Dawkins vs Lennox; The God Delusion

Whatsisface

Well-known member
Lennox has advanced degrees in the philosophy of science as well as math.
It was a contrived story designed to make a point, but it's poorly done as no scientist worth his salt would say

"Sometimes, when in conversation with my fellow scientists, I ask them "What do you do science with?"
"My mind," say some, and others, who hold the view that the mind is the brain, say, "My brain".
"Tell me about your brain? How does it come to exist?"
"By means of natural, mindless, unguided processes."
There are many Christians who are dualists and would not agree that the brain= the mind. I quoted Jerry Coyne below who was commenting on John Lennox. I'm wondering if Lennox is a dualist. I have read about it yet but I'd like to know more about his thoughts below. It might help me to reconcile my faith with evolution.

"Finally, Lennox claims that miracles do occur, and that there are at least three times God intervened in nature beyond reviving Jesus: the Big Bang (he doesn’t think it could happen naturalistically), the origin of life, and the evolution of humans. He seems to accept the rest of evolutionary biology, but argues, like a true Intelligent Design proponent, that the origin of life and the evolution of humans either couldn’t happen naturalistically and thus involved the hand of God. This kind of human exceptionalism is a trademark of the ID/creationist Discovery Institute."
He seems to be steering a middle path between evolution and God having a hand in it. He cannot prove any of this though, it's just his belief.
As for natural selection, I still loathe to call it a guided process even an unaware guiding.
But that's what it is.
This sounds like an oxymoron to me. I will agree that the natural environment had a part to play in the extinction and destruction of some organisms, but it didn't select nor guide. It was simply the environment in which the organism prospered or died off. Call it what you will. I know what you are talking about.
It guides in the same sort of way that the Earth's gravitational field will guide a meteor that get's too near to it, by means of natural processes.
I think he understands it. He is replying to Dawkins quote,
"In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, and no good, nothing but pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music."

This sounds unguided to me also.
Yes, I agree that a universe that has no caring is unguided in the way you mean guided. But that is what we see, an uncaring universe and yet you ascribe to it a divine guidance.
The process of the development of man's brain came about through evolution which is unguided and mindless in that the process of evolution does not have a mind nor is it guided by someone that does have a mind according to atheists. How can it be trusted if the brain is the mind and came from lower animals? Why do you think Darwin would have a problem with this?
From the point of view of evolution, our brains/minds evolved to help us survive, so they can be trusted because they produce results.

We don't know the context of Darwin's quote. It could be that the quote is rhetorical and that later he gives an answer or statement that clarifies his thinking on this. Do you know the context of it?
I understand the human mind to be other than the brain. The brain is made of matter. The mind is made of spirit. Therefore the mind/soul/spirit of man comes from God. It is God-breathed. This is what I'm trying to find out from other Christians that agree with evolution. How do incorporate dualism with evolution.
What evidence do you have that the mind is other than the brain?
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
I don't know enough to say one way or the other about these two claims, but I would have thought that all anyone would have to do to show Dawkins wrong would be to quote the Bible showing Jesus claiming to be divine etc.
Then we can't discuss it.
I don't think Dawkins does contradict himself really, I think you and Lennox are being uncharitable on this picky point, I just think he hasn't expressed himself precisely by saying …

"DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.”
Below is the part that comes directly before "DNA...."

"The blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, and no good, nothing but pitiless indifference...."

He wrote that in "The universe...there is no evil and no good". which means there can be no morality, no absolute morality. The morality that comes about through social interaction is based on opinion and nothing else.

Of course we do dance to it's music in many ways, but we can rise above it. For example, DNA can make someone more susceptible to certain illness, but our intelligence has developed medicine and medical procedures to rise above what was once susceptibility to said illness
Do you really believe a mindless, unguided process can cause an organism to evolve to where it dominates its origin to the point of fiddling with it?
I really disagree with Lennox here. The reason the universe itself has no good nor evil and is blindly pitiless is because not having self awareness means it's not a moral agent.
I think that being designed by a moral agent, God, makes much more sense.
We, although a product of this pitiless process, have evolved self awareness and so are moral agents because we can reflect on the consequences of our actions. In this way we have also risen above our DNA.
If we have risen above our DNA then we no longer dance to its dictates.
I think Lennox here commits the fallacy of division, being, an informal fallacy that occurs when one reasons that something that is true for a whole (the universe being pitiless) must also be true of all or some of its parts(Us, but it's false because our self awareness gives us the capacity for pity).
I think the point would be that because we have risen above our DNA though with our self-awareness, rationality, languages, then it should cause us to "think" that maybe there is something more involved in who we are than just evolution... like a God.
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
Part 2

Here is the title of an article by Richard Carrier …

"No, Mr. Christian, A.N. Sherwin-White Didn’t Say That. And Even What He Did Say Was Wrong".​

A brief extract …

"You might have heard this one before, but it bears a revisit. Once long ago William Lane Craig started using the argument that a mainstream historian in the early 1960s named A.N. Sherwin-White had demonstrated (in Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament, pp. 189-93) that (in Sherwin-White’s words) “even two generations,” or roughly forty to eighty years, “are too short a span to allow the mythical tendency” of a story’s embellishment"

It seems this is what Lennox is referring to.
Yes, that is what Lennox was referring to. I skimmed through the pages 189-193. I'll have to go back and read them when I'm less tired.

A.N. Sherwin-White-was a British academic and ancient historian. He was a fellow of St John's College, University of Oxford and President of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies. His most important works include a study of Roman citizenship based on his doctoral thesis, a treatment of the New Testament from the point of view of Roman law and society, and a commentary on the letters of Pliny the Younger.

Why does Carrier cut down White for his age and what he taught by calling him "mainstream", "a single vague lecture from a long -dead historian" (died in 1993), who received a doctorate from Oxford and taught at St. John's college at Oxford. Carrier sounds rather arrogant.
Carrier further states …

"Yet almost none of what Craig said is correct or true. It’s already weird that these guys can only find one unpeer-reviewed lecture from a long-dead historian from fifty years ago to back their argument. That conjunction of details should send up a red flag right away".

If you want to read the whole article, it's found here.
I skimmed though Carriers article also. I'm going to have to go back over it. I was hoping that he could present a study that would show how long it took to develop myths from kernels of fact. I was hoping that Carrier would provide a real study that would give evidence to how long it took for a historical person, like Jesus, to become more fiction than fact through oral tradition until it reached the written stage. Sherwin White wrote 40-80 years (1-2 generations) but Carrier didn't address that except to quote another colleague who stated,

"[T]he Gospels are an understandable exception to what classical historians normally deal with, because classical historians rarely if ever deal with the written records of a highly revered religious figure who had very little contemporary significance to anyone but his followers when he was alive and to his worshipers after his death and where the entire written record comes only from those who worshiped him. Because of this, using the myth growth rates observed in other ancient records as a baseline to say what should be observed in the Gospels is a mistaken approach."
Is this a cop-out?

Here's my objection to a majority of what Carrier wrote. Christians that are striving to be like Christ, by all means, avoid lying. Making up things about Jesus is lying. Truth is considered to be a high priority and it was set by Christ himself. Much of what Carrier wrote sounds like nonsense to me. Truth can be carried down from generation to generation by those who are committed to it. These men gave their lives in support of Jesus and his gospel, and they did not become rich doing it.

Not only that, but I also believe that John the apostle wrote the gospel and the epistles that bear his name. He was an eyewitness to everything that happened to Jesus. Luke, who wrote the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, knew Paul well. Paul, who wrote a majority of the NT, knew the apostles, who were firsthand eyewitnesses of everything that Jesus experienced. These three were in a position, as well as Mark, to confirm or deny anything the other wrote as true of false.
A further extract … "Always check the dates on how old and mouldy and hard to find their outside “sources” tend to be; and what they actually say, and in what actual context, and with what actual merit—and what historians in the intervening lifetime have concluded about it since. A single vague lecture from 1960 does not establish a very strong foundation for the extraordinary claim the likes of Craig are making here. But Craig and his imitators all get wrong what Sherwin-White meant, reason invalidly from it, and incorrectly claim Sherwin-White “proved” his statement about rates of legendary eclipse (when in fact he didn’t; and, it turns out, plenty of evidence refutes it)".
Not surprising, the person dug up by Carrier's colleague to refute Sherwin-White was a contemporary of White's, Peter Brunt. "Although he [White] was a potential choice to succeed Ronald Syme as Camden Professor of Ancient History in 1970, this role went to Peter Brunt." according to Wiki. Carrier didn't rail Brunt with the same adjectives that he gave to White, "mainstream" (Can anyone with a PhD from Oxford be considered mainstream?), "long-dead historian", and Brunt critiqued White in 1964! Here is part of Brunt's critique:

"Sherwin-White has done me the honour to cite a comparison I drew with our accounts of Alexander whom some of his own contemporaries treated as a god….[It is true that Alexander’s history was still able to be written,] but Alexander’s career was public in a sense which that of Jesus in Galilee was not. … If the synoptic Gospels reflect traditions that grew and were remoulded in the changing experience of the Palestinian Church, how can we objectively distinguish between what is original and what is accretion, seeing that the Gospels themselves must be almost our only evidence for that changing experience? … Sherwin-White has not provided, as he thinks, conclusive reasons to reject the view … that the history of [Jesus’] mission cannot be written."

I disagree with Brunt. Why would the writers of the gospel "remould" it? Is that the same as transforming it into something it wasn't in order to align with their current events? Wouldn't that also be a lie? I don't believe those who wrote the NT would do such a thing.
I'm unsure of Lennox's point here. He seems to be quibbling about the definition of "miracle", which doesn't add much to the discussion.
He isn't quibbling, he is given a definition of miracles. Miracles are not natural and therefore they are easy to spot. I think Lennox feels that he has to be specific in what he is saying because Dawkins seems to say one thing then turns it around to say something very different.
Again, what's his point here as far as God's existence is concerned?
Lennox is using it to explain the resurrection.
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
No, it can't - if something is not a motivation, adding power does not make it a motivation.

Power enables motivations; it doesn't create them.

You are asserting that Stalin was doing things merely because he didn't believe in a god.
If he was, it stands to reason that you would be able do things merely because you don't believe in Bigfoot.

Unless you are engaging in special pleading.

The presence of oxygen is necessary for a fire; it is not sufficient for a fire.
Atheism was the oxygen of Stalin's proscriptions against Christianity, but it was not the spark.

Not sufficient.
Necessary.

An excuse is not a motivation.

Desire to make religion go away, and have the State be the focus of "worship".
This is the spark; Stalin's atheism was the oxygen.
This type of atheism which caused the persecution of Russian Christians;

"Marxist–Leninist atheism, also known as Marxist–Leninist scientific atheism, is the state atheist antireligious element of the former Soviet Union's Bolshevik-style variant of Marxism–Leninism, the official communist state ideology of the Soviet Union.[1][2] Based upon a dialectical-materialist understanding of humanity's place in nature, Marxist–Leninist atheism proposes that religion is the opium of the people; thus, Soviet Marxism–Leninism advocates "scientific atheism", rather than religious belief.[3][4][5]" Wiki
 

Whatsisface

Well-known member
Then we can't discuss it.
Yes we can. Was not Dawkins saying that the historical evidence that Jesus claimed divine status, minimal? If so then it would be easy to show him wrong by presenting that evidence. Can you do that?
Below is the part that comes directly before "DNA...."

"The blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, and no good, nothing but pitiless indifference...."

He wrote that in "The universe...there is no evil and no good". which means there can be no morality, no absolute morality. The morality that comes about through social interaction is based on opinion and nothing else.
He's talking about the universe, not us. The universe, not being a self aware entity can't be a moral agent, but we are self aware and can reflect on the consequences of our actions which makes us moral agents so there is evil and there is good in us.

Is it an opinion that rape is wrong?
Do you really believe a mindless, unguided process can cause an organism to evolve to where it dominates its origin to the point of fiddling with it?
I'm surprised you ask this question, you should know by now I don't think evolution is an unguided process.
I think that being designed by a moral agent, God, makes much more sense.
What counts is why you think it.
If we have risen above our DNA then we no longer dance to its dictates.

I think the point would be that because we have risen above our DNA though with our self-awareness, rationality, languages, then it should cause us to "think" that maybe there is something more involved in who we are than just evolution... like a God.
Our rationality should cause us to think that the rational approach would be to apportion our beliefs to the evidence. There is much more and better evidence for evolution than there is for God.
 

Eightcrackers

Well-known member
This type of atheism which caused the persecution of Russian Christians;

"Marxist–Leninist atheism, also known as Marxist–Leninist scientific atheism, is the state atheist antireligious element of the former Soviet Union's Bolshevik-style variant of Marxism–Leninism, the official communist state ideology of the Soviet Union.[1][2] Based upon a dialectical-materialist understanding of humanity's place in nature, Marxist–Leninist atheism proposes that religion is the opium of the people; thus, Soviet Marxism–Leninism advocates "scientific atheism", rather than religious belief.[3][4][5]" Wiki
The anti-religiousness was the cause, not the atheism.

Atheism is the oxygen; anti-religiousness is the spark.
 

Tiburon

Well-known member
Not only that, but I also believe that John the apostle wrote the gospel and the epistles that bear his name. He was an eyewitness to everything that happened to Jesus. Luke, who wrote the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, knew Paul well. Paul, who wrote a majority of the NT, knew the apostles, who were firsthand eyewitnesses of everything that Jesus experienced. These three were in a position, as well as Mark, to confirm or deny anything the other wrote as true of false.
You are welcome to believe all of that. It may not be true though. There's evidence to suggest that not only do we not know who wrote the gospel and epistles of John but that they were not all written by the same person. There is also doubt as to whether any of the Gospels was written by an eye witness. The Gospel of John presents quite a different Jesus to the other Gospels. There are also a few discrepancies between Pauls letters and the writings of Luke.
Paul may have met some of the apostles but they were hardly best buds. There seems to have been some conflict.
 

stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
There's evidence to suggest that not only do we not know who wrote the gospel and epistles of John but that they were not all written by the same person.

Anyone with even a half way decent eye for sentence structure and without an axe to grind would conclude that the author of the gospel is the same as the author of the epistle. Just compare the very first chapter.
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
"Saying" is all he's doing, here.
Since he does not offer evidence for this, it is mere belief.

He does not demonstrate that this resurrection took place.
He is, again, merely relating his beliefs.
Yes, he didn't present his evidence that he has said that he has. They ran out of time and I think he was just putting it out there without much support.
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
You are welcome to believe all of that. It may not be true though. There's evidence to suggest that not only do we not know who wrote the gospel and epistles of John but that they were not all written by the same person. There is also doubt as to whether any of the Gospels was written by an eye witness. The Gospel of John presents quite a different Jesus to the other Gospels. There are also a few discrepancies between Pauls letters and the writings of Luke.
Paul may have met some of the apostles but they were hardly best buds. There seems to have been some conflict.
There has been a lot of doubt cast on the authors and the dates of the gospels and the epistles. John was close to Jesus. He was in his inner circle. Every author is different. The gospel and epistles of John all sound like the same person to me. What are your sources? What are the few discrepancies between Luke and Paul? Paul had conflict with Luke? Are you sure?
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
So you admit evil doesn't come from atheism? I ask because elsewhere you imply it does.
Evil comes from the hatred of some atheists who persecute, mock, treat cruelly any believer. "You're not like me, therefore I hate you." It doesn't have to make sense. It doesn't have to be logical. Those that lack a belief in God can hate those that have a belief in God.
Again, do you think the people doing the persecuting were good men to start off with driven to do what they did because of a lack of belief in any God? If so, to have a point you have to give the reason atheism would drive a man to evil.
It doesn't matter if the people doing the persecuting are good or evil men. They can justify anything if they lack a belief in any God and because of this ideology oppress those who do believe in a God.
This doesn't answer my question. Again, Is morality from God absolute?
yes
Or maybe you're reading too much into the use of the word.
no, when I was listening to him, I was thinking "What...is he about go off the deep end into mystery?" I'm going to credit it to jet lag that caused him difficulty finding the correct words he was looking for.
I think you are misunderstanding Dawkins here. Dawkins is talking about the physical universe, not us as moral agent.
He is talking about the physical universe and extends it to evolution and in turn, to humans with DNA that we dance to. There is no morality in the physical universe and all of its products from Dawkin's POV. That is why later he has to posit that man can rebel against his humble beginnings by rising above our DNA in order to develop morality. IOW, we stop dancing to our DNA and become other than our DNA, somehow. (His example is to put on a condom when having heterosexual sex.)

There is no foundation or grounding in an absolute morality that comes from the physical world, because the physical world and its products are not good or evil. It's neutral or as Dawkin's asserts it's "nothing but pitiless indifference".
Is something wrong because God says it's wrong, or does God say it's wrong because it is wrong?
Something is wrong because it goes against God's character which is based on love, truth, and justness.
These concepts are ideas that couldn't be any other way.
I wonder how you can say this without believing morality to be absolute. Morality without God is opinion. It's relative and can change with the wind or a "Zeitgeist force".

I'm done talking about Stalin. I'm going to respond to what I have time for on this thread until late Friday, east coast time.
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
The Bible is about God and his interactions with mankind according to man. It may say "God said..." but it's all written by man.
...and inspired by God.
There are reports of them linking ideas together rather than just repeating rote learning. But of course they have been challenged.
They display behaviour that indicates they have a sense of fairness and act upon it. Is that a justice system?
Not quite.
Many societies haven't created hospitals or churches. Does that mean they aren't human?
Many?
By nature I mean Evolution.
Same for evolution. It's just a process.
I doubt a real scientist would say "By means of natural, mindless, unguided processes."
True. Maybe with probing a real scientist might use those words.
"Why, then, do you trust it?" Because the human mind has been put through millions of years in the cauldron of survival. If it didn't produce repeatable trustable results then we wouldn't be here. Everyday living is an endless series of experiences that test the reliability and trustability of our minds.
Why do I trust my mind? I don't trust it because of what others have gone through or because of the cauldron of survival the human species has gone through, but because my mind, so far, has helped me to understand the world in which I live and work, and it helps me to understand the inner things about myself, my emotions, my desires, and it allows me to know God. I believe the mind is much more than what a naturalist thinks it is.
If "thought is replaced by electrochemical neural events. Two such events cannot confront each other in rational discourse." True. But we aren't talking about two such events. We are talking millions.
I thought Polkinghorne was talking about 2 humans confronting each other in a rational discourse. The conversation would be electrochemical neural events (which is not thought), and then this event is formed into words, spoken to the other person who receives those words and processes them by electrochemical processes... Where do thoughts come in?
What do you mean by "millions"?
You may as well say that if you reduce water to single drops then how can we get rivers or the might of oceans?
That doesn't help me understand what you mean.
Are you saying that these electrochemical neural events go to certain sections of our brains and consist of millions of sparks across synapses which somehow create thoughts?
How do you evaluate the realness of God?
There are many ways to evaluate the "realness of God", but the main way is that I feel his presence, the presence of his Spirit in me or near/with me.
How do you know there is a spirit that lives on? Have you died?
No, I haven't died. An event happened to me when I lived in England in which I felt my mind leaving my body.
What has our understanding of the "created" taught us about the "Creator"?
Our Creator enjoys variety in every aspect of life. He created the perfect planet for us to live and thrive on. In this we know that he is caring, loving, gentle, and considerate. Just a couple of things. I'm too tired to think of more at the moment.
So why do you want to live? Doesn't the prospect of being with your Lord outweigh fear of dying?
It's just the pain of dying that makes me cringe. I'm not afraid of what happens after I die when I leave this body. Yes, the prospect of being with Jesus certainly is someone to look forward to knowing face to face.
Why do Christians bother to avoid dying?
I'm not sure what you mean.
Because there is a balance between the survival of the group and the survival of the individual. In any situation not all actions benefit both.
True
Really? Have individuals ever been happy to be killed or raped or enslaved?
I think you could find instances where being killed or being a slave might provide happiness but not being raped.
If God is in charge, how can we have a fleeting morality?
God doesn't force us to do anything against our will. IOW, He doesn't impose his will on us.
Survival is a selfish reason? Give me an example of where morality doesn’t flow from self-centeredness?
Jesus's death on the cross was done for others, not himself. His prayer in the garden proves this.
Luke 22:41-42 Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me, yet not my will but yours be done.”
What desire did Jesus resist?
The desire to not go to the cross.
At their core humans are in general absolute. That is why those morals appear absolute.
I know you believe it is because of God, I don’t.
What do you mean by "at their core humans are in general absolute?
I don’t know what you are trying to say by presenting this.
It's the meaning(s) of the word, absolute. Basically, absolute in regard to morality means there is a set standard for everyone. Is there one?
So, God isn’t powerful enough to override that? Ok.
No, he's given us a free will and with that comes a sharing of his power. He gives us the power to choose according to our will. God doesn't force his will on us. Read below if you want a better understanding of how I view God.

To me it makes more sense that conscience is learned. That explaining the differences between my actions and my neighbours when faced with the same situation.
We disagree but I do agree environmental factors play a part in how we respond.
Of course guilt and shame are learned. That is part of the programming. Do you think people would feel guilt and shame if they hadn’t learned that particular actions were wrong?
Yes, their conscience would convict them when they do wrong.
No I think we imbue our Gods with the morality we already have.
I had to change quite a bit in order to be like Jesus. I'm still not even close.
 

Whatsisface

Well-known member
Evil comes from the hatred of some atheists who persecute, mock, treat cruelly any believer. "You're not like me, therefore I hate you." It doesn't have to make sense. It doesn't have to be logical. Those that lack a belief in God can hate those that have a belief in God.

It doesn't matter if the people doing the persecuting are good or evil men. They can justify anything if they lack a belief in any God and because of this ideology oppress those who do believe in a God.
This is quite a claim and yet you seem content to just assert it, rather than giving any rationale to support it.
Then how can we do away with the more unpleasant side of the Old Testament? If slavery was ok then, and morality is absolute, then slavery is ok now.
He is talking about the physical universe and extends it to evolution and in turn, to humans with DNA that we dance to. There is no morality in the physical universe and all of its products from Dawkin's POV.
I don't think this is right at all. Dawkins espouse morality, and thinks you can be moral without god, so he doesn't think that there is no morality.

I seem to have to keep saying this, but what makes us moral agents and raises us above our DNA is our ability to reflect upon the consequences of our actions. That's all it takes for morality to exist in this universe,.
There is no foundation or grounding in an absolute morality that comes from the physical world, because the physical world and its products are not good or evil. It's neutral or as Dawkin's asserts it's "nothing but pitiless indifference".
But we can rise above the physical world with our ability to reflect upon the consequences of our actions, which is all it takes for morality to be in the world.
Something is wrong because it goes against God's character which is based on love, truth, and justness.
Anyone can make a moral statement then based on love, truth and justice.
I wonder how you can say this without believing morality to be absolute. Morality without God is opinion. It's relative and can change with the wind or a "Zeitgeist force"
Really, how many people have you seen saying in all sincerity, no, honestly, you've got it all wrong, rape is moraly permisable after all?
 

Temujin

Well-known member
Evil comes from the hatred of some atheists who persecute, mock, treat cruelly any believer. "You're not like me, therefore I hate you." It doesn't have to make sense. It doesn't have to be logical. Those that lack a belief in God can hate those that have a belief in God.

It doesn't matter if the people doing the persecuting are good or evil men. They can justify anything if they lack a belief in any God and because of this ideology oppress those who do believe in a God.
This is unfair. Exactly the same can be said in a mirror image of some Christian's, or any other faith believer's, attitudes to atheists. Indeed there's a lot more evidence of exactly that kind of hatred posted daily on these very forums. Outright hateful opinions held by atheists exist, of course they do. But they are not predicated on atheism, but on the moral failings of the individual. Some people are hateful. There's nothing stopping a hateful person being atheist, or Christian, but it's the hatefulness that's to blame, not the faith position.

There's nothing that cannot be justified if you believe in God. Just look at the horrors committed in His name. It's not moral relativism that leads to atrocity, but moral absolutism. There are people who claim, and have claimed, that anything is justified in the name of God, and they have acted accordingly. Sure, horrific acts have been committed by atheists, but not in the name of atheism or because atheism sanctions such behaviour. The only thing that unites atheists is the lack of belief in God. They can be as vile, as corrupt, as morally depraved as anyone else, but they cannot justify this by calling on their religion.
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
Why do Christians were seatbelts, or cross the road at pedestrian crossings, or take medicines, or ring for an ambulance in an emergency?

Shouldn't they be keen to die, if they're so certain of going to heaven?
I know some Christians who are keen to go but we are on the earth for a reason. We have a purpose to be salt and light. God will take when it is time.
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
This is unfair. Exactly the same can be said in a mirror image of some Christian's, or any other faith believer's, attitudes to atheists. Indeed there's a lot more evidence of exactly that kind of hatred posted daily on these very forums. Outright hateful opinions held by atheists exist, of course they do. But they are not predicated on atheism, but on the moral failings of the individual. Some people are hateful. There's nothing stopping a hateful person being atheist, or Christian, but it's the hatefulness that's to blame, not the faith position.

There's nothing that cannot be justified if you believe in God. Just look at the horrors committed in His name. It's not moral relativism that leads to atrocity, but moral absolutism. There are people who claim, and have claimed, that anything is justified in the name of God, and they have acted accordingly. Sure, horrific acts have been committed by atheists, but not in the name of atheism or because atheism sanctions such behaviour. The only thing that unites atheists is the lack of belief in God. They can be as vile, as corrupt, as morally depraved as anyone else, but they cannot justify this by calling on their religion.
I agree with everything you said against Christians. The evil they do in the name of Christ is wrong. Jesus is against it. It is not his will to hate our enemies or do evil to those that harm us but the complete opposite.

Stalin persecuted Christians because they did not agree to atheism? Couldn't those Christians who died because of the Stalin atheistic regime cry out that atheists were killing them because of their atheistic ideology. If it wasn't for that, then why were they being persecuted.
You took a long time to add your 2 cents to this topic. It's a topic that I feel is played out and don't want to discuss it anymore...but I'd like to read you opinion. Maybe you can change my mind.
 

Temujin

Well-known member
I agree with everything you said against Christians. The evil they do in the name of Christ is wrong. Jesus is against it. It is not his will to hate our enemies or do evil to those that harm us but the complete opposite.

Stalin persecuted Christians because they did not agree to atheism? Couldn't those Christians who died because of the Stalin atheistic regime cry out that atheists were killing them because of their atheistic ideology. If it wasn't for that, then why were they being persecuted.
You took a long time to add your 2 cents to this topic. It's a topic that I feel is played out and don't want to discuss it anymore...but I'd like to read you opinion. Maybe you can change my mind.
I've spoken a lot on this in the past. My feeling is that men justify what they want to do, any way that they can. Very few are driven by their beliefs to do what they didn't want to do anyway. Christianity, as is Islam which is so similar, is a faith that divides, you are either in, and therefore good, or you are out, and therefore damned. Those who are out are by definition, lesser beings, further from God. Atheism has no such baggage. I don't think any the less of you for being Christian. I don't think that you are doomed or in any way not worthy. My not believing in God says nothing at all about you or anyone else. Atheism doesn't colour my view of other people in any way, either positively or negatively. I just see people as people, who I either get along with, or more rarely, don't. That's why I find it easy to see believers committing atrocities against those who don't share their fate, but cannot see how atheists would do the same thing. I imagine that Christian belief fills your being, and filters everything you experience through a lens of faith. Atheism isn't like that. It's a dull absence not a vibrant presence. There's nothing to fight for, only things to defend against. Unless I am posting here, and not always then, I never think of atheism or of myself as an atheist. Why define your self by something you don't do? So that's the nub, I think. There's nothing passionate enough about atheism to lead anyone to kill for it.
 
Top