Culture Darwinism

Columbine film actually addresses Darwinism as the mass murderers’ motive

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Wow. How that one got past “All suits on board for PC over fact” is anyone’s guess. From Alex Murashko at World News Daily:

Although producers of “I’m Not Ashamed,” which releases Friday, use the 1999 Columbine High School massacre as a backdrop to the feature story of martyred Rachel Joy Scott, the film doesn’t shy away from the underreported fact that killer Eric Harris was most likely motivated by Darwinism and natural selection.

Based on Harris’ own journal, and as depicted in movie clips given exclusively to WND, Harris, along with Dylan Klebold, found justification for their diabolical plans in Charles Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theology. More.

Our Barry Arrington was the lawyer for some of the families who had lost children in the massacre and read everything Harris wrote. He confirms the Darwinism link here. But just watch the spin begin.

See also: Jerry Coyne’s Statements Turn Out To Be Uninformed Blithering

and

Would-be mass shooter idolized Columbine Darwin shooters

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74 Replies to “Columbine film actually addresses Darwinism as the mass murderers’ motive

  1. 1

    Of course Darwinism (unguided biological evolution) makes it easier for people to kill other people. Under Darwinism, humans are just evolving animals among a vast array of other evolving animals. Humans kill animals all the time, often for sport.

    Reminds me of a quote from wild-eyed lunatic, Bill Nye.

    “I’m insignificant. … I am just another speck of sand. And the earth really in the cosmic scheme of things is another speck. And the sun an unremarkable star. … And the galaxy is a speck. I’m a speck on a speck orbiting a speck among other specks among still other specks in the middle of specklessness. I suck.”

    What is so wrong with killing “just another speck”?

  2. 2
    News says:

    One concern many of us share is: How many people care about the facts, as opposed to PC blither?

  3. 3
    john_a_designer says:

    How that one got past “All suits on board for PC over fact” is anyone’s guess.

    Well actually, it’s not very surprising because the movie was produced by Pure Flix Entertainment, which also produced the very ID friendly film “God’s Not Dead, “. According to Wikipedia, Pure Flix, “is an American independent Christian film and television studio, headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona… [which] produces, distributes, acquires and markets Christian and family-friendly films.”

    Wikipedia, also reports something that is of a concern:

    YouTube has been accused of advocating an anti-Christian bias by blocking the film’s [I’m Not Ashamed] trailer for 11 months from its site… Reportedly, the video sharing site had repeatedly removed the trailer for the movie from their site without offering any valid explanation.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27m_Not_Ashamed_(film)

  4. 4
    rvb8 says:

    ‘Facts’, are important News? Here’s a fact; an idea, whether it is true or not, can not determie how individuals will interpret or use that idea!

    Let me explain, whether or not evolution is a fact, (it is), does not mean that this reality can be used for good or evil; it is merely what it is, a fact!

    If your absurd contention is true, and the two monsters were indeed inspired by Darwin, so what? People inspired by the Lord Jesus Christ have been inflamed to far worse; your point being? Apparently the holy Koran causes some anti-social behaviour; your point?

    I do however submit that the writings of Darwin are innocent compared to the blood stained utterings, and ill informed scratchings, of half mad clerics from days of yore.(Luther- Augustine- Tertullian.)

    I have visited the web-site of this sacharine infused tripe, “I’m Not Ashamed”. I can only say it sits well with the fine works of “Expelled” and the eternally lamentable “Left Behind”: when the family’s away I watch this a little drunk, it is unwittingly hilarious.

  5. 5
    Querius says:

    rvb8,

    Yes or no. Is Darwinism’s survival of the fittest immoral because it allows a lean, powerful leopard to drag down and kill a fat and stupid member of Homo sapiens?

    How many organisms have been killed on account of the bloody survival of the fittest?

    -Q

  6. 6
    rvb8 says:

    ‘Survival of the fittest’, is a phrase coined by Herbert Spencer not Darwin.

    Is a leopard moral for following its survival instinct? This is a better question than yours; to paraphrase, ‘is this idea ‘survival of the fittest’, or as Darwin prefers ‘natural selection’, moral?’ You can’t recognise the silliness of your question?

    ‘Natural selection’, or your poor phrasal synonym of it, is neither moral nor immoral, it is descriptive of what is!

    Do the actions of Harris/Klebold in any way reflect upon the theory of RM+NS? No, of course not, don’t be a ningcompoop.

    Your ability to anthropomorphise animals, events, and actions simply shows me your poor understanding of how this theory actually works in our world.

    If you say Harris/Klebold used the notion of ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality in their murders, then I would say, ‘what survival advantage did they gain?’ None!

    If you say they were weeding out the weak to follow the laws of NS, then I would say, ‘their ultimate weeding was of themselves.’ Also stupid. In no way did these disturbed young men act upon Darwinian laws.

    Try again!

  7. 7
    Vy says:

    Is a leopard moral for following its survival instinct? This is a better question than yours; to paraphrase, ‘is this idea ‘survival of the fittest’, or as Darwin prefers ‘natural selection’, moral?’ You can’t recognise the silliness of your question?

    ‘Natural selection’, or your poor phrasal synonym of it, is neither moral nor immoral, it is descriptive of what is!

    Deflecting isn’t gonna help you here.

    Do the actions of Harris/Klebold in any way reflect upon the theory of RM+NS? No, of course not, don’t be a ningcompoop.

    Your posts on this site clearly indicate YOU are the nincompoop and are quite incapable of NOT being one.

    Your ability to anthropomorphise animals, events, and actions simply shows me your poor understanding of how this theory actually works in our world.

    Or yours. Aren’t humans supposed to be animals according to Darwinian mythology? Ever heard of PETA?

    If you say Harris/Klebold used the notion of ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality in their murders, then I would say, ‘what survival advantage did they gain?’ None!

    Murder is good, good, good, good for you, evodelusionarily speaking of course. You can’t justify claiming murder (or any thing really) is wrong as an evodelusionist.

    If you say they were weeding out the weak to follow the laws of NS, then I would say, ‘their ultimate weeding was of themselves.’ Also stupid. In no way did these disturbed young men act upon Darwinian laws.

    Still hedging.

    From CMI:

    TW: There is no reason why an atheist cannot have a more sophisticated “sense” or theory of morality than someone who bases their beliefs of right and wrong conduct(or thoughts) on the teachings of a formal religion. My own beliefs are more consistent with a general sense of basic “fairness”, than obedience to the demands of a deity.

    JS: But where does the notion of “fairness” come from in an evolutionary world? Surely it’s just a delusion caused by certain neurochemical activity that happened to be useful for our ancestors to survive. Just like rape was useful to spread our genes, as two evolutionists seriously argued in a book (look how one squirmed to justify why rape should be considered ‘wrong’). Similarly, the article Bomb-building vs. the biblical foundation documents how leading atheistic philosopher/logician Bertrand Russell could not explain why right vs. wrong was any different from choosing one’s favourite colours.

    Think of consistent evolutionist and atheistic philosopher Peter Singer, who justifies infanticide, euthanasia, and bestiality. It’s also notable that some critics of my article Abortion ‘after birth’? Medical ‘ethicists’ promote infanticide claimed that Singer was an anomaly among atheists. Yet I showed that his pro-infanticide views shared by the the Journal of Medical Ethics and the vocal antitheist P.Z. Myers. See also Blurring the line between abortion and infanticide?. He also wrote the major Encyclopaedia Britannica article on Ethics (1992), and earlier this year, the Australian Government gave him Australia’s highest honour, Companion of the Order of Australia.

    Try again!

    Read that to yourself.
    You can’t defend moral relativism. There’s no dancing around that fact.

  8. 8
    Silver Asiatic says:

    rvb8

    Your ability to anthropomorphise animals …

    I questioned you about this concept earlier. You place humans in a category and then assign “human decency” or something like that to them.

    But the key point of Darwinism (your own doctrine) is not “anthromorphising” animals, but “animalizing” humans.

    Just for the sake of understanding your own professed view, I’m not even interested in changing that for now – just at least so you represent what you believe more accurately … you need to come to grips with this fact.

    A leopard’s morality is not better or worse than whatever humans think they want to do. Both come from the same source — unintelligent natural processes.

    Some evolutionists are honest enough to admit this. The Columbine killers just recognized this fact and acted on it.

  9. 9
    john_a_designer says:

    Rvb8 is in good company. Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne wrote on his blog in 2012 that Darwinian evolution had nothing to do with Columbine:

    In 1999, two students in Columbine, Colorado went on a shooting rampage, killing 13 students one teacher, and injuring another 24 before committing suicide. That started a needed national debate about gun control and other issues, but there were also the religious nuts who blamed the whole thing on, well, evolution . . . Of course there was no evidence at all that Darwinism or evolution had motivated the shooters. They were disaffected and troubled boys who, thanks to America’s lax gun laws, were able to acquire an arsenal of firearms.

    (emphasis added)

    Barry Arrington, who was one of the lawyers who represented the Columbine shooting victims, disagreed with Coyne’s assessment.

    Coyne may be an expert in biology, but I am one of the world’s leading experts on the facts of the Columbine case. You see, I am a lawyer and in the months and years after the shootings I represented several families of the slain students. In the course of my investigation of the case I spent hundreds of hours in a detailed review of every page of the journals Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold left behind. I also listened to countless hours of their audiotapes and viewed over and over the many videotapes they left behind, including the infamous “basement tapes.” Finally, I spent a week in a closed room in the Denver federal courthouse deposing under oath Harris’s and Klebold’s family members.

    In the course of that exhaustive, painstaking investigation I learned a great deal about the killers and their motivations, and those motivations were clear. Eric Harris especially was quite vocal about what he was thinking in the months prior to the shootings.

    And there cannot be the slightest doubt that Coyne is completely, utterly, indisputably wrong — there was evidence that Darwinism motivated the shooters. In fact, Harris was a worshiper of Darwin and specifically saw himself as acting on Darwinian principles.

    The first two sentences of Harris’ journal state: “It would be great if god removed all vaccines and warning labels from everything in the world and let natural selection take its course. All the fat ugly retarded crippled dumb-ss stupid f–kheads in the world would die . . .”

    So ideas– ideology– cannot be a motivation for anyone’s behavior? I think the evidence argues otherwise.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Flyleaf – Cassie with lyrics
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrURd3n1NGo

    The Fate of the Apostles – Sean McDowell
    http://seanmcdowell.org/item/t.....e-apostles

    podcast – Sean McDowell – The Death of the Apostles (November 6, 2015)
    http://www.str.org/podcasts/we.....AtyBLUoDtQ

    Of semi related note:

    Is Christianity Beautiful? – Cameron McAllister
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4DnRnsMsMc

  11. 11

    Not sure what all the “PC” banter is about. The killers at Columbine may not have known anything about Darwin’s fraudulent theory, but it is clear to most people that they devalued human life, which is exactly what wild-eyed lunatic atheist Bill Nye does. Here’s the lunatic’s quote again:

    “I’m insignificant. … I am just another speck of sand. And the earth really in the cosmic scheme of things is another speck. And the sun an unremarkable star. … And the galaxy is a speck. I’m a speck on a speck orbiting a speck among other specks among still other specks in the middle of specklessness. I suck.”

    If Nye is correct, what is so wrong about killing “just another speck” that “sucks”?

    Drumroll………absolutely nothing.

    This is where other wild-eyed lunatic atheists (rvb8, Pindi, Seversky, Ahmedkiaan) usually cry foul, desperately wanting to attribute value to something that has no value (if they are honest) under their atheistic philosophical worldview.

    At least wild-eyed lunatic Bill Nye is honest. I’ll grant the poor soul that much.

  12. 12
    john_a_designer says:

    What is ideology? According to Merriam-Webster the simple definition is: “the set of ideas and beliefs of a group or political party.”

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ideology

    In other words, even a religious or quasi-religious group could be described as having an ideology or being motivated by an ideology. For example, the 9-11 hijackers who brought down the Twin Towers in 2001 were motivated by radical Islam. Their ideological beliefs may have been a perverted form of Islam but looking at their motivations objectively you cannot deny the religious roots.

    What about Nazism, Stalinism or Maoism which collectively (through war, genocide or political oppression) has contributed to the deaths of over 100 million people? Ideology wasn’t a motivating factor behind the violence? It is absolutely absurd to believe that it wasn’t.

    As a Christian I have to concede that violent cults like the Branch Davidians and their leader David Koresh were motivated by a perverted form of Christianity.

    Why the complete denial by Coyne and others that a Darwinian based ideology, “Darwinism”, could never be the motivation for violence? It appears to me he is doing only what a fool could do– fool himself.

  13. 13
    Seversky says:

    Throughout history people have committed atrocities in the name of Islam, Christianity, Nazism, Communism, you name it. Does that mean that being a Christian or Muslim or Communist compels people to kill their fellow human beings? Of course not. Neither do we see hordes of crazed evolutionary biologists roaming the countryside shooting up schools and churches. That’s why blaming Darwin for Columbine is a distraction. A better understanding is that there are people who are predisposed to do terrible things for all manner of reasons who seize on whatever religion or philosophy that happens to be around at the time to justify them.

  14. 14
    Seversky says:

    Truth Will Set You Free @ 11

    If Nye is correct, what is so wrong about killing “just another speck” that “sucks”?

    Drumroll………absolutely nothing.

    Drumroll …. and absolutely nothing right about it either.

    That’s the whole point, right or wrong according to whom?

    This is where other wild-eyed lunatic atheists (rvb8, Pindi, Seversky, Ahmedkiaan) usually cry foul, desperately wanting to attribute value to something that has no value (if they are honest) under their atheistic philosophical worldview.

    No, this is where you have it wrong. Value is in the eye of the valuer. Gold or platinum or diamonds or water have no intrinsic value but they are valuable to us for various reasons. If Christians claim to hold human life as sacred, even though Old Testament accounts suggest otherwise, what is to prevent atheists from doing the same?

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Stalin, who lost his faith after reading Darwin,,,

    Darwin’s Dictators
    Excerpt: “In his book, Stalin and the Shaping of the Soviet Union, the Oxford University historian Alex de Jonge shows Darwin’s vital role in shaping Stalin’s youthful outlook. According to Jonge, he was “a theological student who had lost his faith; Stalin would always maintain that it was Darwin who was responsible for that loss.”28”
    http://darwinistdictators.com/articles/stalin.html

    Stalin ,,,is estimated to have killed as many, or more, of his OWN PEOPLE than he, i.e. Russia, lost in all of World War II !

    How Many People Did Joseph Stalin Kill? By Palash Ghosh – March 05 2013
    Excerpt: “a research paper by Georgian historian Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev published in the weekly tabloid Argumenti i Fakti estimated that the death toll directly attributable to Stalin’s rule amounted to some 20 million lives (on top of the estimated 20 million Soviet troops and civilians who perished in the Second World War), for a total tally of 40 million.,,,
    Medvedev’s 20 million non-combatant deaths estimate is likely a conservative guess.”
    http://www.ibtimes.com/how-man.....ll-1111789
    61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State
    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM

    Note the irony at Stalin’s death

    Clenched Fist Toward God
    “According to Svetlana, as Stalin lay dying, plagued with terrifying hallucinations, he suddenly sat halfway up in bed, clenched his fist toward the heavens once more, fell back upon his pillow, and was dead.
    The incredible irony of his whole life is that at one time Josef Stalin had been a seminary student, preparing for the ministry”
    https://bible.org/illustration/clenched-fist-toward-god

    Stalin was far from the only brutal dictator to be powerfully deceived by Darwin ideology,

    Chairman MAO: Genocide Master (Black Book of Communism)
    “…Many scholars and commentators have referenced my total of 174,000,000 for the democide (genocide and mass murder) of the last century. I’m now trying to get word out that I’ve had to make a major revision in my total due to two books. I’m now convinced that that Stalin exceeded Hitler in monstrous evil, and Mao beat out Stalin….”
    http://wadias.in/site/arzan/bl.....de-master/

    Historian Paul Johnson is Darwin’s Latest Biographer — and a Pretty Devastating One – David Klinghoffer – October 14, 2012
    Excerpt: “Both Himmler, head of the SS and Goebbels, the propaganda chief,” were students of Darwin, ,,,
    Hitler apparently carried the theory of natural selection “to its logical conclusion.” “Leading Communists,” moreover, “from Lenin to Trotsky to Stalin and Mao Tse-tung” considered evolution “essential to the self-respect of Communists. … Darwin provided stiffening to the scaffold of laws and dialectic they erected around their seizure of power.”
    Even Stalin,, “had Darwin’s ‘struggle’ and ‘survival of the fittest’ in mind” when murdering entire ethnic groups, as did Pol Pot,,,
    ,,the “emotional stew” Darwin built up in Origin played a major part in the development of the 20th century’s genocides.,,,
    No one who is remotely thoughtful blames Charles Darwin “for millions of deaths.” But to say, as Johnson does, that Darwin’s theory contributed to the growth of a view of the world that in turn had horrendously tragic consequences — well, that’s obviously true, it did. We have documented this extensively here at ENV, as have historians including our contributor Richard Weikart (Hitler’s Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, Socialist Darwinism: Evolution in German Socialist Thought from Marx to Bernstein).
    There is, or should be, nothing controversial about this (fact of history).
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65281.html

    Darwinists are notorious for trying to distance Darwinian ideology from Nazism even though, as Weikart and others have meticulously pointed out, the connection is clear:

    The Role Of Darwinism In Nazi Racial Thought – Richard Weikart – October 2013
    Excerpt: The historical evidence is overwhelming that human evolution was an integral part of Nazi racial ideology.
    http://www.csustan.edu/history.....hought.pdf

    Recalling the Wannsee Conference – Michael Egnor – January 24, 2015
    Excerpt: Last week marked the 73rd anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, which was the meeting in 1942 held in a villa in a Berlin suburb where Nazi officials planned the Final Solution.
    The SS representative at the meeting was General Reinhard Heydrich, one of Himmler’s top deputies. Although genocide was already underway in the occupied portions of the Soviet Union and in Serbia, Nazi officials discussed the need for a more comprehensive program to exterminate European Jews. From the article published by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum:
    Heydrich announced that “during the course of the Final Solution, the Jews will be deployed under appropriate supervision at a suitable form of labor deployment in the East. In large labor columns, separated by gender, able-bodied Jews will be brought to those regions to build roads, whereby a large number will doubtlessly be lost through natural reduction. Any final remnant that survives will doubtless consist of the elements most capable of resistance. They must be dealt with appropriately, since, representing the fruit of natural selection, they are to be regarded as the core of a new Jewish revival.”
    Despite the evidence that Darwinism profoundly contributed to informing Nazism, Darwinists persist in denying the documented links between the Darwinian understanding of nature and man and the Nazi policies to take control of natural selection and breed a master race along explicitly Darwinian lines.
    SS General Heydrich was a key figure in the planning of the Holocaust, and was the leading voice at the Wannsee Conference. The argument that Darwinists have is not with modern critics of Darwinian anthropology, but with the Nazis themselves, who were clear about the Darwinian motivations for their policies.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92991.html

    If we present man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present him as an automation of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instincts, heredity, and environment, we feed the despair to which man is, in any case, already prone.
    I became acquainted with the last stages of corruption in my second concentration camp in Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment—or, as the Nazis liked to say, of ‘Blood and Soil.’ I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some Ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers.
    —Viktor E. Frankl, Holocaust survivor and Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Vienna Medical School; from his book, The Doctor and the Soul: Introduction to Logotherapy, 1982, p. xxi).

    “The law of selection exists in the world, and the stronger and healthier has received from nature the right to live. Woe to anyone who is weak, who does not stand his ground! He may not expect help from anyone.”
    – Adolf Hitler

    “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
    – Jesus Christ –

    Although Atheists try to claim Christianity has been nothing but a negative influence on society, the truth, as usual, is quite different from what Atheists claim

    From Josh McDowell, Evidence for Christianity, in giving examples of the influence of Jesus Christ, cites many examples of Christianity’s positive influence on the world. Here are just a few:
    1. Hospitals
    2. Universities
    3. Literacy and education for the masses
    4. Representative government
    5. Separation of political powers
    6. Civil liberties
    7. Abolition of slavery
    8. Modern science
    9. The elevation of the common man
    10. High regard for human life

    “, I maintain that whatever else faith may be, it cannot be a delusion.
    The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally. If the findings of the huge volume of research on this topic had gone in the opposite direction and it had been found that religion damages your mental health, it would have been front-page news in every newspaper in the land.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – preface,,,
    “In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life; higher self-esteem; better adaptation to bereavement; greater social support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction… We concluded that for the vast majority of people the apparent benefits of devout belief and practice probably outweigh the risks.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – page 100
    https://books.google.com/books?id=PREdCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA100#v=onepage&q&f=false

  16. 16
    Querius says:

    Wow, what a feeding frenzy!

    As far as I can tell, rvb8 views a leopard killing and eating a member of Homo sapiens as amoral, neither moral nor immoral.

    As many contributors quickly and fruitlessly pointed out to rvb8, Darwinism claims no special status for humans, having evolved like any other animal.

    Thus, whether a leopard eats a human or a human eats a leopard—or a leopard or human kills and eats one of its own has no moral consequences.

    That rvb8 seems to have an aversion to a dinner featuring a fat, succulent two-year old or an aborted fetus is simply a food preference, much like my aversion to eating eggplant.

    The Ten Commandments in Torah forbid the murder of one human by another. Even humans killing animals must be justifiable in another portion of the scriptures.

    In contrast, God created life as He pleases and He can take it back as He pleases. He doesn’t need or want Seversky’s approval.

    The atheist has abandoned any refuge in moral law. Either one person survives and reproduces, or the other person survives and reproduces.

    -Q

  17. 17
    Seversky says:

    bornagain77 @ 15

    Stalin, who lost his faith after reading Darwin,,,

    This and the following being one long fallacy of the appeal to consequences.

  18. 18
    Seversky says:

    Querius @ 10

    As far as I can tell, rvb8 views a leopard killing and eating a member of Homo sapiens as amoral, neither moral nor immoral.

    As do I. Moral codes regulate the behavior of human beings towards one another in society. For one human being to kill another without good cause is immoral and a crime. A human being killed by a leopard or an avalanche may be a tragedy but it is neither immoral nor a crime.

    The Ten Commandments in Torah forbid the murder of one human by another. Even humans killing animals must be justifiable in another portion of the scriptures.

    The Ten Commandments include prohibitions against taking the Lord’s name in vain or graven images or coveting your neighbor’s ox but none against rape or the abuse of children. Strange sense of priorities

    In contrast, God created life as He pleases and He can take it back as He pleases. He doesn’t need or want Seversky’s approval.

    In other words, you’re endorsing the position that might makes right? God has the power to do whatever He pleases so that makes it right? If the moral prohibition against taking human life without good cause is objective, why is it not binding on God?

    The atheist has abandoned any refuge in moral law. Either one person survives and reproduces, or the other person survives and reproduces.

    … or both co-operate to ensure that both survive and reproduce.

  19. 19

    Seversky @ 14: Sure it’s right……drumroll……if it advances my cause, which can be anything from wanting a joyride to wanting to rule another nation.

    Killing can certainly be morally right in one’s mind, but to kill a worthless “speck” that “sucks” (to use Nye’s words) could never be morally wrong. Just like killing a bug is never morally wrong.

  20. 20
    john_a_designer says:

    A couple of years ago Michael Egnor had this interesting exchange with Jerry Coyne:

    Jerry Coyne of Why Evolution protests that I misunderstood his viewpoint on free will in a recent post. Coyne, who denies the existence of free will, had complained about a hit-and-run driver who dented his car in a parking lot.

    I pointed out that, if free will is an illusion, Coyne has no justification to condemn the fellow who hit his car and drove off, because without free will the dishonest driver had no choice to do otherwise.

    Coyne responded:

    The statement that “‘good’ and ‘bad’ don’t really apply to humanity” is Egnor’s own mistaken characterization of my views. Of course I see actions as “good” or “bad,” based on their salubrious or deleterious effects on individuals or society…

    Indeed, I don’t believe in moral culpability: that term is without real meaning if one denies the possibility of free choice. But there can still be still “culpability” based on the effects of one’s actions. (I’d be glad to hear readers’ feelings about why we should retain the term “morality” if there is no free choice.)

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....80771.html

    Several points about Coyne’s non-compatibilist view of free-will.

    First, where does Coyne offer a scientific proof for this metaphysical belief? I believe metaphysical beliefs cannot be proven scientifically, but maybe I am wrong. If I am prove it to me.

    If not, why should I accept Coyne metaphysical belief that we do not have free will over mine that we do?

    Furthermore, how can we have or maintain a functioning society with a system of justice if there is no moral culpability? It seems to me we would have a lot more Columbine type incidents if Coyne’s view were widely accepted.

    Finally, what is the point in even engaging in an argument, whose purpose is to change someone else’s mind if no one really has free will? I suppose you could “argue” that maybe because we’re all determined we have no choice but that is really pointless and absurd. That’s why I choose not to engage interlocutors who are determinists. And whether you believe that or not that is my free will choice. It may not be evident to you but it is self-evident to me.

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky claims that Stalin losing his faith after reading Darwin is ‘one long fallacy of the appeal to consequences’,,

    and yet, Stalin losing his faith after reading Darwin is well documented,,,

    Stalin’s Brutal Faith
    by Paul G. Humber, M.S.
    Excerpt: STALIN’S FAITH–WHAT WAS IT?
    Often an individual’s faith is firmly attached to a book of some kind. Muslims have the Koran; Hindus, their Veda; and Christians, the Bible. Writings of Confucius, Buddha, and indeed, Mao Tse-Tung, serve similar purposes for other groups. In Stalin’s case, the writings of Marx, Engels, and Lenin incited him, but to stop here would be premature. There is one man-book amalgam which may have been even more determinative for Stalin, especially during his youthful, impressionable years. The man was Charles Darwin; the book–his The Origin of Species.

    To document this, appeal is made first to a book published in Moscow entitled, Landmarks in the Life of Stalin. It was written during Stalin’s “glory,” and was designed to set him in a positive light. Note in the selection cited, that faith in Darwin and his “book” contrasts markedly with faith in a supreme being:

    At a very early age, while still a pupil in the ecclesiastical school, Comrade Stalin developed a critical mind and revolutionary sentiments. He began to read Darwin and became an atheist.
    G. Glurdjidze, a boyhood friend of Stalin’s, relates:
    “I began to speak of God, Joseph heard me out, and after a moment’s silence, said:
    “‘You know, they are fooling us, there is no God. . . .’
    “I was astonished at these words, I had never heard anything like it before.
    “‘How can you say such things, Soso?’ I exclaimed.
    “‘I’ll lend you a book to read; it will show you that the world and all living things are quite different from what you imagine, and all this talk about God is sheer nonsense,’ Joseph said.
    “‘What book is that?’ I enquired.
    “‘Darwin. You must read it,’ Joseph impressed on me” 1

    A few pages later, another individual–also reflecting on Stalin’s youthful pursuits, added the following:

    “. . .in order to disabuse the minds of our seminary students of the myth that the world was created in six days, we had to acquaint ourselves with the geological origin and age of the earth, and be able to prove them in argument; we had to familiarize ourselves with Darwin’s teachings.”1,,,

    1 E. Yaroslavsky, Landmarks in the Life of Stalin (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing house, 1940), pp. 8-12.

    http://www.icr.org/article/stalins-brutal-faith/

    “More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.
    Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.
    What is more, the events of the Russian Revolution can only be understood now, at the end of the century, against the background of what has since occurred in the rest of the world. What emerges here is a process of universal significance. And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: Men have forgotten God.
    The failings of human consciousness, deprived of its divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of this century.”,,,
    Aleksander Solzhenitsyn – “Men Have Forgotten God” – The Templeon Address – 1983
    http://www.roca.org/OA/36/36h.htm

  22. 22

    bornagain 77 @ 21: Good post.

    Atheists proudly reduce human beings to meaningless “specks” (again, Bill Nye’s word) in a vast universe of other meaningless specks, then they feign moral outrage when one meaningless speck kills another meaningless speck, as if meaningless specks have intrinsic value.

    Go figure.

  23. 23
    rvb8 says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    I’m not trying to ‘animalise’ humans, we are already animals. Or is this term also beyond your comprehension. We are Homo Sapiens, some antecedents including other animals, Homo erectus (evidence abundent), Homo antecessor, Homo floresienses, Homo neanderthal etc (evidence dense and growing.)

    What is your aversion to being labelled an animal? You are! We have the distinction of being able to enjoy the murder and painful tortured deaths of our own species, something other animals can’t do; they kill for good reasons, survival, protection, food, mates etc. We alone, amongst God’s creation kill for fun, or greed.

    Don’t say we write operas, paint great art, or discover natural phenomena, because I will say, ‘you don’t, not even close.’

    Should your life therefore be worthless? Not at all! I will strive to make the humane ideals of man’s enlightenment thought availale to all, as I will equally strive to quell iron age myths and make them look as absurd as they plainly are.

    Querius,

    ‘the Ten Commandements’, are not a series of laws that could solve any human dilemma. First, before these commandments were bestowed, did the Jews think it was fine to steal, kill, swap wives, and ignore their parents? Did God suddenly make clear to them, that which was plain in China and India at the same time as these absurdly obvious restrictions on human behaviour were amzingly explained?! You don’t think humans could figure this primary school morality out for themselvs? We did by the way, in all human cultures, from the Inuits and Laplanders, to the Pygmies and Papua New Guineans, and all cultures in between, and without Abraham’s God too.

    Why isn’t there a commandment, ‘Thou shalt not lie with thy sister, or mother.’? Perhaps because there is an evolutionary cost to this behaviour, kind of like the downside to stealing and murdering, or perhaps it naturally (evolutionarily) nauseates us: We all get it! Thanks God, for nothing.

    Was God a late commer to morality? Or did He just plagirise from older human moral codes?

  24. 24
    Querius says:

    Seversky,

    This and the following being one long fallacy of the appeal to consequences.

    Ironically, Science is based on consequences called “cause and effect.” I had no idea that this was a fallacy!

    Moral codes regulate the behavior of human beings towards one another in society. For one human being to kill another without good cause is immoral and a crime. A human being killed by a leopard or an avalanche may be a tragedy but it is neither immoral nor a crime.

    You’re conflating moral codes with criminal law. Criminal law is based on government edict, which might come from a dictator or from legislation passed by popular vote and everything between.

    What are your moral codes based on—your opinion of the moment? Some quaint tradition?

    It’s usually criminal to kill a human, and sometimes it’s criminal to kill an animal. Do you think it’s immoral for an ISIS fighter to behead a Jew?

    The Ten Commandments include prohibitions against taking the Lord’s name in vain or graven images or coveting your neighbor’s ox but none against rape or the abuse of children. Strange sense of priorities

    What you don’t understand about Torah is that there are 10 commandments and 613 laws that act as fenceposts to help define the principles that were to govern the Jewish people. Under Jewish law, forcible rape was punishable by death. However, in the United States, only about 3% of rapists spend any time in prison according to RAINN statistics, and those who do go to prison are released after only about 3-1/2 years.

    In other words, you’re endorsing the position that might makes right? God has the power to do whatever He pleases so that makes it right?

    Not at all. God sets the standard for what is right, good, and perfect. You live your life and then comes the judgement where your life will make it abundantly clear where you should spend eternity. But there’s more. God provided his Son to take on himself the punishment that you richly deserve by being tortured to death on your behalf. . . but only if you are willing to accept this gift of life, which of course you’re not.

    If the moral prohibition against taking human life without good cause is objective, why is it not binding on God?

    Of course it is—God set the standard and abides by it. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” and “the penalty for sin is death.” Some die sooner, some later. All will face the judgement. Even you.

    … or both co-operate to ensure that both survive and reproduce.

    Maybe. But Darwinism predicts that the fittest will survive and reproduce. Protecting the unfit, does not help the gene pool and subverts the race. Wouldn’t you agree?

    -Q

  25. 25
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    I’m not trying to ‘animalise’ humans, we are already animals. Or is this term also beyond your comprehension. We are Homo Sapiens, some antecedents including other animals, Homo erectus (evidence abundent), Homo antecessor, Homo floresienses, Homo neanderthal etc (evidence dense and growing.)

    The term must be qualified to be comprehensible. From Aristotle we have human as a “rational animal”. The rational part of humans is considered (in that view) the soul – which has a more directly, divine origin and which reflects more perfectly the spiritual nature of God. So humans and animals are radically different.

    But from Darwin we have the idea that humans are the same as all organisms classified as animals, they only differ in physical characteristics modified by evolutionary processes.

    What is your aversion to being labelled an animal? You are!

    Darwin actually considered humans as an evolutionary advance, but later evolutionists explained that there is no progress in evolution. Humans are not ‘superior’ to non-humans in that sense. This means that humans should not be held to a higher standard of morality than with non-humans. Behaviors may be different, but evolution does not create ‘more perfect’ moral conduct. It’s all on an equilibrium. I reject that view. But I think the Columbine killers were consistent with it. Their morality just was something they wanted to do – like any other animals, not better or worse.
    We don’t condemn non-human animals for doing what they do. Why should we condemn humans for whatever they do? This is inconsistent.

    We have the distinction of being able to enjoy the murder and painful tortured deaths of our own species, something other animals can’t do;

    Here you seem to be saying that evolution actually created a “worse moral conduct” in humans than in other species. But that contradicts evolutionary theory. There is no better or worse. There’s just survival and reproduction.

    Beyond that, you seem to be saying that it’s wrong to enjoy doing something that humans do, and because animals don’t enjoy killing (or killing for enjoyment) that is a superior moral norm. In the evolutionary view, humans just do things. There is no ‘reason’ for anything except these organisms (humans) are driven by evolutionary processes to survive and reproduce. Whatever humans do, evolution developed those behaviors for all the same reasons that all other animals do what they do.

    they kill for good reasons, survival, protection, food, mates etc. We alone, amongst God’s creation kill for fun, or greed.

    As above, you use the term “good reasons”. Is “being selfish” a good reason for doing things? Again, even if humans were the only species that kill for fun (cats, dogs, porpoises seem to do so), why is that a problem in the Darwinian view? There couldn’t be anything wrong or evil about having fun. As for greed, evolution could cause species to collect as much food as possible, even if they don’t eat it (surplus killing). This deprives other species of the same. We notice that humans actually make sacrifices to support and help other species to thrive.

    Don’t say we write operas, paint great art, or discover natural phenomena, because I will say, ‘you don’t, not even close.’

    The differences between humans and non-human animals are vast and very significant. It goes far beyond writing operas and doing science. But the key point is that Darwin minimized those differences. Then, as you seem to do, a double standard is applied. Supposedly, humans have a high moral standard to achieve, which includes caretaking of other species. But that’s just a leftover of the Christian worldview, not the atheist.

    I will strive to make the humane ideals of man’s enlightenment thought availale to all, as I will equally strive to quell iron age myths and make them look as absurd as they plainly are.

    What do you think the most important differences are between humans and non-human animals?

  26. 26
    Andre says:

    Eric Harris took Darwinism to its logical conclusion.

  27. 27
    Querius says:

    Rvb8 @23,

    ‘the Ten Commandements’, are not a series of laws that could solve any human dilemma.

    That’s because you don’t understand that the Ten Commandments and the 613 commands in Torah are intended to act as moral fenceposts, examples and principles.

    Why isn’t there a commandment, ‘Thou shalt not lie with thy sister, or mother.’?

    Oh, you mean like in Deuteronomy 27:22? And why don’t you do your homework before making your unsupported assertions?

    The Noahic Covenant confers the basics just after the great flood. Starting with eight people, procreating with a sibling was not forbidden, and the prohibition against eating meat was lifted.

    Later, the world’s cultures and languages disbursed from Babel, including the people of India, China, Papua New Guineans, and the others you mentioned. Incidentally, a friend of mine trekked into the most remote areas in PNG many years ago. One of the first things he did when contacting one of the tribes there and after being invited into their “man house,” was to ask them to “tell me your stories.” They told him about their history going back to their version of the great flood. This was a mountain tribe that he lived with for many years. God communicated his law to all people, which many cultures changed over time. The Mosaic Law came much later.

    Ok, let’s return to your mysterious aversion to a dinner featuring a fat, succulent two-year old or an aborted fetus based solely on a food preference, much like my aversion to eating eggplant. What if you’re really, really hungry, and the barbecue smells so deliciously good. If no one would ever know, wouldn’t you, as an atheist, be tempted to take just a taste? After all, it’s just animal protein, right?

    -Q

  28. 28
    Silver Asiatic says:

    rvb8 — my #25 should have been addressed to you not Seversky.

  29. 29
    Marfin says:

    rvb8- Please name any trait,thought,desire,feeling or action which cannot be attributed to evolution.
    I await your refusal to answer another of my questions while still pretending to have the answers.

  30. 30
    rvb8 says:

    ‘Q’, Deuterononmy 27:22? No thanks! I take my laws from humans after the Enlightenment quashed the 613 nonsenses. Besides, are you a Hasidic Jew? Why would you have cause to wear a, ‘four cornered garment, on the sabbath, while standing on your left foot, and eating a celery stalk every other Wednesday’? Rediculous? Sure! But it’s the kind of inexplicable nonsense those 613 silly rules entail; you’re welcome to them.

    Luckily, in modern Western culture we have consigned those 613, as well as the ripped off 10 of Christianity to the rubbish heap of history; thank God, Heh:?

    One more thing, and you haven’t addressed this; ‘did the Jews believe it was okay to kill, steal, swap wives, and lie, before God said it was wrong?’

    Marfin,

    for the very last time I can not name a trait, thought, desire, or feeling that is not attributable to evolution. So what?! If I know that loving my partner is an evolved mechanism to protect my, and her DNA, does that make the love less? No! If I know that God was created by humanity as a way to understand our world, does that make God less? Actually yes! We now have better explanations.

    We went from polytheism to monotheism, a great advancement; one more tiny step chaps, and you’ve made it!

  31. 31
    Silver Asiatic says:

    rvb8

    If I know that loving my partner is an evolved mechanism to protect my, and her DNA, does that make the love less?

    If it’s a mechanism then it’s deterministic. It’s not even love, which is something one offers freely. Love is something that is freely given and received. In the evolutionary view it’s a mechanistic function determined by blind, unintelligent processes. It has no more love than any other chemical bond. Hydrogen does not love Oxygen when bound in the water molecule.
    You want to have a theistic worldview while professing atheism, but it can’t work that way. To be consistent, you’d have to give up your belief in God which is obviously still quite strong in your thought processes (but I hope you don’t give up that latent belief but rather foster it and let it grow again).

  32. 32
    Querius says:

    rvb8,

    LOL, you didn’t even look up Deuteronomy 27:22, which falsifies your clueless assertion about incest not being addressed in the Bible!

    Instead, you went into a completely fallacious, hysterical tirade about Judaism and Christianity obviously knowing zero about them.

    . . . while standing on your left foot, and eating a celery stalk every other Wednesday’

    Celery is not even mentioned in the Bible. You just make stuff up as you go along!

    Shame on you!

    -Q

  33. 33
    rvb8 says:

    SA,

    nonsense!Truly!

    I also love my parents, brothers and sister, their children, and my friends.

    You can not say this is not real, as I am me, and I know my feelings. If you want to deny me my feelings you can try, but how successful do you think you would be, and can you understand why I would ridicule such attempts?

    No, I know what love is, as I am sure you do. We disagree merely on its origins. You believe an all powerful deity gave it to humanity as a gift, I say it is a natural by-product of our development as a species. You believe your love is more true because of its supernatural beginnings, I say rubbish. Guess what? My love for all those mentioned is not deminished either by my knowledge of its origins, or your tedious pretensions to ‘a higher’ morality.

    I suppose it must be annoying to find out atheists love with the same (actually more, as we see love as being innate in humanity, not a gift, what ever that entails?) intensity as the religious.

    We also refuse to kill for, die for, bow to, or in any other way placate that which is not there.

  34. 34
    rvb8 says:

    ‘Q’,

    you have a serious problem with misunderstanding irony. Try this, I’ll give you another one of the 613: ‘Break not your toil on the days of rain, lest my wrath be laid against your beasts, and women folk, for it is written that the rain of the Lord is not the reign of the troubled.’ Notice how I lump ‘beasts’ and ‘women folk’ to gether? Kind of like the Bible describes women as ‘chattal’.

    Get it!? Neither do I, its mulch, stupidity, uninterpretable gibberish, just like the 613.

    No, I didn’t go to Deuternonmy, although the KJB is on my desk, because I know the flavour of writing. Unlike science it has a million various interpretations. Again, get your laws and moralities from this if you will, unfortunately for you, and greatly relieving to me is the simple fact that man’s law, in this day and age trumps God’s.

  35. 35
    Querius says:

    Rvb8,

    ‘Break not your toil on the days of rain, lest my wrath be laid against your beasts, and women folk, for it is written that the rain of the Lord is not the reign of the troubled.’ Notice how I lump ‘beasts’ and ‘women folk’ to gether? Kind of like the Bible describes women as ‘chattal’.

    LOL. that’s so NOT like God’s Word in the Bible!

    Are you willing to try a pretty scary experiment? Open your King James Bible. Ask God to show you something. And then start reading.

    Betcha that you’ll find some excuse to avoid even opening it!

    Or maybe you’ll notice that something is actually *preventing* you from opening it! Try it and see. 😮

    -Q

  36. 36
    Pindi says:

    Querius, I just tried your experiment. I got Exekiel 16;31. It’s all about stripping a prostitute naked and then stoning and hacking her to death with swords. Charming. Thanks God, I guess you have your mysterious reasons as to why I needed to know that… Hilarious.

  37. 37
    Marfin says:

    rvb8- The point is, if all traits ,desires,,actions are a product of evolution. So then rape and murder are the same as love and kindness, as if someone rapes and murders or are loving and kind they are just doing what they have evolved to do,the fact that some individuals prefer to think of certain actions and thoughts as more moral or superior to others is just a product of evolution.
    So please tell me what is any atheists basis for defining objective moral behaviour.
    What is any atheists basis for free will, truth,morals, or anything for that matter as you are just following your evolutionary programming.

  38. 38
    rvb8 says:

    ‘Q’,

    I’m glad I made you laugh that was the intention, to satarize the vague pronouncements, and lack of clarity that is Leviticus, Numbers and co.

    I open and read my KJB quite often and I tried your challenge. What on earth did you think was going to happen?

    My favourite Book BTW is Job. The intimate relationship between God and the Devil is very telling of the oldest parts of the Bible. How God does not know what the Dark angel is doing, how He needs to test Job’s faith; He doesn’t know Job’s faitjfulness? He has to test it? How God is plainly chipper as Job passes each test in an almost boasting tone to Lucifer; “see told you he’d pass.”

    This God looks decidedly local.

  39. 39
    rvb8 says:

    Marfin,

    I’m not going to get into endless debates with you about the soundeness of your basis for morality, and the unsoundeness of another basis for morality. The minutiae you require, is something you may find interesting, it merely bores me to tears.

    Yes! Our morality is an evolved response to living together in large groups that had to get along. People who didn’t get along were selected against to the point where they bred less; morality became inherited.

    Now that statement is clear easy to understand and doesn’t bring with it your tedious philoso/religio gobbledigook.

  40. 40
    Marfin says:

    rvb8- You keep using the word morality but have yet to define what it means.
    Atheists scream SCIENCE as the be all and end all of knowledge , so please define morality in scientific terms
    as that is the only option open to the atheist , as what other type of knowledge is acceptable , surely not metaphysics, revelation or philosophy.
    I would say New Zealand is more agnostic rather than atheistic because is very difficult to get sheep to commit to a belief system.You wanted a sense of humour on this site .

  41. 41
    Marfin says:

    rvb8-re 39 you say morality is an evolved response and thats the point, everything is an evolved response it does not mean any action is any more or less moral than any other action , as evolution does not select on moral grounds it selects on survival grounds, so what on earth is morality and how can any atheist define it.
    So when the rapist or pedeophile claims they are not doing wrong as they are just acting out of their evolutionary selection pressures, what can you tell them.

  42. 42
    Silver Asiatic says:

    rvb8

    I note that Marfin addressed some of the same concerns of the evolutionary idea that love or morality are evolved mechanisms. I pointed this out also where what you call ‘love’ is actually just unintelligent, chemical processes. The reason that is not love is because it is a determined response. There is no involvement, choice or gift from one person to the other.

    I also love my parents, brothers and sister, their children, and my friends.

    You can not say this is not real, as I am me, and I know my feelings. If you want to deny me my feelings you can try, but how successful do you think you would be, and can you understand why I would ridicule such attempts?

    You’re assigning the word ‘love’ to some feelings. But those feelings are just selfish responses for survival, according to the evolutionary view. That’s not what humanity has understood as love. So, when you get rid of religion, as you seem so eager to do, you get rid of human culture that was built on that.

    No, I know what love is, as I am sure you do. We disagree merely on its origins.

    Well, the different origins tell us something a lot different about what you and I think love actually is. The origin of the thing tells us about why it exists. There is a huge difference between something created by God and something that emerged, accidentally, from a blind unintelligent chemical process. One was created for a purpose with an intention. The other has no meaning or purpose – it did not need to exist.

    You believe an all powerful deity gave it to humanity as a gift,

    That’s right and that’s actually a very good way to explain it. But let’s build on it so it’s more complete. It’s not just an “all powerful” deity, but an “all good and all loving” deity. It’s not just power. So, in my view, love comes from pure Love. Yes, love is a gift from God, who is all good. It’s a gift of love, so we can be like God.

    I say it is a natural by-product of our development as a species.

    Right. For me, love comes from supreme, perfect, all-Love of God. For you, love comes from impersonal molecules.

    You believe your love is more true because of its supernatural beginnings,

    Well, it’s not only “supernatural”, but as I said, love comes from God who is all, perfect goodness and who is Love itself. It’s a gift, as you rightly said. Now this is a huge difference also because where there is a gift, there is Gratitude. So, we can be thankful to God for this gift. Not only that, we can be thankful to each person who shows us love. That is radically different from a determined process. There is nothing to be thankful about when a person simply does what chemicals force them to do. Where love is a gift, we can receive it or we can reject it. We also can give love or refuse to love. That’s a choice. It’s not true of the evolutionary view since the feeling of love is determined by evolution. There is no one to be thankful for, and there is no gift. It’s like being thankful to the rock rolled down the hill. That makes no sense. Gravity determined the speed and path of the rock. That’s what the feeling of love is in the evolutionary view. It’s just a natural force moving molecules, no different than gravity acting on physical objects. So, that’s the difference, and it’s very big!

    Guess what? My love for all those mentioned is not deminished either by my knowledge of its origins, or your tedious pretensions to ‘a higher’ morality.

    Ok, you might say to yourself that you feel love and that’s fine. However, when you communicate to me, you need to explain yourself. When you say that your love is merely a determined chemical response, an evolutionary mechanism, then why is love any different than any other chemical response? What makes your love so important or great? It’s really nothing. You might feel it is great, but you explain to me that it is nothing at all.

    I suppose it must be annoying to find out atheists love with the same (actually more, as we see love as being innate in humanity, not a gift, what ever that entails?) intensity as the religious.

    You know what is annoying? Your complete and total denial and refusal to admit or even recognize what your own belief is all about. You avoid that constantaly — and yes, it does get annoying! What more honest evolutionists would say is “Yes, love is just a chemical response. I don’t choose it and I deserve no credit for it. It is exactly the same as any other response – not better or worse.”

    But almost nobody says that. Some actually try to go down that path (Dawkins, Coyne, Myers and others) but they get quite timid all of a sudden. They like to hold on to their Christian belief (which they haven’t fully gotten rid of yet) and they talk about the importance of love and moral belief. I see you do the same thing, rvb8. You’re not so convinced about your own atheism.

    We can see it when you say: “love as being innate in humanity”. Ok, but in the evolutionary view, everything a human does is “innate in humanity”. Hatred is in humanity. Genocide, rape, torture, greed, deception … all of these things you don’t like, they’re just the same as love in the evolutionary view. Evolution produced the desire for murder in some people. It’s not different from love – not better or worse. Hatred is just an evolved mechanism.

    Now, to try to impose some kind of moral rules on the results of evolution is to play God in this case. Evolution created the desire to hate and kill. In the theistic view, these are moral imperfections. We try to be more like God who is perfect goodness, holiness and love. So, we strive against hatred. We try to love more. Most importantly, we love God also! But for evolution, hatred is the same as love. It’s just a feeling. It came from evolution. It must help us to survive and reproduce. There is no reason to fight against hatred since evolution produced it in us.

    We also refuse to kill for, die for, bow to, or in any other way placate that which is not there.

    Can you show me “love” from a scientific, empirical view? How much does love weigh? How much space does it occupy? What are the dimensions? How does love move in space?

    Of course, many people will kill (defending loved ones from hatred), die for (sacrificing), bow to (honor and respect) and make a gift in Love, for Love and to foster Love.

    In fact, that’s what love is all about!

    But if you’re not willing to give yourself for love — then that would be just selfish. Personally, I cannot believe you are that kind of person. You certainly don’t seem so. However, it’s your worldview and belief system that reduces love. That’s where I see you as being inconsistent. You’re holding on to a Christian view of life, but also claiming to be an atheist. You can’t be both though.

  43. 43
    mike1962 says:

    rvb8 claims that morality (whatever it is according to him) evolved via selection pressure. Whether or not this is true or even possible given his definition of morality, rvb8 has yet to demonstrate. Unsubstantiated assertions (due to an obvious commitment to a narrative) are worth less than dog doo doo.

  44. 44

    What sabotaged the conscience of the killers is that they conceived of love as a factual issue of brainchemistry.

    Same as with the nazi’s who viewed the emotional disposition of people as a matter of racial science is what sabotaged the conscience of the nazi’s.

    If one does not conceive of love as being spiritual, the existence of it a matter of opinion, then conscience cannot function. There is then no room for any subjectivity at all, and the people become coldhearted and calculating.

    Evolutionary biology just as well denies the human spirit choosing which way people turn out, as it denies God the holy spirit choosing which way the universe turns out.

  45. 45

    rvb8 wrote

    “I also love my parents, brothers and sister, their children, and my friends.”

    It is actually a matter of opinion if this love exists or not. An opinion is formed by expression of emotion with free will, thus choosing the opinion.

    In my opinion this love for your family and friends does not exist. It’s my policy to deny love exists in the heart of people who do not accept the validity of subjectivity in deciding what emotions are in people’s heart.

  46. 46
    Querius says:

    Pindi,

    Querius, I just tried your experiment. I got Exekiel 16;31. It’s all about stripping a prostitute naked and then stoning and hacking her to death with swords. Charming. Thanks God, I guess you have your mysterious reasons as to why I needed to know that… Hilarious.

    Then you might have noticed that Ezekiel is spelled with a z not an x.

    Yikes!!! Maybe God thinks you prostituted your faith just as Jerusalem had done in that chapter. That’s what the chapter’s about, you know. 😮

    -Q

  47. 47
    Querius says:

    rvb8 @38 chickened out, just as I’d predicted.

    And you’re still evading my question about saving someone’s life by feeding them a little animal protein . . .

    Tsk.

    -Q

  48. 48
    rvb8 says:

    ‘Q’,

    so the prostitute is a metaphor for Jerusalem? I don’t want to get into Biblical interpretation, but does that mean we can use, Noah, Job, the flight from Egypt, and the rest as metaphor too? It would then begin to make much more sense.

    I think Pindi’s point was that by randomly opening the Bible you are perhaps more likely to get something like, ‘and Jebbadiah begat Lothar, and Lothar begat Ebezia, and Ebezia begat Fred etc’, than any pearl of wisdom guided by God’s mana.

    To all,

    when I or you love someone why on earth do you think it important to explain a basis for this emotion? It is what it is, love. And I am very sorry to have to tell Mohammad that this love has nothing to do with, ‘a matter of opinion’. I find the religious tedious when they suggest their love is superior to that of an atheist because it’s God/Allah given.

    If your son outs as being gay, do you remove your love because an insane super natural being says it’s wrong? I wouldn’t I would say, ‘well, sod you God, this is my son whom I LOVE beyond you.’ I love my family and friends beyond God/Allah. Considering what you say I’m risking (eternal punishment), I would say my love is greater than any theists.

  49. 49
    Seversky says:

    Judging by the Old Testament, the Amalekites, Midianites, Canaanites, citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah and practically every living thing on the Earth’s surface at the time of Noah – to name but a few – could hardly be said to have been feelin’ the lovin’ of your supposedly all-loving God. However God has been re-imagined in more recent times, the OT God was anything but all-loving.

  50. 50
    Querius says:

    rvb8,

    You could have cracked open the Bible that you said

    No, I didn’t go to Deuternonmy, although the KJB is on my desk, because I know the flavour of writing.

    was on your desk to see . . . but you you couldn’t do it, right?

    -Q

  51. 51
    Querius says:

    Seversky @49,

    That’s because you think of God simply as a man as limited in insight and time as yourself. In this quantum simulation that we seem to be living in, everyone reveals their true nature in their attitudes, relationships, and behaviors. It really doesn’t take that long. And everyone dies. Some sooner, some later.

    According to the Bible, you will have a life review before God that will determine your eternal destiny.

    And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”

    -Revelation 11:18 (NASB)

    So, for example, have you had a role, even a small role by action or inaction, in destroying the earth?

    Then you’re guilty.

    Again according to the Bible, no one measures up, so God provided a way to escape our tragic but just ending. He wrapped himself in a human body, entered the world, and as a young man, was tortured to death.

    As a result of God’s sacrifice, anyone who is willing to confess their guilt and who asks God to forgive them on the basis of trusting in Jesus (and not in being self-righteous) will receive the free gift of being forgiven.

    It seems apparent that you’ve chosen to reject this gift on the hope that accusing God of being unfair will get you off the hook. It won’t work and you will find yourself agreeing with God regarding where you belong.

    This is very sad, but you’ve obviously made your choice of your own free will. Right?

    -Q

  52. 52
    Silver Asiatic says:

    rvb8

    If your son outs as being gay, do you remove your love because an insane super natural being says it’s wrong? I wouldn’t I would say, ‘well, sod you God, this is my son whom I LOVE beyond you.’ I love my family and friends beyond God/Allah. Considering what you say I’m risking (eternal punishment), I would say my love is greater than any theists.

    It’s an interesting way to say it rvb – your love is so strong you’re willing to risk eternal punishment to preserve it. Actually, I would agree that’s a very strong statement about your love of other humans.

    But the thing is, many people love all sorts of things more than they love God. They love money or their sports car or their football team. They can have a very passionate love for clothing or their own self. Or they can worship their kids and spoil them. Or they can even love their own political party or love a celebrity … many things like that.

    But is that good? Someone says “I love Elvis Presley more than I will ever love God”. Nothing against Elvis, but wouldn’t we say there is something wrong with that kind of love?

    It’s the object of the love that’s the problem. A guy loves his corvette more than he loves his wife. Sure, he may have more love for that car than anyone on planet earth, but it’s not “the love” which counts but what it is directed to.

    When love is directed to God, then it is directed to the highest, most perfect, most worthy source of all Goodness.

    Then, since God created everything through love — and He wants us to love each other, we can love our kids, friends and even the good things of the world appropriately. We have a greater reason to love God – to show gratitude.

    That’s why the theistic view makes more sense. Love comes from the source of all goodness – from God. If love just came from molecules, then it doesn’t have any meaning.

  53. 53
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sev

    Judging by the Old Testament, the Amalekites, Midianites, Canaanites, citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah and practically every living thing on the Earth’s surface at the time of Noah – to name but a few – could hardly be said to have been feelin’ the lovin’ of your supposedly all-loving God. However God has been re-imagined in more recent times, the OT God was anything but all-loving.

    Your comment is so difficult to answer because categories are confused and it’s a wildly contradictory response. But it’s certainly a real expression of your views, so I’d have to try to figure out what you’re saying. I’d start with what I think are the facts from your worldview/belief:

    1. You don’t believe God exists
    2. Love is a physio-chemical process, determined by material factors, not the result of a choice to love by a free person
    3. Moral choices are also equally determined by chemical/molecular reactions
    4. Given #1, you’d have no interest in learning about God, understanding theology, accepting what a sacred text teaches, or accepting that God communicates to people through history (thus knowledge improves over time)
    5. For some reason, you’ve taken one specific approach to reading selected texts in the Bible and interpreting them in a certain way.

    With all of that, your post makes no sense.

    To understand God’s actions you have to understand the nature of God. The best way to do that is by prayer and openness to (not rejection of) spiritual understanding as given in the Bible and other sources.

    Plus, you have to see things from God’s perspective (again, you have to know and perceive the nature of God to do that).

    But most importantly, you’re suddenly talking about “all loving” in a certain way that contradicts your own view of the chemical process called “love”. You’re assuming some sort (inaccurate as it is) of a theistic view of love.

    If you’re going to start believing that love is not some kind of chemically-determined reaction, then you’d have to define what you’re talking about. What does “sin” look like in your worldview? What does atonement, or conscience, or mercy or sacrificial love mean? What about moral perfection? What about a parent that corrects his children? Is that “all loving”? What about the freely given gift of Life itself – and love that goes on forever? These are the theistic views. Love is totally unnecessary in the evolutionary view. It just exists for a survival/reproductive purpose.

    So, what you said makes no sense and is inconsistent.

    I feel I should remind you, you’re an atheist. 🙂 If you want to argue as a believer in God and a person still attached to Christian teaching, that’s quite a lot different.

  54. 54
    drc466 says:

    rvb8, Sev,
    At the risk of doing great damage to the works and thoughts of theologians far more spiritual and intelligent than I, and echoing SA’s thoughts above:
    Your conclusions are wrong, because your perspective is wrong.
    Here are just a few of your incorrect premises (from a Christian viewpoint):
    1) Some people are complete innocents and don’t deserve death.
    2) Death is the end (of justice, of existence, etc.).
    3) God doesn’t love gays, and doesn’t want us to love gays (or other sinners of any type).
    4) God didn’t love the people He killed.
    5) There is something more important in our lives than accepting or rejecting God.
    6) People who reject God don’t deserve death or punishment.
    7) “All-loving” equals lack of justice, discipline, punishment.

    If you wish to pass judgment on a Christian God, you need to do it using a Christian understanding of God. Otherwise, you are judging and rejecting a god that Christians don’t believe in either. rvb8 – I also reject a god that commands me not to love my gay son. Sev – I also describe a god as not all-loving, who kills people that “deserve” to live. But since that is not that God I believe in, you might as well say I reject Vishnu, Allah, Zeus, and Gaia. You don’t get to pick and choose which parts of what the Bible teaches about God, and which parts to reject, and then say, “see? that’s not a loving God!” Not rationally, anyway. You basically describe an interpretation of the Bible that only non-Christians believe, and say you reject that god. So do we.

  55. 55
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I just noticed drc’s very good response – and I’m unintentionally repeating it … but maybe it’s worth the extra time since we see the same incorrect responses so often!

    Seversky

    A little more explanation here …

    There are three different views of love that you used in the same response – mixing them all together somehow.

    In the evolutionary view (your own), there can be nothing to be outraged about with warfare or killing of various people or nations (Amalekites, Midianites, Canaanites, etc). Evolution just causes things to happen. Love is a feeling, not different from hatred. It’s a chemical response that evolution developed for the survival of the species. So, you should have no problem at all with what happened in history.

    In the Christian view, the acts and revelations of God can be understood as love. Ask the Christians here and they all understand how to interpret those OT Bible passages.

    But then there’s the third, contradictory view …
    It’s your semi-Christian distortion of what you want the sacred text to mean. In your own view, genocide, rape, torture are just evolutionary actions. Not bad or good. In the Christian view, God’s actions are consistent with love – the Bible is understood that way.

    But you come up with a third option – where you have a “supposedly all-loving God” and people aren’t “feelin’ the lovin'”.

    It doesn’t make sense. In the evolutionary world, people feel the lovin’ or not, it doesn’t matter, evolution just makes it that way. So when you complain about what you think God does, you’re using your own semi-Christian theology, and nobody knows what you’re talking about.

  56. 56
    john_a_designer says:

    I must confess that I am absolutely bewildered why an honest atheist would continue to attack religious views that they do not understand and of religious believers they do not know. I can understand it if it is being motivated by bigotry, ignorance and intolerance. Over my life I have known a number of Christian missionaries. None of them would approach people of other faiths the way atheists on the internet approach Christians and other theists. Indeed, in some cultures (for example, an Islamic culture) they would end up dead if they did.

    If I were an atheist, I wouldn’t bother anyone. If you are honest about what atheism really is, it has nothing to offer to mankind; Christian-theism, on the other hand, does.

  57. 57
    Vy says:

    In the evolutionary view (your own), there can be nothing to be outraged about with warfare or killing of various people or nations (Amalekites, Midianites, Canaanites, etc). Evolution just causes things to happen. Love is a feeling, not different from hatred. It’s a chemical response that evolution developed for the survival of the species. So, you should have no problem at all with what happened in history.

    If I were an atheist, I wouldn’t bother anyone. If you are honest about what atheism really is, it has nothing to offer to mankind; Christian-theism, on the other hand, does.

    It’s quite fascinating how most Darwinists and Atheists alike ignore these undeniable facts.

  58. 58
    Querius says:

    Great posts Silver Asiatic, drc466, john_a_designer, and Vy!

    A lot of objections come from people who have one foot in the boat of the Faith and one foot on the dock of materialism, which is why their posts come out all wet.

    And then people like rvb8 go nuts when I give them just a mild little shove further into materialism.

    – To a pure Darwinist, what does it matter whether you “love” your family or not?

    – To a pure Darwinist, what does it matter if organism A kills and eats organism B? Why should it matter in evolutionary terms whether they happen to be the same species or they happen to be Homo sapiens?

    – To a pure Darwinist, what does it matter whether an ISIS fighter beheads a Jew or whether the Jew kills him first?

    Any objection is a mere affection, in most cases sincere, but quaint, sentimental, and groundless!

    -Q

  59. 59
    rvb8 says:

    ‘Q’,

    I, ‘crack open’ the KJV often. I’ve been told often by Christians to open it randomly to find wisdom. I wouldn’t recommend opening a science text, novel, or Shakespeare randomly, you’d get lost.

    drc466, ‘your conclusions are wrong because your perspctive is wrong.’ Try this; ‘your conclusions are wrong because your perspective is wrong.’ Hmmm, not getting far are we?

    SA, am I willing to risk ‘eternal punishment’? Of course the whole concept is so utterly childish as to warrant contempt. Eternal damnation in a firey pit as the ‘elect’ look down in conceited self-righteousness; work it out for yourself! And whose heaven? And whose hell? And whose God? Give me a break!

    Working on the tenuous supposition that you have the right God, heaven, and hell, why should that bother me? At least I’ll be in the majority. And let’s face it, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter and a riot of nutters also think they’ll be there, many of them BTW, loathing gays. If all these good Christians are going to your paradise I’ll thankfully bubble with bealzabub.

    SA, you also say people ‘love’ many things such as money, football teams etc. No, they actually just really like, want, lust after, or envy these things. You see, I understand the importance of the word ‘love’, you as a theist seem to use it willy-nilly. As an atheist love is a term we don’t denegrate.

  60. 60
    john_a_designer says:

    I have said this before on this site. I don’t think anyone here taking the Christian-theist point of view argues that atheists cannot or do not love their friends and families or are not capable of being moral in a conventional sense. The argument is (and has been) that atheism provides no real basis or “foundation” for moral values and moral obligations. Indeed, in a very real sense atheist morality is parasitic, existing entirely off borrowed capital. Notice how our interlocutors on this thread are using Jewish/Christian morality to argue against Jewish/Christian morality. Why don’t they use their own moral system? Is it because they don’t have one?

  61. 61
    rvb8 says:

    No j_a_d,

    I am using the Confuscinist system, or Budhist, or Hindu, or any other human created morality. Let’s stick with Confucian;

    Filial respect, piety towards Heaven, “don’t do unto others what you don’t want them to do to you”, stealing and murder are wrong, charity is good, helping your fellow human is good etc. Any of this sounding familiar?

    Actually I’m not using any of these moralities exactly, as they are all man made, and espouse a universal morality which at its human based core, looks evolved.

    These various moral constructs bridge cultural, language, and yes, religious boundaries.

    Stop saying I have no foundation for my morality, I do, self interest, and that’s enough. Any additional reasons are slashed by Occam’s Chainsaw.

  62. 62
    Querius says:

    john_a_designer,

    Yes, exactly. As anyone can easily see from @59, rvb8 did not and perhaps cannot answer any of the questions posed in @58.

    All we get in response is self-righteous huffing and puffing that’s based on exactly nothing. And what rvb8 will insist on, no actually demand as his eternal destiny comes from these sad words:

    If all these good Christians are going to your paradise I’ll thankfully bubble with bealzabub.

    And God will sadly say, “I tried to save you, but thy will be done.”

    So when someone asks, “How can a loving God send people to the eternal lake of fire with the devil and his angels,” the response is that those people have been duped into hating God so much, that they will not want to be anywhere else.

    -Q

  63. 63
    rvb8 says:

    I may indeed be dense j_a_d, but let me try.

    Your morality is best because it’s God given. It’s basis is what exactly? God,and an awareness of a final cost if this on-high morality is disobeyed?

    If yes to either, you are right. My morality is not even remotely concerned with theistic reward or punishment; I thought I made that clear.

    I would not do any of these horrible things you mention out of knowing what is right, but principally, again, self interest.

    And I think I have also stated somewhere a morality that is bestowed is of less value than one which is taught and learned. Something given, sorry, forced upon the recipient upon pain of eternal torment, is a poor morality compared to one which is earned. I assume you are conservative in political views so I’ll explain that in language you can understand;
    ‘income unearned or worked for, has less value to an individual than hardwork followed by reward.’

    I earned and worked for my moral positions, after many hiccups, and failures. The morality you peak of which is a gift seems quite worthless.

  64. 64
    Vy says:

    And I think I have also stated somewhere a morality that is bestowed is of less value than one which is taught and learned.

    And WE have stated lots of places in that Atheism is incapable of justifying any sort of morality.

    Something given, sorry, forced upon the recipient upon pain of eternal torment, is a poor morality compared to one which is earned.

    Does your poached Confucian views consider beating down strawmen as doing the right thing?

    I earned and worked for my moral positions, after many hiccups, and failures. The morality you peak of which is a gift seems quite worthless.

    You “earned” poached Confucian, Buddhist, Hindu or any other “morality” you think aligns with your deluded sense of what is wrong or right because you supposedly think one human’s opinion of what is right and wrong is somehow a valid basis for morality?

    Are you trying to demonstrate that you are conclusively insane?

  65. 65
    Vy says:

    Stop saying I have no foundation for my morality, I do, self interest, and that’s enough.

    Awesome! IOW, you have no morality capable of being used to judge anyone about anything at anytime because your self-interest is different from the other ~7 + billion self-interests.

    Hitler’s self-interest was erasing the Jews and Jeffrey Dahmer’s self-interest was killing people because evolution said it was A-Okay much like the views of the Columbine murderers.

    You can’t judge any of their actions as wrong and by your admission that self-interest is a “sound” basis for morality, you ought to consider every act anywhere at anytime as 100% “good” not because it matches your self-interest but because it matches the respective self-interests of the perpetrators at that time and like you said “[they] earned and worked for [their] moral positions, after many hiccups, and failures”. 😉

    Don’t you think it’d be nice if everyone knew about this basis of morality? You ought to be out there with placards screaming “FREEDOM TO ACT ACCORDING TO YOUR OWN SELF-INTERESTS!!!”

  66. 66
    Silver Asiatic says:

    rvb – You’ve got a number of responses and I’m glad you’re engaged in the discussion. I’ll just add a few more which I hope will be worthwhile!

    SA, am I willing to risk ‘eternal punishment’? Of course the whole concept is so utterly childish as to warrant contempt. Eternal damnation in a firey pit as the ‘elect’ look down in conceited self-righteousness; work it out for yourself! And whose heaven? And whose hell? And whose God?

    Well, “conceited self-righteousness” is a sinful condition, so you shouldn’t expect to find that in heaven. Keep in mind, people would prefer to be in hell forever rather than to love God – so why shouldn’t they get what they wanted? We see people even on earth with so much guilt they think it’s right that they are punished. They will punish themselves. We hear the phrase “he got what he deserves”. If you’re a follower of Hinduism (you seemed to say that), Naraka is the Hindu equivalent of Hell, where sinners are tormented after death. It’s just karma in the afterlife.

    As for whose God? I would hope you’re sincerely seeking an answer to that. At least some belief in God, as most commonly known, is better than none. Just because people have different views is not a good reason to conclude that God does not exist.

    Working on the tenuous supposition that you have the right God, heaven, and hell, why should that bother me? At least I’ll be in the majority. And let’s face it, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter and a riot of nutters also think they’ll be there, many of them BTW, loathing gays. If all these good Christians are going to your paradise I’ll thankfully bubble with bealzabub.

    Yes, you’re right that the majority go there. The path is wide and many choose it. I’m very sure you wouldn’t want to be there though. But it sounds like you’re saying that you’d rather be in hell than to try to love people you disagree with (like O’Reilly and Ann Coulter)? If you’re choosing to go where the majority of humanity has chosen to stay, I don’t think you’re going to avoid nutters or disagreeable people. I wouldn’t think genocidal dictators, child torturers and unrepentant perverts would not make very amusing company.

    SA, you also say people ‘love’ many things such as money, football teams etc. No, they actually just really like, want, lust after, or envy these things. You see, I understand the importance of the word ‘love’, you as a theist seem to use it willy-nilly. As an atheist love is a term we don’t denegrate.

    Well, rvb – you’re an atheist who thinks that love is more sacred than envy. That’s a good thing. You don’t want to denigrate love by mixing it with sinful desires – that is very good also! Love is pure, of the spirit, yes. It is not lust which is of the flesh. This is very good!

    Evolution? Perhaps we can just forget about it. I think you’re saying that nobody can really take it that seriously. To be a good person and to hold love as sacred, we wouldn’t use evolution to form our understanding or our moral beliefs.

    With that I totally agree!

  67. 67
    Silver Asiatic says:

    rvb8

    I am using the Confuscinist system, or Budhist, or Hindu, or any other human created morality. Let’s stick with Confucian;

    Filial respect, piety towards Heaven, “don’t do unto others what you don’t want them to do to you”, stealing and murder are wrong, charity is good, helping your fellow human is good etc. Any of this sounding familiar?

    “Piety towards Heaven”.

    You’re on the right track, rvb and I’d certainly admire your moral system that includes that essential quality.

    The virtue of piety was known and taught by the ancient Greeks (Aristotle includes it under the virtue of Justice), and it is found as the highest moral norm in all those “various moral constructs bridge cultural, language, and yes, religious boundaries”.

    Piety towards Heaven is worship and service of God. It’s the first Commandment. It’s essential in Hinduism and in many forms of Buddhism (reverence to ascended spirits).

    I earned and worked for my moral positions, after many hiccups, and failures.

    Learning to show Piety toward Heaven certainly requires that kind of work – through prayer and reverence and humility. That’s how we show piety and service to God, in pure worship.

  68. 68
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    You’re far more patient with irrational narcissistic self-justifying blather than I am. Maybe someone will be able to appreciate your insight.

    Self interest indeed! As you point out, every criminal and despot is motivated by self interest and an unending, compassionate love of themselves.

    -Q

  69. 69
    john_a_designer says:

    My main point @ #60 was that “atheist morality is parasitic, existing entirely off borrowed capital.”

    The fact that rvb8 claims to be “using the Confuscinist system, or Budhist, or Hindu… Actually I’m not using any of these moralities exactly, as they are all man made…” proves my point.

    “Stop saying I have no foundation for my morality, I do, self interest, and that’s enough.”

    How does one person’s self-interest serve as a basis or universal human rights? I don’t see how it can.

  70. 70
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius

    Thanks! I was just hoping he would see his own worldview from a different perspective.
    I think we all struggle with self-love to some extent (I do, certainly) but the atheist belief actually enshrines it. “Humility before God” is the only real remedy to narcissism, because otherwise you have to submit yourself to other people as having higher authority than yourself. The only other option is to make yourself the center of everything.

  71. 71
    john_a_designer says:

    Up above I asked, “How does one person’s self-interest serve as a basis for universal human rights?” (typo corrected)

    That leads to another question: From where does our modern concept of human rights originate?

    In an excellent piece written by, Nancy Pearcy, argues that western concept of universal human rights is a Christian one.

    ‘The 19th-century political thinker, Alexis de Tocqueville’ she writes, ‘said it came from Christianity. “The most profound geniuses of Rome and Greece” never came up with the idea of equal rights, he wrote. “Jesus Christ had to come to earth to make it understood that all members of the human species are naturally alike and equal.”’

    She then goes on to quote several atheist thinkers who agree.

    The 19th-century atheist Friedrich Nietzsche agreed: “Another Christian concept … has passed even more deeply into the tissue of modernity: the concept of the ‘equality of souls before God.’ This concept furnishes the prototype of all theories of equal rights.”

    A few intrepid atheists admit outright that they have to borrow the ideal of human rights from Christianity. Philosopher Richard Rorty was a committed Darwinist, and in the Darwinian struggle for existence, the strong prevail while the weak are left behind. So evolution cannot be the source of universal human rights. Instead, Rorty says, the concept came from “religious claims that human beings are made in the image of God.” He cheerfully admits that he reaches over and borrows the concept of universal rights from Christianity. He even called himself a “freeloading” atheist: “This Jewish and Christian element in our tradition is gratefully invoked by freeloading atheists like myself…”

    Contemporary atheist Luc Ferry says the same thing. We tend to take the concept of equality for granted; yet it was Christianity that overthrew ancient social hierarchies between rich and poor, masters and slaves. “According to Christianity, we were all ‘brothers,’ on the same level as creatures of God,” Ferry writes. “Christianity is the first universalist ethos.”

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....95901.html

    Also, here is a quote I found from a noted secular philosopher, Jürgen Habermas, which makes the same basic point.

    “Universalistic egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in solidarity, the autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of continual critical appropriation and reinterpretation. To this day, there is no alternative to it. And in light of the current challenges of a postnational constellation, we continue to draw on the substance of this heritage. Everything else is just idle postmodern talk.” (Jürgen Habermas – “Time of Transitions”, Polity Press, 2006, pp. 150-151, translation of an interview from 1999).

    http://habermas-rawls.blogspot.....s-and.html

    According to Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Jürgen Habermas currently ranks as one of the most influential philosophers in the world.”

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/habermas/

    Once again, it is hard to see how an egocentric system of ethics does anyone else any good. I suppose in a free and open democratic society you can choose to believe whatever you wish. But why would that be of any concern to anyone else?

    Obviously the modern foundation for human rights is Judeo-Christian ethics and morality. Even honest atheists agree.

  72. 72
    Querius says:

    Great post, john_a_designer!

    What I’m observing is that many of the atheists posting here actually want to magically maintain their Judeo-Christian values without submission to the Judeo-Christian God.

    -Q

  73. 73
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic writes,

    “Humility before God” is the only real remedy to narcissism, because otherwise you have to submit yourself to other people as having higher authority than yourself. The only other option is to make yourself the center of everything.

    Well said and worth remembering.

    The “self interest” that rvb8 claims as his guiding light is precisely what you describe as replacing God as the center of all things with oneself.

    -Q

  74. 74
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius,

    Good point and I think it’s very relevant to any work that is done in science. Humility gives rise to the experience of awe and wonder. Those are mental attitudes that contribute to science and exploration.

    But if you take atheism seriously, there’s no reason to experience that kind of awesome wonder before the majesty of nature. Wonder implies an author – an external order designed. The reductionist view is just bland and simplistic. Randomness, accident, patterns — with laws and forces inherited from a multiverse. Life itself is merely another form of non-living matter. Birth is not different from death. Philosophical wonder is pointless since nothing has any real meaning.

    That’s what nihilism is all about. It’s just an egostical, self-serving view that contributes nothing.

    But that doesn’t seem to matter to people who embrace it. The Design view is, in fact, threatening to self-sufficiency so people will grasp on to any weapon to defend against it.

    Yes, it hurts the ego to realize that there is a greater intelligence and that we come from and must respond to a source for our own being, and that we didn’t create ourselves.

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