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The Problem With Two Atheist Arguments  
User currently offlineHenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2223 times:

Most atheists bring up the argument "I don't care what you believe, as long as you do not force your beliefs upon me". Sounds pretty reasonable.

But what if 'my beliefs' tell me to spread the word, save people from eternal damnation or even that my God wants me to win souls by the sword? Can I still belief what I want? Can I live according to my beliefs? Or is your desire not to be confronted more important?

Second argument: religion has brought us a lot of wars, suffering and injustice over the centuries (undeniably true), therefore it must be the cause of man's behaviour. If God does not exist and man has thus invented God (the only logical reasoning for an atheist) than all the bad things that happened in the name of God are inherently human. If religion was not invented man would have invented something else to suppress each other.

Your thoughts?

By the way: I am an Anti-Theist. I belief that man invented God (so the concept of God exists) but I am very much against it.

[Edited 2008-10-25 03:50:11]


Wherever you go, there you are!
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlexo From St. Helena, joined Mar 2007, 406 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2196 times:



Quoting Henkybaby (Thread starter):
But what if 'my beliefs' tell me to spread the word, save people from eternal damnation or even that my God wants me to win souls by the sword? Can I still belief what I want? Can I live according to my beliefs? Or is your desire not to be confronted more important?

Well, no you can't. Personal freedom should only extent to a point where it doesn't impair other people's freedom. Otherwise you'll have a conflict leading to the infamous religious wars.

Also then people could come up with their own beliefs where i.e. stealing, raping, murdering, you name it is part of. Surely those "beliefs" don't deserve to be protected.

Quoting Henkybaby (Thread starter):
Second argument: religion has brought us a lot of wars, suffering and injustice over the centuries (undeniably true), therefore it must be the cause of man's behaviour. If God does not exist and man has thus invented God (the only logical reasoning for an atheist) than all the bad things that happened in the name of God are inherently human. If religion was not invented man would have invented something else to suppress each other.

To me religious conflicts are more a style-of-living conflict. I am not religious but I like the western (Christian) lifestyle. I would never trade it voluntary for a muslim or any other lifestyle. So, even though I am not religious I could see myself taking part in a "religiously motivated" conflict if I feel my lifestyle being threatened.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13253 posts, RR: 77
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2111 times:

The beliefs that said 'spread the word' did not originate in the world that we at least in the West, now live in.
Once this doctrine lead to the Crusades and much more besides.
In Europe, the long history of conflicts based on religion (usually within Christianity), has informed the status of religion here, it's not, as some US evangelists (and fundamentalist Muslims) say, a sign of some inferior way of living.
'Spreading the word' played a big part in these various wars, pogroms etc.

Religion has been much used as a pretext for conflict, masking more down to Earth motives.
But it has also been the genuinely primary cause too.
So it's difficult to see if an absence of organised religion would have reduced conflicts, my guess that if one person/group/nation really wants to fight another, they'll find an excuse.

Another way of looking at it is when there are calls to censor ot suppress various art forms, be they paintings, recordings, TV or film, since violent and/or sexual content could have a negative influence on some.
Not most, only some, (those who fear this always assure us that they themselves are immune from such influence. It's impressionable kids, the less intelligent etc).

So if we accept the argument that some, if only a very few, could be so influenced and twisted by books, films, TV, music (and this argument long predated the modern communication methods), then surely, there are two works that should be either banned or restricted.

The Bible and The Koran.
(With no trace of irony or even much thought, it is the more religious who are often the most keen for censorship. Maybe they resent the competition.)

From the Crusades to Bin Laden, from Jim Jones to David Koresh, we have seeming proof of the destructive influences of these books on certain people.
Which brings us back to the first question, would they have done what they did, or some other destructive act, anyway?


User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3410 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2104 times:



Quoting Henkybaby (Thread starter):

But what if 'my beliefs' tell me to spread the word, save people from eternal damnation or even that my God wants me to win souls by the sword? Can I still belief what I want? Can I live according to my beliefs? Or is your desire not to be confronted more important?

You can believe what you want and live your life however you please just don't force it on me and if you try to then I will tell you politely to get lost. If you don't you are proving a lot of the stereotypes, fears and animosity that people have about organized religion and then I should have the right to make fun of you (which religious people need to lighten up about, if the gays can take it why can't you). I have been to church and it in no way makes you any more moral and ethical than the average non-religious person, in fact it can make you worse because you can simply say that god made me take those actions that they may not see as bad.

Also after I tell you to get lost you are supposed to pray that I see the light someday. Also I am sure that a lot of atheists and agnostics would actually be happier in hell than heaven.

And yes my personal freedom is more important that yours because its mine to protect, and the same is true of someone telling you what you believe is crap as well.

Quoting Henkybaby (Thread starter):
Second argument: religion has brought us a lot of wars, suffering and injustice over the centuries (undeniably true), therefore it must be the cause of man's behaviour. If God does not exist and man has thus invented God (the only logical reasoning for an atheist) than all the bad things that happened in the name of God are inherently human. If religion was not invented man would have invented something else to suppress each other.

All the bad things that have happened are of human actions that the perpetrators need to take responsibility for them but they believe that God's will made them commit those acts and they convince themselves that it is the right thing to do. Agnostics and Atheists think that religious people are inherently crazy when they base their actions on something that no one will ever be able to prove exists.

Also if man invented god then why over the lifespan of humanity has anyone who has in the past seriously questioned been chastised. Yet we pretty much open the questioning everything else.

I personally am an agnostic which means I DON'T KNOW and anyone else who says otherwise then I can assume you are resisting the rationality that your brain is telling you can't make sense or you are simply weaker minded than I am. As for Atheists they are just as bad as the religious as they are absolutely convinced that there is no god which they can't know either.

[Edited 2008-10-25 10:07:23]


Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2076 times:



Quoting Henkybaby (Thread starter):
save people from eternal damnation or even that my God wants me to win souls by the sword?

I'd like to know how I'd be saved from going to hell, If I don't believe in hell to begin with.

Quoting Henkybaby (Thread starter):
Or is your desire not to be confronted more important?

Pretty much. I mind my own business, don't see why it's so hard for others to do the same, be it on religion, politics, and what have you not.

And just FYI, I went to a catholic school and come from a pretty religious family. I know my religion well (Catholicism) but I don't feel inclined to pray, go to church and what not. Religion has no priority whatsoever in my life.

Besides, I find Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" much more interesting, and believable, than the Bible.


User currently offlinePSA727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 974 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2062 times:

I don't have a problem with atheists at all, it's their choice. I am catholic, but have no desire
to convert others. I do have a problem with the "religion is the cause of all wars" concept.
What religions were Hitler and Stalin advocating, or Ghengis Khan for that matter? And one
could argue that religion is a societal benefit because it used as a moral compass for people.
Religious tenets that give the message that killing, theft, cheating, etc have consequences
can be seen as method to keep a more orderly society. Now, one could say that laws do the same thing, and I would say that yes they do. However, out of what concept did these
laws originate? Was it religion?????



fly high, pay low...Germanwings!
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20351 posts, RR: 59
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2051 times:



Quoting Henkybaby (Thread starter):

But what if 'my beliefs' tell me to spread the word, save people from eternal damnation or even that my God wants me to win souls by the sword?

In the first case, you're wrong.

And in the second case, not only are you wrong, but I might regretfully have to kill you.

This atheist doesn't take kindly to swords being pointed at his jugular.


User currently offlineBN747 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5620 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1952 times:



Quoting Henkybaby (Thread starter):

But what if 'my beliefs' tell me to spread the word, save people from eternal damnation or even that my God wants me to win souls by the sword? Can I still belief what I want? Can I live according to my beliefs? Or is your desire not to be confronted more important?

Sure you can believe what you want, but...

Christians should welcome Atheist 'spreading' their word too..(and vice versa)
Christians should welcome Jews 'spreading' their word..(and vice versa)
Christians should welcome Islamics 'spreading' their word..(and vice versa)

...and we know where that leads...ye ole 'My Religion is better than Yours' argument with no end to the escalation in sight.

Quoting Henkybaby (Thread starter):

Second argument: religion has brought us a lot of wars, suffering and injustice over the centuries (undeniably true), therefore it must be the cause of man's behaviour. If God does not exist and man has thus invented God (the only logical reasoning for an atheist) than all the bad things that happened in the name of God are inherently human. If religion was not invented man would have invented something else to suppress each other.

And that last statement says it all!

The one word that serves as a cornerstone to each of the above religions ..is the word

'arrogance'.

Your 'bad things/inherently human' is what is revealed when we look at humans as for what they are...nothing more than another Animal species. Religious arrogance prevents men from seeing themselves for what they are. That arrogance tells them that the earth is their dominion, they lord over it and all that's in it. Now if we can suspend that 'religious arrogance' for a second...we can see the 'bad things/inherently human' equation. Man becomes no different than any other animal on the planet. Dinosaurs prove we weren't always 'in charge'. Who knows where we will end up.

So we do bad things, kill, rob, rape, maim, fight...just like all other creatures (some far worse than others). The deeper applications of reason and thought has sculptured our standard of civility, giving us a sense of 'order'. Being the social animals were are..we need 'order' and leadership to function viably as a social group...just like any other social animal that travels in herds, pods, whatever. In other words, we need to be told what to do (in as much as we hate it personally) but we crave direction, guidance and leadership. Religious and political forces recognized this a long time ago, seized upon it and designed itself as a 'must have component'. So we can easily thrive without religion...but religious 'arrogance' will make sure that day never comes. They'll go down fighting 1st.


BN747



"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
User currently offlineAlfa75 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 616 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1945 times:



Quoting PSA727 (Reply 5):
What religions were Hitler and Stalin advocating, or Ghengis Khan for that matter?

They were all trying to remove religion, therefore, religion was the cause of their actions.

BTW, I grew up Catholic with 7 years of Catholic school, but no longer practice a religion. I believe that no matter what side you are on religion is the root of all evil. I am not saying there is no god. I along with everybody else will not find that out until I die. Nor do I think that religions do not play an important part of our lives, but I should not be preached to if I do not want to. And I should be respected for that.

This brings me to a point about Mormons, now if there ever was a made up religion it's theirs, and yes I do find them pretty wacky as a whole. However, I have had numerous Mormons stop by my house over the years on their mission and everyone has been very respectful of my position. I tend to engage and challenge them and they were always good natured and positive.



The best things in life aren't things!
User currently offlineSkidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1937 times:

Well, I can imagine this discussion will go on and on. It is nice to see rational though and reasoning being used rather than the usual war of words that happens when Religion vs Atheism etc raises it's head.

As I have stated in the other thread (Bendy buses ARE evil!!) I firmly believe that God exists as a man made entity for all of us. God is that little bit of our phsyche that we use when times get hard, we're emotional or we need strength.

Unfortunately, way back, someone had the idea of promulgating the theory that this feeling was an all seeing omnipotent being who made the world and all it's living occupants in his own likeness. This is a recurring theme in a lot of religions which makes the concept of "The One True God" even more unlikely. Since then man has worshipped all sorts of weird things from trees to bats to dog-headed men. All designed to give meaning to the things he can't understand.

Now, of course, religion is big business both in the material sense and the spiritual. It doesn't cause all wars but it does cause conflict. It also offers succour to some who are in pain or suffering and gives a focus for "doing good". It also offers some religions the excuse to wipe out opposition and have a jolly good time exterminating their enemies.

But, in the end, we are all the same. It is our feelings and personna that develop our "Gods". Some feel they have to congregate together and worship an indeterminate manifestation, some just accept they are in it alone and go their own way. Society now pigeonholes these people as "Religious" or "Atheist" or "Agnostic" (Or heathen, Infidel, Scum etc depending on your point of view and fervour) Whatever the postition we find ourselves in, it is Man that creates God (s) and nothing else.

As stated above, we are an animal species. Maybe with slightly morre intelligence (sometimes) than the lower orders but a species nevertheless. Nothing about Man suggests that we are in anyway superior to other species who survive without covering the world in concrete, enslaving bovines for food, dig holes in the ground to find metal to enable flight or use black water to power smelly things to make us go faster.

If the unthinkable happened and some idiot pressed the button, the survivors would have a hard time competing with the rest of whatever survived. Food would be the priority and procreation a necessity. God wouldn't be in the equation because he is a luxury. A luxury that would be in abeyance until man managed to get back on his feet and again decided to listen to the little voices in his head and believe they were a deity from above. Of course, nowadays, listening to the voices in your head gets you put into Broadmoor for life and beyond. And did I mention I have a sneaking feeling there is no beyond?

Me, I'd rather belive in Elves, Pixies, Goblins and the like. So much more believable and half as nasty.

Andy  old 



Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
User currently offlineHowSwedeitis From Sweden, joined Jul 2007, 586 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1900 times:
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Quoting Alfa75 (Reply 8):
now if there ever was a made up religion it's theirs

Sorry. Scientology has Mormonism beat by a mile. Granted, I think their both silly, but Scientologists are way more wacky than Mormons.

On the topic of religion, I think that the idea of agnosticism is the best ideal. Scientific-Agnosticism, and Religious-Agnosticsm. One arguing, "While I do not believe in God, and I believe that a lot of 'miracles' can be explained, I understand that their is no real way to prove he does not exist." The other saying, "While I have a set of beliefs, and I truly believe in God, I understand that not everyone thinks that way, and that others too believe in God, but in other ways. And that they, nor I, am any better or worse than everyone else."

Just my  twocents 

-HSII



Heja Sverige!!
User currently offlineJamincan From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 776 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1873 times:



Quoting Henkybaby (Thread starter):
Most atheists bring up the argument "I don't care what you believe, as long as you do not force your beliefs upon me". Sounds pretty reasonable.

But what if 'my beliefs' tell me to spread the word, save people from eternal damnation or even that my God wants me to win souls by the sword? Can I still belief what I want? Can I live according to my beliefs? Or is your desire not to be confronted more important?

I think the answer is in your question. I have a problem with their beliefs as soon as they are forced upon me. Their freedom of religious belief ends when in no longer just involves them.

Quoting Henkybaby (Thread starter):
Second argument: religion has brought us a lot of wars, suffering and injustice over the centuries (undeniably true), therefore it must be the cause of man's behaviour. If God does not exist and man has thus invented God (the only logical reasoning for an atheist) than all the bad things that happened in the name of God are inherently human. If religion was not invented man would have invented something else to suppress each other.

I don't think that religion itself is necessarily culpable. It often does, however, provide a convenient excuse for humanity's violent tendencies. I think this is usually true of any sort of dogma though: consider the number of people who have died under Communism. That said, I think religions are generally easily equipped as tools of violence due to the ease of establishing a moral hierarchy within them, and thus they can be used to legitimize violence against certain groups as having some sort of cosmic justification due to those groups' diminished moral standing. Religion very rarely incorporates universal egalitarianism.


User currently offlineHenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1816 times:

I still think most of you are missing the point about argument nr. 1.

If my belief is that I should spread my belief how can you deny me that right and still say that you allow me to belief what I want... Or are you denying me the right to act on my beliefs?

Are you going to act on your belief (that you are entitled to limit my actions) and deny me my freedom of speech?

(I use 'my' because that reads better, but remember: I am an antitheist myself!)



Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlinePhotopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 2825 posts, RR: 18
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1785 times:



Quoting Henkybaby (Thread starter):
......God wants me to win souls by the sword? Can I still belief what I want? Can I live according to my beliefs? Or is your desire not to be confronted more important?

Let's see... I'm going to start my own religion that REQUIRES all true believers to carry a Uzi at all times, fully loaded of course. Much the same as the Seiks have to carry their dagger. Of course my religion will also require that you actually USE the Uzi on an Unbeliever at least once a day.

Now would you like to tell me where my rights end and your rights begin? Big grin

The answer should be pretty obvious.


User currently offlineHenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1777 times:



Quoting Photopilot (Reply 13):
Let's see... I'm going to start my own religion that REQUIRES all true believers to carry a Uzi at all times, fully loaded of course. Much the same as the Seiks have to carry their dagger. Of course my religion will also require that you actually USE the Uzi on an Unbeliever at least once a day.

Nah, that's been done over and over again... Also by atheist by the way. That is in fact the danger with religion or political beliefs. If they become to powerful the above scenario is very realistic.

Don't focus too much about the 'by the sword' part. Lets just say that I feel like I want to protest against what I don't like and express my feelings about behavior my religion says is bad.



Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlineNA From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10817 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1671 times:



Quoting PSA727 (Reply 5):
What religions were Hitler and Stalin advocating, or Ghengis Khan for that matter?

Hitler as an agnostic after killing the Jews and destroy everything communistic would have turned against the Catholic church as his next "project" if he would have won WWII. That is widely known and proven. His long-term plan was to remove any religion as such.
Stalin, or better, Lenin before him already, wanted to exterminate all religions at the same time.
Ghengis Khan, I don´t know if his religion was a driving matter behind his widespread pillage. But I don´t think so as I can´t remember anything like it despite having read about him in the past.
Most people seem to need a religion, otherwise they won´t be able to live. Thats why exterminating religion will not work, and if the regime trying this eventually fails, it´ll pop up again. No chance in the longterm.
Personally I distrust any society where religion is no.1 in life. That ALWAYS is intolerant, ignornat and oppresses not only minorities. Thats why the medieval muslim regimes currently existing will eventually fall. Look at the Taliban, I like to call them muslim fascists, They are like Nazis ins Kaftan. Look at Iran. Look at some Arab countries. Every regime is bound to fall. That is true for our days ever more than for the past where most didn´t have a chance to get neutral information.

I would not accept members of any religion, if he or she would try to intrude into my life. That has not happened so far. If Jehova´s witnesses ring the bell, I simply don´t open. I´m coming from an old and strictly catholic family that can be traced back to the 12th century as such. There has been pressure when I was young which I couldnt accept. But it was never force I could not evade, just psychological things. I´m still catholic in the records, but thats more a cultural thing rather than being a believer in the bible´s details. Even in the currently living generations of my family, alltogether about 30 people, there is only one case someone left the church as a member, and that only temporary!


User currently offlineTravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1666 times:



Quoting Henkybaby (Reply 12):
If my belief is that I should spread my belief how can you deny me that right and still say that you allow me to belief what I want... Or are you denying me the right to act on my beliefs?

Are you going to act on your belief (that you are entitled to limit my actions) and deny me my freedom of speech?

I don't think anyone is saying you don't have a right to "free speech". What people are saying is that we have a right not to listen, a right to shut our doors in your face when you spout off, and the right to equally try to "indoctrinate" you into the ways of atheism.

Unfortunately, many religious people only look at it as a "one way street". They can tell you how to think, but don't even try to tell them how to think.....


User currently offlineWN700Driver From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1618 times:


But what if 'my beliefs' tell me to spread the word, save people from eternal damnation or even that my God wants me to win souls by the sword? Can I still belief what I want? Can I live according to my beliefs? Or is your desire not to be confronted more important?



It is very well established that your rights end where mine begin. I think you have your answer, but to expand, there is a reason why religion is undeniably evil in nature. It doesn't have anything to do with the intrinsic nature of religions, (Though most leave a lot to be desired there too...) but with the fact that religion, religious nature, etc, seems to give people a free pass to do whatever they please. It makes a very uncomfortable situation not only for atheists (Which I don't think I am; I just find god to be incredibly distasteful and immature) but for non-religious or non-extremist types.

Also, there is a fine line between confronting people about their beliefs versus outright harassment. I have never met or heard of a religious devotee that could tell the difference. Even where I work, at a modern, publicly traded company by the way, the hangar is openly anti-semetic, though it is usually couched as "humor." Funny how quickly that "humor" turns deadly serious when it becomes christians or muslims in the punchline...

This deficiency has been well documented and is the reason why religion should treated as a very private matter and not waved about in public. Factor in the inherent arrogance and evil involved, and it is clear that we just can't handle religion intelligently on a large scale. Therefore, if people want to be religious, it should be treated like any other weird or fringy opinion. Keep it to yourself.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13253 posts, RR: 77
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1545 times:



Quoting Henkybaby (Reply 12):
If my belief is that I should spread my belief how can you deny me that right and still say that you allow me to belief what I want... Or are you denying me the right to act on my beliefs?

No one is stopping you.
But, (and I'm not saying that this would be true of yourself), when this turns into harassment, or incitement, then those spreading the word who do this should face the same consequences as the rest.
And this does happen, but mostly not in Europe, (back to the history for this reason).

Your flag is the Netherlands.
Remember that film director, or the threats against that woman who became a MP?
Not your faith you may say, not what I'd do (which I believe), but this is where it leads when some think their beliefs are above the law.


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