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Author Topic:   Atheism, a dangerous idea?
kongstad
Member (Idle past 1160 days)
Posts: 175
From: Copenhagen, Denmark
Joined: 02-24-2004


Message 181 of 241 (330057)
07-09-2006 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 121 by iano
07-05-2006 6:24 AM


Re: An Argument and explanation
So you disagree with the other christians here?

Atheism is not dangerous?

You see most atheists, like most people, detest cruel acts, Most people act morally because they want to, and only psychopaths do so only because of fear of discovery, or the sanctions of authority.

Edited by kongstad, : splleing


This message is a reply to:
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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 210 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 182 of 241 (330250)
07-10-2006 7:17 AM
Reply to: Message 157 by kongstad
07-08-2006 4:16 AM


Re: Moral standards
And this makes atheism dangerous?

I never said it makes atheism dangerous, I said it scares me. Just like most religions scare me.

Even though all the Christian religions can have slight variences in their moral systems, they should at least be following the golden rule.

All religions cannot be held accountable for all other religions, if they aren't following this. An atheist doesn't have to follow this, and can make up any rule he wants to live by.

A Christian who doesn't follow at least the golden rule, is no better than an atheist who doesn't follow it either. As a matter of fact it is worse, because I would look at the Christian who doesn't follow the rule as a hypocrite. At least an atheist who doesn't follow it, is honest. But how will God look at a Christian who doesn't follow the golden rule?

Too many people in this forum make the mistake of saying that Christianity must be bad, if there are a lot of "bad Christians". Then out of the other side of their mouths start threads asking why Christians don't follow their own rules.

There is nothing wrong with Christianity, there is something wrong with people.

If you knew that I was soliciting prostitutes when no-one was looking, and when confronted, I denied it, because I don't want to lose my image of being Christian, or a good follower, you would know in an instant what kind of person I was. You would also have the right to walk up to me, and call it on me.

On the other hand, if I saw an Atheist doing the same thing, I probably wouldn't even question it. He has his own moral code, and can do whatever he wants. He has not subscribed to any moral code, other than the one he invents in his mind.

So the whole point is that christians all have their own moral systems, but they like to justify them by refrencing a book.

That is way to broad of a statement. Some of the core values of Christianity are way to obvious to be thinking that Christians or any other religion can go and make up any moral they want.

Anyway you actually can discuss ethics without using the bible, Muslim holy text or The tales of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

You can discuss it, but there is no official code of ethics for an atheist. So that point is mute.

by the simple fact that even among the same christian denomination, people disagree on the most basic moral tenets.

Basic? Such as?

Claiming to be Christian, and being one, are two different things in my book. I do not subscribe to the thought that if you say you are Christian, you are one. You are one by your actions, not your mouth. You are one in your heart, not your brain.

I don't care what people say, Hitler was not Christian when he was killing all those Jews. He only said he was one. If I believed that Hitler was Christian during those acts, then I would believe that all atheists are bad because they don't believe in God.

Edited by riVeRraT, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 157 by kongstad, posted 07-08-2006 4:16 AM kongstad has responded

Replies to this message:
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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 210 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 183 of 241 (330253)
07-10-2006 7:22 AM
Reply to: Message 159 by anglagard
07-08-2006 8:36 PM


Re: Moral standards
China (ABE - unless you consider Confucianism a religion)

ABE - and now Japan

Define sucessful.

We have dedicated missions in both those countries.

If you want to call the way the mojority of both those nations live sucessful, then maybe you should move there.


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LinearAq
Member (Idle past 2966 days)
Posts: 598
From: Pocomoke City, MD
Joined: 11-03-2004


Message 184 of 241 (330294)
07-10-2006 9:46 AM
Reply to: Message 182 by riVeRraT
07-10-2006 7:17 AM


Re: Moral standards

We are moving far off topic. Do not reply to this post

riVeRrat writes:

Even though all the Christian religions can have slight variences in their moral systems, they should at least be following the golden rule.

The golden rule sounds good in theory but kinda falls short in the way it is applied.

Ex. 1: I have a friend who has MS. She is at the stage where attacks occur with little warning and she will collapse. She has a lot of bruises and bumps lately. She has expressed that when things get bad enough she would like her husband to help her end everything....basically to kill her. Is he following the golden rule if he does kill her or is he following it if he doesn't?

Ex 2: My brother-in-law is an alcoholic. He recently went off the wagon and spends most of his free time drinking until he passes out. He has stated that he likes being drunk and does not want to quit again. Is my organizing an intervention following the golden rule or not?

Ex 3: I have a friend at work who doesn't believe in God. I have made statements about my Christianity and invited him to my church. He has said that our relationship would go much more smoothly if I didn't try to convert him. Is my continuing to proseltyze him following the golden rule or not?

I believe Biblical quotes to support your answers are necessary so that we can agree on the absolutism of the answer.

I believe that Christians cannot claim superior morality without being able to show superior morality.

If you knew that I was soliciting prostitutes when no-one was looking, and when confronted, I denied it, because I don't want to lose my image of being Christian, or a good follower, you would know in an instant what kind of person I was. You would also have the right to walk up to me, and call it on me.

As an aside, why is soliciting a prostitute wrong? I mean, besides the fact that you would be disobeying the rules of the government that God put into place. Would it be okay to do it in Nevada?

Edited by AdminJar, : Off topic


This message is a reply to:
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LinearAq
Member (Idle past 2966 days)
Posts: 598
From: Pocomoke City, MD
Joined: 11-03-2004


Message 185 of 241 (330522)
07-10-2006 4:30 PM
Reply to: Message 184 by LinearAq
07-10-2006 9:46 AM


Why OT?
I thought I was countering riVeRrat's contention, from msg 34 that Atheism was dangerous because of its moral relativism.

in msg 34 RR writes:

I will give you a Christian point of view, not a fundamentalists one.
One thing that scares me about an Atheistic point of view, is the uncertainty of what they believe in. Even when I was agnostic, I always felt the golden rule was a good thing to follow. This came from "God".
Liberals and athiests believe in the "greater good", which is whatever they think it should be at the moment. I know that is way to general of a statement, but it represents a good portion of people.

I was just pointing out that even the "golden rule" does not really seem to be an absolute or at least different Christians would apply it differently in the same situation.

Or was I only supposed to only address the OP directly?


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kongstad
Member (Idle past 1160 days)
Posts: 175
From: Copenhagen, Denmark
Joined: 02-24-2004


Message 186 of 241 (330724)
07-11-2006 6:47 AM
Reply to: Message 182 by riVeRraT
07-10-2006 7:17 AM


Re: Moral standards
So claiming to be a christian is not enough to assure that people do not scare you. You must withhold your judgement until you can observe peoples acts?

A Christian who doesn't follow at least the golden rule, is no better than an atheist who doesn't follow it either.

So what is the difference between people claiming to be christians and people claiming to be atheists?

In both cases, you must withhold judgement until you can evaluate their actions, so their professed beliefs, or lack of beliefs, should not logically have an effect on how you judge them!

On the other hand, if I saw an Atheist doing the same thing, I probably wouldn't even question it. He has his own moral code, and can do whatever he wants. He has not subscribed to any moral code, other than the one he invents in his mind.

Well if he claims to be against prostitution you can judge him, and if you believe prostitution is wrong, you can judge him. Do you really feel that people can do whatever they want?

That is way to broad of a statement. Some of the core values of Christianity are way to obvious to be thinking that Christians or any other religion can go and make up any moral they want.

Ok, but looking around I see christians using the bible to defend homosexual marriage, and to condemn it. To defend the right to choose, and to condemn it. To defend wars and to condemn them. To condemne universal healthcare and to defend it. To defend free speech and to condemn it. To assert the equal value of women, and to reject it. To defend rascism, and to reject it.

But other than you feel that christians share which core values?

In my oppinon all your arguing just leads to the fact that you must judge each person on his own, and that a persons faith, or lack of it, in no way tells you how this person will act.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 182 by riVeRraT, posted 07-10-2006 7:17 AM riVeRraT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 187 by ramoss, posted 07-11-2006 8:57 AM kongstad has not yet responded
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ramoss
Member
Posts: 3122
Joined: 08-11-2004
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 187 of 241 (330762)
07-11-2006 8:57 AM
Reply to: Message 186 by kongstad
07-11-2006 6:47 AM


Re: Moral standards
Well, atheism scares many more conservative Christians because the Christians insist that Being Christian and worshipping GOD is the source of morals. The fact that most atheists (just like most people) are moral puts a dent in that armor.

The fact that these people who don't believe in God can be as moral (and in some cases, the atheists are more moral than many of the christians) cuts loose one of their self justifications to belief. To them, it is a dangerous idea, since it shows that people can be MORAL without having the morals imposed from God, with threats of Damnation.


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15460
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 188 of 241 (330779)
07-11-2006 9:49 AM
Reply to: Message 182 by riVeRraT
07-10-2006 7:17 AM


Re: Moral standards
How would you classify Iano's views on the depravity of man ?

If we are all infinitely corrupt then it follows that nothing we do can make us any worse - and anything bad we do to another person is less than they deserve anyway. So how is this view compatible with a real moral code ? Or do you view it as a non-Christian belief ?


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 Message 182 by riVeRraT, posted 07-10-2006 7:17 AM riVeRraT has not yet responded

    
ikabod
Member (Idle past 2783 days)
Posts: 365
From: UK
Joined: 03-13-2006


Message 189 of 241 (330793)
07-11-2006 10:44 AM


would it be possible to conduct a blind test .....

to begiven the moral/immoral standpoint of say 100 people , collected from series of questions , normal cross questioning tech to ensure "real" responces .

then ask the a group of xians to pick out the athiests from the xians
and a group of athiests to pick out the same,

would either group be able to correctly id one from another ??????


Replies to this message:
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ramoss
Member
Posts: 3122
Joined: 08-11-2004
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 190 of 241 (330989)
07-12-2006 12:14 AM
Reply to: Message 189 by ikabod
07-11-2006 10:44 AM


That depends. if it is a 'Moral/immoral', them possibly not.
If there is verbage, and someone uses the key phrase 'we are all sinnners', then that would be a chrisitian

This message is a reply to:
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ikabod
Member (Idle past 2783 days)
Posts: 365
From: UK
Joined: 03-13-2006


Message 191 of 241 (331028)
07-12-2006 4:33 AM
Reply to: Message 190 by ramoss
07-12-2006 12:14 AM


does this mean that the only way to tell A fro X is by the words and phrases each use ????
if a Atheist used the word sin , or sinner/s in their reply would they be assumed to be Xain because of the words

if the moral stance is the same reguardless of religious conviction , are both equal in value , or is one "better" because its backed by religious creed , doctrine and dogma ...or is one "better" because it is considered from a individual standpoint ?
Given that both individuals and churchs change their views over time ...,.


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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 210 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 192 of 241 (331060)
07-12-2006 7:55 AM
Reply to: Message 186 by kongstad
07-11-2006 6:47 AM


Re: Moral standards
So what is the difference between people claiming to be christians and people claiming to be atheists?

I will explain it for the last time. It is pretty elementary.

If someone claims to be Christian, then they should at least be trying to be Christian, no? Otherwise they are a liar, or do not know what it is to really be Christian. If you believe in Jesus, you will make an attempt at trying to be like Him. Of course there are no perfect Christians, but there should be some distinction between a person claiming to be Christian, and the rest of the world. The bible even teaches us this, this is how we know, and can say things like, hey that guy over there must really love God, because of his actions.

On the other hand, if a person claims to be an atheist. WE have no way to judge if he is or isn't, and anything this person thinks to be morally correct, or any of his actions are really not judgable by any standard. He is no more a liar if he hates his neighbor, or hates his parents.

Of course both Christian an atheist have to follow rules of society, but that only makes things that they do wrong by law, not what is in their hearts, or what they profess to be.

So when I meet someone, and he says "I am an atheist" I really do not know anything about the person, other than he is claiming to not believe in God. But if I meet someone and they say, I am a Christian, by his actions, we can see just how hard he is trying to be one.

I am not someone who thinks that you can just believe in Jesus, and that makes you a Christian. Maybe you'll get into heaven by grace, but to be a Christian is a continuing process, one of growth, and love of your God, and people.

In both cases, you must withhold judgement until you can evaluate their actions,

I cannot judge if a person is atheist or not.

disclaimer: I used the word judgment a lot in this thread. Keep in mind, that it is ok to judge people IMo, as long you can take to be judged the same way. You can also judge, without passing judgement.

Do you really feel that people can do whatever they want?

It's what I have seen in life.

In my oppinon all your arguing just leads to the fact that you must judge each person on his own, and that a persons faith, or lack of it, in no way tells you how this person will act.

Yes, I agree. That doesn't make what I said any different.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 186 by kongstad, posted 07-11-2006 6:47 AM kongstad has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 193 by kongstad, posted 07-12-2006 8:09 AM riVeRraT has responded

  
kongstad
Member (Idle past 1160 days)
Posts: 175
From: Copenhagen, Denmark
Joined: 02-24-2004


Message 193 of 241 (331062)
07-12-2006 8:09 AM
Reply to: Message 192 by riVeRraT
07-12-2006 7:55 AM


Re: Moral standards
Yes I understand what you are saying, but I still don't get it.

If someone claims to be Christian, then they should at least be trying to be Christian, no? Otherwise they are a liar, or do not know what it is to really be Christian.

Yes I'll grant you that

If you believe in Jesus, you will make an attempt at trying to be like Him. Of course there are no perfect Christians, but there should be some distinction between a person claiming to be Christian, and the rest of the world. The bible even teaches us this, this is how we know, and can say things like, hey that guy over there must really love God, because of his actions.

Well here we part ways

As it has been established in this thread, a christian trying to be a christian does in no way say what the morals of the person is.

We have established that christians cannot agree one when killing is justified and when it isn't, whether abortion is allowed or not etc.

But even more fundemental, you just repeated that we should judge the person claiming to be a christian >>on his actions<<, so it is not his claim of theism that makes him not dangerous, but in stead his actions.

Now if you know of a persons actions, then the persons beliefs are not fundemental to this judgement. Do you belief the persons actions to be just? Then you can judge the person to be just. What does a professed belief in christ change?

So I do not understand what you have to fear from atheists, that you could not fear from a person claiming to be a christian!

Have you any experience with atheists behaving in ways that make you fear them in particular?

I know of christian killers, rapists and pedophiles, but that doesnt make me fear people claiming to be christians.

Furthermore I do not know why you wouldnt judge an atheist? You have no expectations as to how a persons should act?

I expect all people to behave with acceptance and tolerance in general, and to try not to knowingly harm others unnecessarilly. And I hold people to these standards whatever their religion or lack of. And generlly, they live up to this.

Atheists no less than theists.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 192 by riVeRraT, posted 07-12-2006 7:55 AM riVeRraT has responded

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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 210 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 194 of 241 (331350)
07-12-2006 10:30 PM
Reply to: Message 193 by kongstad
07-12-2006 8:09 AM


Re: Moral standards
As it has been established in this thread, a christian trying to be a christian does in no way say what the morals of the person is.

I believe it does, to a point. That point being that no person is perfect. No one is Jesus here. But there should be an obvious distinction.

Take a look at the phelps family and what they are doing. They claim to be Christian, but to me, they are clearly not. I don't hold it against them spiritually, for they are probably decieved.

What does a professed belief in christ change?

This is an excellent question, and 2.5 years ago, I probably would not have gave the right answer. You need to get deep into the bible, and have a close relationship with God to understand just exactly what is supposed to change.

You cannot just stand up in a church and say "Jesus I accept you with all my heart, I am a sinner, and I know you died for my sins on the cross" then go home and get stoned and drunk and sit around the house all day cursing with your friends, the same exact thing you did before you said that prayer. There was no change.

That is pretty much what I did about 8 years ago, and I thought I was born again. Well think again, because I wasn't. I was seeking the Lord, by reading the bible, and praying here and there, but ultimately it was God who called me out, and then I got experience the truth, the Holy Spirit, and then there was major change in my life due to the revelation that God blessed me with. There was a change physically that everyone noticed, and a change internally, that everyone noticed. I won't say my life did a 180, because my life was pretty good to me already, but it did do a major 90.

I can detect this change in others as well, now that I have been through it. If someone had tried to describe it to me before it happened, all my responses would echo your own, and there would be no real understanding of it.

Everyone I know now, can clearly see that there is a difference in me, and there is a standard to compare it to, being the word of God.

With an atheist, there just isn't any standard whatsoever, so it is nondebatable. You understand that doesn't make all atheists bad or dangerous, but that it can be a scary thought, not knowing what a person is trying to stand for. Of course we can just ask them.

Have you any experience with atheists behaving in ways that make you fear them in particular?

I love my atheist brothers, really I do.

I know of christian killers, rapists and pedophiles, but that doesnt make me fear people claiming to be christians.

I fear them, and I am very careful who I get involved with. I also have to deal with the bad name they make for all Christians.

Furthermore I do not know why you wouldnt judge an atheist? You have no expectations as to how a persons should act?

I've seen so much from people, that I don't know what to expect anymore, nothing surprises me.

I expect all people to behave with acceptance and tolerance in general, and to try not to knowingly harm others unnecessarilly. And I hold people to these standards whatever their religion or lack of. And generlly, they live up to this.

Atheists no less than theists.

Sounds like a nice place to live. Don't misunderstand me, I find people in general to be nice and acceptable, from a distance. And it really doesn't matter to me who or what you are, I wasn't raised that way.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 193 by kongstad, posted 07-12-2006 8:09 AM kongstad has not yet responded

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ramoss
Member
Posts: 3122
Joined: 08-11-2004
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 195 of 241 (331411)
07-13-2006 8:51 AM
Reply to: Message 194 by riVeRraT
07-12-2006 10:30 PM


Re: Moral standards

This is an excellent question, and 2.5 years ago, I probably would not have gave the right answer. You need to get deep into the bible, and have a close relationship with God to understand just exactly what is supposed to change.

You cannot just stand up in a church and say "Jesus I accept you with all my heart, I am a sinner, and I know you died for my sins on the cross" then go home and get stoned and drunk and sit around the house all day cursing with your friends, the same exact thing you did before you said that prayer. There was no change.

How do you explain those atheists who are ex-christians, and after they left the church, they are much happier, much more intune with themselves, and also are more willing and able to help people through difficulties? I have seen that happen on a number of occations.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 194 by riVeRraT, posted 07-12-2006 10:30 PM riVeRraT has responded

Replies to this message:
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