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John Galt
08-01-2007, 01:42 AM
well, I can't think of any examples of jews repressing christians or muslims,


Back in the early days of Christianity, when Jews stoned Christians. The first one of these stonings, on st. Stephen, is recorded in the bible. I suppose I could look through and find it, but I think it's near the beginning of Acts.

And I think all three have oppressed and been oppressed by pagans at some point.

Achilles
08-01-2007, 12:08 PM
Here's a link that directly applies to atheist hatred of religion.

http://www.carm.org/atheism/atheistattacks.htm The link appears to be broken. I tried a couple different ways to get to the site, including google. Interestingly, when I googled carm.org, I found this (edited for spelling...but not grammar):

hateful Biased Place full of Evagelical "Christians", ban without notice, suspension without notice not a fun place to be, owner of website a mental midget and think everyone is persecuting him.

Do Not go to CARM.org if you do not want to ingest volumes of aspirin
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=CARM.org


I really am looking forward to being able to get to the site, because I want to know what this (it sounds like) one person has to say. Unfortunately though, it sounds as though it will be largely hypothetical like so much of anti-atheist rhetoric in this thread.

EDIT: I was finally able to get into the site. I am reading the article now and will post my thoughts a little later.

ADDED BY EDIT:

Here are, what appear to be, the highlights of the article that you linked to:

Some might think that atheists would be content with simply not believing in God and leave the theists to themselves. After all, if God doesn't exist, then what's the big deal? Why not let the theists believe in God the way a child believes in the tooth fairy? To the atheist, neither exists. So why bother? As many have pointed out here, and as the author acknowledges a little later in the article, it's not simply a matter of "you believe what you want and I'll believe what I want".

Theists of all flavors have religious doctrines to persecute non-believers. Exposing religion as a sham is a matter of self-defense.

Theists war against each other, disrupting peace. Atheists make up about 5% of the U.S. population. About 3000 people died on September 11th, 2001. All things remaining equal, about 150 atheists were killed by muslims in their holy war against christians. In other words, they died because because of a disagreement over a god they didn't believe in.

Theists frequently vote their religion. If the religious right had their way, it would be illegal for an atheist woman to get an abortion because doing so would violate the religious beliefs of theists.

As these few, more obvious examples show, atheists are not allowed to simply "believe what they believe" because any quarter left undefended is overrun with religion. If theists are truly interested in living this philosophy, they will have to be the one to ammend their ways, not the other way around.

Many atheists I've spoken to tell me that I cannot think logically, that I am deluded, and that I believe in myths. They tell me that I am bound by foolish antiquated beliefs and need to abandon my religious bigotry and become a 'free thinker' like them. In other words, they don't want me to think the way I do. All of these things are true. Even the last sentence. What this does not equal is persecution.

Following are some of their [athiest's] comments:

"I do not want to be bound to archaic mythologies. This is the 20th century."
"Christianity is an oppressive system used to control and manipulate people."
"Logic demands that religion be proven wrong."
"Christians should all be in mental wards."
"We are free thinkers and not bound by outdated and oppressive myths."
"Christians are sycophantic sheep."

I have no doubt that these comments have been made. I would agree with some of these comments to varying degrees and disagree with others based on their wording.

Unfortunately, because atheism is not a demographic with an unifying ideology, his point is...well, pointless.

Atheists often imply that reason is best used by them and not by Christians who, many say, need psychological help for believing in God. This condescending attitude is a fountain for derogatory comments. I have been called stupid, absurd, illogical, and a slave to my religion. I get the impression from atheists that they are so convinced they have the truth that no other options are available to them and that if you don't agree with them, you're not smart. Of course, they will deny this and say I am being ridiculous, but this is what I have observed -- right or wrong. Ignoring for a moment that this entire passage is his recollection of events, characterization of the arguments presented, and ultimately his opinion, there are some nuggets of truth here.

First, I feel pretty comfortable saying that there is no rational argument for god and therefore no rational argument for the belief in god. Therefore, while using the blanket statement "reason is best used by atheists and not christians" is impolite and could be inaccurate outside of context of religion, it is supportable within the context of religion.

Furthermore, I have no doubt that some atheists have completely closed their minds to all other opportunities. The truth of the matter is what while I veiw such a stance as foolish by technicality, there is no reason not to accept it as true.

The author goes on to quote Athiest.org:

"Critical thinking, objectivity, scientific methodology, and peer review are all hallmarks of Atheism. Submission, fear, credulity, and insupportable claims are the hallmarks of religious belief." He and I both take issue with this statement but for different reasons. The first set of criteria of rationalism. Not all atheists are rational, but rational people tend to be atheists. Just as I would not want to attribute all left-handed people as being evil (an actual historical practice), I would not want to state that all atheists are rational. They do however have the advantage of not being both irrational and religious.

The second sentence I agree with without reservation.

When I read statements like this, I can't help but wonder which religion they are referring to. It can't be Christianity, because the Bible teaches us to love God and love our fellow man. Yes, that is one interpretation of the bible. But it is not the only valid one.

The final paragraph:

Are these the statements of tolerance, impartiality, truth, and sound judgment? Not at all. It seems to me that if the atheists who authored the above quotes were in power, with their views of religion being cruel, evil, and unreasonable, would they then either imprison the 'offenders' or legislate complete and total annihilation of all things religious? Who would then be full of hatred, malice, and bigotry? It is something to ponder. Does atheism really teach freedom? No. It teaches bondage for its adherents and for those who disagree with it. Is this the foundation of your argument Nancy? His hypotheticals in place of your own?

I asked you to provide an example of how atheists have unified under a common ideology to persecute theists and once again you failed to deliver.

END OF ADDED BY EDIT

Now, as we have combated racial and sexual intolerance, as we have combated intolerance of other religions, we must also combat the hatred and intolerance of religion period. Nancy, "intolerance of other religions" has not been "combatted". It still happens and in fact it's happening right now (as supported by the multitudes of sources that have already been provided for you).

I can only assume that with "we must also combat the hatred and intolerance of religion period" you are referencing some hypothetical scenario in which atheists are persecuting theists. As many have pointed out, there is no atheist doctrine that calls for the persecution of theists, therefore such a concern is akin to paranoia. Similarly, you've yet to produce any valid examples of cases where atheists have persecuted theists.

In other words, you seem to be purposely ignoring evidence which supports my point and make theism looks bad, while repeatedly ranting about atheistic persecution, which has never happened.

~snipped~ I disagree with this position because it is entirely hypothetical. If it makes you feel better to label me as a bigot, then I suppose there is nothing I can do to stop you from doing so.

You might not be able to, but we moderators can, and will, stop the flaming. No one deserves to be called names. :) --Jae

I would only hope that you would do so for legitimate reasons and not the made-up ones that you've presented here.

@John Galt: Thanks for the example. :)

Nancy Allen``
08-01-2007, 07:17 PM
So let me get this straight. It's paranoia to say that we should stop atheist persecution of religion. But it's not paranoia to go on about the 'rapture'?

Achilles
08-01-2007, 07:42 PM
See the post where I discussed the difference between "possible" and "probable" and then get back to me.

If it is "possible" (but not probable) that someone is following you, then such a belief could be considered paranoia. If it is "probable" (and therefore, likely) that someone is following you, then such a belief could be considered well-founded.

But I appreciate you trying to change the subject, nonetheless :)

Nancy Allen``
08-01-2007, 07:47 PM
What if it's already happened? Stalin and Mao would be two examples whether you like it or not, and there's plenty of less extreme cases. So what about possibility (rapture) against actuality (athiest persecution of religion)?

Achilles
08-01-2007, 08:04 PM
It hasn't already happened.

People of faith often claim that the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were the inevitable product of unbelief. The problem with fascism and communism, however, is not that they are too critical of religion; the problem is that they are too much like religions. Such regimes are dogmatic to the core and generally give rise to personality cults that are indistinguishable from cults of religious hero worship. Auschwitz, the gulag and the killing fields were not examples of what happens when human beings reject religious dogma; they are examples of political, racial and nationalistic dogma run amok. There is no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable.
Source (http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/10-myths-and-10-truths-about-atheism1/)


If you would like to provide some of these "less extreme cases" as examples, then please do so. I'm sure I don't stand alone when I say I'd love to see something than this dead horse.

Nancy Allen``
08-01-2007, 08:19 PM
They were dictators. Oh, that makes it alright then.

You might find this worth looking at.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061126000429AAwFzM9&show=7

Now I may not condemn religion. But I know right and I know wrong and I have the good grace to know which is which.

Achilles
08-01-2007, 08:57 PM
They were dictators. Oh, that makes it alright then. No, it just means that they were no different than theistic leaders that have also killed. I'm not sure how many more times that needs to be repeated.

You might find this worth looking at.
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061126000429AAwFzM9&show=7 Actually, I found it be a huge waste of time. Are those your "less extreme cases"? Columbine and Roman persecution?

First, Columbine was a couple of p----- off kids that targeted their peers because they had behavior issues. This was not a case of atheists targeting theists for the purposes of religious persecution.

Second, Roman persecution of christians was the persecution of one religious group by another religious group. Romans were accepting of christian up until the point that christian insistence that their god was the only god resulted in their refusal to participate in Roman observances. After that, the romans began to view natural disasters and other portents as signs from the gods of their displeasure with christians (just as some modern christian leaders view natural disasters as signs of god's anger with atheists, etc). At that point the persecutions began.

Now I may not condemn religion. But I know right and I know wrong and I have the good grace to know which is which.That may be but that knowledge doesn't come from the bible.

Nancy Allen``
08-01-2007, 09:05 PM
Actually that's exactly where I get my knowledge from. If you go back to that site you'll find this which I found very interesting.

Aside from the whatever physical violence atheists may cause, they take away hope. That is their more vile exercise in my view

Now I don't need to discuss religion, say that people have to follow it. Athiests it would seem do need to criticize it and make theists out to be deluded.

Also on the Crusades this was a biblical version of the world wars, in preventing Islam from conquering Europe. Today most of Britain would be beheaded because of their athiest views were it under such rule.

Achilles
08-01-2007, 09:23 PM
Actually that's exactly where I get my knowledge from. Yet you completely reject the commandments to kill. You accept the good commandments and reject the bad commandments even though they come from the same source and are provided by the same authority. It would seem to me that you allowed some other source of morality to come into play at some point.

Either that or you have to accept the possibility that god's really p----- at you for not killing more people.

If you go back to that site you'll find this which I found very interesting. And what did you find interesting about it?

Now I don't need to discuss religion, say that people have to follow it. Athiests it would seem do need to criticize it and make theists out to be deluded. As I've pointed out before, participation in this thread is completely voluntary. The last time I checked, I have the right to express my viewpoint, just as you have the right to express yours. If you feel that any of my viewpoints or perspectives are in error or made without all the information available, I would love to hear what you have to say.

However it appears that you would much prefer to accuse atheists of being critical while criticizing atheists, which seems rather hypocritical considering how frequently you like to recite John 8:7 for the rest of us.

Also on the Crusades this was a biblical version of the world wars, in preventing Islam from conquering Europe. Today most of Britain would be beheaded because of their athiest views were it under such rule. That's a very interesting theory.

Nancy Allen``
08-01-2007, 09:27 PM
As it happens I take up the commandment not to kill. This is one of the ten commandments that is law, and is repeated by Jesus, that we are not to kill. You like to portray religion as having to go to war with each other. That's not how it works.

Achilles
08-01-2007, 09:44 PM
http://www.religioustolerance.org/intol_bibl.htm

Nancy Allen``
08-01-2007, 09:48 PM
He commanded a particular group to do this. It's not a be all and end all for everybody. Otherwise there would be no commandment saying not to kill.

Achilles
08-01-2007, 09:56 PM
Sorry, which example are you referencing? Also, god was not singling out a particular group when he told his followers to kill those that work on the sabbath or any of the other examples I've provided for you in this thread.

The commandment not to kill is only a single line of text which contradicts several others. Do you frequently trust instructions that are contradictory? Or people that contradict themselves? I posit that most rational people don't.

Nancy Allen``
08-04-2007, 09:17 AM
The sad fact is Christians today don't go off killing non Christians. Hypocracy? It's that or kill those they cannot turn. I know it's disappointing, atheists cannot use it as some evil to use against religion but unfortunetly it's something we have to get over.

Dagobahn Eagle
08-04-2007, 02:06 PM
The sad fact is Christians today don't go off killing non Christians.Tell that to the victims of the NLFT (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_terrorism) in India. More here (http://www.stephen-knapp.com/christian_terrorism_in_northeast_india.htm).

Not to mention the terror campaigns in Africa. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3689615.stm)

Achilles
08-04-2007, 02:42 PM
The sad fact is Christians today don't go off killing non Christians.That claim is going to be very difficult for you to support. If you happen to have sources available though, I'd be happy to take a look at them.

On a side note, I find it very disturbing that you would consider this hypothetical situation "sad".

Hypocracy? It's that or kill those they cannot turn. I know it's disappointing, atheists cannot use it as some evil to use against religion but unfortunetly it's something we have to get over. I'm not sure that I follow any of this. Could you please clarify?

Jae Onasi
08-04-2007, 05:20 PM
The sad fact is Christians today don't go off killing non Christians.
On a side note, I find it very disturbing that you would consider this hypothetical situation "sad".

Wow. I don't usually find myself on the same side of the fence with Achilles in a theism/atheism thread, but I sure do here.

Nancy Allen``
08-04-2007, 07:57 PM
You can relax, I was being sarcastic in saying that it's bad that there isn't mass killing for atheists to crioticise of today's religion.

With what happens in India I would place this in the same catagory as Islam preaching hatred, or Stalin and Mao being driven to kill theists. These are exceptions to the rule. We are talking about maybe not even 1% of religion that does this, the mass majority does not preach bloodshed. You can cherry pick a few who do, sure, but that's kind of like laying the blame for September 11 on the Muslim world rather than the terrorists who camped and trained in Afghanistan.

Achilles
08-05-2007, 02:34 AM
With what happens in India I would place this in the same catagory as Islam preaching hatred <snip> These are exceptions to the rule. That's your perception and your perception only. You ask for evidence and then move the goal post when it's provided.

We are talking about maybe not even 1% of religion that does this, the mass majority does not preach bloodshed. Source please?

You can cherry pick a few who do, sure, but that's kind of like laying the blame for September 11 on the Muslim world rather than the terrorists who camped and trained in Afghanistan. How is it cherry picking if you say it doesn't happen and someone provides evidence that it does? That isn't "cherry-picking", it's "refuting an argument".

Also, since islam promotes the killing of infidels and martyrdom, I think it's perfectly reasonable to lay at least some of the blame for Sept. 11 on the religion. If the system supports or promotes the actions of the individual, then it is complicit.

Nancy Allen``
08-05-2007, 09:38 AM
That's your perception and your perception only. You ask for evidence and then move the goal post when it's provided.

Much like you do on Stalin and Mao killing theists?

Source please?

My source is that we are not seeing mass slaughter on our streets. Now I'm not sure whether or not you think religious followers should be doing this but it's a clear indication that religious violence is the exception rather than the rule.

How is it cherry picking if you say it doesn't happen and someone provides evidence that it does? That isn't "cherry-picking", it's "refuting an argument".

The same as it is when I point to athiest murder.

Also, since islam promotes the killing of infidels and martyrdom, I think it's perfectly reasonable to lay at least some of the blame for Sept. 11 on the religion. If the system supports or promotes the actions of the individual, then it is complicit.

Two things, and I don't need to be told a story, a simple yes or no will suffice. One is accountability. Are you and your family personally responsible for Columbus taking America from the native Indians? Is each and every athiest to pay in blood for what Stalin and Mao did? Then is it fair to lay the blame for acts extremists take at everyone who follows religion? If you think it is then that's a fallacy known as converse accident, also known as leaping to a conclusion or hasty generalization, saying that because some have done this it means that all of them are like this. If it's not then the blame is on those who commit these acts rather than everyone else. The other is the legality of religion. Is it against the law to kill? Do the vast majority of people who follow religion also follow the law? Is religion against the law?

Dagobahn Eagle
08-05-2007, 12:55 PM
My source is that we are not seeing mass slaughter on our streets. Now I'm not sure whether or not you think religious followers should be doing this but it's a clear indication that religious violence is the exception rather than the rule.Violence is often, if not always, the exception rather than the rule. Case of point, communism has killed tens of millions through the years, but this doesn't mean that most communists are violent. Most just sit there under their Che Guevara poster and smoke hashish while they speak dreamingly of the Worker's Revolution in Communist Newspeak. Doesn't change the fact that Communism has been responsible for mass killings before.

Same with Christianity. I currently don't know a single Christian prone to violence, in fact the ones I know are very peaceful people - but this doesn't excuse Christianity as an institution for its past atrocities.

Two things, and I don't need to be told a story, a simple yes or no will suffice. One is accountability. Are you and your family personally responsible for Columbus taking America from the native Indians? Is each and every athiest to pay in blood for what Stalin and Mao did?For the last time, Mao and Stalin did not do what they did because they were atheists, they did what they did because they were Communists. Plain and simple.

Achilles
08-05-2007, 01:52 PM
Much like you do on Stalin and Mao killing theists? Mao and Stalin do not apply for reasons that have been explained to you at least half a dozen times. I'm sure that you feel that repeating the argument gives it an air of legitimacy, however it doesn't.

My source is that we are not seeing mass slaughter on our streets. As DE's source shows, I think it's closer to the truth to say that you are not seeing mass slaughter in the streets. The fact is that some people are.

Now I'm not sure whether or not you think religious followers should be doing this but it's a clear indication that religious violence is the exception rather than the rule. The ones that are true to the doctrines of their religion are.

The same as it is when I point to athiest murder. You haven't though. You keep bringing this up and I keep asking for a source and you keep not providing one. Repeating it isn't going to make it true.

Two things, and I don't need to be told a story, a simple yes or no will suffice. One is accountability. Are you and your family personally responsible for Columbus taking America from the native Indians? No.

Is each and every athiest to pay in blood for what Stalin and Mao did? No.

Then is it fair to lay the blame for acts extremists take at everyone who follows religion? Yes.

Since you did not afford me the opportunity to expand on my answers, you'll have to live with these responses. If you're interested in the rationale behind them, let me know and I'll be happy to explain.

If you think it is then that's a fallacy known as converse accident, also known as leaping to a conclusion or hasty generalization, saying that because some have done this it means that all of them are like this. If this ("because some have done this it means that all of them are like this") was the basis of my argument, then that would be correct. However it is not, so the lecture on hasty generalization doesn't apply.

If it's not then the blame is on those who commit these acts rather than everyone else. As it has been pointed out elsewhere in this thread, religion is a system. Religious extremists are product of that system and anything or anyone that contributes to that system is at least partially complicit for the actions of those people.

You may think that religious moderates should be given a pass because they do not follow their religion as closely as their extremist brothers and sisters, however by adding themselves to the fray and mis-characterizing religion as something peaceful, they provide refuge for extremists.

Think back to my post on the automobile manufacturers if you need a reference point.

The other is the legality of religion. Is it against the law to kill? Which country?

Do the vast majority of people who follow religion also follow the law? Depends on the religion? Also, I don't have stats available so any answer beyond that would be speculation.

Is religion against the law? Which country?

Darth InSidious
08-05-2007, 03:28 PM
If I may slam an oar in here, this may explain away religious extremism, but how do you explain political extremism, or animal rights extremists, or GLBT extremists, to take but a few examples? Extremism is not limited to religion, so why should religious extremists be considered somehow more 'evil' than other extremists?

Achilles
08-05-2007, 04:18 PM
If I may slam an oar in here, this may explain away religious extremism, but how do you explain political extremism, or animal rights extremists, or GLBT extremists, to take but a few examples? Explain in what way? Their existence?

Extremism is not limited to religion, so why should religious extremists be considered somehow more 'evil' than other extremists? I guess that would depend on which "other extremism" we were comparing it to. In some cases, I would say the differences are minimal, while in others it's very different. Essentially, I say it comes down to the doctrine. Religious extremism amongst the Jains consists of putting cheese-cloth over one's mouth so as not to accidentally kill bugs by ingesting them. Religious extremism amongst christians and muslims usually involves intentionally killing others. So is the umbrella of "extremism" the problem or should we be looking to the doctrine itself as the source? I submit that it's the latter.

Nancy Allen``
08-05-2007, 07:43 PM
Placing the blame of mass murder of theists on government is to excuse the atrocities committed.

As I said, I know it's disappointing that theists are not killing each other and putting on a display for atheists to point to and demonstrate how evil religion is, but that is not how religion works.

If theists today are to blame for acts that had happened hundreds of years ago, then we would be forced to wonder why you're not to give the Arizona land back to the Native Indians.

The same arguement for religious moderates giving shelter to the extremists can also be applied to atheism, who are apologists for the militents, the antitheists, the ones who want to ban religion and kill those who follow it.

For the laws, what does it say about religion in the United States? How about Canada? Great Britain? France? Germany? Russia? Japan? Australia? All civillized, democratic, first world countries. What do their laws say about religion?

Extremism is extremism regardless, you cannot dress it up and say it isn't by saying it's religious based or it isn't religious based.

Achilles
08-05-2007, 09:51 PM
Placing the blame of mass murder of theists on government is to excuse the atrocities committed. I'm not even sure how one could possibly draw that conclusion.

As it has been pointed out several times, trying to identify atheism as the cause is erroneous. It's clear to me that no amount of rational discussion is going to cause you to realize the mistake, so perhaps it's just best to let the matter drop (e.g. please stop bringing it up).

As I said, I know it's disappointing that theists are not killing each other and putting on a display for atheists to point to and demonstrate how evil religion is, but that is not how religion works. DE already gave you examples. If you choose to ignore them, that's your concern.

If theists today are to blame for acts that had happened hundreds of years ago, then we would be forced to wonder why you're not to give the Arizona land back to the Native Indians. Who made that argument?

I think theists today are, to varying degrees, to blame for the acts that happen today.

The same arguement for religious moderates giving shelter to the extremists can also be applied to atheism, who are apologists for the militents, the antitheists, the ones who want to ban religion and kill those who follow it. Still waiting for a source that confirms that this group of people even exists.

For the laws, what does it say about religion in the United States? How about Canada? Great Britain? France? Germany? Russia? Japan? Australia? All civillized, democratic, first world countries. What do their laws say about religion? Why don't you do your own homework?

Extremism is extremism regardless, you cannot dress it up and say it isn't by saying it's religious based or it isn't religious based. Well, that certainly is one possible way of looking at it.

Nancy Allen``
08-05-2007, 09:58 PM
I'll provide the answer then. Religion is allowed, it's legal. That's where it ends.

Achilles
08-05-2007, 10:02 PM
I'm not sure I get it. When did anyone say otherwise?

Nancy Allen``
08-05-2007, 10:12 PM
The third degree on religion, placing the crimes on extremists at the feet of everyone who follows it, acting as judge jury and executioner on theists. It's as if every Muslim is to be tried for murder because of September 11.

Jae Onasi
08-05-2007, 10:18 PM
I'll provide the answer then. Religion is allowed, it's legal. That's where it ends.

I honestly don't know who raised that question, if they did at all, and I'm not sure how the legality of religion in a country is related to the original topic.

Nancy, it would help us all very much if you could narrow your focus a little when you bring up topics in your arguments. I can follow to some degree when you digress, but I'm having trouble sometimes, and if I am, I imagine others also are. All we know about what you're thinking is what you put here, so you have be a little more clear so we can understand you better.

The digressions are also taking discussions off topic, and that's not very courteous to the thread-starter.

Nancy Allen``
08-05-2007, 10:54 PM
In that case I'll just reply to the topic on true believers killing those who don't follow their religion and then hopefully all the crime scene investigation on theism\atheism can be put to rest and it can go back to our views on atheists.

Apparently people are only following their religion if they kill those who don't follow it. A prime example is Al Qaeda's stated intent to force the world to Islam and is the reasoning behind their terrorist attacks. It's bull****. Religion is used as an excuse by someone with an axe to grind. Their reasons for terrorism? There's a few, from jealousy of the world progressing while they are left behind to foreigners on their land, specifically military on their holy ground.

Achilles
08-05-2007, 11:35 PM
Apparently people are only following their religion if they kill those who don't follow it. Since the all three of the world's major monotheisms have this doctrine, I don't know why this comes across as such a surprise. They tell you who, they tell you how, and they tell you why. I'm not sure how much "room for interpretation" exists.

A prime example is Al Qaeda's stated intent to force the world to Islam and is the reasoning behind their terrorist attacks. That could be. I don't think that's quite how I had heard it, but that doesn't mean that this interpretation is wrong.

It's bull****. Religion is used as an excuse by someone with an axe to grind. I agree. If the bible tells you to kill non-believers, then I would definitely view religion as an excuse to grind that axe. I think you've broken it down to its raw elements.

Their reasons for terrorism? There's a few, from jealousy of the world progressing while they are left behind to foreigners on their land, specifically military on their holy ground. I think I've poked enough holes in the former, but I'm glad to see that you've at least partially accepted that latter.

Nancy Allen``
08-06-2007, 09:38 AM
Excuse keeping this particular topic going but I took the liberty of researching a few sites to try and clarify the confusion over religiously instructed killing and the command not to kill.

http://www.biblestudy.org/question/notkill.html
http://www.keyway.ca/htm2006/20060206.htm
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Bible-Studies-1654/Thou-shalt-kill.htm
http://www.growthingod.org.uk/dontkill.htm
http://www.peterberkowitz.com/thoushaltnotkill.htm

Achilles
08-06-2007, 10:42 AM
Nancy, I don't think anyone here is contesting the existence of that particular commandment. The point is that there are lots and lots of other examples where god tells us specifically to kill.

If the argument is: "We shouldn't kill because god tells us not to. It says so in the bible", then you have to somehow reconcile with this: "We should kill because god tells us to. It says so in the bible".

To only heed the parts we feel warm and fuzzy about is to cherry pick. Ignoring the existence of contradictions isn't going to make them go away or be any less real.

mimartin
08-06-2007, 12:15 PM
The point is that there are lots and lots of other examples where god tells us specifically to kill.

If the argument is: "We shouldn't kill because god tells us not to. It says so in the bible", then you have to somehow reconcile with this: "We should kill because god tells us to. It says so in the bible".

I donít take exception to your saying the Bible tells us to kill. Thanks to the verses you had me read I now agree with you, but God has never told me to kill. A book inspired by God, but written by man and translated by man says it is alright to kill under certain circumstances. I happen to agree under certain circumstances killing is a necessary evil, like protecting a loved one. It should only be done as a last resort and I must be willing to accept God punishment for that murder.

We shouldnít kill not because God says so, but because all life is precious and we should strive to protect that gift. Yes, I said gift, even if you donít believe in a maker the strange and unique thing necessary for complex life forms to develop on this planet is truly a gift to us all.

Achilles
08-06-2007, 02:18 PM
I donít take exception to your saying the Bible tells us to kill. Thanks to the verses you had me read I now agree with you, but God has never told me to kill. I'm sure that god had never told you to kill, however there are many accounts in the bible of people that he did give the order to directly. Such a thing is well documented within christian lore.

A book inspired by God, but written by man and translated by man says it is alright to kill under certain circumstances. While I'm happy to agree with the words, I think the message might be splitting hairs. Even if we were to agree that "inspired by god" was somehow different from "the word of god", it still puts the onus for the content on him. The conclusion that I came to years ago is this:

Either the bible is the word of god and wrong, or it is the word of man and useless.

I've yet to see any argument that has given me reason to think that this conclusion is erroneous.

I happen to agree under certain circumstances killing is a necessary evil, like protecting a loved one. It should only be done as a last resort and I must be willing to accept God punishment for that murder. Which raises some interesting questions. Assuming that everyone here would agree that killing in self-defence, or in the defense of another, is ethical, why would fail to comment on this? He says murder is wrong, but then gives us a laundry list of circumstances in which murder is ok, however "self-defense" and "protecting others" isn't on that list. So it would seem that behavior that any of us would probably consider ethical is not sanctioned by our alleged maker.

We shouldnít kill not because God says so, but because all life is precious and we should strive to protect that gift. Yes, I said gift, even if you donít believe in a maker the strange and unique thing necessary for complex life forms to develop on this planet is truly a gift to us all. I would tend to agree with such sentiments. The sad fact is that this message is not conveyed in the bible or the quran. It would seem that an objective examination of ethics would tend to lead us to very different conclusion than those offered by our holy texts. And a much more worthy one, in my opinion :)

As always, I enjoyed reading your response.

mimartin
08-06-2007, 03:44 PM
First I am speaking of my personal views; these views have nothing to do with any other Christianís views. They could be completely wrong, but they are my personal views and nothing more.

I'm sure that god had never told you to kill, however there are many accounts in the bible of people that he did give the order to directly. Such a thing is well documented within christian lore.

If God personally told me that I must kill someone, then I guess I would do it. However, he/she would have to personally tell me to do it and not be merely words in a book.

Either the bible is the word of god and wrong, or it is the word of man and useless.

Personally I find it far from useless. There are many examples and stories on how to live a moral life.

This will sound strange to you and may make me sound like a religious nut, but when as a Christian I read the Bible I know what God has determined that is important for me and what is not important.

I've yet to see any argument that has given me reason to think that this conclusion is erroneous.

And I respect your right to feel that way; I however personally donít feel that way. We are given freewill and allowed to make our own decisions on how to worship our God or not to believe at all.

Which raises some interesting questions. Assuming that everyone here would agree that killing in self-defence, or in the defense of another, is ethical, why would fail to comment on this? He says murder is wrong, but then gives us a laundry list of circumstances in which murder is ok, however "self-defense" and "protecting others" isn't on that list. So it would seem that behavior that any of us would probably consider ethical is not sanctioned by our alleged maker.

Sorry, I must not have been clear. I am not saying that killing in self-defense or in defense of another is ethical or in my belief structure not a sin against God. I am saying that in defense of a loved one Iíd be willing to accept my punishment both in this life and in the next. Iím actually unsure of how Iíd react to protect my own life. Is my life more valuable than another? I know it is just as valuable, but not greater than anyone else.

I would tend to agree with such sentiments. The sad fact is that this message is not conveyed in the bible or the quran. It would seem that an objective examination of ethics would tend to lead us to very different conclusion than those offered by our holy texts. And a much more worthy one, in my opinion

To me it is. Well at least that is were I get that sentiment. This is strictly a Christian view, but God thought that our lives were so important that he sent his own son onto this earth to be tortured and murdered for us. I might be willing to sacrifice my own life for humanity, but Iíd never be willing to sacrifice a loved ones life.

TK-8252
08-06-2007, 05:44 PM
If God personally told me that I must kill someone, then I guess I would do it. However, he/she would have to personally tell me to do it and not be merely words in a book.

You mean like if god told you to kill your own son? Why would you want to be loyal to a god who's an ass? Is it really worth sacrificing your dignity and your morality just to go to heaven? Murdering your own son for your own personal benefit?


Personally I find it far from useless. There are many examples and stories on how to live a moral life.

Like... to murder your own son?

Achilles
08-06-2007, 05:50 PM
First I am speaking of my personal views; these views have nothing to do with any other Christianís views. They could be completely wrong, but they are my personal views and nothing more. Fair enough.

If God personally told me that I must kill someone, then I guess I would do it. However, he/she would have to personally tell me to do it and not be merely words in a book. Right, ala Moses, Abraham, etc. What about modern day people that claim to speak to god directly, specifically when it comes to doing violence? I understand that you probably more skeptical than most and tend to want to think for yourself, but I canít help but fear for younger, more impressionable people that are raised to believe that the bible in the inerrant word of god.

Personally I find it far from useless. There are many examples and stories on how to live a moral life. If the bible was the sole source of morality, I could agree. If the bible was a superior or even a good source of morality, I might be persuaded to agree. However, a reasoned examination of moral philosophy and ethics provide far better guidance and come without the need for cherry-picking or mental gymnastics.

This will sound strange to you and may make me sound like a religious nut, but when as a Christian I read the Bible I know what God has determined that is important for me and what is not important. But it is all allegedly his word. If this is his one lifeline to us, the only text handed down for all time, why would he include information that he didnít intend for you to consider ďimportantĒ?

Also, this experience was completely subjective. Your experience could be radically different from those of others. How are we to discount those that claim that god told them to kill if there is no objective baseline from which to work?

And I respect your right to feel that way; I however personally donít feel that way. We are given freewill and allowed to make our own decisions on how to worship our God or not to believe at all. I would say it has more to do with the validity of the arguments than how I feel, but I understand the gist of your argument.

Sorry, I must not have been clear. I am not saying that killing in self-defense or in defense of another is ethical or in my belief structure not a sin against God. Wow. Ok.

If it makes you feel any better killing in self-defense or the defense of another isnít unethical.

I am saying that in defense of a loved one Iíd be willing to accept my punishment both in this life and in the next. Iím actually unsure of how Iíd react to protect my own life. Is my life more valuable than another? I know it is just as valuable, but not greater than anyone else. From a deontological perspective, all life has value, therefore it should be defended. The ďrealĒ ethical situation isnít your defending yourself, rather the other person threatening your life. At least according to Kant :)

To me it is. Well at least that is were I get that sentiment. This is strictly a Christian view, but God thought that our lives were so important that he sent his own son onto this earth to be tortured and murdered for us. I might be willing to sacrifice my own life for humanity, but Iíd never be willing to sacrifice a loved ones life. First, thereís no evidence that such a person existed let alone that these events transpired. Second, even assuming that jesus was real and was the son of god and that he really died on a cross approximate 2000 years ago and he was resurrected 3 days later, the whole thing doesnít make any sense (this really needs to be picked up in the appropriate thread). Third, as I stated above, objective morality is superior to subjective morality, which is what religion provides.

Sorry to gish gallop over your argument, but there was a lot to unpack there.

Take care.

mimartin
08-06-2007, 06:35 PM
You mean like if god told you to kill your own son? Why would you want to be loyal to a god who's an ass? Is it really worth sacrificing your dignity and your morality just to go to heaven? Murdering your own son for your own personal benefit?
First off I'd have to have a son.;) No, I wouldn't because any God I'd worship would not ask me to kill. I also do not believe myself worthy enough to believe God would speak to me directly and should I did hear voices Iíd just believe I'd gone off the deep end causing me to seek professional medical help.

Like... to murder your own son?

Like I said in response to Achilles I do not believe the Bible tells me to kill or provides me the justification to kill. Others may interpreted it differently, but that is my personal view. Even if the Bible provided justification does not mean I can not hold myself to higher standards.

But it is all allegedly his word. If this is his one lifeline to us, the only text handed down for all time, why would he include information that he didnít intend for you to consider ďimportantĒ?

We have been given freewill. The people that wrote and translated the Bible had that same gift. I find it preposterous that their prejudices and the agenda would not be included in their writings. Inspired was the wrong word for me to use, but divine influence would have been a better choice for me to use. Godís influence is there, but so are the influences of the mortals that wrote the Bible and commission the translation of the Bible.

Just because I find some of the Bible less important than others does not mean I'm willing to mark it all as trash. After all I wouldn't throw out the baby with the bath water.

Achilles
08-06-2007, 07:00 PM
We have been given freewill. The people that wrote and translated the Bible had that same gift. I find it preposterous that their prejudices and the agenda would not be included in their writings. Inspired was the wrong word for me to use, but divine influence would have been a better choice for me to use. Godís influence is there, but so are the influences of the mortals that wrote the Bible and commission the translation of the Bible. If the bible acknowledged anywhere within its pages that it contained the nothing more than the inspired wisdom of the authors' time, I might be willing to soften my criticism of it. However, quite to opposite is true. It claims several times to be the inerrent word of god.

We are allegedly given free will and then provided with an archaic list of rules that we must live by if we wish to retain god's favor. The punishment of disobeying them is eternal damnation.

I appreciate that you have a very liberal view toward religion in general and christianity specifically, however this is the legacy sir. You can disagree with the doctrine, as I can plainly see that you do, but that doesn't make it something that it isn't.

The point is that even if we were to completely wipe out all the ugly parts and accept that the pretty ones are all there are and all there ever was, there is still absolutely no reason to believe that god had anything to do with it.

Thanks for reading.

ADDED BY EDIT
Just because I find some of the Bible less important than others does not mean I'm willing to mark it all as trash. After all I wouldn't throw out the baby with the bath water. This is a rough analogy but I'll try to work with it.

You're willing to lend your support to an entire book, some parts of which contain instructions on how to kill human beings, because a few other parts have some nice moral stories? Why not lend your support to greek mythology and claim eternal devotion to a patron god from that pantheon? Or any of the other dozens of ancient polythestic religions? Why not forego gods all together and take your moral guidance from Aesop or modern moral philosophers? If your big take-away is the moral lessons, I submit that you can find much better sources than this.

Nancy Allen``
08-06-2007, 07:21 PM
This might be better off in the theism\atheism discussion thread.

Achilles
08-06-2007, 07:23 PM
Agreed. Could one of the mods please snip-n-move as appropriate?