My favorite arguments ‘for’ theism are the ones about ‘morality‘. I never bring it up first, but I *love* it when deranged theists do:

Random idiot theist: IF WE DIDNUT HAS GAWD DEN WE HAS LOTZ OF MERDERS AND STUFF CAUSE ATHIESTS KILL LOTS OF MOAR PEOPLESES!

Me: Im doing scientific research with the hope of eliminating HIV/AIDS and cancer from this planet. What do you do?

Random idiot theist: *huuuuuurrrrrr*

Me: lol.

I really dont think individuals heavily invested in some putrid form of theism have any idea what ‘morals’ and ‘morality’ really mean. For instance, there is a difference between ‘can’ and ‘ought’.

I can tie Arnie up to a 6 foot chain in the front yard and leave him there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As long as I provide him food/water/shelter, legally, I can do that.

But I shouldnt. Torturing animals is not something a person ought to do.

I can drive 60 miles per hour on a highway covered in 2 inches of wet ice. The speed limit on a highway is 60, its legal.

But I shouldnt. Endangering other peoples lives by reckless driving is not something a person ought to do.

A Lutheran school in California just found out that they can expel students, just by accusing them of being homosexuals. They can start lesbo-hunts based off of ‘tips’ from other students. They can haul accused students into the pricipals office so he/she can ask them sexually explicit questions, unsupervised. They can contact the students parents to inform them their child is a dyke/fag, even if their parents might kick them out of the house/beat them/whatever in response to this revelation.

The kids dont even have to be gay.

The school just needs to tell everyone the kids are gay.

Just because schools run by radical theists currently can behave like the administrators at this repulsive school, doesnt mean they ought to behave in this manner.

Does the Bible say anything about ‘can’ and ‘ought’?

Huh.

Comments

  1. #1 SteveWH
    January 29, 2009

    This is one reason why I think we need to start teaching ethics classes (grounded strongly in the history of philosophy) early in a child’s student career.

    How much better of a world would we live in every citizen had to contend with Socrates’ famous Euthyphro Question (“Is it good because God commands it, or does God command it because it’s good?”) and the absolute devastation it wrecks on the idea that humans need God to be moral? How many people would be so quick to call homosexuality “unnatural” if they knew that it became a popular notion because the Catholic Church has a hard-on for a guy who dedicated his life, in part, to never getting a hard-on? Wouldn’t it be better if people had Socrates as a moral hero rather than Rick Warren?

    That kind of class does lay itself open to abuse by dunderheads, but no more than teaching evolution opens up to opportunity for intellectual pill-pushers to further creationism. The indoctrination will happen either way, but at least an ethics class will give some students intellectual tools to reject the ignorant tools.

  2. #2 The Science Pundit
    January 29, 2009

    The reason the students were expelled is because the school found out that they CAN expel them. Because according to their bible, those students OUGHT to be put to death.

  3. #3 Martin
    January 29, 2009

    Makes me glad I was expelled* from Lutheran School halfway through kindergarten.

    *Really. Not for being a lesbian, though.

  4. #4 Prometheus
    January 29, 2009

    “Does the Bible say anything about ‘can’ and ‘ought’?”

    1Corinthians11 has some ‘oughts’ in it. I think they are related to hats and hair-do’s

    Most of the can stuff has to do with groveling instructions like can’t look upon, can’t speak, can’t see….. yada yada

    The bible contains a lot legalisms so there is a lot more ‘shall’ and ‘may’

    God really hates shrimp:
    “They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.”

    That’s from Leviticus but the bible mentions shrimp=abomination like six times or something.

    God likes these things and I have never been able to figure out what the hell they are, winged frogs?:

    “11:21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth;”

    Those are the only ones I remember off hand. The only ‘should’ I remember is from Psalms and involves inviting your enemies over for dinner and killing them. I wonder if you can serve them shrimp if you are going to murder them anyway.

  5. #5 elbogz
    January 29, 2009

    Iz yer spill chicker bwoken?

  6. #6 Ritchie Annand
    January 29, 2009

    Martin -> What did you do?

  7. #7 Martin
    January 29, 2009

    Prometheus, “every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth” is usually understood to mean a certain variety of locust. Isn’t it nice to know that chocolate-covered grasshoppers may have the official God stamp of approval?

  8. #8 Jay
    January 29, 2009

    There is no moral relativist quite as ghastly as a theologian. They can find anything in their sacred books to justify their hatred. Didn’t PZ run a story about a Rabbi who found a passage that “justified” the Gaza strike? Ridiculous.

  9. #9 Reynold
    January 29, 2009

    If you really want to see some messed-up theistic thinking about morality, check this post out

    The post has a quote with a link to some theist who says (his words in italics):

    =====
    If the applications are so different, then what right does he have to judge us, other than “might makes right”?

    With God, might makes right is right. So what?

    Yeah, so “depraved” that the idea of billions of people dying for the sake of the “glory” of some “sky-daddy” sickens me. Yeah, I’m “depraved” alright…

    Correct.

    What you’ve described is an amoral being, not a moral one. If you assert, with no proof, that “god” has the “right” to impose his rules on us without himself having to obey any rules himself then he’s not moral, he just does whatever he wants.

    Yes, God doing whatever he wants is moral.
    =====

    Impressive, eh? Even better, is the guy who that character agrees with.

    Go to that link and do a search for “billions” on that page. You’ll find a phrase that will blow your mind.

  10. #10 Ritchie Annand
    January 29, 2009

    Yes, Jay, that was his There is no religion of peace article.

  11. #11 Jacob Stein
    January 29, 2009

    I think there is really no question that atheists are often psychopaths. Atheism leads to the breakdown of family life in democracies and to genocide in dictatorships. Secular humanism is merely a residue of religious morality.

  12. #12 NJ
    January 29, 2009

    …aaaaand Jacob comes along to prove Abbie’s point. Argument by assertion is basically a good way to get savaged around here (SB), so the question becomes do we indulge Jacob’s neurotic obsession with (virtual) martyrdom, or we just ignore yet another troll-sans-clue?

  13. #13 Steve
    January 29, 2009

    @ #10

    Wha-huh?

  14. #14 chris
    January 29, 2009

    I can drive 60 miles per hour on a highway covered in 2 inches of wet ice. The speed limit on a highway is 60, its legal.

    Not pick nits, but if you did this you could get ticketed, especially if you were involved in an accident. Most states have phrasing that requires drivers to match their speed to the conditions. In other words, the limit is just that, the high end of a fungible scale. Here’s how the Minnesota code phrases it. Not sure how the OK DMV puts it, but I’m sure there’s something to this effect:

    “No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions.”

    That being said, your point is still valid, and necessary. It’s a matter of what is right, not what’s your right.

  15. #15 llewelly
    January 29, 2009

    God likes these things and I have never been able to figure out what the hell they are, winged frogs?:

    11:21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth;

    Most pterosaurs were quadrupedal while on the ground, could fly, and could also leap.

  16. #16 Prometheus
    January 29, 2009

    There is a chick tract that proposes medieval hillbillies ate all the dinosaurs.

  17. #17 Martin
    January 29, 2009

    Ritchie Annand -> As I understand it, I raised rather more hell than they expected from a 5-year-old child.

  18. #18 Ritchie Annand
    January 29, 2009

    *laugh* They didn’t suggest an exorcist or anything, did they?

    My fairly nonobservant Protestant mother (the fact that I didn’t know her denomination says something) dropped me off at Baptist Sunday School when I was 8; the location was convenient, and if you don’t know how deep into things the Baptists are, it can seem pretty innocuous.

    I came back ranting about all sorts of things, but I don’t think I got kicked out. Probably led me to be on the path I’m on, though. That’s the thing with some moderates: until you really see fundamentalist dogma or glossolalia in the flesh, it’s easy to think that it’s all traditional and therefore okay.

  19. #19 Bob of QF
    January 29, 2009

    Random idiot theist: IF WE DIDNUT HAS GAWD DEN WE HAS LOTZ OF MERDERS AND STUFF CAUSE ATHIESTS KILL LOTS OF MOAR PEOPLESES!

    I see this fairly often on the threads I frequent.

    One of my favorite responses is this:

    Who is more ethical? Someone who does the ethical thing because it is ethical, and so does it even when there is zero chance of being caught?

    Or someone who does the ethical thing because he is afraid of being caught?

    What happens when an entirely new ethical conundrum arises?

    Which man can be counted on to try to do the ethical thing?

    The first man, because he is trying to do what is right, will seek an ethical answer to the new situation.

    The second man is likely to see it as a loophole…

  20. #20 Tyler DiPietro
    January 29, 2009

    Of course, the whole moral argument for theism rests on the fallacy of unwanted consequences (i.e., x can’t be true/false because I don’t like the fact that it would entail y being true/false). It can therefore be tossed into the logical garbage can at first sight.

  21. #21 Tyler DiPietro
    January 29, 2009

    “I think there is really no question that atheists are often psychopaths. Atheism leads to the breakdown of family life in democracies and to genocide in dictatorships. Secular humanism is merely a residue of religious morality.”

    So atheism, in democracies, leads to the gradual dismantlement of retrograde, oppressive and patriarchal institutions. Consider me sold.

    And as for “genocide in dictatorships”, perhaps you are unaware that two of the greatest genocides in the 20th. century, the Holocaust the Armenian genocide in Turkey, were carried out by officially religious governments and in overwhelmingly religious societies (let’s also not forget the American genocide of the Native Americans, before we get too self-congratulatory). It’s hard to argue that this is a specific consequence of atheism, though I recognize that faulty premises and factual inaccuracies are unlikely to deter from making the argument.

  22. #22 SteveWH
    January 29, 2009

    In order to perpetuate a genocide, you have to see the group being exterminated as outside of your moral community. In order to see them as outside your moral community, you need some indicator of who is inside and who is outside of the community which, in your mind, is tied to morality.

    Someone who says, “My God is all-good and my religion is correct and lays down the fundamentals for moral behavior and an ethical life,” is in exactly that position. You have the in-group, the out-group, and the moral hierarchy. Add to that a passionate sense of identity centered around religion and a set of sacred texts and historical traditions that sanction, encourage, and even command destruction of the outsiders, and you have the perfect recipe for mass-murder.

    Atheists often have the in-group and out-group mentality, many have moral hierarchy, but that last bit is exclusively the domain of the religionists.

  23. #23 Reynold
    January 30, 2009

    For some more messed-up stuff about “morality” from theists: Try noted apologist William Lane Craig

    So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing.

  24. #24 Reynold
    January 30, 2009

    I just found out; the guy I quoted in post #9 is moving his blog.

  25. #25 Der Bruno Stroszek
    January 30, 2009

    Jacob, if there’s no question that most atheists are psychopaths, it should be a cinch for you to find me one hundred living atheists who fulfil the standard psychiatric definition of suffering from psychotic disorder. Your time starts… now!

  26. #26 Anton Mates
    January 30, 2009

    Most pterosaurs were quadrupedal while on the ground, could fly, and could also leap.

    Score one for biblical inerrancy! But what’s left to be “all fowls that creep, going upon all four?” Baby hoatzins, maybe? Tobogganing penguins?

  27. #27 a lurker
    January 30, 2009

    Not pick nits, but if you did this you could get ticketed, especially if you were involved in an accident. Most states have phrasing that requires drivers to match their speed to the conditions.

    Yep. That was what I was going to say. The cops have a bunch of stuff that could be applied: determining the fast driver is at fault for an accident and reckless driving being the most obvious. Going 60 mph in an ice storm would also make it hard to avoid things like tailgating and illegal lane changes. And even ignoring all that they can still pull you over, check you for sobriety, and lecture you for ten minutes. (And if the cop is a jerk, there goes your taillight…)

    Even the state that for a while abolished speed limits on some highways still gave the cops the right to give out tickets if the driver was going faster than he could safely go and indeed they did just that even when their was no accidents.

  28. #28 BAllanJ
    January 30, 2009

    I think at least some psychopaths think that they are god, so I don’t think they would qualify as atheists.

  29. #29 Prometheus
    January 30, 2009

    The psychopath thing made me balk a little too. My mom: The Ted Bundy of Contract Bridge.

    I looked at his site and saved the link in case I run into somebody looking for a “Jewel in the Crown” to grace a Masters Thesis on Cluster B personality disorders.

    He is a drive by poster and a computer programming convert from Lutheranism to a cobbled together Abrahamic ultra orthodoxy. That’s kind of like a Jehova’s Witness with a night job at the blood bank.

  30. #30 catgirl
    January 30, 2009

    The response to this issue is very simple:

    If the only thing that is preventing you from killing me is fear of punishment from God, then you are a psycopath.

    The rest of choose not to kill because we have empathy and we genuinely care about the life and well-being of other humans.

  31. #31 Ktesibios
    January 30, 2009

    Umm, if the point of the “legs above their feet” bit was to make it OK to NOM NOM NOM on grasshoppers, shouldn’t they have specified “goes upon all six“? Were Bronze Age goatherds incapable of counting above four? If so, how the Hell did they keep track of their goats?

  32. #32 Sili
    January 30, 2009

    The didn’t, Ktesibios. So they had to swap in rabbits to fool their bosses. That’s why teh bibble sez that rabbits chew their cud.

    Tobogganing penguins?

    They do do something like that to get around occasionally: plop down on their tummies and then push off with the feet.

    Hoatzins are purdy!

    Anyone care to guess the kind of uproar that would result if a muslim school had expelled students for eating pork?

  33. #33 Jacob Stein
    February 2, 2009

    The interesting thing about atheists is that atheists seem to have a remarkable tendency to either 1 – kill others 2 – kill themselves or 3 – fail to reproduce. All of this would seem to argue that discouraging atheism is in society’s best interest.

  34. #34 ERV
    February 2, 2009

    Im doing scientific research with the hope of eliminating HIV/AIDS and cancer from this planet. What do you do, Jacob Stein?

    Im also not a 47 year old man trolling the internet looking for 18-25 year old Indonesian girls. Over 18, Ill give you that. LOL!

  35. #35 Tyler DiPietro
    February 2, 2009

    The interesting thing about Jacob Stein is that he manages to anally rape over 9000 small children a day. This would seem to argue that he should become an hero.

  36. #36 Jacob Stein
    February 2, 2009

    I’m spreading Judaism, which is a philosophy which will peace and happiness to mankind.

  37. #37 LanceR, JSG
    February 2, 2009

    I’m spreading Judaism, which is a philosophy which will peace and happiness to mankind.

    Yes. Because it’s working out so very well to date.
    *cough*Gaza*cough*

  38. #38 Jacob Stein
    February 2, 2009

    How many members of the Israeli parliament are *cough cough cough* Orthodox Jews?

  39. #39 Jacob Stein
    February 2, 2009

    I think you’ll find MORE are atheists!

  40. #40 ERV
    February 2, 2009

    DUDE!

    You tried to buy an Indonesian girl on the internet!

    Fuck OFF!

    ROFL!

  41. #41 Tyler DiPietro
    February 2, 2009

    “I’m spreading Judaism, which is a philosophy which will peace and happiness to mankind.”

    No you’re not. You’re raping children in the ass. I’d recommend that you an hero ASAP.

  42. #42 Martin
    February 7, 2009

    Stein tried to buy a child for sex online? Really? Share! I’m all ears.

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