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Thread: James Holmes confirmed to be an atheist

  1. -31
    tylerdolphin's Avatar
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    You’re going to have to make up your mind here; do atheists kill people because they are lunatics or because they want power? You seem to want it both ways, I don’t think anyone is going to argue Stalin was a lunatic; he seemed to be a very calculated individual. He knew exactly what he was doing; we can see this in all of his actions, from removing Russian Orthodoxy as the official religion of the Soveit Union and replacing it with atheism, to replacing all orthodox churches with museums and shrines to “human reason”. The guy knew that if he discredited the state religion, then his actions would be viewed as more acceptable by the public because a certain level of moral complacency would develop.

    A person’s view on theism is their most fundamental belief. It affects every other belief in their belief system. If a person doesn’t believe god exists, it completely changes the way they view themselves, others, morality, life, death, justice, suffering, purpose, and the list goes on and on. So to say Stalin’s atheism didn’t directly affect his action is imply absurd.
    Why cant I have it both ways? He did it because he wanted to keep power, but you have to be a sociopath to kill millions of people. And yes, a person's religious view does affect their views on life...look no further than the religious nuts that kill people for God. You have gone to great lengths to distance yourself and "true" Christians from the whackjobs and lunatics, yet you still want to say atheism causes mass murderers despite the fact that we believe nothing at all. Its an absurd position. Yeah, some sociopaths are atheist. It doesnt mean much though. Stalin didnt remove the church to make the people accepting of murder. He did it so that he could have total power and not share it with a deity. Nobody was accepting of Stalin's mass murder. People just dealt with it day to day because they had to if they didnt want to die themselves.

    Out of curiosity, why do you think we don’t need a god in order to behave? I guess a better way of putting it would be, how do we determine what is wrong and right if there is no god?
    Because sane human beings have a conscience and naturally know not to do certain things. Other things we dont do because we are brought up in a society and conform to it in order to be accepted.
    Last edited by tylerdolphin; 08-03-2012 at 04:39 PM.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Spesh View Post
    He was seeking treatment from mental health professionals for his problem. That same professional warned the school he was unstable. He will undoubtable be locked up for the rest of his life, but its likely it will be in a mental health hospital. And of course you believe its more do to his atheism then it is with his seemingly uncontrollable mental disorder. Then again, religion has been slamming those with unhealthy mental conditions for centuries, so this is nothing new. Lemme guess, to "cure" him he should have been public flogging, right?


    First off, give me an idea of what I am dealing with here. Are you a naturalist?

    Doesnt everyone love it when someone religious tells people what everyone elses beliefs are? You would know all about atheistic morality from your vast experience as one, correct? Which part of his atheistic (non)beliefs do you think caused him to go on a shooting spree, the not raping children part or the not burning women part?


    Where do you get this notion that I have to actually be an atheist in order to know what someone who is one believes? That seems to be a bit of a non-sequitur there.

    I wouldn’t say it was just one single piece of his atheistic belief system that pushed him over the edge, it was probably a combination. A lot of it was probably the fact he would believe that he owns himself, that was the biggest belief that seemed to push Jeffery Dahmer over the edge so I imagine it played a role here as well.
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    Statler Waldorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Locke View Post
    There's nothing rational about generalizing an entire group of people based on the actions of one. You go and talk about atheists as a group like this, and then try and say something about me not having a rational response?


    I didn’t generalize a group of people, I was talking about atheism, which is a belief system. You didn’t have a rational response, you just called it stupid and said you weren’t going to respond, that’s not a rational response.

    I don't have the patience or the desire to go and refute each and every one of your delusional points.


    I think it’s more that you don’t have the ability to.

    I don't care enough about you to worry about taking the time to do it. Honestly, I simply don't care.


    …you don’t care so much that you waste your time typing a response about how much you don’t care?

    You're one person in a segment of the population that has been in steep decline since the early 90s. By the time I'm 50, you evangelicals are going to be such a non-factor, politicians are going to give you as much attention in elections as they currently give all the other religions.


    I am not an evangelical, but I know you don’t care enough to accurately classify your opponent. A religion’s incline or decline has no bearing on whether it is true or not.

    If it makes you feel better to think you "got the better of me", then have at it. It's not like you're lacking in the delusion department...


    Is it common for “delusional” people to get the better of you?

    Quote Originally Posted by tylerdolphin View Post
    Why cant I have it both ways? He did it because he wanted to keep power, but you have to be a sociopath to kill millions of people. And yes, a person's religious view does affect their views on life...look no further than the religious nuts that kill people for God. You have gone to great lengths to distance yourself and "true" Christians from the whackjobs and lunatics, yet you still want to say atheism causes mass murderers despite the fact that we believe nothing at all. Its an absurd position. Yeah, some sociopaths are atheist. It doesnt mean much though. Stalin did remove the church to make the people accepting of murder. He did it so that he could have total power and not share it with a deity. Nobody was accepting of Stalin's mass murder. People just dealt with it day to day because they had to if they didnt want to die themselves.


    Ok, fair enough, let’s clear a few things up though. As an atheist, could you tell someone like Stalin they were doing anything wrong or evil? If so, upon whose authority?



    Because sane human beings have a conscience and naturally know not to do certain things. Other things we dont do because we are brought up in a society and conform to it in order to be accepted.


    Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t you just say above that Stalin was a sociopath, meaning he didn’t have that natural ability? So then is he still responsible for his actions or does he get a pass because that seems to be a necessary part of your definition of morality?

    Additionally, if another necessary part of morality in your view is conforming to the rules of society, does that mean it is morally right for people in the Middle East to kill homosexuals since that is part of their society over there?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t you just say above that Stalin was a sociopath, meaning he didn’t have that natural ability? So then is he still responsible for his actions or does he get a pass because that seems to be a necessary part of your definition of morality?


    Stalin's actions were not acceptable. Nobody needs God to tell them that. I dont need a cosmic babysitter to realize I probably shouldnt kill millions of people. Stalin was a sociopath and something that me and you possess just didnt click. It doesnt absolve him. Hes still an evil man. Some people are just evil. Thats just how the world is.


    Additionally, if another necessary part of morality in your view is conforming to the rules of society, does that mean it is morally right for people in the Middle East to kill homosexuals since that is part of their society over there?
    In their view its OK. In my view its not. Maybe if they were not deluded by their religious extremism they would realize the value of human life and wouldnt be brainwashed into senseless violence.

    You seem to be getting hung up on nonsensical philosophical questions that dont prove anything. Why does morality have to come from God? Why cant it just be innate in most people? Why cant it be an evolutionary product that exists to allow us to function in a society? And why does it have to be because of atheism every time a lunatic goes and does something awful? Crazy is crazy and they will do crazy thing regardless. If Holmes were religious and did it because Jesus told him to, youd say he wasnt a "real" Christian. That may well be true, but you cant blame atheism for something when it teaches nothing and at the same time absolve religion of any blame for anything.

    Was it moral to have slaves? The Bible says it cool.

    Was it moral to kill witches? The Bible is OK with that.

    Is it moral to stone your own child to death? The Bible says so.

    Is it moral to conquer a land just for the sake of it and take all the virgins to rape? The Bible says so.

    Seems to me that you dont get your morality from the Bible if you dont do these things. Why not? Its because within yourself you have an innate conscience that knows when something it ****ed up. You know all those things the Bible commands and endorses are ****ed up. Your morality comes mostly from common sense with a dash of Bible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tylerdolphin View Post
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    Stalin's actions were not acceptable. Nobody needs God to tell them that. I dont need a cosmic babysitter to realize I probably shouldnt kill millions of people. Stalin was a sociopath and something that me and you possess just didnt click. It doesnt absolve him. Hes still an evil man. Some people are just evil. Thats just how the world is.


    Ok, I still think we are missing one another on this one. Why were his actions not acceptable? If there is no God setting the rules doesn’t Stalin have just as much right to set his own rules of morality as you do to set yours? Not only this, but the guy was the most powerful man on earth for quite some time, and died that way. So why should he care whether anyone else accepts his actions as right or wrong? It didn’t affect him at all; he did it his way and got exactly what he wanted.


    In their view its OK. In my view its not. Maybe if they were not deluded by their religious extremism they would realize the value of human life and wouldnt be brainwashed into senseless violence.


    You seemed to contradict yourself here, just a few minutes ago you seemed to act like rules of morality were dependent on one’s society, but then when I pointed out a society that kills homosexuals you then seemed to reverse your position and act like there is a set of rules of morality that are independent of one’s society. So are there certain actions that are always wrong regardless of where and when someone lives?

    You seem to be getting hung up on nonsensical philosophical questions that dont prove anything. Why does morality have to come from God?


    My questions aren’t nonsensical or meaningless; they are actually helping to answer your question above. If morality is something that is dependent upon man it then becomes relative and in a sense utterly meaningless. You have helped to demonstrate this, you took the approach that rules of morality are relative to one’s society, but then you seemed to raise moral objections towards the way people in other societies behave. This seems to appeal to a greater set of rules that are independent of what mankind thinks.



    Why cant it just be innate in most people? Why cant it be an evolutionary product that exists to allow us to function in a society?


    These are fair enough questions, but you’ll find they create huge problems. I completely agree that most people are born with a sense of morality, but I disagree this is where the rules of morality come from, but rather humans are made in the image of God so they have a natural understanding of His rules. To say that humans are born not wanting to kill one another and therefore should not kill one another seems to be committing the is/ought fallacy. You are trying to argue from the way things are to the way things ought to be which isn’t possible. What about the people like Stalin who seem to get ahead in life by killing others? This behavior too would seem to have an evolutionary advantage since he died the most powerful man on earth, therefore is it morally right to behave like Stalin because it provides an evolutionary advantage? Raping women provides a huge evolutionary advantage because it gives the male the most chance to spread his genes throughout the population, therefore is raping women now morally right? I would argue these behaviors are both morally wrong because they violate God’s laws, despite humans often being born with the will and means to behave like this.


    Was it moral to have slaves? The Bible says it cool.


    Depends on what you mean by the word slave, the slaves in Bible times were nothing like the American Slaves of the 18th and 19th centuries. The term translated into English in the Bible as “slave” can also simply be translated as “bond servant” which is a completely different thing than American slaves. In Christianity slavery would be wrong because it violates the golden rule, but I don’t see how even American slavery would be wrong though given your own definitions of morality, don’t slaves provide an advantage to a society?

    Was it moral to kill witches? The Bible is OK with that.


    Where does it say that?

    Is it moral to stone your own child to death? The Bible says so.


    Under the Mosaic Covenant under very extreme circumstances yes it was, not under the New Covenant though.

    Is it moral to conquer a land just for the sake of it and take all the virgins to rape? The Bible says so.


    You must think this is my first discussion of this nature don’t you? Please show me exactly where it says they raped those virgins in the book of Numbers…good luck : -)

    Seems to me that you dont get your morality from the Bible if you dont do these things. Why not? Its because within yourself you have an innate conscience that knows when something it ****ed up. You know all those things the Bible commands and endorses are ****ed up. Your morality comes mostly from common sense with a dash of Bible.


    No I still get it from the Bible and the fact I am made in the image of God. I just live under the New Covenant, not the Mosaic Covenant. You keep saying we don’t do those things because we are born not to, but then there are many people who do do those things. Were they born to do those things?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tylerdolphin View Post
    The No True Scotsman fallacy is only committed when the behavior in question is irrelevant to the label in question, as the example goes putting sugar in your cereal and being a Scotsman. Scripture is quite clear that we will know the sheep by their deeds and fruit (behavior), so saying someone is not a Christian because their behavior is contradictory to what Christ taught is completely legitimate and not an example of the fallacy. It’d be like saying, “That person is not a guy because they do not have a Y chromosome”, having a Y chromosome is relevant to the definition of being a male so it is not fallacious reasoning. Now saying “Stalin wasn’t an atheist because he murdered millions of people” would be fallacious because atheism does not have a unified code of behavior that is a necessary requirement of being an atheist, Christianity however does.
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    Your logic is so circular that you cant have a rational conversation. The Bible DOES condone slavery. WTF is thew difference between being a bond servant and a slave? Only the name. They had slaves from lands they conquered. Im sure those guys were thrilled to be in bondage though. And for what reason would the Israelites take all those virgins if it wasnt to fornicate with them? Common sense applies here. And yes, the Bible says to kill sorcerers Im pretty sure. Just because you choose to apply your own interpretation to pretty clear and straight forward text does not make these things not true.

    As for the whole circular moral debate, yes Stalin can have whatever moral code he wants. I can as well. I can do whatever the **** I want. There are repercussions to my actions though, ranging from jail to not being accepted by society. We know some things are not "moral" just because we evolved as a society that way. Look at any animal that lives in herds or packs. Same logic. Did God write them a book telling them what to do? They just know that some things are bad and they dont do them.

    Your morals are no different than mine. You obey some laws in the Bible (as does most everyone) while conveniently ignoring the irrational and stupid ones. Jesus said himself that he didnt come to mess with the OT. You cant just decide you like some OT laws but not others. And what God would endorse child killings anyway? WTF.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tylerdolphin View Post
    Your logic is so circular that you cant have a rational conversation.


    Where have I used a circular argument?

    The Bible DOES condone slavery.


    Passage and verse please.

    WTF is thew difference between being a bond servant and a slave?


    Huge difference! The Israelites were given strict rules on how their bond servants were to be treated; this was not the case in America. Bond servant-hood was quite often a means for people to obtain shelter and food who would otherwise not be able to have it. Extradition of the servants was prohibited, they could not be forced to work on the Sabbath, they were also set free after a certain period of time (after six years); after being freed the servants were given gifts so they would be economically stable. None of this was the case with American slaves; in fact comparing the two seems to be nothing short of an insult to those who went through slavery in America. Historical context is important, and the servant-hood the Israelites used was nothing like what we are familiar with today. In an atheistic universe why would owning slaves be morally wrong? You have not answered that question yet.

    I see nothing in book of Numbers to suggest any virgins were raped if you can find where it stated they were please show me. Appealing to “common sense” is a logical fallacy.

    As for the whole circular moral debate, yes Stalin can have whatever moral code he wants. I can as well. I can do whatever the **** I want. There are repercussions to my actions though, ranging from jail to not being accepted by society. We know some things are not "moral" just because we evolved as a society that way. Look at any animal that lives in herds or packs. Same logic. Did God write them a book telling them what to do? They just know that some things are bad and they dont do them.


    Again, you seem to be contradicting yourself, you just said people can do what they want, but then in the very next sentence you seemed to be ok with putting people in jail. So can people do what they want or not?
    So if I can point to examples where pack and herd animals kill or rape one another then you will be forced to admit that people killing one another and raping one another is morally acceptable behavior?

    Animals were not created in the image of God, they do not have souls and they are therefore not moral agents. Humans are completely special.

    So if something provides an evolutionary advantage, is it therefore morally acceptable?

    Your morals are no different than mine. You obey some laws in the Bible (as does most everyone) while conveniently ignoring the irrational and stupid ones. Jesus said himself that he didnt come to mess with the OT. You cant just decide you like some OT laws but not others. And what God would endorse child killings anyway? WTF.


    Well I am sure are morals actually are a bit different. Additionally, it’s not that I ignore certain laws in the Bible; it’s that I have an understanding of Covenant Theology; Christ ushered in the New Covenant, thus replacing the Mosaic Covenant and its laws. This is pretty simple and basic stuff here, so I think it is you who seems to be ignoring parts of the Bible just because they are actually quite consistent.

    How can you morally object to anything God does in the Bible? Did God evolve? Is He part of a society? Of course not, so what makes you think for a minute your definitions of morality would even apply to Him? You are just not being very consistent at all here.
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    How old do you believe the Earth to be Waldorf? 6000 years?

    Psalm 137:9
    “Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.”

    Kings 18:27
    “But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? Hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?”

    Deuteronomy 21:18-21
    “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.”

    Deuteronomy 23:1
    No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.

    1 Samuel 18:25-27
    Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law. Before the time had expired, David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife.

    Ezekial 23:19-20

    Yet she increased her prostitution, remembering the days of her youth when she engaged in prostitution in the land of Egypt. She lusted after their genitals as large as those of donkeys, and their seminal emission was as strong as that of stallions.


    — DEUTERONOMY 25:11-12
    "If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity."

    ------





    -----

    What of the Wars I posted about on the first page? Why is atheism causally linked with a murder, but theism is not for those who murder in the name of Christ? When the Spaniards came to Central, South, and North America and slaughtered the natives by the hundreds of thousands in the name of Christ, and felt no remorse doing so because they viewed the godless heathens as 'sub-human', is that not a product of theism? You can say, "oh they weren't real Christians", which is fine, but there's no doubt that their interpretation of Christian theism manifested those actions. This repeats itself on throughout history, whether that be the Roman Catholic Church founding the inquisition to "fight off heretics", i.e. kill in the name of Christ. Or any number of the Crusades blessed by The Pope himself (Pope Urban II), The Spanish Reconquista to conquer the Muslim occupied Iberian Peninsula, on and on, etc. "On forward Christian Soldiers", has certainly been a repeating theme throughout history; "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ" - Gandhi.

    I'm with you that how you view the world affects your actions, but at the same time you can't deny that theism, and in this case Christianity, can lead people to do terrible things as well. The bible has some good stuff, not to kill, steal, **** your neighbors wife, that's all well and good, but I'm not into the whole dogma of Christianity. I don't believe there's a literal hell, I don't believe there's a cloudy gated community in the stratosphere, and I don't believe God to be a separate entity.

    How much do you know about other world religions?
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