Table of Contents
----------------------










The Bible:  Worthy of Your Trust?


Eyewitness Testimony Invalidated

     Responses to Eyewitness Testimony Invalidated

God Is Not The Author

History or HIS-STORY?

How Firm A Foundation... of Forgeries???

James the Brother of Jesus

Schizophrenia and Personal Revelations

     Responses to Schizophrenia




The God of The Bible

Biblegod Is Not Perfect

    Responses to Biblegod Not Perfect

Biblegod The Warcriminal

    Responses to Biblegod
The Warcriminal


Tyrannosaurus Pettius Rex

Jehovah Unmasked

In or Out or Neit
her


Acts of God

September 11th Biblegod Did Nothing

    Responses to September 11th




The God of The Bible:
Does He Exist?

E=MC Disproves God

    Responses to E=MC

How To Prove The Existence of God

    Responses to How To Prove The Existence of God

Shopping For A God

Transcendental La La Land




Caught in a Lie:  Contradictions Within The Bible

Don't Be Such A Cretan

The Genealogy of Jesus

Galilee vs Jerusalem

Matthew vs John

Intrinsic Contradictions

Splainin To Do

The Intercontinental Ballistic Jesus

The Sign on The Cross

     Responses to The Sign on The Cross




Sand, Not Rock:  What Christianity is Really Built Upon

The Atonement

Monotheism Not Biblical

The Ten Commandments

Christianity Has Pagan DNA

Faith

Misc. Topics & Thoughts




Jesus:  False Prophet?


False Prophet- Liar, Fraud!

 If Anybody Else But Jesus…

 Jesus and His Expired Prophecies

Matthew 24 Verse by Verse

Mt 24:34 What The Scholars Say

Significance of Jesus Being a False Prophet

Preterism

     Responses to Jesus The False Prophet




Jesus:  Resurrected?

Even If True

Evidence That Doesn't Demand a Verdict

The Roman Soldiers: "We Were There!"

     Responses to Roman Soldiers




Churchianity Examined

Connecting The Dots

The Authority Totem

Twenty Percent Fewer Errors

Fire The Clergy

     Responses to Fire The Clergy

The Wealth of Churches

Authority In Church Government

The Fleecing of The Flock

The Great Commission Does Not Apply




CAUTIONChristianity May Be Hazardous to Your Health

Victims of Religion

   Responses to Victims of Religion

Voices In Our Head

Brainwashing

   Responses to Brainwashing

We Love Our Lies




Christian Morality or Lack Thereof 

Christianity Doesn't Work as Advertised

Hypocrisy- Thy Name is Christian

Morality

The Gospel of Jesus

 Happy Father's Day

He Wasn't a REAL Christian




Evangelical Atheism

Free JCnot4me Business Cards
JCnot4me Business Cards- FREE!

Without A Leg To Stand On (A Message For Freethinkers)

Give To Him That Asks

   Responses to Give To Him That Asks

Just Say No

   Responses to Just Say No

Damn The Truth- Full Speed Ahead

Answering Christian Stock Arguments

Modern Miracle Workers

Atheists In America

Anti-Religious Songs

Do Unto Others

Kissing Hank's Ass

Why Beer Is Better Than Jesus

Poster: Jesus is a Liar & Lunatic

The Good News of Atheism

The Skeptic’s Prayer

What Would Jesus Do?




Christian Cults

Consumers Guide to Religion- John Cleese of Monty Python (audio file)

Geek Speak Like a Fundy

   Responses to Geek Speak 101

How To Be a Fundy

-----

Baptists} Once Saved, Always Saved: Always False

Catholics: Only Child or Eldest Brother

Church of Christ

   Responses to Church of Christ Essays

Dr. Robert Schuller: Racism By A Nose

Jehovah Witnesses

Nazarenes} Entire Sanctification = Entire Nonsense

   Responses to Entire Sactification

Mormons

Seventh Day Adventists




For Christians...

Message to Christian Apologists

Notes to Christians Battling Atheists

Move A Mountain

Hope

Ex-Christians Get No Respect

Abortion

Hellfire For Homosexuals and Roses




Creationism, aka Intelligent Design

The Universe According To The Bible

   Responses to The Universe

In The Beginning God Was Nuts

Intelligent Design




Politics

Legalize Prostitution

Its The Economy, Stupid

Illegal Immigration

Bush Is Outta Here!!!

The Bush Monkey

Twilights Last Gleaming




Contra Craig
    (Dr. William Lane Craig)


Contra Craig

   Responses to Contra Craig




Misc.

Editorials

   Responses To Editorials

Comments to JCnot4me- Pro + Con

One Picture is Worth...

Links- Other Websites Worth Checking Out




Books You Should Read   

Jehovah Unmasked cover
Jehovah Unmasked




Ha Ha Ha

Christian Election Poster

Flying Spaghetti Monster

Invitation from Rev. Jim Jones

Jokes

Pranks

Songs and Poems




 





 

Christians like to brag that they are the originators of, and the sole source for, morality on this planet. They seem to feel that they are experts in and have a monopoly on morality. Once again, when examined, Christian claims fall far short of reality, and it turns out they don't have all, or even most, of the answers. They are just as confused and challenged by life's moral dilemmas as anyone else, and their simplistic stock answers rarely work.

"Life is always tidy and simple when viewed from 30,000 feet,
with the neat little roads down below connecting the neat little houses.
From that attitude, it's tempting to think there can be simple, ironclad rules to govern everything
."


--Jay Bookman, Atlanta-Journal Constitution columnist,
re the movie "Million Dollar Baby", as quoted in the
Orange County Register, 2/25/05


 

Table of Contents

 

Claims__vs__Reality

Situational Ethics

Theory vs Reality

Blank Check Morality

The Greatest Evil 

Christian Morality Useless Without a Christian Supreme Court

Christianity Does Not Work As Advertised

The Ineffable Carrot and the Infinite Stick

Emails from People Regarding Morality

 


Claims  vs  Reality

What good is a morality if nobody follows it? What good is a morality if the vast majority of people claiming to follow it, don't? Christians, in the track meet of life, have set their hurdles very high to impress the rest of the world. This may impress shallow thinking Christians, but what the rest of the world really cares about is not how high the hurdles have been set, but how well do the Christians do in jumping over the hurdles??? Any fool can set a hurdle one hundred foot high and brag to the world "Look how high OUR standards are compared to YOURS!!!" but that doesn't make these fools any better at actually jumping said hurdles. Christians have traditionally been better at bragging about their moral performance than actually following it, as you can see...

 

 

The Claim:  Christians flaunt their "Christian Values" to the world as if their shit doesn't stink. Empty bragging can be done by anybody. What matters is what Christians do in real life, and as the examples which follow this top cell will show, their reality falls far short of their claims, leading to a question: what good is a morality if nobody follows it?

--Orange County Register, June 6, 2005

Reality Example #1: By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

Click on the thumbnail to enlarge an article from Newsweek June 6, 2005, p. 29

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Below is a good summation of Situational Ethics, the bugaboo of the 60's. It turns out I agree with alot of what's said! This is supposed to be an ANTI- Situational Ethics essay, but after reading it, you'll probably be scratching your head saying to yourself what's so wrong with this? It even has alot of the questions I've raised, such as lying can be the RIGHT thing to do sometimes, if it results in a greater good. Once again, it leads me to ask Fundy Christians: name me just ONE action, prohibited by popular moral codes of conduct, that is always, in every circumstance, wrong. Name me an absolute morality. I'm still waiting for something to which there are no exceptions.  --Mark Smith

Situational Ethics

from the web:  http://gospel-herald.com/genesis_studies/situational_ethics.htm

 

The situational ethics theory was first postulated during the 1960's by Joseph Fletcher. It was intended to be a middle ground position in the Christian world of ethics between antinomianism and legalism. Antinomianism says there is no law—everything is relative to the moment and should be decided in a spontaneous fashion with man’s will as the source of truth. Legalism has a set of predetermined and different laws for every decision-making situation. Fletcher’s ethical theory is based on only one absolute law, which when applied properly, handles every situation. Other popular situational ethicists are Emil Brunner, Reinhold Niebuhr, and John A.T. Robinson.

Fletcher posits his situational absolutism with its one law for everything by saying we must enter every situation with only one moral weapon—the law of agape love. He says: "Only the command to love is categorically good. We are obliged to tell the truth, for example, only if the situation calls for it. Act responsibly in love, and everything else without exception, all laws and rules and principles and ideals and norms, are only contingent, only valid if they happen to serve love in any situation." His theory states that "each situation is so different from every other situation that it is questionable whether a rule which applies to one situation can be applied to all situations like it, since the others may not really be like it. Only the single law of love (agape) is broad enough to be applied to all circumstances and contexts."

According to Fletcher, Jesus summed up the Mosaic law and the Ten Commandments in one word—love. Therefore, there are no commandments which may not be broken in some situation for love’s sake. Every law is breakable by love. As Augustine put it: "Love with care and then what you will, do." Love is the one universal law. When all else fades, love will abide forever. According the Jesus, love is the earmark of His disciples (John 13:35).

  1. Love is an attitude, not an attribute. The only human thing that has intrinsic value is love.

  2. Whatever is the loving thing to do in any given situation is the right thing to do.

  3. One does not follow love for the law’s sake; one follows the law only for love’s sake. Love and law sometimes conflict and when they do it is the Christian’s obligation to put love over the law.

  4. Love and justice are identical. Justice means to give others their "due," and love is their due.

  5. Love is a multidirectional and utilitarian principle. Calculating the remote consequences, it strives to bring the greatest good to the greatest number of people. Love foresees the need to use force, if necessary, to protect the innocent; or to disobey an unjust civil law; or even to revolt against the state, if the end consequence is for the greater good of the majority of the people. "Only the end justifies the means; nothing else." The loving end justifies any means.

  6. Love decisions are made situationally, not prescriptively. Love does not prescribe in advance what specific course of actions should be taken. Love operates apart from a pretailored, prefabricated list of moral rules. Love functions circumstantially, it does not "make up its mind" before it sees the facts in any given situation.

  1. Altruistic or sacrificial adultery: a German mother was committed to a Russian concentration camp. Pregnant women were considered a liability and were released. This mother found a friendly guard who sympathized with her situation and willingly impregnated her. She was released and returned to her home and raised the child as part of her reunited family. Her adultery was justified since it served to reunite her with her children and family who needed her.

  2. Patriotic prostitution: a young mother working as a spy for the US was asked to use her sexuality to ensnare a rival spy. When she protested that she could not put her personal integrity on the line by offering sex for hire, she was told: "It’s like your brother risking his life and limb in the war to serve his country. There is no other way." For the greater good of her country, it was the loving thing to do.

  3. Sacrificial suicide: Taking one’s own life is not morally wrong if it is done in love for others. If a man has only two choices of taking an expensive medication which will deplete his family’s finances and cause his insurance to lapse, or else refusing the medicine and living only 3 months, it is the loving thing to do to refuse the medicine and spare his family. And, non-theoretically, a German nun taking the place of a Jew in the gas chambers; or a soldier taking his own life to avoid being tortured into betraying his comrades to the enemy.

  4. Acceptable abortion: an unmarried schizophrenic patient become pregnant after being raped. Her father petitioned for abortion but the hospital refused because they said it was "non-therapeutic" and therefore illegal. The father maintained that it was the loving thing to do to prevent this child’s birth. In another real situation, a Romanian Jewish doctor aborted 3000 babies of Jewish mothers in concentration camps because, if pregnant, the mothers were to be incinerated. This means that the doctor actually saved 3000 and prevented the murder of 6000. This was the loving thing to do.

  5. Merciful murder: a mother smothers her own crying baby to prevent her group from being discovered and killed by a band of hostile Indians. A ship’s captain orders some men thrown from an overloaded lifeboat to prevent it from sinking and killing everyone on board , thus killing a "few" for the "greater good" of the majority. Not resuscitating a monstrously deformed baby when it is birthed is the loving thing to do both for the child, for the parents, and family.

 

 

 


Theory vs Reality

Christian morality is alot like the infamous "Five Year Plans" of the old communist USSR. Various departments of the government would submit to the politburo their projections for how well they would do the next five years. The USSR, being a dictatorship, those that submitted less than optimistic projections ended up in the gulag system. Those that submitted a glorious "peaches and cream" five year plan, when the five years had ended, would of course report to their bosses that everything- 100%- turned out to plan. On paper, then, the country looked great. In reality, they always fell far short of their goals.

Christian morality is like the five year plans. On paper, they have their "thou shalts" and their "thou shalt nots", goals that look lofty and wonderful to many. In reality, these goals are oft times not met, yet Christians never seem to notice. They keep holding up the goals as if that's the same as having met the goals. It's similar to the owner of a hot dog pushcart coming up with sales projections of five billion dollars for next year. He can come up with any projections he wants to, and even arrogantly parade them in front of others like the Christians do; what's the reality? Come back at the end of next year, and see how well he met those projections. 

On paper, Christian morality makes Christians look like super-men. On paper, they don't lust, they don't steal, they don't cheat on their spouses, they always give a handout to whoever asks, and they always turn the other cheek.  In reality, Christian morality is nothing more than wishful thinking, hot air, empty sales projections based upon nothing. No one is really expected to meet all these goals, and their own Bible admits that no one ever can. The same Jesus that commands Christians  to "be ye perfect" also admits that none are perfect, not even himself. A moral code that even the founder can't follow is seriously flawed.

When comparing Christianity to other religions and moral codes, don't compare their goals, but rather their reality. When you do that, all humans- regardless of their professed religions or creed- come out pretty much the same*. In fact, in several areas Christians come out quite low compared to Atheists. Be that as it may, most religions have lofty goals, i.e. theory- but what's the reality? That's what counts.

So when Christians brag that they have such a wonderful morality, all they're really saying is that they have set certain goals for their behavior- not that anyone's meeting those goals, but that this is what they're shooting for. The fact that the hoop they're shooting for is one hundred feet off the court should be a sure sign that the goals they're pursuing are not just difficult, but impossible. Remember: the main goal of the Christian system of morality is to ensure the failure to meet the goals, for without a steady supply of "sinners" Christianity would soon go out of business. In the words of Jesus, it is not the healthy who need a physician, but the sick. Christian morality exists primarily on paper, and has no more validity or reality than corporate sales projections for the upcoming year. They are just goals for behavior that have been arbitrarily set unreasonably high to ensure the failure of the Christian in meeting them, and therefore reinforce that low self-esteem which is so essential to remaining a groveling humble Christian. 

These goals, these rules for behavior, have been based on no logic or reasoning or research, and even if met, promise no earthly rewards to that top achiever other than hate, disrespect, and persecution from his fellow men. In fact, the more one achieves these goals, the less popular and liked one will be, even from the household of faith, resulting in increased loneliness and alienation, which leads to depression. The ultimate Christian should expect no greater reward than to be rejected by non-Christians as an arrogant prick, and crucified by his fellow Christians as someone who makes them look bad.

 *******************

*For the results of a study done by the Christian polling organization, Barna Research, go to:

www.barna.org  or   http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/atheism/95752    or   review of data from 2000 

 


Blank Check Morality

Christians have a “blank check” morality, where ANY immoral act they do can, via a “sorry Lord”, be erased. This fact, combined with their belief that they are immortal, leads them to have little motivation to be moral and good citizens. Because they can get easy forgiveness, AND because they plan on living forever, if they WERE ever to do a mass murder here on earth, a quick “sorry Jesus”  in their mind erases their debt for the crime, and the life prison term they serve here on Earth, in light of eternity, is no deterrent. What’s a few decades in a prison compared to billions of years in heaven??

****************

Picture two brand new Christians singing side by side, their arms around each other's shoulders, big smiles across their faces. "Oh Happy Day" is the hymn they are singing as the tears roll down their cheeks. 

Oh happy day, Oh happy day 
When Jesus washed, Oh when He washed Mmm, 
When He washed All my sins away 
Oh happy day...

They are both so very happy today because today, they believe, is the day wherein Jesus has just forgiven every evil act they've ever done, and now morally they are both "whiter than snow" and won't receive even a hand slap from Biblegod come judgment day. The "blood of Jesus" has covered all their sins and made them both equally pure and holy. Side by side they are weeping and rejoicing. The one is a child, a newspaper boy who believes he has just received forgiveness for lying about breaking Mrs. McGurdy's window with his newspaper throwing last week. The other is an adult, Adolph Hitler, who believes that he has just received forgiveness for causing the deaths of around 30 million people in World War Two.  All the guilt and shame these two singing newborn Christians have, all washed away in the blood, and now they both stand side by side, equally pure and holy and guiltless, both equally accepted into the wonderful Christian brotherhood, and both equally loved and cherished. Into any church in any country these two can now walk arm in arm, and all the human hamburger that survived, all the one-legged war veterans, widows, and fatherless orphans that World War Two created, all these have to walk up and offer Herr Hitler the warm handshake of fellowship, for all is forgiven. A big kiss and a hug for the newborn Christian Adolph. Praise God! Yes, all is forgiven, and now Adolph Hitler has the same moral guilt as a neighborhood newspaper boy- at least in the Christian theory of things, for they believe Biblegod has an unlimited supply of moral blank checks that draw upon the blood of Jesus which can cover any amount of guilt- from lying about breaking a window to gassing 6 million Jews to - sin is sin, and both would have burned in hell for their evil crimes- but not now. Now, both will be welcomed into the glories of heaven when they die. Side by side, Jesus and Adolf, for all eternity, gazing down into hell where six million European Jews who got gassed in life now roast in hell in death for all eternity, being tortured 24/7, for the crime of having never uttered the magic words of the sinner's prayer:

"Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. 
I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. 
Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. 
Take control of the throne of my life. 
Make me the kind of person You want me to be."


The Greatest Evil 

In the Christian moral universe, it is a greater moral evil to reject Jesus than it is to gas 6 million Jews, for gassing can be forgiven- rejecting Jesus can not.  In the Christian moral scheme, a person who killed the entire population of planet Earth and then went on to destroy the entire Universe is LESS evil than the 12 year old boy who "blasphemes the Holy Spirit" after hitting his thumb with a hammer, for the one can be forgiven, whereas the boy can never be forgiven.


Christian Morality Useless Without a Christian Supreme Court

An absolute, objective moral code (even if the Christians had one) is quite useless without an authorized “Supreme Court” to interpret it and make their interpretations binding. Lacking this, each individual Christian is on their own to interpret the “law” however subjectively they wish. Thus, an objective moral code becomes as mushy and ill-defined as a relative "heads or tails" code.

 


Christianity Does Not Work As Advertised

 

 

WARNING:

Christianity Doesn't Work
 as Advertised

 

 

 

 

Baptist divorce rate higher than average  
http://www.baptiststandard.com/2000/1_12/pages/divorce.html

___"Born-again" Christians are more likely to go through a marital split than are non-Christians, according to a new study by the Barna Research Group.
___Using statistics drawn from a nationwide survey of nearly 4,000 adults, the Barna data show 11 percent of the adult population currently is divorced but that 25 percent of all adults have experienced at least one divorce.
___Among "born-again" Christians, 27 percent currently are divorced or previously have been divorced, compared with 24 percent among adults who are not "born again."
___Surprisingly, the Barna report said, the Christian group whose adherents have the highest likelihood of getting divorced are Baptists. The only group to surpass Baptists were Christians associated with non-denominational Protestant churches.
___This research underscores the need for church-based marriage and family enrichment ministries, according to Mike Lundy, family ministry associate with the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission.
___"What the figures reveal is that Baptist families are experiencing the same stresses as those in society at large," he said.
___And Baptists and other evangelical Christians are responding to those stresses in the same way as the larger culture, he added. "We've created a climate for divorce in our society, and Baptists seem to be reflecting the values of society."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joseph Todd, Evangelist, Irvine, CA
http://www.toddministries.org/our_testimony.htm

Pollster, George Barna reported: "Born-again Christians have a higher rate of divorce than non-believers; fundamentalists top them all. And 87% divorced after accepting Christ, presumably aware of the biblical teaching on divorce."

In an attempt to weaken God's church the enemy is using divorce as weapon which he has been using with great success. Over the last decade the divorce rate has increased to the point where over half of the divorces in the church occur within the first five years of marriage. Even atheists and agnostics, according to the Barna Report 2000, have a lower divorce rate than Full Gospel, Spirit-filled, Fundamental or Evangelical Christians. It should come as no surprise that more  couples are choosing co-habitation as an alternative to marriage. 

The signs were there but no one paid attention to them. In the late seventies and the mid-eighties, two Christian surveys reported that less than five percent of all Christian marriages were experiencing joy and happiness in their relationships. Increasingly, many couples began choosing to have children out of wedlock rather than face an unhappy home environment. This trend continues with the divorce rate 50% higher when couples live together before they marry. 

 

 

 

 

FACTS to FATHOM concerning America's "Lighthouse."
The "light" of truth is flickering and nearly out.
http://www.saveus.org/sam/lighthouse.htm

·         77% of mainline protestants do not believe in absolute truth. While only 71% of the nation at large does not embrace absolute truth.

·         64% of "born-again" Christians do not believe in absolute truth.

·         40% of evangelical Christians do not believe in absolute truth.

·         75% of "born-again" Christians lie regularly - conscious, premeditated lies.

The result - We have become a nation of liars. We have fractured our covenant with God and with each other. When truth is lost, trust is lost. When trust is lost, tyranny waits.


The "covenant community" provides neither covenant nor community.

·         The divorce rate among fundamentalist "Christians" now exceeds the nation as a whole by 4%.

·         The divorce rate among pastors now equals the national rate.

·         70% of pastors admit they have no friends.

����         73% of evangelicals claim its getting hard to make friends compared to only 58% of the nation at large. The more "religion," the less "relationship." Shocking!

·         52,000 people per week are leaving the back doors of America's churches.

When covenant is lost, community is lost. When community is lost, chaos prevails

 

 

 

 

 

Pollster says he can't find Christianity transforming lives!!!

http://pub53.ezboard.com/fatheismfrm12.showMessage?topicID=56.topic 

VENTURA, Calif. -- Pollster George Barna, known these days as the bearer of bad tidings about the state of Christianity in America, arrived in his office a few minutes late for a 10 a.m. appointment.

His hair was ruffled; his eyes puffy. Shoulders slouched. Being the George Gallup of the conservative evangelical world is a heavy burden for Barna, who often works into the early morning, deciphering numbers generated by his surveys to find church trends.

The 48-year-old author of 30 books, who describes himself as a raging introvert, is a popular national speaker. And he produces enough in-your-face statistics and blunt talk to irritate pastors, cost him business and earn a reputation for having, as one magazine put it, "the gift of discouragement."

His data undercut some of the core beliefs that should, by definition, set evangelicals apart from their more liberal brethren. Findings of his polls show, for example, that:

The divorce rate is no different for born-again Christians than for those who do not consider themselves religious.

• Only a minority of born-again adults (44 percent) and a tiny proportion of born-again teenagers (9 percent) are certain that absolute moral truth exists.

• Most Christians' votes are influenced more by economic self-interest than by spiritual and moral values.

Desiring to have a close, personal relationship with God ranks sixth among the 21 life goals tested among born-agains, trailing such desires as "living a comfortable lifestyle."

'Are people's lives being transformed" by Christianity? Barna has asked. "We can't find evidence of a transformation."

Even Barna's toughest critics concede that Barna Research Group's polls carry considerable weight because of his first-rate surveying techniques and his 17-year-long record of tracking church and cultural trends.

His work has been used by major companies (Ford Motor Co. and Walt Disney, for example) and religious organizations such as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and World Vision.

"He is the accepted authority on church trends," said Bob Cavin, director of the Texas Baptist Leadership Center. "He gives pastors insight, not only into the effectiveness of the church, but with trends in society that help the pastors with their strategic planning."

Because of his influence, many are watching with interest as Barna branches out from his usual business. He has been preoccupied with quantifying contemporary Christian beliefs, attitudes and practices; comparing them with biblical truths; and delivering the results to pastors, Christian leaders and laity. He said that he once hoped his analyses would be used as building blocks for more relevant churches.

But he decided this year to take a more active role by helping to identify and develop new and better church leaders who will boldly go where their predecessors haven't gone before: to radically revamp the church. He said he believes the process will take decades -- generations -- to complete.

"One of our challenges is to revisit the structures and means through which people experience Christ," Barna said. "People have been talking about developing the 'new church' for the past several decades, but nothing new has been forthcoming."

According to Barna, pastors are great teachers, but not necessarily adept at leadership. To back up his claim, he cited one of his own polls: It showed that only 12 percent of senior pastors say they have the spiritual gift of leadership and 8 percent say they have the gift of evangelism. In contrast, two-thirds say they have the gift of teaching or preaching.

"We, not God, have created a system that doesn't work and that we're reluctant to change."

Barna also is in the early stages of establishing a genuine and appealing Christian presence in secular entities: film, music, media and politics. He has identified these as the institutions that hold the most influence over Americans.

What's needed are "skilled professionals who love Christ and model his ways through their thoughts, words and behavior in enviable and biblically consistent ways," he said.

For Barna, the need for better leadership and better Christian role models in the secular world was underscored by a poll he released this month.

9/11 opportunity lost

The survey showed that the Sept. 11 attacks had virtually no lasting effects on America's faith, despite a 20 percent rise in church attendance during the first few weeks afterward.

"We missed a huge opportunity," he said, adding that, because of their own shallow faith, church regulars needed so much reassurance themselves that they couldn't minister to newcomers.

This kind of comment bothers evangelical Christians.

Mike Regele, author of "The Death of the Church," is one of many who believe the Barna Research Group's statistical work is excellent, but the conclusions drawn by the company's founder are too harsh.

The hypocrisy of Christians, Regele said, "has been a part of the church, probably since the day of Pentecost" and doesn't indicate its collapse.

"It sounds like he's very, very angry at the church," said Regele, a church critic himself who is ultimately an optimist. "There are reasons to be disappointed, but scripture never said we'd be perfect. We shouldn't view the whole institution as a failure."

With each new Barna poll or book, the attacks begin again: He's too negative; he has it in for pastors; he's arrogant.

The criticism "would affect any human being," said Barna, a husband and father of two. "We all want to be loved and accepted by others, but we also have a higher calling to which we each must be true."

Barna said he has learned painfully that giving advice on how to revitalize churches in America is a hugely complex proposition that doesn't fit well into sound bites. He has learned to be more guarded.

Although his statistics often show self-described Christians living lives no different from those of atheists, Barna's faith never has wavered.

"The issue isn't whether Jesus or Christianity is real," he said. "The issue is, are Americans willing to put Christ first in their lives?

 

 

 

 

Jewish author and radio host Dennis Praeger stated on his radio show, in reference to the Bill Bennett gambling scandal (May 2003) that:

We humans are pressure cookers- we need release. Religious people don't like hearing this. They want to hold up some unrealistic ideal to strive for.

 

 

 


 

 

 

The Ineffable Carrot and the Infinite Stick
An atheist's view of morality

from:   http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/carrot&stick.html

A common, though ignorant, objection raised to atheism by theists is that atheists have no basis for morality. In its simplest form, the argument can be phrased like this: if there is no God and thus no justice after death, why bother to be a good person and treat others with respect? Why not just do whatever you want, secure in the knowledge that there will be no divine retribution? Of course, the problem is that most atheists are in fact decent people regardless, but theists typically work this into their argument, concluding with a smirk that since atheists are not all evil and selfish, they must believe in God after all, even if they profess otherwise.

Of course, this is completely ridiculous. But lacking a just deity, what is an atheist's basis for morality? What entices us to do good, if not the promise of a Heaven? What frightens us away from doing evil, if not the threat of a Hell?

There are many potential answers to this question, and I do not claim to speak for all atheists. Many have invoked the social contract between government and the people, the necessity of an orderly society, the very real human-created systems of justice, and so on. But while these are valid answers, I believe there is a better one. There is a very good basis for an atheist's morality, a basis better by far than the puerile version offered by fundamentalists. It is, in fact, the same basis for morality employed by most enlightened theists, even if they do not realize it.

Simply put, the basis for an atheist's morality is respect - for himself, for his fellow human beings and for the world in general.

An atheist knows that to do harm to others is only to degrade himself. He recognizes that he is surrounded by fellow human beings who can also feel love, hate, sadness, joy, pain, and all the other things that make us human. And he realizes what a rare and precious gift it is to be alive and conscious, a gift that is all the more valuable because it lasts for only a brief time and then is gone. To be hateful, ignorant, greedy or cruel would be an unimaginably tragic waste of the priceless opportunity that everyone has only once; not only that, it would be a violation of the respect all people should have for their fellow human beings - indeed, their fellow living things - who can feel pain and suffer, just as they can.

In other words, the basis for an atheist's morality is the Golden Rule, "Treat others as you wish to be treated," a timeless, simple, obvious maxim that precedes the later religions which sought to take credit for inventing it. More importantly, it is a secular principle that relies not on the rules of any deity, but on the basic human trait of empathy. If morality must have an absolute grounding point, then that grounding point is this: That which decreases pain and suffering is good; that which increases pain and suffering is bad. Simple - no god necessary.

Naturally, this is a general rule and trade-offs must be made; for example, surgery causes a temporary increase in pain that results in a greater decrease in the long run. This is fully in keeping with the atheist model of morality, which requires people to think for themselves and use their own best judgment. Some fundamentalists would doubtless feel more comfortable with an absolute set of rules that will instantly tell a believer what to do in any given situation, no independent thought necessary, but even if this truly were desirable, such a thing could never be created in practice. It is simply not possible to foresee every potential situation, at least not for us, and if God gave us a comprehensive list of guidelines covering every decision that might ever need to be made, the book of laws would be rather weighty. (One would need a wheelbarrow to carry the Bible around.) In any event, reality is rarely, if ever, black and white. Context and circumstance must be judged whenever a decision is made. If this is moral relativism, so be it - the alternative, to blindly and dogmatically apply the same rule in every situation without ever considering extenuating factors, is far worse. Surely the theists would not claim that the commandment "Thou shalt not bear false witness" forces a German family during World War II to tell the Nazi enforcers, "Why yes, since you ask, we are hiding a Jewish family in our basement" - or that the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" prevents the Allied fighters from attacking them. Every rule has exceptions, and if we are to decide what is right, then we have no alternative but to rely on our own empathy, logic, and common sense, guided by the general utilitarian rule of always seeking to maximize the good. This, in a nutshell, is atheist morality.

This system is in sharp contrast to the juvenile basis for morality offered by fundamentalist theists, which typically goes something like this: Do what God says and you'll get into Heaven; disobey him and you'll go to Hell.

In the first place, this is arbitrary. Who is to say what God wants people to do? The Bible? It's open to countless different interpretations, many wildly different from each other. Religious leaders? How do you know they're not just making up the rules for their own benefit? Personal revelation? How can you ever be sure you're not just talking to yourself and letting your own subconscious tell you what you want to hear? The tragic proof of the inconsistency of this doctrine is how many atrocities and injustices it has given rise to throughout history. "God told me to do it" was the justification for the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Holocaust, the Salem witch trials, and countless other events that shame all of humanity.

In the second place, this would still be arbitrary even if God's instructions to humanity were clearly defined and unmistakable. If we do things only because God tells us to do them, then morality is based on nothing more than his whim. If God told us to rape, torture and murder people - and indeed, he does give exactly those instructions on several occasions in the Bible - then rape, torture and murder would be right, and not doing those things would be wrong. (If one instead argues that God has a consistent, objective basis for making moral decisions, then an atheist can use that same basis himself and cut God out of the picture entirely.) The atheist's morality, by contrast, is logically grounded, consistent and not subject to change by divine fiat. To an atheist, rape and murder are always wrong, and will be wrong regardless of what any deity says.

Thirdly, this system offers numerous justifications and rationalizations for immoral actions, or apathy in the face of such actions, that the atheist's system does not. To name just the most obvious example, if there is an afterlife where justice will be served at last and everyone will get what they deserve, why bother instituting any sort of earthly justice? Why fight an evil dictator or tyrant if he'll eventually get what's coming to him anyway? Why try to help the poor or the disadvantaged if they will be rewarded later for their suffering now?

In a similar but more subtle vein, a theist could reason that, if God controls the universe, then nothing can happen that is not in line with his will, and if God is loving, he will not allow purposeless evil. Therefore, any evil that does happen is in line with his will, allowed as part of a greater purpose unknown to us. The logical conclusion, therefore, is that we should not try to alleviate evil and suffering in this world. God must have purposes for allowing it to happen. Who are we to interfere with his grand plan?

The atheist's moral system offers no such convenient escape hatches. In this system, this life is all we have, and no higher power is letting bad things happen for mysterious reasons of its own. Therefore, it is our duty to make the world a better place for everyone.

But most of all, the theistic basis for morality is lacking because it offers no better reason to behave than the promise of reward and the threat of punishment - in other words, a carrot and stick. It is a system of "might makes right". It assumes that people are basically immoral and cannot be trusted to do right unless they are lured into it, nor can they be trusted to abstain from wrong unless they are frightened away from it. Like untrained animals, we have to be constantly chastised by a transcendent lawgiver whenever we stray from the straight and narrow. The psychologically harmful repercussions of holding such a dim view of one's own human nature should be obvious. If we're all depraved, hopeless sinners who can't help doing evil things, why even try to be a good person?

Furthermore, this basis for morality actually denies the compassion and empathy that should be at the heart of any ethical system. Instead of encouraging us to do the right thing for its own sake, it promotes fear and selfishness. Do the fundamentalists really mean to imply that their fear of divine punishment is the only thing preventing them from doing evil to everyone around them? Are they claiming that they would never do any good if they didn't expect to get something in return? When I stand next to one of these people, is his fear of that lake of fire the only thing keeping him from lunging at me and trying to tear my throat out with his teeth? (If so, forgive me for not wanting to be around him - I don't consider that much of an assurance no matter how strongly he believes.) Whenever a fundamentalist holds a door or picks up a book for someone, is he only doing it because he's picturing at that moment the rewards he'll get for it in his heavenly mansion? If any of these things are the case, then these theists really aren't very moral people at all, are they?

By contrast, the atheistic basis for morality is one that respects human intelligence and decency. It assumes that people can be trusted to do what's right without being promised a Heaven or threatened with a Hell. Most importantly, it encourages free thought: rather than coerce people with brute force threats or accustom them to unquestioning obedience, it requires that they learn the basics of ethical behavior and come to accept them freely. Unlike the theists' system, it can be questioned, refined and changed as society changes. Although it remains based around a simple, central principle, it is flexible and adaptive, not an immutable set of rules chiseled in stone tablets. While some would charge this with being "situational ethics," that is not a weakness, but a strength. As humanity evolves, new situations are bound to come up that no one in the previous generation foresaw. When that occurs, atheist morality will be ready to meet them while theists fumble for answers in obscure passages of their Bibles. (For example, many Christians strongly oppose abortion, but there is no explicit condemnation of it anywhere in Scripture.)

Furthermore, the situational atheist morality has remained remarkably diverse and strong while the solid, unchanging rock of theist morality now seems more than a little outdated, even - dare we say it? - barbaric; embarrassingly so for those who believe in it. For example, while Christians proudly proclaim that their Bible has not changed in two thousand years, there are many parts of it that they relegate to back shelves and generally do their best to forget about. Who today follows the Bible's rules on how hard to beat slaves (Exodus 21:20-21), or what price is acceptable when selling a wife or daughter? (Leviticus 27:3-7 - females are worth about half as much as males, for the curious.) Who obeys the Old Testament's law commanding the execution by stoning of homosexuals (Leviticus 20:13), "witches" (Exodus 22:18), disobedient children (Deuteronomy 21:18-21), and people who pick up sticks on the Sabbath? (Numbers 15:32-36)

It is verses like the above that reveal theistic morality for what it is: a cruel and inhumane relic of a primitive era. Humanity has grown beyond this, and so it deserves to be replaced with a better alternative. As we flow inevitably forward into the future, atheist morality - the only system of morality that does not rely on an ineffable carrot and an infinite stick - is the only possible choice to guide our progress in the days to come.

But all of the above is just my opinion. I could be wrong.

What do you think?

 

 


Emails from People Regarding Morality

Table of Contents

James_to_and_from_Mark_Smith___Oct_2003

 

 

James to and from Mark Smith   Oct 2003

James Replying to Mark

Subj: Moralllllllity 
Date: 10/23/03 1:21:38 PM Pacific Standard Time
From: JCnot4me
To: JH8166
CC: robertus365@hotmail.com


In a message dated 10/22/2003 3:27:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time, JH8166 writes:

Mark,
Thank you so much for your response.  I appreciate it.

>(Mark)  What I don't want is stuff like "Craig didn't shake my hand therefore he's
>not a real Christian" etc. I want people to address the ISSUES that Craig brings
>up, and not Craig himself. Spokesmen change, issues don't.

>


I think that's great.  Often times in debate people try to discredit
someone's character or credentials instead of refuting their points.  It's good that
you are concerned more with the issues.  But I think even sarcasm, although
humoruos at times, can be unproductive in debate.  I enjoy friendly and
respectful exchanges of ideas.

 

>
>(Mark) If you mean something that is always, in every circumstance, now and forever
>morally wrong- I don't think there is such a thing. Morality is subjective-
>subject to change and oft times without notice! I have challenged some very
>bright Christians to name me even ONE moral rule that fits the "objective" bill,
>all to no avail (as Robert Hitchcock [whom I'm cc'ing this email to] can
>attest.  If you think you can come up with one, let me know.

>

 


Yes, by objective I mean a moral standard that exists independently of what
people may believe.  So, I'm a bit confused.  Surely there are things that you
think are wrong or unjust (ie. slavery, rape, racial discrimination, murder,
etc.).  Do you think these things are/were only wrong for a certain culture or
at a certain time?

James

****************


Mark Replying to James

 


Thursday, Oct 23
Hey Again James;
Yes, that is what I think. And here's why- they all have exceptions. Here's a few...

Slavery: wrong for worshippers of Joe Hovah UNLESS Joe allowed it or commanded it, as he oft times did in the Jewish bible.

Rape: wrong for worshippers of Joe Hovah UNLESS Joe commanded it, as he did in the Jewish bible, when he told his army to kill EVERYONE but save the young female virgins for themselves.

Racial Disc: wrong, except for worshippers of Joe Hovah when Biblegod commanded that all the NON-Jews be wiped off the face of the planet. Also wrong for Christians EXCEPT when dealing with residents of the island of Crete, as Paul broadbrushes the entire island population as being liars, per the book of Titus.

Murder: Here's an exception} Someone takes your entire family hostage and threatens to torture them to death UNLESS you assisinate (i.e. murder) a certain politician.


Anyway, that's the general idea. I have yet to hear a Christian come up with something for which there is no exception. So much for absolute morality.

--mark

 

 

James Replying to Mark

 

 

In a message dated 10/24/03 12:28:15 PM Pacific Standard Time, JH8166 writes:


Subj:Re: Moralllllllity 
Date:10/24/03 12:28:15 PM Pacific Standard Time
From:JH8166
To:JCnot4me


Mark,
If morality is always subjective, as you claim, and just a matter of personal/cultural choice, then you have no reason to condemn christian hypocrisy or religious legislation as being wrong. If morality is a personal choice, then you can't say that someone is wrong if they choose to be a hypocrite. That's simply their choice. If morality is a cultural choice, then you can't say it is wrong to have God in the U.S. Constitution. That's simply our culture's choice (the majority of which believe in a God). To say that something is wrong is to appeal to a standard by which we can measure what is right and wrong. A lot of the content on jcnot4me.com implies that the above issues are wrong, not just for you, but for everyone. Having a banner on your website that says, "One nation under NO religion," is not just stating your personal preference or choice. It implies that it is WRONG for the government to impose religion on people. And to say that is to appeal to an OBJECTIVE standard that applies to everyone, not a personal standard that only applies to you.
So what you really seem to believe is: 
Morality - ALWAYS subjective for Mark Smith, EXCEPT when something offends Mark Smith's inherent sense of right and wrong.

James

 

Mark Replying to James Etc Etc Etc

Oct. 29, 2003

James;
My my but the sweet exterior facade sure melts away fast, doesn't it??? All that bitterness just comes pouring thru. So much for the fake "conversion" you guys always brag about.

I'm still waiting for my request to be fulfilled. I asked you for just ONE moral law that is absolute- with no exceptions, and I'm still waiting. You threw some at me, I shot them down. Now rather than try again, you just get nasty. What's wrong, are you a sore loser???

As for laws that are NOT absolute, do you think that just because they weren't chiseled in stone by some imaginary deity they are not binding??? Try telling that to a cop who pulls you over for speeding- "but officer, speeding laws are not absolute- they are man-made, therefore relative, and therefore I don't have to obey them!!!"  James, speeding laws are a "cultural choice" as you say, but they ARE the law. And if you break speeding laws, you will be punished. Is the fact that they are not eternal somehow give you the right to disobey them??? 

And as for eternal always-binding moral laws, I'm still waiting for you to come up with one. But you couldn't, so you got mad and threw sand at me instead. Typical Christian temper tantrum- when logic fails, mock and flail about. 


Yours in Life,
Mark
Set Free
JCnot4me@aol.com
WWW.JCnot4me.com
 

 



 

 Subj: RE: Creatiuonism,, anyone?
Date: 3/15/2004 5:30:36 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: "Robert Hitchcock" <robertus365@hotmail.com>
To: underacoma@hotmail.com
Sent from the Internet (Details)


Dear James: Hi! And WoW! Thanks for the in-depth feedback on the universal moral issue! Just a couple of quick thoughts for right now{public terminal excuse,
again eh, Robert?} due to time constraints and the fact I wish to review your e-mail a couple of more times before formulating a lengthy reply.

Anyways, I appreciate your minor diagreement with my "universal virtue,' thesis. If, by "moral values," you mean the worth that we put on a concept as being worthy
of being called a "virtue,' that is somehow inherent in our spiritual make-up/psyche, then I have to disagree with your counter-thesis. I presume you are referring to
the Christian concept of Romans 1:19-21, which states that all humans know that there is a creator based on the natural revelation of the order in the physical universe
and that we have a built-in moral compass or "conscience," that the moral Creator being has placed within our soul, so as to allow us the abiltiy to determine what is
'virturous,' and or what is "less virtuous," or outright wrong. I agree with this concept in the {limited] sense that most human beings seem to possess a capacity for
determining right from wrong and or a sense of shame and or guilt when they violate certain cultural taboos. Whether this is the same as the Romans consceince
scenario and or your own position I defer to your keen "judgement."

To be frank, assessing a value {moral} to an abstract concept like compassion and or altruism seems to be more of a subjective thing. Granted, humans do not like
to be wronged and we are quick to point out when others "violate" or space and or person. But so do lesser lifeforms. Watch any episdode of the nutty Aussie
"Croc hunter,' when he sticks his hand down into a Cobra's den and the serpent instincually will lash out to defend its turf and or perceived threat to its existence.
Also, the natural order {i.e. physical order of the universe does indicate the presence of an intell. Designer. But then again we agree on this part of the metaphysical
puzzle, so let me move on.

It is my opinion that we derive little or no data as to the "moral capacity," and or "Goodness' of any Creator from purely observing the natural creation. Tooth, fang,
bllood-death, birth, more death, and re-birth seem to be the modus operandi of the Darwinian universe in which we live. I agree that we "know" what is moral and
what isn't from our spiritual-i.e non-physical conscious nature, but this internal mechanism doesn't allow us to formulate higher abstract violationary concepts like
"values' tabula rasa. To ascribe a worth or defectiveness of a general idea like love and or selfishness, requires experience and or access to a repository of shared
stored expereicne called "Culture and Formal Morality."

I might be qubbling and or mis-understanding your position James, so please feel free to share your insights on this matter. Your syllogism is interesting and will
require some further rumination on my part. As for "goodness' being an intergal part of a Perfect being such as God, I have no problem with this notion in a general
way, but we need to explore it further as I have yet to truly find a satisfying explantion for the goodness of god and the "problem of theodicy." Also, thank-you for
forwarding the pertinent sections of your exchanges with Mark on the isssues we discussed above. Best, Robet



>From: "James Hoskins"
>To: robertus365@hotmail.com
>Subject: RE: Creatiuonism,, anyone?
>Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2004 10:05:26 -0600
>
>Robert,
>
>I like your "universal virtues" perspective as a foundation of
>morality. I think it is a good way to look at it. But I don't
>think it fully explains objective moral values. Virtually every
>culture has assigned a moral value of "good" to virtue. Our
>inherent moral "barometer" is what tells us that things like love
>and compassion are good in the first place. So I don't think that
>moral values are the second level application like you said. But I
>am open to more discussion about this.
>
>What I mean by "objective moral values" is that something is right
>or wrong independently of whether a person believes it or not. An
>illustration that Bill Craig offers is this: If Hitler had
>succeeded in taking over the world and either brainwashed or
>destroyed everyone that objected to what he did, would what he did
>still be wrong even though everyone alive at that time believed it
>was okay? We know that it would still be wrong. That is what I
>mean by objective. But notice that this definition makes
>disagreement irrelevant concerning the moral truth of the matter.
>Obviously Hitler and most of Nazi Germany believed what they were
>doing was okay, but we know that it was not. Mark's arguement
>against objective morality is an arguement from disagreement. He is
>basically claiming that since people may disagree morally, that no
>objective morality exists. But that does not logically follow. And
>to deny objective morality is to have to admit some very foul
>realities that do logically follow. I have talked about these in a
>dialogue with Mark as well as in the original email (Critique of
>Atheism) that began yours and mine conversation. It doesn't look
>like Mark is ready to admit these harsh realities that must be true
>if what he says is true. Below I have included a copy of part of
>the discussion that I had with Mark. He posted most of our dialogue
>on his website. But he excluded my last two responses. Also, I
>have included a syllogism concerning morals that I would like your
>feedback on as I am still refining it.
>
>As far as the Euthyphro dilemma that you brought up, I'd have to say
>it is neither. It seems to me that if part of the definition of God
>is a morally perfect being, then it's possible that our moral since
>of obligation flows necessarily (as Craig has put it) from God's
>very character or nature. Our since of moral obligation may be
>inherent knowledge of being created with a purpose by a morally
>perfect being.
>
>Morality is an area of study that really fascinates me. I am still
>forming a lot of my views and am open to criticism. Your feedback
>will be much appreciated. I look foward to hearing from you soon
>Robert.
>
>James
>
>1. Whatever exists independently of human knowledge is an objective
>reality.
>2. Moral values exist independently of human knowledge.
>3. Therefore, moral values are an objective reality.
>
>(Mark) If you mean something that is always, in every circumstance,
>now and forever
>>morally wrong- I don't think there is such a thing. Morality is
>>subjective-
>>subject to change and oft times without notice! I have challenged
>>some very
>>bright Christians to name me even ONE moral rule that fits the
>>"objective" bill,
>>all to no avail (as Robert Hitchcock [whom I'm cc'ing this email
>>to] can
>>attest. If you think you can come up with one, let me know.
>>
>
>Yes, by objective I mean a moral standard that exists independently
>of what
>people may believe. So, I'm a bit confused. Surely there are things
>that you
>think are wrong or unjust (ie. slavery, rape, racial discrimination,
>murder,
>etc.). Do you think these things are/were only wrong for a certain
>culture or
>at a certain time?
>
>James
>****************
>
>Mark Replying to James
>
>Thursday, Oct 23
>Hey Again James;
>Yes, that is what I think. And here's why- they all have exceptions.
>Here's a few...
>
>Slavery: wrong for worshippers of Joe Hovah UNLESS Joe allowed it or
>commanded it, as he oft times did in the Jewish bible.
>
>Rape: wrong for worshippers of Joe Hovah UNLESS Joe commanded it, as
>he did in the Jewish bible, when he told his army to kill EVERYONE
>but save the young female virgins for themselves.
>
>Racial Disc: wrong, except for worshippers of Joe Hovah when
>Biblegod commanded that all the NON-Jews be wiped off the face of
>the planet. Also wrong for Christians EXCEPT when dealing with
>residents of the island of Crete, as Paul broadbrushes the entire
>island population as being liars, per the book of Titus.
>
>Murder: Here's an exception} Someone takes your entire family
>hostage and threatens to torture them to death UNLESS you assisinate
>(i.e. murder) a certain politician.
>
>
>Anyway, that's the general idea. I have yet to hear a Christian come
>up with something for which there is no exception. So much for
>absolute morality.
>
>--mark
>
>James Replying to Mark
>In a message dated 10/24/03 12:28:15 PM Pacific Standard Time,
>JH8166 writes:
>
>
>Subj:Re: Moralllllllity
>Date:10/24/03 12:28:15 PM Pacific Standard Time
>From:JH8166
>To:JCnot4me
>
>
>Mark,
>If morality is always subjective, as you claim, and just a matter of
>personal/cultural choice, then you have no reason to condemn
>christian hypocrisy or religious legislation as being wrong. If
>morality is a personal choice, then you can't say that someone is
>wrong if they choose to be a hypocrite. That's simply their choice.
>If morality is a cultural choice, then you can't say it is wrong to
>have God in the U.S. Constitution. That's simply our culture's
>choice (the majority of which believe in a God). To say that
>something is wrong is to appeal to a standard by which we can
>measure what is right and wrong. A lot of the content on
>jcnot4me.com implies that the above issues are wrong, not just for
>you, but for everyone. Having a banner on your website that says,
>"One nation under NO religion," is not just stating your personal
>preference or choice. It implies that it is WRONG for the government
>to impose religion on people. And to say that is to appeal to an
>OBJECTIVE standard that applies to everyone, not a personal standard
>that only applies to you.
>So what you really seem to believe is:
>Morality - ALWAYS subjective for Mark Smith, EXCEPT when something
>offends Mark Smith's inherent sense of right and wrong.
>
>James
>

 

>From: JCnot4me@aol.com
>To: underacoma@hotmail.com ("James Hoskins")
>CC: robertus365@hotmail.com
>Subject: Re: A critique of atheism...
>Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 12:36:27 -0500
>
>Mark,
>I hope you are doing well. I have been enjoying a very stimulating
>exchange
>with Robert Hitchcock. He's a good guy.
>I am still interested to see what you think about my "Critique Of Atheism"
>if you have time. Take care. I hope to hear from you soon.
>
>James
>
>
>Hey James-
>Like I said originally, truth is not determined by its consequences. You
>said you understood that, and then ignored that point and continued on with
>your ideas.
>
>In short, your essay is irrelevant. So what if becoming an Athiest makes
>your hair turn color or whatever. The point should be: true, or not true?
>Not, what harmful effects will acknowledging the truth of this incur? I can
>show plenty of harmful effects that result from believing Christianity, but
>that doesn't prove or disprove Christianity.
>--mark
>
>
Mark,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my email. I appreciate it and I
hope you are doing well.


With all due respect, I think you are either misunderstanding my argument or
voluntarily trying to evade the issue by reversing the burden of proof. In
your last email you said, "The point should be: true, or not true? Not, what
harmful effects will acknowledging the truth of this incur?" And I
absolutely agree with you. Two emails ago I said, "I agree with you that
truth should not be determined by its consequences. That is, our choice of
what to believe as true should not be based on what consequences are the
most desirable." So we are in agreement on that. But then you claim that
my argument is irrelevant. You said, "So what if becoming an Athiest makes
your hair turn color or whatever." My argument is not based on whether the
consequences of atheism are desirable or not. My argument is based on
whether the consequences of atheism are true
or not.

 To make my argument
more clear let me refer to one of the 9 rules of logic called Modus Tollens.
Modus Tollens is represented as:

1. If P, then Q.
2. Not Q.
3. Therefore, not P.

With X representing the consequences that I listed in my Critique Of Atheism
(no free will, no moral obligation, no moral responsibility, all choices of
belief are equally arbitrary
, etc.), my argument is:

1. If atheism is true, then X is true.
2. X is not true.
3. Therefore, atheism is not true.

According to the rule of Modus Tollens this is a deductive argument, so the
conclusion flows necessarily from the premises. If you want to refute my
argument then you will have to show that premise 1 is not true.

Mark here}     The "no free will" bit is itself believed by many of your fellow Christians- does that make them Atheists too??? The "no moral obligation or responsibility" bit- contrary to the constant stream of lies and slanders gushing forth from thousands of pulpits each Sunday, Atheists actually have a HIGHER moral standard than do you Christians, and prison and crime statistics back that up. We have FACTS to PROVE we are more moral than you guys, as a group. What do you have? Claims of being perfect, claims of little spirits inside directing your moves. Nothing but hot air claims. What "moral obligation" did that devout Christian woman in Texas recently have for bashing in the brains of her three kids because Biblegod TOLD HER TO??? Fact is, you Christians HAVE no moral code; only blind obedience. Whatever you think Biblegod tells you to do, that is what you do, right or wrong be damned. Which leads to your third point: all choices of belief are equally arbitrary. Again, this is a trademark of the Christians. Your morality changes day by day. For example, one day in the past, let's say on a Tuesday, the Old Testament law was in full force, the very next day, after Jesus died, it was obsolete. On that Tuesday if a man were to (heaven forbid!) piss against a wall, the full force of the Old Testament law would have strung him up. However, if he had waited (a long time to wait when you have to go!) till Wednesday, well then, golly gee, we just changed our entire morality overnight so there's no problem now.

So, you Christians want to talk about "absolute" morality, morality that changes not? You aren't the ones to be talking- your hypocrisy is showing.

 

You will
somehow have to show how free will, moral obligation, moral responsibility,
etc. exist even though we are strictly material beings born out of a
mindless and purposeless process of nature. Or you can appeal to the rule
of Modus Ponens by contesting premise 2 and saying that X IS true. But I'm
not sure you are prepared to do that because it would mean that you are
constantly contradicting yourself whenever you claim that something is
unfair, unjust, or wrong (including Christian hypocrisy, religious
legislation, etc). It would also mean that your efforts to "Set Free" those
caught in the religious lie are completely meaningless and arbitrary.
Now that we have nailed down the argument, I look foward to hearing your
feedback as you engage the premises. So, my question is the same as it was
two emails ago: Do you agree that if atheism is true, then X is true?

James

Mark here}    Sorry James, but you Christians didn't invent morality, though you try like hell to trademark it like you own it. Morality existed LONG before there ever was a Jesus, long before there was a Moses, even long before the first monkey came down from the tree and took off running. You don't think that for MILLIONS of years our ancestors just ran around with no sense of right and wrong, do you? Even DOGS have that! If you had done ANY reading into animal behavior you would have seen that morality is a natural occurrence that ALL higher life forms have on this planet- including us. Why you Christians even try to use morality as an argument escapes me- it is SO easily shot down. Bahnson was a windbag- not a great thinker- sorry.

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

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