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Nov 28 2012

AIG Has a Message for Atheists

Deacon Duncan linked to this hilarious post on the Answers in Genesis website, which is an open letter from someone named Bodie Hodge to atheists everywhere. It’s every bit as ridiculous as one would predict it to be, starting with the very first paragraph:

Are you tired of all the evil associated with the philosophy of atheism—Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and so on? After all, most murderers, tyrants, and rapists are not biblical Christians, and most have rejected the God of the Bible. Even if they claim to believe in the God of the Bible, they are not really living like a true Christ follower (who strives to follow God’s Word), are they?

Only True Christianstm employ No True Scotsman so effortlessly.

Do you feel conflicted about the fact that atheism has no basis in morality (i.e., no absolute right and wrong; no good, no bad?) If someone stabs you in the back, treats you like nothing, steals from you, or lies to you, it doesn’t ultimately matter in an atheistic worldview where everything and everyone are just chemical reactions doing what chemicals do. And further, knowing that you are essentially no different from a cockroach in an atheistic worldview (since people are just animals) must be disheartening.

He’s not really equating atheists with cockroaches, of course, he’s equating them with the straw man he’s beating the hell out of — in the name of Jesus, of course.

Are you tired of the fact that atheism (which is based in materialism, a popular worldview today) has no basis for logic and reasoning? Is it tough trying to get up every day thinking that truth, which is immaterial, really doesn’t exist? Are you bothered by the fact that atheism cannot account for uniformity in nature (the basis by which we can do real science)? Why would everything explode from nothing and, by pure chance, form beautiful laws like E=MC2 or F=MA?

Presuppositionalism for the win. Okay, for the laugh. It’s rather when a creationist, who so flagrantly ignores logic and reasoning in order to protect their belief system from disproof (faith — the ultimate trump card), claims that others have no basis for logic and reasoning.

For professing atheists, these questions can be overwhelming to make sense of within their worldview. And further, within an atheistic worldview, atheists must view themselves as God. Essentially, atheists are claiming to be God. Instead of saying there may not be a God, they say there is no God. To make such a statement, they must claim to be omniscient, which is an essential attribute of the God of the Bible) among other attributes of God as well.1 So, by saying there is no God, the atheist refutes his own position by addressing the question as though he or she were God!

Seriously, is this supposed to be a convincing argument to anyone with an IQ above that of a turnip? It just goes on and on like that. It would actually make a pretty good object lesson in the use of logical fallacies.

49 comments

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  1. 1
    gshelley

    Do you feel conflicted about the fact that atheism has no basis in morality (i.e., no absolute right and wrong; no good, no bad?) If someone stabs you in the back, treats you like nothing, steals from you, or lies to you, it doesn’t ultimately matter in an atheistic worldview where everything and everyone are just chemical reactions doing what chemicals do

    It never seems to occur to people that with just a little re-wording, this can be phrased as an attack on Christianity
    Do you feel conflicted about the fact that Christianity has no basis in morality (i.e., just what God approves of or disapproves of?). If someone stabs you in the back, treats you like nothing, steals from you, or lies to you, it doesn’t ultimately matter in a Christian worldview because God has already forgiven them?

  2. 2
    Gretchen

    Do I feel conflicted about a number of ridiculously unfair associations, non-existent implications, and false imputations Deacon Duncan sees fit to make regarding my lack of belief in God?

    No, not particularly.

    Does Deacon Duncan feel conflicted about being a bald-faced liar and ignoramus?

  3. 3
    jba55

    That was the first time I ever went to AiG’s site and I have to wonder, do they normally put up posts with question after question but not allow replies so people can answer? I assume it’s just because they don’t want to hear from atheists saying “no, I’m not tired of it since it’s not vaguely true, but I am tired of people saying that crap”.

  4. 4
    Gretchen

    Oh no. Bodie Hodge, Bodie Hodge! My greatest apologies to Deacon Duncon. I must not be fully awake yet.

  5. 5
    DaveL

    Gretchen, Deacon Duncan is not the author of that post. The author is someone named Bodie Hodge. Deacon Duncan just pointed it out, in much the same way Ed has here.

  6. 6
    cottonnero

    I suspect, like Pascal’s Wager, that this isn’t about converting atheists, but rather in reinforcing the faithful and the wavering. A mental rearguard action, if you will.

  7. 7
    eric

    Seriously, is this supposed to be a convincing argument to anyone with an IQ above that of a turnip?

    I’m honestly not sure whether folks like Mr. Hodge actually think they are reaching out to atheists, or whether they’re just using a ‘letter to atheists’ as a rhetorical device to testify their faith to other believers.

    I would like to think that Mr. Hodge is doing the latter, because that hypothesis insults his intelligence less. But having interacted with creationists on the web, it is fairly clear to me that some of them, at least, really do lack the ability to view their own arguments from another person’s perspective. They really don’t understand that an argument they find credible might not be credible to people who don’t share their faith assumptions. And so they – quite seriously and believing it will work – do patently silly things like trying to tell atheists how they ought to feel. Or (another one that baffles me) they quote scripture at someone who is asking why they should believe scripture.

  8. 8
    fifthdentist

    “If someone stabs you in the back, treats you like nothing, steals from you, or lies to you, it doesn’t ultimately matter in an atheistic worldview where everything and everyone are just chemical reactions doing what chemicals do.”

    Funny, my sane Christian friends who are/were in business say that when they run across Jesus freaks they immediately suspect they’re about to get fucked. To the point if someone ends a conversation with “God bless” or the like, one should grab hold of his wallet. Most agree that the people who screwed them over the most in this life were those who aggressively pushed their Christian beliefs.

  9. 9
    A Hermit

    LOL…this was my favourite bit:

    Christians do have a basis to wear clothes (to cover shame due to sin; see Genesis 2:25; 3:7)

    Well I have a good, non-religious reason to wear clothes…it’s -20 Celsius outside this morning and I will fucking freeze to death if I walk around naked…

  10. 10
    matty1

    My first thought was it sounds like a get rich quick marketing scam “Do you have problems, are you looking for a perfect life?” Then I realised it isn’t like that it is a marketing scam, the only difference is they promise eternal life rather than to make you a millionaire.

  11. 11
    Jasper of Maine

    So many bloggers decided to tear this apart. I don’t think this guy from AiG helped his cause, because now there’s 20-fold more content on the internet laying out the arguments for the world to see just how nutzoid they are.

  12. 12
    cptdoom

    Instead of saying there may not be a God, they say there is no God. To make such a statement, they must claim to be omniscient, which is an essential attribute of the God of the Bible) among other attributes of God as well.1 So, by saying there is no God, the atheist refutes his own position by addressing the question as though he or she were God!

    As an atheist I am perfectly willing to acknowledge I don’t know with certainty that there is no God or gods, as described in the various religious texts used by the various schools of philosophy known as “religions” in this world. I do know that the “evidence” used to “prove” such a God or gods exist is so flimsy as to be absolutely unconvincing, so I am not going to worry about angering him/her/them or what consequences there may be if I don’t follow the specific set of rules from any one of those schools of thought.

    I am also perfectly willing to admit there is likely a “higher power” – that there is some source of power which birthed the multiverse, but I am not willing to believe that higher power had higher intelligence or cares about the behavior of a miniscule number of intelligent animals living on one planet, orbiting a totally typical star, in a standard galaxy, that is itself part of a completely common cluster of galaxies, existing in just one of the many universes.

    Yet somehow I am not without compassion, empathy or morals. I can understand that people do “good” when they help and assist one another and “bad” when they violate the rights of their fellow human beings. I can even understand that societies thrive when more people do “good” than “bad.” In fact, I believe that was the main teaching of a philosopher many of my fellow humans believe was divine – some guy from Nazareth about 2 centuries ago.

  13. 13
    matty1

    patently silly things like trying to tell atheists how they ought to feel

    This is the style of argument I hate most of all telling people that because they are in a particular group (in your eyes) they are obligated to match your stereotype of that group.

  14. 14
    toro

    Couldn’t agree more with comment 1.

    We get this all the time, “Atheism is nihilism because it’s a world view where nothing matters,” stated by people who have faith that anything terrible that happens in this world is really good because ultimately it’s all part of god’s great big wonderful secret plan.

  15. 15
    Michael Heath

    David Frum had a great post the other day about how village idiots can now organize and therefore are regrettably having a bigger impact on public policy. While we’ve been saying the same now in this venue for years, I found his doing so disingenuous. Simply because the idiocy isn’t only coming from the grass roots of conservatism as he laments, but also from the leaders of the movement and the GOP; and not just as cynical pandering to the base, but where those leaders are increasingly, also ‘true believers’ of their own swill.

    This particular false narrative Ed posts about here goes beyond one mere delusional idiot, this is essentially the same argument many conservative Christian religious leaders have long made and continue to make. Like Rick Warren. Where Warren will even make such assertions in venues like Meet the Press as he did on their Easter Sunday show a couple of years ago.

    Greta Christina’s book has her making a great argument about what atheists need to do to make such defamation and demagoguery resonate less with the public, which is to come out of the closet. IIRC she uses the analogy of gays coming out of the closet making it impossible for reasonable people to continue to hold the misperceptions of gays conservative Christians have long promoted to the public. That it will far more difficult to equate your typical American atheist to Stalin or Mao if they know some actual atheists. That won’t change the current perception of most older conservative Christians, but it will have a generational impact over time.

    So while it’s kinda funny watching someone like Bodie Hodge shit all over themselves on the Internet, it’s still frustrating to know this sort of hate speech comes straight from the tribal leaders themselves. So such rhetoric has an enormous impact on our politics and the lives of all of us.

  16. 16
    Didaktylos

    Ed – how many people will Bodie Hodge have interacted with that have IQ anywhere near as high as a turnip’s?

  17. 17
    matty1

    @16 Well assuming Bodie was delivered by a qualified midwife or doctor – one.

  18. 18
    iknklast

    this is essentially the same argument many conservative Christian religious leaders have long made and continue to make

    This is also essentially the same argument my liberal Christian friends make, just with a bit less hyperbole. Don’t have any reason to get up in the morning. Don’t have any basis for morality. Don’t have any joy. The only difference between the conservative and liberal Christian arguments on this is the type of language they use to word it, and whether they express it in anger or sorrow (or hate or love, in some cases).

  19. 19
    Chiroptera

    Are you tired of all the evil associated with the philosophy of atheism…

    Actually, I’m more afraid of the danger that the evil of conservative evangelical Christianity poses to the US.

    -

    …Even if they claim to believe in the God of the Bible, they are not really living like a true Christ follower (who strives to follow God’s Word), are they?

    Well, then the problem isn’t just atheism, is it? Maybe you need to figure out first why evil people do evil things and then focus on solving that problem.

  20. 20
    Aliasalpha

    I think the best response to hodge I could manage is to borrow a quote from Lano & Woodley:

    “If all the village idiots from all the villages left their villages and formed their own village, of idiots, in that village, you would be the village idiot”

  21. 21
    jaxkayaker

    “It’s rather when a creationist, who so flagrantly ignores logic and reasoning in order to protect their belief system from disproof (faith — the ultimate trump card), claims that others have no basis for logic and reasoning.”

    Ed, it seems as though a word is missing following “rather”, perhaps the word “ironic”?

  22. 22
    Michael Heath

    iknklast writes:

    This is also essentially the same argument my liberal Christian friends make, just with a bit less hyperbole. Don’t have any reason to get up in the morning. Don’t have any basis for morality. Don’t have any joy. The only difference between the conservative and liberal Christian arguments on this is the type of language they use to word it, and whether they express it in anger or sorrow (or hate or love, in some cases).

    A lot of absurd beliefs we see from conservatives are ones where I can rationalize them naturally coming to these conclusions independently, e.g., God was punishing New Orleans gays with Katrina. The assertion this nut lists and iknklast’s liberal Christians associates argue appears to me to be a different type. A type which has to be repeatedly fed to the sheep in order to take hold; which is why I raised the Rick Warren example. I can’t see most people conjuring up the false idea that atheists can’t be moral or have no reason to live on their own. There’s a lot of rot through-out Christianity, especially with the influential.

  23. 23
    Abdul Alhazred

    … is this supposed to be a convincing argument …

    Not in the sense of trying to convert educated unbelievers.

    The primary purpose would be to keep people in the fold, but it’s also of some utility in beguiling the ignorant uncommitted.

  24. 24
    anandine

    In fairness to Hodge, he has identified a major philosophical issue for atheists: How do we decide how to act if there is no God to tell us what to do?

    Unfortunately, he missed the fact that there is an answer to this problem. The simplistic version is do what feels right to you. The somewhat longer version is that what feels like appropriate action to us is some combination of genes, what our parents told us, and what our school friends told us.

    Cultural norms are the average of what feels right to influential members of the society. Theists are right when they say that means we and other cultures would have different ideas of what is moral and what is not. We clearly do.

    The law is the codified average of what feels right to the oligarchs.

  25. 25
    holytape

    Instead of saying there may not be a God, they say there is no God. To make such a statement, they must claim to be omniscient, which is an essential attribute of the God of the Bible….

    By their logic, to claim an omniscient God, they would have to be omniscient themselves. How can you know that God is all-knowing and every where without being all-knowing yourself?

  26. 26
    abb3w

    What makes me feel the most stabby is “Do you feel conflicted about the fact that atheism has no basis in morality (i.e., no absolute right and wrong; no good, no bad?)” That’s a really lousy choice of preposition there. Does he mean “for” or “of” morality?

    Presuming so, my answer to this is that atheism refers to a proposition about how the experiential universe “is”; it also refers to the entire class of philosophies about how one “ought” to interact with it, which are as diverse as Marxist Communism, Randite Capitalism, Nietzschean “Quest for Power” Nihilism, Secular Humanism, some strains of Buddhism, Epicurean Hedonism, and so on. Each various axioms about how the world “is”, which include or allow as inference that gods don’t exist; but they also include one or more axioms about how one “ought” to act.

    (Alternatively, the choice of “in” is correct and a subtly revealing point: he considers morality as the reason for believing in God, or not; and since he considers morality as based on God, perhaps because I has no understanding for morality other than someone more powerful saying “because I said so”.)

    Similarly, “Are you tired of the fact that atheism (which is based in materialism, a popular worldview today) has no basis for logic and reasoning?” is pretty annoying. As noted, there are several possible ways to get to atheism; “materialism” is one, but not the only one. As to the question of “logic and reasoning”, most western atheists seem comfortable looking to the mathematicians on this; then proceed to construct logic and reasoning from the basis of Axioms. What he may be asking about is whether it’s bothersome that the Axioms are taken without justification… which probably it is for a lot of people. For that, there’s two responses. The simpler answer is that on what basis a proposition (including an axiom) is taken as true makes no difference to the correctness of the subsequent conclusions, so long as it is correct; for the concern to matter, one must be willing to point to some axiom and disagree about its correctness. As long as all the starting propositions are correct, and all the inferences after are valid, the conclusions will be correct. The more complicated answer is that most of the axioms are arbitrary selections; there are alternative axioms which lead to equivalent philosophical structures, leaving the lack of justification no more bothersome than the lack of justification for discussing philosophy in English rather than German.

    @6, cottonnero:

    I suspect, like Pascal’s Wager, that this isn’t about converting atheists, but rather in reinforcing the faithful and the wavering. A mental rearguard action, if you will.

    The psychological jargon for that seems to be “attitude bolstering”.

    @9, A Hermit:

    Well I have a good, non-religious reason to wear clothes…it’s -20 Celsius outside this morning and I will fucking freeze to death if I walk around naked…

    That’s only a good non-religious reason in so far as you consider freezing to death a bad thing, and the basis for such consideration is not classed as “religious” despite being concerned with Right Action….

  27. 27
    Gretchen

    In fairness to Hodge, he has identified a major philosophical issue for atheists: How do we decide how to act if there is no God to tell us what to do?

    Actually, I think he identified a major philosophical problem for theists: How do we decide how to act if the universe has a creator, and we have no fucking clue what he/she thinks about how we should act, or if he/she has any such thoughts at all?

  28. 28
    Chiroptera

    Are you tired of the fact that atheism (which is based in materialism, a popular worldview today) has no basis for logic and reasoning?

    The basis for logic and reasoning is that these are tools that actually work when they are used properly. When my premises are accurate, the correct use of logic and reasoning produce conclusions that are accurate. That is all the basis that I need.

  29. 29
    Chiroptera

    anandine, #24: In fairness to Hodge, he has identified a major philosophical issue for atheists: How do we decide how to act if there is no God to tell us what to do?

    But don’t forget the major philosophical problem for theists: what do you do when your god tells you to do something clearly evil? Like stoning a guy to death just because he was picking up sticks on the Sabbath? Or killing every single man, woman, and child when you conquer a city?

  30. 30
    greg1466

    I saw the best response to the ‘no basis for morality’ argument I’ve ever seen yesterday on Facebook. From memory, so it may not be exact…

    You don’t need God to be moral. If you can’t tell right from wrong, you lack empathy, not religion.

  31. 31
    raven

    Are you tired of all the evil associated with the philosophy of atheism—Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and so on?

    Gets his facts wrong as usual.

    Stalin raised and educated in an Orthodox monastery. Sympathetic to the Russian church and claimed by some to be a believer.

    Hitler A Catholic. When he died, the bishop of Berlin ordered a Catholic Mass for the dead for him.

    Pol Pot educated in Catholic schools.

    Of course, none of these did what they did because of atheism. It was all politics of one sort or another.

    If AIG used the same reasoning for xians, we could blame the US civil war, World Wars I and II, and the war of 1812 on xians. Because xians started them and fought in them. Not to mention all the European wars from 350 CE on.

  32. 32
    cjcolucci

    When I saw the headline, I thought there was going to be a story about marketing insurance for atheists, or denying insurance to atheists. Maybe insurance companies have data on atheists and insurance risk, which would be interesting. Not exactly Pascal’s Wager, but maybe a better use of statistical reasoning.

  33. 33
    raven

    In fairness to Hodge, he has identified a major philosophical issue for atheists: How do we decide how to act if there is no God to tell us what to do?

    Not really.

    It isn’t like Hodge thought of this first.

    The ancient Romans and Greeks had an answer.
    Live a good life, do what is right, and, if the gods exist, they will approve.

    There are other answers, as many as people who want to answer it.

    BTW, xians have the same exact problem. Millions of them hear voices in their heads from god telling them what to think and do. All those voices conflict with each other. They can’t all be right. But they can all be wrong.

    The xian god is just a sockpuppet. God hates what you hate and wants you to have what you want.

  34. 34
    aaronbaker

    @31: So Stalin might have been a Christian now? Freethinkers do themselves no favors with this sort of factually unmoored stuff.

    The case of Hitler is more ambiguous, though I can think of five sources off the top of my head who attribute anti-Christian sentiments to Hitler after his dust-up with the German churches in 1937.

    Let’s leave cherry-picking and/or ignoring evidence to the Fundamentalists.

  35. 35
    andrew

    within an atheistic worldview, atheists must view themselves as God. Essentially, atheists are claiming to be God. Instead of saying there may not be a God, they say there is no God. To make such a statement, they must claim to be omniscient, which is an essential attribute of the God of the Bible) among other attributes of God as well.

    Whenever I see this sort of bullshit, it always reminds me of a wonderful quote from Tolkien:

    [Sauron] is in great fear, not knowing what mighty one may suddenly appear, wielding the Ring, and assailing him with war, seeking to cast him down and take his place. That we should wish to cast him down and have no one in his place is not a thought that occurs to his mind. That we should try to destroy the Ring itself has not yet entered into his darkest dream.

  36. 36
    andrew

    Or again …

    [Sauron] weighs all things to a nicety in the scales of his malice. But the only measure that he knows is desire, desire for power; and so he judges all hearts. Into his heart the thought will not enter that any will refuse it, that having the Ring we may seek to destroy it. If we seek this, we shall put him out of reckoning.

  37. 37
    pacal

    A couple of years ago AIG had a essay on its website arguing that if you lied to the Nazis if they came around looking for Jews you were hiding in the basement you were committing a great unforgivable sin. In fact a greater sin than murder! Of course the point of the piece was to argue that Modern day Christian Fundamentalists who would, allegedly never lie were morally superior to people who would hide the innocent to protect them from wrongful death.

    The arrogance of these people is awesome.

  38. 38
    aaronbaker

    I think not. I think that in the end, if all else is
    conquered, Bombadil will fall, Last as he was First; and then Night will come.

    Tolkien was at times an eloquent fellow.

  39. 39
    Area Man

    I’m honestly not sure whether folks like Mr. Hodge actually think they are reaching out to atheists, or whether they’re just using a ‘letter to atheists’ as a rhetorical device to testify their faith to other believers.

    The latter. It’s not even, in principle, a valid argument to use against an atheist. They’re basically telling us that we’re amoral people. If that were true, the one thing we definitely won’t be persuaded by is consequentialist moralizing.

    The fact is that virtually everything written by AIG and other creationist outfits is for the consumption of their own followers and to a lesser degree “apostate” Christians. It is a closed world they live in.

  40. 40
    heddle

    pacal,

    A couple of years ago AIG had a essay on its website arguing that if you lied to the Nazis if they came around looking for Jews you were hiding in the basement you were committing a great unforgivable sin. In fact a greater sin than murder!

    I would like to see that. Do you have a link? I’m no fan (to put it mildly) of AiG, but this doesn’t smell right.

    Hiding people from the authorities an lying about it to protect them is exactly what Rahab the Harlot did (and she makes the faith hall o’ fame in Hebrews 11) — hard to believe they would a) miss that obvious connection and b) argue that if you lied to protect Jews from the Nazis you were committing a sin greater than murder. I do not believe it.

  41. 41
    Michael Heath

    Sam Harris’ mini-book on lying used the Nazi knocking at your door example to distinguish that sort of justifiable lie from all the other types of lies. IIRC, he condemned all of the latter.

    I’m not sure that was the only exception he advocated since I read that book on my smartphone where I’m having trouble retaining what I read in that media or in the environment when I read books from that media (usually a few moments to spare while waiting for others).

  42. 42
    slc1

    Re raven @ #31

    Actually the 30 Years War between Catholics and Protestants is a better example. The fraction of the population of Central Europe that died in that war exceeded the fraction of the population of the same area who died in WW 1 or WW 2. It is rather fortunate that Count Tilly, Albrecht von Wallenstein, and King Gustavus Adolphus did not have access to 20th century weapons or the entire population of Central Europe might have been wiped out.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    heddle

    pacal,

    Thanks for the link. I think (you will disagree, of course) that you oversold the account–I don’t mean that in an insulting way–but I don’t think it was presented as a great unforgivable sin worse than murder. They way it was presented, more or less that God hates lying and lying is always wrong– I have heard a million times. Also, the writer is wrong on the hebrew midwives–the plain reading is that they lied–and (like with Rahab) they are not condemned. You have to really stretch the text to argue that they did not lie.

    I used to have arguments about this with a previous pastor, who took the position that Rahab and the midwives sinned.

    I don’t think so. The bible is full of situational ethics or case law. You cannot kill you neighbor’s bull–unless he knocks over your fence, etc. To say that they sinned is to put god in a box and say “this activity is sinful in all circumstances.” I do not see that taught anywhere in the bible. It is legalism. Jesus, in violating the Sabbath, said that the Sabbath was made for man, not the other way around.

    Anyway, I get your point, and thanks again for the link. I found the essay horribly juvenile and naive and a little depressing.

  45. 45
    dingojack

    Heddle – wasn’t it Ruth (or Esther) who dropped a mill-stone on some overlord’s head and so became a heroine of the Jewish nation?
    That really was murder, but (in their eyes at least) justifiable. Like you said, situational ethics, not monolithic morality.
    Dingo

  46. 46
    heddle

    DJ,

    I think you are thinking of the women who killed Abimelek in Judges 9. That’s not the best justifiable homicide in Judges though–the best is when Ehud says to the fat Moabite king Eglon– here’s a message from god! as he plunges a knife into him. While his servants think he is on the “porcelain” throne.

  47. 47
    pacal

    Heddle in the article it says:

    “Jesus tells us that all the commandments can be summed up into these two statements. But of these two, the first is to love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. So, this would trump the second. Our actions toward God should trump our actions toward men. Peter also affirmed this:

    Acts 5:29
    But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

    If we love God, we should obey Him (John 14:15). To love God first means to obey Him first—before looking at our neighbor. So, is the greater good trusting God when He says not to lie or trusting in our fallible, sinful minds about the uncertain future?”

    That combined with all the repeated mentions about people dying anyway and we’re all sinners and we don’t know about God’s plans for people etc. It al led me to think that yes this article was saying lying was a worst sin than murder. I note that telling the truth in the Jews being hidden in the basement scenario makes the truth teller an accomplice to murder and the article clearly believes telling the truth is the ‘right” thing to do. I note the authors clearly mention that the circumstance is a most difficult one still they seem to think truth telling is the “right” thing to do.

  48. 48
    heddle

    pacal,

    Yes, they clearly teach that telling a lie, even to prevent a murder by some third party, is wrong. This a common teaching and one I think is wrong and cannot be supported from the bible, and one in which there are the two previously mentioned famous counter-examples. But the article does not say that lying is worse than committing a murder.

    There are of course commandments against lying–so I am reading in the fact that there are exceptions for situations made all over the place in the bible. The case law in scripture gives me confidence that it is understood that the greatest commandment on how we are to treat each other (love your neighbor as yourself) can trump lesser commandments (do not lie, etc.) when they are in such violent conflict.

    Whether the scenario makes you an accomplice to murder is impossible to answer in a legal sense. It would depend on the specific laws of your land–and if you did it because you had a reasonable fear of being harmed should your lie be discovered, I doubt that charge applies–especially given the authorities are the ones knocking on the door. You might argue that ethically you are an accomplice– maybe, but the clearer case to me is that ethically you would be a coward.

  49. 49
    democommie

    “Are you tired of the fact that atheism (which is based in materialism, a popular worldview today) has no basis for logic and reasoning?”

    That question could be a lot more entertaining if it was asked by “The Old Philosopher”, Eddie Lawrence.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOhKqWMhVVI

    “@31: So Stalin might have been a Christian now? Freethinkers do themselves no favors with this sort of factually unmoored stuff.”

    Well, he may not have been a REAL christian but,according to at least one source he spent some years in the seminary–before eventually being booted out for his political activism.

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