Is Atheism An Excuse To Embrace Immoral Behaviour?

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manored
 
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 10:27 am
@Bones-O,
Bones-O! wrote:
Saying you're mistaken is not the same as saying you're a liar. Don't be so sensitive. If you can't take criticism, why give your views publicly?

There is nothing unfair in what I said; I merely gave an illustration of my point using a subject you brought up. If you don't believe sexuality uninhibited by religious dogma to be immoral, don't cite it as evidence for atheist immorality. If you do believe it to be immoral, it is a perfect illustration of my point. Your deeming it immoral is a consequence of your theism, thus your argument is circular. Even your protestation that I'm lowering the tone is religious prudishness.


I'm not sure it needs one. But if we are born with a religious belief, which one? For which religion? Why didn't Christianity spontaneous arise in east Asia 2000 years ago? Why didn't buddhism spontaneously arise here? If we are born theists then our theism cannot depend on where and when we are born.


True, my apologies. But you're not being rigorous at all. You admit some kind of 'silent atheist' could exist, but then insist that all atheists are not of this kind. Why do all atheists have to be political?
I think the discussion he wanted to created was not if whenever certain things, such as sexual liberalism, are moral or not, but if atheism was being used as an excuse to do things considered by the society as immoral.

We are born either atheists or agnostics I believe. teorically religions do are born spontaneously: In the same way that a newborn, through his life, could be lead by nature and uncertainty to believe in some kind of god, a society, through many generations, could (and did) develop highly refined religions out of a process similar to the one that lead the newborn to develop some beliefs during life. Buddhism didnt magically arise everwhere for the same reason I was not born everwhere Smile

He didnt said that there are no "silent atheists", but that they are in smaller numbers than the political ones and, due to their nature, are not very visible. As far as I know there is a general consensus among philosophers of that most people are stupid and dont know what the hell they are doing Smile If we accept this, then the idea of most atheists being the political type makes a lot of sense.

Pythagorean wrote:
Hi, Xris! I am glad somebody is getting some sleep lol Smile

When I talk about political atheists I am referring to the non-theological, hence political activists who see atheism as a kind of political "cause". Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins are two examples of political atheists who have had best selling books in the past few years.
I hope you arent losing your sleep out of worry about this world, its not worth worring so much about it... or anything at all Smile
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 10:48 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
But why blame the woes on these sinners alone..I think religious fundamentalists deserve more attention to extermination than handful of vehement atheists.


Xris, you are correct. Immorality is part of the human condition. There is no group which does not suffer from it to some extent.

But my focus on the political atheists consists partly of the fact that, in my opiniion, they are not true atheists. They do not stress their theological conclusions which is necessary if one is to be considered a true atheist. So I am blowing the whistle on them.

The connection that I draw from the immoral behaviour that political atheism stresses is to the unconscious drives and the appetites that they are pushing for. What I am saying is that within the culture there is too much emphasis upon eating, consuming, sex, and selfish persuit of money etc. It is these cultural trends that, as I see it, the political atheists directly support. The problem with these selfish trends is that they lead to a loss of responsibility on the part of the individual. And that this loss of responsibility will lead us eventually into a despotic mode of government.

Of course, Christians are not exempt when it comes to supporting some of these selfish trends. And anyone has the right to point out immoral behaviour wherever they see fit.

The basic problem is that Americans are too selfish and too self-interested and as a result will eventually lose their individual liberties. But these events take place over a long period of time. So one is forced to spot the long term trends and point out what seem to be the causes of them. It is my view that these liberal atheist activists are the purveyors of the worst of these cultural trends towards American immorality.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 10:53 am
@Pythagorean,
manored wrote:
I think the discussion he wanted to created was not if whenever certain things, such as sexual liberalism, are moral or not, but if atheism was being used as an excuse to do things considered by the society as immoral.

I'd argue he's not wanting to discuss anything at all, that this is just hate speech, but I'll play along. In order to demonstrate that atheists are motivated by immorality, Pythagorean necessarily had to show that immorality exists and cited, among others, sexual liberalism as an example. My point is that Pythagorean is incapable of judging even IF there is immorality, let alone if it appeals to atheists, since his idea of it is nothing more than religous doctrine.
manored wrote:

We are born either atheists or agnostics I believe. teorically religions do are born spontaneously: In the same way that a newborn, through his life, could be lead by nature and uncertainty to believe in some kind of god, a society, through many generations, could (and did) develop highly refined religions out of a process similar to the one that lead the newborn to develop some beliefs during life. Buddhism didnt magically arise everwhere for the same reason I was not born everwhere

Sure, someone might independently invent God (someone must have), but 'could' is not the same as 'can't not'.

manored wrote:

He didnt said that there are no "silent atheists", but that they are in smaller numbers than the political ones and, due to their nature, are not very visible.

Sorry, I can't let that go. Pythagorean has generalised the behaviour he describes as being of 'political atheists' to 'atheists' as a whole in his first post. Secondly, in his own words:

Pythagorean wrote:

I ask myself: why would an atheist need to fight against Christianity or be political at all? Why can't they be silent atheists? And the answer is that their atheism is political because its purpose is to give them immunity for what could be universally recognized as bad or immoral behaviour. Atheism is about immoral behaviour NOT about the possibility of theology.

 
xris
 
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 10:56 am
@Pythagorean,
The christian bishop that gorges on flesh of women and beast with the knowledge of god or the atheist that mocks the thought of god .The man who has not tried to discover god and acts with morality or his colleague that acts with personal gratification are not to be distinguished by their faith or lack of it..Its the human that lies behind them.
 
Joe
 
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 12:05 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
No, Joe. Atheism in itself is not negative. It is the immorality on a large scale, it is immorality of atheism as a political doctrine that is negative.

You have to take stock of what is happening within the Western world in our very own times in order to make the connection between this type of unexamined atheism and the encroaching despotism. It lies in the allowance given by the encroaching socialist government to the people to commit themselves to gluttony, greed and sexual license and general immorality in order to remove individual responsibility resulting in an ever increasing power of government over the individual -

Political atheism is never really true atheism or true scepticism, it is rather a device that totalitarian governments and their fellow travellers use to control people.

Simply stated, moral people would never have allowed their government to grow to this size. They even call their own enslavement a 'human right'!


--Pyth


lol. So what are you asking?
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 12:19 pm
@Joe,
I would not personally try to make any claim of people embracing atheism or christianity making them more or less moral on an individual basis, however when there is a general social consensus on morality, there has to be a source, a firm pillar and foundation upon which a societys moral understanding is founded. The church has fulfilled this role in western society for many hundreds of years, but now its influence has faded, and even where faith is common, it is all too often splintered and the mere tool of evil men. We need a moral guide for our society, every single society that has not collapsed into decadence has had one, and plenty which had one colllapsed anyway, often when said system became corrupt. If we have no consensus, no agreement on what is, and is not acceptable- and not you that this is apart from what is legal- then how can we have a society at all?
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 01:17 pm
@avatar6v7,
I agree but that does not make the faithful arbiters of morality or the blinkered atheist the devils of the 21c..
 
gre107
 
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 01:34 pm
@Pythagorean,
To suggest that Atheism is "An Excuse To Embrace Immoral Behaviour" is quite far fetched.

Atheism is not to believe in supernatural Dieties. It has nothing to do with morality.

Immoral Behavior is defined by a culture or person not a religion. For example Infanticide is excepted in many cultures and not considered immoral.

If a person defines their morals from a religion then they are shunning their responsibility to themselves, culture and society as a whole by not thinking about what is right or wrong from their actions. When you do somthing you are projecting out to everyone your morality whether you like it or not.

People must give great thought to what consequences their actions will have on others. By not doing this you are lying to yourself and doing society et. al. a great disservice.

To subscribe to anothers beliefs without giving them significant thought you are being immoral.

Peace
 
William
 
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 02:48 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
[CENTER]Is Atheism An Excuse To Embrace Immoral Behaviour? [/CENTER]



Is the atheism of modern, Western people just an excuse for them to get away with acting in ways that are immoral?

What I'm suggesting is that a great bulk of the Western individuals who claim to be atheists have NOT arrived at the position of atheism as the natural result of theological inquiry; but rather that they have arrived at their atheism because it is the position that excuses the kind of behviour that under any other circumstances would be considered as bad conduct (behaviour such as supporting Democratic Socialism as a form of government, which removes responsibility from the level of the individual and allows for an encroaching despotism from the rule of the few within big, oversized or Super-sized, government).

So atheism is embraced merely because it gives these individuals freedom from the constraints that any normal society would naturally place upon the individual. The embrace of atheism and despotic Democratic Socialism gives the individual an incredible amount of freedom (if by freedom we include the wanton rage of unconscious desire and appetite). But this freedom under immoral socialism is done for private pleasure as opposed to theological or philosophical conviction. It is private pleasure masquerading as a human right, the thrall of food and sex and money as true freedom in the midst of government encroachment and shrinking responsibilities of the individual.


It is this political component that seems to be the key for me. I ask myself: why would an atheist need to fight against Christianity or be political at all? Why can't they be silent atheists? And the answer is that their atheism is political because its purpose is to give them immunity for what could be universally recognized as bad or immoral behaviour. Atheism is about immoral behaviour NOT about the possibility of theology.

--Pyth


Pyth, you are right on the money and the arguments you are getting are typical of those who could care less about any concept of morality or goodness as relates to the consideration of others. I have never been threatened by anyone of religion. Not even close. I am so very tired of observing the same stale crap that come's from these ego maniacal, self serving bunch who strive to interfere with any definition that might be arrived at that could define morality. All I can say to these folks, stay the hell away from me, my family and those I love. In my opinion, with morality, if one chooses to eliminate it from the global landscape, goes trust, responsibility, decency and all those things that are a part of what, IMO makes us better human beings. To the silent atheist, no offense meant. There is one such atheist on this forum, who in my opinion is closer to God, than he realizes.

I know where the *****ing is coming from and I know predominately who is doing the *****ing. I'll let you arrive at your own conclusions.
Sorry for the anger. It's becoming harder and harder to tolerate their useless banter. Sorry mods, if you choose to strike this post, please do so. I am not proud of it, but sometimes you just have to vent.

William
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 02:55 pm
@William,
Well if you think your remarks make me a happy bunny then think again..What makes you think you can voice your opinions in such a rude and aggressive manner..so much for attention to others and their opinions..I have only been harmed by those who wore the cloak of faith ,not once by a confirmed atheist..By their words we shall know them..
 
Icon
 
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 03:04 pm
@Pythagorean,
I read this thread and the only thing that I can express is my utter disappointment in the points being made. I am an atheist. As a matter of fact I would consider myself a political atheist. I see politics as better off without God. Quite simply, God is one of the biggest problems with the western culture (or rather a misunderstanding and false representation of God). If you look at most theists in the western world, almost none of them can tell you mwhy they believe or what rules they should adhere to. They are all different depending on the sect of the specific religion and they are taken to extremes based upon nothing, especially not knowledge.


I would consider myself a moral person. I am honest to a fault, trust worthy, I follow a code of ethics based around the emotional fortune of myself and of others around me. My LACK of religion is what has kept me from being a back stabbing extremist like most of the people in the churches in my area.

There is still hope for the western world. Unfortunately, it is not going to last long with people denying it and not taking things seriously. We need to change the way that we see things and that starts with the self.

"Be the change you want to see in the world" Ghandi.
 
Poseidon
 
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 04:29 pm
@Pythagorean,
Lets just outline a few types of people :

i) People who believe in God.
ii) People who say they believe in God, but do not.
iii) Atheists who still embrace the same virtues as Theists.
iv) Atheists who care nothing for anyone except themselves.
v) Agnostics who simply choose to accept Atheism without considering how this effects the greater society negatively.

(i) is the most functional as history shows.
(ii) is the most dysfunctional as GW proves as this is where he fits along with most suicide bombers
(iii) require (i) as a structure to base their ideals
(iv) are not as dangerous as (ii) because (iv) are at least honest about their beliefs, and can be taken at face value and debated with openly in a public forum. (i) would find (iv) as someone who can be convinced through logical debate.

(v) are the category that this thread was aimed at, and Bones et al are pointing fingers at (ii) in order to avoid the perfectly logical point of view that has been raised.

(v) are in the process of destroying the West for generations to come, with the aid of (ii) and (iv)

The whole talk of 'anti-theism' is merely semantic spin-doctoring which emphasizes the lengths that some people will go to in a vain attempt at avoiding the responsibility of immoral actions.

Without moral behaviour, society collapses into war.
History has shown us this and recorded this sooooo many times it would actually be funny if it were not so sad.
 
Pusyphus
 
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 05:02 pm
@Poseidon,
Poseidon wrote:
The whole talk of 'anti-theism' is merely semantic spin-doctoring which emphasizes the lengths that some people will go to in a vain attempt at avoiding the responsibility of immoral actions.


Awww! I'm a good-guy. Why can't I despise god? because you say so?

Let me think about it...okay, I've thought about it.

My answer is no.
 
Joe
 
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 08:33 pm
@Pusyphus,
Why are these arguments still arguments? Actually let me rephrase this.

Why was this thread started?

To me it seems because someone wanted to say "Hey Atheists, Stop telling me to what to believe in!"

All the more power to you. No one should be forced or bullied into anything.

That said This thread Seems to be the result of a emotional agenda with no will to grow from differences. Its easy to disagree and point the finger at someone for the problems of the world. But I thought Philosophy discussions are supposed to be worth more then that.

So, I think I will admit that I perceive atheists as more in your face type individuals. But I think only because when i see people talking to an atheist about his or her non-belief, their tends to be a superiority complex from the other believers. Perhaps the understanding of someone lashing out in defense could help the situation. This attitude of " Just cut the bullshit" is simple minded and shows none of the discipline that I thought religion represents. Jesus Christ! lol.

Now Ive gone and done it. Continued the: "No, you stop it". Perhaps I'm no better.:nonooo:
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 04:57 am
@Pythagorean,
You know what gives acceptance to immorality? Collective hate and group rage such as we're seeing on this thread. Get enough people together who agree in their protestations and rational thinking goes out of the window. There's nothing more immoral than a club with a cause. It takes a group like Catholics to do something as immoral as throwing stones at children going to a Protestant school, as in Northern Ireland a few years back. Religion just gives you one more reason to attack people.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 05:52 am
@Pythagorean,
Wow, where to start...

Pythagorean wrote:
Is the atheism of modern, Western people just an excuse for them to get away with acting in ways that are immoral?


I've seen a lot of various forms of positing in an attempt to understand 'immoral' behavior, but this one is very interesting. It says "people are just making excuses"; a most damning judgment on an entire group of people, the motivations of which you likely don't know or understand.

Of course, we'd have to define 'immoral' and I'm not sure where your definition lies. But putting that aside, I suppose I'd have to concede that for some, what you're saying is possible; but it's really hard for me to see a direct correlation here. From my experience, ones' theology has little to do with how 'moral' their behavior is: It's just as likely there are 'moral' as 'immoral' theists (or atheists for that matter). Morality is an individualized concept, and although there are perhaps broad correlates relating to the presence or absence of theology-based morality, I think you're painting the picture with brushstrokes that are far too wide.

In fact, what I tend to see is that the considered atheist is generally quite moral since their ethos doesn't pawn off responsibility for acts (good and bad) on ethereal concepts such as 'god', fate, predestination, preordination, karma or the like. This leads the atheist to a place where they've no scapegoat on which to relieve responsibility - it's theirs, and theirs alone. When they see 'bad' or 'evil' they're at a mental place where it can be attributed to the acts of 'good' or 'bad' people; which, I believe, is where such blame should lay.

Pythagorean wrote:
What I'm suggesting is that a great bulk of the Western individuals who claim to be atheists have NOT arrived at the position of atheism as the natural result of theological inquiry...


Exactly how did you come to this conclusion?

What it *looks* like, is you're upset at what you perceive to be evil and ill and have chosen to attribute this to all those nasty people who don't think like you do. You've, in one wide sweep of the hand, bundled up theology, economics and politics and have concluded: They're lazy and evil because they are godless.

Yes, such people might very well exist; to be sure. But how you've damned their theology as a motivation for wrongdoing is... well, amazing.

Pythagorean wrote:
So atheism is embraced merely because it gives these individuals freedom from the constraints that any normal society would naturally place upon the individual.


Wow...

I've always been amazed how correlates between theology and politics get so steriotyped. Of the ethical and political issues you rail against in your OP, I've seen just as many atheists on your side as not. Yea, this is an medieval view. I guess what I want to say is this: Please remember that politics, theology and ethics don't necessarily align along stereotypical lines.


Pythagorean wrote:
I ask myself: why would an atheist need to fight against Christianity or be political at all? Why can't they be silent atheists? And the answer is that their atheism is political because its purpose is to give them immunity for what could be universally recognized as bad or immoral behaviour. Atheism is about immoral behaviour NOT about the possibility of theology.


Well, here's where I get to say that you're wrong. There could be some for which you've nailed it, but that's not what you've stated. Your condemnation is intolerant of divergent theological views; and this is most unbecoming. I don't 'fight' christianity; and from what I've seen, most atheists don't. We find 'you people' just fine - no better or worse for your theological views. Yea, there are some militant-atheists who condemn and berate, but I find them no more enlightened than I do the opening post.

I'm extremely disappointed. The complexity with which theology, morality and political views intertwines in the individual is vast, complicated and extremely individualized. Painting all atheists as immoral, then attributing their theological choices to lazyness and excuse-making is, by definition, bigotry.

I suppose I shouldn't be so shocked; it's just that when I think there's been progress made on respecting the vast differences in human motivation, along comes bitterness and hate to wipe away any sense of fellowship and tolerance.
 
William
 
Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 06:48 am
@Pythagorean,
First let me apologize for my outburst. After years of observing the same back and forth dialog it truly becomes hard to take. It just seems whenever the higher values of man that "may" constitute morality, such as respect, decency, character, trust, responsibility, compassion, understanding, truth, honesty, faith enter any dialog religion enters the picture when it truly has nothing to do with those higher values.

IMO, you don't need to be religious or for that matter believe in God to adhere to the higher values. If one does, God is automatically in your life whether you want him there or not. It's that simple. Very rarely will you hear a peep out of these people. If I am correct, what Pyth is saying many who, for whatever reason cannot abide by those higher values use religion as a scapegoat thinking if they could just wipe out religion, any semblance of morality would go with it, giving the relief they so desperately need from the guilt that torments them. IMO.

It is a fact there are behaviors among us that are truly offensive such as selfishness, greed, egotism, cruelty, spitefulness, depravity and decadence. Politically speaking these despicable human behaviors are totally within the law. To infringe on these would hinder one's "right" to express their "civil liberties". And here, IMO, is the root of the problem. Our constitution dictates you have the freedom to be all you can be not matter how depraved it may be and anyone who expresses any resentment toward the despicable human behaviors is automatically called a "hate monger" and intolerant of the rights of others.

I have often wondered why they complain so much? They are protected within the law and are untouchable. Then I realized, it's simple. The reason these who make the most noise want religion and God obliterated is because on the outside chance there is a God, they won't go to hell alone. IMO. Again sorry for the temper. I do have one. And pyth, if I have mis-construed your intent please accept my apology.

Khethil, you said

"In fact, what I tend to see is that the considered atheist is generally quite moral since their ethos doesn't pawn off responsibility for acts (good and bad) on ethereal concepts such as 'god', fate, predestination, preordination, karma or the like. This leads the atheist to a place where they've no scapegoat on which to relieve responsibility."

Then, why make such a fuss? Why would they care? I'm sorry I think you are very wrong here. You perception of the theist "pawning" off responsibility to a higher power is IMO and immense exaggeration and one that ads fuel to the fire and offers justification for those "loud" atheists to refer to those of faith as the herd, when in actually if the truth were known their faith provides them with a respite they need to exist in this chaotic world. A world the atheist finds, in all probability, no problem with since they are going to end up spending the rest of eternity in a dark black hole anyway, or so they think. How could there be any morality in a life that ends in such a manner?

William
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 07:22 am
@William,
Once again your opinions really astound me.This generalisation of the faithful and those who cant see god into this neat little concept you have visualised, is not good. I watched a programme on tv last night about religion in America.He made the comment that it appears like fast food outlets, plenty off them but no substance.Religion is not a commodity its nots morals or the lack of them.Religion in america is part of the problem it makes it into part of all the other consumable necessities. I think those who can honestly say they have considerd the issues and the evidence of god and decided they are atheists are the true moral standard bearers. I am agnostic and although certain atheists are fundamental in their views they dont frighten me anything like certain religions or their followers.Mormons ,certain Muslims RC. frighten the hell out of me.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 07:40 am
@William,
William wrote:
Khethil, you said

"In fact, what I tend to see is that the considered atheist is generally quite moral since their ethos doesn't pawn off responsibility for acts (good and bad) on ethereal concepts such as 'god', fate, predestination, preordination, karma or the like. This leads the atheist to a place where they've no scapegoat on which to relieve responsibility."

Then, why make such a fuss? Why would they care? I'm sorry I think you are very wrong here. You perception of the theist "pawning" off responsibility to a higher power is IMO and immense exaggeration and one that ads fuel to the fire and offers justification for those "loud" atheists to refer to those of faith as the herd, when in actually if the truth were known their faith provides them with a respite they need to exist in this chaotic world.

Hey William,

I'ts how I see and experience the situation. I'm well aware that many don't look at it this way. And I'm not saying that "every" theist might also. But I do know a good many fine-thinking theists who actually do this. It's but a risk, that's all.

But again, we need to be careful not to, with wide strokes, categorize an entire class of thinkers into one negative light (like the OP did).

William wrote:
A world the atheist finds, in all probability, no problem with since they are going to end up spending the rest of eternity in a dark black hole anyway, or so they think. How could there be any morality in a life that ends in such a manner?


Yea, I think this is a widely-held view, and I'm not quite sure why. We've gone over this before (and I don't see any productive good in hashing it again), but my belief is that people are 'good' or 'bad' for reasons having to do with their values, experiences, influences and upbringing; that the extent to which ones' theological view influences behavior is often way-overstated.

Can you imagine a person, without a 'god' in their life, being good? Sure! (at least I hope), it happens all the time! If there's truth in this, the broad-categorization (that atheism leads to sin, immorality and wrongdoing) falls apart.

But no, I don't mean to paint ALL theists in this "pawning off reponsibility" light. I do; however, believe that this does happen and is a pitfall the considered theist can (should, and often do) avoid.

Thanks
 
William
 
Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 08:04 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
I think those who can honestly say they have considerd the issues and the evidence of god and decided they are atheists are the true moral standard bearers. I am agnostic and although certain atheists are fundamental in their views they dont frighten me anything like certain religions or their followers.Mormons ,certain Muslims RC. frighten the hell out of me.


I will agree there are those who don't necessarily believe in a God, and on the same token don't necessarily not believe in God either. Those in my opinion are not the "atheists" in question and honestly I don't think they should be called atheists. Let's just call them good people. My parents were "good people". Very moral and never went to church. IMO, you won't here peep out of these good people. I am not afraid of a single religion. Not in the least because I know the roots behind it. Now if I were to start tweaking a persons faith, then I would have reason to fear. You just don't do that. With the exception of on the rare occasion when someone comes to my door wanting to share their faith, does it ever arise. I understand this. I am not threatened by it. Now if I were to go to the local Wal-Mart and approach a woman wearing a Burka and comment on how ridiculous she looks, I deserve any wrath that might ensue. It's these loud mouthed atheists I have a problem with. IMO.
william
 
 

 
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