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"Faith is not a good reason to believe in any one thing. It's a bad reason to believe in everything. Faith is not synonymous with any one idea; it is synonymous with any strongly held idea, true or not. But one thing faith is not synonymous with is a logically justified idea."

April 8, 2010

Atheists Debating Atheists?

That's right people! We don't always agree on things! And when one atheist steps over the line, we see it as our intellectual duty to smack them back! Why? Because unlike the religions of the world, we don't just excommunicate them and say "Oh, he was never a real atheist!" because most of the time they are real atheists, we just have a problem with the way they said something.
The following debate I had over Facebook with another atheist over the dangers of religion, specifically with whether or not Christianity is a peaceful religion or not. There is an obvious difference between the actions of a majority of Christians, the preaching of their ministers, and what's written in the Bible. So read the debate and give me your comments. Be sure to tell me whether you're an atheist or a theist, and what kind of theist. Then tell me who you think won and why... (Forgive spelling errors, I didn't edit anything from the original discussion. I will be in bold and my opponent will be in regular font.)

People say they only have a problem with religion when it goes to extremes. In the case of most religions, all they are is extreme in one way or another. They either chase themselves from sex, or they indulge in the raping of children. They either preach everlasting love, or they preach the hatred of God. They either create history for themselves, or they burn it to the ground to keep it from others. Religion is the practice of human extremes and calling it Holy. It's like saying...“It's not the Nazi party that did bad things, it's the people”... Same logic. But the Nazi party is still bad, so is religion. And you do belong to a religious group if you're religious. Everyone falls into some category.

Not really. Nazism wasn't too bad until Hitler equated it with racism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and every major religion preaches acceptance and kindness, the people are to blame mostly for the corruption of it. Money is the root of all evil, not religion.

Religion kills the same way guns kill... they need people to use them to kill, they can't do it on their own. But their #1 usage is to create suffering.

Really? How many Hindus go out and kill? How about Buddhists (not all consider it a religion but still)? It's people who perverted the religion that cause hurt to others. The old testament of the bible, was pretty ridiculous, but I don't see much wrong with Jesus' teachings even though I'm atheist. People will use anything to justify anything. That... See More's like blaming someone's hair color for being a psychopath. You're taking away all individual blame and put it on some intangible source because it's easy.

No, I'm taking away the individual blame and putting it on the social cause because Facebook only allows me so many characters that I cannot name each person who's ever killed in the name of religion. So it's just easier to say religion instead. I understand that people do the killing and they are ultimately to blame, but I'm not about to let religion off the hook. Religion is the tool they use to justify the killing they do. The tool they use the justify hatred.

People kill others with bats, shall we ban baseball? A tool can be used for good and for bad. As much as I hate a lot of religion a ton of them do good work for charities and that is very noteworthy. Even if this is done to impress a god or whatever, it's still being done, and people are being helped. You say religion as a whole but I've never ... See Moreheard of a Hindu kill in the name of Krishna. The fact is the people are going to kill because they are that way, they just say it's because of religion because their brain finds comfort in that.

The insanity that would drive a man to bludgeon another with a bat is based on a mental illness. The mental illness is the cause. Sure, most religious extremists probably have mental illnesses too, but they find a home in religion. Religion gives them a place to let their illness germinate and makes them seem protected from criticism. Religion has it's own level of default respect, after all. But in the end, their insanity uses what their religion gives them to commit horrible acts. There's nothing printed on a baseball bat that say "Kill the homosexual"... But in religion they find many phrases that could lead their mental illness to physical violence. Religion is a catalyst for insanity and violence. Of course the offender is the one to accept ultimate blame for his actions, but when we see what he used to justify his actions we can point another finger. We have a problem with Nazism, even though Nazism is only an idea. The Nazis themselves put that idea into action, so they take ultimate blame. But should we also protest against the idea? Sure. The concept justified their actions, they used it to rationalize their violence.

Alexander. You're using what you've heard about fundie christians and using it to blame every religion. Most christians aren't insane, just those killers. Would you want Stalin to represent us atheists? Of course not. Nazism really had nothing to do with racism until Hitler, so really, nazism isn't to blame, Hitler is. And no matter what people will find rationalization if they're a killer. You can't want to abolish an entire system because of a few bad apples. Reformation? Maybe. Abolition? That's entering an entirely new zone of ignorance.

Okay, then next time I will list the religions I have a problem with and leave the peaceful ones out... Except in one way or another I have a problem with all religions. I can't list every freaking religion I'm pointing the finger at. I just say religion and hope no one freaks out and says "That's not my religion!" or "That's not every religion!"... But someone always does. Are we really going to argue over the use of the term "Religion" I wouldn't be surprised if many Christians weren't mentally ill in one way or another. Religion acts like a mask to cover mental illness.

yes because really the only religions that are hateful are the fringe ones. The large majority of christians would never kill, same with muslims, jews, hindus, buddhists, scientologists, pastafarians, Gary Busey worshipers, or shampoo bottles. Just those crazy ones give a bad name to what their ideals maintain. Just like Stalin should not be representative of all atheists, Bin Laden shouldn't be of all muslims, Mark David Chapman of christians yadda, yadda, yadda. I say let people be crazy, worship a dinner plate for all I care just don't force it on anyone else. It makes them happy, why take that? Of course it's ignorance, but if they aren't telling else how to live and actually help others who cares what they believe, you know? There's quite a few christians like that. JUST RETARD GLENN BECK FANS AREN'T. I hate Glenn. I digress, sure I find the thought of a sky wizard insane, but that thought isn't objective.

Fringe Religions? Christianity and Islam are not fringe religions and they are hateful and violent. Sure, not every Christian or Muslim is violent, but that's not because their religion tells them not to be, it's because they know not to be. Their religion tells them to kill people! They simply are too ignorant of their own religion to understand it. Obviously, most Christians never even read the Bible.
Let's say I have a problem with Football because of the way the franchises conduct themselves. Sure, not all the franchises conduct themselves that way, some are legit. But can't I still say I have a problem with Football in general for this reason? Do I really have to list the specific teams I dislike or can I just say "I have a problem with Football!"... Who do I have to walk on egg shells for a bullshit system? Religion is crap and I'm not walking on egg shells for the few religions that aren't violent. I'm calling it like I see it, and religions help people rationalize their violence in general.

How does Christianity promote hate? Or Islam? The new testament of the bible is damn peaceful. Jesus was one of the most tolerant characters in a book ever. Why didn't you mention Jews? Islam says anyone who kills kills all mankind. That doesn't seem hateful to me bro. I think you're using stereotypes to justify your beliefs and not any tangible, real evidence.

Have you ever read the Old Testament? You do know Jesus supports the whole of the Old Testament laws, right? Do you really think Christianity is peaceful? Have you read the Bible? (cover to cover) Sure, there are peaceful liberal Christians out there, but they are the ones who don't know what their Bible really says. They are good despite their Bible, not because of it. The worst part is those so called "fringe" areas of Christianity, like the Phelps clan, are the only one's who really know what their Bible says! The liberal peaceful Christians are nice, but their Biblical ideals don't have a leg to stand on when you really read the Bible. They got this everlasting forgiveness concept from their preacher, not the Bible. Also, it's worth pointing out that the Bible says a lot of different things that contradict itself over and over again. No matter what side you want to take, there's probably some vague verse you can find in the Bible that will support your claims. But that's only when you cherry pick it. When you read the whole thing, it says quite plainly to "Kill the non-believer, kill the homosexual, kill the adulterer, kill the unruly child, kill the blasphemer, kill kill kill..." Christianity has good Christians the same way the Nazis had good Germans. They're not good because of their Bible, their good despite it.

I've read the whole bible. He never supported the old testament I'm afraid.
"Mat 5:38-39 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."
Where does that say kill kill kill?

"I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished." -Matthew 5:18
Unfortunately, this is one of those cases I was speaking of where no matter what side you take, there are numerous vague verses that will support your claim.

And he was talking about the beatitudes there. Have you read the bible?

The Bible has marked as Jesus speaking of the fulfillment of the law, as in Old Testament Law. Not any specific thing, but the whole of the Old Testament Law.
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."
Jesus taught some peace, but he support some evil too. He's not the great philosopher people like to think he is. He isn't a good man. If he existed at all, and if this is an accurate quote, which it's all we have to go off of, then Jesus is a dick.

He was still referring to the beatitudes friend. I don't see how he was a dick. Telling people to turn the other cheek isn't exactly what a dick says. What "evil" did Jesus support. What teachings did he give that are evil?

I understand the part the beatitudes played in the sermon on the mount, but I do not see how Jesus refers to them when he says "...not the least stroke of a pen... will pass from the law..." Exactly what "Law" is he referring to if not the only other thing in the Bible that is referred to as a "Law"... Jesus says a lot of things in the sermon on the mount, but when he says "Law" there's only one thing that refers to. Only one other place in the Bible where something is called "The Law" and it's not the 10 Commandments, it's not any talk about camels and needle eyes, or turning the cheek. He says "Law" in reference to the only "Law" in the Bible. The one that says who to kill. Who to enslave. etc...

He considered the beatitudes law. Do you have any quotes from Jesus where he said "Kill kill kill" not just things you misinterpreted?

Okay, do you have anything from Jesus where he says the Beatitudes were the "Law" or are you just assuming he meant them when he said the word "Law"... Are you really going to be caught up on the "Kill Kill Kill" part? I said the old Testament said crap like that and Jesus only supported it. We're arguing over whether or not he supported it with the word "Law" not whether or not he ever personally said "kill kill kill"... What justification do you have for thinking that when Jesus says "Law" he means "Beatitudes?"... Cause I can easily explain my justification for saying that when Jesus says "Law" he means "LAW"

Why would Jesus break these laws then? It's believed that when Jesus came he fulfilled the laws and suffered for all those who broke the old testament laws, meaning all punishment was on him and the laws were no longer in effect and human punishment should no longer happen. That's why so many say he died for "our" sins.

That's why so many say it, yes. That's what they profess. But it's pretty obvious when you read the Bible (preferably not the new revised Bibles) that Jesus was just another blood sacrifice to God to cleanse humanity of it's sins. He didn't do away with Old Testament law so that humanity could dismiss the law, he was just a pure human sacrifice to a God who liked sacrifice. It doesn't diminish the laws, only gives people an out. Although, there are still some laws that don't allow you an out when you break them, even with a pure blood sacrifice like Jesus. For instance, homosexuality, atheism, and idol worship after the knowledge of the true God. These are still considered unforgivable sins despite Jesus' death. Jesus makes it easier for people to seek forgiveness for other sins in the Bible, since now they don't need to sacrifice lambs or children. Jesus counts in their place. But for those who break the unforgivable laws with knowledge, we still go straight to Hell. They preach that Jesus did away with the old Laws because they know better than to be that immoral. Their making excuses without any justification for their thought pattern. I would just prefer they say "I'm know the Bible says we should follow the Old Laws, and I know Jesus supported them, but I cannot bring myself to own slaves, kill homosexuals, etc..." But they don't do that. We all know theists have an uncanny ability to make excuses for the difference between their beliefs and actions, and this case is no different.

No dude, you really aren't listening. There aren't unforgivable sins (except blaspheming the holy spirit). Jesus died for every other sin and that's why god didn't go apeshit and kill a bunch of motherfuckers like he did in the old testament. I understand you don't like Christianity but you don't have a real understanding of it either. You blame Christianity for people dying but say at the same time those who follow it and are peaceful are just ignorant. Good things come from Christianity. Humans are the ones who perverted it. They took something peaceful and used it as an excuse. That's it. The tool is to blame as much as baseball is to blame for those killed by baseball bats. Would it be wrong to assume you were raised christian Alexander?

Honestly, the way you read the Bible doesn't make much sense to me. The way I've read it at least has some consistency... God likes sacrifices. Sacrifices dismiss sins. God becomes Jesus. Dies to dismiss sins. Except for a few obvious ones... The way you read it has no justification for thinking that "Law" means "Beatitudes." You simply assume he means "beatitudes" because he talked about them earlier in the chapter. But you don't have any other reason to think that's what he meant. At least I'm saying that "Law" means "Law" and not pretending he was referring to something else. You also say that God died to dismiss the old laws, which is what most modern Christianity teaches. But as an atheist I would hope you didn't just fall into the same trap preachers have set for their congregations. Sure, they preach what you say. But the Bible doesn't say that. That's nothing new though, cause preachers say a lot of things that isn't supported by the Bible. Probably because preachers know that most of their congregation doesn't read the Bible, and that those who do read it often refer to the pastor's interpretation, no matter how unjustified. Ultimately, this is the problem with any ancient text that is written in such a vague manner as to make people think they're allowed to interpret it personally rather than obviously. If you want to read the Bible with any kind of consistency in meaning, Jesus supports Old Testament Law and died as a blood sacrifice to himself to dismiss sins, and not the law itself. If you want to read it in a way that rationalizes acting nice despite obvious scripture then you can read it your way. But don't try to say it's justified by anything in the Bible. You're quoting the Bible and saying it means what the preachers are saying. I'm quoting the Bible and saying it means what it's saying without much thought into how the preachers have rationalized it. I know there are good Christians, and I'm glad they exist. But they're good despite what the Bible says, not because of what it says. And even if your interpretation was consistent and correct, it doesn't mean anything. Because more than half the damned book is still filled with hate. And like we said before, crazy people will use that to rationalize their insanity and commit violence. Of course most Christians are good, most people in general are good. But that's human nature, not Christian nature. Christians are acting in their own human nature and calling it "God's Work" and I'm glad they do good. But they're ignorant to what causes them to be good. And religion overall acts as a catalyst for insane ideas. If you want to give to the poor, the Bible has a passage that will justify that action. If you want to own slaves, rape women and execute gays, then the Bible has a passage for that too. No matter what action you want to undertake, the Bible has a passage just for you. And then you can do good or bad things and call it "God's Work" when really you're just naturally good or naturally crazy. But religion doesn't help. Religion enables evil deeds and takes credit from good people doing good things. And I think we can both agree that ultimately none of this matters because Jesus is most likely nothing more than a fictional character. Especially, the sort of Jesus the Bible would have you believe in. I was raised Christian. One side of the family was Catholic. The other was born again evangelical. The other, didn't fucking care. I had to read the Bible 3 times in 2 languages. I had to listen to two different sides telling the same Bible stories in 2 completely different ways. None of them consistent, none of them justified. All of them making excuses. All of them wanting to sound like they promote peace and forgiveness, when all I could see in the end was bigotry and ignorance.


Amy said...

Hey, it's Amy here! Thanks for your continuing emails!...

Okay...At first I agreed with your opponent, because that's what I was taught in Church. But I suppose it depends on what you mean by "Christianity"... If you mean the Bible, then yes, it supports violence and immorality. If you mean the people of the preachers, then it's case by case basis. But I fully understand what you mean by the Bible rationalizing people's mental issues. I began reading this on the side of your opponent, but after seeing your example of his unjustified stance on the sermon on the mount, I can't help but be on your side. You say that when Jesus says "X" he means "X"... He says that when Jesus says "X" he means "Y"... And he has no reason to think that. And your reading of the Bible is very consistent.

Yeonghoon said...

Ok, I read this and got more pissed off at how fatuous this person was than anything.

1. Nazism is at it's core a racist philosophy you can't say that it was promotive of "good" in any sense a religious apologetic would wail about.

2. Stalin was trained in the seminary, and also used the Eastern Orthodox Church to his own good (with a people who have been used to centuries of subjection by a demi-god tsar you would be foolish to not).

Also I don't know whether this person was just staunchly playing devil's (oh the irony) advocate but his arguments are just weak and outdated to really..try and dissect... He/she also really doesn't seem to get the argument on how religion acts as an umbrella free of criticism, ultimate veto card, delusional motivation for both good and evil (mostly evil or nothing at all), and a surrender of the mind - What his person is arguing is that just because Hitler was a vegetarian doesn't make him anything moral (say, by argument of how meat is obtained by killing quasi-sentient animals, thus by causing pain, thus Hitler was so kind enough to not kill cows) because it all falls when you know what Hitler really was as an individual (also vegetarianism is practiced for numerous reasons and the bioethical conclusion is just one of many) - and now this doesn't make all other vegetarians evil like Hitler as well - that's all well and good, but vegetarianism has no prophet, has not central text, no dogma, no doctrine, nor are there people threatening you with hellfire or claiming to know the absolute truth, nor is there any government sanctioning the behavior just because it was a certain way of life, and most importantly you don't posit some imaginary stalk of celery in your mind which tells you to shoot abortion clinic doctors or work at a soup kitchen - either way delusions are bad reasons for doing anything and do more harm than good in the long run.

Hope I wasn't being too convoluted, especially with the Hitler/vegetarian part - also Alexander you win, you may know me, and I'm an Atheist as well haha..

Shay said...

WOW. He sounds like... IDK..... an apologist? I'm with you on this one, Alex.

All religion is bad. It keeps it's followers from thinking for themselves and gives them excuses to absolve themselves from the atrocities they commit without ever taking any personal responsibilities for those atrocities.

Ajith said...

Hi Alex,
this is Ajith from FB. I do not know whether you know this or not. But Hindus do kill. and they kill a lot. Its especially oriented at the Muslims and sometimes at Christians. And they have got caste system, "had" Sati(wife should commit suicide when husband dies), have child marriage etc. Most of these are shared with other cultures also.

But still, they do kill. ;)

SgtHaile said...

Yea, I've been researching Hindu culture a bit more since this post. I've found out more about their atrocities. Their religion is similarly two-faced like Christianity.

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