Apologists don’t like fair fights


In my previous post I addressed the flaw in the religious assertion of objective morality due not by any failing of the tenets of that morality nor the most common objection which is to challenge whether this god (or gods) even exists, but by the very practical problem of demonstrating that the morality alleged to come from this god (or gods) actually did come from that source.

The stated point of the author’s article was to see if atheists could defend against the claim that to be an atheist, you must accept being a nihilist, but the obvious point of the article was to claim moral superiority for theistic morality over any atheistic morality. I say obvious because, assuming the author’s claim of receiving (and refusing to post) angry and rude comments from atheists is true, many atheists saw that point and naturally took issue with it.

You could say I took issue with it as well, only I basically gave him what he wanted upfront, that narrowly speaking atheism does point to nihilism as there isn’t any inherent meaning to life, no objective morality, but what I also said (and he simply dismissed without addressing it) was the theist’s claim that there is inherent meaning, or more specifically that they know what it is, is nothing more than pure, warrantless assertion. Why did he dismiss my comment? To put it simply, his game, his rules. That means he only wants a one-sided game where atheists must provide warrants for any claim to objective morality but theists have no such burden. That simply is not a fair fight, but sadly how many times do we see that from apologists? There’s your ends justify the means in action, folks. Such action seems self defeating if one is making any claim to moral superiority, but I digress…

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What you “ought” not to do

This one came up in my Google search before heading off to bed. Now one of the many reasons I don’t post as often anymore is I feel like I’m just rehashing the same shit, because the arguments rarely ever change when it comes to religion and politics. Hoever, every once in awhile something either has a different spin or you find yourself answering in a slightly better way than you have before and then -BING- you have something worth posting.

So this theology professor is essentially saying that atheism is nihilistic, and therefore any atheistic morality must be inferior for there has to be “an authority transcending man”. No such authority, and you have no “ought” as he puts it.

The argument is that IF an atheist decided to live a life of hatred, a life directed by “might makes right,” oppressing weaker persons for personal gain, no real reason can be given why he or she should not.

Generally, the atheist response is to champion the strength of society’s or humanity’s authority to say what is moral, but let’s face it, how can mortals compare to a god? (Now I know the atheists are ready to pull out a plethora of examples from religious texts showing the flawed morals of these gods or invoke Epicurus, but please stay with me.) The other objection might be to challenge the existence of this “authority transcending man”, but how long has that challenge been evaded by theists? God is different. God is spiritual. You can’t physically demonstrate god. He reveals himself to those who accept him. You just feel him. Etcetera, etcetera. Regardless of whether we think it’s bullshit, they say their god can’t be proven to exist in the same way we prove other things exist because it’s a different kind of thing, so our criteria for evidence then doesn’t apply. Now what?

Well ok, their god may not be “real” in the way we know things to be real, but guess what has to be, what has to be demonstrably evident? The means by which one shows what that god’s wishes are. Ah, NOW they have a problem. You have three major world religions who claim to know what the god of Abraham’s wishes are, and amongst Christianity alone there are over 2,000 different sects each with their own interpretation. Therefore there is no definitive “ought” for the theist, no definitive wishes by “an authority transcending man”. That’s a problem, for although the moral dictates of a supreme being may well be better than those we mere mortals can come up with, if you can’t show what you’re claiming to be this being’s moral dictates are in fact that being’s moral dictates, then they have no authoritative backing.

That means every criticism one can make against a morality absent of “an authority transcending man” can be levied against one with “an authority transcending man” if it can’t be validated what that authority’s wishes are, but that’s just the half of it. Whereas humanity has the means to point to demonstrable reasons for any particular moral dictate and thus argue for its merit, the theist, whose sole reason for any moral dictate is that it comes from god, then has no argument for it can’t be demonstrated that it actually is the moral dictate (or even the correct interpretation of that moral dictate) of that god.

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Jesus Toast

Found by way of Gizmodo. Pretty funny take on the whole ‘I see Jesus in my (insert object)’ nonsense.

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ronald statue

This article pissed me off, because it really boils down to rights, and what’s ultimately at the heart of establishing rights? Respect for others. You can’t function as a society without a respect for the rest of society. There’s just a tremendous amount of selfishness today. What grabbed me about the article was the idea that somehow those who erected this Jesus statue on public land which is finally and rightly being evicted are acting like victims. “Leave us alone” they say? How can you place your propaganda on public land and have the nerve to say you should be left alone? The audacity!

You see this same nonsense by those who claim to be victims because they can’t exercise their belief that others don’t deserve equal rights, or rights over their own bodies. Being denied the “right” to victimize others does not make you a victim. Add the anti-vac nutters too, putting countless others at risk.

Anyway, so why Ronald? Well the thing that bothered me about the memorial in Montana more than it being blatantly unconstitutional was how fallen US soldiers were being exploited to push a group’s personal agenda. I’m amazed that more people don’t recognize that. It’s supposed to be a memorial for fallen US soldiers, but how would you know that? Sure there’s a plaque up there, but compare that to the 6 foot Jesus. Wtf does a six foot Jesus have to do with that? I’d say about as much as Ronald. Now imagine if McDonald’s said they were going to erect a memorial and then unveiled a tiny plaque and a 6 foot Ronald atop a pedestal. What do you think the reaction would have been? Put whatever you want there, the Wallmart smiley face, the Starbucks Siren, it doesn’t matter. Any of them would be equally inappropriate.

Original statue:

jesus statue

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Like a bunch of children

kids fighting

Any time I mention that atheists are in a better position to protect religious freedom in this country, the religious balk and go into fits of hysteria. How can a group of people opposed to something be its best protectors? The problem the religious have is one of equivocation. I didn’t say atheists were the best one for protecting Christianity, per se. Protecting religious freedom does not mean protecting Christianity, it means protecting a constitutional right. The phrase that sums it up is “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Ultimately, religious freedom is a freedom of conscience, a freedom to think and believe what you will. That means freedom to believe in a 2,000 year old Jewish zombie, an evil alien named Xenu, an “enlightened” fat man, an angel named Moroni, Wakantanka, astrology, that tax breaks for rich people equals jobs, no global warming, Nigerian princes in need, the power of magnetic bracelets, or anything else. It’s that freedom which is worth defending, and what I feel is too difficult for a believer in a particular faith to objectively defend.

Unlike teetotalers whose opposition to alcohol indulgence lead to the infamous Prohibition period, atheist organizations are not seeking bans on the faith indulgence of religion. Now I know the religious claim things like opposing religious displays on government property or opposing public school lead prayers and similar religious activities are attacks, but in actuality they are defensive actions, actions to protect and defend the constitution. Christianity has exceeded its rights, unfairly taking a place of privilege and unduly imposing on others. Such abuses have been largely ignored and exploited by the unscrupulous (most notably politicians), but with an ever changing religious landscape in this country with atheists, agnostics and non-Christian immigrants, these abuses, these impositions are being challenged; however, as seen in this story, only atheists appear capable of objectively defending religious freedom.

The Governor of Kentucky attended a Hindu blessing ceremony and his political rival, Sen. David Williams, called him out for it and made some ridiculous remarks about how Hindus need to find Jesus and similarly offensive comments (more here). The reason why I’m pointing to this story is the atheist response has been to call out the senator for deliberate “divisiveness for political gain” and to condemn his actions as disgraceful to “our country and humans in general.” In contrast we have Swami Poojananda Saraswati, a prominent Hindu nun and yoga exponent, saying: “It is out of ignorance and arrogance that a person would criticize the religion of other people”. Seriously? The atheist condemns the comment and rightly points out it’s motivation, political gain through divisiveness, and the Hindu response is, effectively, to take a shot at the atheists.

I know what you’re thinking, that the Swami didn’t mean to take a shot at the atheists, but then the senator didn’t, and still doesn’t find his comments that Hindus need to find Jesus and “salvation” offensive either. Suhag Shukla, managing director of the Hindu American Foundation, replied, “it is difficult to understand how an individual of your education, experience and position would think that calling ‘gods’ of another religion ‘false’ and its practices ‘idolatry, and stating that your hope was that ‘Hindus open their eyes and receive Jesus as their Savior’ would not be taken as offensive.”

The point I’m getting at is these two religions are solely focused on themselves. They lack true objectivity and are effectively blinded by their faith indulgences. The Christian is seemingly incapable of realizing his comments are offensive and the Hindus only see offense in what they perceive as blasphemy. What about the offenses that the senator seems unfit to defend a cornerstone of our constitution and more than willing to sew and exploit divisiveness for political gain? Those points seem unimportant to the point of not even being mentioned by the Hindus, which begs the question of whether they are aware them? I don’t know. Perhaps if the numbers were reversed, we’d have a report of a Hindu senator attacking Christianity for political gain. Who knows?

I can’t help but see the issue as an adult insuring unruly, narcissistic children get along and play nice together. It’s like Lord of the Flies.

Btw, when looking for a title image, I found this and found it so funny that I had to include it:

kids crying

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