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Thursday, January 11, 2007

The "Lie" of Moral Atheism

Bill Wilson, a senior analyst with Daily Jot News, wrote recently about his frustration with the recent progress in this country of nontheists.

He seems particularly distressed by this quote by Lori Lippman Brown, the director of the Secular Coalition for America, who said:

We need to educate the public that people who don’t have a god belief can be good neighbors and friends and moral and ethical people.


Yes, that's right. The concept that atheists can be good people is just a little too much for Bill to bear. In response, he says:

But this is a problem because atheists really cannot claim to be moral or ethical because morals and ethics have their roots in God’s law.


And there you have it. As proof, he offers the following:

A case in point example is found with the Director of the Michigan Atheists, Arlene-Marie, who strongly opposes putting any Bible curriculum in Michigan public schools, even as an elective. Arlene-Marie boldly claimed to the Detroit News that the National Council On Bible Curriculum In Public Schools’ curriculum had been found to be unconstitutional in four states. In reality, the Council’s curriculum “The Bible In History and Literature”, which uses the Bible as the student textbook and provides a 300-page Teacher’s Guide, meets all Constitutional guidelines and never has been legally challenged anywhere. It is taught as an elective in 377 school districts in 37 states, including Michigan . When atheist Arlene Marie was confronted with her lie by the Detroit News, she said, “I misspoke. I should have been more careful.”


I guess that's the ultimate proof of atheist immorality. Some atheist lied about something, and so atheism is immoral. I'll deal with that in a second, but first let's check something- did Ms. Marie really lie?

In actuality, the National Council on Bible Curriculum hasn't technically been challenged itself, but school districts which have adopted it (such as the Lee County School Board in Florida) have been legally challenged on constitutional grounds. The curriculum has also been rejected in cities in Texas, Michigan, Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, and Illinois. Although the unconstitutionality of such a curriculum would be enough to prompt a rejection, the quality of the course itself is notoriously awful. Even Mark Chancey, a professor of religious studies here in Dallas at Southern Methodist University studied it for seven weeks to find it riddled with errors, including supposed information from NASA that supports the idea that the earth stopped twice in its orbit (which can eaily be debunked on Snopes), and cites Carl Baugh as a scientific authority.

So, it really seems more like Ms. Marie could easily have been thinking about the many states which have rejected the curriculum due to its unconstitutionality and poor quality, as well as the legal challenges against school districts who have adopted it. When you consider that, it really does seem to... you know, it really does seem like she misspoke. Who'd have thought?

But I find Wilson's argument interesting. If an atheist lies, it's because atheism is immoral. Well, okay. So that must mean that if a Christian lies, it's because Christianity is immoral. And do I really need to list any examples of Christians caught in very-obvious-no-chance-in-hell-they-misspoke lies? Probably not.

Post a Comment


25 Comments:

At 1/11/2007 11:46 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

"But this is a problem because atheists really cannot claim to be moral or ethical because morals and ethics have their roots in God’s law."

Non-sequitur on his end. Many atheists can claim to be moral, in fact, many are more 'moral' than some Christians.

The fact that they don't have a non-arbitrary, objective standard does not mean that they "cannot be moral," let alone *claim* to be!

That's odd, I suppose even if all atheists could not *in fact* be moral they could still *claim* to be moral.

I wish theists would stop with the claim that atheists are evil and cannot be moral. Our claim isn't anywhere near that objection.

 
At 1/12/2007 1:59 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Moral roots are not based on Gods law. One must make a moral judgement in accepting those laws in the first place!

 
At 1/12/2007 6:21 AM, Blogger Hellbound Alleee declaimed...

Christians can't be moral anyway. They're depraved--they say so themselves, all the time. We're all equally immoral, remember? We all deserve to be cruelly tortured forever, whether it's by devils nibbling at our nethers, or some kind of sophisticated "Twilight Zone" mental anguish.

Morality is not only subject to God, only God can be moral, and the rest of us suck donkey balls. We either surrender our moral will to God, or we don't. There really is no morality for humans. This is why christianity can never claim moral superiority, only some kind of birthright to being God's chosen suckers--I mean, "children."

 
At 1/12/2007 11:08 PM, Blogger Lannie Ruvin declaimed...

Zachary said:

'He seems particularly distressed by this quote by Lori Lippman Brown, the director of the Secular Coalition for America'

I agree with your critique of the anti-atheist, Bill Wilson, and with what Lori Lipman Brown was quoted as having said.

Imagine what a furor would erupt if the immorality of religion was established by assuming every immoral act by every religious person was reported on the religion pages along with the suggestion that the immorality of religion was thus proved.

 
At 1/12/2007 11:09 PM, Blogger Lannie Ruvin declaimed...

Zachary said:

'He seems particularly distressed by this quote by Lori Lippman Brown, the director of the Secular Coalition for America'

I agree with your critique of the anti-atheist, Bill Wilson, and with what Lori Lipman Brown was quoted as having said.

Imagine what a furor would erupt if the immorality of religion was established by assuming every immoral act by every religious person was reported on the religion pages along with the suggestion that the immorality of religion was thus proved.

 
At 1/13/2007 10:33 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul writes:

”The fact that [atheists] don’t have a non-arbitrary, objective standard [for morality, or anything else] does not mean that they ‘cannot be moral’, let alone *claim* to be!”

Many presuppositionalists are quite fond of throwing around generalities about atheists laden with words that are not at all native to biblical Christianity. The words “arbitrary,” “objective,” and “morality” are nowhere to be found in the bible, and yet here we find, time and again, all-encompassing accusations using these words to denigrate individuals because they don’t believe in presuppositionalism’s invisible magic being. When a presuppositionalist says something like “atheists do not have an objective standard for morality,” what do they mean by “objective” and “morality”? What I understand by these terms has nothing to do with Christian god-belief. What could possibly be “objective” or “moral” in the theist’s cartoon universe? According to theism, everything in the world (and even beyond) depends on the will of an invisible magic being. In such a realm, nothing is what it is independent of consciousness. Which means, in such a world, nothing is objective. The word “objective” has been hijacked by Christianity’s intellectual terrorists. But unlike a 747 flying at 30,000 feet that has been taken over by masked gunmen, it is not difficult to take back the theist’s stolen concepts. All you need to do is define your terms and show why man needs morality (see for instance Christianity vs. Objective Morality), and you’re miles ahead of the presuppositionalist, who relies on the undefined, the approximate and the impact of bold yet unsubstantiated assertions instead of an informed and well-thought-out position to make his baseless charges.

Paul also wrote:
“I wish theists would stop with the claim that atheists are evil and cannot be moral. Our claim isn't anywhere near that objection.”

Theists make these claims because they don’t understand what evil and morality are, and they’re prone to repeating uncritically and unquestioningly what they’ve heard in Sunday school and other venues of indoctrination. It’s deliciously easy to call them onto the mat. Just ask them to define their terms. Quite often, that’s when they hunker down behind red herrings like, “How do you account for logic?” To which we’re all expected to reply: “Duh, I donno, must be God did it!”

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 1/13/2007 11:06 AM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1/13/2007 11:07 AM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Dawson,

On my estimation, as well as some of my friends, and some atheists who I know, my last post burried you.

You're done and your worldview has been dismembered.

Of course you wrote some responses, big whoop. One of my atheist friends kind of chuckled (especially when you denied that your mind gave your post its meaning and said your physical body gave it it's meaning... good one!) and said to not even bother with you any more.

At any rate, why discuss things with you, it'd be like Gaul re-sacking Rome.

It twas quite easy, really. You might call it the art of Dawson Burnering. Simple, really. Your ignorance of basic philosophical issues (e.g., claiming that you weren't a materialist but holding a very common materialist position) comes through loud and clear in your writting. It's quite easy to incinerate Randroids. I mean, just ask them why they think their cognitive faculties are reliable and aimed at true beliefs. To which we’re all expected to reply: “Duh, I donno, must be Monna Nature did it!”


regards,

~PM

 
At 1/13/2007 12:32 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul wrote:

”On my estimation, as well as some of my friends, and some atheists who I know, my last post burried you.”

I don’t doubt this at all, Paul, at least so far as what you might happen to estimate. But on what exactly is your estimation based? More fantasy, like your belief in invisible magic beings? You may find that reassuring, but it is quite desperate of you. But if your post in fact “burried” [sic] me, how come I had such a field day with it? December was one of the most productive months in my blog’s history, and I’m grateful to you for it. Thank you!

Paul wrote:

”Of course you wrote some responses, big whoop.”

That’s true, I did write some responses to you. See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. I see that responses remain unchallenged. Indeed, it seems that you’ve fled the scene, only to hide in the tall grass to try to take potshots. You cite unnamed sources to embolden your “estimation,” which you have chosen not to substantiate. Let the reader decide.

Paul wrote:

”One of my atheist friends kind of chuckled (especially when you denied that your mind gave your post its meaning and said your physical body gave it it's meaning... good one!) and said to not even bother with you any more.”

Well it’s interesting that you take your orders from atheists now, Paul. That’s quite a turn-around for you. But I’m not sure where I said that my mind does not give my post its meaning, nor do I recall saying that “[my] physical body gave it it’s [sic] meaning.” If I recall, the issue you raised was as follows:

There are some respects which reality is the product of human consciousness. For example, Dawson’s mind causes blog posts to appear in the world.

To which I responded:

This is so wrong-headed it’s childish. My consciousness does not cause blog posts to appear in the world. My physical actions do. Without a functioning computer hooked up to the internet and without my fingers busily typing away and pointing and clicking hyperlinks, etc., I would not be able to post even one word on my blog. My mind does not put the blog on the internet, my actions, along with the electronic mechanics of my computer and www.blogger.com, do.

It’s hard to see how anyone who knows how to post a blog on www.blogger.com can deny the role of one’s physical actions. Perhaps your unnamed atheist friend has me confused with someone else? Or is it only you who are confused?

Paul wrote:

”It's quite easy to incinerate Randroids. I mean, just ask them why they think their cognitive faculties are reliable and aimed at true beliefs.”

What do you mean by “aimed at true beliefs”? And who claims that cognitive faculties are “aimed” at anything? These seem to be rather loaded expressions which blur fundamentals. But that’s what presuppositionalists like to do. They need to because in the end all they have is a bluff. Perhaps you’ve confused your cognitive faculty with the shotgun you were brandishing in an earlier photo you had displayed in your profile. There’s a world of difference between the two, Paul. Perhaps you might want to learn what that difference is.

Meanwhile, I see that Paul has not answered my points above about objective morality. Nor has he answered the points in my post Christianity vs. Objective Morality. That should not surprise anyone.

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 1/13/2007 3:28 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Dawson,

Apparently the merfe fact that someone responds means that they appropriately answered what they responded to.

No doubt you had a field day, but this doesn't imply that you so much as touched the arguments.

At any rate, it appears you're under the impression that the world needs to answer the ramblings of an amateur atheist. I've battled you more than any other theist has. So, upon inspection, if someone doesn't answer Dawson then Dawson's points are good one's, and when one spends more time than he should answering Dawson this also isn't good enough. Get real, Dawson.

Besides, I find your posts to be ridiculous and false. Like you say about God: "I don't need to argue against a non-existent being," I say about you: "I'm under no obligation to refute and argue against ridiculous and false positions and arguments.

Bottom line: I decimated your argument from existence and consciousness.

I decimated your physicalist theory of mind.

And so from my perspective, there's not much else to say to you.

The readers have the links to my post and your rejoinders. i think I agree with you here: "Let the reader decide."

Regards,

~PM

 
At 1/14/2007 8:17 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Paul,

Non-sequitur on his end. Many atheists can claim to be moral, in fact, many are more 'moral' than some Christians.

Thank you. This admission is appreciated. But from what I recall, you claim that atheists have no basis for morality, even if they "act" more moral than Christians in general (we are all sinners after all, right?). So where do you believe that morally acting atheists get their morality from if they reject God anyway? For that matter, where do Muslims and Jews and Hare Krishnas and Buddhists get their morality from?

Do you believe that they all utilize the Christian Gods moral code while denying His existence?

 
At 1/14/2007 12:06 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul wrote:

“Apparently the merfe fact that someone responds means that they appropriately answered what they responded to.”

I nowhere claimed this, nor do I see how one could infer this from anything I stated. Look at the content of my responses to your post, and you’ll see how I exposed your fallacious context-dropping, for instance, in the case of the relationship of the axioms to the primacy of existence. You’ll see that you failed to factor the axiom of consciousness into the issue of metaphysical primacy, a very basic error, but an error nonetheless. You repeated this and other basic errors that I corrected over and over throughout your post, apparently not aware all the while that you were employing the very principle you sought to discredit while trying to discredit it. So no, the “merfe [sic] fact that someone responds” does not mean that they have answered criticism or challenges. Take for instance your attempts to respond to things I have written. You have to look at the content of what is given in the response to determine whether criticism has been answered. If you take the time to read through my responses, you’ll see that you have been answered. You probably realize this, that’s why you’re now hanging on the ropes, exhausted, without anything left to fight with. It’s probably why you wanted to brandish a shotgun in your profile image. I see many indicators of a severe crisis of faith in you, Paul.

Paul wrote:

“No doubt you had a field day, but this doesn't imply that you so much as touched the arguments.”

Paul, you’re “arguments” – to the extent that you gave any – committed some very basic errors. I have chronicled them in my responses to you.

Paul wrote:

“At any rate, it appears you're under the impression that the world needs to answer the ramblings of an amateur atheist.”

No, I do not have this impression whatsoever. I merely note that no response has so far been forthcoming. It would be a non sequitur to infer from my noting this that I therefore have the impression that “the world needs to answer the ramblings of an amateur atheist.” My responses were not to “the world”; they were to you in particular. They are on display should “the world” be interested in reading them sometime. And I am available for further questions.

Paul wrote:

“I've battled you more than any other theist has. So, upon inspection, if someone doesn't answer Dawson then Dawson's points are good one's, and when one spends more time than he should answering Dawson this also isn't good enough. Get real, Dawson.”

The reality of the issue is, Paul, that: if I am wrong, “the world” will not learn this from you. You have been effectually silenced. It is most gratifying.

Paul wrote:

“Besides, I find your posts to be ridiculous and false.”

What exactly do you find “to be ridiculous and false” in my posts, Paul? I identify the axioms. Are they “false”? How so? I identify the primacy of existence in the subject-object relationship. Is that “false”? How so? I point out how theism grants metaphysical primacy to consciousness in the person of “God.” Is this “false”? How so? Christians are always telling us that their god is “sovereign” and that it “controls whatsoever comes to pass” (VT). How is my analysis at all inaccurate? When you try to “battle” me, I come back and put you back down in your corner, and then you pout in sidebars, like you’re doing now.

Paul wrote:

“Like you say about God: ‘I don't need to argue against a non-existent being’, I say about you: ‘I'm under no obligation to refute and argue against ridiculous and false positions and arguments’.”

Of course, I agree that you are “under no obligation to refute and argue against ridiculous and false positions and arguments.” Neither am I. We do this voluntarily. And you’re right, I do not need to argue against a non-existent being. Nor does one have any burden to prove that the non-existent does not exist.

Paul wrote:

”Bottom line: I decimated your argument from existence and consciousness.”

You remind me of an enraged 13-year-old who, when he has been resoundingly defeated in an argument, shuts his eyes and plugs up his ears with his fingers while screaming “I’m right! You’re wrong! I’m right! You’re wrong!” at the top of his voice. It’s an amazing sight to see coming from an adult.

Now consider what you’re saying here. You claim to have “decimated” my argument. My argument begins by acknowledging that the object of consciousness holds primacy over the subject of consciousness. This is a major premise which is testable and which has withstood any and every attempted refutation, whether by you or any other mystic numbskull. Another premise points out that theism violates this orientation in its conception of an invisible magic being which “created reality” (which can only mean that this being is not real) and “controls whatsoever comes to pass” (which more than sufficiently confirms the cartoon universe premise of theism). Where has this been refuted? Blank out. Meanwhile, I’ve pointed out that you need to assume the very principle you’re trying to “refute” in your attempts to “refute” it. Otherwise, you affirm the very error I’m pointing out by assuming that wishing makes it so. Does wishing make it so, Paul? Yes or no. Essentially, to show my position to be mistaken, you’d have to defend the thesis that reality does conform to consciousness. Where have you shown this?

Paul wrote:

”I decimated your physicalist theory of mind.”

Where did I present a physicalist theory of mind? I now suspect that you've not even read what I have written, which at least in part explains your persisting delusions about our exchanges.

Paul wrote:

“And so from my perspective, there's not much else to say to you.”

Well, when you fail to a) show that the primacy of existence is wrong, b) vindicate the primacy of consciousness on behalf of your theism, and c) think that you’ve “decimated” a thesis that I did not even present, I’m supposing you have little to say because, well, there’s not much you can say. That is what happens when one has been answered as fully as you have been.

Paul wrote:

“The readers have the links to my post and your rejoinders. i think I agree with you here: ‘Let the reader decide’."

Yes, let the reader decide for himself.

Meanwhile, in the current thread regarding objective morality, where have you addressed the points I raised above? You offer hot air, Paul, not intelligent thoughts on the matter. You come out swinging, as if boisterousness were a substitute for a well-conceived and ably defended position. You’re well endowed when it comes to repeating your masters’ apologetic assertions. But when it comes to defending them, you’re DOA – defeated on arrival. Your bluff has been called, and you don’t like it. But it’s been called nonetheless.

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 1/15/2007 2:41 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Well Dawson,

You appear to be a sore loser.

Despite your assertions to the contrary, it hasn't been established that you have decimated anyone.

Now, you may *think* you have, but then you'd be (as I established ad nauseum) thinking that reality conforms to the wishes of a "man who thinks with his own mind."

Of course you can say you've "answered me thoroughly," but just because you wrote a lot doesn't really mean you answered diddley, now does it?

Whether you like it or not, agree with me or not, there have been atheists and theists who have seen your position get sliced and diced. The fact that *you* can't "see it" doesn't really bother me. You see, I don't think reality conforms to Dawson's wishing.

Besides these readers (both hostile towards theism and not), I know your position has been sliced and diced. Your bravado and machismo not withstanding, you've been silenced.

Dawson, the fact that you still blabber on and on doesn't mean you've not been silenced.

So, I leave it where it stands. People have access to both your 7 (or so) rants, and my post. I trust the cuatious and careful reader will make the appropriate judgment.

Regards

PM

 
At 1/15/2007 3:34 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul,

Again, you forfeit your opportunity to recover your position. But that is to be expected.

I will simply quote from a visitor to my blog who left the following message just this morning:

Your writing is extraordinary. Thank you.

And as somebody who has been completely re-evaluating my life-long Christianity, over the past 6-12 months... I must say that people like Moded and GF76 provide such an embarassing "argument" for Christianity that I think it would be better for The Faith if they just kept quiet. In my study over the last year, it has easily been people like them whose words have most influenced me to turn my back on Christianity.


I am achieving my goals, Paul. What about you? Are you achieving your goals? What are your goals, if not to make yourself look like "a fool for Christ's sake"? Is that your ambition? To look like a fool, a fool who has no answers for his opponents? If that's your goal, well, I'd say you've achieved them almost as well as I have achieved mine.

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 1/15/2007 7:57 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1/15/2007 7:58 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson quotes Amy as saying, "I must say that people like Moded and GF76 provide such an embarassing "argument" for Christianity that I think it would be better for The Faith if they just kept quiet."


This is interesting. I didn't attempt to present an argument for Christianity. I simply pointed out your sloppiness and basic misinterpretations of those you were attempting to critique, which you unsuccessfully tried to wiggle your way out of. Maybe Amy should read a little more carefully. She already reminds me of you...

 
At 1/16/2007 2:21 AM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Dawson,

Of course your comments assume that I have something to "recover" from. But this is what you've been parading around for three posts now. Apparently you're not fine with letting people just go ahead and read the exchanges for themselves. I am. That you need to keep patting yourself on the back is a sign of a small ego.

Dawson, as far as your message (who knows if it's from a Christian or an atheist), I thank you. You're doing such a good job. Acheiving your goal. Too bad that you're doing God's work, though. You see, God uses means. He will weed out the reprobate and apostate from His church. So, all you've done (if the message is accurate) is confirm Jesus' words.

Now, if I look like a fool to you, so what. Your ability to determine this is in question, yet you continue to assume the rightness of your side. You can keep bringing out the over-worn claim that I haven't "answered" you. But, as you admit, I have no obligation to answer bad arguments. Furthermore, from my position, you haven't answered me. That's why I keep telling people to read both of our pieces. I'm convinced that an honest reading of both will cause people to walk away feeling like you're just full of hot air. It's beyond me why you think that you can just type more words than someone and that somehow translates to a victory on your end.

Tell you what, if I see something worth responding to from you in the future, you'll be the first to know.

Regards,

~PM

 
At 1/16/2007 2:27 AM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Btw, Dawson, I left this comment on your blog entry:

"Thanks Dawson, this horrible piece just strengthend my faith."

And so if "Amy's" comments meant that you're "acheiving your goal," do my comments then mean that you're "failing to reach your goal?"

LOL, you're so easy Bethrick.

The art of Bethrick Burning- simple, really.

Regards,

~PM

 
At 1/17/2007 3:18 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

groundfighter76: This is interesting. I didn't attempt to present an argument for Christianity.

That is interesting.

 
At 1/17/2007 3:19 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

paul manata: Apparently you're not fine with letting people just go ahead and read the exchanges for themselves. I am. That you need to keep patting yourself on the back is a sign of a small ego.

This is also interesting.

 
At 1/17/2007 5:43 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

groundfighter76: This is interesting. I didn't attempt to present an argument for Christianity.

That is interesting.


And why's that, Zachary?

 
At 1/17/2007 8:21 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

You're right, Zach. That is very interesting.

 
At 1/17/2007 10:16 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Yes Zach, very interesting.

More interesting is imagining you holding one of your beakers, with some dry ice in it creating a fog effect, and Vulcan ears on and green face paint, while reading these comments and laughing in a sinister Ming-like laugh while saying "Interrrresting, veeeerry interrrresting.

No, what's interesting is that Zach's post is possibly the best atheological comeback he's made. Did you spend months thinking of the ultimate comeback, Zachary?

Attention theists, Zach Mooore has added "interesting" to his atheological arsenal, watch out.

Intrestedly yours,

~PM

 
At 1/18/2007 10:40 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

paul manata: Did you spend months thinking of the ultimate comeback, Zachary?

No, and clearly not as long as you did fantasizing about me wearing makeup. But thanks, anyway. ;)

 
At 1/18/2007 12:24 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

If the shoe fits... ;-)

 

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