Comments

  1. Bluestar says

    I was really looking forward to these guys hosting together. Unfortunately the lines were tied up early and I couldn’t get on to ask them my question do I will post it here. Anyone familiar with the work of Tom Campbell of My Big T.O.E. fame? If so, what are your thoughts?

  2. says

    I just watched Talk Heathen, and Jaime made the announcement that he is resigning as president from the ACA. Does anyone know who will be the new president or if there will be elections?

  3. parkerren says

    I was so happy to see Seth Andrews on “The Atheist Experience” I love an excellent cross-over episode, but for this cross-over the be complete it will require Matt to appear on “The Thinking Atheist” podcast.
    Seth said he does not drink beer. I never drank beer, not even a sip, until I was in my forties. (Yes it was a sad life.) But I have now learned some great truths, and they are “God is NOT great, beer is AWESOME, and people are CRAZY.”
    If Seth Andrews sees this comment, and he ever finds himself in West Fargo, North Dakota, I would love to take him out to JL Beers.for a great burger and a great beer. (Fargo Stones Throw)
    Overall an excellent episode, no pre-mature hangups, no putting someone on hold so Matt or Seth could get a word in edgewise and no “OH MY GOD ARE YOU GOING TO STOP?!”
    This is one of the best so far this year, and definitely a classic episode.
    Love you guys, keep doing what you are doing. You are making such difference.

  4. parkerren says

    @Jeanette #2

    From Matt Dillahunty, President, Atheist Community of Austin:
    On Saturday, July 6th, 2019, Jamie Boone resigned as President of the Atheist Community of Austin.
    Jamie will continue as one of the hosts of Talk Heathen and is still actively participating in many of the ACA’s efforts and other programs. The board and membership are grateful for Jamie’s time as President and we’re happy that he’s going to continue to be an active and important part of the ACA.
    At the previous special meetings of the board, the ACA membership and board members addressed concerns that were raised, including a number of problems related to communications, transparency and decisions made by board leadership, and it was agreed that changes needed to be made.
    Matt Dillahunty previously served as ACA President, for many years, and the board requested that he return to that role to ensure that the organization maintains institutional knowledge and to help ease the transition, given the recent changes.
    This leaves a single vacancy on the board, which will be filled after eligible members interested in the position are considered by the board.
    The current ACA Board of Directors is focused on continuing our mission and growth. We’re confident that these changes best serve that goal. We’re grateful to our local community and our international community for their continued support.
    We’re also grateful for the continued participation of the individuals whose roles have changed…and while adjusting to these changes will take time, we have a committed team of volunteers and directors focused on continuing to producing our programming and to building and supporting the atheist community in Austin and around the world.
    Our organization has grown at an impressive pace. The ACA Freethought Library is a proper community center, open 7 days a week and there are frequent regular events in addition to the broadcast programs that are part of the Atheist Experience Network. Look for improvements to our website, building and media as we continue to work toward a better, secular world…and one of the finest atheist ‘must visit’ communities in the world!
    Questions from members, as well as eligible members interested in the currently vacant director position, should be directed to: board@atheist-community.org or president@atheist-community.org
    Thank you.
    Matt Dillahunty
    President, Atheist Community of Austin

    The current ACA board of directors:
    President – Matt Dillahunty
    Vice President – Silas Shafer
    Secretary – Maria Senftleber
    Directors:
    Vern Graner
    Eric Pearson
    Kevin Stein
    Drew McCoy
    Dan Earles
    – unfilled director seat

  5. unfogged says

    I was sorry to see The Thoughtless Atheist asked to appear on TAE. For all his comments on the need to provide community for atheists, Mr Andrews shut down the very active TTA forum with little notice and without having the decency to post any explanation or interact at all with the members. Many who were active there for years were caught by surprise and lost a resource that was very important for no apparent reason. While he had every legal right to end the forum, the way he handed it smacked of hypocrisy and either callousness or cowardice. Mr Andrews talks a good game but actions speak louder than words and his actions showed that had no respect for the atheist community he started or for any of the people that kept it going for so long. I have nothing but disdain for him at this point.

  6. says

    The first caller asked about male circumcision. I am interested in this topic, particularly the policy aspect of it. Does anyone have ideas for how to convince Jews in America to stop circumcising male babies?
    BTW if you are interested in the social and medical aspects of the issue from a world perspective, check out our deep dive on episode 54 of Habeas Humor. http://www.habeashumor.com

  7. jeuandavid says

    Male circumcision seems to be a practice peculiar to the USA. It might well be a tradition amongst US Xtians, but is certainly not a tradition amongst Xtians in Britain and – as far as I’m aware, the rest of Europe.

  8. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Jeanette #2:

    I just watched Talk Heathen, and Jaime made the announcement that he is resigning

     
    Video: TalkHeathen – 03.27 Jamie Boone, Jenna Belk (1:37:52, Jul 7)

    (1:35:16, Jamie): My resignation letter is short and sweet. And so, I’ll read it now.
    ” ” ”
    Hello fellow infidels,
     
    It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve as your president, but I believe that the time has come for me to resign my formal role as president I look forward to working together in a new capacity. And I look forward to playing a new role in our community.
     
    Yours in godless community,
    Jamie Boone
    ” ” “

     

    Does anyone know who will be the new president or if there will be elections?

    Per the ACA bylaws, the board chooses replacements.
     

    Vacancies shall be filled by majority vote of the remaining members of the Board of Directors, and the Director filling the vacancy shall serve for the remainder of the term of the directorship that was vacated. Vacancies shall be filled as soon as practical. Any Director may make nominations to fill vacant directorships.
     
    After a single regularly scheduled board meeting has passed without any nomination being made for any vacancies, any ACA member in good standing may make a nomination for any vacancies. Any Director so appointed must be confirmed by a majority of members present at a general meeting for which at least two weeks’ notice of the election has been given.

     
     
    Matt made an announcement on two Facebook groups, with the text parkerren quoted in #4.
     
    Axp
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/atheistexperience/permalink/1399271156893418/
    ACA
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/18852453336/permalink/10156621219093337/
     
    FB Comment: Matt Dillahunty (Jul 7)

    [Re: Megan Bonner’s resignation]
     
    Actually, there were 3 mostly unrelated resignations. Kevin Carney also resigned from the board but is continuing to work with the ACA on projects as schedules permit. […]

  9. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    * Rather there was an election, and it already happened.
    “confirmed by a majority of members present at a general meeting”.

  10. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    /Double-take at the first bit: “majority vote of the remaining members […] Any Director may make nominations to fill vacant directorships.”.
     
    From the announcement: “the board requested that he return to that role”
     
    Okay, that happened. I should get some sleep.

  11. PETER CUSHNIE says

    Why do Jews who become atheists continue to refer to themselves as Jews, as if being Jewish were a biological trait that cannot be walked away from? Is Jewish culture that strong? Comedian Bill Maher, who is about as atheist as you can get, yet calls himself a Jew as if that were the same thing as calling himself a white man. I’ve heard former Catholics call themselves “cultural” Catholics, by which they mean that they came from a Catholic background (a little silly, if you ask me), but only Jews seem not to be able to shake that identity, like a prayer shawl that cannot be removed. Curious.

  12. charlesminus says

    Since we’re getting a lot of quest co-hosts (a nice change), let me suggest that Noah Lugeons would be a real hoot and I’m sure he would jump at the chance. (I’m thinking he may have been on before, but my memory sucks.)

  13. Claywise says

    Chris from Idaho seems to me like a sort of mirror image of Saad from Pakistan.

    Both men claim to have thoroughly investigated the matter and solidly concluded that — surprise! — the belief system they grew up with, into which they were each indoctrinated at an early age, is magically, wonderfully “correct” and all others are wrong.

    Chris even noted that Muhammad was a man of his culture (or some term close to that) and that explains how Islam came to be.

    Why is it that a) such people don’t seem able to apply Loftus’ “outsider test for faith” and b) AXP hosts so seldom make effective use of that question (I believe Seth did mention it today). The confirmation bias on display with persons of faith who miraculously were born into the Truth (capital “T”) seems to me a useful crow bar for prying people out of their ill-considered beliefs.

  14. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ charlesminus 12:

    He was on a few months ago and did well.

    @ Claywise 13:

    Chris also called on episode 22.23 and was just as incoherent then as he was yesterday. I’m continually baffled by people who believe something so completely and passionately and yet seem to have not spent all that much time really thinking about it.

    I’m a huge fan of the outsider test for faith and also wish AXP hosts would use it more.

  15. paxoll says

    @Habeus Humor.
    By policy, I’m guessing you are referring to the medical position? People tend to misunderstand the medical position as they do not understand what phrases like “do not recommend routine circumcision” means. Every medical decision is a risk/benefit decision as everything has both. Medicine has constantly moving lines in the sand based on scientific research. One line is to recommend routinely, on a spectrum of risk/benefit this is far to one side. This is the line in the sand that says to get your colon checked when you hit 50, but not after 75. Does that mean its wrong to check the colon before 50? or after 75? No, because there are always things that change the risk/benefit calculation, and just because it is not recommended for routine doesn’t mean a the patient cannot evaluate that decision for themselves.

    The other end of the spectrum is recommend against whatever. This is never going to be a “routine” statement. This is a categorical statement about harm outweighing any benefit. Do not give x medicine to someone with an allergy, or an example a little closer to topic would be, do not remove tonsils or appendix prophylactically. Now people will jump on this as being completely analogous to circumcision, but it is not. These are major surgeries, and they do still remove them prophylactically when another reason necessitates surgery. So circumcision is firmly in a medical grey zone where the benefits are significant enough that the people making the medical decision should be made aware of them and the risks are insignificant enough to not recommend not doing it. The vast majority of laypersons do not understand medical risks and tend to trivialize them. Taking an antibiotic is not without risks, and the risks are much greater than the average person realizes, but in the context of an active infection that risk becomes less than the risk of allowing the infection to continue. Therefore the reason behind the APA recommendation that circumcision be available to parents.

    Now, if you want to judge the intention behind the decision. If parents are getting their priests to do the procedure, yea, that is completely wrong. But I don’t read minds, and just like abortion, I’m not going to try and judge someones intentions, just the medical ethical right for the person to make the decision.

  16. Claywise says

    5. @unfogged

    Re “I was sorry to see The Thoughtless Atheist asked to appear on TAE. For all his comments on the need to provide community for atheists, Mr Andrews shut down the very active TTA forum with little notice and without having the decency to post any explanation or interact at all with the members.”

    Jeez. Let it go. People get to do things, sometimes things you don’t approve of, sometimes for reasons you don’t like. The continual whining over at the new Atheist Discussion group about Seth’s alleged Crime of the Century drove me away from that toxic waste dump.

    It wasn’t personal, I’m sure. Maybe time to drop it?

  17. Claywise says

    11. @ PETER CUSHNIE

    Judaism is a curious chimera, in some ways. It is, of course, a religion. But there is also a sense in which many consider it a race or ethnicity, and while yes, you can convert to Judaism, DNA can indeed identify, for example, whether someone comes from Ashkenazi Jewish (basically, European) roots.

  18. Honey Tone says

    Peter @ 11 –
    I know some Jews through my wife who is Jewish, and they are mostly atheists (a.k.a., secular, or non-religious or non-practicing). Even the ones who grew up as secular Jews still interacted with religious Jews and engaged in religiously-connected activities (seders, bar and bat mitsvahs, funerals, weddings, Jewish new year’s, learning some Hebrew and/or Yiddish). Also, I would expect that in the diaspora both culture and ancestry became predominant factors in Jewish identity to a large extent because the folks who have persecuted Jews for the last couple of millenia around the world have not ever intentionally spared, to my knowledge, non-religious Jews; they didn’t get a pass on the pograms. the ghettos, or the Holocaust.

  19. Honey Tone says

    (sorry, computer issues – continuing my post #18:)
    So, to answer your specific question:

    “Why do Jews who become atheists continue to refer to themselves as Jews, as if being Jewish were a biological trait that cannot be walked away from?”

    probably because Jewish identity is not merely a matter of religion. Culture and ancestry and environment are acquired or soaked up and they don’t leave you just because you remove (or never have) god beliefs.

  20. Murat says

    @Honey Tone
    Isn’t that already why the caller suggested to use “Hebrew” to imply anything outside of / beyond religious affiliation?
    Sounds much more practical. Otherwise, confusion is inevitable. If I were a Jew who had divorced himself from the religion, I guess I’d prefer being called “Hebrew” when ancestry was the subject matter.

  21. speedofsound says

    @Bluestar Oh god. What is Thomas Campbell’s theory on consciousness. He is an expert I hear. I am almost afraid to ask. I did just buy his god damn book though.

  22. anti religion says

    I’m not sure who the Thoughtless Atheist is, but if your are referring to Seth Andrews, I know that Seth is the Thinking Atheist.

  23. PETER CUSHNIE says

    My thanks to everyone who replied to my comment about Jews who become atheists. It’s hard for me to get my head around such strong cultural indoctrination. As a lifelong atheist who never knew any kind of indoctrination (not even to the non-belief position), I stand in wonder at what those who left a religious background had to go through. The “coming out” process. Familial and social ostracism. Conditional love. The loss of community. I have lived my seventy-five years never burdened, and for many years unaware, of the problems that non-belief can be for some people.I have heard stories about religion intruding itself into the military, but I joined the Marine Corps in 1962 and never was there a more secular and even profane life. No atheists in foxholes? I can’t say that I ever met a religious person in one. In my entire life I have never experienced anything that even hinted at the supernatural. Some might say that I have been walking through life with my eyes and heart closed. I don’t think so. Years ago, someone I knew invited me to sit down to a Ouija board with her, claiming that she had a firm belief in its efficacy. I did so and we placed our hands on the planchette. Nothing happened. She said, “Peter, you have to believe in it for it to work!” Well, I guess you know what’s coming. I said, “No, it has to work for me to believe in it.” End of Ouija board session.

    Okay, thanks for letting me ramble on. I wish you all well.

  24. Lamont Cranston says

    PETER CUSHNIE says in #23

    As a lifelong atheist who never knew any kind of indoctrination (not even to the non-belief position), I stand in wonder at what those who left a religious background had to go through. The “coming out” process. Familial and social ostracism. Conditional love. The loss of community. I have lived my seventy-five years never burdened, and for many years unaware, of the problems that non-belief can be for some people.

    I appreciate your empathy. I am one of those people.

    I often participate in public person to person meetings with other atheists. Far too often I encounter some variation of the following said to a group of us, quite proudly I might add, “I am so glad I was never stupid enough to buy into all that religious crap.”

    I never say anything in response. Dealing with pompous arrogance and ignorance in a public setting seems rather pointless. I simply note who said it and add them to the list of people with whom I will have no further contact. After all, I wouldn’t want them to have to suffer through dealing with a stupid person like me.

    Lamont Cranston

  25. John Morales says

    Lamont:

    Dealing with pompous arrogance and ignorance in a public setting seems rather pointless.

    Heh. Way to not be pompous and pointless.

    After all, I wouldn’t want them to have to suffer through dealing with a stupid person like me.

    Too late.

  26. bluestar says

    speedofsound #21

    Tom Campbell’s writings and lectures are mind expanding if nothing else. First and foremost he encourages healthy skepticism. He insists on it. He is a theoretical physicist by trade. He has worked and experimented in the quantum realm. He proposes that consciousness exists in parts; the collective and the individual unit of consciousness (IUOC) . A simple equation R=I reality = information. Consciousness, both collective and individual are constantly evolving. The IUOC is not within our brains or body but in another reality frame. Simplified analogy; when playing a virtual reality game like WoW or Sims, a character (elf, hero, thief, whatever) exists and interacts within that VR however the consciousness of that character is outside of that reality frame (such as the person playing the game). I got introduced to his book My Big T.O.E. {Theory Of Everything} by a friend over the winter. I found that the 3 volumes of this work once published were available to the public for FREE on Google books, and have been ever since. Worth reading…not easy reads but once the concept of what he is talking about is grasped, I find it intriguing. I’ve watched several hours of lectures available on YT. I don’t see a bunch of woo with this guy, I am glad to hear a perspective on our reality that I never really considered before. I’m just a couple of months into research on his work, but so far…..that is why I wanted to ask folks like Matt D and Seth if they ever looked into his stuff. I hope you find his work as thought provoking as I do.

  27. Muz says

    I guess we can say the Trans incident fall out resulted in a lot more Matt. Something people seemed to ask for a lot, so lucky he’s got the time (well, so far)

  28. Chikoppi says

    For any force to interact with matter it has to do “work.” That is, if some force is responsible for changing the physical/chemical state of a brain it must add energy to the system. Such a force must therefore be detectable as either 1) heat and/or 2) physical states observed to be operating in a manner contrary to the laws of physics or thermodynamics. Therefore, propositions of “consciousness” as an external agent operating in the physical world lack credible evidence.

    Alternately, propositions of “everything is consciousness” seem to lack any explanatory power whatsoever. They simply shift all the same questions into a different syntax without illuminating any useful properties. Worse, they position the operative forces in a space beyond the reach of empirical inquiry. These are “just so” narratives, immune to falsification, and without practical utility.

  29. twarren1111 says

    Interesting @Chikoppi.
    It struck me that your insights were debunking, again, a version/flavor of what a previous contributor was trying to call ‘god’ in the context of a hallucinogenic experience shared by all revelatory belief systems.

  30. jabbly says

    @Lamont Cranston

    I used to think like that many years ago but that was really reserved for the YECers. Coming from the UK I just never realised how it was possible to have such a controlled upbringing that you’d buy into what to me was utter stupidity. I now reserve my contempt for those that are older and really should know better.

  31. speedofsound says

    @bluestar It will be a great challenge for me to give these ideas room to grow. I do not believe in consciousness or mind for the most part. I will be getting at least one of his books.

    @Chikoppi – I find that dead horse all over the net under different names and I flog the shit out of it. This is one carcass that we need to be sure is down for good.

    The idea of mind being anything other than physicality to me is inconceivable. The idea that our little physical twirlings of proteins and action potentials have anything do do with reality is hubris. We are bits of goo on a speck of dust and one solid meteor strike will make all the goo-bits that think our ‘spirit’ is fundamental to the universe look pretty fucking silly.

  32. PETER CUSHNIE says

    Lamont Cranston (“Who knows what evil…”) #24:

    “I often participate in public person to person meetings with other atheists. Far too often I encounter some variation of the following said to a group of us, quite proudly I might add, “I am so glad I was never stupid enough to buy into all that religious crap.”
    I never say anything in response. Dealing with pompous arrogance and ignorance in a public setting seems rather pointless. I simply note who said it and add them to the list of people with whom I will have no further contact. After all, I wouldn’t want them to have to suffer through dealing with a stupid person like me.”

    Such opinions should be kept to oneself, or phrased in a more diplomatic way. None of us are responsible for what we are born into. The fact that I was spared so much of what you had to experience was nothing more than an accident of birth. Further, as a determinist, I can’t take much credit for not having fallen into so many “traps.”

  33. PETER CUSHNIE says

    I know this is not apropos of anything discussed in the last episode of TAE, but it came to mind when I came across this quote by Aristotle: “That some persons are free and others slaves by nature … and that for these slavery is both advantageous and just, is evident.”— So said Aristotle, one of the first advocates of the “natural law” approach to ethics. (See his Politics, Book I, ch. 5.)

    In an earlier thread, there was a discussion of slavery in the bible and, naturally, Matt D. was right there at the helm in that particular episode of TAE. The issue revolved around the morality of slavery (what else?). Matt has described his view on morality as objective— that is, derived from an agreed upon baseline from which future moral judgements shall be based— and has also described it as “situational.” Adjustable according to circumstances. I have no problem with either of these points. The problem I had derived from the fact that, when it came to slavery, Matt’s position was that of a moral absolutist. Never mind the “situational” position; never mind any agreed-upon baseline for what shall be considered moral and what shall not. For him, slavery was, is, and ever shall be immoral. I disagreed, taking the position that, in ancient times, slavery was not a moral issue, with slavery being the norm. Virtually every culture was either enslaved or owned slaves. Which side you stood on was a matter of changing fortunes. In other words, the “baseline” in that ancient world said that slavery was an advantage to those who held the slaves. So, when the bible promotes slavery, this is nothing more than an expression of the mores of the times, with the words of men being put into the mouth of their imaginary god, and gods are created to serve the needs of those who create them. I point to the quote from Aristotle as an indication of what I’m talking about. So, was slavery immoral in biblical times? No. And if JC himself did not condemn it, well, what more is there to say? Is there a lesson to be taken from this? Yes: Morality is a greased pig. It is the chicken that Rocky Balboa chases.

  34. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Peter 34:

    You’re still wrong about this. Adhering to “situational” morality has nothing to do with the time period in which an act occurs, it has to do with the circumstances in which an act occurs. For example, is it moral to intentionally cause the death of another human? An absolutist would probably say yes. But what if it’s a situation of self-defense? What if it’s a situation where flipping the switch on a train hurtling towards five people would cause it to hit only one instead? What if it’s in wartime? It doesn’t matter what time or place you set these thought experiments in – it’s about the parameters of the situation, not the cultural context. And Matt’s position is that owning other humans as property is “wrong” – contrary to the goal of achieving human well-being – and it has been so at all times and places, including the times and places in which the Bible was written. I think Matt conceded one one show that yeah, maybe there’s a way to construct a Rube Goldberg-like thought experiment in which slavery would not be immoral (or maybe just the least immoral of all possible options), but then you’re just tap-dancing and not engaging the Bible’s clear and wide-ranging condoning of slavery.

  35. jabbly says

    @PETER CUSHNIE

    Even if you accept that in the context of the times it wasn’t immoral then there’s still the problem that this is god’s book we are talking about and you kinda think they’d know better.

  36. PETER CUSHNIE says

    My thanks to Wiggle Puppy (#35) and jabbly (#36) for your comments and for allowing me to stray off topic.

    Wiggle Puppy said: “Adhering to ‘situational’ morality has nothing to do with the time period in which an act occurs, it has to do with the circumstances in which an act occurs.” Yeah, well, I kinda think that the time and period in which an act occurs is inextricably tied up with the circumstances in which it occurs. I don’t see how you can separate the two. And there is no need to construct a “Rube Goldberg-like thought experiment in which slavery would not be immoral.” My argument is very simple in essence: Slavery was not immoral in ancient times because the majority of people in those times said it was not. I refer back to Aristotle’s quote. There’s your baseline.

    jabbly said: “Even if you accept that in the context of the times it wasn’t immoral then there’s still the problem that this is god’s book we are talking about and you kinda think they’d know better.” Well, here I will quote myself: “So, when the bible promotes slavery, this is nothing more than an expression of the mores of the times, with the words of men being put into the mouth of their imaginary god, and gods are created to serve the needs of those who create them.” Those books were not written with an eye toward the future when attitudes would shift. Likely, those original writers thought that slavery would exist as long as the world, so what else could their god possibly say? Their god said what it was told to say.

    In the meantime, be well and stay skeptical. Question everything. Even me.

  37. says

    Peter, the definition of morality being used is not “Whatever is commonplace in a society at a given time.” That’s not a definition anybody really uses.

    A definition closer to Matt’s view would be something closer to “Whatever works in the best interest of the most people.”

  38. paxoll says

    @Peter
    I would say not only was it immoral at the time, but people KNEW it was immoral. The biblical recognition that you don’t treat hebrews the same as foreign slaves indicates the recognition that slavery is wrong. The relinquishing of these moral decisions to religion and a god is like the reverse appeal to authority argument, a creation of an authority so you can then appeal to it. Immorality can be determined 2 ways, first by judging actions based on your own moral values. This is useless as every religion points to someone else and calls them immoral. The other way is to demonstrate that the actions are contrary to their own moral values. Kinda hard to do with people dead for 4k years. But it is easily arguable that they have the same basic values as we do, therefore their religious moral decrees can be judged in relationship to those basic human values and shown to be contrary. The likely arguments they would make for their behaviors are then just as fallacious as the people applying them today in defense of their behavior back then.

  39. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Peter 37:

    “Yeah, well, I kinda think that the time and period in which an act occurs is inextricably tied up with the circumstances in which it occurs.”

    Okay, I don’t care if you think this. Somebody could kill in self-defense in 3rd-century India, 12th-century Japan, or the 21st-century US, and I don’t think it would necessarily be immoral. Somebody else could kill somebody in order to steal something valuable from them in the same times and places, and it would definitely be immoral. Situational morality is emphatically not the same as moral relativism, and if you want to equate the two when I’ve pointed out the clear difference, then I’m no longer interested in what you have to say.

  40. PETER CUSHNIE says

    Secular Strategy said: “Peter, the definition of morality being used is not ‘Whatever is commonplace in a society at a given time.’ That’s not a definition anybody really uses. A definition closer to Matt’s view would be something closer to ‘Whatever works in the best interest of the most people.’ ”

    Thank you for your comment, but I did not say what you quoted me as saying, that is “Whatever is commonplace in a society at a given time.” You might think that is close to what I said, but there is no need to paraphrase when my actual words are there for anyone to read. Neither did I mention, as Wiggle Puppy suggested, moral relativism, which is a subject unto itself. My position remains firm: Morality changes with time, people, and circumstances. There are no moral absolutes. Period. The best interests of a particular people is up to those people to decide. Their ideas of what is in their best interests might be wrongheaded, but only history will reveal that.

  41. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Peter 41:

    “Neither did I mention, as Wiggle Puppy suggested, moral relativism, which is a subject unto itself. My position remains firm: Morality changes with time, people, and circumstances.”

    You may not have used the words “moral relativism,” but the definition you just gave is the commonly-accepted definition of the term. Are you trolling?

  42. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Peter 41:

    “Their ideas of what is in their best interests might be wrongheaded”

    If I define morality as somewhat akin to what’s in the best interests of humans, then what you’re saying is that people in a given society might think that an action is moral when its actually immoral, which I don’t disagree with at all. If you’re defining morality as some other thing, I don’t care. You could define morality as “seeing every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe” and I wouldn’t care.

    “but only history will reveal that”

    I don’t need the benefit of historical distance to know that contemporary laws in Somalia prescribing the death penalty for homosexuality are immoral. I don’t care if the Somali population approves of them. Still immoral. So was slavery in the Bible.

  43. anti religion says

    Peter has always been an atheist, I don’t see any reason why he would be trolling.

  44. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ anti religion 45:

    Just checking. If I said something like, “I never mentioned pizza, I was just talking about flattened dough covered in marinara sauce and cheese and baked in an oven,” it would be kind of weird. So when someone says that they never mentioned moral relativism but are arguing that morality changes depending on the time and place, I’m a little confused…

  45. anti religion says

    Even though I am not an atheist, I understand that atheists may have different views about morality and slavery in the Bible. I’m not sure if you have read all the posts from Peter. Perhaps there is something that was misunderstood in one of his posts.

  46. Wiggle Puppy says

    @anti religion #47:

    I understood that Peter thinks that slavery in the Bible was moral at the time it was practiced because that was the consensus of the society at the time, and I disagree that morality has anything to do with the time or place in which an act occurs.

  47. anti religion says

    In my view there will always be those who disagree as to whether or not slavery in the Bible was moral or immoral. In my view everyone who reads the Bible is an “outsider” since no one was around when the Bible was written. Perhaps if we had been around when the Bible was written, we might not have thought slavery was immoral. Many people who have read the Bible as well as history books have the view that slavery has always been immoral.

  48. buddyward says

    I wonder what the slaves thought during the time the bible was written. I wonder if they thought that their masters were morally justified in beating them to an inch of their lives.

  49. twarren1111 says

    @chikoppi (and probably everyone else)
    I just spent time reviewing the complete discussion (which is from 2016 until today) with Kafei/Jimmy on the AtheisticRepublic site. It is with…profound…?sadness but mixed with rage then tempered with pity followed indignation covered with incredulity showered with…well…a sense of hopelessness? that I read every single post.

    To say Kafei is at least consistent is like saying a frogs butt is watertight. He used every. Single. Phrase. He tried to use here. One person even called him out on his behavior this month citing his plagiarism and editing posts after the fact from the 2016 portion of the thread (with exacting evidence provided). One person reminded me so much of me that I momentarily wondered if I was posting on the site in a fugue state. He was called dishonest, he was called out on his misinterpretation of just about every piece of evidence he tried to present, he was taken to task over his ‘heroic dosage’ concept, and despite increasing levels of being debunked in post after post, he appeared just as incapable of understanding as he did on this site.

    I’ll probably take the time to post my thoughts on the thread. I feel an obligation bc it was fascinating to see essentially on that site everything we went thru with him on this site. In hindsight, I think it is clear that the decision to ban him from this blog was highly, highly appropriate.

  50. says

    Twarren, with respect, I think we’d all be much better off just leaving that other guy behind. This seems like something that would be better off on an Encyclopeida Dramatica article.

  51. anti religion says

    @ buddyward

    I also wonder what the slaves thought during the time the Bible was written. As far as I know, there are no writings from any slaves during the time of the Bible. I know most atheists will assume what the slave thought.

  52. buddyward says

    @anti religion

    I also wonder what the slaves thought during the time the Bible was written. As far as I know, there are no writings from any slaves during the time of the Bible. I know most atheists will assume what the slave thought.

    I do not want to put words in your mouth so I am going to ask. What are atheists saying that the slaves thought and why do you think it is unreasonable?

  53. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @buddyward #50:

    I wonder what the slaves thought during the time the bible was written. I wonder if they thought that their masters were morally justified in beating them to an inch of their lives.

     
    See my comment about the Third Servile War from the last time he brought this up.
     
    Article: Wikipedia – Slave Rebellion

    Slave rebellions have occurred in nearly all societies that practice slavery or have practiced slavery in the past

  54. anti religion says

    I don’t know what atheists are saying, but I understand that there are lots of atheists that would assume that the slaves in the Bible thought that slavery was immoral. I also don’t think it is unreasonable for some atheists to have the view that slavery in the Bible was immoral. I also don’t think it is unreasonable for some atheists to think that slavery in the Bible was not immoral. As I said, as far as I know there are no writings from slaves during the time of the Bible. I know that Matt Dillahunty has said that slavery has always been immoral.

  55. says

    Slavery has always been immoral. There may have been a few people on the receiving end of it who thought it was just fine. There have been a few people on the receiving end of spousal abuse who thought it was just fine. This changes nothing.

  56. buddyward says

    @Sky Captain #55

    As always thank you for your informative links. They have been very helpful.

  57. buddyward says

    @anti religion #56

    I don’t know what atheists are saying, but I understand that there are lots of atheists that would assume that the slaves in the Bible thought that slavery was immoral. I also don’t think it is unreasonable for some atheists to have the view that slavery in the Bible was immoral.

    So far we agree, perhaps I am just hung up of your use of the word “assume” which has a connotation of not having a good reason to conclude. Did you perhaps mean to “presume”?

    I also don’t think it is unreasonable for some atheists to think that slavery in the Bible was not immoral. As I said, as far as I know there are no writings from slaves during the time of the Bible.

    I think you lost me on this one. If you would oblige me into making your sentence a bit simpler, do you mean that it is reasonable for atheists to think that slavery in the bible is moral? If so, why? Is your only reason for making this statement simply boils down to the fact that you do not know of any documentations that records what the slaves thought?

    I am trying to get out of all the negatives in your sentence to help me understand your position better. If I am misrepresenting your position please clarify.

    Oh by the way, my initial post in #50 has a little sarcasm in it as I think that if someone is beating me or anyone to an inch of their life simply because they consider me or other people their property is being immoral. I understand that sarcasm does not always translate well in text but I did it anyway. So if there is a misunderstanding then it would be my fault.

  58. anti religion says

    Perhaps presume would be a better word. I know there were some who disagreed with Peter’s post back at #34. As “outsiders” who read the Bible, there are many who would say that slavery has always been immoral. There are also some who would say that slavery in the Bible was not immoral. Even though I am not an atheist, I am not judging atheists on their views on slavery in the Bible and if it was immoral or not immoral.

  59. buddyward says

    @anti religion #61

    I often have to look up the difference between assume and presume so I understand how such a mistake can happen. This is one of the reasons why I asked. Thank you for taking the time to explain.

    I am not judging atheists on their views on slavery in the Bible and if it was immoral or not immoral.

    Is this what you meant when you said:

    I also don’t think it is unreasonable for some atheists to think that slavery in the Bible was not immoral.

    Although I think that those two statements are very different, I am willing to accept what you meant as opposed to what you said.

  60. anti religion says

    I have autism, so it is hard for me to explain things. I will put it this way. I don’t see or have a problem with atheists who may have different views with slavery in the Bible.

  61. buddyward says

    @ anti religion #63

    If an atheist’s view on slavery in the Bible is contrary to yours, do you still not see a problem with it? Do you accept it even though it contradicts your view. What is your view on slavery in the Bible?

  62. anti religion says

    I don’t really have a view on slavery in the Bible. It may have been immoral, it may not have been immoral. I am not going to judge slavery in the Bible since as far as I know there are no writings from slaves during the time of the Bible. As I said, I don’t have a problem if an atheist’s view is contrary to mine.

  63. buddyward says

    @anti religion #65

    Are you saying that this is a topic that does not at all interest you and you have no opinion either way?

  64. anti religion says

    I like to hear different views from atheists when it comes to slavery, For myself though I don’t have an opinion either way. I will never be like religious people and defend slavery in the Bible.

  65. buddyward says

    So your interest is mainly out of curiosity. If so, I can respect that. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me.

  66. twarren1111 says

    Thank you @52 Secular Strategy. That’s all I needed to drop the idea. Thank you for helping save a few hours! In the end, it’s up to him to see his fallacies. We have all tried enough.

  67. nude0007 says

    For Luke
    There IS an atheist group in Ms. I am a member! The Mississippi Humanist Association. we have a FB page. based in jackson, but at least two meetup groups in Hattiesburg and Gulfport/Biloxi area. come join us!.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *