Atheism Equals War and Misery

U.S._Marines_in_Operation_Allen_Brook_(Vietnam_War)_001I get tired of hearing how atheism means we as a society would be brutal to one another. Take this post for example:

Hugh declares himself an atheist. He related how, in the first week of studying philosophy at university, he learnt an uncomfortable truth. A purely atheist society, he discovered, cannot produce a shared social and moral foundation. Atheists can have moral values, he went on, but they can only obtain them from the religious beliefs prevalent in the society around them.

Even if this were so, then why bother with the magical bits and just adopt the moral values?

If atheists are capable of moral values, then why wouldn’t they be capable of codifying these values into laws?

While we may take some of the moral values that were codified in religion, we have also discarded many of them, such as not working on the Sabbath or being able to enslave another individual. If we merely based our morality on religion, we would follow these barbaric religious laws and never question them.

Fortunately, we do question them given enough time.

For instance, would murder be outlawed in NoGodLand? Actually, no. It doesn’t make sense that murder would be considered a crime. A society that does not believe in the soul, or the sanctity of all life or the equal value of all people before God cannot logically produce laws that stem from these beliefs.

I don’t usually swear on this blog…but I’m about to make an exception.

What in the name of the great holy fuck!

It doesn’t make sense that murder be outlawed? Are you fucking kidding me?

In what universe does wanton murder lead to a thriving society or human flourishing?

None.

So why the hell would atheists want to live in a society where murdering people for no reason is a good thing to do?

And why can’t an atheist believe in the sanctity of life? In fact, I would argue that many religious people don’t believe in the sanctity of life. They believe they are above other life forms. They believe they’re special and will even avoid the overwhelming evidence of evolution because they so badly want to believe they are different from every other life form on this planet.

Religion hasn’t stopped the slow but sure destruction of our environment or the extinction of animals caused by our cruelty and stupidity.

So what sanctity of life are you talking about? In fact, the whole eye for an eye thing has helped support the failed system of execution.

If we look back at Europe in its pagan days, about 1500 years ago, this is exactly what we find. The Viking invaders who terrorised Britain, Ireland and France held to an honour culture. You fought for your king, no matter what he did. In return, the job of the king was to bring victory on the battlefield and a sufficient supply of stolen food, animals and slaves. Nothing else mattered. If he failed to do this, he was killed and replaced.

Um…you do realize that the Vikings you’re talking about here had their own form of religion, right?

You know…Odin, Thor and the rest of them. Those Gods. And the idea that if you died in battle you’d end up in a magical realm called Valhalla.

So much for that theory.

So an atheist society is a place of permanent war and conflict, both within its borders and without. There is no peace or safety anywhere. That is where Europe came from. That is where it can still return.

Well, many parts of Europe are becoming more atheistic and they’re also some of the most peaceful places.

Atheism is just a lack of belief in God(s). It wouldn’t necessarily lead to either war or peace.

However, it does force us to look at our reasoning without hiding behind blind dogma. As an atheist I can’t support slavery by pointing at my non-book of atheism. I can’t pronounce that a higher being that created us has ordered we keep slaves and provided instructions on how to keep them. I can’t explain away infanticide using the bible, like William Lane Craig did.

That doesn’t mean I couldn’t support infanticide, but if I did, how much easier is it for the rest of you to see through my bullshit and realize that I’m a monster?

Furthermore, I would consider humanism (for example) a far more ethical code of values than Christianity, Islam or Judaism.

And you certainly don’t have to be religious to adopt them. Also, the best thing about humanism is that it can change with time. We can correct for errors in our thinking because we realize they’re not divinely inspired values but human ones. The very source of its strength comes from its ability to be improved upon.

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77 Comments

  1. “What in the name of the great holy fuck!”

    You know you are not too far out of deconversion when statements like these make you giggle. Sorry. I did sympathize with your outrage, but it did not stop my amusement.

    • I’m just going to throw out a quick guess here… but you’re not from Jersey, are you? My sweet little grandmother, who never gave up believing, could curse like a trucker. My sister married a man who’s mother is a Methodist from Delaware and our whole family has to watch our mouths when she’s around. My sister likes to imitate her mother-in-law sitting in the back of the car while she’s driving and yelling, “Jesus Fucking Christ Mother of Fucking God…” while her mild-mannered husband whispers, “Hon, Hon. My mother’s in the car.”

      The funny thing is, my sister is one of the nicest, kindest, gentlest people I know. We just grew up in an environment where cursing was commonplace. According to a survey, New Jersey ranks third in the country for swearing. There’s just a real casual attitude about it. It always takes me by surprise when I curse and people from elsewhere react.

      I try to keep it dialed back on the internet.

  2. GC, I agree with U 100% that being an atheist does not mean UR a monster… What I disagree 100% against, is UR position as an atheist… As a born again Christian, I understand much of what God reveals to us from the Bible… God gives all of us morals, and a conscience to try and help us understand right from wrong…

    Can U imagine a world where we had no conscience at all… It would be each man for himself…and the heck with anyone else…

    But the ability to love even our enemies, as Jesus teaches us in…Matthew 5:43-44…is just not possible without the help of the Holy Spirit, fighting and defeating our natural carnal flesh, which is wrenched…mine included !!

    Unfortunately we see a world filled with Christians (only in their minds), with no regeneration of the heart… And we see a majority of true born again Christians who are not Walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) I was one of them for over 7 years, after God graced me with salvation at the age of almost 52…

    Once a believer matures to the point where they truly understand that God is sovereign…and that the only way to absolute God given peace and joy beyond mortal understanding (Philippians 4:6-7), is found by getting out of our own way…and allowing the Holy Spirit to totally control our lives…

    The wise Solomon says this best, in…

    Proverbs 3:5-6… Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (NKJV)

    Until one experiences the absolute blessings that walking with the Lord will bring into their lives, which has to be experienced to be believed…sin will reign in their lives…

    Thanks for the opportunity to respond !!

    Blessings in Christ, bruce

    P.S. In the “About” section of my blog, one will find the Gospel of Christ presentation… It is a combination of God drawing the sinner to Himself (John 6:44), and the obedience of the Gospel of Christ by the sinner (or lack of obedience – 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9), that will allow God to grace the sinner with salvation…

    • “But the ability to love even our enemies, as Jesus teaches us in…Matthew 5:43-44…is just not possible without the help of the Holy Spirit, fighting and defeating our natural carnal flesh, which is wrenched…mine included !!”

      It’s possible. Atheists are living proof of that every day. You are not wretched. Don’t buy into your death cults belief that you’re a piece of human garbage and need a human sacrifice to be worth anything.

      “is found by getting out of our own way…and allowing the Holy Spirit to totally control our lives…”

      Over 40,000 Christian denominations shows this holy spirit is either inept or non-existent.

      Thanks for reading and responding. You didn’t really respond to any of my arguments against your position, but thanks regardless. You’re welcome here any time.

    • “But the ability to love even our enemies, as Jesus teaches us in…Matthew 5:43-44…is just not possible without the help of the Holy Spirit, fighting and defeating our natural carnal flesh, which is wrenched…mine included !!”~Godsmanforever

      That’s because the command is absurd. We love people for the value they bring to our lives, and logic dictates that it’s impossible to love the ideal and those who betray it. To state you love those who bring no value to your life (or even worse, those who actively destroy the things you value) is to render the word meaningless. That’s akin to saying you value animals and people who torture animals.

  3. Allow me to say the author of that post is stupid, plain and simple.
    America, very christian nation as they want us to believe, has the largest military budget to help them kill any christian/ muslim nation that comes in their way. Most countries in the world, that are at war with themselves or neighbours, have large religious populations than godless. To say, we, the heathens are the problem is to be idiotic

  4. Calm down. (Yes, I actually like you)

    The reason you’re angry is because you haven’t fully given thought to what Atheism really means. You glibly declare “Atheism is just a lack of belief in God(s)” without any in-depth analysis or critical study of the fundamentals of this belief system.

    No one believes atheists/materialists cannot be moral. The issue is, while they CAN be moral without a BELIEF in God; it is impossible for them to be moral WITHOUT God.
    Why?
    Because there is a standard by which morality must be measured. The point the original poster is making is that atheists/materialists have no basis upon which to object to “immoral acts” because ultimately you have no point of reference for the meaning of good/evil.
    You have no standard upon which to make your case; you have no ultimate authority that imposes any moral duties upon you. You have no point of reference for meaning; however when you do declare your own standards of morality- in essence, borrowing from God- now you’re clearly living beyond your own metaphysical assumptions and is just a typical religionist who advocates a stance but is unable to live by it.

    • There are 2 problems with your position:

      1) You’re mixing up subjective morality with so-called objective morality, and then you’re pretending that this is a deficiency in subjective morality. So what if there’s an objective morality? It doesn’t stop IS from beheading people, and it doesn’t stop county clerks from treating others differently than she wants to be treated.

      2) Even if we suppose there’s an objective morality out there, you’re also skipping a step in linking it to a deity. You can’t argue that it attaches to the Christian deity; Hammurabi’s Code predates Mosaic law, and Jesus didn’t argue for any kind of new moral precepts that weren’t already in existence. Therefore, even if a deity is necessary for objective morality to exist, someone else’s deity or deities gets that honor.

      • If what you’re saying in point 1 was even close to being correct, then GC has no reason to be angry with the OP (as I pointed out) because in his and your world view there is no such thing as good/evil, right/wrong.
        You bring up “subjective morality” – yes GC may think rampant murder is wrong (where did he get that idea from), the murderer thinks its right.. who gets to decide which of the 2 is correct using your philosophy. So who are you and GC to argue against this. This is YOUR worldview, one in which none of you can live and must therefore use/borrow from a worldview you constantly claim does not exist. This IS YOUR PROBLEM.

        Point 2: No steps skipped. If there is no moral Law Giver, there’s no moral law; if there’s no moral law, there’s no good; if there’s no good, there’s no evil.

        The Christian standard for morality as recorded in the Bible is simple this: LOVE
        Love God, love your neighbor as yourself.

        • “The Christian standard for morality as recorded in the Bible is simple this: LOVE”

          Utter dung balls. That’s why your god, Yawheh/Jesus is going to throw everyone in the lake of fire whose name is not written in the “book of life”. Rev. 20:15

          Doesn’t matter if they were prosocial and did great things for humanity or simply lived a peaceful existence. The message is:

          Worship me or die. That’s not love.

        • Let me simplify my points for you to help you understand:

          1) I can subjectively call the murderer wrong, and I can also support laws that prohibit murder where I live. So, actually with subjective morality I CAN say that what the murderer did was wrong. Imagine that.

          2) Repeating the same error in logic does not make up for the first one. The Christian standard you alluded to is contained in many other faiths. What makes you think that your particular brand of deity is the one doing the law giving? Make sure you provide examples which exclude other major world religions.

    • @Theancients.

      You have no standard upon which to make your case; you have no ultimate authority that imposes any moral duties upon you. You have no point of reference for meaning

      Yep, we do. It’s called Evolution.

      You’ll find it the dictionary. It falls between D for Dickhead and F for Fuckwit.
      Both words you should read too,by the way.
      Have a nice day. 🙂

    • “Calm down. (Yes, I actually like you)”

      Thank you. I like you also. I’m calm.

      “You glibly declare “Atheism is just a lack of belief in God(s)” without any in-depth analysis or critical study of the fundamentals of this belief system.”

      Because…it’s not a belief system. It doesn’t have fundamentals.

      “Because there is a standard by which morality must be measured. The point the original poster is making is that atheists/materialists have no basis upon which to object to “immoral acts” because ultimately you have no point of reference for the meaning of good/evil.”

      Sure I can. I can use statistics to back my claims. I can use compassion and empathy and point to why I think a particular thing is good or bad for the society I live in.

      You are also presupposing there is a God and yet neither you or any other theist have demonstrated your deity exists and should be the one making these standards.

      Also, I can easily point to places in your own holy book that show a lack of morality on the part of your God, such as slavery and rape and genocide.

      “You have no standard upon which to make your case; you have no ultimate authority that imposes any moral duties upon you.”

      You ever play a game and make up rules? You explain why you think a rule is needed and how to implement it. You then see if the rule makes sense and whether or not it works the way it was intended.

      You don’t have any ultimate authority but the group decides the rule works for that game and it’s kept.

      Same sort of thing. We decide. The people who wrote your bible decided. You just choose to follow their decision and not think for yourself.

    • morality is sanctioned by the society a person lives in. It the grease that helps a society or a group function together more easily. In some cultures its considered immoral for a woman to show her upper arms (oh those bingo wings) or her real hair. In others, its immoral for someone to steal and he can lose his hand for it.
      Why is one moral behavior right for one culture and not for another?

      That could mean, wait for it, different cultures must have different gods. Or different rules. you think?

      • And where did the “society” obtain those moral values from? Thin air.

        Morality isn’t subjective as said by previous poster, as an act isn’t immoral /moral the moment society or an individual decides it is.
        Ex: stealing, always was, it is, and it always will be wrong. It doesn’t become wrong when a society that accepted it as ‘right’ before suddenly decides it’s now wrong. Morality is independent of your opinion.
        [My initial point though was in a purely atheistic world, then morality is based on ones opinion and in that regard, no one can complain when things go ‘wrong’ because in the ‘wrong doers’ opinion, they are doing right].
        So the fact that one act is deemed ‘immoral’ in one culture and ‘moral’ in another is meaningless, especially when cultures change their stance on issues of ‘morality’. Each culture could have a million gods, that doesn’t change the fact there is only ONE TRUE GOD and moral law giver.

      • Judy, you are correct. The fact that morality varies in societies show how much it is culturally conditioned.

        In some cultures blood feuds lasting over generations is the norm.

        Recently in India there was the case of the two women who were sentenced to be raped by the men of the village because their brother had eloped with a women of a higher cast.

        In Chinese culture to lie and deceive is not considered immoral, but to publicly criticise someone is considered abhorrent.

        We see that morality varies between cultures and over time. What this strongly suggests is that morality is in essence a social matter. It is part of how humans can live as social animals. Thus for a society to be cohesive it develops a shared culture this includes an agreed standard of morality.

        • Peter, I may have to marry you

          Exactly. The society, the culture, dictates what and when and why moral behavior happens. The Asian culture as a whole has a strong sense of self, and honor. You can dishonor your ancestors, your family, yourself, your three dogs, total strangers in the street, simply by behaving in certain ways.
          also, where in many countries suicide is considered abhorrent, it was always considered a way out, a way to regain honor after an horrendous event (I always think of Madame Butterfly at this juncture).

          And within societies themselves certain groups have their own morality and ethical behavior: street gangs, the homeless, prisoners, the very rich and the very poor, families, all of them subsets of other sets. It’s a complicated arrangement, and far from perfect, but it does keep the lid on most of the time.

          • Shucks, Judy – I am probably a long way away living at very base of Australia.

            I was contemplating relative morality. The United States tended to see lack of political freedom as a significant moral issue. But the Chinese responded that there were other issues that were more important, such as caring for the poor.

            In Australia our folk were very critical of the Japanese for how they treated prisoners of War in WW2. But the Japanese looked at matters differently, they could not understand how people could bring shame upon themselves by surrendering, rather than taking their own life. So it was a real clash of cultures.

            • Ya know, if we just left ourselves to ourselves and stopped passing judgment on half the world it would make a huge difference.

              Christianity by itself is fine. It’s when folks get to interpreting it in their own best interests, forgetting that half the world is NOT Christian, and really doesn’t appreciate our interference. In a way its like running next door to break up an neighbor’s family argument–to listeners, it sounds horrendous. To the family, it’s just another happy family cookout, ala Archie Bunker.
              And people/countries/cultures rarely appreciate unsolicited help, advice, or inteference.

              Wars are usually about ideologies, with religion thrown in as a chaser…

  5. given that it is religious people that actively recruit and are by far the majority and no religions have yet to get along with each other

    it is really telling that atheists are the smallest prison population and yet, we are the ones deemed iffy

  6. Pingback: this is very tired already | Random thoughts

  7. this is hysterical. I wish I were twins so we could enjoy this even more.
    I think they have conflated ‘heathen” with “atheist”. The fact that most atheists (myself included) spent a serious amount of time on the other side of the room, praying and worshiping and waiting for the gates to suck us inallow us to enter the Kingdom–so how did we all come to this ugly pass, immoral, sadistic, brainless…you also conveniently ignore the Muslims, who are doing their level best to eliminate Christians, Jews, and atheists, all, all of us godless heathens in their eyes–
    Frankly i think anyone who slides over to our side of the bench has done a great deal of thinking, conscience searching, and flat out reasoning, before making the leap. Atheism IS a kind of religion, but the difference is, WE each are the religion. Not out of a book, but out of our selves.

  8. Great post, GC. Doesn’t it strike you that people like this poster are projecting? I just got through reading a two studies about religiosity and submissiveness. Here’s an excerpt:

    —————-

    “Yet, on the basis of the findings obtained in Experiment 1, we may predict the latter effect to be observed for individuals scoring high on submissiveness, that is, for participants who are more likely to hold religion-submission associations in long-term memory. Complementary analyses provided evidence consistent with this prediction: Participants scoring above the midpoint of the submissiveness scale showed significantly more revenge when the request for revenge was preceded by a religious than by a neutral prime.

    In sum, this experiment shows that, whereas exposure to religious concepts makes people nicer in the absence of negative social influence, and this in dependently of personal submissiveness, exposure to the same religious concepts makes submissive people meaner in the presence of a negative social influence.”

    ——————-

    In summery, what the two studies found were that those who scored high in religious submissiveness are significantly more likely to be mean, vengeful, and unethical.

    https://www.uclouvain.be/en-274207.html

  9. A guy name Paul Roberts in the YT comments (regarding the Peace Index data) tries to explain why atheist countries tend to be the most peaceful from a “spiritual” point of view. It’s hilarious and this guy is serious:

    “People still don’t understand how the spiritual world works….you see Atheists are most peaceful because Satan doesn’t need to temp those people since they are headed for destruction in the end. His job is to go after Christian nations to corrupt and temp the children who are destined to return to God. So, he works overtime to corrupt the Christians because it’s not easy to break them…he has to make sure they die in serious sin….because true repentance in the end is a soul lost to him.”

    Never a dull moment around these types of believers. *shakes head*

  10. Pingback: Redefining Morality | Amusing Nonsense

  11. The original poster you quote didn’t give a link to the Hugh (Hugo?) Rifkind article he was quoting. I tried looking for it and couldn’t find it.

    In anycase, he should be a little careful about assuming all non-Christians were “barbarians.” A couple of weeks ago, I watched “Terry Jones’ Barbarians” on YouTube. At the end of the series he makes the point that history was written by the Catholic Church. As far as the Vikings themselves go, they were only one group. There’s plenty of evidence that there were non-Christian groups (who weren’t atheists anyway) who were not especially violent. Also, many eras of Christians would fail our modern notions of morality.

  12. i think the problem is definition of terms: morality encompasses groups, it dictates what a group can/should do to survive intact. Ethics is individual. a man living alone in the forest may kill a deer to eat, to survive, but his ethics still know to kill a deer just because, is not right. Ethics is who we are alone, what we personally feel, believe, react to.

    • Nupur, our brains dont atrophy around the fact of atheism. I have a blog that never mentions religion, since its not intended that way. And GC is right, we all have different venues. This being an atheist blog, we do atheists. On a flower blog, or a writer’s blog, we do those things. In a way its like going to a dinner party where the main course is chicken. So we eat chicken. We dont brown bag it.
      Same thing with a blog.

  13. “Religion hasn’t stopped the slow but sure destruction of our environment or the extinction of animals caused by our cruelty and stupidity.” And that is shameful in the true, powerful meaning of the word “shame”. The trouble is, too many humans believe that when the Bible says that man shall have dominion over earth and its creatures (I am paraphrasing) it means that we can kill, thrash and have no respect. St Francis, among other saints, advocated the protection of animals and nature because they were our brothers and sisters. But, sadly, the Church ignores that widely. I makes me angry.

  14. GC, im part Indian, and I always feel that link, that connection with earth and what grows there, what walks there. and the day I suddenly realized that the entire earth is totally connected by water, wind, and grasses, it blew me away =)

    If you want a religion to work with, thats as good as any

  15. Thinking out loud, here: I think atheists scare the hell out of many Christians, because we rattle their fragile cages. I respect what they believe, hell , I grew up with all of it. And as Ive said before, I do miss the Heaven thing. Its not much fun to realize that what we strive for here, and what we create often stops when we do.
    That can be a terrifying concept, and I dont wonder people cling to any religion they have, or can find, so as not to face that reality. Can’t blame ’em.

    Someone tonight on another blog (not sure where right now) said, all an atheist is, is someone who doesn’t believe in God. And that’s exactly right. Our paths to get here are all markedly different, as are our reasons. But that’s the bottom line, isnt it. It’s not a judgment, or a curse, or anything else. Not a slur against Christianity. We just don’t believe in any god. Our belief system is internal, not external, and there are days when you realize you are all you have, which is both empowering and scary at the same time. Sort of like being the grownup instead of the kid.

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