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Top 10 Questions (+1) for Atheists and Rebuttals

It’s no secret that Hinduism is the religion I do not believe in. But with that comes a different outlook to my atheism. It’s tempered by ideas about the gods gained from growing up Hindu. To me gods are less angry sky wizards and more players in a divine comedy. They have personalities, likes and dislikes. We know about Krishna being punished as a kid for nicking butter and while many of the Judeo-Christians may consider that lack of divinity to make their god less “divine” I think humanity is just as important.

Jesus died for your sins? So what? Vishnu lived to save humans a total of 9 times.

That’s the difference. I always considered Christianity to be a bit morbid. It was always about the death off Jesus and in Hinduism while death is a part of life, it isn’t the most important part.

But I believe in neither but you can take ideas from religion. Not all religious ideas are inherently bad. We can understand the value of bonding with family over Christmas, we just chose to not do so over prayer and instead over perhaps the cut-throat world of family politics or the even more cut-throat world of Monopoly.

We aren’t all that different. If we cut an atheist and believer in half we will have two dead guys who look pretty similar inside. We each have our idiots and bigots. But what changes is how we think about things. Or how we don’t think about things as the case may be. Without the overarching faith of religion where we take certain truths as undeniable we have to think outside the box.

This was a list given to me to see how I would answer.

1. Can you prove empirically that there is no creating agent for the universe? If the answer is yes, then you must show your work if it is to be considered anything more than just a claim

This is one of those “gotcha” questions.

The universe is like a box. It is a construct of space that we use to denote our known understanding of the world around us. At one point the Universe in our heads was very very small but still very large. The sky was but a tapestry and the stars were lights of spirits and gods. Pin-pricks of divinity that watched over us.

And then some bright spark went and spoiled it all by insisting it was probably just a gigantic ball of fire very very far away. Some say that mankind lost a little poetry in it’s soul that day, but I think that’s a foolish attitude. We can still say that “That the Stars Cry at his Passing” to show the intersection between grief and meteorology without getting technical about it.

But we know that the stars are gigantic spheres of nuclear fusion. And what’s more wonderous is that they are essential to life as we know it through  both the production of the higher elements forged in their nuclear furnaces and through photosynthesis.

With each discovery the box that we live in got bigger and bigger. Until we realised how laughably small our initial ideas on the box were. On the scale of the universe we are the anomalous. The weird and the bizarre. We are as wonderful as the hurricane on Jupiter and as marvellous as a Binary star system. Because we are the only known planet of life we have discovered.

Through enlarging the box we have learned more about the universe we live in. We know how stuff in the box with us works and we can utilise those principles to explain and make things. This is what we call Science and Technology.

However remember, we are still inside the box. We may enlarge the box but there is a limit to science at the moment which is the wall of the box. We may yet break through that wall.

The religious hide god behind this wall. Each wall represents another fortress of ignorance where their gods hide, safe in the knowledge that no one can disprove of them so they must accept the hypothetical possibility of existence.

Once the moon was a god, and we put a man on the bloody thing. Why should we think your wall is any different to the wall that the gods hid behind a mere 2000 years ago?

There is no way to disprove the existence of anything. I cannot categorically say that unicorns do not exist. What I can say is that there is no evidence for the existence of unicorns. There is no evidence for the existence of any gods.

What we have is the notion that there must be a prime mover. And since the universe is complicated he must be more complicated (And male because ladies don’t like making things that aren’t cakes or pie) than said universe. This prime mover is “god” and is given all sorts of super powers to fit into this role.

But all of that was human invention. We had an unanswered question. What caused the universe? To which we ourselves made up an answer and over time we have attributed this answer with more embellishments to make it stick. To understand this principle we must go back to our childhoods. Which superhero did you want to be? Oh very few kids want to be Batman, but Superman? Why? Because he is a physical representation of power we can understand. He is based on classical ideals. In fact all the DC comic heroes of the main Justice League tended to fit into identifiable “tropes” of classical heroes. Superman initially was faster than a bullet, stronger than a train and could merely jump skyscrapers. He was indestructible but WW2 created a new level of power. By the end, Supes could fly and was effectively upgraded to “worse than a nuclear weapon”. Because the scale of power that we understood changed. So did Superman to remain “Super” rather than merely “Very Excellent Man” or “Above Average Man”. His powers increased to the point his life was challenge free so DC had to invent weaknesses first through Magic, Non-Dimensional beings, Kryptonite and Equally Powerful Enemies. Then came the era of better writing where Superman’s Greatest Enemy was one he could punch to pieces in seconds but who literally played through the weaknesses and ideologies of Superman. There was another character at this time with more powers than Superman called the Martian Manhunter. And he was Superman + everything but the Kitchen Sink. In the end to fix him they had to make him fear fire. Same for the Green Lanterns who had to initially worry about wood and yellow.

Because we created untouchable gods by accident. The same applies to the being we commonly consider as gods. You can see it in the Bible itself. In the Old Testament Jehovah has serious limitations to his powers. Yet we still consider him omnipotent when he actually regularly demonstrates a power level lower than most Hindu gods in any literature associated with him.

The truth is we just made him so in the same way that we made Superman powerful. We kept finding out how the world worked and had to keep removing “God Did It” as an answer.

The reality is that we don’t know what caused the universe to come to existence. We have theories and we are experimenting on it and people far more knowledgable about that sort of thing can talk you lot to death about that. But what people did was they created an answer. They created the gods to fill in that role of what caused the universe to be. Which is why we see gods have some bizarrely human ideas.

There was a hole in our knowledge and we merely filled it with magic and that is what a god is. We can no more disprove the existence of a god than we can disprove the existence of unicorns. There is no evidence to suggest the existence of one. Nothing. Nada. The entire reason for belief in such a being is that we have always believed. It is a tradition to believe in such a being.

And if we are to look at it with scientific rigour, science doesn’t disprove things. Science does not say that unicorns don’t exist. Honestly? Science says that there is no evidence to suggest the existence of unicorns. If you provided evidence science will change it’s stance. There is no evidence to suggest the existence of any such god. Not one iota. Everything we have going for it is mere conjecture and conjecture based on ignorance of scientific evidence and indeed how the universe works.

2. Can you prove deductively that there is no creating agent for the universe? If the answer is yes, then you must show your work if it is to be considered anything more than just a claim

I honestly do not know. What I do know is that to date there has been no evidence for any creative agent that’s a being. We honestly do not know. There are mathematical theories and hypothesis which support a creation of the Universe without the requirement of “magic” and let’s face a “god” works through entirely unknown, mystical and unknown principles that void all natural and scientific understanding and this is basically magic.

This kind of thinking is the death of progress.

Let’s look at Islam for this. Islam’s rising fundamentalism means that scientific enquiry has faltered and there is no academic rigour. What occurs is not science but applied theology. The attempt to find divinely ordained evidence. When we assume god is behind everything then we are not doing science but ideologically shoring up a faulty assumption.

The correct answer to what caused the Big Bang is “I Do Not Know”. If you think your god is an acceptable answer then you must accept every creator god as equally probable and to worship one out of the myriad is just intellectual dishonesty. Why stop at one god after all?

And I repeat. The people making the extraordinary claim are the ones who must provide evidence. There is no empirical evidence for any of the gods we have believed in. If you insist Superman is real you must demonstrate him and his powers in an empirical fashion. Otherwise he resides in the comic books. Why should we allow literature as evidence for your gods but not for Superman or Harry Potter? So we have to throw the literature out. Without the literature there is even less evidence for a god. Oh you can claim Jesus was real to which I will respond with then so are L. Ron Hubbard and Siddartha Gauthama that doesn’t mean Scientology, Hinduism and Buddhism are real too.

If we bring only empirical evidence to fisticuffs then I am afraid there is no CERN for gods. We have devices that are explaining how our very universe was created and possibly will explain how existence came to be. And it’s not being done by people pouring over scripture or through prayer but through testing empirical science.

I won’t rule out the existence of your gods. However it is a vanishingly small chance.

The fact remains that both of us have claims. It’s just that my claim is backed up by more evidence while yours are backed up by stories that are most likely as fictitious as Harry Potter. Of course we cannot get to Diagon Alley! It’s because we are Muggles! And Muggle Science cannot do that!

If we were to take the sum total knowledge of a major religion and destroy it and the sum total of science and destroy it, mankind if it survived would recreate the exact same science in the way it understands the world but would create an entirely different religion.

And so we put our faith in science rather than the stories of ancient shepherds who’s box of existence was tiny. And one day our ancestors may laugh at our own thoughts on how large the box really is. But I am pretty sure they won’t be doing so because they discovered Brahma or Yahweh or any other creator god.

3. What are your moral principles? List them completely.

Oh then we would be here for ages and I already have rambled on a lot.

I suppose if we can simplify it. Right and wrong are not based on your action but the consequences. What may feel good and right may in fact be harmful and wrong. We must think about what our actions have on our fellow man.

And why should we be good? Well? We are Part of Society. A human is weak, naked and slow. Humans are more than the sum of their parts though. We are thinkers and makers of things but that requires team work. And the team needs rules. If we let children play then they will fight. But then rules will be made. So that the game may continue.

Play in all animals is education for life.

I wish to be treated well, and I assume others wish to be treated well. If I do not play fair then no one will play with me. These are basic rules of the playground. The kid who cheats and who lies and who steals doesn’t have friends. In our ancestor’s world such people would have been abandoned to a feral death. Any society without rules and “moral codes” will perish and be weak.

Let’s look at the UK versus Afghanistan. In Afghanistan “might makes right”. You have to ask yourself what a man can do and get a way with and what the consequences of those actions are. In the UK? There are rules that we adhere to in order to have a smoothly running society. Which is why I don’t drive a Toyota with a machine gun strapped to the top around Manchester.

Basically? Be good to others and treat them like you would wish to be treated yourself, fight for the poorest so that others may fight for you and leave the world in a better state for those who come after us. And you don’t need any gods to be realise why these are good things.

And I understand that decisions are difficult. Many a time you will make the right decision for the wrong reason or the wrong decision for the right reason. Great evil has been done by men thinking they are doing good. No Nazi ever considered themselves the villains as they marched Jews to the gas chamber after all. So when in doubt, try to take the past of least suffering to others.

If I grew up in Afghanistan then perhaps I would have to have a different ethos to survive but within the luxury of the developed world, I don’t have to mark my territory and machete anyone who looks at me funny.

Oh and never expect others to do something you aren’t willing to do yourself.

4. What makes your moral principles “moral”, rather than personal guidelines? Perhaps you will want to define “moral” from the Atheist viewpoint.

Because they genuinely improve the lot of others. Why do you not murder? Because a god told you not to or because you know that stopping the life of another person means the termination of that person’s entire existence. Do you know how unique one person is?

Every single atom in you was forged in the heart of nuclear fire of unimaginable power in a star and as these stars died these elements were spread across the galaxy. And they formed more new stars and new planets and from that everything. Your shoes, your phone, your laptop, those bananas in your fridge. EVERYTHING was made in the heart of a star. Including you. Every single atom that is within you. You may be small and insignificant but you are unique in this existence. To eliminate a life? That is a waste. You only get one, imagine losing that chance to live.

To blindly obey a rule without knowing this? Then to me you are a parasite. Blindly feeding off the moral code without any understanding of it or rationale. Obeying it because you cannot think for yourself. You don’t realise that life is not just a beating heart and a functional brain but everything experienced. From jealous, rage and sorrow to selflessness, calm and joy. From Hate To Love. Every single experience you feel right now is important because it defines you. And we mostly have difficulty understanding each other because we rarely value this experience.

I have lost things you will never value. I have seen things you will not believe. And I have gained things that you will never understand, because you have not lived those experiences for yourself. I have seen the worst of mankind. I have seen women burned alive, children murdered. I have seen dismembered bodies and people who just couldn’t live another day and I steeled my heart knowing all this. I have dug graves.

I have also seen the best of mankind. I have seen fathers and mothers sacrifice themselves for the love of their children. I have seen strangers help those who are invisible to the rest of the world. I have seen the beauty of humanity and the ugly and I wish to make the world beautiful.

Each of us is a story, we are history in the making. Each of us is potential to do amazing things if and only if we try.

And to take that away? To take away days never lived and time never spent? That is a crime.

That’s why I am a doctor. Because the only thing I can do as a human is give the gift of time.

And you may see this as a personal guideline rather than some absolute morality and that is fine by me. I won’t hold you to it. The Avicenna Inquisition doesn’t knock on your door and forces you to do charity work. As long as you don’t harm people I am fine with whatever existence you chose. This is my code. This is my Dharma and like Karna I shall live and die by it unless proven wrong.

The path of good or the path of least evil. That is the best we can do in life.

You can seek to live in the Kingdom of the gods or in the Republic of Man. Heaven is what you make and in the words of Kabir.

Those who walk in the shade of love, have paradise at their feet. Heaven is what we make of it on this planet with the time we have. And part of what I believe in is making this place a little better in some small way.

5. What is the source of your morals?

Experience, Responsibility and a hint of too many Comic Books in my case.

6. What makes that source a “moral authority”, with unquestionable, indubitable ability to determine what is morally Good and what is morally Evil in a purely materialist context, where evolution has caused our existence? 

Because it’s morality gained through living. Through immersing yourself in humanity. It’s not a code that comes from above but from within. It’s understanding of how the world works and why things happen. To the Christian theft is a crime, to me it’s a problem with other causes. Why? Because very few people steal for the sake of theft. They steal because they are poor or because they want something or because of greed. Those are “reasons” for theft. Not wickedness. We cannot stop all the reasons but those we can stop we can.

The Aztec believed in a god called Tlaloc. They believed the rains came from him. To satiate this bloodthirsty god required a crying infant. So they would sacrifice a terrified baby.

They believed this to be moral. They believed this to be good. They believed this to be kind and just. Just as Abraham believed that Jehovah’s instruction to sacrifice Issac was good and moral too.

And there in lies the problem. If we are to suggest that your gods are moral authorities they behave with less morality than me. Jehovah is a genocidal beast who exhorts slavery and rape. How is “he” any more a moral authority than Tlaloc? Tlaloc may have demanded the sacrifice of a baby a year but he never (allegedly in plot) killed the first born children of Egypt or wiped out all of humanity through  drowning.

The Bible doesn’t say treat women as equals or don’t keep slaves. It tells you to not beat them with a really thick stick else you may kill them. That’s not moral that’s sound economic advice (if you are a slaver and a wife beater). We don’t judge our gods for their actions but if we look carefully most of our gods are terrible and immoral. We have exceeded them. We have made the world a better place by eschewing their ideas and by thinking for ourselves.

We cannot always determine what is right and what is wrong. And that’s because right and wrong are a very simplistic way of looking at the world. Too often there is no right or wrong. There are shades of grey. There are sometimes no win situations. The real world is a better teacher of morality than the tired dictim of religion because morality is flexible to the situation. It’s wrong to steal, but is it wrong to steal to survive? The Bible says all theft is bad, but you know for a fact that a rich man stealing millions is worse than a poor man stealing to live.

It is why people happily quote Leviticus while harassing women at abortion clinics or the GLBT while chomping down on Bacon Sandwiches. Because even their morality is a grab bag of ideas from experience. These same people know that they can never push for “slavery” because they know what will happen and indeed what has happened in human history.

Experience is the foundation of modern morality. To not repeat the mistakes of our ancestors. And accepting that responsibility of our selves means we have to think about our actions.

The superhero stuff probably made me want to do good. And maybe gave me a taste for capes.

7. Can you empirically prove your morals to be valid for all humans? If the answer is yes, then you must show your work if it is to be considered anything more than just a claim. 

Yes.

Jehovah exhorts his followers to genocide and advices them on slavery. He does not say “Lads! Stick to the inalienable principles of man” but says “The guys without foreskins? Kill em all! And rape their daughters! K?”. Oh you may say “But he gave rules on how to treat slaves better”, but honestly they were STILL slaves.

It is through our experiences with the evils of slavery and our idea that perhaps slavery may not be so good after all that we gave it up. It required a fair few flips in church ideology but they learnt not from their Bibles but by experiencing slavery first hand as observers and deciding that it was a truly inhuman institution.

And Christians supported slavery through the Bible. Leviticus itself which is used to harass and even justify the murder of Abortion Doctors and the GLBT supports slavery.

But we have moved past that by experience and by  quietly ignoring the less tasteful parts of our religions.

See, people try to do the best that they can when faced with mad religious laws. They jump through hoops and make twists to be moral. But they do so because they understand experience and understanding and responsibility are better dictators of morality than any book.

All our current ideas of what is moral are not from any divine source but vital to survival of humanity. Evolution is not about you personally surviving but the species continuing. It’s why peacocks exist (they die much younger than peahens because they get eaten by predators because they are bright blue and slow compared to the camoflauged peahens). Their major disadvantage is overwhelmed by the fact that they DO GET TO BREED and breeding is what determines the next generation.

Now imagine an ape. A proto-human. It steals from the group. Now the group is faced with three choices. Either everyone steals from each other, or they tolerate this thieving  simian or they chase it out from the group.

If everyone steals then the group’s cohesiveness is lost. There is no trust. There is no defence against predators, no cooperation against prey and to hunt and gather. If they simply ignore the thefts then they all get weaker and mistrust forments and there is no cooperation too. If they punish this caveman criminal then what we see is the origin of “the law” and “morality”. They may throw him out or beat him or not trust him. Now his chances to breed are diminished and his genes are written out. That is bad survival. Now cooperation? That passes on genes both by encouraging the social group to survive adverse events and by not getting your head bashed in by the group who is sick of your bullshit dragging them down.

There is an evolutionary benefit to being moral.

8. Why should anyone trust you, or any Atheist? Be specific.

Why should you trust any religious person or any person what so ever? You can live in a paranoid world of fear or you can have a little faith in humans.

Humans appear disappointing if you read the news but that’s because “Human Behaves Well, Everything Okay” doesn’t sell. “Human Eats Rare Faberge Eggs, Poops on Queen” makes headlines. Bad behaviour is rewarded by exposure. So we think the world is getting worse. The funny thing is murders are down, rapes are down and crime as a whole is falling. At no point in history have we ever been this “moral”. Oh you hear the naysayers and they usually bring up the crime of abortion or being gay but that’s just finding new things to be mad about.

Every Single Achievement today has been due to the sweat, blood, tears and brains of humanity. Through skill, courage, intelligence we have wrought the modern world.

Not the gods you chose to pray to. I may be untrustworthy but I am untrustworthy but at least I exist and can actually do something.

9. Can you prove, empirically, that the incident which is referred to as the Miracle at Lourdes was purely a physical phenomenon? If the answer is yes, then you must show your work if it is to be considered anything more than just a claim.

There are 67 claimed miracles at Lourdes and in hindsight many of them are NOT miracles. Basically? Any unlikely improvement in the condition of a patient is touted as a miracle which is nonsensical. Sometimes patients get better despite all statistical chance. Sometimes long shots win horse races too.

Medicine works on statistical probabilities. Using this treatment, 95% of people get better. Using this treatment, 5% of people get better. When you win that 5% lottery then it’s a miracle. Just because you don’t know how something happened doesn’t mean it’s a miracle.

Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray. In recorded History less than 10 people EVER have died due to that. A fish that’s not dangerous but painful attacked him, a man who wrestled man eating crocodiles and hit him in the precise spot with the precise force needed to kill him. It was bad luck and unbelievably so.

Not a miracle. If we are capable of accepting negative unlikely things as bad luck, then we should be more skeptical about miracles.

I once worked a miracle cure. Well the patient had a stroke. His hand had recovered but he couldn’t walk. Now if you are a medic you know that one of the most common areas of cerebro-vascular accident is the pyramid tract. A small area where the muscle control nerves pass through. If you regain the usage of the hand you should be able to walk.

Just 3 days after meeting me he was hobbling. In a week he was moving around with a cane. Miracle eh? No. I just made him use his damn leg by telling his son to not carry him around. Miracles are more amazing when you understand that they aren’t. Any improvement to a patient that’s not explainable by current medicine or by the doctors at Lourdes who say “I don’t know what’s improving her condition” is put down to Jesus when it could as well be Apollo, the Physician god of Greece for all the sense that makes.

Now as for the specific miracle you are discussing, we are probably trying to discuss the more infamous Miracle of the Sun or the Our Lady of Lourdes at Fatima miracle.

Get a Bright Light. Now stare at it, you already begin to observe the “floaters” within your eye making random shapes and moving about. Now shut your eyes. Observe the dancing suns. That’s your retina’s depolarisation continuing due to strong stimulus. Now imagine staring at the actual sun, an event you are NOT supposed to do mixed in with religious fervour and a distinct desire to witness a miracle.

TADAA! Dancing Suns or something that looks like it!

Incidentally? Don’t do it. I am pretty sure a fair few people got blinded by that incident. Like the “Emperor’s New Clothes” should have a sequel called “The Boy who got tortured because he couldn’t keeps his mouth shut around a clearly insane man with absolute power”, the Dancing Sun miracle should have one called “The day people stared at the sun and went blind”.

Try it with a light,

10. Are your political leanings toward the Left? If so explain why in detail (i.e., “Yes, because….)

Centre Left. Because I am British and frankly your choices in the USA consist of “Right Wingers” versus “Ultra Right Wingers”. Obama is “Centre Right Wing”. Our Conservative party is probably the equivalent to the Democrats of the USA.

For purely selfish reasons. In every society where unchecked capitalism has occurred, eventually poor people get sick of it and start lining up rich bastards and killing them.

Okay a more sensible answer. There is nothing wrong with the acquisition of wealth. But not at the cost of the poorest and the weakest. We owe each other in society a safety net for when things go wrong. The poorest deserve the same opportunity of medical care, education and chances to earn a decent wage as the richest. It is for this reason that I am a believer in some ideas of socialism as the reigns to control capitalism. I like money, having none at the moment made me learn the value of it. I want money later in life and I want things. But I don’t want things while people are poor and at their cost. I would rather give my fair share to society and make sure that those people have a chance that I got too. That is why I am economically left wingish.

Socially though? Well it’s simple. The right wing are bloody mad. The American Right Wing live in a fantasy world and what they wish is detrimental to society as a whole. If they had their way they would insert Jesus into children in science class in a nation where science education is already sub par. If they had their way and they have, women would seek abortions from coathangers and have less access to basic obstetric care than my patients. If they had their way we would be discriminating against anyone who didn’t follow a judeo-christian axis of faith. If they had their way we would not be treating the GLBT as we aspire to. And through this all is discrimination which allows the rich to get richer and the poor to stay poor and stupid.

Watching poor Americans vote Republican because their Church tells them to is like watching Cows voting for McDonalds.

You may say “But Avi! How can you value human life but still be in favour of abortion”. Because quality of life is important too. You are alive in a cellular sense but not in a sentient sense. At that stage of life you are human by DNA but not by humanity. It is no different from turning off a life support machine and you may think that merely breathing is important but brain function is what determines life. The rest is just “life support”.

11. At what age did you become an Atheist? What is your current age?

Aged 16 when I decided I didn’t really believe in Hinduism. I am now 27. 11 years of no gods.

And there you have it folks.

Comments

  1. Al Dente says

    Now that you’ve answered the theist’s questions, I have a question for him. Show your evidence that gods exist. Empirical evidence only. “I’ve got faith” doesn’t cut it.

  2. Larry Silverstein says

    NAZI LAW CONSIDERED JEWS NOT A PERSON

    Talking the Talk

    The euphemisms used by Nazis and abortion advocates are eerily similar. Death camps were called “relocation centers” in Nazi Germany and Nazi Occupied Europe. Death camps are called “reproductive health centers” in modern America. The Jews were described as a “parasitic race” by Hitler, while the unwanted child is described “a mere parasite” by Planned Parenthood. The end result then was “termination” of the Jews and the end result now is “termination of pregnancy.”

    The Nazi Spin

    In the Nazi death camps the victims were labeled “useless eaters,” “human ballast”, “a mentally dead person,” etc. Genetic counselors and physicians who referred for extermination were called, “protectors of the family.” Those sentenced to die were “life unworthy of life.” The killing was advocated for the “health of the people,” being described as “purely a healing treatment” and a “healing work”. The bodies of the murdered Auschwitz inmates were referred to as “garbage.” Jews were repeatedly referred to as a “disease,” for which extermination was the “cure” or “final solution.”

    German Physicians referred to the killing of handicapped children as a “surgical operation” and killing hyperactive children was a called a “cure.” The first panel to decide which children would be executed and which were not was called the “Committee for the Scientific Registration of Serious Hereditary and Congenital Diseases.” The first killing centers were called “Children’s Specialty Institutions” and “Therapeutic Convalescent Institutions.”

    In the initial killing programs of Nazi Germany, mentally deficient children were killed only after acquiring parental consent. One Nazi doctor that killed children by gradual sedation and then over-dose said, “there was no killing strictly speaking… people felt this is not murder, it is a putting-to-sleep.” Killing patients was referred to as giving “special treatment” – both in the case of mentally ill patients and later of the Jews as a whole. Zyklon-B, the poison used to kill mass numbers of Jews, was referred to as “medicine.”

    The Pro-choice Spin

    Note the commonality language between the Nazi positions and the claims of abortionists and today’s “pro-choice” supporters. In Nazi Germany, the killing of Jews was not against the law, the killing centers were “medical centers” that the killers were “doctors” and the killing was done in the name of promoting “health.” In pro-choice America, the killing of babies is not against the law, the killing is done at “medical clinics”, the killers are “doctors” and abortion is called a woman’s “health” issue.

    In America’s death camps the victim is usually called a “fetus,” but they have also been called “unseen infections,” “a sexually transmitted disease” and “a cancerous growth”. Abortion supporters have stated that abortion is the “preferred treatment” for “unwanted pregnancy: the number two sexually transmitted disease” and “an aborted baby is just garbage.”

    Abortion is commonly referred to as a mere “procedure” or “minor surgical operation” and abortionists are often called “service providers.” Compare this to the Nazi death squads called “special service groups”. The IRS lists Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinic operators as “charitable organizations” engaged in “promoting health.” Compare this to the official name of the Nazi organization for implementing euthanasia, the “Charitable Foundation for Institutional Care.”

    Like-minded Lingo

    In 1943, Himmler referred to the killing of Jews as having “exterminated a germ,” and abortion advocate Natalie Shainess justifies abortion by claiming that the unwanted pregnancy is merely “an alien germ.”

    Former Auschwitz physician Dr. Fritz Klein made the analogy between the massacre of Jews and “a good doctor” who “takes a scalpel and removes an appendix full of pus.” He went on to say, “The Jews are the pus-filled appendix in the body of Europe.” Similarly, abortion advocate Dr. Alan Guttmacher likened the destruction of the fetus to “operating on an appendix or removing a gangrenous bowel.”

    Under the Nazi regime, the term “special treatment” was used euphemistically for Jews and others to be exterminated. Today, the medical establishment (AMA, American Academy of Pediatrics, etc.) refers to abortion as the physicians duty “to provide care and treatment” for unwanted pregnancies.

    Block 20 at Auschwitz, where “experiments” were “terminated” with a lethal injection of phenol to the heart, was known by both inmates and doctors as the “treatment room.” The room in abortion clinics where the abortion is actually committed is commonly known as the “procedure room.”

    “Dr. Mengele’s Still Drumming”

    See that baby in the corner?
    Her life might not be so good!
    I can tell she’ll be a problem…
    That much, ma’am, is understood!
    She’s not really quite a “person”;
    Yes, we’re sure she’s unaware.
    Her life may not be worth living…
    Let’s “abort” and show we care.
    She’s just not what we’d call “human”…
    She’s not really at that stage.
    “Cute” enough, but just not “with it”…
    Unaware and disengaged.
    She has no real moral standing…
    Not just yet, and that’s the glitch!
    She’s no diff’rent from a tomcat,
    Or some tiny mongrel !@#$%.
    We’ll decide for you what’s “human”…
    When a “what” becomes a “who”!
    On these shifting sands of reason,
    Moral Law we may undo.
    These things change, ma’am. Please don’t worry!
    We know best about these things;
    We’ve been schooled in Bio-Ethics,
    Singing songs that Singer sings!
    That’s the song of Peter Singer…
    (Margaret Sanger sang it, too).
    If that melody’s familiar,
    Maybe you should ask the Jew.
    That’s the downbeat of Eugenics,
    Euthanasia’s Rhythm Band.
    Dr. Mengele’s still drumming
    Out there on that shifting sand.

    THE AMERICAN HOLOCAUST

    What is the total number of legal abortions since 1973?
    Since the legalization of abortion in 1973, there have been approximately 50 million abortions performed in the United States.
    Source: Guttmacher Institute, 2011, August. Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States.
    How many abortions are performed in the United States each year?
    According to the Guttmacher Institute, there were 1.21 million abortions performed in the United States in 2008, the most recent year for which data is available. This amounts to 3,322 abortions per day.
    Source: Jones, Rachel K. and Kathryn Kooistra. “Abortion Incidence and Access to Services in the United States, 2008.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 43, no. 1 (2011, March): 41-50

    DOCTOR DEATH

    Dr. Martin Haskell giving a presentation at the 16th Annual Meeting of the National Abortion Federation Conference in 1992 in San Diego. It was a gathering of abortionists — men and women who make their living by killing babies. Haskell was describing to his audience how to do a partial-birth abortion. Listen to his words about how this procedure takes place:
    “The surgeon then introduces large grasping forceps … through the vaginal and cervical canal … He moves the tip of the instrument carefully towards the fetal lower extremities — and pulls the extremity into the vagina …The surgeon then uses his fingers to deliver the opposite lower extremity, then the torso, the shoulders, and the upper extremities. The skull lodges in the internal os. The fetus is oriented … spine up …
    The surgeon then takes a pair of blunt curved Metzenbaum scissors in the right hand. … the surgeon then forces the scissors into the base of the skull–spreads the scissors to enlarge the opening. The surgeon–surgeon then introduces a suction catheter into this hole and evacuates the skull contents.”
    Haskell, having described these brutal details, shows his audience a video of himself doing one of these procedures. And at the end of the video, after the sound of the suction machine taking the brains out of the baby’s head, the audience applauds.

    BABY BODY PARTS

    Fetal tissue wholesalers are companies which place employees in abortion clinics to harvest tissue, limbs, organs, etc. from aborted babies. This material is then shipped to researchers working for universities, pharmaceutical companies and government agencies. Although it is against federal law to sell human tissue or body parts, these organizations have devised a system to circumvent this restriction. Technically, all fetal material they harvest is “donated” to them by the clinics. However, they do pay a “site fee” to the clinics for the right to access the tissue. The tissue is then “donated” to the researchers who in turn pay the wholesalers for the cost of retrieval. Profit is realized by the wholesalers’ ability to set their own retrieval fees.

  3. Al Dente says

    Larry, this is not a discussion about abortion.

    Comment by Larry Silverstein blocked. [unhush]​[show comment]

  4. says

    Sigh… I loathe to ban people so that stays up.

    Incidentally? Nazis were pretty pro-life. Abortion was banned for German Ladies… Got to have more young strapping teutonic boys for the Third Reich after all.

  5. smrnda says

    “8. Why should anyone trust you, or any Atheist? Be specific.”

    If the person asking this is a Christian, I can give them a great response.

    If I want anyone to trust me, I have to prove myself trustworthy. I don’t expect strangers to trust me too much until they know me, and I’m the same way around them. If I screw up and do something totally dishonest, then people will tell me to piss off, and I’d have nothing more to say and I couldn’t give them a reason for trusting me again.

    The Christian typically believes that by saying sorry to Jesus, all wrongs are forgiven, and that anybody they piss and shit on *has to forgive them* or else they’re being a Bad Christian. So, as far as religions go, I’d trust Christians the least since their beliefs about forgiveness turn into a ‘get out of jail free’ card. The cross of Jesus turns into a club that people beat others on the head with, demanding forgiveness.

    I’ve always thought of moral problems like engineering problems. You’re trying to create a society that doesn’t suck to live in, so you have to check out what works, resolving conflicting demands on the system. There are no real cast-iron-laws of engineering since engineering problems are pretty open-ended- we know what’s worked before, and we build off that, but we’re open to new techniques all the time.

  6. Larry Silverstein says

    Al,

    “You may say “But Avi! How can you value human life but still be in favour of abortion”. Because quality of life is important too. You are alive in a cellular sense but not in a sentient sense. At that stage of life you are human by DNA but not by humanity. It is no different from turning off a life support machine and you may think that merely breathing is important but brain function is what determines life. The rest is just “life support”.

    I was responding to the above statement!

    It seems people like you HATE the HARD FACTS, when they are given.

    What is it with you people?

  7. unbound says

    Great questions for the theist to answer with empirical evidence themselves. No using “because”, “faith”, or a “holy book”…i.e. actual evidence and not rationalization. Prove that there was a creator. Prove that religious morals are actually based on doing good things (keep in mind that morality towards things like slavery and women have evolved outside of religion, not because of religion…they have to explain that too).

    Why should I respect any “morale authority” whose holy books gets fundamental issues wrong? Why should I trust a religious person who may very well decide to harm or kill me just because their “god(s)” or priest told them to kill me for no real reason?

    Prove to me that the “miracles” couldn’t possibly have been for any other reason. What? Not fair? Now they understand how silly their first 2 questions are. You can’t prove a negative, can you? Now for the real question. Give me solid evidence that says the answer is much more likely to be a miracle than other reasons. Keep in mind that it wasn’t all that long ago (relatively) that we thought rainbows and aurora borealis were miracles.

    And that, ultimately, is where religion gets into trouble. They’ve had a long history of making statements and predictions that are demonstrably false. How can religion claim to have the answers when we already know many (if not most) of those answers that are “eternal” are already wrong?

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I’ve learned my lesson, and religion doesn’t get to fool me anymore.

  8. says

    Larry if that’s a response to a statement then I am befuddled.

    Historically speaking Nazis have been extremely (and ironically) pro-life. Abortion for german women was banned under Hitler and quite honestly medals were handed out for “quantity” of children.

    And you do Jews a great and terrible disservice by your argument. A lot of Jews are very very pro-abortion. Want to know why?

    Jews are very prone to a genetic disorder. Unfortunately despite the rules of Jews, the rules of genetics are harder and more cruel. Tay-Sachs syndrome is very very common among them. Particularly in the Ashkenazi community. They utilise genetic screening and indeed abortions to make sure that the gene is eliminated and so that they don’t spread the disease or bring to life any children who suffer it.

    Many Jews are pro-choice. To compare the holocaust to abortion is to belittle the suffering of real human beings versus cells. You are incapable of life until the 24th week of gestation and even then you are not sapient. Due to the evolution of gigantic heads we are all born premature and develop externally. Less than 0.3% of all abortion occurs after that and that’s usually to save the mother’s life. We know what the outcome is so we may as well abort and save the life of one of them and save the mother some trauma. I understand that’s anti-thetical to your religion but we as humans think pain of childbirth and deaths associated with it is rather cruel punishment for some naive woman scrumping mythological fruit.

    And the Nazis were also anti-smoking. Does that mean we should light up and smoke? Hitler was nice to dogs and good with children? Should I kick mine and punch babies?

    I think it’s time for an education. Partial birth abortions are generally done to save the life of the mother. The mother is incapable of carrying the foetus to term and unfit for surgery and there is already damage to the foetus. You literally are taking the path of least damage. The mother’s cervix cannot pass out the foetus without strain. So you have to decompress the head and crush it to allow for easy passage.

    You speak of this as if it is a routine procedure. It is not. It is only really done in cases of medical emergencies.

    Oh and in the very young. You know. The sort of procedure done in young rape victims.

    There are very specific indications for it. It is not bread and butter.

    90% of all abortions occur within the first few months. Because women rarely change their minds after the 2nd or 3rd month. They begin with very set ideas on what they want. Most abortions are medical. Surgical abortion wise the majority are SEC (Suction Evacuation Curretage).

    This is a blog run by a medic. Waggling incorrect history won’t fly versus me. Now if you excuse me, I got babies to punch.

  9. ekwhite says

    What a wise post. I enjoy reading your blog so much.

    Larry Silverstein: what you are posting is not “hard facts,” but propaganda. Avicenna has thoroughly refuted you, so I will say no more.

  10. Larry Silverstein says

    Vy, Vy, Vy Avi,

    Vy are you SO IGNORANT of Jews & Abortion?

    “Abtreibungen macht frei”!

    JEWISH RUN ABORTION CAMPS

    TORAH 101

    Abortion

    Jewish law not only permits, but in some circumstances requires abortion. Where the mother’s life is in jeopardy because of the unborn child, abortion is mandatory.

    An unborn child has the status of “potential human life” until its head has emerged from the mother. Potential human life is valuable, and is not to be terminated casually, but it does not have as much value as a life in existence. The Talmud makes no bones about this: it says quite bluntly that if the fetus threatens the life of the mother, you cut it up within her body and remove it limb by limb if necessary, because its life is not as valuable as hers. But once the head has emerged, you cannot take its life to save the mother’s, because you cannot choose between one human life and another.

    Talmud

    In addition to the written scriptures we have an “Oral Torah”, a tradition explaining what the Five Books of Moses mean and how to interpret them and apply the Laws. Orthodox Jews believe God taught the Oral Torah to Moses, and he taught it to others, and others taught it to others down to the present day. This tradition was maintained in oral form only until about the 2d century C.E., when much of the oral law was compiled and written down in a document called the Mishnah.

    Over the next few centuries, authoritative commentaries elaborating on the Mishnah and recording the rest of the oral law were written down in Israel and Babylon. These additional commentaries are known as the Tosefta, Mekhileta, Sifra, Sifre, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud. The last was completed at about 500 C.E.

    The two largest works are the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud. The Babylonian one is more comprehensive, and is the one most people mean when they refer to The Talmud.

    The Mishnah is divided into six sections called sedarim (in English, orders). Each seder contains one or more divisions called masekhtot (in English, tractates). There are 63 masekhtot in the Mishnah. Most, though not all, of these masekhtot have been addressed in the Talmud. Although these divisions seem to indicate subject matter, it is important to note that the Mishnah and the Talmud tend to engage in quite a bit of free-association, thus widely diverse subjects may be discussed in a seder or masekhtah.

    The Fetus in Jewish Law

    Does a fetus have the same legal status as a person?

    By Dr. Fred Rosner

    Reprinted with permission from Biomedical Ethics and Jewish Law, published by KTAV.

    An unborn fetus in Jewish law is not considered a person (Heb. nefesh, lit. “soul”) until it has been born. The fetus is regarded as a part of the mother’s body and not a separate being until it begins to egress from the womb during parturition (childbirth). In fact, until forty days after conception, the fertilized egg is considered as “mere fluid.” These facts form the basis for the Jewish legal view on abortion. Biblical, talmudic, and rabbinic support for these statements will now be presented.

    Intentional abortion is not mentioned directly in the Bible, but a case of accidental abortion is discussed in Exodus 21:22 23, where Scripture states: “When men fight and one of them pushes a pregnant woman and a miscarriage results, but no other misfortune ensues, the one responsible shall be fined as the woman’s husband may exact from him, the payment to be based on judges’ reckoning. But if other misfortune ensues, the penalty shall be life for life.”

    The famous medieval biblical commentator Solomon ben Isaac, known as Rashi, interprets “no other misfortune” to mean no fatal injury to the woman following her miscarriage. In that case, the attacker pays only financial compensation for having unintentionally caused the miscarriage, no differently than if he had accidentally injured the woman elsewhere on her body. Most other Jewish Bible commentators, including Moses Nachmanides (Ramban), Abraham Ibn Ezra, Meir Leib ben Yechiel Michael (Malbim), Baruch Malawi Epstein (Torah Temimah), Samson Raphael Hirsch, Joseph Hertz, and others, agree with Rashi’s interpretation. We can thus conclude that when the mother is otherwise unharmed following trauma to her abdomen during which the fetus is lost, the only rabbinic concern is to have the one responsible pay damages to the woman and her husband for the loss of the fetus. None of the rabbis raise the possibility of involuntary manslaughter being involved because the unborn fetus is not legally a person and, therefore, there is no question of murder involved when a fetus is aborted.

    Based upon this biblical statement. Moses Maimonides asserts as follows: “If one assaults a woman, even unintentionally, and her child is born prematurely, he must pay the value of the child to the husband and the compensation for injury and pain to the woman.” Maimonides continues with statements regarding how these compensations are computed. A similar declaration is found in Joseph Karo’s legal code Shulkhan Aruch. No concern is expressed by either Maimonides or Karo regarding the status of the miscarried fetus. It is part of the mother and belongs jointly to her and her husband, and thus damages must be paid for its premature death. However, the one who was responsible is not culpable for murder, since the unborn fetus is not considered a person.

    Murder in Jewish law is based upon Exodus 21:12, where it is written: “He that smiteth a man so that he dieth shall surely be put to death.” The word “man” is interpreted by the sages to mean a man but not a fetus. Thus, the destruction of an unborn fetus is not considered murder.

    Another pertinent scriptural passage is Leviticus 24:17, where it states:

    “And he that smiteth any person mortally shall surely be put to death.”

    However, an unborn fetus is not considered a person or nefeshand, therefore, its destruction does not incur the death penalty.

    Turning to talmudic sources, the Mishnah asserts the following:

    “If a woman is having difficulty in giving birth [and her life is in danger], one cuts up the fetus within her womb and extracts it limb by limb, because her life takes precedence over that of the fetus. But if the greater part was already born, one may not touch it, for one may not set aside one person’s life for that of another.”

    Rabbi Yom Tov Lippman Heller, known as Tosafot Yom Tov, in his commentary on this passage in the Mishnah, explains that the fetus is not considered a nefesh until it has egressed into the air of the world and, therefore, one is permitted to destroy it to save the mother’s life. Similar reasoning is found in Rashi’s commentary on the talmudic discussion of this mishnaic passage, where Rashi states that as long as the child has not come out into the world, it is not called a living being, i.e., nefesh. Once the head of the child has come out, the child may not be harmed because it is considered as fully born, and one life may not be taken to save another.

    The Mishnah elsewhere states: “If a pregnant woman is taken out to be executed, one does not wait for her to give birth; but if her pains of parturition have already begun [lit. she has already sat on the birth stool], one waits for her until she gives birth.” One does not delay the execution of the mother in order to save the life of the fetus because the fetus is not yet a person (Heb. nefesh), and judgments in Judaism must be promptly implemented. The Talmud also explains that the embryo is part of the mother’s body and has no identity of its own, since it is dependent for its life upon the body of the woman. However, as soon as it starts to move from the womb, it is considered an autonomous being (nefesh) and thus unaffected by the mother’s state. This concept of the embryo being considered part of the mother and not a separate being recurs throughout the Talmud and rabbinic writings.
    ________________________________________

    Dr. Fred Rosner is Director of the Department of Medicine of the Mount Sinai Services at the Queens Hospital Center and Professor of Medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

  11. DsylexicHippo says

    “Watching poor Americans vote Republican because their Church tells them to is like watching Cows voting for McDonalds.” – so true.

    I wish you had a way to expand/collapse individual comments, and more specifically, have Larry’s comments appear collapsed by default.

  12. says

    It’s Arbeit Macht Frei. If you are going to quote Auschwitz’s gates then quote it correctly. Work Makes You Free.

    And that’s modern Jewish theology. Modern Jewish theology also accepts converts. Because eventually a small enough gene pool begins to stangnate.

    Honestly Larry this is not the forum for your discussion. You are not on topic and you are not adding to this discussion.

    I understand that I post gigantic walls of texts. In fact I am pretty sure I hold the record for biggest post on FTB (14,000 words baby) but these are not germane to the conversation about things atheists believe in.

    Late term abortions are sad. they are usually done to foetuses that were ultimately wanted. But it is not done for funsies or for contraception but to save lives. Simply demonising may work on other blogs where there isn’t someone who knows why they happen.

  13. Nepenthe says

    Uh… I think Larry just scored an own goal. I’m going for “functionally illiterate” in his case.

  14. Alex says

    Yes, he’s trying to illustrate that these abortions are part of the holocaust, with a witty nazicism. However, its either “Abtreibungen machen” or “Abtreibung macht”. He is mixing up plural and singular. That being said… what the Hell?

  15. angharad says

    The last question’s a bit odd too. I mean most of them are questions about your philosophical positions and the proof of them. So then why ‘how old are you?’ Unless they’re actually conducting a survey and collecting atheist demographics (which seems highly unlikely) I wonder if that is a ‘well, see you decided when you were too young to be sensible and haven’t changed your mind since so you must be wrong’ gotcha.

  16. Larry Silverstein says

    DOCTOR DEATH

    Dr. Martin Haskell giving a presentation at the 16th Annual Meeting of the National Abortion Federation Conference in 1992 in San Diego. It was a gathering of abortionists — men and women who make their living by killing babies. Haskell was describing to his audience how to do a partial-birth abortion. Listen to his words about how this procedure takes place:

    “The surgeon then introduces large grasping forceps … through the vaginal and cervical canal … He moves the tip of the instrument carefully towards the fetal lower extremities — and pulls the extremity into the vagina …The surgeon then uses his fingers to deliver the opposite lower extremity, then the torso, the shoulders, and the upper extremities. The skull lodges in the internal os. The fetus is oriented … spine up …
    The surgeon then takes a pair of blunt curved Metzenbaum scissors in the right hand. … the surgeon then forces the scissors into the base of the skull–spreads the scissors to enlarge the opening. The surgeon–surgeon then introduces a suction catheter into this hole and evacuates the skull contents.”

    Haskell, having described these brutal details, shows his audience a video of himself doing one of these procedures. And at the end of the video, after the sound of the suction machine taking the brains out of the baby’s head, the audience applauds.

    BABY BODY PARTS

    Fetal tissue wholesalers are companies which place employees in abortion clinics to harvest tissue, limbs, organs, etc. from aborted babies. This material is then shipped to researchers working for universities, pharmaceutical companies and government agencies. Although it is against federal law to sell human tissue or body parts, these organizations have devised a system to circumvent this restriction. Technically, all fetal material they harvest is “donated” to them by the clinics. However, they do pay a “site fee” to the clinics for the right to access the tissue. The tissue is then “donated” to the researchers who in turn pay the wholesalers for the cost of retrieval. Profit is realized by the wholesalers’ ability to set their own retrieval fees.

  17. Tim Bo says

    You’ve answered all those questions about morals, but yours and all atheist morals still confuse me quite a bit. To be honest with you I can’t fathom on any level why, if you honestly, genuinely believe that this is the only existence you will ever have, if this is the only thing you will ever do, ever be conscious of, ever experience, why wouldn’t every atheist live the most hedonistic life possible? Why wouldn’t you consume every moment possible with whatever sexual experiences you can have, take whatever drugs make you feel good, take money from any person you wish, “get rid” of anyone who bothers you, etc… Why would you ever work a day in your life? If you genuinely and whole heartedly believe there is nothing at the end of it all, isn’t hard work just a giant waste of this experience? Why not take what you want, enjoy your experience, and screw those who are affected by it? After all, that might be a crappy attitude to have, but it’s your life and you ought you get as much out of it in the short time you’re here. You’re really only wasting time worrying about other people’s experience right? Now, before you blow me off as being sarcastic or writing to the extreme I ask you to consider this question carefully. You yourself made the point that your morality is based in treating others the way you wish to be treated (Something Jesus taught us actually). But this stands in stark contrast with the implications of your declared stance. So the question remains, if your morality is not inherent, is not based on your belief system, and actually stands in contrast to it, where does it come from and why do you choose to follow a code of morality that stands in contrast to your belief system?

  18. Alex says

    Hey Tim Bo,
    Good question, so personally, although I have been an atheist for 20 years, just don’t feel like living the way you describe. I could have, mind you. I do the work that I do mainly because of my passion for science and the desire to make a living and be accepted in society. Making a living at the expense if others as a thieve or so would not make me happy, I would not enjoy the riches thus obtained.

  19. Nepenthe says

    @Tim

    Empirical experience and psychology tells us something about the hedonists you describe: they generally aren’t very happy. Your beliefs about what makes humans happy is far more revealing of your values than of atheists’ values.

  20. Alex says

    Yes, Tim’s idea about an unrestrained life sounds more like something a preacher would use as a story to warn you against the dire consequences of atheism. It does not seem to resemble the desires of any atheist Ive ever met.

  21. Larry Silverstein says

    What do you get when you cross a Jehovah’s Witness with an atheist?
    Someone who knocks on your door for no apparent reason.

    and

    During the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution, one morning’s executions began with three men: a rabbi, a Catholic priest, and a rationalist skeptic.

    The rabbi was marched up onto the platform first. There, facing the guillotine, he was asked if he had any last words. And the rabbi cried out, “I believe in the one and only true God, and He shall save me.” The executioner then positioned the rabbi below the blade, set the block above his neck, and pulled the cord to set the terrible instrument in motion. The heavy cleaver plunged downward, searing the air. But then, abruptly, it stopped with a crack just a few inches above the would-be victim’s neck. To which the rabbi said, “I told you so.”

    “It’s a miracle!” gasped the crowd. And the executioner had to agree, letting the rabbi go.

    Next in line was the priest. Asked for his final words, he declared, “I believe in Jesus Christ the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost who will rescue me in my hour of need.” The executioner then positioned this man beneath the blade. And he pulled the cord. Again the blade flew downward thump! creak! …stopping just short of its mark once more.

    “Another miracle!” sighed the disappointed crowd. And the executioner for the second time had no choice but to let the condemned go free.

    Now it was the skeptic’s turn. “What final words have you to say?” he was asked. But the skeptic didn’t hear. Staring intently at the ominous engine of death, he seemed lost. Not until the executioner poked him in the ribs and the question was asked again did he reply.

    “Oh, I see your problem,” the skeptic said pointing. “You’ve got a blockage in the gear assembly, right there!”

  22. says

    Right now it seems like Movable Type is the
    preferred blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  23. Alex says

    Hey Larry, you posts get shorter, that’s a great start. Now if you could bring yourself to engage with the actual topic at hand and the other commenters rather than dumping copypasta, that would be swell! You can do it!

  24. Larry Silverstein says

    MISTAKES ATHEISTS MAKE!

    Condescension and insults

    This is the most common of all mistakes made by atheists. They are often condescending as they mock Christianity. They insult God, call him a tyrant, refer to Christianity as mythology, baseless, a fairytale, compare God to invisible pink unicorns and Santa Clause, etc. Unfortunately, this is all too typical of atheists and if they want to be taken seriously at all, they need to stop being so rude and crude because they do nothing to further discussion.

    Attacking the Christian God and accusing him of immorality is immensely problematic for atheists who have no objective standard of morality, yet are quick to judge. We see their inconsistency, even if they don’t.

    Misrepresentation

    Sometimes atheists will construct an argument against Christianity that does not reflect a true Christian position. For example, one atheist stated that the Trinity was illogical because three gods could not be one God.

    Another atheist said that if God is all powerful, can he make a square circle? This misrepresents the Christian understanding of God’s omnipotence.

    Deception

    Sometimes atheists will imitate Christians to cause problems in discussion boards.
    They will sometimes pretend to be interested in something but are really lying in wait, looking for an opportunity to destroy someone’s faith.

    Failing to study what they criticize

    Atheists very often fail to seriously study Christianity and its teachings before they start attacking it. This is a huge problem and atheists are commonly guilty of this.

    Parroting anti-Christian material

    Often atheists will parrot what they’ve read from anti-Christian websites that might have, for example, lists of alleged Bible contradictions. They will then copy and paste them into discussion boards. Unfortunately, they tend to ignore context when they do this. Then when an explanation is offered, they dismiss it.

    Atheists often challenge the theist to prove God’s existence only within the confines of science.

    Science has served humanity well. Through it we have discovered countless natural laws of the universe, and we use that knowledge to make our lives easier in every area of our existence. But to limit a theist’s proofs to the confines of what the atheist demands is terribly one-sided. To a Christian, there are experiences that science and logic cannot explain. The atheist needs to recognize we have experiences that are life changing. No mere psychological set of theories can explain the changes in our lives. So please, don’t mock them. Can science nail down all that exists in mind, body, and soul? No. Can it quantify the beauty of a sunset, the cooing of a baby, or the love of a man and a woman? Science and logic have served us well, but they are not the ultimate truth to all things.

    Of course, that does not mean we ignore science. In fact, we use it in our proofs for God. But to limit the playing field to your set of rules is an improper way to start. It is mostly an attempt to initiate control and keep command of the conversation by setting the ground rules according to your criteria.

    Though an atheist may not accept biblical evidence as support for God’s existence, it does not negate the fact that the Bible is evidence. Whether or not the atheist wants to accept it is another matter.

  25. says

    Come now Larry. We are both nearly as Atheist as each other. I just believe in one less god.

    As you reject Shiva, I reject Jehovah. It’s really as simple as that. Now I repeat. You are derailing the conversation.

  26. smrnda says

    @Tim

    I might ask an equivalent question – you mean that if there isn’t someone out there with a carrot and a stick, or some god holding out a carrot and stick after death, you’d really live like that? This is what I tend to notice in religious people; they’re fundamentally sheep looking for someone to tell them what to do, as if they couldn’t figure it out on their own.

    But to answer the question, if I want to have a decent life, I’m going to have to create a society where that’s possible. Anarchy – ‘do what you feel like’ – just doesn’t work. Actions have consequences, and people are incapable of being self-reliant, so we need society with some rules to go by or else we’d all end up dead, and since this is the only life I think we ever get, I don’t want it to suck. Hedonism is also not quite that engaging. I do like to party, but I also like to develop software, prove mathematical theorems, go swimming and cook healthy vegetarian meals for my neighbors.

    Your dilemma kind of reminds me of what I noticed when I went to college – many students who did well in high school failed out. The reason? They’d done well since someone had been forcing them to study and work hard. Without parents, and without a teacher who functions as a baby-sitter, they just did no work. The students who did well were self-starters who, in the absence of someone giving them orders, were still going to make responsible choices. People who *need* external authority to function are probably not going to do well in anything. People do, however, often show initiative.

    I actually find most religions present a life that seems pointless and meaningless, to me, Christianity in particular. It’s basically ‘we exist to praise god’ along with ‘everything about us is horrible and bad’ which makes heaven into a place where the Xtian god takes out your brain and personality and turns you into a mindless praise-robot.

    Avi’s ethics are based on his assessment of what benefits him. I think his assessments are pretty sound, and shared by pretty much about everyone. There might be a tiny handful of people who need a carrot and stick to function, and they probably end up in prison.

  27. Randomfactor says

    and a hint of too many Comic Books

    It seems a lot of us are so afflicted. Especially us DC fans.

    Regarding the abortion deflection, it is immoral according to Christianity to allow a fetus to come to full term. Because aborting them sends the soul to heaven, whereas being born damns most of them to everlasting torture–because god LOVES them.

  28. lpetrich says

    That list strikes me as shifting the burden of proof. That burden falls on those who advocate claims like the Universe having a creator, rather than on those who reject such hypotheses.

    Avicenna, you state “To me gods are less angry sky wizards and more players in a divine comedy. They have personalities, likes and dislikes.” That reminds me of the deities and heroes in Greek mythology, with their rather colorful personalities and adventures. Is that a fair comparison?

  29. MaryL says

    Many atheists don’t bother making fun of the thousands of gods people believe in because we don’t feel like making fun of every myth we learn about. Some atheists will, though. As some will carefully read religious texts and note the inaccuracies, contradictions, absurdities, beliefs, teachings,the book’s actual history, and so on. Some atheists like to stir up people on discussion boards. The same can be said for some Xians, Jews and those of other religions. Most atheists don’t care what myths others believe, but what’s sacred to one group, isn’t sacred to another. We object to religions that expect non-members to follow their rules.

    Of course US atheists will focus most on xians and their religion. Most Americans profess to a sect of it. Most US atheists were raised in one of those sects.

  30. kevinalexander says

    @ Tim

    To be honest with you I can’t fathom on any level why, if you honestly, genuinely believe that this is the only existence you will ever have, if this is the only thing you will ever do, ever be conscious of, ever experience, why wouldn’t every atheist live the most hedonistic life possible?

    Short answer? Because no man is an island. We are social animals unlike,say, grizzly bears who can do whatever they physically can, eat what they want, even other bears.
    If anyone lived the most hedonistic life possible then that life would be very lonely and very short. Evolution has had millions of years to sort that out for you. You live your life within that framework but choose to think that it needs a more childish explanation.

  31. gshelley says

    What makes that source a “moral authority”, with unquestionable, indubitable ability to determine what is morally Good and what is morally Evil in a purely materialist context, where evolution has caused our existence?

    This version of argument from morality is incredibly popular and I just don’t get it. the same objection to “Morality comes from God” applies to “Morality comes from people” (or whatever) – The ancient question, is an activity moral because god says it is, or does god say it is moral because he is prescribed by some external moral value
    If the only argument is “God is good and by definition everything he says is moral and he is incapable of an immoral action or intent”, it doesn’t help, because they are just redefining moral as”God says” and we still need to justify morality in terms of right and wrong and the problems that secular morality allegedly has.

  32. Alex says

    @gshelley

    yeah, yeah, still so many Euthyphros walking around nowadays, after 2500 years….

    @MaryL

    We object to religions that expect non-members to follow their rules.

    Small addition, we generally do care very much when members follow these rules, if the rules happen to hurt members who are indoctrinated or have no choice but to follow them due to social pressures.

  33. Alex says

    @lpetrich

    That list strikes me as shifting the burden of proof.

    And that is the understatement of the Week :D

    I can do it, too, btw:

    Do you deny that on my shoulder there sits a transdimensional invisible parrot which will pick apart your intestines in the netherworld for all eternity if you don’t give me all your money RIGHT NOW? If the answer is yes, then you must show your work if it is to be considered anything more than just a claim!

  34. Larry Silverstein says

    OH DUNGHILLS!

    An elderly rabbi was once on an airplane to Israel sitting next to a self-professed atheist. They were amicably chatting the whole trip.

    Every now and then, the rabbi’s grandchild, sitting in another row, would come over to him, bringing him a drink, or asking if he could get anything to make him more comfortable. After this happened several times, the atheist sighed, “I wish my grandchildren would treat me with such respect. They hardly even say hello to me. What’s your secret?”

    The rabbi replied: “Think about it. To my grandchildren, I am two generations closer to Adam and Eve, the two individuals made by the hand of G d. So they look up to me. But according to the philosophy which you teach your grandchildren, you are two generations closer to being an ape. So why should they look up to you?”

  35. says

    Because I have done things that make me worth looking up to rather than simply be associated with wisdom because I have existed on the planet for a longer period of time.

  36. Alex says

    So in your joke, the one guy is using fraudulent science to trick his grandchildren into showing him undeserved respect? What a role model!

  37. Argle Bargle says

    I suppose bad jokes about atheists are better than anti-abortion copypasta. But not much better.

    Larry, do you have an actual point to make or are you just suffering from verbal diarrhea?

  38. Jackie Papercuts says

    Tim,
    I have no idea why you would assume that a person who has accepted their own mortality would decide to murder, steal and purposely damage their body. Do you have no empathy at all? Is your only motive for ethical or healthy behavior paranoia? Do you have no love for your fellow humans and no desire to respect yourself? Do you really care nothing for justice or compassion?

  39. Larry Silverstein says

    THE HOLY BABYLONIAN JEWISH TALMUD

    The Talmud is Judaism’s holiest book (actually a collection of books). Its authority takes precedence over the Old Testament in Judaism. Evidence of this may be found in the Talmud itself, Erubin 21b (Soncino edition):

    “My son, be more careful in the observance of the words of the Scribes than in the words of the Torah (Old Testament).”

    Jewish scholar Hyam Maccoby, in “Judaism on Trial,” quotes Rabbi Yehiel ben Joseph:

    “Further, without the Talmud, we would not be able to understand passages in the Bible … God has handed this authority to the sages and tradition is a necessity as well as scripture. The Sages also made enactments of their own … anyone who does not study the Talmud cannot understand Scripture.”
    The Talmud (and not the Scriptures) is the legal/canonical text which obligates those who follow the Jewish religion. It is from the Talmud that laws, regulations, and world views are drawn. In practice, the everyday life of the modern religious person is drawn and influenced by the Talmud.

    Second century Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai, one of Judaism’s very greatest rabbis and a creator of Kabbalah, sanctioned pedophilia—permitting molestation of baby girls even younger than three! He proclaimed,

    “A proselyte who is under the age of three years and a day is permitted to marry a priest.” 1
    Yebamoth 60b,

    Subsequent rabbis refer to ben Yohai’s endorsement of pedophilia as “halakah,” or binding Jewish law. 2 Yebamoth 60b

    Has Rabbi ben Yohai, child rape advocate, been disowned by modern Jews? Hardly. Today, in ben Yohai’s hometown of Meron, Israel, tens of thousands of orthodox and ultra-orthodox Jews gather annually for days and nights of singing and dancing in his memory.

    References to pedophilia abound in the Talmud. They occupy considerable sections of Treatises Kethuboth and Yebamoth and are enthusiastically endorsed by the Talmud’s definitive legal work, Treatise Sanhedrin.

    The Pharisees Endorsed Child Sex

    The rabbis of the Talmud are notorious for their legal hairsplitting, and quibbling debates. But they share rare agreement about their right to molest three year old girls. In contrast to many hotly debated issues, hardly a hint of dissent rises against the prevailing opinion (expressed in many clear passages) that pedophilia is not only normal but scriptural as well! It’s as if the rabbis have found an exalted truth whose majesty silences debate.

    Because the Talmudic authorities who sanction pedophilia are so renowned, and because pedophilia as “halakah” is so explicitly emphasized, not even the translators of the Soncino edition of the Talmud (1936) dared insert a footnote suggesting the slightest criticism. They only comment: “Marriage, of course, was then at a far earlier age than now.” 3

    In fact, footnote 5 to Sanhedrin 60b rejects the right of a Talmudic rabbi to disagree with ben Yohai’s endorsement of pedophilia:

    “How could they [the rabbis], contrary to the opinion of R. Simeon ben Yohai, which has scriptural support, forbid the marriage of the young proselyte?” 4
    1 Yebamoth 60b, p. 402.
    2 Yebamoth 60b, p. 403.
    3 Sanhedrin 76a.
    4 In Yebamoth 60b, p. 404, Rabbi Zera disagrees that sex with girls under three years and one day should be endorsed as halakah.

    Out of Babylon

    It was in Babylon after the exile under Nebuchadnezzar in 597 BC that Judaism’s leading sages probably began to indulge in pedophilia. Babylon was the staggeringly immoral capitol of the ancient world. For 1600 years, the world’s largest population of Jews flourished within it.
    As an example of their evil, Babylonian priests said a man’s religious duty included regular sex with temple prostitutes. Bestiality was widely tolerated. So Babylonians hardly cared whether a rabbi married a three year old girl.
    But with expulsion of the Jews in the 11th century AD, mostly to western Christian lands, Gentile tolerance of Jewish pedophilia abruptly ended.
    Still, a shocking contradiction lingers: If Jews want to revere the transcendent wisdom and moral guidance of the Pharisees and their Talmud, they must accept the right of their greatest ancient sages to violate children. To this hour, no synod of Judaism has repudiated their vile practice.

    Sex with a “Minor” Permitted

    What exactly did these sages say?
    The Pharisees justified child rape by explaining that a boy of nine years was not a “man” Thus they exempted him from God’s Mosaic Law:

    “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination” (Leviticus. 18:22)
    One passage in the Talmud gives permission for a woman who molested her young son to marry a high priest. It concludes,

    “All agree that the (sexual) connection of a boy aged nine years and a day is a real connection; whilst that of one less than eight years is not.” Sanhedrin 69b 5

    Because a boy under 9 is sexually immature, he can’t “throw guilt” on the active offender, morally or legally. 6

    “…the intercourse of a small boy is not regarded as a sexual act.” 7
    The Talmud also says,

    “A male aged nine years and a day who cohabits with his deceased brother’s wife acquires her (as wife).”8
    Clearly, the Talmud teaches that a woman is permitted to marry and have sex with a nine year old boy.
    5 Sanhedrin 69b.
    6 Sanhedrin 55a.
    7 Footnote 1 to Kethuboth 11b.
    8 Sanhedrin 55b.

    Sex at Three Years and One Day

    In contrast to Simeon ben Yohai’s dictum that sex with a little girl is permitted under the age of three years, the general teaching of the Talmud is that the rabbi must wait until a day after her third birthday. She could be taken in marriage simply by the act of rape.
    R. Joseph said: Come and hear! A maiden aged three years and a day may be acquired in marriage by coition and if her deceased husband’s brother cohabits with her, she becomes his. (Sanhedrin 55b)

    A girl who is three years of age and one day may be betrothed by cohabitation. . . .(. Yebamoth 57b)

    A maiden aged three years and a day may be acquired in marriage by coition, and if her deceased husband’s brother cohabited with her she becomes his. (Sanhedrin. 69a, 69b, also discussed in Yebamoth. 60b)

    It was taught: R. Simeon b. Yohai stated: A proselyte who is under the age of three years and one day is permitted to marry a priest, for it is said, But all the women children that have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves, and Phineas (who was priest, the footnote says) surely was with them. (Yebamoth. 60b)

    [The Talmud says such three year and a day old girls are] . . . fit for cohabitation. . . But all women children, that have not known man by lying with him, it must be concluded that Scripture speaks of one who is fit for cohabitation. (Footnote to Yebamoth. 60b)

    The example of Phineas, a priest, himself marrying an underage virgin of three years is considered by the Talmud as proof that such infants are “fit for cohabitation.”

    The Talmud teaches that an adult woman’s molestation of a nine year old boy is “not a sexual act” and cannot “throw guilt” upon her because the little boy is not truly a “man.” 9 But they use opposite logic to sanction rape of little girls aged three years and one day: Such infants they count as “women,” sexually mature and fully responsible to comply with the requirements of marriage.

    The Talmud footnotes 3 and 4 to Sanhedrin 55a clearly tell us when the rabbis considered a boy and girl sexually mature and thus ready for marriage. “At nine years a male attains sexual matureness… The sexual matureness of woman is reached at the age of three.”
    9 Sanhedrin 55a.

    No Rights for Child Victims

    The Pharisees were hardly ignorant of the trauma felt by molested children. To complicate redress, the Talmud says a rape victim must wait until she was of age before there would be any possibility of restitution. She must prove that she lived and would live as a devoted Jewess, and she must protest the loss of her virginity on the very hour she comes of age. “As soon as she was of age one hour and did not protest she cannot protest any more.” 10

    The Talmud defends these strict measures as necessary to forestall the possibility of a Gentile child bride rebelling against Judaism and spending the damages awarded to her as a heathen – an unthinkable blasphemy! But the rights of the little girl were really of no great consequence, for,
    “When a grown-up man has intercourse with a little girl it is nothing, for when the girl is less than this (three years and a day) it is as if one put the finger into the eye.” The footnote says that as “tears come to the eye again and again, so does virginity come back to the little girl under three years.” Kethuboth 11b.

    In most cases, the Talmud affirms the innocence of male and female victims of pedophilia. Defenders of the Talmud claim this proves the Talmud’s amazing moral advancement and benevolence toward children; they say it contrasts favorably with “primitive” societies where the child would have been stoned along with the adult perpetrator.

    Actually, the rabbis, from self-protection, were intent on proving the innocence of both parties involved in pedophilia: the child, but more importantly, the pedophile. They stripped a little boy of his right to “throw guilt” on his assailant and demanded complicity in sex from a little girl. By thus providing no significant moral or legal recourse for the child, the Talmud clearly reveals whose side it is on: the raping rabbi.

    Pedophilia Widespread

    Child rape was practiced in the highest circles of Judaism. This is illustrated from Yebamoth. 60b:
    There was a certain town in the land of Israel the legitimacy of whose inhabitants was disputed, and Rabbi sent R. Romanos who conducted an inquiry and found in it the daughter of a proselyte who was under the age of three years and one day, and Rabbi declared her eligible to live with a priest.
    The footnote says that she was “married to a priest” and the rabbi simply permitted her to live with her husband, thus upholding “halakah” as well as the dictum of Simeon ben Yohai,

    “A proselyte who is under the age of three years and one day is permitted to marry a priest.” 12
    These child brides were expected to submit willingly to sex. Yebamoth. 12b confirms that under eleven years and one day a little girl is not permitted to use a contraceptive but “must carry on her marital intercourse in the usual manner.”

    In Sanhedrin 76b a blessing is given to the man who marries off his children before they reach the age of puberty, with a contrasting curse on anyone who waits longer. In fact, failure to have married off one’s daughter by the time she is 12-1/2, the Talmud says, is as bad as one who “returns a lost article to a Cuthean” (Gentile) – a deed for which “the Lord will not spare him.” 13 This passage says:
    “… it is meritorious to marry off one’s children whilst minors.”

    The mind reels at the damage to the untold numbers of girls who were sexually abused within Judaism during the heyday of pedophilia. Such child abuse, definitely practiced in the second century, continued, at least in Babylon, for another 900 years.
    10 Kethuboth 11a.
    11 Kethuboth 11b.
    12 Yebamoth 60b.
    13 Sanhedrin 76b.

    A Fascination with Sex

    Perusing the Talmud, one is overwhelmed with the recurrent preoccupation with sex, especially by the most eminent rabbis. Dozens of illustrations could be presented to illustrate the delight of the Pharisees to discuss sex and quibble over its minutest details.

    The rabbis endorsing child sex undoubtedly practiced what they preached. Yet to this hour, their words are revered. Simeon ben Yohai is honored by Orthodox Jews as one of the very greatest sages and spiritual lights the world has ever known. A member of the earliest “Tannaim,” rabbis most influential in creating the Talmud, he carries more authority to observant Jews than Moses.

    Today, the Talmud’s outspoken pedophiles and child-rape advocates would doubtlessly spend hard time in prison for child molestation.

    The Oedipus complex was the invention of Sigmund Freud!

    Freud originally discovered, in the treatments partially conducted under hypnosis, that all his Jewish patients, both male and female, had been abused children and recounted their histories in the language of symptoms. After reporting his discovery in Jewish psychiatric circles, he found himself completely shunned because none of his fellow Jewish psychiatrists was prepared to share the findings with him. Freud could not bear the isolation for long. A few months later, in 1897, he described his patients’ reports on sexual abuse as sheer fantasies attributable to their instinctual wishes.

    Freud’s father was a pedophile! In a letter to his friend Wilhelm Fliess, he wrote:

    “Unfortunately, my own father was one of these perverts and is responsible for the hysteria of my brother (all of whose symptoms are identifications) and those of several younger sisters. The frequency of this circumstance often makes me wonder.”

    Fliess’s son, Robert Fliess exposed his own father as being another pedophile who had sexually abused him when he was a child.

  40. says

    MISTAKES ATHEISTS MAKE! Condescension and insults…

    Seriously? The worst insults I’ve received (from responsible adults) have come from believers like you, who routinely lie about what atheists (and everyone else they know nothing about) “really” believe.

    You want “condescension?” Try telling others we’re all as worthless as bacteria in the eyes of your all-powerful God. It don’t get any more condescending than that.

    And how much more insulting can you get than trying to scare me into submission with your made-up stories of Hell?

    PS: I love that word “copypasta.” It’s the perfect descriptor of the hot mess that religious bigots and cranks like Larry serve us over and over. Except that pasta is a LOT more nutritious than this crap.

  41. says

    Anyone else getting the impression that Larry is actually just a web bot and not a human poster?

    There’s plenty of humans who can be just as dull and robotic as any software — especially when they’re brittle to start with, and spend decades hiding from new ideas or information.

  42. Larry Silverstein says

    DON’T ARGUE WITH APES/ATHEISTS, EDUCATE THEM!

    WHAT MULATTO OBAMA FORGOT TO TELL THE NEGRO AMERICAN:

    The Black Slave Owners

    By Joseph E. Holloway

    The majority of black slave owners were members of the mulatto class, and in some cases were the sons and daughters of white slave masters. Many of the mulatto slave owners separated themselves from the masses of black people and attempted to establish a caste system based on color, wealth, and free status. According to Martin Delany, the colored community of Charleston City clung to the assumptions of the superiority of white blood and brown skin complexion.

    These mulattoes of the old free Black elite did not attend church with the dark-skinned blacks of Charleston City. They not only formed congregations which excluded freedmen of dark complexion, but they only married among other mulattoes to “keep the color in the family.”
    Large numbers of free Blacks owned black slaves in numbers disproportionate to their representation in society. According to the federal census of 1830, free blacks owned more than 10,000 slaves in Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, and Virginia. The majority of black slave-owners lived in Louisiana and planted sugar cane.
    Slave holding among the mulatto class in South Carolina was widespread according to the first census of 1790, which revealed that 36 out of 102, or 35.2 percent of the free Black heads of family held slaves in Charleston City. By 1800 one out of every three free black recorded owning slave property. Between 1820 and 1840 the percentage of slaveholding heads of family ranged from 72.1 to 77.7 percent, however, by 1850 the percentage felt to 42.3 percent.
    According to the U.S. Census report in 1860 only a small minority of whites owned slaves. Out of a population of 27 million whites only eight million lived in the South, and out of this population fewer than 385,000 owned slaves. In short, the total white population own about 1.4, while the southern white population own about 4.8 enslaved Africans.
    On the other hand the black population in 1860 was 4.5 million, with about 500,000 living in the South. Of the blacks residing in the South, 261,988 were not slaves. Of this number, 10,689 lived in New Orleans. In New Orleans over 3,000 free blacks owned slaves, about 28 percent of the free Black population in the city.
    Year Owners Slaves
    1790 49 277
    1800 36 315
    1810 17 143
    1820 206 1,030
    1830 407 2,195
    1840 402 2,001
    1850 266 1,087
    1860 137 544
    The following chart shows the free Black slave owners and their slaves in Charleston, 1790-1860.In 1860 there were at least six African Americans in Louisiana who owned 65 or more slaves. The largest number, 152 slaves, were owned by the widow C. Richards and her son P.C. Richards, who owned a large sugar cane plantation. Another Black slave magnate in Louisiana with over 100 slaves was Antoine Dubuclet, a sugar planter whose estate was valued at $264, 000. In North Carolina 69 free Blacks were slave owners.
    The majority of urban black slave owners were women. In 1820, free black women represented 68 percent of heads of households in the North and 70 percent of slaveholding heads of colored households in the South. The large percentage of black women slave owners is explained by manumission by their white fathers, or inheritance from their white fathers or husbands. Black women were the majority of slaves emancipated by white slave owning men with whom they had sexual relations. Thirty-three percent of all the recorded colonial manumissions were mulatto children and 75 percent of all adult manumissions were females.

  43. says

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