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Eco-totalitarian
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Junior wrote:

Can we same the same of atheism? Does it have a rule book, a creed? Several? Or is its rules constantly shifting and open to any kind of interpretation.


None of the above: atheism is the mere absence of a single belief, and nothing more. This is something you (and most people on this forum) do not seem to understand: atheism is not the opposite of "Christianity," it is the absence of theism. One can have two theists which believe totally different things, being of two totally separate religions. Yet you don't seem to understand that there's just as much potential variety among atheists; unity of atheists is just as absurd in principle as unity of theists, and I may well have as much in common (or even less) with another atheist as you have in common with a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a tribal shaman.

Junior wrote:
What is so great about atheism?


Nothing. I'm not an atheist because it's great. I'm an atheist because it's honest.

Junior wrote:
Yes it allows a brief flirtation with the excesses of human will or rampant hedonism. It may be temporarily liberating to the individual. Ultimately though its empty and unsatisfying. It states that humans are accidental, purposeless, and limited to the physical. It lowers us to the level of apes or rather, insects, competing in a fight to pass on our genes.


There are Buddhistic atheists who would disagree strongly with this portrayal of the world. You just don't understand what you're talking about here; you're too busy creating some dubious caricature of atheists collectively to even begin to understand the actual phenomenon. That's not your fault: you don't do your own thinking, and those who do your thinking for you taught you incorrectly. None the less, it is not commendable.

Junior wrote:
This past century has been the bloodiest in human history. We aren't moving toward any human utopia. Human nature is unchanged from millenia ago.


Are you serious? The present, for all its imperfections, is less bloody and horrific per capita than more or less any time we know of in human history. A superficial thinker looks and says, "Oh, World War II was really bad, hence, this age is the bloodiest in history!" This is highly misinformed: as individual events go, sure, World War II was terrible, but in terms of a total societal picture, even accounting for such tragedies, the overall level of peace and safety we've achieved is much higher; the average person lives a better, safer life than they would have in the past. You just don't understand what the past was like, how unstable and violent it was. If you want to blame the state of the modern world on atheism, Junior, you're undermining your own case. It's like the people who rant about China's occupation of Tibet (perhaps reasonable) while idealizing Tibet's pre-occupation history (totally unreasonable). They aren't thinking, they're just talking. So is it with you: you don't think, you talk.

I shan't engage you further on this issue. I know you will categorically refuse to understand my position, you'll probably barely even read it beyond skimming for half sentences to quote and respond to in absurd fashion: your goal is not to understand the world around you, but to find any excuse to defend your religious beliefs and any excuse to attack others. That's fine, but it means engaging you is pointless. This post was made for the benefit of others.


Last edited by Fox on Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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northway



Joined: 05 Jul 2010

PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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comm



Joined: 22 Jun 2010

PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Junior wrote:
Quote:
If believing X sends your immortal soul to hell, and being born into a family that believes X makes it more likely that you believe X, then reducing the number of families which believes X is logically moral. The end of millions of innocent lives is nothing compared to saving billions of future souls.

I assume you're both getting at the same idea.

No, not exactly.
Junior wrote:
Problem is that Catholicism not only banned the bible and tried to prevent its translation for centuries, it then replaced it with its own deliberately flawed translations, and then strictly limited its reading in services.

Why would they do that? Clearly the unenlightened masses would misinterpret the Bible and we'd be left with a huge population of people who were semi-Christian, but not enough to get into heaven. Even the parts that were deliberately misinterpreted to benefit the Catholic church were to expand the Church and thereby increase the number of souls saved. It really was for the good of the people (and future people!)

The problem isn't religion itself, and certainly not secularism... but authoritarianism. When you decide that you have the moral authority to make decisions for other people (particularly future people) you put yourself in a position where it's "logical" to do horrific things.

You could argue that religion itself provides an inherent moral bulwark against such a moral leap to authoritarianism, but it clearly hasn't. Individuals (religious or otherwise) either resist authoritarianism and disregard the logic of my first quote about belief X, or abandon that basic moral code and descend into hellish conclusions where genocide really is the best thing for everyone.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

comm wrote:

Why would they do that? Clearly the unenlightened masses would misinterpret the Bible and we'd be left with a huge population of people who were semi-Christian ...


A.K.A. the entire American South. Razz

comm wrote:
The problem isn't religion itself, and certainly not secularism... but authoritarianism. When you decide that you have the moral authority to make decisions for other people (particularly future people) you put yourself in a position where it's "logical" to do horrific things.


I'm inclined to agree with this, but I also suspect my understanding of authoritarianism is somewhat different than comm's; a strong majority of citizens deciding to banish firearms from their nation for their collective safety, for example, would not be authortarian.

comm wrote:
You could argue that religion itself provides an inherent moral bulwark against such a moral leap to authoritarianism, but it clearly hasn't.


Right. Quite the opposite, historically speaking religion is an element of authoritarian society. Even reform religions like Christianity and Buddhism, whose sacred texts strongly imply a certain intended independence of state power in response to perceived state-misuse of their parent religions (Judaism and the old Vedic religion, respectively), have been successfully captured and utilized by the state in its service.
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TheUrbanMyth



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: It's not a superiority complex when you really are superior

PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

northway wrote:
How can you generalize atheism as a single ideology? Atheism is the absence of an overarching ideology. Fascism and communism might fill the gap, but they're filling the gap with pseudo-religions of their own, myth and all.

As for Junior's casualty numbers, they're total nonsense. The Thirty Years War was fought amongst Christians for the future of Christianity, and this one war easily surpasses his nonsensical 264,000:
Quote:

So great was the devastation brought about by the war that estimates put the reduction of population in the German states at about 25% to 40%.[53] Some regions were affected much more than others.[54] For example, Württemberg lost three-quarters of its population during the war.[55] In the territory of Brandenburg, the losses had amounted to half, while in some areas an estimated two-thirds of the population died.[56] The male population of the German states was reduced by almost half.[57] The population of the Czech lands declined by a third due to war, disease, famine and the expulsion of Protestant Czechs.[58][59] Much of the destruction of civilian lives and property was caused by the cruelty and greed of mercenary soldiers.[60] Villages were especially easy prey to the marauding armies. Those that survived, like the small village of Drais near Mainz, would take almost a hundred years to recover. The Swedish armies alone may have destroyed up to 2,000 castles, 18,000 villages and 1,500 towns in Germany, one-third of all German towns.[61]


[


Actually there are several causes to the 30 years war (which was actually a series of wars). Religion played a part but it was certainly not the main motivator.
And as for the casualties and destruction, we see above in the part of your quote I bolded that monetary considerations were one major cause of the destruction.

Here are a couple more causes of the war.


http://ehr.oxfordjournals.org/content/CXXIII/502/554.abstract

Quote:
While related to other European conflicts, the Thirty Years War was primarily a struggle over the political and religious order within the Empire. It was neither inevitable, nor the result of irreconcilable religious antagonism. Rather, it stemmed from a coincidence of tension within the Empire with a political and dynastic crisis within the Habsburg monarchy that undermined confidence in the emperor's ability to resolve long-standing constitutional problems.
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northway



Joined: 05 Jul 2010

PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm quite familiar with the history, TUM, but I fail to see the contradiction.
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Junior



Joined: 18 Nov 2005
Location: the eye

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

YoungClinton wrote:
Although I would like to know how you handle all the contradictions in the Bible?


There aren't any. Certainly to those with only a very basic, passing glimpse there might appear to be contradiction. It is these instances that some atheists have exploited and misrepresented. In reality though, if someone is committed to getting to the bottom of things they will study and research-context-theology-language- translation- and find that actually the scriptures are whole and consistent- remarkable for a collection of 66 books, written by some 40 unconnected authors, between 3500-1900 years ago.The problem is that many people- often secular westerners-have no desire to actually know or find out the facts. They can't be bothered. They'd rather settle for a couple of simplistic arguments and proceed to ignore it all while they continue on their own way. Not referring to you here btw.
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Junior



Joined: 18 Nov 2005
Location: the eye

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
the overall level of peace and safety we've achieved is much higher; the average person lives a better, safer life than they would have in the past. You just don't understand what the past was like, how unstable and violent it was. If you want to blame the state of the modern world on atheism, Junior, you're undermining your own case.


I never denied that there has been technological progress, enabling the average person to use the wheel or sleep in a brick house rather than a grass shelter.

But your stated beliefs- presumably inherited via the media (dating from the enlightenment era) are in fact a belief in moral advancement through science, reason and rationality.

This illusion should have ended with WWI. Many Europeans welcomed the war, unprecedented in its industrial scale, absurd in its reasoning- which left 8.5 million soldiers and 10 million innocent civilians dead and maimed a further 6 million.

It was quickly followed by WW2- which slaughtered 60 million people- two thirds of them civilians. In the following decades up to the year 2000 it is estimated another 50 million people died in various conflicts. Not least the horror and annihilation of hiroshima.
From your comfortable armchair it probably easier for you to hold some sort of belief in human moral advancement than the victims.

All these apalling conflicts demonstrated that human societies aren't really any different to how they were millenia ago.

Not only are our societies governed by irrationality, but they contain subliminal urges to violence, self-destruction and death. Science and technology did nothing to stem these longings, but empowered them. Knowledge is morally neutral, it empowers both good or evil. Science has served the darkest and most violent projects of humanity. And all of this brought about by a new scientific/ darwinistic era that has sought to sever mans relationship with his creator.

What I think you're perhaps missing here is the concept of original sin. Humans are intrinsically corrupted. All of history shows clearly that the human tendency toward death and destruction- of eachother and ourselves- cannot be eradicated. Our salvation cannot come from ourselves.

I view the present as essentially a reflection of what has gone before.

I'm guessing that you view humanity as the culmination of a long march towards perfection.That is similar to the nazis, communists and all other secular utopians who have continuously devised new schemes to bring about this idealised society. The idea that we could solve mans problems once and for all through a revolution, the ends of which justify the means. Each time resulting in a larger, more lethal totalitarianism.

Never mind that the world is currently standing by to watch tens of thousands of unarmed civilians gunned down by their own government in Syria, a la Rwanda.
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Junior



Joined: 18 Nov 2005
Location: the eye

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Comm wrote:
The problem isn't religion itself, and certainly not secularism... but authoritarianism. When you decide that you have the moral authority to make decisions for other people (particularly future people) you put yourself in a position where it's "logical" to do horrific things.


Thats something close to my view.

I don't hate secularists, I would never seek to limit their own choice. If they reject God, that is their own matter.

However it seems that in history atheism has tended to turn into authoritarianism, fundamentalism and totalitarianism.
Communism tried to completely eradicate Christianity in the areas it controlled. There seem to be many western secularists/ evolutionists/ atheists who would probably try to do the same given half a chance. Dawkins?

The problem does not lie with "the other" but within ourselves. all these wars and escalating social problems in our societies...simply illustrate how far mankind is from curing this problem of evil, sin, inside ourselves. Technology ain't going to change anything.

What is needed is a spiritual change, a reconciliation with our creator via his peace offering- Jesus Christ.
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