The Great Atheist Contradiction

Atheist Richard Dawkins has declared, “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind pitiless indifference. . . . DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music.”

But Dawkins doesn’t act like he actually believes that. He recently affirmed a woman has the right to choose an abortion and asserted that it would be “immoral” to give birth to a baby with Down syndrome. According to Dawkins, the “right to choose” is a good thing and giving birth to Down syndrome children is a bad thing.

Well, which is it? Is there really good and evil, or are we just moist robots dancing to the music of our DNA?

Atheists like Dawkins are often ardent supporters of rights to abortion, same-sex marriage, taxpayer-provided healthcare, welfare, contraceptives, and several other entitlements. But who says those are rights? By what objective standard are abortion, same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption, taxpayer-provided healthcare, and the like, moral rights? There isn’t such a standard in the materialistic universe of atheism. So atheists must steal the grounds for objective moral rights from God while arguing that God doesn’t exist.

http://townhall.com/columnists/frankturek/2015/02/06/atheists-steal-rights-from-god-n1953525

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122 thoughts on “The Great Atheist Contradiction

  1. Sorry I tried to follow your link and got distracted by some nonsensical anti-Obama rant.

    Well at least I thought it was nonsensical until I read the article proper. Looks like the anti-Dawkins brigade has finally hit peak stupid.

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  2. yeah yeah yeah…blather blather blather….
    Dogs are atheist too (godless); and what’s more ‘just animals’.
    Like this one, which shows as least as much native intelligence as most people, and a lot more courage and devotion.
    http://www.dogheirs.com/larne/posts/1677-heroic-mother-dog-saves-her-puppies-from-blazing-house-fire

    ps. and keep in mind that more little kids are killed by their mothers than by any other single agency.
    ….and given the stats, more than 90% of those mothers are non-atheist.

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      • The most insightfully relevant comment you’ve made in a year.
        But do you have any FACTS to contradict the FACTS Dawkins presents?

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      • Nice to see you’ve been reading the blog for a year Dabs.
        Dawkins is a clown. He has been for some time. Even the staunch atheists are turning away from him.

        Can you even start to answer the questions posed in the original post?

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      • Probably, inasmuch as evolved instincts are a product of DNA.
        In any case, her actions ~ whatever the basis for them ~ are a clear demonstration of natural selection at work. Her puppies carry her instincts/DNA, and because of her instincts/DNA have survived where another dog’s instincts/DNA won’t, because her puppies have failed to survive for whatever reason. ie. have been ‘deselected’.
        It’s a simple and undeniable process which farmers recognised and have been deliberately exploiting since the beginning of ‘human’ evolution. (though that’s only the tiniest instant of the ‘big picture’ ~ which has since been confirmed by the tracking of DNA.)
        That’s to say not the miniscule time-frame allowed by religion.

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      • You don’t need a break; you need some FACTS.
        Fundamentally, the ENTIRE dog is made up of ‘chemicals’ and operates according to the actions/reactions between them. As also is Bryan Patterson.
        Remove a few of the chemicals (either in variety or volume) and neither the dog nor the Bryan can exist. And that includes a single sub-microscopic ‘letter’ of DNA.
        It’s the same argument as Dawkins points to in dispelling the old furphy that ‘the world ~ and the sun ~ was obviously created just so to suit our specific needs’, when the exact opposite is the FACT.

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      • That’s (“Are you saying WE were created to suit the sun’s needs? “) not what I’m saying at all. Didn’t you watch the clip?

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      • Dabs you said: It’s the same argument as Dawkins points to in dispelling the old furphy that ‘the world ~ and the sun ~ was obviously created just so to suit our specific needs’, when the exact opposite is the FACT.

        That was your point.
        So the EXACT IOPPOSITE is surely us being created for the sun’s needs….

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      • oh dear!….another (hard-of-hearing) dog(matist) with a bone –> “That was your point.So the EXACT IOPPOSITE is surely us being created for the sun’s needs….”
        But NQR. The iopposite is surely that ‘the world ~ and the sun ~ was [NOT]obviously created just so to suit our specific needs’,

        That also applies to the ‘opposite’. 🙂

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      • Well, Karen, that’ll teach you not to rely too much on what Bryan says. He’s got a talent for getting it wrong.
        He IS a christian after all. 😉

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      • tsktsktsk….”Oh I love it when you do the little logic sidestep Dabs”
        What could logically be more ‘exactly the opposite’ of something happening or existing than something NOT happening or existing??
        But I know it’s a concept you struggle with, given the daft arguments you push in re. the ‘atheist’ thing.
        ie. One is either an atheist or one, in diametric opposition, isn’t.
        Anything else is an irrelevant tangent.
        …and deliberately misleading, too.

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      • “Christian Bryan Patterson has declared, “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, design, purpose, evil and good. Everything other than blind pitiless indifference. . . . My god knows and cares. Jesus just is, and we dance to his music.

        But Bryan doesn’t act like he actually believes that. He recently affirmed a woman doesn’t have the right to choose an abortion and asserted that it would be “righteous ” to give birth to a baby with Down syndrome. According to Patterson the “right to choose” is a bad thing and giving birth to Down syndrome children is a good thing.”

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      • “Can you even start to answer the questions posed in the original post?”

        I’ll answer that Bryan (you won’t like it though ).

        “Is there really good and evil, or are we just moist robots dancing to the music of our DNA?”

        The questions you should ask are 1. Are divine command ethics real? 2. Can we use reason, empathy and consensus to determine rules in our society.

        “…abortion, same-sex marriage, taxpayer-provided healthcare, welfare, contraceptives, and several other entitlements. But who says those are rights?”.

        In a democracy, shouldn’t we all get a say about those things being rights? In some societies a theocracy will determine these things for us. This isn’t for me.

        “By what objective standard are abortion, same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption, taxpayer-provided healthcare, and the like, moral rights?”

        That they demonstrably enrich the lives of individuals and society and do not restrict the freedoms of others? Pick healthcare for one. Do you asset measure that societies without taxpayer provided healthcare have better healthcare outcomes that those that do?

        “There isn’t such a standard in the materialistic universe of atheism.”

        I just gave you such a standard.

        “So atheists must steal the grounds for objective moral rights from God while arguing that God doesn’t exist.”

        Non sequitur, followed by a strawman.

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      • “That’s bullshit Stu. I made no comment on abortion. I posted the story from a columnist with attribution.”

        Bryan, you posted the article and then challenged Dabs to deal the with questions it asked. To emphasise what a nasty diatribe the bit you posted was, I quoted part of it changing Dawkins to Patterson etc FOR EFFECT. This should have been obvious to you. Your reaction simultaneously shows both your irony deficiency and makes my point. See my other repsonse which directly challenges the assumptions of this nasty little article.

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      • “That pathetic explanation is, as some pompous fool said, is “not worthy of my acceptance”.”

        I accept that you don’t accept the obvious as worthy. Or that you think about the things you re-post from other sites.

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      • Or that you think about the things you re-post from other sites.

        I do think about them. That’s why I post them. To inspire debate on the issues. Obviously (to some), when I attribute the words to someone else they are not my words.

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      • “I do think about them. That’s why I post them.”

        Then tell us what you actually think about this post.

        “Obviously (to some), when I attribute the words to someone else they are not my words.”

        If you think I was actually seriously attributing the words to you and not making a point about the content of the article, that’s not my fault.

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      • “The you shouldn’t have attributed them to me.”

        They were attributed to you in such an obviously ironic way, that you should have got that immediately. The fact that you have subsequently and habitually ignored the detailed criticism of the article’s content shows you aren’t interested in debating the issues at all.

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      • They were attributed to you in such an obviously ironic way, that you should have got that immediately

        No it was a snide little attempt at misrepresentation. As I said, you were either mischievous, drunk or thick. That still applies. I really thought you were bigger than that Stu.

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      • “No it was a snide little attempt at misrepresentation.”

        It really wasn’t. However, I apologise for not making that clearer when I made the post. For the record, and to anyone who thought I was ascribing those views about abortion to you Byan, I don’t and have never thought those views were Bryan’s.

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      • That —> “Quod erat demonstrandum indeed Karen” was entirely uncalled for!
        I already KNOW you’re a christian!

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      • …But if you ARE going to use that definitive assertion, at least try to get it right:-
        ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι

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      • ah…but you didn’t source it, did you.
        Neither will you find it in a dictionary; as it’s creator it’s my intellectual property.

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      • I’d’ve thought that was obvious:- “Are you accusing me of plagiarism? And in what sense?”
        In the sense that you infringed the copyright of my created composition; viz.
        “yeah yeh yeah…blather,blather,blather… ”

        …perhaps you need a proof-reader?

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      • Evolution (which is a construct approximate term for a very real process) relies on likelihoods (no matter how great) since we are out of scope in time making billions of years of evolution unobservable. This is further clouded by the sheer amount of conjecture (X creature has Y feature because) when we can never definitely know.

        The end result is that Darwinian evolution can end up looking like a doctrine in a manner similar to religion. There is an expectation to take these things that you can’t hope to test or observe yourself as fact based on the word of the very few who can claim witness.

        IIt is good these students are trying to find flaws in the Dawkins logic.

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      • Some people ( or class of people) can’t keep an open mind Bubba. Opening something that small could make it disappear up itself. 😆

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      • Justify murder or rape or incest or infanticide.

        I guess I could give it a shot as an intellectual exercise.

        But really a Christian would be the best person to ask – all of the above is in the bible…….

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    • I’ve been too busy on three fronts to have been reading the blog over ‘the’ year. I was referring to some other year. And in fact my comment contained a typo: it was meant to say “insightfully IRrelevant”.

      I can see only three questions ~ and a lot of unfounded assumptions ~ in the “original post”, though they boil down to two.

      One deals with matters of right and wrong, ‘morality’ and general social-science type waffle.
      The short answer is that ALL of those ‘elements’ are man-made and therefore subjective; a movable feast depending on time, circumstance and mood, and will die with the extinction of homosapiens. They are therefore irrelevant in the big scheme, and aren’t even consistent in the here and now. Every one of those concepts, most obviously ‘rights’, are defined and enforced by whoever has the greatest firepower at the moment. ….or whoever can invent the most powerful god….also backed up by firepower. (See Ardrey; ‘Cain’s Children’)

      Equally briefly, the second question (“are we just moist robots dancing to the music of our DNA?”) is not well put. Inasmuch as our DNA ~ along with it’s transmission and influence ~ is dictated and directed by envionmental factors, we are in fact (demonstrably) ‘just moist robots dancing to the tune of whatever environment we find ourselves in’. Not even your gods can keep us alive (or our DNA functioning) in the absence of oxygen, for example.

      But, as opposed to “good and evil”, the ‘purpose of life’ has revealed itself as being the production of shit. It’s what we do from our first day of life to the last ~ and everything in between is dedicated to the production and disposal of it. And accordingly, in recognition of that reality, we pay our utmost obeisance to those who are full of it.
      For example: note that none of our gods ever go to the dunny.

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      • It would be (“Obeisance to those who are full of it. That’s ironic!!!”) if you started directing prayers at me……… 🙂

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      • WhoMe?, the belief that he who has the most firepower is right in subjective morality proves the error of the thinking. Could you justify murder or rape or incest or infanticide. I don’t think anyone could. or would even try

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      • Well, Baz, (“Could you justify murder or rape or incest or infanticide”) I ‘could’; after all the gods all do. Subjectively ~ otherwise they’d all be on the same page.

        But I think you miss the point…..which is that he with the greatest fire-power makes the rules, and thereby actually decides what’s ‘right’ ~ from an unchallenged position of subjectivity..
        That’s the process by which Jesus was declared to be a criminal. (ie immoral). Conscientious objectors are considered ‘immoral’ for refusing the ‘moral’ responsibility to ‘fight for their country’ and kill complete strangers….which in most other circumstances is the ultimate in immorality.
        Similarly ‘rape’ and ‘incest’ are only unjustified if the ‘powers-that-be’ decide, subjectively, that they are. Confirmation lies in the reality that both rape and incest are entirely human constructs. They don’t exist in nature, so cannot be ‘objectively’ immoral/wrong. The point is made quite clearly in that we deliberately support ‘incest’ in the animals we ‘line-breed’ for pedigree. Ditto ‘rape’; because we have the power we force animals to mate without ‘consent’.

        Interestingly, the gods who allegedly dictate ‘objective morality’ (and are obeyed ~ha!) because they have the ‘firepower’, don’t include (what we call) rape and incest and infanticide in their lists of immoralities. In fact they encourage them,
        …and indulge in them themselves.
        Subjectivity rules!
        ….but only in our species: when we go extinct ‘morality’ ….along with the gods will cease to exist.

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      • “But I think you miss the point…..which is that he with the greatest fire-power makes the rules, and thereby actually decides what’s ‘right’ ~ from an unchallenged position of subjectivity..”

        In other words it is Mao’s theorem that morality springs from the end of a gun.

        Not true. Consider the poem below:

        Omar had a little bomb,
        He found it filled a need
        Of getting rid of all the folks
        With whom he disagreed.

        One day Omar’s bomb went off
        Without the proper care
        And now we’re finding little bits
        Of Omar everywhere.

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      • The quote, actually, is:-
        “Political power GROWS out of the barrel of a gun.” (any wonder they chucked you out of the communist party! 🙂 )

        Mao also said (correctly, as the evidence demonstrates):-
        War is the highest form of struggle for resolving contradictions, when they have developed to a certain stage, between classes, nations, states, or political groups, and it has existed ever since the emergence of private property and of classes.

        And a point of note is that other animals don’t indulge in war because they don’t create ‘any of the above’.
        Nor do they invent gods (let alone gods in constant competition with each other for market share!), which demand ‘ALL of the above’.

        But, as the clever people forever point out: They’re only animals.
        ….and not nearly as intelligent as we are.

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  3. An issue which addresses the multiple-choice answers (hence not divinely-absolute) to questions of ‘morality’, ‘right-and-wrong’, ‘good-and-evil’, etc. is whether isis was correct in executing the jordanian pilot, given the almost universal (entirely subjective) outrage at the act.
    What the outraged seem to forget is that the pilot (objectively speaking) was a man who’d deliberately decided to devote his life and well-paid career to the slaughter of complete strangers ~ including men, women and children ~ from the air, with high-explosives, chemical weapons and napalm if he were ordered to do so. Which is what he was doing when his plane went down.

    Never mind the christian ‘turn-the-other-cheek’ tut-tutting. Since you insist ‘morality’ (good/evil etc.)
    are objective values, what’s the objectively-rational take on the execution?
    …and what’s the objectively-rational take on the execution of caged prisoners and the stepped-up bombing (which has also resulted in the ‘execution’ of an ‘innocent’ hostage) by the jordanians in response?
    Subjective and variable ‘morality’ accommodates all the perspectives. Objective/absolute ‘morality’ accommodates none of them.

    http://shoebat.com/2015/02/03/watch-horrific-video-isis-burning-pow-jordanian-pilot/

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      • That’s me, Carmel: unsophisticated. It’s probably why your post makes absolutely no sense to me.
        What’s the connection?

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      • Typically, that:- “QED” is a distraction with no connection to your comment.
        It has no more relevant meaning in the context than the lack of connection between ‘science’, ‘morality’ and ‘nazi doctrine’.
        Just another of those ‘If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit’ tactics which is embedded in religious non-thinkers generally.

        And quite as irrelevant.
        …unless you explain any rational, comparative, connection between science and ‘morality’ which even remotely allows them to be ‘mistaken’ one for the other.
        So consider that a challenge.

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  4. Morality comes from views of how certain things impact people, society, or even humanity on the whole. An understanding of cause and effect, if you will.

    So no, there isn’t good and evil, just perspectives of what seems to be beneficial or detrimental to us and those around us.

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    • Pretty close jason.
      …keeping in mind that ‘beneficial or detrimental’ are equally subjective value-judgments. Point being that there are no absolutes ~ which makes a nonsense of any concept of the gods we create in our image.
      When you get some spare time (and a couple of casks of Chateau Cardboard) and want a mental exercise, try considering the reality that sometimes good and evil (beneficial and detrimental) can coexist….and, given a particular subjectivity, can even be both good and evil at the same time. ‘Being cruel to be kind’ sort of thing.
      It all gets down to necessities and priorities, to which even our gods fall prey.
      Subjectively speaking.

      And all that’s not unreasonable; the problems arise when (as mere people, in contrast to the gods) we impose our own benefits-and-detriments values upon others.

      eg. the clip of the moslem insisting it’s a parent’s RIGHT to raise his kids in the principles of violent jihad.
      I’ve had the same argument made by christians in regards to brainwashing kids via Sunday-school, christian schools,etc. to ‘follow Jesus’ ~ and that martyrdom (like being crucified or eaten by lions) is the ultimate expression of that.

      Two faces of the same god.
      And child-abuse at its worst.

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      • That’s daft. I make comments and express opinions and adduce facts. (and waste time which could be better spent!)……all of which can be accepted, challenged or ignored by anyone who sees them. Even if I wanted to I couldn’t ‘impose’ them on anyone.
        The only imposition is exercised “on this blog” is by the censor, that dictator of subjectively-decided morality and acceptability.

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      • You’re a kind-hearted sort of person, Bryan; but misguided.
        Explaining something doesn’t make it right.
        eg. ISIS is full of explanations for its activities.
        And you, of all people, should understand/accept the ‘God told me to do it’ explanation.

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      • Says Dabs:

        “eg. the clip of the moslem insisting it’s a parent’s RIGHT to raise his kids in the principles of violent jihad.
        I’ve had the same argument made by christians in regards to brainwashing kids via Sunday-school, christian schools,etc. to ‘follow Jesus’ ~ and that martyrdom (like being crucified or eaten by lions) is the ultimate expression of that.

        Two faces of the same god.
        And child-abuse at its worst.”

        Says a (Christian) scientist reviewing Peter Hitchens book, ‘Rage Against God’:

        “I will end this review with one other statement in the book that I found incredibly valuable. Peter spends time discussing how New Atheists, like his brother and Dr. Richard Dawkins, decry the fact that religion can be taught to children. Indeed, he mentions that Dawkins and his brother both consider religious education to be child abuse. He then says:

        By contrast, I say unequivocally that if a man wishes to bring up his child as an atheist, he should be absolutely free to do so. I am confident enough of the rightness of Christianity to believe that such a child may well learn later (though with more difficulty than he deserves) that he has been misled. (p. 206)

        I have never seen this contrast presented in quite this way, and I think it’s very powerful. Why are the New Atheists so concerned about religious education when it comes to children? In my mind, it’s because they aren’t very confident in their stance. When you get past the rage, bluster, and arrogance, you see at their core a desire to stamp out competing ideas. They don’t want to discuss competing ideas. They want to eliminate them.

        Like Peter Hitchens, I have no desire to stamp out atheistic education for children. Why do the New Atheists want to stamp out religious education for children? I think it’s because they are afraid. Just as militant evolutionists desire to stamp out competing ideas in science because they are afraid those ideas might be found to be correct, the New Atheists desire to stamp out religious education among children because they are afraid certain religious ideas might be correct.

        Perhaps that’s the best explanation for the rage against God.”

        http://blog.drwile.com/?p=6977

        And I agree. How you can say (and actually believe) that Sunday school is no different to ISIS and their brainwashing and abuse of children, is really quite abhorrent, and untrue. And what’s more, you don’t want to hear or even consider the Christian viewpoint. Only your opinion counts for anything in your closed mind.

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      • “Yes the video says if you incite violence or hatred that is not free speech. I agree with that.”
        That’s one opinion.
        My opinion ~ more rationally correct ~ is that if ANY speech (or anything else) is restricted then it ISN’T ‘free’. It’s constrained by etiquette or censorship or whatever.

        Similarly, any comment induced by an offer of reward or constrained by threat of penalty is also not ‘free’.

        Coincidentally, a friend just sent me this. To the point
        “Detachment – The Only Way to Live Fully Free”
        http://www.zengardner.com/lie-live/

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      • “Yes the video says if you incite violence or hatred that is not free speech. I agree with that.”
        That’s one opinion.

        Yes it’s my opinion. Free speech does not mean allowing bigots a megaphone to spread hate. It’s not “etiquette”; it’s simply saying NO to hate and bigotry.

        The truth is that some “speech” does not democratise speech, it monopolizes speech.

        Courts have imposed numerous restrictions on speech. Libel and child pornography are all banned for good reasons. Let’s protect free speech but don’t defend bigotry on the grounds that it “free speech”. Put simply Dabbles, you can’t polish a turd.

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      • How’s your foot? Bullet-holes smarting?? –>

        “Free speech does not mean allowing bigots …”
        If speech “isn’t allowed” it isn’t “free-speech”

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      • “Similarly ‘rape’ and ‘incest’ are only unjustified if the ‘powers-that-be’ decide, subjectively, that they are.”

        This is true. We need to constantly reinforce with the ‘powers that be’ what we consider to be in society’s best interest, particularly the interests of the most vulnerable.

        Religion does this. When religions depart from this, it is usually because the psyche of a group is pathological. Or sometimes good intent is distorted by a culture.

        Goodliness and godliness should be akin.

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      • So what?? …”The truth is that some “speech” does not democratise speech, it monopolises speech.”
        It’s the very ‘free speech’ upon which Jesus’ mission on earth depended. You’d’ve been the first one to bitch if some jewish or roman censor had shut down the Sermon on the Mount because someone may have found it ‘offensive’ (for any reason or no reason.)
        But the same god, you insist, gave us ‘free will’ ~ which quite obviously gives us (including Jesus) the authority to speak freely on any subject we wish.
        …and confers upon anyone who gets offended the ‘free will’ NOT to bloody-well listen..
        And you’re not even god ~ let alone my grandma.

        You’re just a censor who unilaterally decrees that speech may not only not be free, but must be ‘democratised’ and ‘non-monopolistic’…whatever that means…..

        “Blessed are the ……..”
        “Shuddup!! You’re offending my jewish sensibilities!….or something!”

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    • “Comparing the sermon on the mount to the hate speech and bigotry that some people try to spread on the Net is just ridiculous.”
      No argument there ( talk about MY logical sidestep!).

      However (a) the issue wasn’t about content or even delivery, but possible perceptions, and it’s an undeniable reality that he offended (according to the bible) quite a lot of people and was violently censored for it. –> “Crucify him! Give us Barabbas”, etc.
      …and I suppose some other censors would’ve tried to shut him up ‘for his own good’. Would THAT have justified censorship?

      And .(b):- Jesus was by definition (Oxford) a bigot.
      Bigot noun: A prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own
      Censor noun: A prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own
      Bigotry noun: Let’s protect free speech but don’t defend bigotry on the grounds that it “free speech”. Put simply Dabbles, you can’t polish a turd.
      (Incidentally I thought polished turd is the fertiliser used for propagating religion…..No?)

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      • “Do you actually believe the ridiculous stuff you post? I wouldn’t think so.”

        You can’t be serious Bryan?

        Of course he does! You do, don’t you Dabs? C’mon, fess up Dabs.

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      • Once again the response of someone who has no rational comment to make in rebuttal of the message, so attacks the messenger. Too weak for words!

        Assuming the accuracy of the bible, of course Jesus (and his alter-ego, ‘god’) were bigots (“A prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own”), and that’s the precise reason the former was crucified. Even Pilate gave him an opportunity to change his mind and avoid execution ~ which might be the best possible motive for ‘considering an opposing point of view’ ~ but his bigotry reigned supreme.
        I defy you to cite a single case of your god (or any other!) hearing an ” opinion differing from his own” and accepting it as even a possibility ~ let alone adopting or acting on it.
        Moreover, you might read the post addressed to Monica below and tell us about the last time YOU rejected some piece of bigoted dogma because of the advice/argument offered by an atheist. (or even that of some whacko from another religion ~ including, say, ‘The church of Astrology’. YOU even take a (definitive) bigoted stance on your ‘opinion’ about what football team to support, or with which hand to wipe your bum. (Which is it?? ~ seriously.)

        Your problem lies in trying to reconcile the Divinely (and rationally) demonstrated legitimacy of ‘bigotry’ with the New-Age Politically-Correct (and entirely unnatural!) crap. Unfortunately that also pushes you into a position of hypocrisy ~ where you adopt the bigoted insistence that bigotry is ‘intolerable’.

        When you’re right, you’re right ~ and ought to defend that position even to the point of being labeled a bigot or thrown in jail like Muhammed Ali. Or crucified.
        The trick is to be able to prove you’re ‘right’.
        And my bigoted view is that one ought to be prejudiced against, and intolerant of, hypocrisy.

        What say you?

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      • I find hypocrisy hard to tolerate Dabs. Especially yours.
        You make grand statements about free speech etc but you told me long ago that you love going on blogs such as this just “to upset Christians” I know this is not the only blog on which deliver your bullying rants.
        It now seems to have become an obsession. That’s no way to live Michael. I feel for you.

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      • Full Definition of BIGOT from Merriam Webster dictionary

        : a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

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      • AGAIN you attack the messenger because you have no rational response to the message. —> ”
        “You make grand statements about free speech etc but you told me long ago that you love going on blogs such as this just “to upset Christians”
        This has NOTHING to do with my contention that Jesus ~ according to your own definition ~ was a bigot.

        If I say one thing, and then you accuse me of behaving accordingly, how in the hell do you assert this is ‘hypocrisy’??
        Hypocrisy means exactly the opposite: like you saying you ‘won’t tolerate intolerance’ ~ doing one thing and saying the other. How do you justify YOUR ‘obstinate intolerance’ (bigotry) of someone else’s ‘obstinate intolerance’ (bigotry)? (assuming for the sake of the argument that that’s what it is.)

        Miriam-Websters is an American dictionary, and I’d back the Oxford in any discrepancy between the two. (and there ARE discrepancies)

        However, I have no trouble accepting the first part of the cited definition for ‘bigot’ :- “: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices”
        ….and CHALLENGE you to say that ~ according to that definition ~ Jesus and/or god (or ANY god of your choosing) is NOT a bigot.
        (The question of their hypocrisy is a separate and distinct issue which I’m willing to address another time.)
        ….and I’m still looking forward to your recounting of the last time you abandoned a bit of ‘prejudiced’ religious dogma on the strength of an ‘opinion’ held be an atheist.

        But I do dispute in the strongest terms the second half of the definition:- “especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance”, which is pure and typically irrelevant PC crap and has NO bearing on whether one is “obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices”…..OR ISN’T.

        It’s a non sequitur of gigantic proportions; with NO relativity one to the other.
        There’s NO requirement for one who “treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance”, to be a ‘bigot’. NONE whatsoever.
        Neither does being a bigot require that one MUST ‘treat the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance’,.

        It’s the sort of stupidly invalid extrapolation you trotted out by comparing the CONTENT of the Sermon on the Mount with the CONTENT of (what you call) ‘hate-speech on the internet”. What’s “ridiculous” is trying to insist that there’s a binding relationship between the CONTENT of a ‘speech’ and the ‘freeness’ of the speech.
        Irrationally absurd, and you do it all the time. But console yourself with the thought that you’re not the only one.

        But I reiterate my challenge: that ~ according to [YOUR OWN] definition ~ Jesus and/or god (or ANY god of your choosing) is NOT a bigot.
        Never mind what he said; did he say it “obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices”.
        If not, perhaps an example of his giving way to someone else’s, contradictory, opinion or prejudice would be in order.

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    • Yesterday I tried to post a response to one of your biased and idiotic comments above, FOUR times Dabs, and FOUR times my posts just disappeared into cyberspace. Either that or I am blacklisted from the blog. That happened last Sunday week too, twice! So we’ll see if this goes through.

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      • Dabbles’ pontificates:

        “eg. the clip of the moslem insisting it’s a parent’s RIGHT to raise his kids in the principles of violent jihad.
        I’ve had the same argument made by christians in regards to brainwashing kids via Sunday-school, christian schools,etc. to ‘follow Jesus’ ~ and that martyrdom (like being crucified or eaten by lions) is the ultimate expression of that.

        Two faces of the same god.
        And child-abuse at its worst.”

        In reviewing Peter Hitchens’ book The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith Dr. Jay L. Wile, a scientist, and a Christian, writes in his blog ‘Proslogion’:

        “I will end this review with one other statement in the book that I found incredibly valuable. Peter spends time discussing how New Atheists, like his brother and Dr. Richard Dawkins, decry the fact that religion can be taught to children. Indeed, he mentions that Dawkins and his brother both consider religious education to be child abuse. He then says:

        By contrast, I say unequivocally that if a man wishes to bring up his child as an atheist, he should be absolutely free to do so. I am confident enough of the rightness of Christianity to believe that such a child may well learn later (though with more difficulty than he deserves) that he has been misled. (p. 206)

        I have never seen this contrast presented in quite this way, and I think it’s very powerful. Why are the New Atheists so concerned about religious education when it comes to children? In my mind, it’s because they aren’t very confident in their stance. When you get past the rage, bluster, and arrogance, you see at their core a desire to stamp out competing ideas. They don’t want to discuss competing ideas. They want to eliminate them.

        Like Peter Hitchens, I have no desire to stamp out atheistic education for children. Why do the New Atheists want to stamp out religious education for children? I think it’s because they are afraid. Just as militant evolutionists desire to stamp out competing ideas in science because they are afraid those ideas might be found to be correct, the New Atheists desire to stamp out religious education among children because they are afraid certain religious ideas might be correct.

        Perhaps that’s the best explanation for the rage against God.”

        Dabs, how you can equate ISIS’ brutality to Sunday school and a Christian parent’s right to teach their beloved children the truths of their faith, is ubelievably offensive and incredibly stupid. Only a biased and deluded mind could believe such a thing, in my opinion, and you continually, like a broken record, accuse us of doing no different. In truth, you will not listen to what a Christian has to say, even one you call ‘friend’. Only your opinion counts for anything—you’re right and everyone else is an ass—so you believe. Well, I agree with what the scientist has to say, “underneath the atheists’ rage, bluster, and arrogance, you see at their core a desire to stamp out competing ideas. They don’t want to discuss competing ideas. They want to eliminate them.”

        http://blog.drwile.com/?p=6977

        Like

      • Goddunnit, Mon. Obviously. Trying to stop you making a dill of yourself. perhaps. 🙂
        I just got home, will respond to the other nonsense later if I can stay awake.

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      • Bryan et al,
        I’m a bit bemused by the discussion about the suitability of children being educated in Christian knowledge. Is it child abuse, or is it the very best thing?

        Well, one problem that hits me is the matter of just what sort of Christianity one actually educates/brain-washes/instills in the child. In order to make the principle more palatable, surely it should be specified just what sort of Christianity one is talking about. For almost two millennia, the Roman Catholic Church has insisted that it is the one and only Christian authority, and thus has the gold standard for educating children and adults. Virtually every single Protestant denomination has maintained the same. Then we have the innumerable side and fringe Christian churches, each of which at some time has claimed to be the ultimate way. Then we have the more extreme, but very insistent denominational groups like the various Brethren who make the same claim.

        In regard to the example of the Roman Church, I’ve had numerous ex-Catholics (and a few present-day ones) describing with horror and disgust the Christian training they had in the old days prior to Vatican II. Many have certainly described it as ‘Child abuse’ -even apart from Institutional molestation. The cruelties perpetrated on residents and their children in Reformation Geneva under the Calvinist yoke, was definitely abusive. And even within the Anglican and Methodist traditions, we find real abuse dealt out to children most frequently in the past. I think it was Wesley himself who reported that as a small toddler he himself was trained to weep softly and trembling to fear the whip. Then we think of the very Christian Ku Klux Klan.

        So just what is this Christianity that is so desirable to encourage in children? Which variety of past and present? Go back some 60 years, and Catholics would absolutely insist that only the Holy Roman Church had the correct teachings and training to pass on to children. And similarly the Protestants asserted that Reformed and Evangelical devotees had the right sort of Christianity. There are enthusiasts in both camps still today who maintain that those early systems had the correct method and balance.

        Now you may say that our modern Christian approaches represent the ideal training. It may be true, (but just which Christian approach? Many Christians just hate or deplore the modern liberal approach.) but what you are then saying is that over the greater part of Christian existence, Christians most frequently got it wrong while today we have the ideal system. It doesn’t answer the fact either that Christianity is still divided up into multitudes of forms. To simply say that Christian education for children is suitable or necessary, is an absolutely over-generalised claim, and begs the question.

        Rian.

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  5. “Give me a child until he is seven years old, and he is mine for life.” said St Ignatius.
    (especially if you make him a catholic castrato, say I.)

    Oxford English Dictionaries (all 48 kg of them) :-
    TRUTH: noun. A FACT that has been verified

    FAITH: noun. A strong BELIEF in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny
    An institution to express BELIEF in a divine power

    ATHEIST: noun. Someone who does not believe in god;
    Disbelief in god(s);
    Godless.

    No matter how determinedly those who want to create a ‘reality’ where there is none, and no scope for one, THERE ARE NO “COMPETING IDEAS”.

    Neither is there a “RAGE AGAINST GOD” except in the self-serving ideology of those trying to create a getting-a-foot-in-the-door controversy where there IS no controversy ~ nor any scope for one; a controversy that’s aimed at gaining market-share and hence ‘credibility’, evidenced by the endless citation of ‘studies’, ‘surveys’, ‘statistics’, etc. etc. etc..

    And the very concept of “NEW Atheism” is about as absurd as it’s possible to get. Atheism ~ unlike the murderous idiocies of religion ~ does NOT permit of reformations, denominations, sects,cults, etc..

    Pavlovian training of defenceless children (moslem,christian, jewish or National-Socialist, etc.) is at least as brutal and far more destructively life-threatening than any other form of abuse. Broken bones and torn anuses can be mended. A mind, once terrorised by ‘the fear of god’ or otherwise perverted, remains perverted in one direction/degree or another for life ~ and effectively robs that trained child of its life and the potential with which it was born. In what meaningful measure is the training of baby jihadists any more vile than teaching a small child that god had his very own “beloved” baby boy crucified for political reasons: that cutting a throat for god is ‘bad’, but nailing someone to a cross to die much more slowly and painfully to fulfil ‘god’s plan’ is ‘good’??
    If ‘Evil’ exists one need look no further than that. I’d’ve thought you, of all people, would be aware of that sort of victimisation and the bastardries it produces.

    And perhaps the saddest part of it all is that the victims more often than not become the victimisers, in one way or another. That’s why religious (and religious-style) institutions are rife with child-rape and other abuse….and the consequential cover-ups which only sometimes come to light.. I’d even hazard a guess that the large preponderance of paedophiles have been contaminated by godbotherers while they were too young to defend themselves.

    ….and if you want me to compile some FACTUAL “Truths” on that score you need but ask.

    Like

    • This misapplication of the words “child abuse” to the teaching of that with which atheists happen to disagree is not only a misuse of the term but also an insult to all people who have endured legitimate child abuse throughout history.

      Actual child abuse is a heinous and hideous practice that includes physical, psychological, and sexual abuse..

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      • Well said KT, I couldn’t agree more.

        “Broken bones and torn anuses can be mended”

        Oh come off it Dabs, That’s sick, sick, sick and insulting.

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      • “Forcing a religion on your children is as bad as child abuse”, claims atheist professor Richard Dawkins.

        He said, sex abuse does ‘arguably less long-term psychological damage’ than being brought up a Catholic”.

        Has ever been sexually abused as a child? Have you, Dabs? Obviously not!

        Like

      • “No sane person would believe that being brought up in a force for good, in the Ten Commandments, in the Beatitudes, and in the Gospels can be worse than child abuse.”

        Like

      • Well, looks as though I’ve also had at least one posting disappear into the infinite lately. So am repeating what I tried to post yesterday
        .
        I have been reading and re-reading some of the debates that have been printed just lately. One was a fairly predictable argument between Bryan and Stu, with some extra comments from one or other of our resident Atheists. The popular question was tossed around concerning the afterlife. When Bryan told of the guy from Sri Lanka about how he was drawn to his conversion following a distinct unexpected vision that he had of Christ, the question was put to Bryan, if as happens in the East, an individual had a parallel sort of vision of Krishna or Shiva, would he find that account as believable. Bryan went ahead to dismiss the question as simply being hypothetical.

        So, with the principle established now that hypothetical questions are not worthy enough to be answered, it set me wondering about all sorts of hypotheticals that are aired not infrequently by the Christians on this blog. During the same discussion, but in the case of the recent death of a particular individual who had just died, Bryan went ahead to indicate that now this guy will know the truth either way (about the afterlife).

        This comment is taking an awful lot for granted, you know. And as far as I’m concerned, is indulging in a very distinctive hypothetical. I guess there are actually three possible after death conditions for him, as for any human being. Either there is a Christian Heaven and Hell to contend with. Or it may be that there is some other alternative form of afterlife, as I might suggest. Or it may be that the atheistic concept of absolute nothingness is the actuality. In the third alternative of course, this guy simply cant know ‘the truth’ about anything, will he?

        What hits me is that while Bryan self-consciously refuses to answer an hypothetical about visions individuals might experience, he very clearly tosses another hypothetical at us about the deceased guy. That appears to me to be not a little inconsistent, if not even somewhat dishonest.

        The refusal to answer hypotheticals is the tactic you see used frequently by politicians, when asked about possible outcomes of votes or elections. As far as I’m concerned, the engagement with hypotheticals represents a most useful intellectual tool for the fair-minded thinking individual.

        I feel that in the instance I describe above, the fairest and most honest way for Bryan to have answered would be to have said something like.. ‘Well, as a Christian, I emphatically believe that this recently departed guy will now be well aware of the truth.’

        Anyway Bryan, from now on I will be watching what you say in the blog for any other examples of you applying these deplorable hypotheticals to push your arguments.

        Cheers, Rian.

        Like

      • You missed the point Rian. I didn’t say I wouldn’t answer hypothetical questions. I merely asked for more information, which was not forthcoming.

        Like

      • Tnanks for the explanation there Bryan.
        Now since you are not reluctant to answer hypothetical questions, I’ll put the same question, – I’d like to know if some individual reported that they did have a vision or revelation of Krishna or Shiva or whoever that changed their life, would you be prepared to take it seriously? I think it is a good and legitimate question. Cant really see that any further information is required for such an hypothetical.
        Rian.

        PS. This coming Saturday, I shall be trotting into Melbourne to see the Opera performance of Der Freischutz at the Athenaeum. Is anyone else on our list at all planning to see it too? Dabbles? Or any other opera lovers?

        Like

    • Not at all –> “I did not expect you to understand Dabbles. You lack the will and the way.”
      What I lack is the “extraneous” prejudice.

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  6. ps… As for the ‘my way or the highway’ complaint, can you tell us all about the last time you abandoned a bit of religious dogma ( and what it was) on the basis of something an atheist said:
    …….never mind on the basis of some piece of evidence demonstrating the stupidity of biblical assertion??
    You know: like the time you rejected Genesis on the evidence of dinosaur fossils found 80 metres deep in a glacier in antarctica,…… and dated to 160 MILLION years BEFORE ‘The Creation’.
    (Personally, I keep wondering whether Noah had dinosaurs on the ark …. or whether he got the bones from elsewhere and just dumped them there on his way to OZ to drop off the wombats ~ while the water was still nearly 20,000 foot deep.)
    But, despite what you assert, I’m more than willing “to discuss competing ideas”.
    However, I DO find it difficult to look past the old quote: ‘We’ve got the bones: we win.”
    ************

    Oh, and Mon. —>Apparently you didn’t read the whole of the link you posted ~ rather, typically, read the blurb, misunderstood it, and decided to misuse it to bolster a non-case.:-.
    It goes on to say (Wile):-
    “In the PDF document linked below, you will find a three-page general review that outlines the problems I have with the new edition, and then a detailed list of the 77 major problems I found in the book, 11 odd things that didn’t make sense, and the 65 typographical errors that I found:..” etc.

    Little wonder the bible repeatedly insists women should remain silent on matters theosophical.
    How’s the weather over in The West?….or do you want to start a shitfight over THAT, too? ;).

    Like

    • “In the PDF document linked below, you will find a three-page general review that outlines the problems I have with the new edition, and then a detailed list of the 77 major problems I found in the book, 11 odd things that didn’t make sense, and the 65 typographical errors that I found:..” etc.

      I can’t find that anywhere. I am going cross-eyed trying to find it. Where exactly is it Dabs? And what has it got to do with anything, anyway?

      Christian formation, instruction and religious education is NOT the same as ‘indoctrination’. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it! (Where’s the raspberry emoticon when I need it?)

      Like

  7. er……..
    (“And quite as irrelevant.
    …unless you explain any rational, comparative, connection between science and ‘morality’ which even remotely allows them to be ‘mistaken’ one for the other.
    So consider that a challenge.”)
    …….still waiting.

    Like

    • Erm! Ask that of professor Dawkins. He seems to mistake one for the other all the time:

      “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind pitiless indifference. . . . DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music.”

      If we dance to DNA’s tune, why shouldn’t everyone who was upset over what Dawkins has said and done over the years go and kill him. I am sure that he’s upset and made a lot of people angry over the years.

      If it is in our DNA to want to murder someone we hate, why shouldn’t we go out and kill Dawkins?

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      • In short: because there’s no basis in your DNA for ‘hate’.
        Not even the dogs some slimey rrsouls skin alive and their cohorts are ‘hated’ by the dogs.
        ‘Hate’ is an artificial human invention, and it’s the fear of human-invented laws and penalties that (usually) prevent ‘murder’ ~ another human invention.

        Like

  8. Hey! What happened to my post about tender-hearted Salvoes????
    (….and the other one about religious ‘education’?)
    Gremlins??

    Like

    • Didn’t see the one about religious education. As for the other, I passed it by a lawyer and he advised against publishing such serious and potentially libellous allegations. He suggests you immediately report such allegations to the Commission on Sexual Abuse or the police. I can help put you in contact with them if you wish.

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      • I did all that a few years ago when the enquiry first began and they asked for anyone with information to contact them. The coppers didn’t want to handle it because that’s what the Royal Commission was to do. You or your lawyer might have Googled up the 164000 results offered by Google in less than half a second. As I said, none of it’s a secret, and a lot of cash has been handed out in ‘compensation’.

        My input didn’t raise many eyebrows: the problem was that it was going to cost a motza ~ due mostly to the time that had elapsed which meant many of those involved/named had since died or ‘disappeared’ and the records destroyed early on when the ‘reformatories’ were shut down and demolished. Another consideration was that many more simpler cases could be dealt with for the same resources. (and judging from the language of the correspondence I suspected they already had statements ~ including names and times ~ about the matters I raised.)

        And the sexual abuse was but one part of it; you wouldn’t believe the other degrading and atrocious things (and set-ups) we kids were put through by the uber-religious, self-righteous mongrels in the name of teaching us to love Jesus ~ in some cases at least in the manner they’d come to learn and accept ‘god’s love’ for his Creation.)

        And the point was that the thuggery and buggery goes hand in hand with the dissemination of religion and ~ in one way and another probably always has.
        eg. Moses:- http://christianthinktank.com/midian.html

        One could make a case that more than a few people are drawn to religion for the perverted opportunities it presents ~ and until recently the immunity from the law ~ much like scoutmasters and others.

        Power corrupts,and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
        …and the power these animals get directly from god (ask’em!) is about as absolute as it gets.
        And, as I showed in the dumped post, the consequences last a lifetime and often beyond, for generations.

        Salvos:- http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-30/salvation-army-suspends-officer-over-sexual-abuse-inquiry/5228914
        Christian Brothers:- http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-06/brothers-knew-of-abuse-since-1920s/5433732
        Rabbis:- http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-12/rabbi-yosef-feldman-threatens-legal-action-against-leaders/6087154

        How many more do you want before you accept the relationship between ‘religious education’ and the unmitigated rape and other abuse of children too young to defend themselves?
        ….and find the guts to stop protecting the scumbags……

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      • Dunno why you’re still refusing to publish my other posts: the information’s in the public domain. As to the ‘lawyer’s opinion’ about “potentially libellous”, perhaps the best response is to remind you what Jesus thought of such people.

        Anyway, apart from the Salvation Army, the Christian Brothers (and others unmentioned) and the Jewish fraternity, (note that in EVERY case it was/is the most rigidly educated and zealous ‘defenders of the faith’ that committed the worst atrocities.) there is clear evidence that the abusive practices ~and, it must be said, ‘rape’ ~ of children has permeated many levels of ‘child-protection’ institutions.
        But it wasn’t exclusively about abuse of boys, either; girls were attacked too; and even babies ~ and often enough by the females who ran such (mostly religious) institutions, and often for many decades, or as far back as the record goes. —>

        “The Catholic Sisters of St Joseph who ran the home did not record when or whether the babies recovered. On entering and leaving Parramatta Girls’ Training School, girls were ritualistically examined by a doctor who was known to generations as ‘Dr Finger’. I spoke to four men who spent time at the Salvation Army Bayswater Boys’ Home, in periods from the 1930s up to the 1960s. All were molested. “I just didn’t know what was happening,” one told me, recalling the time he woke up one night to find a man in his bed.”
        http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2012/august/1354057131/christine-kenneally/forgotten-ones

        And as I’ve repeatedly said:- a reasonable guess might be that by far the greatest number of child-molesters and perverts generally are the product of a ‘god-fearing’ society and a ‘standard’ religious education.
        (like the ‘pastors’ in schools (who, to my certain knowledge, take a deeply probing personal interest in the kids and their families) for which YOUR taxes are paying .
        When the time comes ~ and it will ~ will you accept your share of the responsibility?

        Like

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