New fodder for discussion:
I came across this post in a forum discussion and figured it might make for an interesting discussion topic:
“Atheist friends: tread carefully. When you claim superior "morality" to Christians, you are standing on moral and ethical ground carved out entirely by the Judeo-Christian God and worldview.
You take for granted that people understand that lying, killing, rape, and slavery are wrong. That is incorrect. Your understanding that those behaviors are unacceptable is based on the teaching of Christian morality, and its influence on its own culture and others.
It can honestly be said that atheists today who are against slavery, mistreatment of women, dishonesty, and war would almost certainly not have those beliefs had the Judeo-Christian God/worldview never existed. If anything, any similar moral beliefs you might have would be based on keeping social order and your moral appeals would be to the State, not to ideals of right and wrong.
Here's a simple morality test: are you in favor of abortion? Then chances are you would not have been an abolitionist in 1800 America. Your morality is probably based on pragmatism and self-interest, and your reasoning is then custom-fitted to the same.”
More proof if proof were needed that many Christians never actually read the Bible. If I ever wanted to convert a compassionate Christian to atheism I woud suggest they read it cover to cover!
The bible is a book responsible for more slavery, rape, killing and lies throughout history than any other.
I really don't think that any religion has deemed murder, rape and such wrong. The bible and other books are fariytale explainations for the world infused with natural morals and things that were obvious to people of the time.
We are born with an instinct to keep from harm and to keep others from harm. We naturally understand what upsets us and the people around us, so, stealing for example, will get us in trouble which is something we want to avoid by nature. If you were to scold your baby as a term of endearment and then cuddle it when it has done wrong, the baby will still respond negatively to scolding and positively to cuddling. A baby is going to cry when you hit it; why? because it hurts. An adult is going to hurt when it is hit as well, and for the most part, people do not want pain. We naturally do not want harm or confusion or disruption.
We naturally do not want to mistreat others unless we are at odds with them or if they interfere with our safety/comfort. The mistreatment of women, or men, would be a selfish inclination, but to specifically discriminate one gender is something we learn, from places like the bible. In ancient cultures, women were praised and looked at as life-providing wonders. They were not mistreated. As religions evolved, the idea that women were inferior to men came about. So, the mistreatment of women IS something we naturally look down upon as is rape and murder, because those cause people harm and sorrow and are destructive to our race.
"“Atheist friends: tread carefully. When you claim superior "morality" to Christians, you are standing on moral and ethical ground carved out entirely by the Judeo-Christian God and worldview."
Not true! Moral and ethical grounds predate the relatively new religion, Christianity, not recognized at the time of its inception as such. The Judeo-Christian religion is a Johnny-come-lately, an incoherent hybridization of many antecedent religions and as much credence could be given to Roman, Greek or Hindu gods as Judeo-Christian ones as delusional influences on some ideas of "morality" today.
Morality is not a province of religion, remaining outside the dogma and dictates of any religious ideology, but a consensual agreement in a human community as to how to behave ethically to suit the preservation of that community. It can be dishonestly said that basic human morality about slavery, (remember that slavery is absolved in the bible), women's rights (not found in the bible but quite the opposite) and war (the bible is rife with the tyrant-in-chief waging it and destroying multitudes) has anything to do with Christianity or a Judeo-Christian sadistic god.
Christian morality is a recent and inconsistent construct used by priests, preachers, scribes, politicians and others with fanatical stripes to control behavior, deny honest morality and retard society.
Xian morality is a faith-based hangover
moral absolutes / religious morality / enforcement of morals
• Western atheists and theists alike operate on the very same narrow bandwidth of “knowledge”. The Big-3 Monster Theisms have polluted cultures for so long that their doctrines on human action (morality) block humane progress in public policy and impede cleansing the world of conceptual corruption like “sin” and “guilt”.
God is dead. And so is xian morality. Any viewpoint soiled by lying god proxies -- priests, pastors, televangelists, rabbis, imams -- comes not from on high, but from religious institutions making claims for secular power based the god fiction. There is no "executive privilege" for God.
• Old King God was a sullen old sod:
“My morality is absolute; my religion creates morality; my morality must be enforced.”
1. Xian “morality” is not moral at all -- it is pathologically antisocial.
2. There is no inherent relationship between religion and morals.
3. Confucian principles indicate a solely cultural basis of moral codes.
Jesus’ mores are antisocial, otherworldly, and impractical. He promises much, and delivers nothing. Jesus' "interim ethic" could not outlast one generation of true believers. After all, the world was about to end. But it didn’t. And “Jesus” will not be back, despite xian lies. (Sermon on the Mount -- search term: interim ethic)
The antisocial irrationality of Paul of Tarsus (fl. 50-65 CE) with its anti-intellectualism, misogyny, and revenge seeking has poisoned the West for 2,000 years. After all, the world was about to end -- but it didn’t. And, the hellenistic savior god “Christ” will not be back. No end-of-days starring comix character Christ-Cosmic-Avenger will ever happen.
• Five hundred years before historical fiction Jesus and hysterical Paul, Confucius was eons ahead of contemporary xian (jewish/islamist) thinking:
6:20 Fan Ch’ih asked what constituted wisdom. The Master said, “To give one’s self earnestly to the duties due to men, and, while respecting spiritual beings, to keep aloof from them, may be called wisdom.”
No relationship between religion, “spiritual beings” and morality, “the duties due to men.”
15:23 Tsze-kung asked, saying, “Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?” The Master said, “Is not 'reciprocity' such a word? What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” (trans. S.R. McIntyre. Analects. 2003)
What follows? No religion police! No religious figure may dictate right human action. All morality is irreducibly social.
Why is deliberately killing a person (= an in-group member) murder? Harming others cannot be generalized; otherwise, no culture could exist.
The article surely isnt all wrong.
I mean christianity was a nice role model of what to change in us :P
Where is it that you are finding the Jesus character made for a good role model against repression?
Have you read the NT, well at least one of the versions?
Have you done any lengthy research on MLK Jr, his beliefs and the things he said?
Have you researched the civil rights movement and who he was fighting and who helped achieve progress, even at the cost of their lives?
What was MLK Jr fighting?
What did he use to fight it?
It sure the heck was not Christianity.
Why not look to MLK Jr's buddy, an atheist Jew, the one that helped write the I HAVE A DREAM thingy and far more contributions towards the betterment of humankind. When I first encountered the quote of MLK Jr revealing how he could not comprehend how a human could be willing to fight and die in the hopes with demands of equality for all by joking telling his friend that he believed in god, but he just didn't know it, a dull sickness welled up. I did pedal myself down to the library to find the book was citing the quote, indeed he did say it.
It took only a bit of pondering why it had such a significant toll on me after taking in everything else he said and did.
If you ever do read up on MLK Jr, run the thought experiment of removing his "belief" in this god thing, which his god concept did not match the Christian one to note.
Additionally, without the abundance of repellant things done against blacks and anyone who supported civil rights being recorded on camera for the nation to see the sickness of hate for the sake of prejudice and whatever else that is slipping my mind, it seems plausible the movement would have failed.
There were incidents where children were terrorized, physically harmed, demeaned, etc
While I have not done the research into what happened as a result of children being stomped on and what have you, however, it does not seem overly difficult to consider people witnessed this and it hit them hard, slapping them awake to see ever so clearly and feel what they ought to feel.
When I read The Moral Landscape, this pattern matched instantly. My preference is to make it readily available in here instead of just commenting that it seems to match.
p136 The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris
These impasses are seldom as insurmountable as skeptics imagine. For instance, Creationist “scientists” can be led to see that the very standards of reasoning they use to vindicate scripture in light of empirical data also reveal hundreds of inconsistencies within scripture—thereby undermining their entire project. The same is true for moral impasses: those who claim to get their morality from God, without reference to any terrestrial concerns, are often susceptible to such concerns in the end. In an extreme case, the New York Times correspondent Thomas Friedman once reported meeting a Sunni militant who had begun fighting alongside the American military against al-Qaeda in Iraq, having been persuaded that the infidel troops were the lesser of two evils. What convinced him? He witnessed a member of al-Qaeda decapitate an eightyear- old girl (Friedman, 2007). It would seem, therefore, that the boundary between the crazy values of Islam and the utterly crazy can be discerned when drawn in the spilled blood of little girls. This is a basis for hope, of sorts.
I dare say, as atheists, it is not a bad idea for us to get together and oppose religious repression.
In no way do I say this with any negative critique.
Look to what it is you saying at the core, or at least it is what I see (I think).
It is not the religious repression or "religion" itself that we ought to oppose.
It is unreason, delusional thinking, irrationality and so on and so forth.
And to work on that compassion bit to boot.
Look at what I listed out and consider this, if those are tackled, how exactly would there even be religion in general or religious repression?