existence of morality prove that God is real. I might be a crazy loon who doesn't believe in water, but if I walk outside in the rain, I'm still gonna get wet.

Translation: Whatever "good" or "bad" things we do must come indirectly or directly from God thus proving God exists!

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The basis of morality you offered is enlightened self interest.

I said it was a start. Not the entire basis for morality which is extremely subjective.

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It's basically saying "I don't want to be robbed, so I want to live in a society where robbing doesn't take place, so we must have laws against robbing."

The laws themselves aren't based on serving your own interests, it's based on serving for the benefit of the ENTIRE group so that people don't kill each other or steal each other's stuff which would lead to internal disorder and making the group vulnerable to external elements such as other groups of humans that have managed to come ahead. This whole idea of "I don't want to be killed" makes way first for communication and THEN these laws.

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I say: Whoa whoa whoa!  Are these laws going to limit my coconut supply?  Why ought I care what the others want?  Why should we make rules or laws enshrining what they want vs. what I want?  So long as I'm bigger or stronger or smarter or more conniving, I can acknowledge that others might not want to be killed or have their coconuts stolen, but you've given me no reason to care about what they want.

Do what you want that will potentially isolate you from the group.

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On atheism, again, all they are is complicated chemical reactions who have coconuts that I want.  Coconuts are valuable things, you have to give me a very good, grounded, solid reason to not end that chemical reaction we call 'Bob' over there and take all his coconuts for myself.

Well gee MIC, maybe the chemical reaction we call Bob has friends that will kill you in the middle of the night.  &)

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I guess I don't understand why we consistently make up the same morals for ourselves.

Consistently? How so?

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I mean, if humans really do make up morality for themselves, you'd expect to see them span the gamut from "No Killing" all the way to "Kill everyone!"  Instead this ruleset that humans make up for ourselves consistently adheres to the same basic principles.

Uh, again, how is morality consistent in every part of the world?

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C, it sounds like your saying societies can define for themselves what is good and evil without the idea of a god ever entering the picture.  Sure, I agree.

Okey dokey.

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Even though I'd argue it is something that almost never happens (societies inevitably end up worshiping something)

But not a god, certainly not the Christian one.

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Let me ask you, though: In Nazi Germany, that society defined killing Jews and gays and disabled persons as good and right: in order to cleanse Germany of non-Aryans, it was necessary to cleanse the gene pool of these 'undesirables.'  If societies can define for themselves what is good, then this, by definition, was a completely moral thing for the Nazi's to do.  Do you agree?  I'm not asking if you agree that it was a good thing to do.  Of course it wasn't.  But for them was it good to do?  When they said 'it is a good thing to kill Jews' were they wrong?

Society in Germany as a whole did NOT define killing certain peoples as "right". German civilians didn't suddenly go "Oh, in addition to killing some Jews, let's kill us some Gypsies!". The genocide of various peoples within the Third Reich was a result of centuries-old racism, authoritarianism and dangerous ideals that required revolting actions. But this was carried out by a political party and a capable military that it controlled, not the entirety of society.

To me, of course it's a completely horrible thing to do, that is rounding up people and then gassing them. To me, (how I interpret it) it was not right since I think that this is really the only life we have. But from the perspective of a Schutzstaffel officer, it was the "right" thing to do because he/she was convinced it was for the good of their families, their country, their God and whatever else.

However, proving that this whole notion of "good/bad" and "right/wrong" is very subjective, some Germans also helped the victims. Some even committed treason and risked their very lives to fight against the regime such as the young members of die Weiße Rose.
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Offline MathIsCool

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #64 on: November 17, 2011, 07:04:54 PM »
Just for the purpose of being 100% clear:

[F]rom the perspective of a Schutzstaffel officer, [the Holocaust] was the "right" thing to do because he/she was convinced it was for the good of their families, their country, their God and whatever else.

You really agree with this?
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #65 on: November 17, 2011, 07:08:58 PM »
Let's look at those two parts you put in bold:

"you would not have the instinctive bias against genocide that we have today"
"you would likely not naturally assume that it was automatically wrong the way we do today"

Seems quite evident that all I really said is that people back then wouldn't have automatically assumed genocide was wrong the way we do today.  Which is certainly true, since they didn't have the example of 6 million people exterminated like so many insects to refer to like we do.

So no, I did not say "the Holocaust wasn't wrong, at the time it was committed".  I said that people wouldn't have automatically thought it to be wrong the way we do today.  The only people who can actually decide whether it was wrong or not at the time it was done were the people who actually lived during that time, who I do not number among and who I'll bet you don't number among either.

Just so we're all 100% clear, you're saying Hitler was not wrong (because absolute wrongs don't exist) to murder millions of Jews.
You seem rather intent on getting people here to admit to this statement.  I have to wonder why that is.  Could it be that you have a reason to get atheists, or presumed atheists, to either make or deny that particular statement?  Cause if not, I don't see why it's important to nail it down before we move on.  It might help if you explain just exactly why you're so focused on this.

Offline Alzael

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #66 on: November 17, 2011, 07:37:06 PM »
Just so we're all 100% clear, you're saying Hitler was not wrong (because absolute wrongs don't exist) to murder millions of Jews.
You seem rather intent on getting people here to admit to this statement.  I have to wonder why that is.  Could it be that you have a reason to get atheists, or presumed atheists, to either make or deny that particular statement?  Cause if not, I don't see why it's important to nail it down before we move on.  It might help if you explain just exactly why you're so focused on this.

It's all he's got. He's very always demonstrated to be very poor at making any of his own arguments.
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Offline albeto

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #67 on: November 17, 2011, 07:39:06 PM »
Murder, theft, and rape are evil.
Truth, honor, courage, and beauty are good.

Stubjectively determined.  What is murder to one society is law enforcement to another.  What is theft in one society is security to another.  What is rape in one society is private marital issues in another.  Interestingly, these examples you give, murder, theft and rape, are all illustrated in the old testament stories of the bible as sanctioned by your god.  Apparently they weren't evil, they were just inconvenient to Gentiles. 

Truth, honor, courage and beauty are also subjectively determined and each one of them have been ignored and violated in the bible as well.  Jacob was a liar and so too was his mother and yet from him we get the twelve tribes of Israel.  King David was the epitome of dishonor and yet from him we get the decedent, Jesus.  Sampson had beautiful hair and Delilah was a beautiful woman and yet from that beauty we find pride and betrayal.  Oh I almost forgot courage.  Adam, the first man, failed at that.

The vast, vast majority of societies seem to agree on basic principles like these. 

Those aren't the basic principles societies agree upon.   We're social creatures that naturally develop communal behaviors.  Those communal behaviors are then considered to be moral, and breaching these behaviors are considered to be immoral.  They're not universal but communal.

Sure, some disagree on how to implement these basic principles.  Take one of your "vs" below:  "Defend fetuses from artificial termination vs. Defend women from forced incubation against their will"  The only way this is even a question is we've redefined abortion as not murder by defining the victim as a "fetus", not a "person."  If that entity that is being aborted is a real live person, then the abortion debate would stop tomorrow - everyone agrees Murder is wrong.  It's only by redefining "little helpless tiny person" into "a lump of tissue" that the debate continues today.

  The idea that a human fetus will develop into a living person isn't contested.  The idea that it has an "immortal soul" is.  The idea that a deity will be offended because the body that houses that immortal soul is artificially terminated from development is contested.

Oh, and I'm not "missing" that morality is a commonly agreed to set of socially appropriate behaviors.  I'm disagreeing with that, and I'm attempting to show that you disagree with it too, if you would just stop half a second to think about it instead of mindlessly parroting the drivel you've read on the freethought blogs.

Your disagreement stems from insufficient information and a fierce loyalty to a belief system that ignores reason and logic.  Indeed, it opposes reason and logic and rewards "faith."

Is using phrases like "mindlessly parroting the drivel you've read" part of this Christian charm that's supposed to win me over? 

Offline Hatter23

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #68 on: November 17, 2011, 10:08:57 PM »
Jaime, reread your response.  You just said the Holocaust wasn't wrong, at the time it was committed.

Hatter, you too.  You said "If they thought it was good when they did it, it was good when they did it...as far as they were concerned."

Just so we're all 100% clear, you're saying Hitler was not wrong (because absolute wrongs don't exist) to murder millions of Jews.

I'd really like to nail this down before we proceed any further.

Look I predicted this behavior in private message....here it is. Attempts at a gotcha. It was very transparent this is what you were steering for.

Just so were clear,(1) in my opinion, Hitler was wrong to murder millions of Jews.(2) Hitler's opinion was different than mine. (3)The universe doesn't give a shit.

Please take that last one as fact and stop trolling for a gotcha.

« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 10:26:36 PM by Hatter23 »
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #69 on: November 17, 2011, 10:11:03 PM »


Just so we're all 100% clear, you're saying Hitler was not wrong (because absolute wrongs don't exist) to murder millions of Jews.
You seem rather intent on getting people here to admit to this statement.  I have to wonder why that is.  Could it be that you have a reason to get atheists, or presumed atheists, to either make or deny that particular statement?  Cause if not, I don't see why it's important to nail it down before we move on.  It might help if you explain just exactly why you're so focused on this.

gosh remember that message I sent you, I must be psychic.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #70 on: November 17, 2011, 10:24:27 PM »
It's not too terribly difficult to be psychic when someone is telepathing...err, telegraphing their intentions to you.

Actually, I like telepathing better than telegraphing.

Offline C

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #71 on: November 18, 2011, 01:29:59 AM »
Just for the purpose of being 100% clear:

[F]rom the perspective of a Schutzstaffel officer, [the Holocaust] was the "right" thing to do because he/she was convinced it was for the good of their families, their country, their God and whatever else.

You really agree with this?

Do I agree that certain politicians and military officers along with a lot of the soldiers of Nazi Germany supported and even enjoyed the notion of killing Jews, homosexuals, dissidents, Roma and others as right? Of course.
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Offline MathIsCool

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #72 on: November 18, 2011, 12:03:29 PM »
This is actually a little bit funny, although Alzael's insults I could do without (it's telling, but a little bit annoying, when someone chooses to stoop to ad hominem fallacies rather than confront the issues at hand)

Nonetheless C, jaimehlers, Hatter, and now even albeto is joining in in trying to finesse the statement:
Just so we're all 100% clear, you're saying Hitler was not wrong (because absolute wrongs don't exist) to murder millions of Jews.

I sure hope this was transparent!  This is the inevitable conclusion of your own logic.  The fact that you're having trouble admitting it to be true indicates you're not at all convinced of the subjectivity of moral standards, but are unwilling to admit it.  (At least as far as I can tell.)

Until you can at the very least be honest with yourself, I don't see any point in continuing to post in this thread.



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Offline velkyn

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #73 on: November 18, 2011, 12:14:53 PM »
Until you can at the very least be honest with yourself, I don't see any point in continuing to post in this thread.

aka "until you can agree with me totally, I don't see any point in continuing to post in this thread".   It's always nice to see MiC trying to be psychic again and knowing just how others think. 
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #74 on: November 18, 2011, 12:36:07 PM »
This is actually a little bit funny, although Alzael's insults I could do without (it's telling, but a little bit annoying, when someone chooses to stoop to ad hominem fallacies rather than confront the issues at hand)

Nonetheless C, jaimehlers, Hatter, and now even albeto is joining in in trying to finesse the statement:
Just so we're all 100% clear, you're saying Hitler was not wrong (because absolute wrongs don't exist) to murder millions of Jews.

I sure hope this was transparent!  This is the inevitable conclusion of your own logic.  The fact that you're having trouble admitting it to be true indicates you're not at all convinced of the subjectivity of moral standards, but are unwilling to admit it.  (At least as far as I can tell.)

Until you can at the very least be honest with yourself, I don't see any point in continuing to post in this thread.

That is not what we are saying. What are saying has been written down.

We've corrected you multiple times as to you Gotcha bullcrap...this strawman or false dichotomy...and you are the one who refuses to read the actual words we are writing, and much prefers to put words in our mouth.

This is being a liar. Repeatedly. You. are. LYING!

I know you steering for some sort of "victory" to go to your fellow theists...or even just yourself "Hee Hee, Atheists agree with Hitler...that confirms how evil they are" but that isn't so. You are just being a lying asshole.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2011, 12:42:50 PM by Hatter23 »
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline albeto

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #75 on: November 18, 2011, 12:45:41 PM »

Nonetheless C, jaimehlers, Hatter, and now even albeto is joining in in trying to finesse the statement:
Just so we're all 100% clear, you're saying Hitler was not wrong (because absolute wrongs don't exist) to murder millions of Jews.

I sure hope this was transparent!  This is the inevitable conclusion of your own logic.

It's the conclusion of your logic, a logic that demands an all or nothing outcome.  Try dismissing that variable in your equation. 

The fact that you're having trouble admitting it to be true indicates you're not at all convinced of the subjectivity of moral standards, but are unwilling to admit it.  (At least as far as I can tell.)

Excuse me, but I've been talking about subjectivity of moral standards in every post.  Not only will I admit moral standards are subjective, I will argue for that as well.  You're suggesting moral standards are objective, based on a reality that must be believed to be understood, a reality that proudly and gleefully defies all logical arguments but one: Might Makes Right. 

Until you can at the very least be honest with yourself, I don't see any point in continuing to post in this thread.

Discussing anything with you is very frustrating because your intellectual skills are stunted such that you are incapable of incorporating information into your thoughts.  It's like arguing with a ten year old who falls back on the old "Did not!"  "Did SO!" routine. 

MiC: You say Hitler was not wrong!

Everyone: No, we say...

MiC:  Did SO!

Everyone: No, we say...

MiC: Did SO infinity!  HA!

Everyone: oh brother



Jesus it's 9:30 in the morning and already I want a drink. 

Offline C

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #76 on: November 18, 2011, 01:00:29 PM »
Quote
Nonetheless C, jaimehlers, Hatter, and now even albeto is joining in in trying to finesse the statement:
Just so we're all 100% clear, you're saying Hitler was not wrong (because absolute wrongs don't exist) to murder millions of Jews.

How does "[F]rom the perspective of a Schutzstaffel officer, [the Holocaust] was the "right" thing to do because he/she was convinced it was for the good of their families, their country, their God and whatever else." translate into me saying Hitler was not wrong?

To me, yes Hitler was definitely wrong in what he did. But to other human beings like neo-Nazis or white supremacists, most aspects of Hitler and his doings are right. Do you see where we're going with this or are you going to be deliberately stupid again?
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #77 on: November 18, 2011, 01:56:35 PM »
This is actually a little bit funny, although Alzael's insults I could do without (it's telling, but a little bit annoying, when someone chooses to stoop to ad hominem fallacies rather than confront the issues at hand)
I don't agree with the insults, but it's can be quite frustrating dealing with someone who's trying to push an agenda and not actually listening to what the other people in the discussion are saying.

Quote from: MathIsCool
Nonetheless C, jaimehlers, Hatter, and now even albeto is joining in in trying to finesse the statement:
Just so we're all 100% clear, you're saying Hitler was not wrong (because absolute wrongs don't exist) to murder millions of Jews.
What's to finesse?  It's very simple.  Some people during that time thought Hitler was right to do what he did.  Other people during that time thought Hitler was wrong to do what he did.  Therefore, it's subjective, because there was no objective moral authority standing over them to override their own decisions on whether it was moral or not.  Even today, you will find people who think Hitler was right to do what he did, and others who think he was wrong.  Again, there's no objective moral authority standing over us to determine whether it's right or wrong.

Quote from: MathIsCool
I sure hope this was transparent!  This is the inevitable conclusion of your own logic.  The fact that you're having trouble admitting it to be true indicates you're not at all convinced of the subjectivity of moral standards, but are unwilling to admit it.  (At least as far as I can tell.)
Your intentions, at least, are transparent.  But your statement is by no means the inevitable conclusion of anything except your own thought processes.  The fact that you cannot get anyone to agree with that conclusion is not an indication of our lack of resolution as far as the subjectivity of moral standards goes, but much more accurately represents the fact that your conclusion is not an accurate representation of anything that we are actually saying or thinking.

Quote from: MathIsCool
Until you can at the very least be honest with yourself, I don't see any point in continuing to post in this thread.
You're half right.  As long as you're so intent on trying to shoehorn other people into statements based on your opinion of what they're saying instead of what they're actually saying, there is little point in you continuing to post in this thread.

Offline Avatar Of Belial

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #78 on: November 18, 2011, 02:43:18 PM »
Just so we're all 100% clear, you're saying Hitler was not wrong (because absolute wrongs don't exist) to murder millions of Jews.

Just because it wasn't absolute doesn't mean it wasn't wrong. What kind of backwards nonsense is this?
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #79 on: November 18, 2011, 07:09:57 PM »
Just so we're all 100% clear, you're saying Hitler was not wrong (because absolute wrongs don't exist) to murder millions of Jews.

Just because it wasn't absolute doesn't mean it wasn't wrong. What kind of backwards nonsense is this?

The backwards nonsense comes from MathIsCool's perception of the world - he believes that there is a cosmic scoreboard for moral behavior, and he wants to know what score Hitler gets from the scorekeeper.  And in MathIsCool's world, the only scoring options are -1, 0, and 1.

On second thought, I may be wrong with what his scoring options are.  MathIsCool, do you think that there are any actions that would not be subject to *any* moral evaluation or judgment?
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Offline Timo

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #80 on: November 18, 2011, 08:51:41 PM »
Some quick points.

I looked with curiosity to see if you would be the first atheist I'd encounter to finally offer a cogent discussion on where naturalistic morality might have come from.

This annoys me.

We covered this in our discussion.  We derive the rules or codes of conduct that we might call morality by fleshing out the principles that we assume axiomatically.  (Or at least, that's my view and the view I outlined in our discussion.)  And you haven't convinced me that you don't need to make that same sort of move to flesh out a theistic moral system.  You start from the assumption that there is a god and that this god is good.  I start from the assumption that fairness is good.

And really, you've never made a convincing argument that theism can somehow ground a system of morality in a way that a non-theistic system can't.

Remember, on your view, all humanity is is a collection of self replicating fairly complicated chemical reactions.  You know that fizzing stuff a bottle of coke makes when you open the lid too fast?  We're a more complicated version of that - just a chemical reaction.  Given that fizz has no moral duties and obligations (to borrow a phrase from Dr. Craig), can you show why humans have any?

I think this is a silly way of looking at things.  It'd be a bit like saying that there really isn't a difference between listening to the sound of a jazz pianist and that of a jack hammer....after all, they're all just sound waves moving through the air.  It's like saying that there's no difference between the Analects of Confucius and the Bible.  After all, they're just old books.  Just words on some pages.  Or even better, it's like saying that there's no difference between a Bible verse and this:

lajdklfjasdlkfajlkdfjlkda;fjdaflajfl;kadjflafjkadfjlaskjfsdifouoefnncmnfjlak

It's all just characters on a page.

Murder, theft, and rape are evil.
Truth, honor, courage, and beauty are good.

The vast, vast majority of societies seem to agree on basic principles like these.

Not really.

My grandmother was born in the 1920s, the same decade that the federal government had to take action to provide some level of legal consequences for the lynching of Blacks in the South since in the South, there were people that thought mutilating and killing Black people (paying careful attention to male genitalia of course) and then taking pictures with the corpse was just a swell way to spend a summer evening.  And even then, this kind of violence against Blacks in the South still persisted well into the mid 20th century.  In other words, not so long ago we thought murder was just fine every now and again.  And there are people alive today that can tell you about it.

And rape?  Homie, for most of this country's history, if a woman of color was raped by a white man she could be sure that her rapist would suffer no consequences.  It didn't even count.  Hell, for a lot of women, it didn't count until very recently.  Did you know that it wasn't until 1993 that all 50 states recognized the crime of marital rape.  This is something that hadn't occured to most societies as being a problem for a very long time.  The prevailing view was that men were entitled to have sex with their wives by virtue of the fact of their marriage, whether they consented or not.  And while we, being good and civilized people would tend to frown upon using rape in a military campaign, it was once a pretty common practice.  I mean, in the 90s, tens of thousands of Bosnian women were raped during the war.  In some places, the tactic is still being used--the Lord's Resistance Army in Central Africa as well as the Janjaweed in the Sudan come to mind.  In other words, the notion that rape is always wrong is actually a pretty recent development and not one that has taken hold in every part of the world.

And theft?  Nah, that's not even a universally agreed thing at all.  I mean homie, we live in America.  We live on land that was taken by force.  (With plenty of rape and murder along the way.)  There were even people that thought of this sort of thing as somehow God's will.  On a more local level, I don't think that I'm the only one that bought a good amount stolen clothes as a teenager.  One of my favorite rap groups, The Coup, has a whole song celebrating the people who steal from retail stores and sell to their community  ("I Love Boosters").  In that case, we thought stealing was just fine.

I guess I should also say that the common thread in all of these cases is that, with the exception of marital rape, they're all things committed by one group against another.  But that doesn't really effect the point that rape, murder and theft are not things that the vast, vast majority of peoples see or have seen as wrong in principle or wrong in the way you're saying the Holocaust was wrong.

As for this:

Just so we're all 100% clear, you're saying Hitler was not wrong (because absolute wrongs don't exist) to murder millions of Jews.


I think it's kind of funny that you're pushing this point, given that you think that at least one set of genocides (the conquest of Canaan) was a perfectly fine thing.  I mean, you seem to think that the inability of a non-theistic system to vigorously condemn the Holocaust is supposed to be a strike against it but all the while you affirm the goodness of a different genocide.  Though I suppose you can ease your mind with the thought that it probably didn't happen.  That the Bible is wrong about how the Israelites came to live where they lived.

In any case, I have a hard time seeing what you find wrong with the answer that these folks gave you.


Peace

(Had to edit that to complete a thought I left unfinished there towards the middle there.)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2011, 10:55:36 PM by Timo »
Nah son...

Offline riley2112

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #81 on: November 19, 2011, 01:48:14 AM »
43)
[IMG]
Quote
4This argument is brought up by a lot of Christians whenever atrocities committed by Christians, death threats by Christians toward atheists/non-believers, or the latest dick move by the Westboro Baptist Church are brought to their attention. Many claim that those who do not "love their enemies", aren't charitable, murder others and so on in the name of God are NOT true Christians, just Christian in name only.
;

I have read this over and over , and I am talking about the entire post. You make a lot of good statements. And like most people , Christians and non. you cherry pick the Bible , But that is not really bad. All people do. I understand that you don,t agree with what the Bible says or that there is a God , or if there is he is evil or lets evil exist. Truth is , you don,t understand God, none of us do, All we can do is talk about how none of it is real, or how could he do that or this. Kind of like an arm chair football player. And yes , this is only an opinion that can not be proven. I agree with alot of the things you bring up. The only one that I can see as absurd is the one I have quoted. That is like saying if one human is a monster then by your reasoning , we all are. You and anyone that wants can look at it anyway they want but anyone that puts people like Westboro Baptist with Christians are really reaching for bull shit. Come on dude , you have way to much real reasons to fight with, you don,t have to insult us all. And I am sure you more that likely don't see it this way , but that is what you are doing. I also know you may be right on the rest of the stuff, but do not be mad if I pray you are wrong. Also as for the wager, Clifford ripped that up. But you may want to read James. Then read the next one and the next one. It goes on and on and more than likely will still be going on a long time after we are both gone. So in the big picture , it is fun to debate about but what does it matter. People are going to believe what they believe. That is just their natural.
 

Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
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Offline Alzael

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #82 on: November 19, 2011, 01:58:15 AM »
This is actually a little bit funny, although Alzael's insults I could do without (it's telling, but a little bit annoying, when someone chooses to stoop to ad hominem fallacies rather than confront the issues at hand)

You do realize that wasn't an ad hominem right? An insult, perhaps (and an accurate one might I add), but not an ad hominem. An ad hominem is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by attacking the character of the person or the beliefs they hold.

What I wrote was merely a statement made to Jamie. It had nothing to do with the truth of your statements.

On the other hand.....

Nonetheless C, jaimehlers, Hatter, and now even albeto is joining in in trying to finesse the statement:
Just so we're all 100% clear, you're saying Hitler was not wrong (because absolute wrongs don't exist) to murder millions of Jews.

I sure hope this was transparent!  This is the inevitable conclusion of your own logic.  The fact that you're having trouble admitting it to be true indicates you're not at all convinced of the subjectivity of moral standards, but are unwilling to admit it.  (At least as far as I can tell.)

This could be construed as an ad hominem.

Until you can at the very least be honest with yourself, I don't see any point in continuing to post in this thread.

How is this new? You never continue in anything? You make a few posts and a few claims that are patently ridiculous, at which point you ditch out once you get called on to either prove yourself, or your ideas get trashed.

See the comments made in the Christian sadist thread as an example.

It's very hard to portray everyone else as being dishonest when you're the one who runs away everytime he's confronted while crying about how everyone else clearly meant the exact opposite of what they said.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 07:33:48 AM by Alzael »
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Offline C

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #83 on: November 19, 2011, 02:06:23 AM »
Quote
I have read this over and over , and I am talking about the entire post. You make a lot of good statements. And like most people , Christians and non. you cherry pick the Bible ,

There is a difference between my "cherry picking" and the Christian "cherry picking" of the Bible. Having read the entire damned book, I can pick whatever I want out of the book to show how it's revolting. Which is pretty much almost everything except some of the more sane and somewhat good teachings. Christians however choose to only stick with parts of a book that they just "follow" that make God look like Saint Optimus Prime protecting humanity while in fact, the God they worship is sadistic, misogynistic and incredibly stupid.

Quote
But that is not really bad. All people do. I understand that you don,t agree with what the Bible says or that there is a God , or if there is he is evil or lets evil exist. Truth is , you don,t understand God, none of us do,

I'm not sure how none of us "understand" God when you claim it exists and also the fact that there's an entire book centered around him, but okay sure why not.

Quote
The only one that I can see as absurd is the one I have quoted. That is like saying if one human is a monster then by your reasoning , we all are. You and anyone that wants can look at it anyway they want but anyone that puts people like Westboro Baptist with Christians are really reaching for bull shit. Come on dude , you have way to much real reasons to fight with, you don,t have to insult us all. And I am sure you more that likely don't see it this way , but that is what you are doing.

Let's look at the quote you put:

Quote
This argument is brought up by a lot of Christians whenever atrocities committed by Christians, death threats by Christians toward atheists/non-believers, or the latest dick move by the Westboro Baptist Church are brought to their attention. Many claim that those who do not "love their enemies", aren't charitable, murder others and so on in the name of God are NOT true Christians, just Christian in name only.

I did not say "because one Christian is a dick, everyone who's a Christian is a dick". Please read it again. I concede the fact that there are many intelligent and loving people who are Christian. In fact I know many myself. However what I was saying was not an insult. I was saying that Christians tend to refuse to recognize other Christians because of how they act and claim that they aren't "true Christians". As I explain slightly more in #2, that falls to the No True Scotsman Fallacy.


Quote
I also know you may be right on the rest of the stuff, but do not be mad if I pray you are wrong.

I don't take offense. When I was doubting the existence of God, I too was afraid and earnestly hoped I was wrong on the notion of this God not existing. Why? Because I was scared. Simple as that.

Quote
Also as for the wager, Clifford ripped that up. But you may want to read James. Then read the next one and the next one. It goes on and on and more than likely will still be going on a long time after we are both gone. So in the big picture , it is fun to debate about but what does it matter. People are going to believe what they believe. That is just their natural.

Sure but when people's religious beliefs get in the way of progress and actually harm and negatively affect others' lives, it is not so fun but very serious. At that point, it's not "natural" or "good".
The Second C

Offline Alzael

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #84 on: November 19, 2011, 02:24:27 AM »
But that is not really bad. All people do. I understand that you don,t agree with what the Bible says or that there is a God , or if there is he is evil or lets evil exist. Truth is , you don,t understand God, none of us do,

I'm just curious, but you do realize that this statement effectively renders anything that you say about your religious beliefs essentially moot, right?

If god can't be understood, then any and all claims that your religion makes are instantly meaningless. Because your entire religious faith is essentially one long string of claims about gods nature.

Christians claim that god created everything, they claim that god is loving, they claim that god created sin, sent down Jesus to save us, gives us morals, judges us ,etc. Everything about your religion is based around god, his words, and his nature. Your bible, the book that all of your theology comes from is basically 2000+ pages of humans talking about what god said, did, and wants.

You see you can't have it both ways. Either we can understand god; in which case there are a lot of questions that need answers. Or we can't understand god; in which case all of your religion is basically a giant game of "Let's Pretend" that you've convinced yourself is being played for real.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #85 on: November 19, 2011, 10:46:11 AM »
Quote
I have read this over and over , and I am talking about the entire post. You make a lot of good statements. And like most people , Christians and non. you cherry pick the Bible ,

There is a difference between my "cherry picking" and the Christian "cherry picking" of the Bible. Having read the entire damned book, I can pick whatever I want out of the book to show how it's revolting. Which is pretty much almost everything except some of the more sane and somewhat good teachings. Christians however choose to only stick with parts of a book that they just "follow" that make God look like Saint Optimus Prime protecting humanity while in fact, the God they worship is sadistic, misogynistic and incredibly stupid.



I liken it to a teacher going over a paper. Lets say a thousand page thesis. They find factual errors, unsupported assertions, plagiarism, spelling errors, math errors, the paper disagreeing with itself. Based on these numerous problems, the teacher states the papers conclusions are invalid.

They mark down the paper based on these flaws.

The student defending the thesis states it is perfect. The site sections that don't show these flaws.

Both are cherrypicking, but it is the student who keep asserting the perfection of his work.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline ungod

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Re: 13 Of The Most Common Arguments Made By Christians
« Reply #86 on: November 19, 2011, 01:59:49 PM »
Hi, C!  I noticed the argument from morality is first on your list, I looked with curiosity to see if you would be the first atheist I'd encounter to finally offer a cogent discussion on where naturalistic morality might have come from.  Alas, I was disappointed.

#1 "Without God, there is no morality! We have morals, THUS God exists!"

This is one of the most common arguments made by Christians which is usually accompanied by the citing of the 10 Commandments (Thou shalt not kill, etc), verses from the Bible or quotes from famous people like C.S. Lewis or whatnot. The thought process of the argument goes something like this:

- Humans can love, choose not to kill, be proper in their manner and set up laws. Morality could be innate.
- What is the ultimate standard for which these laws and seemingly innate feelings of morality measure up to?
- The ultimate standard must come from God who created humans!


Sure... I suppose that's the basic idea of the argument.  You offer three rebuttals:

1) The Christian God was not present in every part of the world, before AND after it "revealed" itself through Jesus or Moses or whoever else.
The argument isn't "Only Christians can be moral" but rather "Without God nothing would qualify as good or evil.  We demonstrably live in an amoral world, why would human life be subject to human morals?"  This rebuttal thus fails.  (The fact that you make it shows you haven't been paying very close attention when Christians make this point.)

2) You are in a group of 200 people. Would you want to get killed by one of the other 199 people? You also gathered 100 coconuts for the winter over a course of 5 months, would you want all of these to get stolen?
No, of course not.  But this surely can't serve as a basis for morality.  I mean, if all morality is is enlightened self interest, then it would be morally right for me to steal coconuts, so long as I don't get caught.  You ask about the other guy?  Screw the other guy!  Heck, so long as I could get away with it, it would be completely moral of me, on your self interest idea, to murder the other 199 people and take all the coconuts for myself.  Mmmm, coconuts.

3) Even with the Christian God, Christians have committed atrocities like any other group.
See #1.  The argument isn't that Christians act better than everyone else, it's that the amoral universe that we observe cannot logically magic up morals for humans.  On atheism the world is an amoral place, and we out logically to adapt by behaving in an amoral fashion.  Go read some Nietzsche, then come back to me and tell me where he's wrong, assuming atheism is the correct worldview.

Here, refute this......

Quote
§140. It is incessantly repeated, and many sensible persons are induced to believe, that religion is a restraint necessary to men; that without it, there would no longer exist the least check for the vulgar; and that morality and religion are intimately connected with it. "The fear of the Lord," cries the priest, "is the beginning of wisdom. The terrors of another life are salutary, and are proper to curb the passions of men."

To perceive the inutility of religious notions, we have only to open our eyes and contemplate the morals of those nations, who are the most under the dominion of religion. We there find proud tyrants, oppressive ministers, perfidious courtiers, shameless extortioners, corrupt magistrates, knaves, adulterers, debauchees, prostitutes, thieves, and rogues of every kind, who have never doubted either the existence of an avenging and rewarding God, the torments of hell, or the joys of paradise. Without the least utility to the greater part of mankind, the ministers of religion have studied to render death terrible to the eyes of their followers. If devout Christians could but be consistent, they would pass their whole life in tears, and die under the most dreadful apprehensions. What can be more terrible than death, to the unfortunate who are told, that it is horrible to fall into the hands of the living God; that we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling! Yet we are assured, that the death of the Christian is attended with infinite consolations, of which the unbeliever is deprived. The good Christian, it is said, dies in the firm hope of an eternal happiness which he has strived to merit. But is not this firm assurance itself a presumption punishable in the eyes of a severe God? Ought not the greatest saints to be ignorant whether they are worthy of love or hatred? Ye Priests! while consoling us with the hope of the joys of paradise; have you then had the advantage to see your names and ours inscribed in the book of life?
http://www.ftarchives.net/holbach/good/gs3.htm#140
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