Author Topic: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century  (Read 19205 times)

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Offline Gill

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #435 on: January 04, 2012, 04:57:43 PM »
The few common desires that most all humans have are usually considered by me as the basis for a natural right.

Fixed.
If it were natural law, shouldn't it be common for all humans and not just "most"? Or are some humans "unnatural"?

Some people are suicidal, or maybe even enjoy enslavement, so I guess they wouldn't desire life or freedom now would they?

Offline One Above All

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #436 on: January 04, 2012, 04:58:30 PM »
Some people are suicidal, I guess they wouldn't desire life now would they?

Dodge. Answer the question:
If it were natural law, shouldn't it be common for all humans and not just "most"? Or are some humans "unnatural"?
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Offline Gill

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #437 on: January 04, 2012, 05:00:05 PM »
Clearly , a small minority of people do not naturally have such desires.  And so?  Should law be based on an all or nothing philosophy, is that what you're saying?

Offline One Above All

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #438 on: January 04, 2012, 05:00:44 PM »
Clearly , a small minority of people do not naturally have such desires.  And so?  Should law be based on an all or nothing philosophy, is that what you're saying?

Dodge. Answer the question:
If it were natural law, shouldn't it be common for all humans and not just "most"? Or are some humans "unnatural"?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Gill

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #439 on: January 04, 2012, 05:04:37 PM »
I just answered it.  No.  Laws aren't based on absolutes, they're based on majorities.   Do I have to state this again?

Offline Avatar Of Belial

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #440 on: January 04, 2012, 05:05:47 PM »
/sigh.   You're just over-analyzing it.    No,  not every desire=natural-right.    The few common desires that most all humans have are usually considered as the basis for a natural right.   Life, freedom...

Not, I desire to play a computer-game, obviously.

Well why shouldn't it be a right to play computer-games?



Look, what I'd like to see is your definition of what a right is and how these rights came to exist in the first place. Something consistant and thought-out that we can hold you to while this discussion progresses. You've been giving conflicting statements which make it hard to figure out if we even agree or disagree with you, much less talk about it in a meaningful way.

What are the limits to rights? What can they do? What can they not do? Who or what do they apply to? Can new rights begin to exist or can old rights disappear, or are the rights you have now the rights you will always have? Who or what determines these rights, or do they simply exist?

You accuse us of over-thinking it, but these are all base pieces of information - really I can only say in response the cliched "You are under-thinking it!"
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Offline One Above All

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #441 on: January 04, 2012, 05:06:41 PM »
I just answered it.  No.  Laws aren't based on absolutes, they're based on majorities.   Do I have to state this again?

This isn't just ANY law, this is a NATURAL law/natural-right/god-given right. So, do you concede that the laws/rights you consider natural are based on what the majority decides like regular laws?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
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Offline monkeymind

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #442 on: January 04, 2012, 05:08:35 PM »
Quote
Yeah, there's rights you could call 'government rights',   like the right to bear arms, given by the government.   And then there's natural-rights, or 'god-given', which aren't given by the government.   A lot of government-given rights are derivatives of the naturals though.

The statement that atheists have committed mass murders has not been show to be correct.

The idea that natural rights are god-given rights (which requires a belief in a higher power) has not been shown to be correct.

The idea that people do a lot of harm to themselves and others because of a belief in a higher power (god given rights) has been illustrated clearly, however.

Gill, why do you hold so dearly this idea of god given rights? I don't get it. And why do you argue so vigorously expecting to convince an atheist of this?
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #443 on: January 04, 2012, 05:14:59 PM »
The few common desires that most all humans have are usually considered by me as the basis for a natural right.

Fixed.
If it were natural law, shouldn't it be common for all humans and not just "most"? Or are some humans "unnatural"?

Well, there's the blacks.  And the hispanics.  And the gays.  And the atheists.  They're all kind'a unnatural, so they don't get the same rights.
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Offline Gill

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #444 on: January 04, 2012, 05:19:04 PM »
/sigh.   You're just over-analyzing it.    No,  not every desire=natural-right.    The few common desires that most all humans have are usually considered as the basis for a natural right.   Life, freedom...

Not, I desire to play a computer-game, obviously.
Look, what I'd like to see is your definition of what a right is and how these rights came to exist in the first place. Something consistant and thought-out that we can hold you to while this discussion progresses. You've been giving conflicting statements which make it hard to figure out if we even agree or disagree with you, much less talk about it in a meaningful way.


The irony is that I think most people here already agree with me,  but they think I'm trying to somehow make this religious, so they argue, but I'm not.

Quote
What are the limits to rights? What can they do? What can they not do? Who or what do they apply to? Can new rights begin to exist or can old rights disappear, or are the rights you have now the rights you will always have? Who or what determines these rights, or do they simply exist?

You accuse us of over-thinking it, but these are all base pieces of information - really I can only say in response the cliched "You are under-thinking it!"

All those questions can be answered easier if you have some premise for defining what a natural-right or government-right is.  Do you? 


Offline Azdgari

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #445 on: January 04, 2012, 05:19:36 PM »
Gill, you're very eager to dismiss the idea that the government can take away our rights.

I suppose that's a useful tack to take, given your desire for dictatorship.  Can't have people realizing the danger their government might pose!  Then they might resist it taking away their rights, if they realize it can...

Surely people in government can try to take away rights.   But, I think they have a much bigger hurdle to get over in arguing to do so since the founders recognized natural rights.    As opposed to defining everything as a government-given right.   All I'm sayin.....

Not really.  All the government has to do is convince people that giving up (or "neglecting/ignoring" if you must) a right is needed for some supposed greater good.  Boom, justified, and they take away the right (in practice, if you must).

This is what actually happens.  It is why personal liberty is in such danger these days.  A "natural" right can be ignored as easily as an equivalent "artificial" one can.  And what's what happens.

As I said, though, it's useful to argue that it can't happen, for people - like you - who yearn for dictatorship.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #446 on: January 04, 2012, 05:23:05 PM »
The idea that rights are somehow divinely endowed, promotes a false sense of security, especially among a religious population.  If rights are handed down from an authority greater than that of humanity, then they are inviolable, and humanity doesn't need to protect them.

What a dangerous attitude.
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Offline Gill

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #447 on: January 04, 2012, 05:25:05 PM »
As I said, though, it's useful to argue that it can't happen, for people - like you - who yearn for dictatorship.

what?  lol, no I don't yearn for that.

I think this convo is about played out.   How about, we all agree that it's a nice thing to live in a democracy, if you do so?  Ok.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #448 on: January 04, 2012, 05:28:21 PM »
You believe the government gives you all your rights, such as the right to live?  I don't.  I think that's a premise which is putting excessive power onto the government.
I'm not talking about rights the government gives, I'm talking about rights it can take away.  If you don't think government can take away rights, such as the right to live, you aren't living on the same planet as I am.  What do you think the death penalty is, if not the government legally taking away someone's right to live?  What do you think prison is, if not the government legally taking away someone's right to their freedom?

What gives those rights - the right to live, the right to one's freedom, is the social compact we live under.  Do not doubt for a second that if we did not live in a country where those rights were protected, that they could be taken away by anyone so minded.  No matter how much you say that they're natural rights, the fact is that without laws and government, they wouldn't be rights at all, because anyone could take them at any time if they wanted.

Offline One Above All

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #449 on: January 04, 2012, 05:28:35 PM »
I think this convo is about played out.

Translation: I realized that I'm wrong, but I won't admit it because I'm intellectually dishonest.

How about, we all agree that it's a nice thing to live in a democracy, if you do so?  Ok.

Translation: How about we all agree that I was wrong? Ok.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
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Offline Avatar Of Belial

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #450 on: January 04, 2012, 05:30:20 PM »
All those questions can be answered easier if you have some premise for defining what a natural-right or government-right is.  Do you?

Of course not; because as I mentioned earlier I don't consider rights to be given by either the government or nature. Since you do consider one of those as the giver, then you need to present your premise and definition.

A reminder on my position, because it was a while ago.
Post 90:
We gain our rights not from the government, but from society - of which the government is only a part.

Humans are social animals - it is a primary factor in our survival mechanisms. We benefit tremendously from our societies when they do well, and suffer horribly when our societies fail. Our rights come out of mutual respect for those within our society. A healthier society is the ultimate goal; and when an individual's rights are respected, that individual can contribute to society more. When everyone contributes to society, they gain more back from society. The rights themselves form based on what society as a whole deems beneficial in that place and time period. Your rights in the modern day would not be the same rights you would have had 500 years ago (although there would likely be overlaps).
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #451 on: January 04, 2012, 05:33:44 PM »
what?  lol, no I don't yearn for that.

Your protests of not wanting a dictatorship are made less convincing by your repeatedly expressed sentiments of wanting a dictatorship:  A higher authority, against which no human can disagree.  And by your repeated promotion of attitudes which would help enable a dictatorship, as I've just explained.

I think this convo is about played out.   How about, we all agree that it's a nice thing to live in a democracy, if you do so?  Ok.


You're not very graceful in defeat, Gill.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 05:35:48 PM by Azdgari »
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Offline monkeymind

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #452 on: January 04, 2012, 05:34:02 PM »

All those questions can be answered easier if you have some premise for defining what a natural-right or government-right is.  Do you?

Here are some definitions. Which do use?

natural right
any right that exists by virtue of natural law.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/natural+right

Natural and legal rights are two types of rights theoretically distinct according to philosophers and political scientists. Natural rights are rights not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable. In contrast, legal rights are those bestowed on to a person by the law of a particular political and legal system, and therefore relative to specific cultures and governments.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_and_legal_rights

1. General: Fundamental human rights based on universal natural law, as opposed to those based on man-made positive law. Although there is no unanimity as to which right is natural and which is not, the widely held view is that nature endows every human (without any distinction of time or space, and without any regard to age, gender, nationality, or race) with certain inalienable rights (such as the right to 'life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness') which cannot be abrogated or interfered with by any government. And that, whether or not these rights are enshrined in a national legal code, no government is lawful if it fails to upholds them. See also human rights.
http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/natural-rights.html

rights which persons possess by nature: that is, without the intervention of agreement, or in the absence of political and legal institutions. Natural rights are therefore attributable to individuals without distinction of time or place. A contrast may be drawn with positive rights: that is, those rights conferred or guaranteed by a particular legal system. Natural rights have been derided as nonsensical (by Bentham) on the ground that it is impossible to speak of rights without enforceable duties, and enforceability exists only when a potentially coercive legal system exists. Furthermore, there has been no unanimity even amongst those who recognize natural rights as to their content. Natural rights have been seen as gifts of God, as correlative to duties imposed on man by God, and as concomitants of human nature or reason. We might distinguish: (1) natural rights; (2) moral rights; and (3) legal rights. The third are those recognized by positive law. The first are those asserted to be universal and thus guides to the proper content of any legal system. The second are those which, it is claimed, should be recognized by particular legal systems or which, while not universal, should be recognized under existing conditions. The classification of rights will depend in part on understandings of their purpose and of their consequences.
http://www.answers.com/topic/natural-right

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Offline Gill

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #453 on: January 04, 2012, 05:43:31 PM »
I think this convo is about played out.   How about, we all agree that it's a nice thing to live in a democracy, if you do so?  Ok.


You're not very graceful in defeat, Gill.

Not defeated.  There's not much else more to say, so tired of repeating myself.

Offline monkeymind

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #454 on: January 04, 2012, 05:50:10 PM »
^^^OK in that case I'll go with Avatar of Belial's explanation.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 05:52:08 PM by monkeymind »
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #455 on: January 04, 2012, 05:53:17 PM »
Not defeated.  There's not much else more to say, so tired of repeating myself.

Democracy is defeat for you, because democracy is the rule of the people, not the rule of the Creator.
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Offline Gill

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #456 on: January 04, 2012, 05:54:48 PM »
Not defeated.  There's not much else more to say, so tired of repeating myself.

Democracy is defeat for you, because democracy is the rule of the people, not the rule of the Creator.

I'm not against democracy and  I'm not ruled by a Creator either.   So, you've got me wrong.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #457 on: January 04, 2012, 05:55:20 PM »
So you're saying that the Creator doesn't determine which rights you have or don't have?
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Offline Samothec

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #458 on: January 04, 2012, 06:16:04 PM »
Ah, so you want more activities like the derivatives trading that caused the recent major economic downturn. You might have heard of it - our current recession?

Ok, I didn't reply because I think this can get pretty complex.    Yeah,  trading those junk derivatives are a big part of the problem.  But, didn't the government also pass some law, Idk the specific one,  where banks were forced or at least encouraged to give loans to unqualified buyers?  So there's a lot of blame to go around there.   That can get complicated....

Nice dodge of the issue/question: do you want deregulation or not? I'm not sure if you brought it up directly or if it was brought up in response to your position about republicans but it is one of the issues about republicans that you were asked about and you dodged. Yes, there was a law meant to help people by encouraging/forcing loans. But lack of regulation let the banks create toxic loans and then compound the problem by bundling the toxic loans and selling them so someone else would be poisoned by them. But even dealing with it this vaguely is too complex for you. Okay.

With that in mind, shall we let you know when things are too complex for you? It would shorten the pointless exchanges.

 
No, I just figure people don't want to read some long essay I'll have to write if I address every point all the time.

If you bothered to address the points when they were made without evasion and using words with their standard meanings intact then you wouldn't need to supposedly "address every point all the time."

Now do you see why your idea that the writers of the Declaration were invoking God to justify changing their system of government doesn't work?

Maybe that's why they used the term 'Creator', instead of God.   That way, no one could claim their God to be more right than another persons.  The Creator could be 'the universe' for someone if they choose.   

Translation for the rational: No, I don't understand since I want to hang onto my idea so I'm engaging in some cognitive dissonance.

If a government official tries to take away my right to freedom, and the Declaration were to say that my freedom was given to me by the government, then he has a pretty valid argument to take away my freedom, doesn't he?   On the other hand, if my right to freedom is a natural-right, as it is defined, then how can he argue to take it away, since I was born with it?  Cant.

I am amazed, seriously. You are truly obsessed with this idea and do not see that you have managed to finally reiterate it in an almost perfectly wrong way. Your freedom can be taken away quite easily. Go up to a police officer – a government official, no matter what you say – and slap/hit him/her. Your freedom will be gone pretty much instantly. You will, no doubt, try to claim several things which are not true: that a police officer is not a government official; that you never said violators of the law get to keep their freedom (although it is implied in your statements).


For instance, people complain about the Patriot Act infringing on their rights to freedom.   Well, if the founding documents, declared that members of the government give people their right to freedom,  I don't think people arguing against such an Act, would have much of an argument to stand on.

Translation for the rational: While I sound like I have finally gotten a clue, I haven't – I'm just rewording my unsupportable argument in an awkward way.


People discovered natural-rights through years of civilization.  They recognized that most people what to live, be free, and pursue happiness.  It's not just some random idea they decided to define, and people started following it since it was written.   It's a recognition of something natural and innate that most people share.

Yes, the government defines them, so they can be clearly recognized, and formally established into the government. And yes, people may try to over-ride them.  But, the majority of people probably won't allow that most times, because they will agree with the original recognition.

But this isn't true. As someone else pointed out (sorry but I don't remember who) sex is something pretty much everyone wants and by your logic should be included as a 'natural right'. But unless you are dodging the point by including it as part of "pursuit of happiness", you have a contradiction. The US federal government does not guarantee sex either separately or as part of the "pursuit of happiness": states are allowed to criminalize sex acts even between two consenting adults in private. So there is a natural right which is not recognized and not given. In fact some sex acts have been frequently criminalized throughout history.
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Offline Samothec

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #459 on: January 04, 2012, 06:17:22 PM »
lol.  Whatever.  I'm not claiming to be an expert. But,  I have read books about the government's founding so I'm far from ignorant on the subject.

And when you use "lol", it makes you look like an idiot.  Stop doing that, for your own good.

I haven't participated in a board like this for quite a few years – heck, haven't even lurked. Is "lol" no longer acceptable on some (or all) boards or are you referring to how he is using it: as a lame attempt at expressing ridicule? (Also inappropriate usage and somewhat redundant considering the "whatever".) I'm guessing his usage.


Mostly irrelevant aside, by the way -- if you can find earlier drafts of the Declaration, they make for interesting reading, as does review of the reasons for the various changes that were made before the final version was released.  (I studied this in a college course I took on expository writing.)  In one earlier version, for example, Jefferson said something about the colonies "bidding an everlasting adieu" to the Crown.  Others in Congress opined that this should be removed (and other similar language toned down) because relations with Britain might improve in the future -- which, of course, they did.

Interesting and cool. I think tidbits like this should be in middle and high school courses to make history more interesting – allow the students to see the names in the textbooks as real people rather than data to temporarily memorize.
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Offline Alzael

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #460 on: January 04, 2012, 06:18:48 PM »
I'm not against democracy and  I'm not ruled by a Creator either.   So, you've got me wrong.

No, he's simply going by your own admissions.

Your entire position is that rights are handed down to us by a higher authority. An authority that we cannot argue, question, or reason with, and who's dictates we must accept. We have no say over our most basic rights, they are decided for us.

This is exactly  what a tyrannical rule is. It is a system where a single unchallengeable authority can make decisions in regards to everyone else.

The fact that you can't even begin to recognize takes Dunning-Krueger to amazing new heights.
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Offline Samothec

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #461 on: January 04, 2012, 06:19:00 PM »
almost forgot this one as I was trying to group things:

We are alone in this mess.  There is no creator, there is only us, and we have to collectively figure out how to live with each other, and grant each other the freedom to live among us, without harming each other.  This takes collective organization and agreement, something that religion cannot do, by definition.  Religion is incapable of uniting everyone, because it is divisive.

It may be that we simply are not evolved enough to do this in a secular way either, I have to admit.  But I can't see it happening at all when gods are invoked.
Bold mine

While religions are divisive because each claims to be the only real one, each religion is capable of uniting people – even huge numbers of people. But it is a totalitarian unification which naturally engenders conflict with those who don't believe in that specific religion. Religion's ability to unify is one of its attractive points; you get to belong to something larger (and more powerful) than you. Which again leads to one of the problems with religion: it can be a guided mob out for blood.
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Offline Samothec

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #462 on: January 04, 2012, 06:26:35 PM »
The fact that you can't even begin to recognize takes Dunning-Krueger to amazing new heights.

I hadn't heard of the Dunning–Kruger effect before but having just read the beginning of the Wiki article I think you've hit it right on the head. It also helps me understand someone I know IRL.
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

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Re: ATHEISTS who have committed mass murders and genocide in the 20th century
« Reply #463 on: January 04, 2012, 06:33:24 PM »
almost forgot this one as I was trying to group things:

We are alone in this mess.  There is no creator, there is only us, and we have to collectively figure out how to live with each other, and grant each other the freedom to live among us, without harming each other.  This takes collective organization and agreement, something that religion cannot do, by definition.  Religion is incapable of uniting everyone, because it is divisive.

It may be that we simply are not evolved enough to do this in a secular way either, I have to admit.  But I can't see it happening at all when gods are invoked.
Bold mine

While religions are divisive because each claims to be the only real one, each religion is capable of uniting people – even huge numbers of people. But it is a totalitarian unification which naturally engenders conflict with those who don't believe in that specific religion. Religion's ability to unify is one of its attractive points; you get to belong to something larger (and more powerful) than you. Which again leads to one of the problems with religion: it can be a guided mob out for blood.

I see what you are saying, and I did intend to indicate that the problem lies with the fact that there are just too many religions, and people choose their favorite, or are born into it, and that's that.  NI the end, the idea that religion can unite people, is overshadowed completely by the divisiveness it ultimately creates between competing religions.