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It is immoral to believe in God





nam_siddharth
It is most common misconception that belief in God is necessary to be moral. But the truth is contrary to it. Believers in God think that their immoral acts will be forgiven if they worship God. So they are more prone to be immoral than atheists who are moral for rational reasons.
Ankhanu
I know there is some truth in this, but I haven't seen any solid statistics/studies on it. Do you have any sources, or is this based on rationalization?
Klaw 2
uhm you can look at the US prison statistics, compared to other groups atheist make a very small % of prison population compared to the % of atheists in the US.

Though it's not really proof, maybe people wh to who go to prison are more likely the get religious.
Also it can mean that religious people go to prison more often because of their religion or that people who are "genetically likely" to be religious are also "genetically likely" to go to prison.

Correlation does not imply causation...

But personally I do think that there is some truth in this. The religious are more prone to be immoral than atheists.
Bluedoll
I agree.
Yes it is immoral for anyone to be immoral.

If you went to an island and the people on that island believed in God but ran around trying to cut off your head, you would say well they are not very nice people.

If you went to an island and the people on that island believed in God and treated everyone well, you would say well they were nice people.

If you went to an island and the people on that island did not believe in God but ran around trying to cut off your head, you would say well they are not very nice people.

If you went to an island and the people on that island did not believe in God and treated everyone well, you would say well they were nice people.

What does it prove though? It might with statistics actually show that all the sinners are indeed in the church (sometimes sinning) and the good people are just out and about minding their own business or visa versa.

I think we have to consider that the individual eventually regardless will decide for themself what is moral for them and what is not.

To believe in God is not immoral but I agree, it is immoral to believe in God with a free ticket to be immoral. Good op.
deanhills
nam_siddharth wrote:
It is most common misconception that belief in God is necessary to be moral. But the truth is contrary to it. Believers in God think that their immoral acts will be forgiven if they worship God. So they are more prone to be immoral than atheists who are moral for rational reasons.
Well, if one follows this reasoning, one can also argue that atheists don't like rules that don't make sense to them. So they will define their own rules of morality as they go along. It may also be easier for an individual atheist to want to redefine those rules all of the time. Including the reason for murdering someone.
Bikerman
That is a ridiculous suggestion, as well as being highly insulting.

Do you believe in Zeus? No? Well clearly then you have a problem with rules that don't make sense to you and it is therefore easier for you to redefine those rules all the time.
Are you a murderer Dean?
Did I miss the bit where believing in a God was made a rule?

Have you got ANY reason to believe that atheists are less law abiding than theists? Any evidence?
Bluedoll
So what you are saying Deanhills, correct me if I am wrong is that people (atheist) without any religious foundation for right or wrong can lose their morality? However is it not also true that people with false religious beliefs can commit acts of violence as well because they have been mislead.

Hypothetically, at least it would seem to me that everyone in the world would certainly be moral and follow God if they, had proof (making atheism not logical) and understood the real truth.

Deanhills I do not find your logic insulting or ridiculous but worth pursuing in discussion. No evidence gathering is required in these types of discussions unless of course a member wants to provide it.
Bikerman it appears to me ever topic for you is a heavy debate. Every post is a challenge for you to give some member a personal tongue lashing. As demonstrated by this one and almost ever post you make thereby proving yourself to be non-law abiding. My evidence is you murder every chance at having a civil discussion.
ocalhoun
Well, actually, if an atheist defines his/her morality specifically, and in advance, then he/she should be just as resistant to changing morals as any theist following a religious code...
Bikerman
If you think it was a reasonable point, instead of an insulting unsupported generalisation, then obviously you will feel the same about the proposition that religious people, because of their unwillingness to accept rational argument, define their own rationality all the time, including the rationale for murdering someone.

This argument is actually stronger than Dean's because it doesn't rest on the fallacy that believing in God is a rule. It is still a rather crass generalisation and no doubt some religious people would be offended by the suggestion that they are more likely to be murderers.
nam_siddharth
Ankhanu wrote:
I know there is some truth in this, but I haven't seen any solid statistics/studies on it. Do you have any sources, or is this based on rationalization?


It is only my believe, hence no statistics or rationalization is needed.
Vrythramax
OK...I want everyone to stop and take a break...this topic is getting kinda heated.

*NO FLAMBAIT
*NO UNDUE ACCUSATIONS

C'mon people...let's try to play nice.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
This argument is actually stronger than Dean's because it doesn't rest on the fallacy that believing in God is a rule. It is still a rather crass generalisation and no doubt some religious people would be offended by the suggestion that they are more likely to be murderers.
Point accepted Bikerman as well as Bluedoll's. I would like to revise what I said. Theists can use their religion to justify immoral actions, and so can atheists who choose to follow an immoral path. Neither theists, nor atheists are perfect human beings.
ocalhoun wrote:
Well, actually, if an atheist defines his/her morality specifically, and in advance, then he/she should be just as resistant to changing morals as any theist following a religious code...
Agreed Ocalhoun. And well said as per usual .... Smile
Klaw 2
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
This argument is actually stronger than Dean's because it doesn't rest on the fallacy that believing in God is a rule. It is still a rather crass generalisation and no doubt some religious people would be offended by the suggestion that they are more likely to be murderers.
Point accepted Bikerman as well as Bluedoll's. I would like to revise what I said. Theists can use their religion to justify immoral actions, and so can atheists who choose to follow an immoral path. Neither theists, nor atheists are perfect human beings.


well actually,

Theists can use their religion to justify immoral actions, atheists can't really justify something bad with being an atheist there's really no excuse (atheist as in completely unreligious). In other words; a serial killer can say something like;
"My god killed a lot of people so I should be allowed to do it." or "God told me to do it".
Atheist can't really make the same excuse.
macky
yes it is just a belief...
jeffryjon
I'm glad the Op clarified the subject further than the statement in the title.

I don't find it immoral to believe or disbelieve in God. True there are certain religious sects who try to justify almost any behaviour and say belief/faith/prayer will get you forgiveness. It's not something i subscribe to, though there are also sects that preach quite the contrary in that if someone commits an immorality before accepting God (in other words in ignorance of God) forgiveness is there with much more ease than someone who knows the rules thoroughly - in Hebrews it states something along the lines of once you've received the truth, there's no sacrifice or whatever that can save you. In other words you KNEW fine well what you were about to do was wrong and still did it......... If the impulse was too strong for even your knowledge to keep you in the right forms of behaviour and yet you really regret doing it, then repentance may also save you, but it's not as some people say in that someone who believes in god and knows the rules can just say - hey, what the heck, I'll do whatever I like with no respect for the rules. Walking the talk or at least doing your utmost to walk the talk is very important and I expect it's the same for atheists in they believe you should practice what you preach.

deanhills wrote:
nam_siddharth wrote:
It is most common misconception that belief in God is necessary to be moral. But the truth is contrary to it. Believers in God think that their immoral acts will be forgiven if they worship God. So they are more prone to be immoral than atheists who are moral for rational reasons.
Well, if one follows this reasoning, one can also argue that atheists don't like rules that don't make sense to them. So they will define their own rules of morality as they go along. It may also be easier for an individual atheist to want to redefine those rules all of the time. Including the reason for murdering someone.


I think I see the point that Deanhills was originally making was not trying to insult atheists in general. This only in the case that an atheist being an individual could theoretically make up his own rules and I'm sure there are cases where this happens, but is unlikely to be the norm because even without an overseeing God, there's still the peer pressure from fellow citizens (atheists or otherwise) to help developing common norms of right and wrong. That being said, there are individuals/groups who try to twist their own religious texts to suit almost any kind of immoral behaviour.
deanhills
jeffryjon wrote:
I think I see the point that Deanhills was originally making was not trying to insult atheists in general. This only in the case that an atheist being an individual could theoretically make up his own rules and I'm sure there are cases where this happens, but is unlikely to be the norm because even without an overseeing God, there's still the peer pressure from fellow citizens (atheists or otherwise) to help developing common norms of right and wrong. That being said, there are individuals/groups who try to twist their own religious texts to suit almost any kind of immoral behaviour.
Thanks jeffryjon. That is exactly how it was meant. I have to agree with others however, that theists could easily create their own rules too, such as for example terrorists who justify their murders in the name of God. The majority of peace loving Muslims would completely differ with the terrorists, as the Muslim religion is supposed to be of peace.
Bikerman
Hmm, so the question is posed 'is belief in God immoral'?
I'm going to give a qualified 'yes', but that is a large claim and requires 'large' evidence.
The way I'll consider the claim is by looking at the bodies which represent the vast majority of those who say they believe in God - the organised religions.

Firstly it is important to state that not all religions are the same. Though this is obvious, the differences are important in addressing this question. I'll therefore confine my answer to the Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism), the first two of which account for the vast majority of religious believers on earth.

Immoral beliefs
The Abrahamic religions teach that sin is primarily an offence against God and that only God can grant forgiveness. This is at the root of religion's immorality in general.

i. The religious can (and do) place the 'will of God' above secular laws. We only have to look around to see examples. In the present we have Muslims who believe that God wishes them to strap bombs to their bodies and detonate them, Christian zealots who believe God wishes them to kill abortion doctors, or scream abuse at women entering abortion clinics, Catholic clerics telling people that using condoms is a sin and so on. These examples are normally said, by apologists, to result from the actions of a small minority who don't really understand the faith they espouse and are, therefore, not examples of religions immorality - rather they are bad people blaming religion for their actions. That is a superficially attractive argument but the point is that all such atrocity depends on the fundamental message of religion - God's will is more important than secular law. If people really believe that blowing up a crowded bus will guarantee them a place in heaven then it is entirely rational to do so. If a Christian believes that killing an abortion doctor is an act of grace and will earn them a place in heaven then that is also a rational thing to do. The only surprise is that more people, who say they share the basic beliefs, DON'T do similar things.

ii. The religious believe that God can forgive their sins. Guilt is a human emotion evolved for good reasons. It helps us to develop the required norms and behaviours needed to live relatively peacefully in close company with each other. The notion that God can forgive any transgression is fundamentally immoral. Only the victim of a particular crime has the right to forgive the criminal who committed it. The belief that the victim can be 'over-ruled' by a supernatural being devalues human experience in general and the experience of victims in particular.

iii. Religion teaches that God can, if asked, intervene with miracles. The ultimate logic of this is that human interventions are not necessary - all that is needed is the right combination of prayers and chants to achieve a particular outcome. Thus a Jehovah Witness is can reasonably refuse a blood transfusion for their seriously ill child, because God's will determines whether the child lives or dies, not the transfusion. The Christian Scientist can quite 'rationally' refuse medical treatment for themselves and their families because God will intervene and cure them.

iv. Religion teaches that those who do not share the particular faith are sinners who will be punished. This immediately creates a 'them and us' mentality, a 'group superiority' mentality, which is easily exploited by the unscrupulous. It also leads to theologians seriously debating whether a newborn baby will go to hell, or will just have to wait in purgatory for some undefined period. We see on these very forums examples of people who simply cannot countenance that their faith could possibly be wrong, and that different beliefs are just as valid as their own.

v. Religion teaches that certain people should be discriminated against. Sexism is enshrined in both Islam and Christianity, as is bigotry towards those of different sexuality. Both of these are still very much present in the modern-day Christianity and Islam.

Immoral actions.
I could write several pages, listing the atrocities committed by the religious in the name of their religion - but I'll leave the reader to do that for them-self.* The apologist will, of course, say that these are not due to religion but, instead, due to a perversion of religion by evil men. The fact remains, however, that religion provides the seed-bed. Religion provides the mentality to be exploited. If one genuinely believes that one's worldview is superior to that of the other group then it is not difficult to exploit that belief.

There is reliable evidence of a correlation between religious faith and immorality.
Here is a study showing a correlation between faith and homicide.
Here is a study correlating religion and socio-pathological behaviours.
Here is a study correlating societal health and religiosity/secularism

* http://justsaynotoreligion.com/religious-wars/
http://www.mapsofwar.com/ind/history-of-religion.html
http://www.historyguide.org/earlymod/lecture6c.html
jeffryjon
@ Chris

I agree that there are people who'll use religion, atheism, political systems or whatever they can find to carry out immoral acts and as you pointed out use propaganda and brainwashing to encourage the same kinds of things. We've often seen scientists quoted out of context deliberately or otherwise to attempt to convince a mass of people one way or the other. Does that make those same scientists immoral? - we'd have to consider each case individually and with a great deal of consideration before reaching a conclusion.

Even with today's laws, setting up a religion is relatively easy and in some places like USA, I could send off a few bucks and become a clergyman. Here's just example through this link http://www.getordained.org/ and once ordained you can do a lot of things with legal immunity in certain places. Here's another example where somebody became a vicar and was effectively fast-tracked with questionable consequences http://www.independent.co.uk/news/disgraced-vicar-quits-over-sex-scandal-1583859.html

Thing is here through, I don't see how that makes God immoral - people's behaviour yes - the behaviour of certain religious sects also yes. After all, I could set up the Church/Temple/Whatever of Jeffry and find ways to influence others that I have the be all and end all of everything. I could do it in all honesty with a false belief that I have all the answers. I could do it with some hidden agenda to mislead people for my own purposes. It could even rise from church to sect to full-blown religion and through history this kind of phenomena has occurred many times. I could even choose to say it's not religion but spirituality, but to me these are all humanistic phenomena. We all see through tinted spectacles 'so to speak' and some of us make great effort to remove the tinting and gain a full and clear vision.

To me, in this thread there are 2 debates arising:

God is immoral!?!?!? (Statement/question)

Religion is immoral!?!?

To claim to have and be giving all the answers about many things is immoral in my opinion (using the general understanding of the word moral).

For example, I know Mr Chris Bikerman in a very limited way. I could claim all sorts of things about him. I may be able to build a pretty convincing story. With enough effort, even with Mr Chris Bikerman around to dispute the claims, I may even convince more people that my story is the accurate one and his own perception of himself is very clouded. Am I right? Is Chris right? Is it a combination of both? Are we both so far off track that the whole thing is nothing but fantasy?

The point being, that we'd both probably succeed in creating an image of Chris that people will believe and possibly commit both moral and immoral acts in the name of Bikerman. With a little stretch of the imagination, we could have your version (Chris the god), my version (Chris the religion) and even Chris deciding there's no point in trying to sway the argument because it's all irreleveant in the greater scheme of things. The latter leaving us with Chris the eternally silent god and an whole variety of 'Chris the god/not the real god' religions. Does any of that change who/what you really are?

The word morality (as far as I'm aware) was relative to customs developed by communities. (The old Oxford dictionary again) and I'm very aware as I now live in India with some customs quite different from in UK where I was raised, that what is moral in one community can be immoral in another.
Bikerman
The question was 'is belief in God immoral'?
I didn't use cults or odd individuals in my posting - I referred specifically to the two largest faiths - Islam and Christianity, and within those two faiths, the vast majority of believers - via their chosen churches and denominations.
Nor did I quote them out of context or partially - so I don't really see what scientists have to do with it.
The five points of belief I highlighted are common to most, if not all, Christian churches. If you know differently then I'll be glad to correct myself. It is those beliefs that I maintain are immoral. The fact that most religious people don't act directly on those beliefs isn't really the issue. Most racists don't act on their racism - that doesn't mean that racism is a moral belief.

Taking me as an example is hardly germane either. I know quite a lot about Catholic dogma, and by extension a fair amount about Christian dogma. If I have misrepresented it then say where and why instead of throwing up a complete red-herring about me. If you misrepresented me as you say, then you would be untruthful. Where have I been untruthful? What have I misrepresented?
jeffryjon
Misrepresenting by me of you or you of the things that have been done in the name of God via religion was not the point I was trying to make. There are books/documentaries/movements about all sorts of things, and many are useful, but they're not the 'thing' itself.

Religion or religions that choose for whatever reason to behave immorally is not the same as God being immoral. It was in this sense that I used the Chris-god example. Not as a red herring - I was simply applying the same kind of logic to show that religion may or may not have an accurate understanding of God.

In UK I believe it was reported that around 2% of the people who term themselves Christian when placed on the spot to fit a religious category (I could be wrong on the exact figure), are active Church-goers. They may or may not just use the term for convenience.

The take I have on God is based on my own experiences and I'm sure that is true of many - even to the extent that god is just a name we've chosen to use when discussing the point. In my case it doesn't mean I feel the right to tell others how they should believe in God or what moral codes to adopt as a consequence. I believe in God - I believe certain things described in religions to be accurate - but i most definitely do not believe that religion IS God. That's pretty much what I was trying to depict in my previous post.
Ankhanu
The question, jeffryjon, is whether the belief in god is immoral, not whether god is immoral. There is a very strong distinction to the two, and are not to be confused.
watersoul
nam_siddharth wrote:
It is most common misconception that belief in God is necessary to be moral. But the truth is contrary to it. Believers in God think that their immoral acts will be forgiven if they worship God. So they are more prone to be immoral than atheists who are moral for rational reasons.


I guess it depends on which god you believe in and the cultural differences in how, or what, we feel is good moral behaviour around the world.

Take the legal age for drinking alcohol and the differences in opinion there. In the UK it's 18, in the US its mostly 21, in other countries it's outlawed completely. Who's morally right or wrong there? Which set of rules ordered by any state (which also influences a lot of what we as individuals deem with regard to 'morals') should we follow?

As far as using religious texts to justify actions (or lack of), I'm sure people are influenced to do all sorts of bad and good, from charity work to terrorism and everything in between.
However, as an atheist myself, I choose to be kind to fellow mankind because I know the world would be much nicer if everyone thought the same. No god has 'told' me that, it's just common sense to me.

I'm not always nice though, we're all imperfect, but when I make mistakes I hold the guilt for as long as it takes me to feel I've learned from it and/or made amends for it. If a few prayers for forgiveness or a confession to a priest takes the guilt away quicker, maybe I'm missing out on something. But then again, maybe not, perhaps it's better that I take longer feeling the regret of my actions, without the deity to 'pay my fine' or 'serve my time' and quickly absolve me of my guilt?
jeffryjon
Ankhanu wrote:
The question, jeffryjon, is whether the belief in god is immoral, not whether god is immoral. There is a very strong distinction to the two, and are not to be confused.


Point taken Ankhanu, though still the case remains between belief in religion (a particular type of belief in God specified to many) and belief in God
Afaceinthematrix
Ankhanu wrote:
The question, jeffryjon, is whether the belief in god is immoral, not whether god is immoral. There is a very strong distinction to the two, and are not to be confused.


But they can be directly related. One could argue (but I definitely do not suggest it because it doesn't even hold up to basic scrutiny) that it is immoral to believe in God because God is immoral and so you're endorsing an immoral God. Of course this doesn't hold for the same reason that this whole argument about believing in God doesn't hold.

The simple counterargument is that actual belief says nothing about what you endorse. If you worship God, then I believe that you are immoral. The reason why I believe that you are immoral is that (I always quote this, but i love the way it is put):

Richard Dawkins wrote:
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.


So by worshiping God (I assume we're talking about the Christian god here), you're endorsing that peace of crap. However, I could believe in this God but still despise the god. This whole argument could be like that. The OP's main point is that if you believe in God then all your sins will be forgiven (which is why I assumed we're talking about the Christian god) and so you're more likely to sin. But what if I believe in this god and don't ask for forgiveness? What if I believe in this god and despise the god? I piss on the bible. I flip off the sky everyday. I work against the god... Then am I immoral? I definitely do not endorse this god. I just happen to believe in the god. And a belief in a god is something that I've argued for years is something that you have no control over... An atheist couldn't force themselves to believe in Zeus any more than a Zeus believer could all of a sudden force themselves to believe in Yahweh and a Yahweh believer would have a hard time forcing themselves to not believe in any god (although I managed it over the course of several years).
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:

i. The religious can (and do) place the 'will of God' above secular laws.


To be fair, don't atheists as well? (more or less)
If a contentious atheist was required by law to do something which he found to be immoral, couldn't he follow his own moral values above those of the secular laws?
nam_siddharth
Bluedoll wrote:
I agree.
Yes it is immoral for anyone to be immoral.

If you went to an island and the people on that island believed in God but ran around trying to cut off your head, you would say well they are not very nice people.

If you went to an island and the people on that island believed in God and treated everyone well, you would say well they were nice people.

If you went to an island and the people on that island did not believe in God but ran around trying to cut off your head, you would say well they are not very nice people.

If you went to an island and the people on that island did not believe in God and treated everyone well, you would say well they were nice people.

What does it prove though? It might with statistics actually show that all the sinners are indeed in the church (sometimes sinning) and the good people are just out and about minding their own business or visa versa.

I think we have to consider that the individual eventually regardless will decide for themself what is moral for them and what is not.

To believe in God is not immoral but I agree, it is immoral to believe in God with a free ticket to be immoral. Good op.



I am not saying that believers in God are immoral. I am saying that believing in God itself is an immoral act. If you believe in God, then you believe that God can forgive your sins, and it is immoral.
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:

i. The religious can (and do) place the 'will of God' above secular laws.


To be fair, don't atheists as well? (more or less)
If a contentious atheist was required by law to do something which he found to be immoral, couldn't he follow his own moral values above those of the secular laws?
Atheism doesn't specify a postition on that - atheism is just lack of belief in God(s). Sure, an individual atheist might decide to put his own morality above the law, but that is not because they are an atheist.
achowles
One of the biggest problems I have with many peoples' (if not the majority's) interpretation of Christianity is that Christ is some kind of catch all solution to having all their transgressions wiped from their conscience.

They don't seem to acknowledge that their almost zero attempt to live their lives by Christ's teachings means that in reality they haven't accepted Christ at all except maybe as a blame depository.

I'm not really sure exactly at which point the concept of absolution was introduced to Christianity. But while it may have proven to be one of the more popular aspects of the faith, it's also one if the more detrimental to society.

Of course it's not quite as detrimental as the perception it gives so many people that we can treat this world and other species as we see fit because this world was given to us to do with as we please. But that's another argument for another day.
deanhills
achowles wrote:
I'm not really sure exactly at which point the concept of absolution was introduced to Christianity. But while it may have proven to be one of the more popular aspects of the faith, it's also one if the more detrimental to society.
I agree with you. Do you think it could have been borrowed in a different form from the Catholic religion where one can sin away during the week and then go for confession and start sinning again after confession? Except with Christianity it is more like going to Church once a week and then taking the proverbial hat off after church. That makes it very hypocritical. Also people don't get to really take responsibility for their actions.
Bikerman
Absolution goes way back to the early Church. The Catholics used the idea to make themselves rich and this led directly to the Protestant reformation under Luther. Basically the idea is that a Priest can grant absolution for a sin if it is sincerely confessed and the confessor is truly repentant. This takes away the threat of hell, but it leaves the temporal punishment (purgatory) which must be endured to 'clean' the soul before entering heaven. People could, however, reduce the amount of time their soul would spend in purgatory by purchasing 'indulgences' from the Church. So, after confessing and removing the threat of hell, the believer could then hand over a few groats to buy a bit of paper, or 'holy relic', and that gets them the equivalent of 'six months off for good behaviour'. The rich could therefore buy their way out of spending any time in purgatory and the Church was on a nice little earner. This practice of selling indulgences was Martin Luther's main objection to the catholic church and formed the basis of his charges of corruption against the Church, which he nailed to the Church door - and the rest is history....
achowles
deanhills wrote:
I agree with you. Do you think it could have been borrowed in a different form from the Catholic religion where one can sin away during the week and then go for confession and start sinning again after confession? Except with Christianity it is more like going to Church once a week and then taking the proverbial hat off after church. That makes it very hypocritical. Also people don't get to really take responsibility for their actions.


You mean Protestantism borrowing from Catholicism? Both are Christian denominations. Just like Orthodoxy and Nontrinitarianism are.

It's possible. But I think it's more likely that confession was created by the Catholic Church to make the Church a more vital part of people's religious lives. This was most likely based on the concept of Jesus' sacrifice being for our sins rather than vice versa.

One of the key defining characteristics of Catholicism and that which the Protestant reformation sought to distance protestants from is the ceremony - the pomp and pomposity of it all. Catholicism focusses on involving people in the Church and doesn't take kindly to people not fully devoting themselves to the faith. Given it's strong political hold over Catholic nations the reformation took quite some doing.

So I think that the concept of forgiveness pre-dates that considerably. After all, they needed to give Jesus' death some significance. Having an omniscient god grassed up by one of his own followers is a difficult concept to sell if it wasn't all a part of his grand scheme.

Of course, this... death, this sacrifice is somewhat invalidated by the notion of him being an immortal god - one who cannot die - who was kicking boulders out of his way a couple of days after 3 days of enduring one of the most brutal execution methods conceived. But that's also another debate for another time.
achowles
Bikerman wrote:
People could, however, reduce the amount of time their soul would spend in purgatory by purchasing 'indulgences' from the Church.


Very good point. The sheer corruption of the Church staggering at the time.
deanhills
achowles wrote:
You mean Protestantism borrowing from Catholicism? Both are Christian denominations. Just like Orthodoxy and Nontrinitarianism are.
Right. Thanks for putting it in better words.
achowles wrote:
It's possible. But I think it's more likely that confession was created by the Catholic Church to make the Church a more vital part of people's religious lives. This was most likely based on the concept of Jesus' sacrifice being for our sins rather than vice versa.
Maybe in the big picture you may have a point. However I do think that the confession has more to do with absolution and penance.
achowles
deanhills wrote:
Maybe in the big picture you may have a point. However I do think that the confession has more to do with absolution and penance.


Oh it does, absolutely. But I'm fairly sure that the concept of absolution came first. Then from that confession was derived to help maintain the Church's relevance.
Bluedoll
I agree with this post but the opposites are true as well. It should be noted that religious people can and do break laws as well as atheists. Extremists that use religion to convince people to do immoral acts are practicing immorality. Of course the same is true for an atheist, who would convince others using logic with their lack of religious belief. The difference is that religious extremists uses a lie based on religion. The atheist would simply use logic to lie to someone or to themselves to do something immoral.

The point is the person responsible for the immoral act is the person that did it. Too often, I read things like the devil made me do it or in some cases, it is an evil god to blame.

Sometimes this is even stated by of all things an atheist. Which does not make a whole lot of sense. It is like saying, I do not believe that the moon is made of cheese. Therefore, people that believe in the cheese moon and do immoral things are bad people. Ok fine, but for some strange reason they go on to say it is the cheese moon that is at fault. They blame something they do not even believe in the first place. I guess it is all part of an angry rant or something I am not sure but when you think about it makes little sense what so ever.

It is immoral to believe in religion and do something immoral yes. Religion has never been perfect and to believe in someone that is using religion to go and do immoral acts is immoral.

______________________

When it comes down to believing in something however it is far wiser to believe in God and desire not to do a immoral act than believing in nothing at all without that desire.

Why?

It is impossible and just a lie to say I believe in nothing. That never happens. Impossible. People end up believing in something that might be far worse.
Bikerman
So if God cannot be held responsible for the evil that believers do, then why should it be held responsible for the good that they do? Surely they are both human choices, not the work of an external deity?
Bluedoll
Bikerman wrote:
So if God cannot be held responsible for the evil that believers do, then why should it be held responsible for the good that they do? Surely they are both human choices, not the work of an external deity?
Yes, human choice. Question back to you. Why are you concerned about what God is responsible for, what God deserves credit for, if you are atheist? Am I still interested in knowing what mr cheese on the moon is responsible for? This I have to learn.
Confused
______

I could say Bikerman should be held responsible for the evil anguish he has caused for a person on this board.
I could also say ‘it’ answered a question for my benefit so is responsible for this good.

it = worm food (sooner or later that’s all you are!)
Bikerman
At the moment I'm a 'he'. When I die then you can call me 'it'.
I'm interested to know what theists think God is responsible for. On the one hand people thank God if they have a narrow escape, on the other hand they don't seem to blame it for all the ones who didn't. It just seems inconsistent to me. If God is to thank for someone miraculously escaping a car crash, is the same God not to be blamed for the other people who were not so lucky?

I'm certainly responsible for what I post, but I don't think I'm responsible for any anguish someone may feel as a result, since this is a forum for debate.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
On the one hand people thank God if they have a narrow escape, on the other hand they don't seem to blame it for all the ones who didn't.

Well, some people actually do blame God for bad things that happen to them...
Bikerman
Do they? I've never heard a Christian do so....and I know quite a few. I've heard Jews blame God...never a Christian though....
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
Do they? I've never heard a Christian do so....and I know quite a few. I've heard Jews blame God...never a Christian though....

Well,
1- They are rare, perhaps because preachers try to discourage it. (Yet they encourage giving thanks for good things Confused )
2- Such people tend to get angry at God and not stay Christians very long.
mgeek
nam_siddharth wrote:
It is most common misconception that belief in God is necessary to be moral. But the truth is contrary to it. Believers in God think that their immoral acts will be forgiven if they worship God. So they are more prone to be immoral than atheists who are moral for rational reasons.


Incorrect. They will be forgiven IF they repent and amend their lives.
Dialogist
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Do they? I've never heard a Christian do so....and I know quite a few. I've heard Jews blame God...never a Christian though....

Well,
1- They are rare, perhaps because preachers try to discourage it. (Yet they encourage giving thanks for good things Confused )
2- Such people tend to get angry at God and not stay Christians very long.


There's pretty bizarre ritual in Mexico with San Antonio/St Anthony (patron Saint of Lost things) where the young single women hang him upside down from the ceiling to "punish" him until he finds them a man. It's kind of strange to see all these statues hanging upside down by highly religious peoples but not uncommon...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/little_xochi/2237358208/
jeffryjon
Yes I've heard of a similar practice burying statues of St Joseph in the garden when struggling to sell a house as a punishment. Apparently it works very successfully but St Joseph will 'curse' you if after the sell is complete you don't take him out of the garden and place him in your new home's alter. Sounds a bit like some type of black-magic to me but some people I know who've done it disagree and seem happy that homes they've been unable to sell for over 4 years in 1 case were then sold within a week. Does that make God immoral? I can't see how. Does it make the people immoral - that depends on what you believe, though for me trying to force God by punishing a saint or deity seems immoral.
Bikerman
mgeek wrote:
nam_siddharth wrote:
It is most common misconception that belief in God is necessary to be moral. But the truth is contrary to it. Believers in God think that their immoral acts will be forgiven if they worship God. So they are more prone to be immoral than atheists who are moral for rational reasons.


Incorrect. They will be forgiven IF they repent and amend their lives.

Err...not necessarily. According to Catholic dogma you only need a sincere act of contrition. Thus all you have to do is repent on your deathbed...
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Err...not necessarily. According to Catholic dogma you only need a sincere act of contrition. Thus all you have to do is repent on your deathbed...
Obviously with the exception of committing suicide. As then no contrition would be possible? But murder is OK, as one can still sort that out on one's deathbed. Or in jail before being executed. But perhaps that should be OK, as not all murderers are evil people. Most of them probably are not.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
Obviously with the exception of committing suicide. As then no contrition would be possible?

Depends how long it takes. ^.^

If you jump out of a high-flying plane with no parachute, I guess you'd have time to repent on your way down.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Obviously with the exception of committing suicide. As then no contrition would be possible?

Depends how long it takes. ^.^

If you jump out of a high-flying plane with no parachute, I guess you'd have time to repent on your way down.
Right! Didn't think off that! And I guess the guy hanging on a rope who regrets it, perhaps also may do that just before he dies. Except then we have a problem as the church doesn't know about his act of contrition, so assumes that there hasn't been a contrition, and condemns him anyway?
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
Except then we have a problem as the church doesn't know about his act of contrition, so assumes that there hasn't been a contrition, and condemns him anyway?

At that point, I would be more worried about God's condemnation, and not overly concerned about the church's condemnation. ^.^
Bikerman
The Church does not have the power to condemn, only to forgive.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Except then we have a problem as the church doesn't know about his act of contrition, so assumes that there hasn't been a contrition, and condemns him anyway?

At that point, I would be more worried about God's condemnation, and not overly concerned about the church's condemnation. ^.^
Right, me too? Has to be very complicated to ask for forgiveness when one is in the middle of sinning, rather than at the end of it? Will be quite a tall order to come across sincere when one is asking for forgiveness. Smile
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
The Church does not have the power to condemn, only to forgive.

Question
How does it have one, but not the other?
I thought the church could do both, though in both cases it would be meaningless compared to what God did.


deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Except then we have a problem as the church doesn't know about his act of contrition, so assumes that there hasn't been a contrition, and condemns him anyway?

At that point, I would be more worried about God's condemnation, and not overly concerned about the church's condemnation. ^.^
Right, me too? Has to be very complicated to ask for forgiveness when one is in the middle of sinning, rather than at the end of it? Will be quite a tall order to come across sincere when one is asking for forgiveness. Smile

Aw, lots of suicides regret it partway through pretty sincerely. (The ones that have time to anyway.)
We don't hear about jumpers regretting it, because most die.*
We hear about it from wrist-slicers and pill-gobblers though.
If, after jumping, you think, "I really should not have done that!" then repenting could be sincere.


*Actually, I have heard a few stories about jumpers who lived, and regretted it on the way down.
Too lazy to look it up right now, but look up stories of people who survived jumping off the San Francisco Bay bridge.
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
The Church does not have the power to condemn, only to forgive.

Question
How does it have one, but not the other?
I thought the church could do both, though in both cases it would be meaningless compared to what God did.
Nah. The Catholic church teaches that the clergy has the power to forgive sins in the confessional. It derives from the Apostolic tradition (Catholics see the church as in direct line with the Apostles and St Paul). ‘
In John, we hear
Quote:
"‘As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’" (John 20:21–23).

It is from this that the Catholic church took the confession sacrament.
The priest can 'retain' sins - which means not forgive them - but cannot condemn. The tradition was that excommunication was as serious as the Church could get with a sinner from within, and that was intended as a 'therapy' to get them to change. it doesn't damn them, just stops them receiving the sacraments until they repent and are accepted back into the communion. If an excommunicated person dies then they still can be forgiven by God and admitted to 1st Class. If a priest forgives a sin then it is considered forgiven by God as well.

Over the centuries this was, of course, a nice little earner for the clergy. They would often also sell trinkets, called indulgences, to give time of purgatory for any sins that couldn't be dealt with in the confessional (for a price of course).
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
it doesn't damn them, just stops them receiving the sacraments until they repent and are accepted back into the communion. If an excommunicated person dies then they still can be forgiven by God and admitted to 1st Class. If a priest forgives a sin then it is considered forgiven by God as well.
I can't remember the text precisely, as I read it on the Internet a few days ago, but apparently members of the church can never be removed from the church. Even when they are excommunicated. So I imagine if the church would get some kind of dispensation from Government, those heads that have been excommunicated would still be included in the total number of their congregation?

In the Forum where I picked up on this discussion, the guy said that all he did when he moved to a different State was to turn up at the church, and there was no problem. Is that possible? The excommunication is only limited to the geographical area where it was made?
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
it doesn't damn them, just stops them receiving the sacraments until they repent and are accepted back into the communion. If an excommunicated person dies then they still can be forgiven by God and admitted to 1st Class. If a priest forgives a sin then it is considered forgiven by God as well.
I can't remember the text precisely, as I read it on the Internet a few days ago, but apparently members of the church can never be removed from the church. Even when they are excommunicated. So I imagine if the church would get some kind of dispensation from Government, those heads that have been excommunicated would still be included in the total number of their congregation?

In the Forum where I picked up on this discussion, the guy said that all he did when he moved to a different State was to turn up at the church, and there was no problem. Is that possible? The excommunication is only limited to the geographical area where it was made?

Yes, this is largely true. Excommunication does not 'remove' one from the church, it simply means you are 'not in communion' - basically you can't go to church and receive the sacraments. Excommunication is not supposed to be limited by geography, so in the latter example the reason they didn't pick it up would have been practical but the chap would still be an excommunicant.
riderwear45
The question was "having faith in God immoral?

I do not use, or a strange cult of people in my speech - I refer in particular to the two major religions - Islam and Christianity, and within these two men, the vast majority of believers - through churches and communities selected.

Nor do I quote out of context or in part - so I do not see what scientists have to do with it.

The five articles of faith, I stress, are common to most if not all, Christian churches. If you know a second, then I will be happy to correct me. It is these beliefs that I hold are immoral. The fact that most religious people do not act directly on these beliefs are not really the problem. Most racists do not act on their racism - it does not mean that racism is a moral condemnation.




Spam Links Removed. - ocalhoun
bukaida
Some bad people try to find cause of their bad work and take shelter behind the God. But the converse is not always true. God may forgive a sinner, but not the sin.
BigGeek
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

Richard Dawkins wrote:
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.


This is so perfect, and so true! The thing that struck me as a young man being sent to Bible classes by my parents is that no one seems to notice that "God" is a freak!

The original question was asked is belief in god immoral? I can't help but apply the same rationality to anything, which is no, not really! But that belies the fact that god, has been behind the murder of more humans and animals than any other character in the history of mankind.Shocked

Belief in anything is pretty meaningless unless you act on it. I was in the United States Marine Corp as a young man, I believed then as now that killing is necessary. Some things have to be killed so we can eat and sustain our lives. Some people are psychologically deranged or diseased and their arrogance, hatred, and abusive behavior makes it unsafe for the rest of humanity, and they need to be killed off like diseased crops. Sorry if that offends you, but it is the sad truth!

Even though I believe that is true, I have never acted on that through my own volition, nor would any trained soldier. Your given a job to do, and if that involves killing people than so be it.

Does that make it right....no, not at all, each of us is responsible for our actions, and the choices we make. If belief in anything gives justification to the taking of life for any other purpose other than protection/survival or sustenance, then it is immoral. God doesn't have to tell me that, it is the way it is, and I know it in my heart. Even if I believe that the Marines and other members of the armed forces are doing a horrifying, but necessary job, does that give me or anyone else the right to judge who should live or die....absolutely NOT!

I believe in the Marines, does that make me an immoral killer.......I guess it might Very Happy

If I believe in god, does that make me immoral and a person that supports murder.....I guess it could Cool

However if I never wrote this post, and lived a moral, peaceful life, helping and supporting everyone that I can, would you see me as a moral person Question

If after a life time of morality, if I told you that I believed in immoral things, would that change your mind to think of me as an immoral person? Confused

A person is defined by their actions, and behavior is what I think Idea
jeffryjon
Hey BigGeek,

that's one of the best posts I've read in a long while. Well done. Unfortunately I've had very little spare time to spend on Frihost in quite some time so my account may be auto-terminated soon due to inactivity. So just in case that turns out to be the truth, I'd like to congratulate you on the above post.
deanhills
BigGeek wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

Richard Dawkins wrote:
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.


This is so perfect, and so true! The thing that struck me as a young man being sent to Bible classes by my parents is that no one seems to notice that "God" is a freak!
I don't agree. All of the interpretations about God are human interpretations. The Old Testament in particular consists of plenty of chapters that are based on hear say stories. Most of the interpretations of God that are negative have been written to get obedience from parishioners. Surely that has to be common sense? So if any fault is to be found it has to be with people buying into all of that. I do like Psalms and Proverbs though there are some positive parts in the Old Testament if you are really focused on it of course. Guess in the end it is all in the eye of the beholder. If you are going to look for holes, you are going to find plenty of those. If you are going to look for inspiration, then yes you can find that too, even in the Old Testament. If you get to Revelations though, then that chapter I can't fathom.
jeffryjon
Gotta fly with Deanhills on this one. I remember something about the gods getting upset that eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge would eventually let us become like gods ourselves. Figured that was something to do with gaining the ability to work out right and wrong for ourselves - social control down the tubes.
Bikerman
Quote:
Most of the interpretations of God that are negative have been written to get obedience from parishioners.

Err, what? You do know that the OT was written BEFORE Christianity arose, don't you? There were no 'parishioners' in those days. It isn't a case of 'interpreting' anything. Yaweh is a vicious sulky childish monster - there is no other possible way to 'interpret' his actions and deeds - at least no honest way. It isn't simply one or two passages that might have been wrongly transcribed or deliberately altered. It is the whole text, from Genesis to Malachi - the portrayal of Yaweh is consistent and horrifying.

Now you might well ask why the Christians chose to make the OT part of their 'new' religion. Why not ditch it?
Two reasons - firstly the character of Jesus is a good jew who honours the OT and, indeed, emphasises it's importance more than once. Secondly the entire Jesus myth is built around the fact that he 'fullfills' prophecies from the OT. The rather ridiculous nature of this 'fullfillment' is overlooked.*

* Imagine a current-day analogy. The 'Book of Bikerman', written before my birth and which I have read so often that I can quote chunks of it, predicts that the one true biker will visit Bolton on a Tuesday. I wonder what I will be doing next Tuesday? Ahh....maybe I'll pay a visit to the Parr Hall - which happens to be in....Bolton.
Hallelujah - so it was written and so it came to pass.
Bluedoll
Bikerman wrote:
Imagine a current-day analogy. The 'Book of Bikerman', written before my birth and which I have read so often that I can quote chunks of it, predicts that the one true biker will visit Bolton on a Tuesday. I wonder what I will be doing next Tuesday?
For once and perhaps only this once, I am going to agree with some of your points. The bible is horrifying indeed. Though, the source of the dread is worth discussing, why? without pointing fingers that is, that why is there dread and horrifying events? Certainly a book of present day would include such things too, as most newspapers in our time will testify. Yes, the old laws were somewhat in modern day terms amended much like a declaration of independence (though I will make note here the American’s have not figured out yet that the British invasion has been canceled -–some one should let them know?) And I do understand the idea of following old predictions by quoting them is somewhat ridiculous. Perhaps, we should go to the heavenly abode (you will need one bullet in a revolving chamber) and suggest this practice be abandoned for a more “what ever happens, happens, dudes” and if our petition for change be known perhaps that change will also occur in our little keep it real world.


You actually might actually make your book the frihost journals with frihosts’ predictions as your fulfillment.

http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-86501.html#846404
Bikerman
The case here is very simple to put.
a) Either you believe in absolute morality or you do not. My understanding is that Christians DO believe that there are moral absolutes and that these ultimately come from God. In other words, some things are just wrong, have always been wrong, and will always be wrong.
b) If this IS the case, then the actions of Yaweh were immoral, and it makes no difference what the ethics and practices of the times were. The alternative is to abandon the notion of moral absolutes entirely and say 'well, what is immoral at one time is moral at another'.
c) Once you adopt a moral relativity then you destroy any notion that God defines moral actions - by definition. In that case what is your God for?
d) So there is a choice - either
  • there ARE moral absolutes, in which case Yaweh acted immorally
    or
  • there are no moral absolutes, in which case the Christian notion of morality is fundamentally wrong, and God has feet of clay
mgeek
Bikerman wrote:
The case here is very simple to put.
a) Either you believe in absolute morality or you do not. My understanding is that Christians DO believe that there are moral absolutes and that these ultimately come from God. In other words, some things are just wrong, have always been wrong, and will always be wrong.
b) If this IS the case, then the actions of Yaweh were immoral, and it makes no difference what the ethics and practices of the times were. The alternative is to abandon the notion of moral absolutes entirely and say 'well, what is immoral at one time is moral at another'.
c) Once you adopt a moral relativity then you destroy any notion that God defines moral actions - by definition. In that case what is your God for?
d) So there is a choice - either
  • there ARE moral absolutes, in which case Yaweh acted immorally
    or
  • there are no moral absolutes, in which case the Christian notion of morality is fundamentally wrong, and God has feet of clay


YHWH is not the God of Christians.
Bikerman
Quote:
YHWH is not the God of Christians.

Oh really? How interesting. So the notion of the trinity is not a Christian notion eh? Because under that doctrine Yaweh is most certainly the God of the Christians - along with the other two, who are distinct entities but part of the same God, indivisible yet distinct*
Jesus was clear that Yaweh was God, so are you saying that Christians worship a minor sub-deity who in turn has a God of his own? This is news to me.
I'm talking about Christians as in Protestants, Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists etc - which 'Christians' are you talking about?

* Don't even TRY to understand this - it is theology at it's twisted best - complete gibberish. Nonetheless, this is what most Christians profess to believe.
BigGeek
Bikerman wrote:
* Don't even TRY to understand this - it is theology at it's twisted best - complete gibberish. Nonetheless, this is what most Christians profess to believe.


Uh, my feelings exactly, every time I have studied and tried to understand theology I become so confused at the gibberish, and circle talking that I just give up.

I had a professor of theology explain to me that the actual person named Jesus Christ never existed, that it was a made up name. If my memory serves me correctly his story was that the Romans were concerned about losing religious control over the masses, as there were a number of people that could have been "Christ" preaching the doctrine of a single "God". So they held a meeting to decide on the "new religion" and adopted the myths from a number of other large belief systems, made up the character of Jesus Christ, decided which stories were to go into the "Bible" and Christianity was born!

When I asked him if this was so, how could he be a Baptist Minister, and a professor of theology, and teach the word of Christ, knowing it was fabricated. His response was that all good people need faith in a higher power, and any avenue to that faith was justified........hmmmm Shocked

If you've ever read the truth about "King James" and who he was, you might shudder at the fact that the monster of a human had actually had the holey book edited. Uh, yeah, just the kind of guy I want editing a doctrine that "guides" humanity Confused

Morality is defined by our actions, no one needs a doctrine or a higher power to tell them what is moral and good for the whole of mankind......it's obvious! Rolling Eyes
Bikerman
I have long held the opinion that 'theology' is not a proper discipline. As far as I can see, a theologian is expert in nothing. Why we continue to 'respect' theologians is beyond me. Anytime a moral question comes up the theologian, is wheeled-in, as if they had some special insight or knowledge.
At best, a theologian is 'expert' in putting different interpretations onto a particular scriptural text. In that sense they would be like an 'expert' in the book 'Moby Dick' who could give you alternate possible meanings for each passage that Melville wrote. Would we think it necessary to wheel an expert in Moby-Dick into the TV studios everytime a story involving a whale came up?

I know quite a lot about James - we were schooled in our history at an early age (though, of course, we got the edited version). Actually I think the KJV is a rather splendid book, and actually pretty important, from a historical perspective. It was the first time that the common man could have a copy of the bible. The Church was extremely resistant to this notion - they wanted to stop the common man seeing what was actually written in the bible - they maintained that you needed 'special training' to understand it. The truth is that they knew that when people actually DID read the bible, they would see it for what it was - a contradictory and brutal set of myths.
The language used in the KJV is also rather wonderful and it has had a major influence on the development of English ever since.
But yes, James was a horror by todays standards, but for the time he wasn't actually that bad. He was quite a scholar, and he did end the constant wars with Spain (it was parliament that finally ended the peace). As English (and Scottish) Monarchs go, James wasn't actually a bad one.
BigGeek
Bikerman wrote:
I have long held the opinion that 'theology' is not a proper discipline. As far as I can see, a theologian is expert in nothing.


Well not completely, they are experts in gibberish and contradictions.



Bikerman wrote:
The Church was extremely resistant to this notion - they wanted to stop the common man seeing what was actually written in the bible - they maintained that you needed 'special training' to understand it. The truth is that they knew that when people actually DID read the bible, they would see it for what it was - a contradictory and brutal set of myths.


OK now that is funny......uh yeah you need special training in nonsense!

Bikerman wrote:
The language used in the KJV is also rather wonderful and it has had a major influence on the development of English ever since.
But yes, James was a horror by todays standards, but for the time he wasn't actually that bad. He was quite a scholar, and he did end the constant wars with Spain (it was parliament that finally ended the peace). As English (and Scottish) Monarchs go, James wasn't actually a bad one.


WOW, I didn't realize that about KJ, the material that I read painted him as a repressive, egotistical, homicidal nut, who edited the Bible for his own personal reasons. Thus pointing at older versions of the Bible as the true word of god.....if that exists anywhere?

I guess anything can be written to paint anyone in any light eh?

Very Happy
Hello_World
I think the religious can tend towards immorality, because a) (from someone else's post) they have thought about and set their own moral code thus are less likely to disobey it. and b) the world is not seen as the important place. So if someone dies of starvation or a preventable disease, they can just say, it was God's will, they will go to heavan or whatnot, whereas an athiest is much more likely to find the preventable premature death of someone abhorent. Or less extreme, simply if someone is not afforded the opportunities in life that would allow them to be the best they can be, that is just passed off as God's will... rather than see what we can do as a society to fix this 'evil'.

Just my thoughts.
deanhills
Hello_World wrote:
I think the religious can tend towards immorality, because a) (from someone else's post) they have thought about and set their own moral code thus are less likely to disobey it. and b) the world is not seen as the important place. So if someone dies of starvation or a preventable disease, they can just say, it was God's will, they will go to heavan or whatnot, whereas an athiest is much more likely to find the preventable premature death of someone abhorent. Or less extreme, simply if someone is not afforded the opportunities in life that would allow them to be the best they can be, that is just passed off as God's will... rather than see what we can do as a society to fix this 'evil'.

Just my thoughts.
I'm not very comfortable with stereotyping theists or atheists. There are theists AND theists and atheists AND atheists. Not all of them have the same moral code. There are many theists who are out in Africa and all over in the worst parts of the world dedicating their own lives to helping others. Most of them are genuine and sincere. Some may not be. And the other way round. I'm sure there are many atheists who are dedicated to helping the poor and underprivileged in the world in special projects. But then there are also some who may think that the world is overpopulated and this is the way the world is trying to get its numbers sorted out.
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