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.”
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?