The Mystery of Evangelical Atheists

Friul

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Simkins said:
Even in Hell Lucifer did not stop his attempts to overthrow God. For this purpose he organized the philosophers of Enlightment (who in reality are Illuminati-masons). Those learned folks spoke of bringing Enlightment into masses. In truth this meant that they want to substitute God with the Light one, that is with Luminous, that is with Lucifer.
:laugh:  We also provide the world with holy martyrs like Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya; look at our evil plans...   Wooooooo *spooky, cliche ghost noise*

I'm going to have to report back to the Rothschilds, you are onto us and our connection to the Dark Lord of Terror, Diablo.   :laugh: :laugh:
 

Asteriktos

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ialmisry,

Without God, all things are possible,
I've never really heard for sure, did Dostoevsky actually say that, or is it simply an idea attributed to him? It's an interesting companion to Matt. 19:26. It's sort of like the combination of the verses in Matt. 12:30 and Mark 9:40. I guess you Christians like to have your bases covered! :)  Anyway, I don't see anything wrong with all things being possible without God, so long as you don't say "all things are morally permissable without God," which would be incorrect in my opinion.

and human rights, basic or otherwise, don't exist.  No argument can be made to their existence without recourse to a higher authority.
I don't think there is such a thing as absolute morality. Nonetheless, I believe that morality can be seen as being on a continuum, between very good and very evil. The good things wake us up out of our intellectual, moral and spiritual slumber, while the evil things sink us further into apathy and sleepiness. In that sense, I do believe that some things are good while others are evil, but this is a practical and naturalistic rather than a God-revealed or absolute morality. This morality was not handed down by a God in a revelation to mankind, but has been coded into humanity by nature, and has been figured out by humans as they have developed cultures and societies over thousands and thousands of years. Thus we know that you shouldn't murder, shouldn't steal from others, and so forth.

Now you may not agree with arguments of morality through nature, or morality arrived at through cultural evolution, but I can still make them, and I don't need to rely on a God to do so. What's more, I can still say that some of these moral rules should be enforced on everyone, and I don't need a God to do so. You may argue that I have no absolute or eternal basis for doing this, but that argument only has force if I think I need an absolute or eternal basis, which I don't. Essentially you're just preaching to the Christian choir with your argument that you need a God to have morality.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Asteriktos said:
ialmisry,

Without God, all things are possible,
I've never really heard for sure, did Dostoevsky actually say that, or is it simply an idea attributed to him? It's an interesting companion to Matt. 19:26. It's sort of like the combination of the verses in Matt. 12:30 and Mark 9:40. I guess you Christians like to have your bases covered! :)  Anyway, I don't see anything wrong with all things being possible without God, so long as you don't say "all things are morally permissable without God," which would be incorrect in my opinion.

and human rights, basic or otherwise, don't exist.  No argument can be made to their existence without recourse to a higher authority.
I don't think there is such a thing as absolute morality. Nonetheless, I believe that morality can be seen as being on a continuum, between very good and very evil. The good things wake us up out of our intellectual, moral and spiritual slumber, while the evil things sink us further into apathy and sleepiness. In that sense, I do believe that some things are good while others are evil, but this is a practical and naturalistic rather than a God-revealed or absolute morality. This morality was not handed down by a God in a revelation to mankind, but has been coded into humanity by nature, and has been figured out by humans as they have developed cultures and societies over thousands and thousands of years. Thus we know that you shouldn't murder, shouldn't steal from others, and so forth.

Now you may not agree with arguments of morality through nature, or morality arrived at through cultural evolution, but I can still make them, and I don't need to rely on a God to do so. What's more, I can still say that some of these moral rules should be enforced on everyone, and I don't need a God to do so. You may argue that I have no absolute or eternal basis for doing this, but that argument only has force if I think I need an absolute or eternal basis, which I don't. Essentially you're just preaching to the Christian choir with your argument that you need a God to have morality.
With respect, you can argue anything you want and from whatever basis you want. But so can Charles Manson (who makes some intelligent arguments actually, although in defense of pure evil) or anyone else. The point is that "good" is only intelligible in relation to best. The concepts of morality and good point to an ulitmate, eternal, and objective standard of morality and good. When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.

Selam   
 

Asteriktos

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When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.
Now that I think about it, I suppose it depends on how you defiine the term objective. If by that word you mean "based on facts" or something along those lines, then I would say that my morality has some degree of objectivity to it. If, on the other hand, you are merely equating the term objective with absolute, then I'd agree that you can't have objective morality without God.

Btw, thank you for saying "with respect". I'm not always the nicest person, and sometimes I go off on people, but generally I value civility and try to remain peaceful.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Asteriktos said:
When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.
Now that I think about it, I suppose it depends on how you defiine the term objective. If by that word you mean "based on facts" or something along those lines, then I would say that my morality has some degree of objectivity to it. If, on the other hand, you are merely equating the term objective with absolute, then I'd agree that you can't have objective morality without God.

Btw, thank you for saying "with respect". I'm not always the nicest person, and sometimes I go off on people, but generally I value civility and try to remain peaceful.
I always appreciate the class with which you make your arguments. You tend to avoid the Straw Man, which makes your points much more valid than the usual tripe from Dawkins and Hitchens.

I know that I can be offensive sometimes in how I state things. I'm trying to work on that.

Selam
 

ozgeorge

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The concepts of morality and good point to an ulitmate, eternal, and objective standard of morality and good. When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.
Yeah. How can anyone possibly know whats good and kind if their ethics are based on reason, observation and empathy for the suffering of others instead of fear of hell or hope of heaven?
 

Jetavan

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Asteriktos said:
If, on the other hand, you are merely equating the term objective with absolute, then I'd agree that you can't have objective morality without God.
I know a few Buddhists who might disagree.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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ozgeorge said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The concepts of morality and good point to an ulitmate, eternal, and objective standard of morality and good. When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.
Yeah. How can anyone possibly know whats good and kind if their ethics are based on reason, observation and empathy for the suffering of others instead of fear of hell or hope of heaven?
I don't think your sarcasm makes a very good point. You are basically asserting a false dichotomy between reason and faith. Also, most Orthodox Christians do not derive their empathy for their fellow man from the fear of hell or the hope of heaven. They are empathetic toward their fellow human beings because they see in them the image of God, and they intuitively and cognitively recognize the material and spiritual value of the Truth of the Golden Rule.

Selam
 

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Nebelpfade said:
:laugh:  We also provide the world with holy martyrs like Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya; look at our evil plans...   Wooooooo *spooky, cliche ghost noise*
No. That is not you, but me who comissioned the icon of Holy Martyr Zoya. You try to stop it. Because you know that to defete Lucifer three things are necessary: The Icon, The Prayer, and The Fiery Sword of Archangel Michael. One thing will be missing - the Antichrist will take over Russia. Thats why you work so hard to prevent The Icon.
 

Schultz

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Simkins said:
Nebelpfade said:
:laugh:  We also provide the world with holy martyrs like Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya; look at our evil plans...   Wooooooo *spooky, cliche ghost noise*
No. That is not you, but me who comissioned the icon of Holy Martyr Zoya. You try to stop it. Because you know that to defete Lucifer three things are necessary: The Icon, The Prayer, and The Fiery Sword of Archangel Michael. One thing will be missing - the Antichrist will take over Russia. Thats why you work so hard to prevent The Icon.

Hm.  I thought Lucifer was already defeated with the death and resurrection of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. 

I was totally unaware that He had come again as Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya.
 

Friul

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Simkins said:
No. That is not you, but me who comissioned the icon of Holy Martyr Zoya. You try to stop it. Because you know that to defete Lucifer three things are necessary: The Icon, The Prayer, and The Fiery Sword of Archangel Michael. One thing will be missing - the Antichrist will take over Russia. Thats why you work so hard to prevent The Icon.
I don't believe in Lucifer, so I doubt I am working for "him" to try and stop a Hero of the Soviet Union from being canonised (and an icon made of her) in a Church I am not a member of.  Though I do find your cult-like fanaticism, surrounding what seems to just be a built up propaganda piece for the Soviet Union at the time (and nostalgic Russians), quite disturbing.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
ozgeorge said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The concepts of morality and good point to an ulitmate, eternal, and objective standard of morality and good. When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.
Yeah. How can anyone possibly know whats good and kind if their ethics are based on reason, observation and empathy for the suffering of others instead of fear of hell or hope of heaven?
I don't think your sarcasm makes a very good point. You are basically asserting a false dichotomy between reason and faith. Also, most Orthodox Christians do not derive their empathy for their fellow man from the fear of hell or the hope of heaven. They are empathetic toward their fellow human beings because they see in them the image of God, and they intuitively and cognitively recognize the material and spiritual value of the Truth of the Golden Rule.

Selam
^^^To get back on point...

Selam
 

Friul

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
ozgeorge said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The concepts of morality and good point to an ulitmate, eternal, and objective standard of morality and good. When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.
Yeah. How can anyone possibly know whats good and kind if their ethics are based on reason, observation and empathy for the suffering of others instead of fear of hell or hope of heaven?
I don't think your sarcasm makes a very good point. You are basically asserting a false dichotomy between reason and faith. Also, most Orthodox Christians do not derive their empathy for their fellow man from the fear of hell or the hope of heaven. They are empathetic toward their fellow human beings because they see in them the image of God, and they intuitively and cognitively recognize the material and spiritual value of the Truth of the Golden Rule.

Selam
^^^To get back on point...

Selam
But why most you see another human being as an image of God to treat them well?  Within humanism, you just see them as a fellow human being, one worthy of autonomy, someone to to assist in times of need, someone to help progress to greater happiness, someone to nurture emotionally, intellectually, etc.  We are pack/social animals, and in the past we have been extremely tribal, but we are entering into an era where we truly see each other as being human.  It is evolutionary and humbling.  But, where you view someone as unique and worthy of protection as an image of God, a humanist views the same, but based on the person being Homo sapiens sapiens.  I do believe there is a universal morality we both strive for, and though many key things we would agree on, we do separate in some areas about what is "moral" or not, and of course, where this morality is coming from.  You would tend to believe morality is two-fold: 1) Passed down through religion, 2) Naturally instilled into us by God.  I agree that various tenants of many religions provide a great moral guideline, but I would argue that is it not due to God, but rather humanity rationally viewing how we live together and what we need to maintain our survival and our progress.  Therefore, in certain cases, I would view certain outlooks as rather dated and in need of reform.

Edit:  Sorry about editing this Gebre, in case I switched around some things while you were responding.
 

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^^Humanists and Orthodox Christians do not share a “universal morality”.  To humanists, morals are situational. Men/women set these standards and personal pleasure is the most valued of these. Orthodox Christians have fixed morals and ethics established by our God. These fixed morals do not change.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Some comments to your post below in red.

Nebelpfade said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
ozgeorge said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The concepts of morality and good point to an ulitmate, eternal, and objective standard of morality and good. When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.
Yeah. How can anyone possibly know whats good and kind if their ethics are based on reason, observation and empathy for the suffering of others instead of fear of hell or hope of heaven?
I don't think your sarcasm makes a very good point. You are basically asserting a false dichotomy between reason and faith. Also, most Orthodox Christians do not derive their empathy for their fellow man from the fear of hell or the hope of heaven. They are empathetic toward their fellow human beings because they see in them the image of God, and they intuitively and cognitively recognize the material and spiritual value of the Truth of the Golden Rule.

Selam
^^^To get back on point...

Selam
But why most you see another human being as an image of God to treat them well?  Within humanism, you just see them as a fellow human being, one worthy of autonomy, someone to to assist in times of need OK so far, someone to help progress to greater happiness Now you have a problem, for who defines "happiness?" A crack addict would define happiness as an abundant supply of crack cocaine., someone to nurture emotionally Again, who or what defines and determines "emotional nurture?", intellectually, You may be OK here, but still you must specifically define what you mean by "intellectually."etc.  We are pack/social animals, and in the past we have been extremely tribal, but we are entering into an era where we truly see each other as being human. Really? Abortion is far more accepted today than it was in your so-called "tribal erra."  It is evolutionary and humbling. Evolutionary theory is anything but humbling. It leads to the hubris of humanism, which leads to two extremes: 1) the autonomy of the individual which leads to the oppression of the masses; and 2) the herd instinct which leads to the oppression of the individual   But, where you view someone as unique and worthy of protection as an image of God, a humanist views the same, but based on the person being Homo sapiens sapiens. And yet from a purely biological and rational basis, homosapien life begins at conception; yet the unborn homosapien life has no objective value of worth from a humanist presuppostion.   I do believe there is a universal morality we both strive for, and though many key things we would agree on, we do separate in some areas about what is "moral" or not, and of course, where this morality is coming from. If there is a "universal morality," then only two options exist: 1) the material universe created this morality; or 2) the creator of the universe created this morality. Since the material cannot create the immaterial, then it stands to reason that there is an immaterial Force (God) from which objective morality is derived. You would tend to believe morality is two-fold: 1) Passed down through religion, 2) Naturally instilled into us by God.  I agree that various tenants of many religions provide a great moral guideline, but I would argue that is it not due to God, but rather humanity rationally viewing how we live together and what we need to maintain our survival and our progress.  Therefore, in certain cases, I would view certain outlooks as rather dated and in need of reform. Essentially, you are at this point asserting a pragmatic and utilitarian worldview which is fraught with ethical and moral dilemmas.
Selam
 

Friul

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ms.hoorah said:
To humanists, morals are situational.
I'd disagree with the wording "situational".  I'd rather say organic.  Human society is evolving, and through reason and experience, we develop our view of morality.

Men/women set these standards and personal pleasure is the most valued of these.
I'd say personal happiness must be valued, but humanism also emphasises "individual participation in the service of humane ideals" which, through through civic duty and benefiting society, will bring about greater happiness for more people.  Humanists are far from being as selfish as you would like to view them.

Orthodox Christians have fixed morals and ethics established by our God. These fixed morals do not change.
Which I view as a great thing, but I don't believe a religious creed is needed for moral life.  In addition, I believe certain views of morality are antiquated.  Where you would mention we are all "fallen", and that is why certain moral beliefs are not being followed at all or as often; I would think that organic morals are needed and healthier, since we are all human.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Nebelpfade said:
ms.hoorah said:
To humanists, morals are situational.
I'd disagree with the wording "situational".  I'd rather say organic.  Human society is evolving, and through reason and experience, we develop our view of morality.

Men/women set these standards and personal pleasure is the most valued of these.
I'd say personal happiness must be valued, but humanism also emphasises "individual participation in the service of humane ideals" which, through through civic duty and benefiting society, will bring about greater happiness for more people.  Humanists are far from being as selfish as you would like to view them.

Orthodox Christians have fixed morals and ethics established by our God. These fixed morals do not change.
Which I view as a great thing, but I don't believe a religious creed is needed for moral life.  In addition, I believe certain views of morality are antiquated.  Where you would mention we are all "fallen", and that is why certain moral beliefs are not being followed at all or as often; I would think that organic morals are needed and healthier, since we are all human.
The humanist idea of "organic morality" is equivalent to a greenhouse effect where everything is in flux, ebb, and flow. "Organic morality" dismisses inhumane atrocities such as the holocaust as merely part of some "organic evolution." But within a materialistic worldview, morality cannot evolve because evolution by definition implies growth and progress towards an objective universal ideal.

Christianity rejects the "cycle of life" theory that attempts to incorporate a spiritual morality within its materialistic framework.

Selam
 

Friul

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Gebre:

"Now you have a problem, for who defines "happiness?" A crack addict would define happiness as an abundant supply of crack cocaine"
"Again, who or what defines and determines "emotional nurture?"
Happiness:  People define their own happiness and their goals for progress.  But Humanism also emphasises the awe in the simplicity of our very human existence.  There will be a diverse amount of lifestyles, but we are all still human.  Humans are social animals, and most seek relationships and a yearn to progress and belong.  Enriched, free personal lives encourage us to enrich others lives, with an open mind.

Emotional nurture: People define what they need emotionally.  You look after others' welfare, protect their autonomy and freedoms, do not force indoctrination on them, etc.

You may be OK here, but still you must specifically define what you mean by "intellectually."
Provide the opportunity to learn and study their interests, free from theistic limitations or intervention.

Really? Abortion is far more accepted today than it was in your so-called "tribal erra."
I don't completely agree.  You can find anthropological evidence of the knowledge and "acceptance" of abortions in classical times and later, within parts of Europe, in south central and eastern Asia, etc.  Also, this depends on when people view a fetus as becoming human or if it is human from the start.

Evolutionary theory is anything but humbling.
I'd have to disagree, I find the study of evolution and cosmology to be two of the most humbling fields.  But I suppose for others it might not be.

It leads to the hubris of humanism, which leads to two extremes: 1) the autonomy of the individual which leads to the oppression of the masses; and 2) the herd instinct which leads to the oppression of the individual
I'd disagree.  I would say humanism would have a much better chance at finding a balance than you give it credit for.  Humanism isn't some 1984 police state, nor is it a state of anarchy.  I would say it could be the same in a religious state, but it would likely only lead to the 2nd extreme.  Either in the form of a theocratic state or a antiquated "Divine Rule" state.

And yet from a purely biological and rational basis, homosapien life begins at conception; yet the unborn homosapien life has no objective value of worth from a humanist presuppostion.
You are making it sounds like all Humanists are "pro-abortion".  They tend to follow the strain of many liberal Christians.

"For society as a whole, as well as for the children themselves, it is better if every child is a wanted child.  However, abortion is not the best way of avoiding unwanted children, and improved sex education, easily available contraception, and better education and opportunities for young women, can all help to reduce the number of abortions. But as long as abortion is needed as a last resort, most humanists would agree that society should provide safe legal facilities. The alternatives, which would inevitably include illegal abortions, are far worse."  Source

I also don't believe it is such a rational basis.  Science would take into account viability outside of the womb, mental facility, vital organ formation, quality of life if induced, etc. to determine the viability as a person.  I believe instead of spending countless funds on anti-abortion protests and causes, that science (technology and treatments that will allow for a embryo/fetus to survive outside of a womb at a much earlier date and develop properly) and education are keep to reducing abortion numbers.

If there is a "universal morality," then only two options exist: 1) the material universe created this morality; or 2) the creator of the universe created this morality. Since the material cannot create the immaterial, then it stands to reason that there is an immaterial Force (God) from which objective morality is derived.
I disagree.  I believe without a creator, humanity, as intelligent, social animals, can formulate morality.

Essentially, you are at this point asserting a pragmatic and utilitarian worldview which is fraught with ethical and moral dilemmas.
Well, I would argue human nature is utilitarian to a degree.  "Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities." would sum it up alright, I suppose.  Source

The humanist idea of "organic morality" is equivalent to a greenhouse effect where everything is in flux, ebb, and flow. "Organic morality" dismisses inhumane atrocities such as the holocaust as merely part of some "organic evolution." But within a materialistic worldview, morality cannot evolve because evolution by definition implies growth and progress towards an objective universal ideal.
I wouldn't say flux, I would say progressive.  We started off in a primitive state, and we are improving.  Will there be bumps and drops on the way?  Of course, we are human.  Inhumane atrocities such as the holocaust, slavery, etc., are not tossed aside, they are brought to the forefront as examples of what a lack of reason and lack of dignity for our fellow humans leads to.  They are inspirations and lessons to learn from.  It stimulates social evolution.

Also, evolution does that require an objective universal ideal.  Humanity as a species is biologically evolving.  We have no idea what we will be like in several miilions of years, but we are evolving nonetheless to more complex organisms.  Who knows what Homo novus might be like.  Aside from that, I do believe our morality is progressing, even if I am unsure where it might completely lead us.

---

Sorry if this ended up a little messy.  I included both posts and had to pick through my original one.  I doubt we will come to an agreement at the end of this, but it is interesting to see your stance on issues and your views of humanism.  Sometimes people treat humanism as pure moral anarchy, but it is not the case.
 

ms.hoorah

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Nebelpfade said:
"For society as a whole, as well as for the children themselves, it is better if every child is a wanted child. 
In America, every baby IS a wanted baby.  The average wait time to adopt a non-family member's child  is over 5 years. There are 6 adoptive families waiting for every available infant. The average wait time to adopt a Down's Syndrome infant is over 18 months.

This was a perfect example of the Humanism personal pleasure standard: "I will chop up my baby into itty bitty bits if I won't personally gain any pleasure from it. Since there is no God but me, I will excuse my selfish and homicidal actions and state that it is better if every child is a wanted child." (me, me, me, its all about me)

Humanists have not progressed out of the preconventional stage of moral development.  This is the stage of moral development of 8-10 year old children. 
 
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