So I'm sure we all have Facebook friends that post crazy, amusing, disturbing things about god. So what are the worst or most amusing things that you have seen? That and do you ever respond to these posts or just ignore them or even just delete people from your friends list? Furthermore how have other people reacted to your own posts about Atheism or subjects that might go against the faith of friends or family?
Oooo I love that, but I don't have the balls for it.
That's a little strong. There are plenty of decent people who are Christians.
I'm sorry, but I no longer believe that is true. They are not in control of their own minds so if their behavior seems presently decent it is only because their cult leaders have not presently instructed them to be vile and disgusting.
If there were a growing movement in Christianity to abolish all sects that hold to Bronze Age beliefs about killing gays or keeping women out of positions of teaching/authority then one might think a Christian could be a good person. The fact is, however, that you would be hard pressed to find a single Christian who is vocally speaking out against such practices - for they can't because those are just some of the basic tenets of their cult.
If they were truly decent people they would realize their Bronze Age doctrines are vile and disgusting and would renounce their faith in such vile and disgusting bullshit - so they would no longer be Christians.
Christianity encompasses a very wide range of beliefs. Believers pick and choose what they see in the bible and sometimes model their God after what they want him to be, rather than what the text and religious tradition reveals him to be.
Because people do this, it is possible to find very tolerant and progressive Christians. When I was a Catholic, I rejected vital aspects of Catholic theology, out-moded biblical laws, and backwards Church traditions, but I still believed there were redeeming values to some of the teachings of Christ and I accepted his divinity. Obviously, and thankfully, that changed. At that time in my life, I was a decent but misguided person.
The only thing decent about you at that time was that you were actively rejecting Christianity piece by piece. Anyone who makes up any sort of belief system they want and then has the audacity to claim that their mish-mash of brain shit is ordained by the creator of the universe as law for all mankind - that sort of person is vile, disgusting, and intellectually repugnant.
It was intellectually repugnant. However, there were more things about me which were decent than my slow journey toward the truth. I was a generous and caring person. I lived by an ethical code which, if flawed in its origin, still produced responsible behavior and generous actions. Things aren't black and white. The world can appear to be drawn in chiaroscuro, but its dimension derives from shades of grey and tints of white.
Ok, so tell me this then - do you think it would have been possible to be a Nazi yet still be a good and decent person?
I've had the unfortunate but informative experience of studying Nazi-era Germany, the Allied-Occupation, and the reconstructive era (Wiederaufbau). On its face your question elicits a knee-jerk answer: of course not. But, I think your questions deserves a closer look. This is the question children of the Nazis found themselves asking in the 1960s, having grown up in a reformed society and only newly aware of their nation's repressed recent history. Can a person do evil and be good? Who was responsible and how can justice be served? How should German society handle its past, so its people never again create such evil?
But, specifically, I'll only address the question, can good and evil coexist? In this case, I have to consider...What kind of a Nazi are we talking about? A party leader, making horrific decisions that destroyed lives? A Hitleryouth member, blindly following the propoganda they have been indoctrinated with from birth? A soldier, following his orders to avoid discipline? A civilian party member, who whole-heartedly supports all of the Nazi philosophy? A non-party member whose passive complicity excuses Nazis as they perpetuate evil? The officer who leads Jews into the gas chambers?
Each of these hypothetical Nazis participates in the system to a different degree. Their beliefs and their actions have to be weighed individually, the good and the bad--in light of eachother. Not all Nazis are the same and neither are all Christians. It is intellectually lazy to take any group sharing a common denominator and extrapolate from that group identity a conclusion that all members are uniform, and in the case of the Nazis, that they are equally culpable of war crimes and genocide.
I should hope that a person who is able to identify the mind-tricks employed by religion does not fall prey to the pernicious idea that one aspect of a person's identiy negates all of the good and decent aspects of their character. This is what racists do to "the other." This what the Nazis did to the people they enslaved and murdered in concentration camps. This is what Jihadists do to their victims.
One can easily see that many Nazis had little to no choice in their membership. Many knew party ideals were wrong and some actually conspired to assassinate Hitler to put a stop to the horror -> so sure, they were good, decent Nazis, but then they weren't really Nazis, were they?
The big difference is that Christianity is not a totalitarian regime and one can leave at any time without being sent to prison or shot. Given the reduced consequences, there is no excuse for sticking with such barbaric, anachronistic doctrines - yet they do, even the moderates.
So in this case we can't compare Christians with unwilling Nazis, we can only compare them to the enthusiastic Nazis taken up by the frenzy of hatred. They are vile disgusting people.
so sure, they were good, decent Nazis, but then they weren't really Nazis, were they?
You could make the same argument about Christians: that those who behave ethically aren't "true Christians." This is the 'no true Scotsman' argument and I'm not interested in engaging in it.
You're right, Christianity is not a totalitarian regime. It is rarely fatal anymore for people to leave Christianity but they do face other reprecussians. Similarly, the negative impact of Christianity in the world is no longer as strong. I really don't know why you brought up Nazis in this context--I feel the magnitude of their actions is so much worse than anything going on in present day western Christendom. We're talking about the morality of modern-day western Christians--we're not currently in the middle of the witch hunts or the crusades. Do you think it is accurate to compare what is done in the name of modern day western Christianity to what the Nazis did?
My point was that there is a range of culpability among actual Nazis, dependent on the severity of their actions, their beliefs, and factors like their ability to dissent. I am saying that not all Nazis are equally evil. I am also asserting that not all Christians are bad.
Have you watched the videos of people being burned alive, by Christians, in Uganda? Do you know what the suicide rate is for gay teens? Do you realize that rate is a direct result of Christian oppression of gays?
The death toll no longer adds up the what the Nazis were doing at their peak, but then even the Nazi numbers don't add up to what Christianity was doing at its peak. In a modern day context, Christian parents are still able to disown their own children for being gay - and smile about it, and sings songs on Sunday, and be praised by their friends for their upstanding Christian behavior. Did the Nazis ever actually sing joyfully about the horrors they perpetrated?
You are right, it's not fair to compare Christians to Nazis - that would be unfair to the Nazis.
It is intellectually lazy to take any group sharing a common denominator and extrapolate from that group identity a conclusion that all members are uniform,
If the extrapolation is sound and the conclusion is correct, what difference does intellectual exertion make?
All members of a group don't have to be uniform for the group to be harmful as a whole. Islam provided the incubation and cover for the 911 attacks. A harmful subgroup within a benign group is well camouflaged.