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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:04 pm  I am seriously questioning my atheism Reply with quote

Disclaimer: This post may be out of place on the Christianity and Apologetics forum (even though it does have some relation to Christianity), if it is, I apologize and ask that it be moved to a more appropriate place on the forum. However, I do intend this thread to be a discussion, if not a debate, so I felt this was the best place for it.

As many of you know, I am an ex-evangelical Christian and a current atheist. By "atheist," I mean I lack belief in god(s) of any kind, although I do not assert that there are definitely no gods. Since departing from Christianity, everything has made so much more sense: an eternal Universe (defined as the totality of natural existence) explained existence, evolution explained the diversity of life on earth, the absence of god(s) explained the problems of evil, inconsistent revelation, and so on.

However, there is one thing that I have been unable to account for under atheism: morality. Atheists almost invariably state that moral values and duties are not objective facts, but are simply subjective statements of preference and have no ontological value. That is, of course, until we are presented with cases of true evil, such as the Holocaust, the atrocities of Pol Pot, or the horrible psychopathic serial killings of individuals like Jeffery Dahmer. Then we as atheists tacitly appeal to objective moral values and duties, saying that individuals who commit should be severely punished (even executed) for doing "evil," saying that they "knew right from wrong." But if right and wrong are simply statements of subjective opinion, then how can we say that others knew "right from wrong" and are accountable for their actions? If relativism is true, they simply had differing opinions from the majority of human beings. However, it seems obvious to me (and to the vast majority of others, theist and atheist alike) that this is absurd -- the monsters who carried out the aforementioned acts really, objectively did evil.

Given this, the only reasonable conclusion is that moral facts and imperatives exist.

However, atheism appears to offer no framework for moral facts. Because of this, a few weeks ago, I started up a discussion on Wielenbergian moral realism, which states that objective moral values are simply "brute facts" that exist without any explanation. However, others rightly pointed out that the existence of "brute facts" is ontologically problematic and that the best explanation (on atheism) is that morality is simply subjective. Additionally, even if atheistic moral facts existed, the Humeian problem of deriving an "ought" from an "is" would preclude them from acting as moral imperatives; commands which human beings are obligated to follow.

In light of these airtight logical objections to atheistic moral realism, I was forced to abandon my position on moral facts and tentatively adopt moral relativism. However, relativism still seems problematic. After all, if morality is subjective, no one person can accuse another of failing to recognize the difference between "right and wrong," however, it is obvious to me (and, I would suspect, to other atheists as well) that right or wrong really objectively (not subjectively) exist.

The only rational conclusion I can seem to come up with is that there is a (are) transcendent moral lawgiver(s) who both grounds moral facts and issues binding moral commands on all humanity; i.e., God(s). This echoes evangelical Christian philosopher William Lane Craig's moral argument, which syllogism reads:

WLC wrote:
Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist
Conclusion: Therefore, God exists


Premises 1 and 2 seem bulletproof -- (1) was demonstrated earlier in this post, leaving (2) as the only premise to attack. However, (2) seems to be as obvious as a hand in front of my face. The conclusion necessarily follows from (1) and (2), so is there any rational reason for me to reject the conclusion of the argument?

Remember, I am no believer of any kind. I am a staunch, educated, informed atheist, and I am well aware of the philosophical arguments against God(s), such as the problem of evil, the dysteleological argument, the problem of omniscience, etc. I'm also well aware of the plentiful empirical evidence against the existence of God(s), for instance, evolution, mind-body physicalism, etc. These are the reasons I reconverted from Christianity in the first place. However, I don't see way around this problem other than to accept either that our apparently obvious sense of moral facts is somehow mistaken, or that (a) theistic being(s) exist.

Debate question: Are my issues with atheism legitimate? Can atheism provide a coherent moral framework other than nihilism, relativism, or subjectivism? Do these problems really present evidence for theism? Is William Lane Craig right? Is this a real problem for atheism, or are my (our) emotions simply overriding my (our) rationality?

Feel free to present evidence for or against atheism, Christianity, or any religious or nonreligious perspective in this thread.
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 471: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:11 am
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1robin wrote:
As I was defending that Christianity does supply the only justification for many of our most cherished beliefs like life, liberty, and the pusuit of happiness, justice then I won't defend theism. Even Thomas Jefferson (no Christian) saw that there is no other source sufficient to account for inalienable right besides God. Argueing against a generic theism is a waste of time, it would only have meaning once a particular diety and it's characteristics are accounted for. Theism devoid of these doesn't exist.

Then you understand why I don't need to defend atheism? It is because atheism doesn't claim to provide justification for beliefs like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, justice etc. Attacking atheism is as much a waste of time as attacking a generic theism.

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Ok give me the ones you can prove were adopted from humanism by christianity. Just because the 10 commandments and humanism have things in common doesn't mean that christianity got them from humanism. There was no agreed upon content of humanism until well after Christ.

If you understand why having things in common in Christianity and humanism doesn't mean that Christianity got them from humanism, why were you suggesting atheists got their values from Christianity? The golden rule for example, predates Jesus.

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It is not necessary to disprove a diety to show humanism is the lone source for some values.

It is necessary because without disproving the Christian God for example, a Christian can (and will) say the source of humanism is God, re: Roman 2 14-15, as law written in our hearts.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 472: Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:08 am
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1robin wrote:
Artie wrote:
1robin wrote:
How could an atheist tell Stalin he was actually wrong for killing 15,000,000 people. What argumentation could you possibly use that it is actually wrong.
So if God hadn't told you that killing 15,000,000 people was wrong you would think it was right? So you have no kind of reason or logic or conscience or morals or compassion or love or empathy or altruism inside you telling you that killing 15,000,000 people was wrong? You see, these are just some of the things most atheists use to differentiate right from wrong. Since we have those things and more we don't need a deity to tell us right from wrong.
It doesn't require a belief in God to know what is right or wrong. It requires God to justify those beliefs. I noticed you answered the question by asking me one. What would you say to Stalin?
And I noticed you didn't answer my question.
If you have reason and logic and conscience and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism inside you, why would you need justification from a deity to act on these? Why aren't they sufficient for you to act on? I would say to Stalin that what he did goes against reason and logic and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism and is therefore immoral of course. Just like I would tell God that drowning practically every person on the planet goes against reason and logic and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism and is therefore immoral. You are the one who thinks that whether genocide is immoral or not just depends on who's doing it.
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Let me restrict the defanition of altruism for this discussion.
1.The belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. If you give up your seat for an old lady it is not for the hope of getting her to give hers up later. Christ was not hopeing for someone to die for him some other time. As a matter of fact anyone who has given their life for another did so with a motivation that naturalism can't justify.
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Giving up your seat for an old lady is nothing different than when mongooses support elderly, sick, or injured animals, chimpanzees help humans and conspecifics without any reward in return, bonobos aid injured or handicapped bonobos, vervet monkeys give alarm calls to warn fellow monkeys of the presence of predators, even though in doing so they attract attention to themselves, increasing their personal chance of being attacked, or when african buffalo try to rescue a member of the herd captured by predators risking injury to themselves, This is called the Golden Rule and as I just demonstrated existed long before religions came along. That is why a lot of religions have incorporated the Golden Rule in their teachings.

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Even accepting this conscience I mentioned for every benevolent act you may find (for which you have no way of establishing the motivation) there are an endless amount of brutal unjust acts of cruelty.
Not in the animal world.
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It would seem that if you give credit to evolution for morality you also have to say it accounts for WW1, WW2, Hitler, Stalin, Atilla, Nero etc..... this sound like a inconsistent scitsophrenic moral system.
No. These are the exceptions not the rule of course. Billions of people are living moral lives and those are the result of evolution. There will always be mentally ill people who are incapable of understanding reason and logic and morals or unable to feel compassion and love and empathy and altruism. You do have a very good point. Religion is important in that it forces some of these immoral people to behave morally under threat of going to Hell if they don't, which keeps those people from ruining the world for the rest of us.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 473: Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:42 pm
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As I was defending that Christianity does supply the only justification for many of our most cherished beliefs like life, liberty, and the pusuit of happiness, justice then I won't defend theism. Even Thomas Jefferson (no Christian) saw that there is no other source sufficient to account for inalienable right besides God. Argueing against a generic theism is a waste of time, it would only have meaning once a particular diety and it's characteristics are accounted for. Theism devoid of these doesn't exist.

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Then you understand why I don't need to defend atheism? It is because atheism doesn't claim to provide justification for beliefs like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, justice etc. Attacking atheism is as much a waste of time as attacking a generic theism.
I don't think I made any point about you being haveing to defend atheism. This thread was concerning the justification of values in atheism vs a religion, or that's what I thought anyway.

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Ok give me the ones you can prove were adopted from humanism by christianity. Just because the 10 commandments and humanism have things in common doesn't mean that christianity got them from humanism. There was no agreed upon content of humanism until well after Christ.

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If you understand why having things in common in Christianity and humanism doesn't mean that Christianity got them from humanism, why were you suggesting atheists got their values from Christianity? The golden rule for example, predates Jesus.

Because some values can't be accounted for by atheism. Which you admitted: "It is because atheism doesn't claim to provide justification for beliefs like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, justice etc".Since Christianity couldn't have borrowed the values that atheism doesn't have, if atheists profess these values then it must be the other way around.
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It is not necessary to disprove a diety to show humanism is the lone source for some values.

It is necessary because without disproving the Christian God for example, a Christian can (and will) say the source of humanism is God, re: Roman 2 14-15, as law written in our hearts.[/quote] Well could you list the ones that come from Humanism in your opinion and why they didn't come from the religion of Abraham.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 474: Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:16 pm
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[quote="Artie"]
1robin wrote:
Artie wrote:
1robin wrote:
How could an atheist tell Stalin he was actually wrong for killing 15,000,000 people. What argumentation could you possibly use that it is actually wrong.
Quote:
So if God hadn't told you that killing 15,000,000 people was wrong you would think it was right? So you have no kind of reason or logic or conscience or morals or compassion or love or empathy or altruism inside you telling you that killing 15,000,000 people was wrong? You see, these are just some of the things most atheists use to differentiate right from wrong. Since we have those things and more we don't need a deity to tell us right from wrong
.


It doesn't require a belief in God to know what is right or wrong. It requires God to justify those beliefs. I noticed you answered the question by asking me one. What would you say to Stalin?
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And I noticed you didn't answer my question
I thought I answered it in the previous paragraph from my last post. We have a somewhat coarse idea of right and wrong that we are given from God wherther we believe or not. Those ideas are not justifiably without god however.
Quote:
If you have reason and logic and conscience and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism inside you, why would you need justification from a deity to act on these? Why aren't they sufficient for you to act on? I would say to Stalin that what he did goes against reason and logic and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism and is therefore immoral of course. Just like I would tell God that drowning practically every person on the planet goes against reason and logic and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism and is therefore immoral. You are the one who thinks that whether genocide is immoral or not just depends on who's doing it.
Many of the worst serial killers and historical tyrants have been very intelligent, socialy adjusted, and sane people. Why did this evolutionary benevolence slip past them. The justification for killing one or many people depend on the reasons for doing it. We killed amny people in WW2 and in general is was justified however trajic. Of course God being Mora, hisl doing anything would have morally suffecient reasons for whatever it was. Can you tell me why the flood was immoral if you operate from the biblicly consistent explanation I gave for it.
What would you then say if Stalin said all his top evolutionary scholars had discovered a antibiotic shortage and recommended that the elimination of 15 million people would guaranty the survival of the stronger more productive ones still alive.

Quote:
Let me restrict the definition of altruism for this discussion.
1.The belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. If you give up your seat for an old lady it is not for the hope of getting her to give hers up later. Christ was not hopeing for someone to die for him some other time. As a matter of fact anyone who has given their life for another did so with a motivation that naturalism can't justify.


Quote:
Giving up your seat for an old lady is nothing different than when mongooses support elderly, sick, or injured animals, chimpanzees help humans and conspecifics without any reward in return, bonobos aid injured or handicapped bonobos, vervet monkeys give alarm calls to warn fellow monkeys of the presence of predators, even though in doing so they attract attention to themselves, increasing their personal chance of being attacked, or when african buffalo try to rescue a member of the herd captured by predators risking injury to themselves, This is called the Golden Rule and as I just demonstrated existed long before religions came along. That is why a lot of religions have incorporated the Golden Rule in their teachings.

Quote:

Even accepting this conscience I mentioned for every benevolent act you may find (for which you have no way of establishing the motivation) there are an endless amount of brutal unjust acts of cruelty.
Quote:
Not in the animal world
Are you kidding I can't stand to watch the animal shows half the time. What about lions eating their young, insects killing their mates, cats torturing mice. I can't believe anyone would have defended the tranquility of raw nature. Why haven't the microbes that wipe out entire populations of beings not developed this sophisticated "Golden Rule"
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It would seem that if you give credit to evolution for morality you also have to say it accounts for WW1, WW2, Hitler, Stalin, Atilla, Nero etc..... this sound like a inconsistent scitsophrenic moral system.
Quote:
No. These are the exceptions not the rule of course. Billions of people are living moral lives and those are the result of evolution. There will always be mentally ill people who are incapable of understanding reason and logic and morals or unable to feel compassion and love and empathy and altruism. You do have a very good point. Religion is important in that it forces some of these immoral people to behave morally under threat of going to Hell if they don't, which keeps those people from ruining the world for the rest of us.

No one with the possible exception of Christ has lived an exemplerary moral life.
One of the moral giants often cited was Ghandi (whom I admire) but through his efforts at getting rid of the British because they charged too much rent on land, even though they supplied stability, huge markets, technological advances, and efficient governance. Ghandis revolts wound up plunging the country into civil war, genocide, starvation, and anarchy for a period of time. Our morality whatever the source is never enough to make us rightous people. The bible's Abraham a good man by all accounts slept with his maid in defience of God and as a direct result plunged the middle east into perpetual war that is still going on. Our best is still insuffecient when viewed in totality. A man I admire greatly (general Lee) and was noted for his morality is personally responsible for getting tens of thousands killed as a direct result of his temper. It takes more than some superficial golden rule morality to actually be rightous. Even with we refer to as the good there is plenty of evil. I am not sure if those last few sentences apply or not but they are interesting.
Are you supporting atheistic evolution, humanistic evolution (whatever that is), or theistic evolution. That may clear some of your views up for me.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 475: Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:16 pm
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1robin wrote:
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And I noticed you didn't answer my question
I thought I answered it in the previous paragraph from my last post. We have a somewhat coarse idea of right and wrong that we are given from God wherther we believe or not. Those ideas are not justifiably without god however.
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Of course they are. Most of the population of the world manages to understand that they are perfectly justifiable without the aid of the Christian God to justify them.
Quote:
If you have reason and logic and conscience and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism inside you, why would you need justification from a deity to act on these? Why aren't they sufficient for you to act on? I would say to Stalin that what he did goes against reason and logic and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism and is therefore immoral of course. Just like I would tell God that drowning practically every person on the planet goes against reason and logic and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism and is therefore immoral. You are the one who thinks that whether genocide is immoral or not just depends on who's doing it.
Many of the worst serial killers and historical tyrants have been very intelligent, socialy adjusted, and sane people. Why did this evolutionary benevolence slip past them.
I answered that question several times: Because some are simply not capable of understanding or feeling reason and logic and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism etc. and are therefore aberrations. Some of them hide behind religion in the Catholic Church while abusing children.
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What would you then say if Stalin said all his top evolutionary scholars had discovered a antibiotic shortage and recommended that the elimination of 15 million people would guaranty the survival of the stronger more productive ones still alive.
That would be immoral of course. Just like the intervention by God in the Old Testament when he favored His favorite people at the expense of the lives of thousands of others.
Quote:
Even accepting this conscience I mentioned for every benevolent act you may find (for which you have no way of establishing the motivation) there are an endless amount of brutal unjust acts of cruelty.
Quote:
Not in the animal world
Are you kidding I can't stand to watch the animal shows half the time. What about lions eating their young, insects killing their mates, cats torturing mice.
And how does this behavior compare to Gods' genocide on the atrocity scale?
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I can't believe anyone would have defended the tranquility of raw nature. Why haven't the microbes that wipe out entire populations of beings not developed this sophisticated "Golden Rule"
Because they are lower on the evolutionary scale of course. Don't forget that according to you God is responsible for those. But of course making microbes that wipe out millions is moral because it was done by God right?
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Our morality whatever the source is never enough to make us rightous people.
You got that right. There will always be immorals.
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The bible's Abraham a good man by all accounts slept with his maid in defience of God and as a direct result plunged the middle east into perpetual war that is still going on.
I don't know enough about that to have an opinion. Are you saying that all the strife in the middle East is a result of religion?
Quote:
Our best is still insuffecient when viewed in totality. A man I admire greatly (general Lee) and was noted for his morality is personally responsible for getting tens of thousands killed as a direct result of his temper. It takes more than some superficial golden rule morality to actually be rightous.
Oh yeah. It takes logic, reason, common sense, conscience and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism etc and people willing to ditch religious affiliations to avoid all this religious strife.
Quote:
Are you supporting atheistic evolution, humanistic evolution (whatever that is), or theistic evolution. That may clear some of your views up for me.
Start with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_morality

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 476: Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:30 pm
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[quote="Artie"]
1robin wrote:
Quote:
And I noticed you didn't answer my question
I thought I answered it in the previous paragraph from my last post. We have a somewhat coarse idea of right and wrong that we are given from God wherther we believe or not. Those ideas are not justifiably without god however.
Quote:
Of course they are. Most of the population of the world manages to understand that they are perfectly justifiable without the aid of the Christian God to justify them.
Quote:
If you have reason and logic and conscience and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism inside you, why would you need justification from a deity to act on these? Why aren't they sufficient for you to act on? I would say to Stalin that what he did goes against reason and logic and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism and is therefore immoral of course. Just like I would tell God that drowning practically every person on the planet goes against reason and logic and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism and is therefore immoral. You are the one who thinks that whether genocide is immoral or not just depends on who's doing it.
Many of the worst serial killers and historical tyrants have been very intelligent, socialy adjusted, and sane people. Why did this evolutionary benevolence slip past them.
I answered that question several times: Because some are simply not capable of understanding or feeling reason and logic and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism etc. and are therefore aberrations. Some of them hide behind religion in the Catholic Church while abusing children.
Quote:
What would you then say if Stalin said all his top evolutionary scholars had discovered a antibiotic shortage and recommended that the elimination of 15 million people would guaranty the survival of the stronger more productive ones still alive.
That would be immoral of course. Just like the intervention by God in the Old Testament when he favored His favorite people at the expense of the lives of thousands of others.
Quote:
Even accepting this conscience I mentioned for every benevolent act you may find (for which you have no way of establishing the motivation) there are an endless amount of brutal unjust acts of cruelty.
Quote:
Not in the animal world
Are you kidding I can't stand to watch the animal shows half the time. What about lions eating their young, insects killing their mates, cats torturing mice.


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And how does this behavior compare to Gods' genocide on the atrocity scale?

For one thing this is irrelevant for this discussion. What do you use as your standard to judge God? How could any subjective moral framework be suffecient to judge God? Since every one has different moral standards to some degree how can you make a case that yours is correct without an objective standard? Give me an example of God's atrocities and I will respond.

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I can't believe anyone would have defended the tranquility of raw nature. Why haven't the microbes that wipe out entire populations of beings not developed this sophisticated "Golden Rule"
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Because they are lower on the evolutionary scale of course. Don't forget that according to you God is responsible for those. But of course making microbes that wipe out millions is moral because it was done by God right?


What are the units that define where a creature is on an evolutionary scale. What does it's position have to due with morals, and at what specific point do creatures develope the capacity for morals. Many inoffensive things became harmful when nature was distorted by the fall of man.


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Our morality whatever the source is never enough to make us rightous people.
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You got that right. There will always be immorals.
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The bible's Abraham a good man by all accounts slept with his maid in defience of God and as a direct result plunged the middle east into perpetual war that is still going on.
Quote:
I don't know enough about that to have an opinion. Are you saying that all the strife in the middle East is a result of religion?

Well not all but the major problem associated with Islams wars with Israel and the west would never have existed if Abraham had been faithful. He fathered a child out of wedlock (Ismael) in defiance of God's instructions. This child became the father of the arabian people. Abraham did have his legitamite son later (Isaac the father of the jews) and his first son held an enmity against this son and their ancesters have been fighting ever since. As far as the illegetimate son goes God said:New Living Translation (©2007)
This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives." Now can you imagine a more accurate prophesy considering Islams penchant to fight everybody especially Israel.



Quote:
Our best is still insuffecient when viewed in totality. A man I admire greatly (general Lee) and was noted for his morality is personally responsible for getting tens of thousands killed as a direct result of his temper. It takes more than some superficial golden rule morality to actually be rightous.
Quote:
Oh yeah. It takes logic, reason, common sense, conscience and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism etc and people willing to ditch religious affiliations to avoid all this religious strife.
Since there has been far more violence commited by non-believers than believers then your last point is void. Your contibuting forces to morallity are not even enough to produce any one that is free from frequent moral failures if their life was completely evaluated. The fact that man attempts to kill as many members of another group as possible on a regular basis is evidence for our fallen nature. Christianity teaches that a person cannot enter heaven unless he is perfect (rightous) while this is obviously imposible for us to do on our own (which you agreed with above), God provided a way. When we are born again Jesus's perfect (rightous) status with God is accredited to us and we are declared rightous even though your version of the source of morals can never accomplish even if true.

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Are you supporting atheistic evolution, humanistic evolution (whatever that is), or theistic evolution. That may clear some of your views up for me
.
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Start with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_morality
I actually don't need a definition yet I wanted to know which you support in order to tailor my responses.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 477: Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:19 pm
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1robin wrote:
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And how does this behavior compare to Gods' genocide on the atrocity scale?

For one thing this is irrelevant for this discussion. What do you use as your standard to judge God?
I use logic, reason, common sense, morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism etc of course. It violates all of those. Just a simple question: When you are making a moral judgment do you use these qualities I have listed or do you ask God and does what He says?
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How could any subjective moral framework be suffecient to judge God? Since every one has different moral standards to some degree how can you make a case that yours is correct without an objective standard? Give me an example of God's atrocities and I will respond.
That would be meaningless since you would simply ignore logic, reason, common sense, morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism etc in an effort to justify whatever your God might do.

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What are the units that define where a creature is on an evolutionary scale. What does it's position have to due with morals, and at what specific point do creatures develope the capacity for morals.
It gradually develops of course as organisms get more advanced.
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Are you saying that all the strife in the middle East is a result of religion?
Quote:

Well not all but the major problem associated with Islams wars with Israel and the west would never have existed if Abraham had been faithful. He fathered a child out of wedlock (Ismael) in defiance of God's instructions. This child became the father of the arabian people. Abraham did have his legitamite son later (Isaac the father of the jews) and his first son held an enmity against this son and their ancesters have been fighting ever since. As far as the illegetimate son goes God said:New Living Translation (©2007)
This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives." Now can you imagine a more accurate prophesy considering Islams penchant to fight everybody especially Israel.
Imagine if everyone were using logic, reason, common sense, compassion and love and empathy and altruism etc as their guides through life instead of religion and old scriptures how much better the world would have been...

Quote:
Our best is still insuffecient when viewed in totality. A man I admire greatly (general Lee) and was noted for his morality is personally responsible for getting tens of thousands killed as a direct result of his temper. It takes more than some superficial golden rule morality to actually be rightous.
Quote:
Oh yeah. It takes logic, reason, common sense, conscience and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism etc and people willing to ditch religious affiliations to avoid all this religious strife.
Quote:
Since there has been far more violence commited by non-believers than believers then your last point is void.
Reread what you wrote. You stated that believers are better than non-believers because in your opinion they have statistically committed fewer atrocities. Why have believers committed any atrocities at all if they have God to guide them? http://www.truthbeknown.com/victims.htm

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Are you supporting atheistic evolution, humanistic evolution (whatever that is), or theistic evolution. That may clear some of your views up for me
.
Quote:
Start with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_morality
Quote:
I actually don't need a definition yet I wanted to know which you support in order to tailor my responses.
It's not a definition it's an explanation of how morals developed.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 478: Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:22 pm
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1robin wrote:
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And how does this behavior compare to Gods' genocide on the atrocity scale?

For one thing this is irrelevant for this discussion. What do you use as your standard to judge God?

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I use logic, reason, common sense, morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism etc of course. It violates all of those. Just a simple question: When you are making a moral judgment do you use these qualities I have listed or do you ask God and does what He says?
I use all of them but I also recognize my insufficiency to justify a meaningful judgement. Being that a finite mind could not hope to comprehend an infinate one the idea of believing we have this capacity is obsurd. All the cotributing factors you mention are subjective and as noone has the exact same value whos standard do we adopt?. Your causation is insufficient to generate the moral framework that we have or need.


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How could any subjective moral framework be suffecient to judge God? Since every one has different moral standards to some degree how can you make a case that yours is correct without an objective standard? Give me an example of God's atrocities and I will respond.
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in an effort to justify whatever your God might doThat would be meaningless since you would simply ignore logic, reason, common sense, morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism .
Then the point should be withdrawn (not that I care if you do or not) It's like an accusation of murder but no body.
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What are the units that define where a creature is on an evolutionary scale. What does it's position have to due with morals, and at what specific point do creatures develope the capacity for morals.

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It gradually develops of course as organisms get more advanced.

What is it that you measure relating to morals and how do you quantify whatever this is? Is there a moral organ?
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Are you saying that all the strife in the middle East is a result of religion?
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Well not all but the major problem associated with Islams wars with Israel and the west would never have existed if Abraham had been faithful. He fathered a child out of wedlock (Ismael) in defiance of God's instructions. This child became the father of the arabian people. Abraham did have his legitamite son later (Isaac the father of the jews) and his first son held an enmity against this son and their ancesters have been fighting ever since. As far as the illegetimate son goes God said:New Living Translation (©2007)
This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives." Now can you imagine a more accurate prophesy considering Islams penchant to fight everybody especially Israel.
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Imagine if everyone were using logic, reason, common sense, compassion and love and empathy and altruism etc as their guides through life instead of religion and old scriptures how much better the world would have been...
Since everyones is different who's do we use and why? If Chrsitianity is true then your society would be the most cruel for it's lack of God's truth that would be possible. Judgeing from the godless communist utopias of late I will take my chances.
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Our best is still insuffecient when viewed in totality. A man I admire greatly (general Lee) and was noted for his morality is personally responsible for getting tens of thousands killed as a direct result of his temper. It takes more than some superficial golden rule morality to actually be rightous.
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Oh yeah. It takes logic, reason, common sense, conscience and morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism etc and people willing to ditch religious affiliations to avoid all this religious strife.
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Since there has been far more violence commited by non-believers than believers then your last point is void.

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Reread what you wrote. You stated that believers are better than non-believers because in your opinion they have statistically committed fewer atrocities. Why have believers committed any atrocities at all if they have God to guide them? http://www.truthbeknown.com/victims.htm
I scanned your list, for the sake of time I will not address any errors I found. How is Christ or Christianity responsible for the misuse of the bible. If you evaluated a teacher you would use the student that studies hard and obeyed the instructor you would not use the student who never shows up, doesn't do his work, or obey the teacher but that is exactly what you are doing. How many millions of Christians have been killed and turtured in history by unbelievers and never repayed evil for evil. Below is a partial list of counterpoints to your assertions:
Christianities impact on modern society
Have Christians positively effected our society? It's been claimed that committed Christians have laid a foundation of compassion and caring in Western societies. Is this true?
Here are some examples along with links for further reading.
• The Church is the largest single provider of healthcare and education in the world, working especially in some of the poorest countries where there is no other care available. (Catholic church that is. Adding Evangelical church schools/hospitals means there is no close second provider.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role_of_the_Catholic_Church_in_Western_civilization...
• The Church pioneered modern Social Work. Eg: Jane Addams
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_social_work
Jane Addams was the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Also co-founded the first settlement house in the US. The Settlement Movement sought to bridge the gap between rich and poor in society: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlement_house
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Addams
• London Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (London SPCC)
After campaigning from SPCC and the wider Church, the UK’s first ever law to protect children from abuse and neglect came into being. See Lord Shaftsbury , Rev B. Waugh
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Society_for_the_Prevention_of_Cruelty_to_C...
• Save the Children. This large relief agency was founded by Eglantyne Jebb who also campaigned for social reform in this area. The Declaration of the Rights of the Child was adopted by the League of Nations. She also pioneered the Child Sponsorship program.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eglantyne_Jebb
• Barnardo’s homes – world’s largest orphanage system. Founded by Thomas John Barnardo.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_John_Barnardo
• Churches were the first orphanages
In the High Middle Ages, abandoning unwanted children finally eclipsed infanticide. Unwanted children were left at the door of church or abbey, and the clergy was assumed to take care of their upbringing. This practice also saw the birth of the first orphanages.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infanticide
• From Roman times, advocacy against infanticide and polygamy etc.
Early Church Fathers advocated against polygamy, abortion, infanticide, child abuse...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role_of_the_Catholic_Church_in_Western_civilization...
• Strengthening of marriage from Roman times
Church teaching heavily influenced the legal concept of marriage. During the Gregorian Reform, the Church developed and codified a view of marriage as a sacrament.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role_of_the_Catholic_Church_in_Western_civilization...
• Protection of young people in our society: English Factory reform bill and anti-poor movement,- Richard Oastler
http://www.christianhistorytimeline.com/DAILYF/2002/09/daily-09-29-2002.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Oastler
• Campaign for the protection of children from abuse. Passionate Christian Josephine Butler campaigned for the age of consent to be set and was a key figure in other social reforms.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephine_Butler
• Care for the elderly and disabled in society. Christians birthed Almshouse institutions as early as the 10th century. Conditions in these Almshouses were not always good and there was a social stigma attached to them, however, Almshouses did their best to serve the local community with the little resources they had and cared for those who were abandoned by society. They were the forerunner of nursing homes and hospitals. They sought to provide care for those who were no longer able to work. Almshouses are still active today with some 2,600 in the UK alone.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almshouse
• Impact on language, literature and culture
The Authorized Version of the Bible has been called "the most influential version of the most influential book in the world, in what is now its most influential language", "the most important book in English religion and culture", and "the most celebrated book in the English-speaking world".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorized_King_James_Version#Influence
• Impact on civil liberties
The Magna Carta is considered one of the most important documents in human history; vitally important as an early foundation of law in Western society. It is considered the founding document of English liberties and hence American liberties. The influence of Magna Carta can be seen in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Lord Denning described it as "the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot". The man responsible for drafting it's content was Stephen Langton (Archbishop of Canterbury). Various "Barons" were also implicated in the construction of the Magna Carta, but Stephen Langton is believed to be the central architect.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Langton
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta
• Impact on civil liberties
Rev.Martin Luther King Jr., a man of great courage and faith who was at the centre of the civil rights movement. He continued despite attempts on his life including a fire bomb attack on his family home. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means. His father and grandfather were both ordained ministers. The U.S. have declared the 3rd Monday in January to be an annual public holiday in his honour. Written on his memorial are the concluding words from his "I have a dream speech": ""Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
http://www.biography.com/people/martin-luther-king-jr-9365086
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr.
• Prison reform. The Quakers pioneered prison reform during the Victorian age. Suggested basic human rights for prisoners and teaching prisoners a trade etc.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_reform#United_Kingdom
Today, Prison Fellowship International (amongst other Christian ministries) works around the globe in prisons to help reform and rehabilitate prisoners:
http://www.pfi.org/media-and-news/news/copy16_of_index_html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_Fellowship_International
• The 7th Earl of Shaftsbury was inspired by his faith to do many things.
He became a Tory MP (Member of Parliament) in 1826, and almost immediately became a leader of the movement for factory reform. He was responsible for promoting a plethora of reform causes, including the Factory Acts of 1847 and 1853, the Ten Hour Bill, as well as the Mines and Collieries Act 1842 and the Lunacy Act 1845. One of his chief interests was the welfare of children, and he was chairman of the Ragged Schools Union and a keen supporter of Florence Nightingale. He was also involved as patron and president in the field of model dwellings companies, which sought to improve the housing of working classes in England.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Ashley-Cooper,_7th_Earl_of_Shaftesbury
• Braille worldwide system used by blind and visually impaired people.
Louis Braille was an innovator. Lying on his deathbed he said, “God was pleased to hold before my eyes the dazzling splendors of eternal hope…” His system is now used on a worldwide basis.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Braille
http://74.84.206.112/ChurchHistory/11630360/
• Pioneering free or low cost health care for the terminally ill in our society dying of cancer.
Macmillan nurses. Douglas Macmillan.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Macmillan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macmillan_Cancer_Support#History
Rose Hawthorne Lathrop created the first homes/treatment centers for cancer patients in the US. St. Rose's Free Home for Incurable Cancer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_Hawthorne_Lathrop
• Promotion of International fair trade for the poorest societies in the world. Tearfund.
Trade justice movement, Make Poverty History. Richard Adams OBE.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Adams_%28Traidcraft%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tearfund
Habitat for Humanity, one of the largest charities in the US which internationally provides housing for the poor. Founder Millard Fuller
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millard_Fuller
• Salvation Army, caring for poor and downtrodden in many different countries. Founder William Booth
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Booth
• Leprosy Missions. Dr. Paul Wilson Brand was a pioneer in developing tendon transfer techniques for use in the hands of those with leprosy. He spent 19 years serving in India. During his career, Dr. Brand received many awards and honors. He was awarded the Hunterian professorship of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1952 etc…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Wilson_Brand
Leprosy Mission International has over 130 years experience working with people that are considered “untouchable” in some societies. Founded by Wellesley Bailey in the 1860s.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wellesley_Bailey
http://www.leprosymission.org/
• Sight to the blind. Dr. Victor C Rambo was a passionate Christian who could have made a lot of money as a doctor in the US. Instead he lived in India where he “worked from dawn ‘til dusk” operating on cataracts where little or no other help was available. Literally thousands of patients were helped through his ministry who would have otherwise been left seriously visually impaired or gone blind.
http://www.philadelphia-reflections.com/blog/695.htm
http://www.amazon.com/Apostle-Sight-Victor-Surgeon-Indias/dp/0915684543
• Ministry to young people in our society – YMCA founded in 1844. Nobel Peace Prize winners. John Mott: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mott
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YMCA
Founded by George Williams:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Williams_%28YMCA%29
• World Vision, 1950 – child sponsorship, one of largest relief and development agencies in the US. Founded by Dr. Robert Pierce
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Pierce
• Samaritans Purse. Humanitarian organisation reaching those suffering in war, poverty, famine, disease and disaster. Franklin Graham
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samaritan%27s_Purse
• Education UK. An overwhelming number of early education establishments were Christian before the State took over.
http://www.jstor.org/pss/1050784
•In the UK, faith schools (Christian and Jewish) dominate the league table of performance. Two thirds of the 50 best ­performing institutions were Church of England, Roman Catholic or Jewish. This comes despite the fact that faith schools account for only one in every three schools.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1338725/Faith-schools-leading-way-domina...
• Lech Wałęsa. Devout Christian and charismatic president of Poland 1990-95. World renowned human rights activist. Winner of numerous international awards including the Nobel Peace prize 1983 and awarded over 30 honorary doctorates from universities worldwide. Co-founder of Solidarity, the Soviet bloc's first independent trade union.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lech_Wa%C5%82%C4%99sa
• David Bussau AM (born November 10, 1940) is a pioneer of microfinance, having founded Opportunity International Australia and co-founded the Opportunity International Network. He has been hailed for his innovative approach to solving world poverty by challenging the conventional wealth distribution model of development, addressing the root causes of poverty through responsible wealth creation. According to the World Bank, micro-enterprise has proven to be one of the most effective and sustainable ways to solve poverty.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bussau
• Rev. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, LL.D., (December 10, 1787 – September 10, 1851) was a renowned American pioneer in the education of the deaf. He co-founded and raised funds for the first institution for the education of the deaf in North America. For many years he was principal of that institution. His son Edward Miner Gallaudet (1837–1917) founded in 1864 the first college for the deaf which in 1986 became Gallaudet University.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Hopkins_Gallaudet
• Charles Loring Brace (June 19, 1826 in Litchfield, Connecticut - August 11, 1890) was a contributing philanthropist in the field of social reform. He is considered a father of the modern foster care movement and was most renowned for starting the Orphan Train movement of the mid-19th century, and for founding The Children's Aid Society.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Loring_Brace
• Despite being crippled himself, John Pounds (1766-1839) was the man most responsible for the creation of the concept of “Ragged Schools” (charitable schools dedicated to the free education of destitute children). Working in the poorest districts, teachers initially utilised stables, lofts, and railway arches for their classes. The success of the Ragged Schools definitively demonstrated that there was a demand for education among the poor.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Pounds
• Robert Raikes ("the Younger") (14 September 1736 – 5 April 1811) was an English philanthropist and Anglican layman, noted for his promotion of Sunday schools. Pre-dating state schooling and by 1831 schooling 1,250,000 children, they are seen as the first schools of the English state school system.
The movement started with a school for boys in the slums.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Raikes
• Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel (or Froebel) (April 21, 1782 – June 21, 1852) laid the foundation for modern education based on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities. He developed the concept of the “kindergarten”, and also coined the word now used in German and English.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Fr%C3%B6bel
• Supporting mothers and families worldwide - The Mothers' Union (founded 1876)
Mothers’ Union is an international Christian charity that seeks to support families worldwide. It main aim is to support marriage and family life, especially through times of adversity.
Particularly concerned with the plight of women in the world, its projects include literacy and development, parenting, micro finance and campaigning against violence against women and the trafficking of women. The Mothers' Union is part of Make Poverty History and the Jubilee Debt Coalition.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mothers%27_Union
• Pioneering education for women. Mary Lyon 1797-1849.
She valued socioeconomic diversity and endeavored to make the seminary affordable for students of modest means.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Lyon
• Royal Society for the prevention of cruelty to Animals founded by Christians (William Wilberforce). It is the oldest and largest animal welfare organisation in the world and is one of the largest charities in the UK.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Society_for_the_Prevention_of_Cruelty_to_Anim...
• One of the largest international literacy organisations in the world, SIL International, brings literacy to thousands of the world's poorest language communities.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIL_International
• Frank Laubach. Committed Christian and pioneer of world literacy. Known as the “Apostle to the Illiterates” the programs he developed have been used to teach about 60 million people to read their own language. He was deeply concerned about poverty, injustice and illiteracy, and considered them barriers to peace in the world.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Laubach
• Food for the Poor. Since 1982, Food for the Poor has distributed more than $8.2 billion worth of food, medicine, housing materials,water and other aid to the poor of the Caribbean and Latin America
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_for_the_Poor
• Meeting the needs of children in poverty-stricken areas. Mission Of Mercy
http://missionofmercy.org/home/index.cfm?flash=1
George Mueller - orphanages and education
Mueller took no salary for himself. By 1870 his orphanages had multiplied and they were caring for two thousand children. He was well-known for providing an education to the children under his care, to the point where he was accused by some of “raising the poor above their natural station in life.”
http://74.84.206.112/ChurchHistory/11630420/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_M%C3%BCller
Pioneering International orphan care. Amy Wilson Carmichael
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_Carmichael
• Christian Aid. Christian Aid is one of the biggest international development agencies in the world. It was formed and is still supported by the major Christian churches in the British Isles. Its headquarters are in London. It works with local partner organizations in over 70 countries around the world to help the world's poorest communities. Christian Aid states it works where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, nationality or race.
Trade Justice
Development projects
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Aid
• Education US. Out of the initial 110 universities started in the US, 100 had Christian foundations.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_education_in_the_United_States
• Temperance Movement to address the abuse of alcohol in society.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperance_movement#Temperance_movement_by_country
• Pioneering surgery on infants. Dr. C. Everett Koop. Koop performed groundbreaking surgical procedures on conjoined twins, invented techniques which today are commonly used for infant surgery, and saved the lives of countless children who otherwise might have been allowed to die.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._Everett_Koop#Career
• Michael Faraday. Contributed extensively to the fields of Electromagnetism and Electrochemistry.
Known as “one of the most influential scientists in history. Historians of science refer to him as the best experimentalist in the history of science.” Discovered Benzene, invented early form of Bunsen Burner.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Faraday
• Alcoholics Anonymous helps 2 million people. It's emergence was inspired by the Christian "Oxford Group".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholics_Anonymous#Oxford_Group_beginnings
Co-founder Bill claimed a dramatic spiritual experience of God.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_W.#A_spiritual_program_for_recovery
Co-founder Dr. Bob Smith said that AA's basic ideas came from their study of the Bible; the Steps, in essence meant "love and service."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Smith_%28doctor%29
Narcotics Anonymous is also based on the above mentioned 12-step program.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcotics_Anonymous
Pioneers of professional nursing and caring. The first official nurses’ training program, the Nightingale School for Nurses, opened in 1860. The mission of the school was to train nurses to work in hospitals, work with the poor, and to teach. Florence Nightingale "the mother of modern nursing". She said that God had called her just before her 17th birthday. Although later in life it is said that she wrote a document questioning the divinity of Christ, so it it unsure if she held to an orthodox Christian theology at that time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Nightingale
• Amnesty International. Justice and liberty for oppressed people all over the world.
Started in 1961 by two Christians Peter Beneson and Eric Baker.
Nobel Peace prize 1977 for campaign against torture.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amnesty_International#History
• (UK) Recent research showed that 81% of evangelical Christians do some kind of voluntary work at least once a month. This compares with a much lower figure of 26% for the population at large, obtained in citizenship surveys by the Department for Communities and Local Government, and is consistent with comparable differences identified by researchers in North America.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/mar/17/christians-big-societ...
Similar results were confirmed through a five-year study by the political scientists David Campbell and Robert Putman.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-11-15-column15_ST_N.htm
• Oxfam was one of the pioneers of modern famine relief. It works to address famine and injustice on a worldwide scale. Founded by Quaker Christians in Oxford in 1942.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxfam
The good works still continue. Here is a sampling of more recently established charities:
Kindernothilfe (KNH) is a charity organization and was founded in 1959 by a group of Christians in Duisburg, Germany, in order to help needy children in India. Over time, it has become one of the largest Christian organizations in Europe for children's aid.
Today it supports more than 580,000 children and young people in 28 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. KNH aims to give needy children in the poorest countries of the world a chance to a good start in life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kindernothilfe
• Caritas Internationalis is a confederate of 164 Roman Catholic relief, development and social service organisations operating in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. Collectively and individually their mission is to work to build a better world, especially for the poor and oppressed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caritas_(charity)
• Children of the Nations (COTN) was founded in 1995 and exists to partner with nationals in poverty-stricken areas of the world to provide care for orphaned and destitute children. Operating in Malawi, Sierra Leone, the Dominican Republic, and Uganda, COTN helps nearly 7,000 children on a daily basis. COTN's stated goal is to "Raise children who transform nations."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children_of_the_Nations
• Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA) is a nonprofit sponsorship organization headquartered in Kansas City, Kansas. CFCA was founded by lay Catholic workers acting on the Gospel call to serve the poor. Its Hope for a Family sponsorship program provides basic necessities like food, education, clothing and access to medical care to children and elderly in some of the world's poorest communities. Today, CFCA sponsors support more than 300,000 children, youth and aging persons in 22 countries
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Foundation_for_Children_and_Aging_(CFCA)
• CORD (Christian Outreach Relief and Development) - New life after conflict CORD is a humanitarian organisation working with displaced people and communities affected by violent conflicts around the world. Established in 1967 and rooted in Christian faith. Located in the UK.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Outreach_for_Relief_%26_Development
• Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a Christian charitable company in the United Kingdom founded in Bradford, West Yorkshire by John Kirkby in 1996. It is a national organisation specialising in debt counselling for individuals in financial difficulty, including those in need ofbankruptcy or insolvency.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christians_Against_Poverty
• Compassion International is a Christian child sponsorship organization dedicated to the long-term development of children living in poverty around the world. Compassion International, headquartered in Colorado Springs, functions in 26 countries such as Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Haiti, Kenya, and India. They also currently help more than 1,200,000 children.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compassion_International
• Cross International Alliance (Cross) is an inter-denominational Christian relief and development organization based in South Florida that provides food, shelter, education, medical care and emergency aid to the poor in over 30 countries across the globe. Cross was recently recognized for its work in Haiti, receiving a $4.8 million grant from the U.S. government for a new program seeking to care for children and families impacted by AIDSin the country. From its headquarters in Pompano Beach, Cross raises millions of dollars through donations each year to fund development programs that target the “poorest of the poor” in developing countries, and it ships millions of dollars worth of humanitarian goods to high-need areas such as Kenya and Nicaragua.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_International
• Hope UK is a national Christian charity located at 25(f) Copperfield Street, London, England which educates children and young people about drug and alcohol abuse. It began as the Band of Hope in 1847 in Leeds, to teach children the importance and principles of sobriety andteetotalism. In 1855, a national organisation was formed amidst an explosion of Band of Hope work. Meetings were held in churches throughout the UK and included Christian teaching.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hope_UK
• Medair is an international non-governmental organization NGO of humanitarian aid with a stated mission, "to seek out and serve the most vulnerable people affected by crises." Medair’s core competencies are emergency relief and rehabilitation. Medair lists its values as: hope, compassion, dignity, accountability, integrity, and faith.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medair
• Medical Teams International (formerly Northwest Medical Teams) is a non-profit humanitarian aid and global health organization. Medical Teams International has mobilized 2,000 teams since 1979, shipped $1.3 billion in medical aid since 1986, provided care to 4.5 million people in 53 nations in 2008, sent more than 2,600 volunteers serving annually in its various programs all over the world.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_Teams_International
• Mercy Ministries is an international, Evangelical, charismatic, Christian, charitable organization that offers a long-term residential program for young women aged 13–28 who struggle with various "life controlling" issues. In 2008, the top issues that Mercy Ministries reported themselves to be dealing with were: eating disorders (69%), self-harm (60%), sexual abuse (55%), emotional/verbal abuse (55%), depression (55%), chemical dependency (49%), physical abuse (37%) and pregnancy (6%)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercy_Ministries
• The Message Trust is an award-winning Christian charity working to improve the lives of young people in Greater Manchester, UK and beyond through the Eden Network.
Working in schools, in local communities and in prisons, The Message is in contact with around 100,000 young people across Greater Manchester each year. The Message was founded by well-known speaker, author and current chief executive, Andy Hawthorne OBE.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Message_Trust
• Prospects is a Christian charity in the United Kingdom whose aim is to support learning disabled adults, and to enable them to reach their full potential. It was founded in the mid-1970s by David Potter, a Christian minister, who was drawn to the needs of these adults because he and his wife had a daughter with Down's syndrome.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prospects_(charity)
• Tiny Hands International (THI) is a Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to helping orphaned and abandoned children and fighting sex trafficking in South Asia. Tiny Hands operates through national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Nepal, Bangladesh, and India.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_Hands_International
• VisionTrust is an international, non-denominational non-profit organization that assists orphanedand impoverished children around the world. The organization works alongside Christian Nationals to help children gain education, nutritional support, medical assistance and spiritual discipleship. VisionTrust works in schools, orphanages, learning centers and medical clinics. They offer child sponsorships, short-term mission trips, and assist churches with educational materials to promote participation in this effort
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VisionTrust
• World Concern is a Christian humanitarian organization that operates relief and development programs in 13 countries, and funds partnership programs in nine other countries. The organization’s mission statement is, “World Concern provides life, opportunity and hope to suffering people around the world, through disaster response and development programs. Motivated by our love of Christ, we bring hope and reconciliation to those we serve, so they may in turn share with others.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Concern

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Are you supporting atheistic evolution, humanistic evolution (whatever that is), or theistic evolution. That may clear some of your views up for me
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Start with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_morality
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I actually don't need a definition yet I wanted to know which you support in order to tailor my responses.
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It's not a definition it's an explanation of how morals developed.
Let me try this a different way: Are you defending a humanistic godless evolutionary worldview? Answer Yes or No

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 479: Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:38 pm
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1robin wrote:
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And how does this behavior compare to Gods' genocide on the atrocity scale?

For one thing this is irrelevant for this discussion. What do you use as your standard to judge God?
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I use logic, reason, common sense, morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism etc of course. It violates all of those. Just a simple question: When you are making a moral judgment do you use these qualities I have listed or do you ask God and does what He says?
I use all of them but I also recognize my insufficiency to justify a meaningful judgement.
A meaningful judgment is that which satisfies logic, reason, common sense, morals, and is a result of compassion, love, empathy and altruism etc. Those qualities are more than sufficient to be able to determine right from wrong.
Quote:
All the cotributing factors you mention are subjective and as noone has the exact same value whos standard do we adopt?. Your causation is insufficient to generate the moral framework that we have or need.
Why in the world wouldn't logic, reason, common sense, morals, compassion, love, empathy and altruism etc. be quite enough for anyone to base their lives on?
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What are the units that define where a creature is on an evolutionary scale. What does it's position have to due with morals, and at what specific point do creatures develope the capacity for morals.

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It gradually develops of course as organisms get more advanced.
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What is it that you measure relating to morals and how do you quantify whatever this is? Is there a moral organ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altruism_in_animals
Quote:

Below is a partial list of counterpoints to your assertions:
Christianities impact on modern society
Have Christians positively effected our society? It's been claimed that committed Christians have laid a foundation of compassion and caring in Western societies. Is this true?
Here are some examples along with links for further reading.
• The Church is the largest single provider of healthcare and education in the world, working especially in some of the poorest countries where there is no other care available. (Catholic church that is. Adding Evangelical church schools/hospitals means there is no close second provider.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role_of_the_Catholic_Church_in_Western_civilization...

...

• World Concern is a Christian humanitarian organization that operates relief and development programs in 13 countries, and funds partnership programs in nine other countries. The organization’s mission statement is, “World Concern provides life, opportunity and hope to suffering people around the world, through disaster response and development programs. Motivated by our love of Christ, we bring hope and reconciliation to those we serve, so they may in turn share with others.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Concern
That list is precisely my point. Organisms started cooperating. Organisms that cooperated had a better chance of survival. Cooperation required a common code of conduct. Those codes we call morals and include compassion and love and empathy and altruism etc traits we can already see in bonobos and vervet monkeys. Religions incorporated those moral codes and strengthened them by attributing them to deities. Christ preached them. Evolution selected for them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_origin_of_religions Religions just like judicial systems are simply vectors for evolution to promote moral behavior and thereby ensure survival of as many as possible. It's no coincidence that religions often promise eternal survival for those who are moral.
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Are you supporting atheistic evolution, humanistic evolution (whatever that is), or theistic evolution. That may clear some of your views up for me
.
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Start with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_morality
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I actually don't need a definition yet I wanted to know which you support in order to tailor my responses.
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It's not a definition it's an explanation of how morals developed.
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Let me try this a different way: Are you defending a humanistic godless evolutionary worldview? Answer Yes or No
That would be too simplistic an answer. Basically I support using logic, reason and common sense, evidence and the scientific method to arrive at a conclusion.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 480: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:30 pm
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Artie wrote:
1robin wrote:
1robin wrote:
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And how does this behavior compare to Gods' genocide on the atrocity scale?

For one thing this is irrelevant for this discussion. What do you use as your standard to judge God?
Quote:
I use logic, reason, common sense, morals and compassion and love and empathy and altruism etc of course. It violates all of those. Just a simple question: When you are making a moral judgment do you use these qualities I have listed or do you ask God and does what He says?
I use all of them but I also recognize my insufficiency to justify a meaningful judgement.
A meaningful judgment is that which satisfies logic, reason, common sense, morals, and is a result of compassion, love, empathy and altruism etc. Those qualities are more than sufficient to be able to determine right from wrong.
Quote:
All the cotributing factors you mention are subjective and as noone has the exact same value whos standard do we adopt?. Your causation is insufficient to generate the moral framework that we have or need.
Why in the world wouldn't logic, reason, common sense, morals, compassion, love, empathy and altruism etc. be quite enough for anyone to base their lives on?
Quote:
What are the units that define where a creature is on an evolutionary scale. What does it's position have to due with morals, and at what specific point do creatures develope the capacity for morals.

Quote:
It gradually develops of course as organisms get more advanced.
Quote:
What is it that you measure relating to morals and how do you quantify whatever this is? Is there a moral organ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altruism_in_animals
Quote:

Below is a partial list of counterpoints to your assertions:
Christianities impact on modern society
Have Christians positively effected our society? It's been claimed that committed Christians have laid a foundation of compassion and caring in Western societies. Is this true?
Here are some examples along with links for further reading.
• The Church is the largest single provider of healthcare and education in the world, working especially in some of the poorest countries where there is no other care available. (Catholic church that is. Adding Evangelical church schools/hospitals means there is no close second provider.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role_of_the_Catholic_Church_in_Western_civilization...

...

• World Concern is a Christian humanitarian organization that operates relief and development programs in 13 countries, and funds partnership programs in nine other countries. The organization’s mission statement is, “World Concern provides life, opportunity and hope to suffering people around the world, through disaster response and development programs. Motivated by our love of Christ, we bring hope and reconciliation to those we serve, so they may in turn share with others.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Concern
That list is precisely my point. Organisms started cooperating. Organisms that cooperated had a better chance of survival. Cooperation required a common code of conduct. Those codes we call morals and include compassion and love and empathy and altruism etc traits we can already see in bonobos and vervet monkeys. Religions incorporated those moral codes and strengthened them by attributing them to deities. Christ preached them. Evolution selected for them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_origin_of_religions Religions just like judicial systems are simply vectors for evolution to promote moral behavior and thereby ensure survival of as many as possible. It's no coincidence that religions often promise eternal survival for those who are moral.
Quote:
Are you supporting atheistic evolution, humanistic evolution (whatever that is), or theistic evolution. That may clear some of your views up for me
.
Quote:
Start with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_morality
Quote:
I actually don't need a definition yet I wanted to know which you support in order to tailor my responses.
Quote:
It's not a definition it's an explanation of how morals developed.
Quote:
Let me try this a different way: Are you defending a humanistic godless evolutionary worldview? Answer Yes or No
That would be too simplistic an answer. Basically I support using logic, reason and common sense, evidence and the scientific method to arrive at a conclusion.


It's insufficient because peoples morals vary considerably and there is no way to establish which one is correct without an objective standard.

How can use a list of benevolent things Christians have done who will tell you they did it because of their faith as evidence for Godless morality.

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