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Author Topic:   Moral high ground
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 146 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


(5)
Message 105 of 318 (645195)
12-24-2011 7:13 AM
Reply to: Message 101 by purpledawn
12-24-2011 3:38 AM


Re: Numbers From Fiction
Hi PD,
Believing something is true doesn't make it fact.
No, but it is nonetheless reasonable to point out problems and inconsistencies in another's position.
One does not need to believe that the Bible is true to point out that those who do believe it true are saddled with believing that God is behind a whole lot of deaths.
If you are going to ban any discussion of fiction from a debate about religion, it's going to be a real short debate.
Mutate and Survive

This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by purpledawn, posted 12-24-2011 3:38 AM purpledawn has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 107 by purpledawn, posted 12-24-2011 9:27 AM Granny Magda has replied

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 146 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 116 of 318 (645228)
12-24-2011 2:01 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by purpledawn
12-24-2011 9:27 AM


Re: Numbers From Fiction
Religious atrocities are those things done by people. If one wants to discuss what God has supposedly done according to the Bible, then the Bible is an appropriate source. The way it is written, this isn't about what gods or any specific god has done.
But the list of those killed on God's orders is a list of those killed by people. True, it may be a list of fictional people as far as you and I are concerned, but this thread sprang from comments made by Portillo, who presumably doesn't think these lists are fictional. On that basis, it seems reasonable to me that Butterflytyrant should use them. After all, if Portillo has no problem with those (supposedly true) massacres, but does object to "atheist" massacres, then he is engaged in a double standard, no?
This thread is supposedly comparing human atrocities. The way the OP is written, the claim made by those exuding moral superiority deals with what religious believers have done. IMO, the implication is that religious people are less violent than those who are religion-free. It isn't about what their respective gods have done.
I agree to an extent and certainly, using these stories does somewhat alter the focus of the thread, but then, it is Butterflytyrant's thread. He should get some leeway over what the thread is about.
In this discussion, comparing fact and fiction is unnecessary and out of place.
I don't think so when there are people like Portillo and Chuck in the house, who think that these stories are true accounts.
What is it with people and absolutes. No one banned, threatened to ban, or suggested banning anything. My position is simply that pulling numbers from religious stories is not viable in this thread; not any other thread, just this thread. Notice I said this thread. I did not make a universal decree, just my opinion in this thread.
Sure, I understand you there. I didn't mean to give that impression.
I think that it is entirely fair to apply what Portillo believes to be true to Portillo's argument. If he doesn't believe the OT to be a true history, fair enough, but I got the impression that he did see it that way.
I do understand your point; these are slightly separate issues. i just think that both make for an interesting angle on this. If we can note the distinction, then I don't see why it should be out of bounds.
Merry Christmas!
Mutate and Survive
Edited by Granny Magda, : Fix codes

This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by purpledawn, posted 12-24-2011 9:27 AM purpledawn has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by purpledawn, posted 12-24-2011 8:54 PM Granny Magda has replied

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 146 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 123 of 318 (645296)
12-25-2011 6:33 AM
Reply to: Message 119 by purpledawn
12-24-2011 8:54 PM


Re: Numbers From Fiction
In Message 62, Portillo states: Biblical atrocities are fictional. Myths and fables.
Ah, right, I missed that. My apologies. I thought that Portillo was considerably more literalist than that.
In that case I agree with you. If Portillo is is content to acknowledge that these stories are fictions, then it is inappropriate to use them. It still might be appropriate with another, more literalist member, but not with Portillo, at whom the thread was originally aimed.
Of course, it does leave me wondering why Portillo has such a problem with evolution, when he's willing to dismiss half the OT as myth and fiction, but that's another discussion entirely.
Mutate and Survive

This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by purpledawn, posted 12-24-2011 8:54 PM purpledawn has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 125 by Butterflytyrant, posted 12-25-2011 7:07 AM Granny Magda has not replied
 Message 128 by Portillo, posted 12-25-2011 5:11 PM Granny Magda has replied

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 146 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 137 of 318 (645329)
12-26-2011 4:43 AM
Reply to: Message 128 by Portillo
12-25-2011 5:11 PM


Re: Numbers From Fiction
Hi Portillo,
My point was that most people here dont believe in the historicity of the Bible, but when it comes to atrocities, suddenly the Bible comes alive.
Ah, I see. You were being sarcastic. You have to be careful with that. Sarcasm can be tricky to pull off on the web.
Well then, I have to agree with Butterflytyrant and disagree with Purpledawn.
If you believe that God has personally committed genocide and that his followers have repeatedly committed genocide at God's behest, then you are poorly placed to criticise others for genocide. After all, you believe God is good don't you? If God can commit genocide and remain "good", why must others be condemned for it?
I really don't think that it matters that there are people on this board who don't think these stories are true. What matters is that you think them true. That leaves you engaged in a double standard, where it's fine for theists to kill, but unacceptable for anyone else to do the same.
I think that this is a good illustrative example of just how theists - who often accuse atheists of having no objective morality - have a very tenuous grasp on what constitutes a moral or immoral act. Apparently, whether genocide is wrong or not depends on who does it.
Mutate and Survive

This message is a reply to:
 Message 128 by Portillo, posted 12-25-2011 5:11 PM Portillo has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 181 by Portillo, posted 12-28-2011 10:24 PM Granny Magda has replied

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 146 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


(3)
Message 187 of 318 (645732)
12-29-2011 8:53 AM
Reply to: Message 181 by Portillo
12-28-2011 10:24 PM


Re: You cant create the utopia until you free people from religion and get rid of it.
My point wasnt that religion has never caused violence, but that atheistic totalitarian regimes have killed even more people than all religious atrocities put together.
Understood.
It doesnt matter to atheists that Stalin was an avowed atheist and wanted to exterminate religion.
No it doesn't. It doesn't matter to me, mostly because the truth of an idea is not directly related to the morality of those who hold that idea. Stalin also believed that two plus two made four, but no matter how evil he was, that doesn't make it untrue. In a way this thread is a bit of a waste of time. You can point to as many evil atheists as you like, it won't have any bearing on whether gods exist or not.
However, the thrust of this thread has been to compare the respective death counts of religion and atheism. Stalin is only one man. You need to make more of an effort to count up some kind of total for the alleged atheist death-tally. Just naming one evil infidel isn't enough.
It doesnt matter that Lenin singularly selected Stalin because of his hatred of religion.
That's just straightforwardly wrong. Lenin tried to stop Stalin from becoming his successor. He failed of course, but he saw, just too late, how dangerous Stalin was. Weirdly enough, the other Soviet leaders chose Stalin because they thought he would be harmless and easy to manipulate. They viewed Stalin as a boring bureaucrat, too lacking in imagination to be any kind of threat. "Comrade Filing Card" they called him. Then he had half of them killed. They stopped calling him "Comrade Filing Card" then.
It doesnt matter that Hitler was influenced by social Darwinism and Friedrich Nietzsche.
Social Darwinism is mostly unscientific. It has litle resemblance to the actual ToE, being mostly based upon misunderstandings of the real theory. remember, the ToE is merely a description of a biological process, not a political philosophy. Anyone attempting to use it as such is doing it wrong.
Also, you will find that Hitler was more of a creationist than an evolutionist;
quote:
The most marvelous proof of the superiority of Man, which puts man ahead of the animals, is the fact that he understands that there must be a Creator. - Adolf Hitler
More here; rationalwiki.org/wiki/Hitler_and_evolution
Atheists can wipe their hands clean because fortunately, Stalin killed for other reasons not atheism. Even if Stalin thought that the elimination of religion was central and atheism essential to his revolution. Luckily, whenever he killed he removed his atheist ideology, then put it back on after. Stalin's atheism was front and center. It was not incidental but absolutely central to the whole scheme. Thankfully, Stalin was a murderer who just happened to be an atheist.
Actually, I would be willing to accept that some of Stalin's victims were persecuted for their religious beliefs. The problem is that not all of them were, with most, there were other reasons. This makes the idea of simply comparing totals too simplistic and naive a notion to be of any value.
Religion is evil, the Soviet Union is evil, therefore the Soviet Union is religious. Its a ridiculous extrapolation, if you have any critical mind whatsoever.
Which is why I didn't say any such thing.
There were religious elements to the Soviet Union, but it was secular religion. To create a sense of community, cohesion, and identity, the Soviet Union created Communist Saturday, May Day, Victory Day, Constitution Day and Revolution Day. These were often counterparts to Christian rituals and events. Sounds like fun doesnt it!
yes, they stole all of religion's best tricks. You don't find that at all disconcerting?
the point here is not that the Soviet Union was evil because it aped religion. The point is that both the Soviet Union and religion have both used unethical means to control people, and that this is evil, whoever does it.
So why cant the same "excuse" be used for Christianity? Is it possible that those that kill in the name of Jesus Christ are not actually living according to the teaching and spirit of Jesus?
Sure. But that is irrelevant to the truth claims made by Christians.
It is also a contradiction in your argument; either you want to look at the motivations or you don't. Please decide.
Let me guess what the answer is, "No, all these men and women were Christian." Tell me is there some confusion here?
the problem here is that you are using the term "Christianity" to describe the semi-mythical "True Christian". But how are we supposed to identify this paragon? If I ask you, you'll tell me that your version of Christianity is the truest. If I ask another Christian, they'll tell me that their version is the truest. And so on, for every iteration of Christianity on the market. All of these groups claim that the Bible can be best interpreted by their own sect. The plurality of opinion that this creates makes it very difficult to tell who might be right.
Ultimately, only God (if he exists) can determine who is a True Christian. Until he weighs in, we're left with an impossible number of competing claims, all unfalsifiable and all equally worthless. The only way to get around this problem it seems to me, is to regard all those who revere Christ as Christians.
If you want a fresh perspective on this, I have frequently heard Muslims claiming that the 9/11 attackers were not Muslims. they use exactly the same logic as you employ here. What do you say to that? Ready to let Islam off the hook on that one? Were the terrorists "not real Muslims"?
Tell me is there some confusion here? And as far as violence by the Catholic Church is concerned, the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon. In fact, in the Book of Revelation, God destroys the Catholic Church which is "drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus."
*snigger* You might want to lay off the crack pipe for a while there. Your paranoia is showing.
Mutate and Survive

This message is a reply to:
 Message 181 by Portillo, posted 12-28-2011 10:24 PM Portillo has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 189 by hooah212002, posted 12-29-2011 1:39 PM Granny Magda has not replied

  
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