I say it is meaningless or "it would be better for a man not to be born than to be brought into the world", but Im just curious and somewhat sick of debates at the moment so you can criticize my view I just may not answer and Id like to hear yours
Also another question I have for Atheists is why should I (or anyone else) be moral if there is no God? I wont accept it if it is subjective because subjective morals makes Nazism moral.
Thanks, I really need to stop posting when I'm half asleep. :)
Can you prove any of this
Exodus tells us it's OK to sell one's daughter into slavery: "And if a man sells his daughter to be a female slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money."
And Exodus also tells us this: "And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins."
That is pretty clear that a bride can be purchased and that virgin and non-virgin have a different price tag.
I also wonder how you decide what is just and unjust, who are you to decide what justice is and isn't.
Are you telling me that you need someone to tell you to think that owning another human being is wrong, and that it's wrong to sell another person as if they are simple property? If so, I don't really know haw I can explain it in a way that you will see where I'm coming from. Think of it this way... If you as yourself, "would I want to be murdered?" and you answer no, chances are murder is wrong. When you tabulate that almost everyone feels that way, you can form rules that safeguard freedoms and rights.
By whose definitions were they wives, not by God's, but by the culture of that area. God spoke to David in terms he could understand and no they weren't married they would be committing adultery, just because sex=marriage doesn't mean that adultery doesn't happen. That is essentially what adultery is having sex with multiple people.
The passage says wives. If God (or more accurately, whoever wrote the passage) disagreed, they could easily have called them 'un-lawful wives', 'illegitimate wives', etc etc... But that passage was more to illustrate the absurdity of your sex=marriage claim. I know they weren't also the neighbors wives, because the automatic sex=marriage precedent is false. Also, do you miss that the women are being forced against their will? That is rape. Rape sanctioned by God!
Did you not read my post, it used the word seize, that is the literal word for word translation of the Hebrew word. If you want me to I could pull it up. I believe the use of the word rape is not the same as seize, maybe you should re-read my quotation.
I was raised Catholic, so I typically refer to the KJV. But the fact that there are so many different translations, with differing texts, should raise at least some questions as to how inerrant it is. But the use of the word seize doesn't make that passage all rainbows... The definition of seize in that usage is: take or capture by force.
Walks like a duck, talks like a duck... Still looks like it's forced to me = rape.
I am sorry if I gave you that impression, I'm just hoping to challenge some of your ideas. I hold the belief that atheists are denying/suppressing their intuitive knowledge of God, of course you are inclined to disagree and maybe you even find that belief offensive but its honest. My hope is to awaken that suppressed intuition that might lead you on the path to God or maybe lead the way to something like that happening. I know I am probably not going to convert any atheists on an atheist forum where people get together for the sole purpose of talking about atheism, but I also know God is able to change the heart of anyone.
I believe I already covered the intuition claim earlier, so I won't muddy those waters again... Also, the pathway that you are trying to awaken isn't one that is new to many of us. I for one used to be a believer. I was raised Catholic and believed the dogma, lock stock and barrel. But as I got older things didn't seem to fit. Much of it stopped being believable, the more I learned in science, the more questions I had, and my logical process seemed wholly incompatible with what I was believing. But you know what? I still wanted to believe. I thought that it was something wrong with ME, not the teachings. So I looked at them closer. Read my religious materials so that I could understand where I was going wrong and be 'fixed'. But what I found shocked and appalled me. Things that I felt no moral person could justify. I wasn't an Atheist yet, but certainly thought that either the Bible was wrong or God certainly wasn't all loving. But I didn't give up. But over time, my faith slowly eroded as I learned more and more. As you see, I'm not an Atheist for a lack of desire, but due to the cold hard facts. If the facts showed I was wrong, I would gladly confess my mistake. But I could never be Catholic again as I feel it as a morally bankrupt organization. Still, no one has ever proved any God, so I will continue on being a proud citizen of this beautiful natural world! :)
I think that you have a very high view of modern understanding, I hold the view that it will change and fall like all other understandings before it.
Well, I truly hope that you are wrong. If the people are willfully ignorant, than they can be easily controlled to any ends. Be it by a government or a religious group. Knowledge is the key to advancement and prosperity. I hope that leaning never again takes a back seat to blind servitude. Another 'Dark Ages' is the last thing we need. and to trow away the great things we have accomplished as a collective species would leave the world a much crueler, colder, bleak, and unjust place. Some may look forward to the end of civilization or even the world, but I am not one. We have the ability to make the world a better place. And to foolishly waste that ability would be akin to not bothering to harness electricity or cure disease. As long as common sense prevails, I am confident that day will not come.
I'm good for the same reason you are, I feel good when I do good things, I like being helpful and it helps me get along with others in society. I like to think that if I am good to someone, then they may in turn be good to someone else, and the cycle goes on. Being good helps me love and earn the love or respect of others. My morals are based on simply thinking about how my action will make others feel, if it will hurt others, or maybe help them. I also believe in the ideals of my country, USA of freedom of expression, equality of humanity, and the right to the pursuit of happiness. I also believe I have the right to protect myself and my loved ones when reasonably necessary. A bit naive perhaps, but there you go.
Why should you be moral if there is a God? Won't he love and forgive you no matter what?
I just remembered this comic that I read a while back:
In a way that sums up my feelings to some degree. In this situation the girl sees the robin for it's true beauty, where as the boy feels that the robin is only important when it's a foretelling of the coming Spring. I see the robin for it's true and natural beauty any time of year, not just when it's telling me something of interest to me. Some with life. I love life for life it's self. No express supernatural meaning required.
I agree with Skycomet: getting along in society is evolutionary in basis. It was a survival instinct, much like the fact that we crave fattening, high-calorie food. That's the type of food that kept us alive when times came that all food was scarce, and to this day we want it even though for many countries food is plentiful (if not excess). Morality, however, can be chosen or disregarded, can't it? Priests molest little children, but they are men sworn to your god. They should "know better." They have a book full of rules to follow, for all the good it does them.
What is the difference between a soldier killing someone in war or a mentally disturbed person murdering a woman he follows from a gas station? What is morality, really? Do you need to be told by a being unproven as existing, or can you generally figure it out on your own? Can you work with your fellow man for the good of the species? And it will be subjective sometimes, my friend. No two people will always interpret anything the same way, even if it is written in black and white in front of the both of them. Sometimes, there is no "right," and you just have to choose the better of two evils. Life is very complicated. Some people need distinct directions, and others prefer to reason and think it through on their own. I prefer to use my thinking skills, personally. I may not always choose correctly, but I haven't yet become the drinker of baby's blood or thief of home stereo systems in my spare time that some people worry atheists become with no direction. I find this to be a good sign.
And why does there have to be a "meaning of life"? Can't this life be meaningful in itself? I treasure mine every day. I bask in the sunshine, I stop and smell flowers, I jump in puddles with my kiddos, I go running in the rain, I love the people I love very fiercely, I learn from my mistakes, and I am very comfortable in my own skin. This is a good life. I don't need to trade it in for an "afterlife." We are very lucky beings. There's plenty of meaning in that.
Why deny basic humanity? We are not selfless beings. We are judgmental. You can pretend you aren't or even try really hard not to be; good for you if you manage it. I'd guess you probably just don't notice when you do something selfish or judgmental and thus think you are truly above it all. (I believe that's why Christians so love the term "righteousness.") It only means you are honest to acknowledge imperfection. It doesn't mean you can't attempt to attain this state of selflessness if that's what you want, but I think it's important to recognize that humans in general are just born selfish, selfish creatures. A good example is an infant. They are completely self-centered and egocentric. It's how they survive to grow into toddlers and children and adolescents, etc. Yet they are born clean slates, innocent and ready to be shaped. It's inherent and not a "sin" for them to act in this manner.
I just spent a lot of time reading most of this 44 page long debate and joined this website so I could reply. To other messages too, obviously. To answer the main questions:
what is the meaning of life to an athiest?
Well as I see it, its the same for everyone. We're born into this world, this is our reality so we live. It's not bad, there aren't too many reasons not to live. You have kids. Theres a meaning. Friends, a spouse or partner, those are reasons to live. The meaning of life is just to be happy because you are.
Why would you live because of a hope that when you stop living (if you live according to a book) you'll be in some kind of wonderful place.
The meaning of life is that you are.
The morality question...
I was watching a children's cartoon on a religious TV channel the other day. In this episode, a boy stole his friends baseball and felt bad about it. But he didn't feel bad about his friend was upset he felt bad because he "feared an eternity in hell".
SO what are good morals? Feeling bad about something because you don't want to burn in flames for eternity or because you know you're friend, who you care about feels bad because of you?
I wasn't brought up christian, so that's basically the moral standard I was raised with.
I think it worked well, I consider myself a good persons.
I think human beings instinctively know the difference between right and wrong.
And to all the quotes from the bible that look like this:
26"But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case.
27"When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her.
28"(O)If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered,
are just thousand year old laws the someone wrote in the bible because they existed at the time it was written. GOD didn't write the bible. The book didn't fall from the sky.