Author Topic: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist  (Read 6340 times)

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Online Jontom10

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Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« on: December 19, 2013, 01:03:08 PM »
Hasa Diga Eebowai

Offline RED_ApeTHEIST

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2013, 01:15:30 PM »
His first two assertions about atheism are incorrect. Technically one could believe in supernatural or a non-scientific universe without perforce believing in a Deity for given values of  supernatural and Deity.

How the hell can you be that wrong in establishing the terms of your first argument and still continue writing?

Also, if  one proves that one cant be objectively moral without god. Does that in any way prove god? It might make god desirable, but desirability does not equal likelihood.

edit: Fixed pronouns and spelling
« Last Edit: December 19, 2013, 01:22:21 PM by RED_ApeTHEIST »
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Offline Backspace

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2013, 01:19:25 PM »
The author claims  to be a "grace addict" -- what the hell is that?
There is no opinion so absurd that a preacher could not express it.
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Online Jontom10

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2013, 01:23:43 PM »
I think "grace" is the narcissistic feeling you get when you tell yourself god loves you.

So he is addicted to the feeling he gets from his delusional world view
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Online jaimehlers

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2013, 01:35:28 PM »
Indeed.  First off, his argument is a strawman.  Atheism only states that there are no gods.  That's it - the single assumption that exists within atheism - not the three that he claims must be.  And it just gets plain silly from there.

You don't need to have objective morality in order to have morality.  That is the fallacy that he commits - especially since his own morality is just as relative as any atheist's.  We can prove - not 'know' without thinking about it, not believe without proof, but prove with evidence - that theistic morality has changed over time.  Early Hebrews thought nothing of holding slaves, of executing people for violating religious laws, of sacrificing animals to appease a jealous god, of committing massacre after massacre, mass rape after mass rape, and that's just what I can remember easily.  Yet somehow, despite the fact that modern-day Jews no longer do that, their god has not once punished them for violating this early version of "objective morality".

Christians underwent the same process.  Things that past Christians thought nothing of are thought to be purely evil by modern-day Christians.  How many people were enslaved by Christians in the past two thousand years?  How many people were massacred by Christians during the same time period?  How does this radically changed morality support the idea of objective morality to begin with?

Then there's his quote-mining, a favorite pastime of theists to try to throw 'atheistic' arguments at people who would oppose them.  But for the sake of argument, I'll grant his premise that atheists can't be objectively good without objective morality.  So what?  Since when have humans cared about what is objectively good for the universe?  What we care about is what's good for us, personally, and if we're particularly moral, what's good for other people.  And that's where his argument fails miserably.

He seems to be under the impression that in order to be an atheist, one must believe that nothing matters.  This is effectively indistinguishable from nihilism, another mistake that a lot of theists make about atheism.  But the fact of the matter is that this is not true.  An atheist is certainly capable of caring about humanity, of believing that our actions have consequences, and that what we do matters, at least to us.  So my position is that an atheist does not have to be objectively good in order to be a good person.  They just have to act in a way that's viewed as good by other humans.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2013, 01:43:39 PM »
Why There Is No Such Thing as a Good Atheist

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pastor-rick-henderson/why-there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-good-atheist_b_4442287.html

Wow, wot a crock o shit

Hrrm within the first couple of sentences I get to:

Quote
I contend that any response you make will only prove my case.

And I stop reading. I now know the person has no case. They are smug in their worldview, and dismiss all possible evidence they are wrong EVEN before it is presented.

Whereas, you know, a amputee healed by faith alone WOULD alter my worldview. I may be smug, but I fully acknowledge if evidence arose I would change it.







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 Graybeard

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2013, 05:34:28 PM »
From the site:

Quote
Every expression of atheism necessitates at least three additional affirmations:

1. The universe is purely material. It is strictly natural, and there is no such thing as the supernatural (e.g., gods or spiritual forces).

2. The universe is scientific. It is observable, knowable and governed strictly by the laws of physics.

3. The universe is impersonal. It does not a have consciousness or a will, nor is it guided by a consciousness or a will.

Denial of any one of those three affirmations will strike a mortal blow to atheism. Anything and everything that happens in such a universe is meaningless. A tree falls. A young girl is rescued from sexual slavery. A dog barks. A man is killed for not espousing the national religion. These are all actions that can be known and explained but never given any meaning or value.

A good atheist -- that is, a consistent atheist -- recognizes this dilemma.

Obviously we must get rid of "A good atheist" as this implies that if you do not agree, you are not a good atheist. I don't know why he added this, and I don't think he does either.

This is a favourite trick of the less than intellectually gifted godbotherer: conflate meanings of words.

The problem is that the illiterate idiot has used the word "meaningless" to mean
(i) having no ultimate purpose ->
A: I was walking along the street when a complete stranger hit me."
B: "Meaningless violence, eh? The scourge of society."

(ii) Having no further information in itself
A: "Just look at this stick! What does it tell you?"
B: "Nothing. It has no meaning to me."

(iii) being able to set aside emotion. (which is not a definition of "meaningless")

Of the examples he give, only a dog barking has any real meaning: it usually means a stranger is near. And I am not sure what he is trying to demonstrate. How is "the universe having a purpose" related to a reaction to any of the scenarios he describes?

I see no dilemma... where is it?
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2013, 08:01:18 PM »
^^^HIS dilema is trying to figure out a way to convince himself that he is right. He's so wrong that he's suspicious of himself.

If he has to make me look bad for him to look good, he's doing it wrong.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Tero

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2013, 10:48:10 PM »
What next? Atheists have no feelings! Atheists have no empathy!

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2013, 01:43:28 PM »
I think we should just keep parading religious people like this around. Let them get their time on tv and do what we can to make sure that everyone hears their message. Simply because none of them seem to have a positive message. Not the politicians, reality show duck hunters, or this guy. Underneath it all they seem to have this hatred in them that just doesn’t fit into modern society.
No matter what topic they discuss the common denominator in the offensive statements is that persons religion. And the public hears it.
Sure rednecks will support Duck Dynasty and his anti gay stance and this Rick Henderson is talking to his base. But there is this constant reminder for everyone else that their religion makes them ugly people who say offensive things. About rape, equal rights, birth control, other religions, child molestation, sexuality, and gender.. the list goes on.
They will be viewed in the future as the enemies of modernization and progress. Villains. Future generations (we might not get to see it) will claim these horrible people leaned on their religion to bully and deny people basic equal rights. Hopefully lessons learned... one day.

Offline gzusfreke

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2013, 08:02:51 PM »
His first two assertions about atheism are incorrect. Technically one could believe in supernatural or a non-scientific universe without perforce believing in a Deity for given values of  supernatural and Deity.

As a theist, I believe that the natural came into being supernaturally, but I also believe it is scientific, in that it (other than its creation) is observable, explainable by the laws of physics and science. Could you explain what a non-scientific universe would mean?

Also, what are your actual views of the universe - how did it get here, is it "scientific" using Henderson's definition, and whatever else you might want to say about it?
A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

Offline mhaberling

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2013, 01:30:02 AM »
What the man in the article was trying to say, though I make no argument in his ability to say it was this. If you believe in a strictly natural world, one only gonverned by the laws of science. You can have morals, you can be empathetic, you just have no logical reason to. Theists believe that the true morality is with God along with all other truth. For that reason, a Theist could say that Rape was wrong because the statement: Rape is wrong is either true or false. If you believe in a strictly natural or scientific universe, you could never logically say that rape is wrong because rape is just atoms moving in a particular fashion, there is no truth or meaning behind it. What instead you could say is that I dont like rape. But those are your personal feelings about it, who gives a dam. That doesnt mean that Joey doesnt like rape andif Joey likes rape and you don't thats just his prefference in the same why that he likes Coke and you like Pepsi. Because there is no objective standards on which to measure both you and Joey's tastes you could never say one is better than the other. So when this man says there are no good atheists what he meens is there are no good naturalists ( those who believe in a natural universe) and when he means there are no good naturalists what he means is that there are logical naturalists, there are good naturalists, but there certainly are not any logical and good naturalists.
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Offline Aaron123

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2013, 03:30:30 AM »
What the man in the article was trying to say, though I make no argument in his ability to say it was this. If you believe in a strictly natural world, one only gonverned by the laws of science. You can have morals, you can be empathetic, you just have no logical reason to.

So what are "logical" reasons to be empathetic?


Quote
If you believe in a strictly natural or scientific universe, you could never logically say that rape is wrong because rape is just atoms moving in a particular fashion, there is no truth or meaning behind it. What instead you could say is that I dont like rape. But those are your personal feelings about it, who gives a dam.

Who even argues like this?



Quote
That doesnt mean that Joey doesnt like rape andif Joey likes rape and you don't thats just his prefference in the same why that he likes Coke and you like Pepsi. Because there is no objective standards on which to measure both you and Joey's tastes you could never say one is better than the other.

So... rape = Coke VS Pepsi debate?  Sure, tell that to a rape victim.  That's one of the silliest comments I've ever heard, which is saying a lot.
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Online Azdgari

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2013, 04:58:35 AM »
What the man in the article was trying to say, though I make no argument in his ability to say it was this. If you believe in a strictly natural world, one only gonverned by the laws of science. You can have morals, you can be empathetic, you just have no logical reason to.

One's own values are a logical reason to.  They are logical premises upon which logical moral positions arise.

Theists believe that the true morality is with God along with all other truth.

They are employing their own subjective values in assigning God that role in their lives.  The dilemma remains the same, no matter how many gods you add to the equation.

For that reason, a Theist could say that Rape was wrong because the statement: Rape is wrong is either true or false.

They would be referring to their own values, and possibly those of a god.  With respect to that standard, it is either true or false.  The standard exists objectively.  Contradictory standards also exist objectively.  Why omit reference to which standard one is selecting?

If you believe in a strictly natural or scientific universe, you could never logically say that rape is wrong because rape is just atoms moving in a particular fashion, there is no truth or meaning behind it. What instead you could say is that I dont like rape. But those are your personal feelings about it, who gives a dam. That doesnt mean that Joey doesnt like rape andif Joey likes rape and you don't thats just his prefference in the same why that he likes Coke and you like Pepsi. Because there is no objective standards on which to measure both you and Joey's tastes you could never say one is better than the other. So when this man says there are no good atheists what he meens is there are no good naturalists ( those who believe in a natural universe) and when he means there are no good naturalists what he means is that there are logical naturalists, there are good naturalists, but there certainly are not any logical and good naturalists.

That's wonderful.  You havn't given this topic a moment's thought, have you?
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 05:12:34 AM by Azdgari »
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2013, 05:03:49 AM »
Aaron123...

A theist would say that Rape is bad because it is immoral according to God's truth. In other words, rape is bad because the statement: Rape is Bad. Is and has always been true.

An atheist would say rape is bad why? AAron123, if there is no God, and no moral truth as a result, then from what grounds could you say rape is bad? Do you have any logical reason? As an atheist to you think it is always bad and no one should do it. ( an argument for objective morals ). Or is that something you simply have an opinion on that is neither true nor false ( Coke Vs. Pepsi ).

Theists believe in a world where morality can live in harmony with logic. 


Azdgari...
What makes your moral values any better than anyone elses. Shurley if you were to act to stop a robbery, you are saying that my values are superior to the thieves in that case. If that is not true then why would you act. If it is true and you did make the unspoken statement my values are better, then by what standard did you measure them?
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2013, 05:15:43 AM »
Azdgari...
What makes your moral values any better than anyone elses.

To me?  The fact that they are mine.  I can only ever act upon my own values.  It would be impossible to do otherwise, unless I was being mind-controlled or something.  To you?  That depends on your values.  You can only ever act on yours, too.

Phrasing it as you did makes no sense.  You omitted the standard you were asking about.  Why did you omit the standard you were asking about?  My values are better or worse than someone else's, depending on the standard used to judge.  If you're going to ask, then at least complete your question.

Shurley if you were to act to stop a robbery, you are saying that my values are superior to the thieves in that case. If that is not true then why would you act. If it is true and you did make the unspoken statement my values are better, then by what standard did you measure them?

By the standard of my own values.  This is really simple stuff, mhaberling, which is why I said:
Quote
You havn't given this topic a moment's thought, have you?
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2013, 07:14:26 AM »
A theist would say that Rape is bad because it is immoral according to God's truth. In other words, rape is bad because the statement: Rape is Bad. Is and has always been true.

1)  Is every moral truth revealed by Yahweh identical now to when it was first revealed? 

2) How is Yahweh's preference for particular morals anything more than his preference vs. ours?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline G-Roll

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2013, 08:13:23 AM »
Aaron123...

A theist would say that Rape is bad because it is immoral according to God's truth. In other words, rape is bad because the statement: Rape is Bad. Is and has always been true.


So what you are saying is that forcing the rape victim to marry the rapist is moral? Or even logical?

 “If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.
Deuteronomy 22:28-29

she shall be his wife, because he has violated her <-- makes total since to me! End sarcasm.

I could go on but I have grown bored on the subject of objective morality and atheists somehow are incapable of being moral because we don’t believe in magic. Also I hope that Anfauglirs questions are answered. Especially #1!



Offline SocialConstruct

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2013, 08:34:34 AM »
I agree with 1, 2, and 3.

However, this is absolutely incorrect:
Quote
Denial of any one of those three affirmations will strike a mortal blow to atheism. Anything and everything that happens in such a universe is meaningless. A tree falls. A young girl is rescued from sexual slavery. A dog barks. A man is killed for not espousing the national religion. These are all actions that can be known and explained but never given any meaning or value.
Just because the universe itself is impersonal, does not mean that life itself is unimportant or impersonal. The meaning of life is derived from life itself. The universe itself does not need to be meaningful in order for life to be meaningful. Sexual slavery may be irrelevant from the perspective of the universe, but it is totally relevant from the perspective of developed society.

I might deal with the morality issue later, but it should be obvious that he is making some serious errors.

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2013, 09:00:46 AM »
I am convinced by reading mhaberling's posts that theists have no morals.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2013, 12:11:39 PM »
Hey, welcome SocialConstruct. I love new members with long names. And I commend you for picking a name that has better initials than PP

ParkingPlaces  ;D
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline mhaberling

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2013, 01:04:05 PM »
Azdgari... Then to the person who believes according to his moral system thinks it is good to prey on the weak, the theif I brought up earlier. Then you would say because his morals are the most important to him, he should steal. So then by your reasoning, you could not condemn his action but you would still stop it.

Anfauglir...

1) I do not think that the full moral truth has been revealed to humanity, however I do believe it exists.
2) God's "preferences" are the required absolutes of the universe. God's truth about morality is no more or less than God's truth about how particles interact.

SocialConstruct...
Welcome to the forum and thanks for the comment. This is a good piece of analysis that you forwarded. While the person who wrote the article did so poorly, Whai he was tyring to say was:

If an atheist has morality, they derrive it from somewhere other than logic. It is something that manifests only in their feelings. This is fine as long as the Atheist remains consistent and admits to living in a dual reality, one in which they follow the laws of logic and reason, and the other where they believe in an unexplainable, and illogical set of rules on how people should behave for no reasons other than emotion.
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Online skeptic54768

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2013, 01:12:51 PM »
That is something I have always said. Atheists borrow their morals from the Christian worldview.

If atheists came across a culture were rape was required for males to "move up in the ranks" of their society, an atheist can't tell them to stop. Different society, different rules.

Christians can tell them to stop because they are not following God's Word. If somebody wanted to rob my house, I would have no choice but to let them if I were an atheist. I would have to sit there and watch them rob my house and shake their hand before they left and say, "Keep living with your own morals, friend."
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2013, 01:16:15 PM »
Aaron123...

A theist would say that Rape is bad because it is immoral according to God's truth. In other words, rape is bad because the statement: Rape is Bad. Is and has always been true.


So what you are saying is that forcing the rape victim to marry the rapist is moral? Or even logical?

 “If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.
Deuteronomy 22:28-29

she shall be his wife, because he has violated her <-- makes total since to me! End sarcasm.

I could go on but I have grown bored on the subject of objective morality and atheists somehow are incapable of being moral because we don’t believe in magic. Also I hope that Anfauglirs questions are answered. Especially #1!

What you don't understand is that virginity was considered sacred back in those days. It is certainly not the woman's fault if she was raped, but once the woman is deflowered, she can not become un-deflowered.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Online skeptic54768

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2013, 01:18:48 PM »
What makes your moral values any better than anyone elses. Shurley if you were to act to stop a robbery, you are saying that my values are superior to the thieves in that case. If that is not true then why would you act. If it is true and you did make the unspoken statement my values are better, then by what standard did you measure them?

I am glad you agree with me. If we were both atheists and someone wanted to rob our house, we have to let them rob it.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Online Azdgari

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2013, 01:33:22 PM »
Azdgari... Then to the person who believes according to his moral system thinks it is good to prey on the weak, the theif I brought up earlier. Then you would say because his morals are the most important to him, he should steal. So then by your reasoning, you could not condemn his action but you would still stop it.

This is untrue.  I cannot see how you can logically get this from what I wrote.  I can say that he would decide he should steal, if he thinks it's right.  That is an uncontroversial statement:  You should agree with it as well.  If he thinks X is right, then he is likely to decide that he should morally do X.  Agreed?

I probably would say that he shouldn't, according to my own values.  Which are the ones I'd be acting on.  Others would do the same.

This kind of behaviour is what we actually see in the real world.  Do you disagree with the real world?
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2013, 01:37:43 PM »
What makes your moral values any better than anyone elses. Shurley if you were to act to stop a robbery, you are saying that my values are superior to the thieves in that case. If that is not true then why would you act. If it is true and you did make the unspoken statement my values are better, then by what standard did you measure them?

I am glad you agree with me. If we were both atheists and someone wanted to rob our house, we have to let them rob it.

Not true. You know too little about morality to be trying to describe it.

Plus, if you were being robbed, you would probably shoot the bad guys, even though you have a commandment that says not to kill. I think one of the reasons your religion is so popular is that is has so many loopholes.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Online skeptic54768

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2013, 01:42:25 PM »
What makes your moral values any better than anyone elses. Shurley if you were to act to stop a robbery, you are saying that my values are superior to the thieves in that case. If that is not true then why would you act. If it is true and you did make the unspoken statement my values are better, then by what standard did you measure them?

I am glad you agree with me. If we were both atheists and someone wanted to rob our house, we have to let them rob it.

Not true. You know too little about morality to be trying to describe it.

Plus, if you were being robbed, you would probably shoot the bad guys, even though you have a commandment that says not to kill. I think one of the reasons your religion is so popular is that is has so many loopholes.

I certainly wouldn't shoot the guy. I would tell him that I forgive him and I would try and convince him to accept Jesus Christ as his savior.

Just shooting him solves nothing and could send a soul to hell that could have been saved.

Shouldn't you know this stuff as a former Christian?
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Online skeptic54768

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Re: Why there is No such thing as a good atheist
« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2013, 01:48:58 PM »
Considering that Christians are responsible for stopping slavery, it should be obvious that Christians are the ones with good morals. Sure, an atheist may hate slavery, but this comes from the Christian worldview.

In an atheistic world, why can't we make slaves out of the dumb people? A lot of them just end up homeless anyway. Wouldn't it be better to at least give them a roof over their heads instead of being on the street?
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)