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Doing Good for Goodness Sake? An Atheist's Game of Scrabble Comments

In the order of being, there can be no natural moral law without the existence of God.  In the order of being, implicit in the belief of a natural moral law is the existence of God.  A moral law makes no sense without a Divine Legislator. Continue Reading

41 - 50 of 72 Comments

  1. DLL
    2 years ago

    Christianity cherishes humility. Stalin and Hitler were egotists. Their General sense of Athiesm prevented them from having the kind of conscience that would have Hitler for instance,think that there was anything wrong at all about the mass killing of the Jewish people as well as their total dehumaninization and total humiliation. The Arian race was simply seperior to all others in his estimation. If Hitler had won the war than the Arian people would be the dominant ones as all that didn't meet the standard would have been liquidated. Moral values establish a sense of conscience to know inherently right from wrong. Conscience changes however when one embraces evil values while continually rejecting good or sound values. Hitler was able to achieve this and nearly had all of Germany,embracing the same moral or rather immoral and amoral values that he had. Murder almost could have been a legal and a standard way of life. Catholics,Jews,homosexuals, lesbians, sexual perverts we're targeted groups for extermination. A Judeo-Christian sense of morality condemns a Hitler sense of total immorality or a slanted sense of amorality,that can successfully hide it self as a new kind of a false morality. Abortion today is legally sanctioned killing and today's false sense of the new morality. Selling of amorality or immorality as freedom,while rejecting moral values,is the very worst form of intellectual rape for those that cannot discern the difference. Intellectuals in Stalins time who questioned Stalins ethics and morality or lack of it were sent to Siberia for extermination. No one will convince me that morality especially a Catholic sense of it is wrong,restrictive or even a form of condemnation,as it all makes perfect sense,as it is the truth,in truth we find perfect peace and perfect freedom. Jesus Christ is what He claims himself to be "The Way,The Truth And The Life,the only way to God the Father" of whom is the perfection of Love itself now and forever. It is God who appeals to the heart as well as the mind so the soul can be touched by His perfect sense of endless love. I don't know how many will actually read this post but it is a form of a personal prayer that inspires me to write it. God is Love! Love never Dies! In that statement is the simple definition of the infinite itself,the reason to be is to Love,Love is an infinite value,as all moral law is meant to help all live in accordance with a value system that is conceived to be Love itself. When a Husband and Wife love each other and have a loving sexual relationship,the child conceived in their love for each other is a blessing,the conception of their love and the child is a gift that they can both love with joy. No one can doubt that love is Joy,the Joy of simply being alive. Morality in relationships respects this sense of joy and protects the freedom to be joyful.

  2. Juneau Alaska
    2 years ago

    JeanCatherine, thank you for the link showing government-responsible deaths of citizens. I am not exactly sure what you are asking me. Are you making the claim that Stalin/Mao were motivated by atheism to murder people? You don't believe that, do you? I'll gladly explore that topic with you, pending your clarification. Regarding society in general, the evidence shows that violence by humans, over the last few thousand years in general and the last few hundred years in particular, has steadily decreased across the globe. This peaceful trend does take into account the atrocities of the 20th century. There is no guarantee the trend will continue, but Steven Pinkers' exhaustive documentation shows that violence is on the decline (statistically) and that especially since the Enlightenment Age, violence towards women, children and non-human animal species continues to decline. I thank you for the link, strongly suggest you read "The Better Angels of Our Nature" and look forward to your clarifications. Cheers! ~Mike

  3. Juneau Alaska
    2 years ago

    Bulbajer, when it comes to claims by the rude in any demographic be they Catholics or atheists, I try to never pay attention to emotion. I only care about facts and plausibility. After all, do emotions ever add to the truth or falseness of a claim? Of course not. Emotions can sometime persuade people to act, but at the end of the day, the foundation of the claim rests of facts or or nonsense. Or in other words, don't judge a book by its cover or you might miss out on some important information. Cheers! ~Mike

  4. chrisdbarry
    2 years ago

    @Andrew - I will put aside your first paragraph as a misunderstanding rather than a misrepresentation. Saying "the logic of the Catholic Church" is obviously inferring the logic underpinning the position of the Catholic Church. I don't think it does your case any good to play word games.

    I am going to jump to the middle of your comment to address the phrase "is it more meaningful" to believe in this or that, which you repeat a few times. I think this represents the fundamental divide between your position and mine. Your statement of meaning is irrelevant to me. Meaning plays no part in the evidence for or against, and if it does, the truth has been tainted. "Is it more real", "Is it more logical" - both are better starting points for discovering truth.


    Agnosticism and Atheism are not at odds because Atheism is a statement of belief and Agnosticism is a statement of knowledge. It's important and I think you should add it to your understanding as it will make your position clearer.


    Finally, while accusing me of creating my own strawmen, you did not actually address any of the issues I raised with you about yours. I think you do yourself (and your readers) a disservice by ignoring the difficult issues in favour of presenting your position (again).

    I look forward to your article - "Catholicism vs Secular Humanism".

    Finally, my popup blocker stops a disreputable advertisement every time I visit this site. You might suggest to the site owners that this is not good form.

  5. Bulbajer
    2 years ago

    Diane, I guess my point was that some atheists really do want to believe in God and often try, but they see so many things wrong with the world. Should that change? Absolutely! But I don't think losing hope as a result of suffering is "childish." It is 100% human. These atheists aren't lacking faith for much fault of their own. Others - sure, they're childish. But I hate it when people generalize atheists as arrogant, I'll-believe-it-if-I-see-it materialists. About Jesus and suffering: yes, Jesus responded to all the pain in the most pure way possible. It is our duty in life to do likewise. That some people fail to do this is tragic, not something to tsk-tsk about. Vance: "There is no such thing as a nice guy atheist." Well, I guess I'm not surprised; after all, there's no such thing as a nice liberal or a nice Muslim, right? It seems to me like you've known some pretty bad atheists. I wish I could introduce you to some of the atheists I know. Mike (Juneau Alaska), good point about secularism vs. atheism. The two are separate; secularism is one way of dealing with the Church vs. State issue, while atheism is a category of religious belief/nonbelief. Though I have to say, I don't doubt Vance when he says that a bunch of angry people shout hate at nativity scenes while claiming to simply support our country's secularism. There are quite a few people like that.

  6. JeanCatherine
    2 years ago

    Juneau Alaska

    "greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice"

    How do you explain the many cruel deaths under Stalin during the purges?

    How do you explain the many deaths under Pol Pot and China during their purges?

    Last but not least a pagan himself----Hitler and his purges?

    For other governments who participated please see link below:

    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM

  7. Andrew Greenwell
    2 years ago

    @chrisdbarry:

    You accuse me of making strawmen and then burning them, but I would suggest that it is you who is doing so. First, as regards "logic." Logic is logic, and there is no Catholic "logic," Protestant "logic," or atheist "logic." Logic is the rules of thinking from premises to conclusions, and it is unaffected by confessions of faith, just like mathematics.

    Second, you say I have not examined other philosophies, and this is not true. Although I have much to learn, and am hardly a professional philosopher, I have read, and struggled with philosophers from Heraclitus to Hegel, from Al-Kindi to Kant, from William of Auxerre to Wittgenstein, from Seneca to Sartre. I have traipsed through, and read at least the more significant works, of most Western philosophers. I have also read multiple histories of philosophy. I have even read a few Muslim and Hindu philosophers. It is as a result of this that I am convinced in the moderate realism of Aristotle/Thomas. I think this moderate realism is deepened by exposure to phenomenology, as found, for example, in the works of Robert Sokolowski. I say this not to boast, but to burn up your effigy of my intellectual journey.

    The "philosophies of a Roman Catholic priest" is not really an accurate representation of Thomistic philosophy. It is perennial, and it is found in rather developed way in Aristotle. It is still vibrant, and hardly something that is outdated or something that one grows out of. And while perhaps his Aristotelian-based science (like all science) is outdated, the underlying philosophical thinking is, in my mind, hardly outdated. For example, is it more meaningful to believe, as Hume, that there is no such thing as causality, or to believe like Aristotle and Aquinas that there is such a thing as cause? Is it more meaningful to believe, like Bacon, that nature has no end, no purpose, no final cause, or to believe like Aristotle and Aquinas that it does? I don't think Hume and Bacon have the better argument.

    In fact, given the sterility of modern empiricism, modernism, and post-modernism, there is a significant movement towards Aristotelianism/Thomism. It's like a bright light at the end of a dark tunnel. would suggest you read the works of Alasdair Macintyre, particularly his After Virtue.

    While you say that I am not arguing against atheism, I beg to differ. I am. I am saying that if you believe in a moral law, if you believe in morality, you necessarily (even though implied) are suggesting a Divine Legislator. Maybe not yet the God of Revelation (Yahweh), but most certainly the God of Natural Theology (the First Cause). Essentially, the argument is the negative of Dostoevsky's statement: If God is dead, everything is permitted. A moral law implies a Divine Legislator. Without a Divine Legislature ultimately you come to no moral law.

    While agnostic atheism sounds a bit like an oxymoron, it seems you are describing what I call a practical atheist. I suppose an agnostic can live like a practical atheist. I know nominal Christians that live like practical atheists, i.e., as if God did not exist. I should think my argument covers pretty much all classes or species of atheists you mention.

    As to your suggestion that I address the issue of secular humanism, that, my atheist brother, is a very fine suggestion. I will have to work on just that . . . for you if for no one else.

    God bless,
    Andrew

  8. Juneau Alaska
    2 years ago

    Andrew Greenwell,

    When you state that you don't know how man can give himself his own law (leaving the chore of defining "law" aside) I believe you. What I simply won't accept is your use of the personal credulity fallacy as your answer. In other words, because of A therefore B sans evidence and/or begging the question. Saying I don't know is a respectable answer in and of itself! Andrew, morality is principally based (as I understand it) upon a particularly mammalian characteristic: empathy. Psychopaths do not display empathy and likewise aren't said to have a moral impulse. Empathy appears to be observed in many species from rats to dolphins to chimpanzees. Getting back to your personal stumbling block (giving oneself his own law), I suggest you read the Selfish Gene whereby a scrupulous account is given about how altruism and morality are elegantly explained by the theory of evolution and its distinctly non-random mechanism of action: natural selection. Cheers! ~Mike

  9. Juneau Alaska
    2 years ago

    abey,

    It's not accurate to marry atheism with morality. Atheism is amoral as it shackles nobody to any particular moral worldview. An atheist is free to subscribe to any moral system he or she finds merit worthy. Now, like anyone else, be they a believer or non-believer, should that individual contravene their stated moral philosophy, they would then be guilty of immorality, an altogether different thing as well. Cheers! ~Mike

  10. Juneau Alaska
    2 years ago

    Giancarlo Taliente, thank you for extending an accepting demeanor. I am perplexed, however, why you deny that there are actual atheists reading along (such as myself). Inasmuch as you, Giancarlo Taliente, lack a belief in any actual existence of Norse gods or pixies, I too lack belief in Yahweh, Jesus, the Christian Trinity, etc. Allow me to be even clearer. I am a religious agnostic because of science, an atheist because of probability, and an anti-theist because of religion. Still don't believe me? If not, I suppose you are insinuating that I am a lying theist? Peculiar, ironic even, but that would be false. Cheers! ~Mike


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