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Many atheists don't seem sympathetic to poor.


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I should probably have been clearer, but I meant morality that it true to both religionists and atheists. That is, impersonal morality that isn't influenced by rulebooks (ie. religious texts) or what basically amount to threats of consequence. Basic inate morality, not whatever happened to be permissible by X authority at Y point in time. For instance, slavery has never been morally right, but was perhaps more easily swallowed by an ignorant society that was told it was okay. Indiscriminant killing is not morally justifiable. Or is it justifiable if the perpetrator believes it to be? Of course not.


Sex before marriage; it's wrong because we're told it is, and because bad things will happen if we break the rules. That isn't morality, that's conceding to a threat, and adhering to convention.

Right... I understand what you mean now and agree. Thanks for clarifying... but about slavery, I'd say that has more to do with simple conventions of the time. It was viewed as an economic system until the 18th century when it started to be disliked and called a "necessary evil" though of course when cotton came out it became a "positive good".

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The Old Testament applies to Judaism as well as Christianity. Otherwise, the two texts wouldn't coexist in the Christian handbook that is the bible. 'Vindictive asshole' doesn't fit with the infinite, omniscience, omnibenevolent, omniwhatever God that is sold in churches these days. It's a nonsense. Mood swings, vindictiveness, mistakes, etc. are all human traits and, once again, it just goes to show that God is a very human invention. As you state, the bible is certainly a human work. We're told it comes from God, and that all the inaccuracies are mistranslations. I'll not requote the excerpts that have been posted, but I'd love to know how entire parables and transparent metaphors got skewed so much.


I don't even know why you're defending something that you claim to have no belief in, and seemingly little respect for.


As for morality, your example isn't change through time, it's change through context. Marrying 13 year olds was no more moral two millenia ago than it is today. Social exceptability is not morality.


As for your final point, I totally agree. Religion is a mass control mechanism as well as an evolutionary construct. It comes from our natural urge to band together into groups for security, to strengthen that group, and to protect it from other groups. It's a security blanket for those who can't handle the thought of death and loss, and a big stick to hit over the head of people with no intrinsic moral compass of their own.


I'm not sure if your final paragraph was referring to me or not, but I'm not asking you to teach me about religion. I'm debating it from my own point of view and opinion, which I'd love to have it shaken if only someone could defend or support religion from any position other than 'it's a matter of faith' or 'God is mysterious'. In other words, 'I don't want to talk about it la-la-la can't hear you'.


It does and it doesn't apply to Christianity. Christianity is founded more on the teachings in the New Testament than the Old Testament.


I'm just playing Devil's Advocate. My last paragraph isn't directed towards you, just people in general.



It takes two to tango! Every single time I've had this discussion before (I should note that I've never been the instigator) it always goes the same way. All contradictions are supported by more contradictions, all inaccuracies are attributed to human error, all good comes from God, and all evils come from mankind (oddly enough, I find few Christians believe in the devil these days). It's all cherry picking their supportive information and dismissing the obvious flaws with something as loose and insubstantial such as the ultimate debate breaker - "Well that's what I think, anyway" (dozingoff.gif)


People sure get fired up when it comes to religion, to the point where it seems to be off-limits as far as debating it goes. It seems to be fine for religionists to shove their beliefs down your throat, but when atheists do the same, they're accused of being insensitive to others' beliefs. Being dicks, if you will. What is this, if not the protection of an innocent, warm, comforting, but ultimately unstable and nonsensical lie? I'm sure I'll get flak for making this comparison, but it seems much like telling a child that Santa doesn't exist (of course, it is fine to tell a non-believing child that he does exist), but it seems a fairly good comparison at the moment!  ph34r.gif


P.S. Joke; Santa of course does exist, kiddies. colgate.gif


There is nothing wrong with debates and dialogues. I find that I upset both atheists and religionists whenever they approach me about this subject. I tend to pick apart both arguments and then leave with 'Hey, I don't give a f*ck as long as you are happy' Pisses everyone off all the time.


@Irviding: Slavery has been around longer than the Slave Trade between the US/Europe and Africa. It has also been abolished several times in that time. Hell, slavery still exists in some forms nowadays, with the child sex slaves in Asia and the people smuggling in Russia.

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Christianity teaches us that God has bipolar disorder. Look at the crazy motherf*cker does in the Old Testament, and then look what he does in the New Testament.


On the issue of slavery, Aristotle thought slavery was a fact of nature. Some people are born to be slaves, some are born to be masters. You can clearly see that this mindset was very common in the pre-iPhone era. The idea of equality and human rights didn't exist. Thus, all religions of that time supported slavery. Morality changes. And it's relative because it depends on time and place. There is also no such thing as objective morality. Just widely accepted morality enforced by society. And that changes over time.

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