PC: “zk, you expressed exactly what I feel about religion. I think I love you!”
Get in line, babe. No, I’m just kidding. It’s great to know that someone feels the same as I do.
CM:”Godless yes, but they had BELIEF! I’m not a communism expert, but as far as I know they believed in the people, the state, the ideology.”
True. And the society I describe would belive in the human race.
jep:”Athiests believe God does NOT exist.”
That is one definition of atheist. “2: a lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.” is another definition of atheism. I, and probably most atheists, are atheists under the second definition. If I believe that the chances of there being a god/gods is about the same as invisible elephants floating above matthew’s deck (and I do), then by some definitions I am an agnostic. Because I believe in the possibility, however ridiculously remote, that there is a god/gods. I would guess the scientists we’re talking about would feel the same way. So, call them/us what you want; it’s only a label. I use the word “atheist” to describe myself because it’s easier (and better understood) than saying “I believe the chances of their being a god/gods is less than one in a trillion to the trillionth power, but I can’t say that I’m absolutely sure there’s no god.” If one says “agnostic,” most people would probably think that person doesn’t know what to believe, or that they place the odds of there being a god somewhere in the 5-99% range. Not fitting into either of those categories, I just refer to myself as an atheist on the rare occasions that it comes up.
“Talk to any atheist for a while, and you may find that they are obsessed with God (believing in the non-existence, that is).”
None of the atheists I know are like that. Also, I don’t think most of my friends even know I’m an atheist. It’s not worth advertising in today’s american culture. If what you said were true, what would be the relevance of it?
jg:”Sounds plausible, logical, and irrefutable. Problem is when you attempt to maximize benefit to BOTH society and individuals, compromises creep in. That 90 year old person in the old folks home who never married and has outlived her friends; why keep her around? She costs society $25-50K per year in payments to her old folks’ home. Isn’t that money better spent on educating 2.5-5 kids in a CA public school for one year?”
Of course compromises creep in. That’s how society works. But to suggest that the scenario you describe above would actually happen is like me saying that if Christians were in charge, there would be murderous crusades. No, wait, that actually happened. Just because your god holds life to be sacrosanct (oh, wait, only under certain circumstances) doesn’t mean that a humanist society wouldn’t.
“Christianity says each and every individual has intrinsic value. Protect the weak and innocent. Seems okay to me. Otherwise, ad absurdum, you get developments like the Nazis, who decided that Jews, gypsies, and Slavs were unworthy of living.”
Plenty of genocide has been committed in the name of god. Doesn’t seem okay to me. Sure, protect the weak and innocent. Great. But I’d add, “don’t kill those who believe differently from you.” Seems like a lot of religions leave that out.
“Religion is the great, absolute civilizing and restraining force. It fails, often. But it works, mostly, especially Christianity; Europe and America are different and are better.”
If it fails often, it is neither great nor absolute.
Europe and America may or may not be different and/or better. But if they are, I don’t think christianity has got anything to do with it.
In my opinion, they are not better. The U.S.A. has the sixth-highest homicide rate in the world. The seventh-place country has barely more than half the homicide rate as us. Violent crime is a much bigger problem here than in most countries. In what ways do you think Europe and America are better, and what do you think Christianity has to do with it?
doof:”Christianity is not the only moral compass out there, and if it is for you, then I’d be very afraid of you if you ever lost your faith.”
I’m curious about that. I don’t think jg would turn into an amoral being if he lost his faith. What do you think, jg?