Baby-eaters of the world, unite! »« The unofficial Atheist Experience response to Zeitgeist

Ray’s idea of justice…

Ray wrote:

“…would you want Dahmer to go to Hell? Or are you quite happy (assuming that you are an atheist) for him simply to be dead.”

Since he’s censoring many of my responses, here it is:

I’m not Alex, but I’ll answer.

I’m satisfied that Dahmer was imprisoned for the remainder of his life and, unlike some of my liberal friends, I’d have been content to see him put to death by the state (a position that Dahmer is reported to have shared), though I generally oppose capital punishment on the grounds that the legal system isn’t structured in such a way that we can satisfactorily prevent unjust executions.

I also wouldn’t want to see him tortured, and certainly not forever. I don’t think that’s justice, it’s revenge. He was beaten to death by a fellow inmate and some might consider that justice, but that’s a very simplified view of justice that I don’t share.

Interestingly, Dahmer is reported to have repented and accepted Christ as his savior. I have no idea if this is true, and neither do you, but it does raise two points:

1. If it is true (and if your religion is true) then any decent Christian should oppose the death penalty and, instead, prefer to give convicts as much time to repent and avoid hell as possible.

2. If it is true (and if your religion is true) then Jeffrey Dahmer is in heaven, right now.

Do you think that’s just? Clearly not, as you just used him as an example of someone that you feel most people should want to see sent to Hell.

You also mentioned Hitler. Hitler was, according to his public and private statements a devout Catholic and whether or not you accept that, you must accept that you don’t know his ‘heart’ and aren’t his judge, and that it’s at least possible that he, too, could have been saved – even if only during his dying breath.

Your religious views have nothing to do with justice because they aren’t based on punishing the wicked and rewarding the virtuous. There is no system of merit associated with salvation by grace. To you, salvation is a matter of capriciousness. A death-bed conversion is more valuable to your God than a life spent as a good person.

So, your dichotomy is false on several grounds. As an atheist, I don’t have to simply be “quite happy” with the death of a murderer – I can be satisfied with a proper implementation of justice that denies the murderer liberty and, on occasion, life. Also, as an atheist, I never have to rationalize blood lust as justice or be dissatisfied that justice might be overturned by the whim of a divine dictator. I can, instead come to a proper understanding of justice that isn’t bound by bronze-age myths.

Comments

  1. says

    When I first read Ray’s blog a little while back I was impressed by the number of “dissenting” comments he allowed through, but have rapidly learned that he actually seems to filter for the snarky insulting ones (as long as they don’t contain evil swears) and leaves out the more reasonable, patiently argued ones.I think he wants to make sure his fans see atheists as a bunch of uptight angry babies, and in that sense he is like a troll (who I will no longer feed).

  2. says

    I think you’ve missed a very important aspect of religion in general, that has come out in that post.”…would you want Dahmer to go to Hell? Or are you quite happy (assuming that you are an atheist) for him simply to be dead.”There is an underlying assumption there that simply wanting him to go to hell is enough to make him actually go to hell. It comes up *all the time* in discussions with religious folk.”Don’t you want to go to heaven?””Don’t you want god to be real?”and so on. I think it reflects on their state of mind. They want it to be so, therefore, it *is* so. It also explains their attitude towards atheism. They seem to see us as absolutely insane people who don’t *want* heaven to be real, rather than people who see it as obvious that it simply isn’t.I haven’t explained my point as well as I’d have liked, but I hope you get the thrust of it.

  3. says

    Hey, I’ll openly declare now that I do not *want* heaven or hell to be real. The idea of my “soul” having to remain aware and conscious *FOR-EVER* is, frankly terrifying to me. I don’t even want to know what it would be like to have been in heaven OR hell for, say 500 million years. I don’t think it’s a concept that people (even the ones who believe in it) ever actually try to wrap their head around, and I think I’ve just shown why.Good post, Matt, as usual. Keep it up.

  4. says

    Me…I thought about addressing that point – it’s a strong one that we’ve mentioned in the past. I’m not sure why I didn’t include it, but I think it’s because I’d rather show the hypocrisy of his beliefs rather than the absurdity of them…for now.-Matt

  5. says

    While I suppose this is a shameless plug, I’ve expressed concern over this kind of issue before. The justice system should be for the sake of rehabilitation, not a tool of retribution.The best end-result after any crime is for criminal to actual do some good, if possible, and not to just be punished because that’s what feels right.Basically, I’m with Norway on this one.

  6. says

    Our favorite Christian blogger Rhology is on record as saying that if Dahmer sincerely accepted Christ before he died, then Dahmer is in heaven right now. As for the Jews who were killed in the Holocaust, I suppose “true” Christians believe that they are suffering more in hell than they ever did during their time in the concentration camps.

  7. says

    Great reply Matt. It was actually posted along with several other scathing rebuttals. Too bad most Christians will ignore the injustice and irony of their position and apply the good ol’ standby “We can’t understand god’s plan because we are mere mortals.”I understand why you keep at it though. There are always the “fence sitters”, though I don’t know how many of those would be reading a blog like Ray’s. Still, if you can introduce just a seed of doubt, you might actually get some people thinking. And for religion, thinking is always dangerous.

  8. says

    As for the Jews who were killed in the Holocaust, I suppose “true” Christians believe that they are suffering more in hell than they ever did during their time in the concentration camps.I once came across an account of a preacher who said, “Every man, woman and child who died in the Holocaust went from the fires of the crematoria straight into the fires of hell.” I realize there are many Christians who would tell me they don’t believe this; they refuse to see it as a logical consequence of their beliefs – and I’d have a lot more respect for “liberal” evangelicals if they were out there decrying this sort of thing publicly, instead of merely looking the other way because they can’t bring themselves to criticize their “brother and sisters in Christ”.

  9. says

    @Rhology:I agree with you on this, but more because I don’t think any kind of religious discussion should be taken down this “path” of trying to link together atheism OR christianity or whatever to some kind of horrible dictator or murderer. Fact is there are people in history who’ve done awful things. Some of them were religious, some of them weren’t. By the same token there are people who have done great things…some religious some not.Here’s my point in a nutshell: atheists should stop trying to link Christianity to Hitler just as theists should stop trying to link atheism to Pol Pot or Stalin. I think dragging any kind of religious discussion through all this “such and such was a such and such” nonsense lowers the quality of the debate.

  10. says

    Sparrowhawk,I can appreciate the point about Hitler, and particularly about how people have done awful things. That’s one of the reasons I’m a Christian – as a Christian, I can recognise that people are inherently sinful and evil and do bad things all the time, plus I have a consistent and objective way to identify evil and good. I’ve not yet seen the same from atheism.I disagree, however, about Pol Pot in particular. Stalin seems to me to be a decent case, but not as good as Pol Pot.Honestly, one of the reasons this question is often brought up is b/c atheists will harp on:1) Hitler as Christian2) Crusades3) Inquisition#1 is bunk, we agree. #2 and #3 are Roman Catholic things, not Christian things. But just taking 2 and 3 for the sake of argument, Pol Pot alone outweighs those deaths many times over. I don’t like dwelling on death, but I’m often pushed to do so by atheist interlocutors.

  11. says

    @Rhology:I think you misunderstood my point. I’m saying religious discussions should AVOID this kind of death-toll pissing contest language altogether. As in, don’t try and make atheism out to be bad by trying to link it to Pol Pot and don’t try and make Christianity out to be bad by linking it to Hitler or the Crusades or whatever. If a discussion IS taken in this direction, it becomes nothing more than spouting claims about how many people died under Pol Pot vs because of Hitler or whatever. My point is that even IF Hitler were a Christian (I’m not arguing that he was), it doesn’t matter. My whole point is that the very act of trying to argue that he did what he did BECAUSE of his religious beliefs takes the discussion in a bad direction, just as trying to say that Pol Pot did what he did BECAUSE he was an atheist takes the discussion in a bad direction. See, what I’m saying is that you shouldn’t even HAVE to defend yourself from claims about the Inquisition or the Crusades. You should be defending yourself from these arguments by dismissing them as nothing more than the death-toll pissing-contest that they are, NOT by taking the bait and saying “Yeah well they were Catholics not Christians” or “Yeah well Pol Pot killed even more people”.As to who “started it”? As in who tried to make the argument about who’d done more bad things in the name of X (atheism, religion, whatever), I’m saying it doesn’t matter. Any atheist who instigates this line of reasoning is just opening the door for theistic accusations about Pol Pot or Stalin, and conversely any theist who initiates this line of reasoning is just opening the door for the atheist side to make a bunch of claims about the Crusades and Hitler. I’m saying don’t even go there, and if someone does go there, don’t follow them.

  12. says

    I can appreciate that.It’s also wise for an atheist to avoid that kind of polemic b/c the atheist always comes out the loser in the numbers game that he tries to play.But yeah, and anyway my argument against atheism along these lines revolves usually around the lack of any way in atheism to know what is good and bad objectively. Murder? Meh. Charity? Meh. We’re all going to die someday.

  13. says

    There is no way to identify a “true Christian” and you’re free to claim Hitler wasn’t one, just as anyone else would be free to claim you aren’t. But he identified himself as Roman Catholic Christian, in public and in private.

  14. says

    Matt D, I’ll just let the post to which I linked speak for itself.Is there a way to identify a true anything? Atheist? Agnostic? Buddhist? Sounds like special pleading – maybe you could elaborate. Seems to me that someone who believes the Bible, that they are a sinner in need of a Savior, and that Jesus died to save them from their sin and rose from the dead to provide eternal life would reasonably be described as a true Christian.

  15. says

    Let me clarify my last comment, before Rhology comes back with more objections…There are conflicting reports about what Hitler’s beliefs were and there are many reasons for this.1. Some of the reports are of questionable authenticity.2. Individual beliefs and opinions change and they can change many times in a lifetime, so it’s always an over-simplification to say simply state “Hitler was X”.3. Public statements do not always provide clear insight into someone’s true thoughts – and it’s possible that someone has intentionally lied. People have clearly ‘used’ a religion they don’t hold in order to achieve a goal.4. Private statements are of questionable reliability, can be altered and may be difficult to properly interpret…and virtually impossible to verify.5. Many comments are made in passing, and aren’t intended to clearly represent the person’s views.Let’s set aside Hitler and consider a different example: me.I was a Christian for the vast majority of my life. I’m now an atheist. Obviously, it’d be easy to find both public and private statements that represent each of these views – and a great many of those statement might be confusing or misleading.There were times when I was a very devout, moderate or nominal believer. There were times when I believed, but made statements expressing doubt about those beliefs. There were times when I was a sincere believer, yet I made statements that were very critical of organized religion and adherents.Such negative statements only demonstrate that I didn’t agree with aspects of my religion or the way some people practiced it, they may have shown I was unorthodox, but they don’t mean I was a non-believer. I, like most people, had my own views of what Christianity was.Similarly, there are statements that I’ve made – as an outspoken atheist – that are complimentary about some religion, some doctrine, some passage, some religious concept or some adherents. These statements don’t mean that I’m a closet-believer.The outside observer might have a difficult time piecing together my beliefs (well, probably not mine, since I spend so much time directly addressing them…but the point stands) unless they were able to ask me directly. The only fair way to deal with this is to state that I identified myself as a Christian for a time and as an atheist for a time.If I ever become and adherent of a religion in the future, the situation is only compounded.However, if I take an action and STATE that this action is taken because of my belief in god, or my disbelief in gods – then there are only two options:1. I’m lying.2. I’m being honest.If I have no way of assessing this (and I’m only talking about this one action and the stated motivation for it) then, personally, I’m willing to take the person at their word.If someone tells me the drowned their babies because God told them to – I’m going to believe them. I’m going to believe they’re crazy and that God didn’t tell them a thing…but I’ll accept that THEY believe it.This is the best we can do:Hitler made conflicting statements in public, and in private. I’ve seen NO statements where he claimed to be an atheist or a non-believer. I’ve seen many statements where he claimed various religious beliefs – including Catholicism. I’ve seen statements where he appealed to his belief in God and Jesus to justify actions.Was he crazy? I’d say so. Was he one of the most vile humans who ever lived? Yup. Was he sincere in his beliefs? I have no idea…I’m only addressing what he stated.

  16. says

    The thing about Hitler, regardless of whether or not he considered himself to be a Christian or some kind of neo-Teutonic pagan, the majority of the people who supported him likely would have identified themselves as Christian. As for Stalin, as I wrote in a post on my blog some months ago, would a Stalin have been in possible if Russia had not already produced an Ivan the Terrible? When you look at many, if not all, of the major communist or fascist despotisms of the 20th century, you see they arose in countries where the people had long been accustomed to being ruled by absolutist monarchies. Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong were Ivan the Terrible and Shi Huangdi with access to 20th century military technology.Concerning the crusades by the Catholics, most people focus on the Crusades to recover Jerusalem and the Levant. But there were much more than that. You can trace it back to the Frankish monarchs and their wars against the pagan Saxons. The Saxon Capitulary of 785 called for the death penalty for refusing baptism.Then you have the Wendish Crusades, the Baltic Crusades, the crusades against the Protestant Hussites of Bohemia, and the extermination of the Cathars. Again, I bear in mind that these are Catholic aggressions.

  17. says

    Rhology:I still don’t think you’re getting what I’m saying. I’m not saying that atheists should avoid the death-toll numbers game in religious debates because they will lose, and therefore it is in their best interest to avoid it. I’m saying that EVERYONE should avoid it, regardless of which “side” they’re arguing from, because it is a horrible way to discuss whether or not religion is good or bad. I don’t think this thread is going to go anywhere useful if we continue this death-toll/dictatorship pissing contest. I’m gonna come right out and say it. This line of reasoning, in my opinion, is bad in general because Hitler didn’t do what he did because he was Christian (assuming he was), and Pol Pot didn’t do what he did because he was atheist. They did what they did because they were AWFUL PEOPLE, and we’re not going to get anywhere by pointing fingers and trying to say “hah! see! you guys are bad!”. It isn’t useful and it’s just going to result in stupid crap like Rhology dismissing Catholics as non-Christian anyway, so who cares?

  18. says

    The idea of my “soul” having to remain aware and conscious *FOR-EVER*Sparrowhawk, actually, I wouldn’t mind it at all, well at least for a very long time. I wish I could float around, exploring the limits of the universe, or going back in time to the age of the dinosaurs or watching over some of the great battles of history and such.

  19. says

    Tommy contemplated:…going back in time to the age of the dinosaurs or watching over some of the great battles of history and such.You could check out that dude being nailed to a tree!

  20. Martin says

    I’ve always found it to be Christians like Dinesh D’Souza and Vox Day, not atheists, who bring up the body count rhetoric, but that’s just my own experience. Still I agree the whole subject amounts to little more than a rhetorical pissing contest that obscures the salient issue: is Christianity true or false? Certainly it can be shown throughout history that religion, far from giving its adherents a distaste for crimes like murder, has done nothing to prevent them becoming enthusiastic participants in it. Read about the mass slaughters of European Jews by Christians during the Black Death of the 14th century if you want to be left numb with sheer horror. But simply being religious, just like simply being non-religious, is not in and of itself a factor in ensuring a person is more or less moral than they’d otherwise be.

  21. Robert Morane says

    To Rhology:Christians don’t have an objective morality. Even your morality is subjective, Rhology; it is based on a sequence of choices you make. Eventually, it is your choices that tell you what is moral or immoral:You believe that killing is wrong, but why? Because God said so? Well, which god are you talking about (choice 1)? What religion (choice 2)? What book (choice 3)? What version (choice 4)? What interpretation of its content (choice 5)? Etc.Here’s an example: What does the 5th commandment say? Thou shalt not kill or Thou shalt not murder? Another choice! If you say that according to this or that scholar, it’s the latter, then that’s another choice (you’ve chosen what scholar(s) to trust).If the commandment is thou shalt not kill, then does killing include animals? Plants? Insects? Christians certainly do not seem to hesitate to kill flies! Choices, choices, choices!!If the commandment is Thou shalt not murder, then what is murder? The unnecessary killing of a human being (in which case death penalty would be immoral)? Or the unlawful killing of a human being (in which case if the law was changed and allowed people to kill gays, then killing gays would not be immoral)? Again, choices!And don’t bother quoting from the Bible: you’d be merely choosing how to interpret those passages.So you see, Rhology, there’s no such thing as an objective morality for a Christian. It’s choices all the way down.

  22. says

    Still I agree the whole subject amounts to little more than a rhetorical pissing contestOr as one of the characters played by Michael Palin in Monty Python’s The Holy Grail declared, “Let’s not bicker and argue over who killed who!”Read about the mass slaughters of European Jews by Christians during the Black Death of the 14th century if you want to be left numb with sheer horror.I just recently finished reading a good book called “The Barbarian Conversions” about the spread of Christianity in Europe during the late Roman Empire up to the end of the Middle Ages.An interesting thing that the author points out is that even into the first centuries of the Middle Ages, Judaism was a proselytizing faith that competed with Christianity for converts. However, it is not until about the latter half of the 11th century that you really see vicious anti-semitism rear its head with the pogroms against the Jews by the armies of the First Crusade as they made their way down to Constantinople.IIRC, the author cites as a factor an increase in religious fervor. In the several centuries after the end of the Western Empire, kings of this or that tribe would accept Christianity, but it took a number of generations for it to really take root with their subjects. While outwardly Christian, they also held on to some of their pagan beliefs. However, after say the year 1000, Christianity had firmly taken root in much of Western and Central Europe (apart from Moorish Spain, of course) and there were the Jews living in their midst still steadfastly refusing to accept the faith. Unlike rustic paganism, which was disorganized and parochial, Judaism represented a real threat because its adherents worshipped the same god.

  23. says

    Robert Morane,I explained what I mean by objective morality here. God is the basis, the standard, and He doesn’t change, so the morality that flows out of His nature is objective. You believe that killing is wrong, but why? Because God said so? Well, which god are you talking about (choice 1)? What religion (choice 2)? What book (choice 3)? What version (choice 4)? What interpretation of its content (choice 5)?*Murder* is wrong b/c it is contrary to God’s nature. I know that b/c He said so in the Bible.1) The God of the Bible.2) Christianity.3) The Bible.4) Um, there’s only one version. Are you asking me about the Apocrypha or something? The content of the Apocrypha doesn’t affect the commandment not to murder one way or the other.5) What other interpretation besides “do not murder” would you propose? This is a smokescreen question – offer an alternative interp and we’ll scrutinise it.5th cmdmt says do not murder. Not that hard. Did Moses come down from the mountain and say, “Wait, no killing? At all?” Are you seriously suggesting Moses was a pacifist?then does killing include animals? Plants? Insects?Your comment is just a bunch of argument from ignorance. B/c you don’t know the answers, therefore it can’t be that Christianity carries an objective morality. That conclusion does not follow from your ignorance.It’s “don’t murder”. Animals and plants are available for killing for various reasons such as food and raiment. It’s in the Bible. what is murder?You could have just asked rather than make all these shrill and ignorant statements, you know.Murder is the unlawful taking of human life. Unlawful = against the law of God.in which case if the law was changed and allowed people to kill gays, then killing gays would not be immoralOr what if the law were changed to allow the unrestricted killing of atheists? Or Christians? This concerns GOD’S law, not human law. We are to follow God’s law all the time and human law when it does not conflict with the former. But if we went with your suggestion, it would indeed not be objective. So you have burned a strawman.And don’t bother quoting from the Bible: you’d be merely choosing how to interpret those passages.I interpret your statement to mean that you have just repented of your sin, trusted Christ as Savior, and want to know the best church to go to. Wow, that’s great! I’ll be happy to tell you – let’s talk privately over email….This is a really stupid objection, Robert. Everyone interprets everything. It all comes down to who interps correctly. If you disagree with the way I cite the Bible, prove it’s wrong.Your ‘argument’ has no fangs and was actually extremely primitive, something I might expect from a 16-yr old new convert to atheism who read the God Delusion and is all fired up. But hopefully this will serve as a corrective for you to refine your argumentation.Peace,Rhology

  24. says

    Of course, a naturalist follows the whims of the neurons firing in his head, the non-voluntary machinations of his biological mechanism. But he THINKS he’s a real person. That is also known as “following the whims of an imaginary man inside your head”.

  25. says

    Okay, Rhology. Why don’t you go ahead and explain to us in terms that mean something to us (not resorting to the Bible or simple personal experience or strong emotions), why your interpretation of the Bible is the objectively “correct” one. It shouldn’t be hard.

  26. says

    “Of course, a naturalist follows the whims of the neurons firing in his head, the non-voluntary machinations of his biological mechanism.”So, I suppose we are in agreement that your opinions, which you attribute to a god, are no more valid than my opinions. ” But he THINKS he’s a real person. That is also known as “following the whims of an imaginary man inside your head”.”Actually, that’s known as universal skepticism. The notion that, you are willing to deny the validity of anything, even reality itself, if the evidence contradicts your assertion. I am as sure of my existence as one can be of anything. If your argument were applied consistently, then you would have to understand that any knowledge that you claim to have about a god is also invalid, because it comes from the same universe that you just asserted is unreal.

  27. says

    If naturalism is true, then it would seem that NOBODY’s opinions are more weighty than anyone else’s.I am really glad that you have faith in your existence. Your neurons are firing away, but whether they’re reliably secreting thoughts that correspond to reality does not follow, on naturalism.If your argument were applied consistently, then you would have to understand that any knowledge that you claim to have about a god is also invalid, because it comes from the same universe that you just asserted is unreal.So you’re saying that if naturalism is true, then naturalism is true? Wow, that’s deep.Of course. The point is that YOU don’t apply naturalism consistently. I’m trying to help you.I as a Christian don’t have that presupposition at all, so no, it wouldn’t be the case for me.

  28. says

    That’s it; I’m unsubscribing from this thread. I can’t bear to read any more of Rhology’s tortured logic. I come to blogs like this to get away from people like him.

  29. says

    Sparrowhawk,So I want to know what psg you had in mind (thus showing interest in the question) and that’s somehow not engaging? Enjoy your dreamland.

  30. says

    @ Rhology. My view of the world is consistent. There is no aspect of reality that you are willing to judge from an objective standpoint. So, you choose to believe that the world is a myth, and that a myth that came from within the world is true.I can’t say with absolute certainty that the world we experience is real, or simulation, or that it matters. But it is the world we experience. Why toss it, your freedom, and humanity aside in favor of a small chance that you may have lucked out and found the magic path to a heaven that is unlikely to exist?

  31. says

    Thomas,If your view of the world is consistent, then I suppose you make no value judgments with respect to morality AND think that they SHOULD be applicable to anyone else, right?Also, you would accept what I said above about the invisible man inside your head. You are not a person, since personhood does not exist in matter. You’re a bag of chemicals, molecules in motion, and neurons fire to move you around and to make you happy and make you sad and make you love. You have no free will. Indeed, you’re going to die and the matter of your body will simply decompose and become like other matter. And that’s going to happen with all the people you know and love, all puppy dogs, all flowers, all beluga whales. So I assume you hold all that in your mind and act and think and speak consistently with that. Right?If I’m wrong about God and Heaven and all that, so what? I just lived a life that made me happy, but of course happiness is a myth and just a product of neurons firing, much like genocidal mania. So what?So…no, I doubt your view of the world is consistent. But you could always prove me wrong.

  32. says

    Of course I make value judgements about morality, but they are based on the world in which we live, not on the mythology of an ancient culture. If you choose to follow a different system and call it morality, well, that’s semantics. Your beliefs regrading homosexuality, hell, and freedom do not conform to any useful definition of morality.As for your second argument, that is like arguing that a car doesn’t exist because it is composed of parts. Nice try, but you’ll have to think a little harder.As for the “just have fun and do whatever”, well, unfortunately, people have that choice. But, morality is a social contract. If you do not uphold your end of the deal, then we are not obligated to uphold ours. That is why we have law enforcement.As for you being wrong about heaven or hell, well, if it were a purely personal descision that affected no one else, then that is your right. Since you’ve committed no crimes, then it is still your legal right. But I contend that your view that morality doesn’t really exist; there is just following orders that come from a dubious source; is dangerous to society. One of the less dramatic examples if the prejudice and discrimination against homosexuals. Another is the re-election of George W. Bush, simply because he claimed to hate the right people, and the popularity of Sarah Palin, for the same reason. Picking incompetent leaders simply because they go to the “right church” can cause harm in ways that no single law ever could.And then there is all the crap going on in the Muslim world. Your view of morality, if applied consistently, would only have one thing to say about that: is god really on their side? And I have yet to hear you give one reason why your belief is better, more valid, or more likely to be true, than Bin Ladin, or any other fundy psycho on earth.

  33. says

    Thomas,So you make OUGHT value judgments on the basis of what IS. Sorry, that doesn’t work, and one of your boys, David Hume, was the one who formulated the major expression of that problem.So YOU might think one thing, but I might think another. Who’s right and how can we know? on naturalism, we can’t. Everything is matter in motion. So you’re NOT living consistently with your stated naturalistic worldview. I haven’t met a consistent naturalist yet, actually.that is like arguing that a car doesn’t exist because it is composed of parts. This just begs the question that the car exists at all, or that the parts do indeed compose a person. Give me some evidence that “personhood” exists on naturalism. As for the “just have fun and do whatever”, well, unfortunately, people have that choice. But, morality is a social contract.Maybe to YOU it is. But to me, it’s not. Who’s right and how can you know?Problem – morality allegedly informs what we desire as well as what we do. So where and how does your position inform that?Maybe you’d make another IF-THEN statement along those lines. Fine. Where does your position inform that?It’s an infinite regress.Where does it end? With faith in your self-derived, question-begging, fundamental moral presuppositions. It’s not based on “evidence” or “rational process” at all. Down the toilet go your lofty proclamations of a purely reason-based morality.How do you know what the contract is? Who signed it? If no one signed it, how do you know who agreed to it? How does one agree to it? What % of the population is required before it’s a contract? On naturalism, one would reasonably expect the social contract to be material. Where is it located? Is it written down? Who wrote it? Where can it be examined? Of what is it composed? What grade of paper and what tone of ink were used?Or is it conceptual? How is a concept “material”?Anytime you’re ready to answer these, come back. Otherwise, you are done.That is why we have law enforcement.Which answers not at all the question of how you know what’s right.is dangerous to societyAnd your argument that being dangerous to society is morally objectionable? : is god really on their side? On Muslims’ side? No. And I have yet to hear you give one reason why your belief is better, more valid, or more likely to be true, than Bin Ladin, or any other fundy psycho on earth.You might start to see it once you start digging into my questions above.Peace,Rhology

  34. says

    RhologyI know. You don’t believe in cars, morality, people, or anything, except a god from whom morality flows, which you do not believe in.You have failed to provide any logical reason why I should accept your claims about morality, and you have made an incredibly feable attempt to argue that without morality, we have to leave you be to do whatever you want. Horse shit! Without morality, you can have your hate, and you can commit crimes based on it, and we can lock you in a cage. You can’t say the concept doesn’t apply to you, but it does to everyone else. The difference between your definition of morality and mine is that mine benefits real people. If you want to argue that real people don’t exist, well, that’s your delusion and you can’t even make a logical argument for it. (“people don’t exist because they have organs. That begs the question, was chewbacca really a wookie”).So, unless you can come up with one logical reason why homosexuality is wrong, or why it is ok to torture someone forever, simply because that person doesn’t believe a fairy tale, or for any of the other crazy things stated in the Bible, then I’m out…

  35. says

    put to death by the state (a position that Dahmer is reported to have shared),Interestingly, Dahmer is reported to have repented and accepted Christ as his savior.Just FYI, these are both correct. Dahmer is on record as stating both, more than once. Not only in letters and personal statements, but also in videotaped interviews.Jeffrey Dahmer wanted to be executed because he did know, throughout the period during which his crimes were committed, that he was doing things that were wrong. His compulsion towards these acts was, however, so strong that he couldn’t resist it. Many lives would have been a great deal better if he had gotten help to deal with his obsessions. But, alas, despite both church attendance and a good deal of prayer, such help was not forthcoming.

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