Multi-pronged wrong

I’m not sure if you need an account to read this comment someone left in response to one of mine from some time ago, but just in case, I’ll quote it here. It exhibits multiple layers of wrong-headedness including atheism is a religion, which includes deceptively stretching a definition and then doing a bait and switch like we’ve seen done with faith, Christian nation, and religion necessary for morality. I have to say, it gets old and I grow more tired and frustrated than angry anymore when I see these kinds of things, which is partly why I don’t post as frequently these days.

A religion is defined as “something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience”. Technically speaking, this could apply to a diet , book club, or excercise program. I don’t see how Atheism is magically immune. That’s not to say that all Atheists are RELIGIOUS Atheists, just that the possibility exists.

I don’t see how ‘hitching your party to a religion’ is detrimental. Eighty percent of Americans claim some kind of religious belief. If a political party could get ahold of even a part of that majority, they’d be a force to be reckoned with.

You can’t divorce the government from religion completely; it’s impractical. Most of our morals and ethics can be traced back to religions. Why is murder wrong ? Because the Bible, Torah, Koran, and many other religious documents say so. To remove the religious context from our laws may mean anarchy. If murder and theft are only bad because religion says so, what happens when you take everything related to religion out of the equation? Murder and theft, of course, because it’s no longer wrong.

The founders wrote in the federalist papers that political parties should be outlawed, or at least highly discouraged. If every seperation they wanted went into law , the world would be a different place.

Relating to the article, I’ve found that most ‘non-religious conservatives ‘ are actually Libertarians when they stop to compare their ideals. That’s what happened to me, anyway.- nyahplay

First, that broad definition of religion then makes most activities a religion which makes the word almost meaningless; however, the word isn’t meaningless, is it? The meaning people have for the word religion is most definitely one of a spiritual nature involving faith and almost exclusively, a deity. So what you’re essentially doing is a bait and switch, where you’re using one definition to label something a religion in order to then use the other definition. That’s at best an error on your part, at worst, an attempt at deception.

Second, even with your broad definition, atheism doesn’t necessarily apply. For most atheists, it’s not a belief, but rather a response to claim.
Believer: There’s a god!
Atheist: Really? Where’s your evidence?
Believer: Well….
Atheist: I see no reason to accept your claim.

If there’s anything to believe in, it’s the need for evidence to make a decision (ie – looking both ways before crossing the street) like whether or not to accept a claim (ie – Nigerian email scam). I suppose you could call requiring evidence something one could “follow devotedly”, but then that would be the religion, and atheism would be a result of that, so you’d be wrong again labeling atheism a religion.

In response to your claim that you can’t divorce the government from religion completely, our government is secular and was founded as such. There is not to be ANY mingling of religion and government. Our Founders realized the inherent tyranny in having such a marriage, as evidenced by the nations of the time, and the divisiveness of religion due to how passionately various believers hold to their differing beliefs which are often at irreconcilable odds with one another. There is no god in our Constitution, and where religion appears, there’s a no before it.

As for your claim about murder, one doesn’t need religion to understand that murder is wrong, but religion certainly has a way of making one believe it’s right. Also, the Sumerians had a code of laws in which murder was a capital crime. Virtually every culture had murder laws which didn’t involve deities, although the government might have invoked a deity as a way to legitimize its right to impose such laws. This is actually what nations such as England did at the time of our Revolution, and why Jefferson invoked a god in the Declaration, to undermine the King’s claim of having the right to tyrannize the colonies and all British subjects. Again, this is why no god appears in the Constitution, for there was no longer any need.

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10 Responses to “Multi-pronged wrong”

  1. I absolutely agree, I'm at the point where responding to religious stupidity takes a lot of effort because it's clear that nothing I have to say will make the slightest amount of difference and banging my head against the wall for no gain really isn't my idea of a good time.

    That said, this is the same kind of religious stupidity I see constantly. They make up an absurdly wide definition of religion, they even recognize that it's absurdly wide, but they do it specifically so they can catch atheism in their net. Maybe they ought to be realizing that their definition is faulty, but in reality, they're trying to make a specific claim and when the actual evidence or real definitions don't lend themselves to their claim, they just make up new evidence and new definitions.

    These people are idiots. I think we need a daily bag limit on idiots.

  2. Ends justify the means for them, so whatever works to prove or justify their belief is ok. Ironically, that alone shows not only don't you need religion for good morality, but that religion is an obstacle to good morality.

  3. I don't like the dichotomy of right and wrong actions or thoughts. There aren't absolutes in those regards however there are evolutionary and cultural biases. It is essentially other people in your life, in your sphere of influence, whom judge your actions. Is it wrong to murder one person to save the lives of ten? Well, simply put, it depends on whose side you're on, which group you're a part of or adhere to. Religious people tend to adhere to ancient doctrines, but even then it is the secular people in their lives whom keep them from stoning each other to death or burning witches or killing the infidels. The law of a democracy or republic is a secular wisdom of the modern masses deciding what right and wrong should be, not instructions laid out by the uneducated ancients though, the religious bureaucracy chooses to demonize the reasoning that differs from their books though.

  4. Two more errors that fall under the "Rewriting History" category:
    The founders wrote in the federalist papers that political parties should be outlawed, or at least highly discouraged.

    Nope, sorry. "They" didn't write that at all. Let's see what you lost: how much did Pascal wager?

    James Madison did argue in Federalist #10 that there are two methods of "curing the mischief of faction." One method was to remove factionalism's cause. Madison immediately dismissed that as a possibility — because such removal would infringe on "Liberty."

    The other method was to control factionalism's effect. But that effect, Madison claimed, would be dangerous only in those cases when a faction was clearly in the majority. Remember: The Federalist Papers were written as what we today would call "an extended editorial" in favor of adopting the Constitution. So Madison then goes on to argue in favor of a republican form of government (as opposed to a pure democracy), which was exactly — ta-da! — the form of government that would be established if the Constitution he was championing were to be adopted. He, and the others in favor of the document under discussion, believed that the mechanisms of a republic would keep dangerous majoritarianism in check, regardless of petty regional factionalism.

    Not too long thereafter, Madison also came to believe in a federal Bill of Rights (which he'd originally opposed), to help stem the potential dangers to personal freedom posed by an out-of-control majority faction. The First Amendment, protecting against the Establishment of Religion (note: not just a specific religion — any religion) was particularly dear to the Founders' hearts.

    By the way: It was Washington who urged, in his Farewell Address, that factionalism should be avoided. Since ol' George was strongly associated with the Federalists, his statement was no more sincere than a modern-day Republican calling for a spirit of bi-partisanship.

    If every seperation they wanted went into law , the world would be a different place.
    So, therefore, any separation is wrong? Duh. Faulty logic. Any master chef will defend to the death his or her right to continue to separate egg yolks from egg whites.

  5. Why must those damn eggs be so factional anyway?

  6. I can judge my actions. I don't need others to do so. Besides, what do they know? Most other people are idiots! You can agree with me or not. I don't need your validation. :) ~

  7. Yes, it's odd that eggs are factional at all. Even though, according to the pro-lifers, they're already chickens, they have neither right nor left wings yet.

  8. Why must those damn eggs be so factional anyway?

    Because you'll never get a light, fluffy meringue by mixing the egg white with that colorful yolk stuff. There are some circumstances in which purity of substance is absolutely necessary. Meringue is one of them. Moral of the story: factionalism is not always a bad thing.

  9. People judge you as good and moral when they agree with your actions and they judge you as bad and immoral if they disagree with your actions though. You can judge yourself if you agree or disagree with your own actions too, to an extent, but it really is that external feedback so you know how you're doing relative to your sphere of influence. Keep in mind, of course, that all interactions go two ways and thereby you are a part of the sphere of moral influence of others whom you interact with too.

    Going even further with this, I calculate my morality in terms of survival and prosperity odds, it gives me some kind of objective base for making moral decisions. The greater the potential returns of an action the better.

  10. Whatever, just say what you want to say, we have rights to speak.
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