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Sunday, June 19, 2005

Christians are moral retards

Professor Timothy Shortell recently came under fire for writing an article against Christianity, calling its believers "moral retards". The article, incidentally, is a great one, and makes good points, so I thought I would post some of it here. The full text of "Religion & Morality : A Contradiction Explained" is available at : http://www.anti-naturals.org/15cst/no19/p1.htm


"They persist today because they are so effective at constructing group identities and at setting up conflict between the in- and out-groups. For all religions, there is an "us" and a "them." All the ritual and the fellowship associated with religious practice is just a means of continually emphasizing group boundaries and hostility."

"Just as Durkheim suggested for aboriginal religion, all modern affiliations are ideological: they insist on a total (though contradictory) system of beliefs and evaluations. For this reason, religion without fanaticism is a logical impossibility. Anyone whose mind is trapped inside such a mental prison will be susceptible to extreme forms of hatred and violence. Faith is, by its very nature, obsessive-compulsive. All religions foment their own kind of holy war. (Those whose devotion is moderate are only cowardly fanatics.)

In a world in which individuals and events are controlled by magical forces (symbolized by spirits, angels, ghosts, gods, etc.) fear will be the equilibrium state. There is no way to understand how such a world functions; one will be in awe of those who, through their mystifications, appear to have a special understanding of supernatural mechanics. Faith is, therefore, a child-like rationality.

It is no wonder, then, that those who are religious are incapable of moral action, just as children are. To be moral requires that one accept full responsibility for one's self. Morality is based on scientific rationality. In order to act in the world as an adult, one must be able to recognize that the world is structured and the situatedness of all individual action."

"Faith, like superstition, prevents moral action. Those who fail to understand how the world works—who, in place of an understanding of the interaction between self and milieu, see only the saved and the damned, demons and angels, miracles and curses—will be incapable of informed choice. They will be unable to take responsibility for their actions because they lack intellectual and emotional maturity.

On a personal level, religiosity is merely annoying—like bad taste. This immaturity represents a significant social problem, however, because religious adherents fail to recognize their limitations. So, in the name of their faith, these moral retards are running around pointing fingers and doing real harm to others. One only has to read the newspaper to see the results of their handiwork. They discriminate, exclude and belittle. They make a virtue of closed-mindedness and virulent ignorance. They are an ugly, violent lot."

"Those who believe that they are acting out the divine plan are the most dangerous sort in the contemporary world. Make no mistake."

"It is not enough to be irreligious; we must use our critique to expose religion for what it is: sanctimonious nonsense."

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21 Comments:

At 6/20/2005 11:33 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Now thats a hell of an article!

 
At 6/20/2005 1:45 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

In a world in which individuals and events are controlled by magical forces (symbolized by spirits, angels, ghosts, gods, etc.) fear will be the equilibrium state. There is no way to understand how such a world functions; one will be in awe of those who, through their mystifications, appear to have a special understanding of supernatural mechanics. Faith is, therefore, a child-like rationality.

This reminds me of Richard Carriers artcle "Kooks and Quacks of the Roman Empire." Elsewhere I think he talks about - perhaps it was Doherty - where people during that time were in constant fear of the Sublunar world,where demons were just a breath away from coming down and attacking people...

 
At 6/20/2005 2:14 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

This also reminds me of people like John Hagee who know this very thing when they talk about America no longer have a "godly fear" - that this is why America is failing morally.

 
At 6/20/2005 2:27 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

"They persist today because they are so effective at constructing group identities and at setting up conflict between the in- and out-groups. For all religions, there is an "us" and a "them." All the ritual and the fellowship associated with religious practice is just a means of continually emphasizing group boundaries and hostility."

But it seems that the same can be said for those who would consider themselves "secular." Those would be the "second tier" folks that Franc wrote about some time back...

 
At 6/20/2005 3:38 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Monk indicted for Nuns death

1 Cor 6:
1If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? 2Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!

This Nun was posessed! How dare godless justice intervene! I say let the "Christian church courts" deal with this issue!

 
At 6/20/2005 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

On a personal level, religiosity is merely annoying—like a Canadian.

 
At 6/20/2005 4:57 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

I dont know about that, anon. I never met an annoying Canadian.
But then again, Ive never met a religious Canadian either! LOL

 
At 6/20/2005 5:09 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"Those would be the "second tier" folks that Franc wrote about some time back..."

No, not really. It's all part of the collectivist tier. A lot of collectivism is non-religious in apperance, although they can be called quasi-religion (I've seen Nazism described as such, for example).

 
At 6/20/2005 6:42 PM, Blogger Brandon declaimed...

This may be a little off topic but it's been bugging me all day.

If you want to see how whacko the Christian Reich really is, and juist how religion divides us you should come to Wisconsin today, June 20, 2005. The Westboro Baptist Church from Topeka, Kansas, led by the irreverend Fred Phelps has decided it would be a neat idea to protest the funeral of a 24-year-old Marine who died in Iraq. As oif this writing I only know that the protest was scheduled to take place at the cemetary. If it has actually done so as of this time I am not certain. But that aside, you really have to wonder what makes someone like this tick. This group really wants to impose itself on a grieving family at a military funeral.

The reason? Even though the young Marine in question was not gay, Phelps and his 100 strong congregation--many of which are related to him--believe that America has adopted a pro homosexual agenda and target funerals because they believe this is where they can best spread the message that people need to repent. That sounds "cute" but to demonstrate how fucked in the head they really are, they believe that 911, the Iraq War, and Columbine are punishments from God. Strange--I thought the Iraq War was our punishment for electing a president with a negative IQ but....

Well, I'd like to know just where this pro homosexual agenda has been. Is it the pro homosexual agenda that says gays can't have civil unions? The pro homosexual agenda which allows "Christian" broadcasting to rant and rave against gays and lesbians ona daily basis? Yeah. Right, Tell me another one.

I have a number of gay friends. One of whom, Daniel, was beaten up infront of his apartment building in 2003 by a bunch of Bible-thumping bullies who informed him that Jesus hates fags. I have another gay friend who was told that she could not sign up for military service because she is a lesbian. What homosexual agenda? Don't Ask Don't Tell is a fucking joke. It basically says that you can be denied equal treatment if you dare to tell the truth about yourself. And the funny part about it is that the religious reich maintains that societies are growing weak when the accept homosexuality. Well the Roman Empire didn't fall until after it had become a Christian entity. Indeed, one of the most effective fighitng forces within preChristian Rome was a group of gay men. The Spartans were anything but weak, but Classic Greek civilization was openly tolerant of homosexuality. And Athens, the same athens which created the first, viable democracy, had no problem with homosexuality either. The fact of the matter is that religious conservatives don't like to be told how hateful they are because they know in their black, empty hearts that they are hateful. The protest at the young Marine's funeral proved that much today. You really have to be a bully, a thug, and an outright MORON to show up at a burial with your half baked signs, chants, and imbecillic opinions. If there were a hell I am sure these dumb fucks would be the first ones to burn in it.

 
At 6/21/2005 11:57 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

wow! nice comments brandong

 
At 6/21/2005 12:38 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Brandong
You really have to be a bully, a thug, and an outright MORON to show up at a burial with your half baked signs, chants, and imbecillic opinions. If there were a hell I am sure these dumb fucks would be the first ones to burn in it.

You should really respect everyone's beliefs... [Ribbing Franc after listening to his show on respect ;) ]

 
At 6/21/2005 12:42 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

And let's not forget to call them scientific retards...

Radicals Blow Tops...

Of course this has been floating around out there so its probably not real fresh news....

 
At 6/21/2005 1:52 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

I am all down for disrespecting peoples beliefs, but I think that disrespecting people themselves FOR their beliefs is not a good idea.

This is because personal attacks tend to drive people away rather than get them to focus constructively on the issue (belief) at hand.

Only in rare circumstances do I ever attack people personally or disrespect them personally, and it aint because of their beliefs in those situations, but their conduct.

Anyway, lets keep pointing out to everyone how stupid religious beliefs are! :)

 
At 6/21/2005 2:31 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

AK
I am all down for disrespecting peoples beliefs, but I think that disrespecting people themselves FOR their beliefs is not a good idea.

I agree AK. I see it in light of the benevolence virtue - that people that I meet have the possibility of being a future trading partner. While I am surrounded by religious nuts - strictly in terms of their beliefs - a number of them are very nice people with whom I can deal and gain values from.

 
At 6/21/2005 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

brandong wrote: "If you want to see how whacko the Christian Reich really is, and juist how religion divides us you should come to Wisconsin today, June 20, 2005. The Westboro Baptist Church from Topeka, Kansas, led by the irreverend Fred Phelps has decided it would be a neat idea to protest the funeral"

Aaron said: "Anyway, lets keep pointing out to everyone how stupid religious beliefs are! :)"

Anon says: Aaron, you'd include all stupid things, no? You're a rational man. You stand for truth above party line, no? So, why don't you start with making fun of "Brandong's" stupid reasoning? It's called the fallacy of hasty generalization.

 
At 6/21/2005 3:55 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"I am all down for disrespecting peoples beliefs, but I think that disrespecting people themselves FOR their beliefs is not a good idea.

This is because personal attacks tend to drive people away rather than get them to focus constructively on the issue (belief) at hand."

I don't agree. I don't think you CAN disrespect a belief without disrespecting the believer. The idea that ideas can be dissociated from minds, I find absurd. Ideas exist because they are held by minds. So how can I not hold them responsible ?

But see, that's the thing : they usually take it personal. When I tell a Christian that he's holding to an evil, disgusting, demeaning ideology, I don't mean that the person is evil, disgusting and demeaning. He's an idiot, nothing more.

So there is a big difference between a person and his beliefs, you know ? Christians can decide to deconvert, so there's always a chance of them being saved. Because there is a person in there who KNOWS that these beliefs are wrong and do not fit in with THEIR values, but for various reasons, refuses to admit it, or keeps it down. The goal of evangelism is to appeal to that part of goodness that co-exists in a lot of people and get it to come out and say "this is bullshit". And be free !

 
At 6/21/2005 3:56 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

If you listened to our shows "Witnessing Nonbelief" (the two we've had so far), this is what I call the "core" - that part of the human being that was converted by internal or external emotional appeals and permitted all this mass of rationalizations, dogma and bullshit to co-exist with it. Our role is to ignore this mass and go right for the core of that person, and talk directly to it.

 
At 6/21/2005 8:28 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

anon,

I agree with his post that Frd Phelps is a wacko nutjob and is a prime example of the religious poison in our society. I feel no need to criticize a statement that I agree with.

Anon, arent you familiar with Phelps?

 
At 6/21/2005 8:34 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

I see what you are saying Franc, but I think that making an attempt to seperate the beliefs from the quality of the person itself is a constructive way to evangelize atheism.

If I am to criticize a persons beliefs but respect them individually, then I can help them to be more receptive to my message. I feel that a Christian isnt a retard or a bad person because of their beliefs; I think that instead they just have the wrong premises and have not been properly educated or exposed to reality.

I guess the fact that I used to be a Christian and now am an atheist gives me a different view.

Most theists are not theists because they are bad people deserving ridicule, but they have simply been given the wrong information by their peers...like that movie the Truman Show.

If I were to ridicule a theists beliefs but respect them individually, it will give them the message that they are a good and intelligent person and capable of seeing their beliefs as silly the same way I see them as silly.

 
At 6/21/2005 8:36 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Franc said:

But see, that's the thing : they usually take it personal. When I tell a Christian that he's holding to an evil, disgusting, demeaning ideology, I don't mean that the person is evil, disgusting and demeaning. He's an idiot, nothing more.

I think our views are closer than initially realized. My idea of an idiot in this sense is someone who hasnt had the opportunity or information exposure necessary to realize the retardedness of their beleifs. Again, kinda like the Truman Show. It took some hints and breaks in the mirage to get Truman to "wake up" .

 
At 6/21/2005 9:03 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Now you're talking. Look at it as a memetic illness, because that's what it is. "Pardon them, for they know not what they do".

 

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