Monday, 28 April 2008

Evangelical atheism in Peru

I was quite astounded at the arrogance displayed by American evangelicals who travelled to South America to convert "the unreached". These "ignorant" farmers apparently needed to hear the Good News before they died, so as not to burn in agony for infinity. Many Catholic sites have a "pray for them" widget featuring exotic cultures that have not discovered the joys of Jesus and child abuse.

It's this kind of mentality which theoretically justifies the nauseating torture used on Catholics/Protestants/witches in the dark ages: which was done with good intention - 'if we stick weights on Joe heretic until he repents then we're sending him to paradise'.

What confuses me is how Jehovah seems to have got more liberal over the centuries; if it was okay to have a slave or two in the nineteenth century then why has he suddenly gone Democrat about it now? The erosion of religious morality and scientific denial has to end sometime.

20 comments:

Jesus said...

Nice blog!

satan said...

I'll be seeing you soon

jesus said...

Who me?

satan said...

No, Mr. X. But you as well. Watch it.

jehovah said...

Don't speak to my f#ck#ng son like that!

the Holy ghost said...

Yeah, bitch.

satan said...

Who the f#ck're you?

GCT said...

We've got a live one here...

Anonymous said...

Samuel Skinner
Don't you lie in front of Jesus! (gct probably gets the reference)

Anyway, believing that their religion is the most important thing and that those who don't receive the word burn in hell is fundamental to all Christians... which explains why their are so many of them.

Interestingly the "convert and breed like rabbits" method of the Muslims seems to be bearing fruit- they are the fastest growing.

So tune in to either a reformation or holy war! Dang... why did I have to live in interesting times.

A final note- have any of you people heard of the shift key? Proper names are capitalized!

MR. X said...

god isn't a pronoun

GCT said...

"Don't you lie in front of Jesus! (gct probably gets the reference)"

*Thinks hard*

Not coming to me, although if you tell me I'll probably slap my head and exclaim, "Oh yeah."

Anonymous said...

Samuel Skinner
It is from Futurama. See your icon?

Gatsby Blastyn said...

Can this blog get anything right?
Do you think slavery started with Christianity?
Do you know what Paternalism was?

Also, if there is no God then what grounds do you have for saying "slavery is wrong"? Sure, you can say it, but on what grounds do you show that others should accept that as an objective truth?

This blog just seems like a bunch of kids with loud mouths, saying things they really haven't thought out.... but heard from other sources that they thought had some level of respect.

MR. X said...

There's plently of rape and stoning in the bible, but do you agree with it? No. Our conscience and culture define our morality, not some random book.

How many Christians had slaves two hundred years ago?

Anonymous said...

Samuel Skinner
Gatsby you know why slavery is wrong? Because it is the ownership of other human beings. Here in the real world we don't justify our stances with books (although I love books)- they are justified with empathy, reason, and the desire for good.

Also, slavery didn't start with Christianity- they just have the dubious distinction of abolishing slavery and then reinstating it.

Paternalism... men have more power. Do I get a prize?

GCT said...

"Samuel Skinner
It is from Futurama. See your icon?"

I've seen a lot of Futurama, but I haven't seen them all, and I don't remember the quote in question...sorry.

Gatsby,
"Do you think slavery started with Christianity?"

No, I don't. Your god, however, didn't seem to mind it. He didn't make any prohibitions against it. How's that for an omni-benevolent god?

"Also, if there is no God then what grounds do you have for saying "slavery is wrong"? Sure, you can say it, but on what grounds do you show that others should accept that as an objective truth?"

Man has evolved as a social animal, and we have established the idea of rights through our cultural evolution (not through revelation BTW). By understanding that we should not do unto others as we wouldn't want done onto us (which didn't originate with the Bible) it's very easy to create a guideline whereby our rights as people are upheld and slavery is seen as a violation of those rights. Knowing that this is the only life we have, I can empathize and realize that I would not want to spend this only go-round as a slave, whilst the theist can accept his role as a slave and pine for the afterlife, or the theistic slaveholder can find slaves as not one of god's chosen ones and not have empathy.

"This blog just seems like a bunch of kids with loud mouths, saying things they really haven't thought out.... but heard from other sources that they thought had some level of respect."

And your empty responses are mature and well thought out? How much thinking did you need to come up with, "You're wrong, although I can't articulate why?"

GCT said...

"Fry: I'm Santa Claus!
Hermes: No, I'm Santa Claus!
Amy: We're also Santa Claus!
Dr. Zoidberg: And I'm his friend Jesus.
Mayor: None of you are Santa Claus! How dare you lie in front of Jesus! "

Gatsby Blastyn said...

No, I don't. Your god, however, didn't seem to mind it. He didn't make any prohibitions against it. How's that for an omni-benevolent god?

Tell me the logical consequence of all humans being equal in the eyes of God?
In the absence of God's existence is it obvious that all men are created equal? No. Not in the least. Some are more intelligent, stronger, faster, resourceful. And through the ages men have used this to support their individual claims (or personal thoughts) of superiority over others.

Man has evolved as a social animal

Evidence? If this is true why should be assume truth-value to it? Evolution doesn't select for that which is true, but that which is functional in a given environment. Also, evolution isn't necessarily cumulative - continuously making better that which follows.

we have established the idea of rights through our cultural evolution (not through revelation BTW).

Wow. Another assertion from Mr. Logic and Reason.
Cultural evolution? Knucklebeak, evolution as you are viewing it would be something random culled by something law like. A culture does not operate in that mode. A selective filter at the cultural level would be the conscious agency of the people that are the constituents of that culture. Your argument is bogus.

By understanding that we should not do unto others as we wouldn't want done onto us

Childish reasoning. Take a peek at what happens in the corporate world, on play grounds, in high schools, in academic circles. Are you going to say with a straight face that these people are operating with the understanding that they should treat others as they would want to be treated?
What isolated little world do you live in?
You haven't a clue.
And also, in the absence of a standard for all you have no reason to assume that others just follow your cute little point of view. Say I'm stronger, healthier, more attractive, wealthier than you.... and say that I like exploiting people like you, what's the argument you give to me to change my mind? "Oh please don't, it's nice to do onto others what you would have done onto you...". Sure.

it's very easy to create a guideline whereby our rights as people are upheld and slavery is seen as a violation of those rights.

Anyone can create an arbitrary standard. Enforcing it is another issue all together. And you're confusing the two.

Knowing that this is the only life we have, I can empathize and realize that I would not want to spend this only go-round as a slave,

Ugh. An argument from person inclination? How about this: Knowing this is my only life, and no consequences wait for me in the beyond, I'm going to have fun. I'm going to take out those that are a headache to me, take advantage of those that I'm able to, live my life on my short time and if someone has a problem with it.... too bad.
Wow, gct...that was easy.

the theist can accept his role as a slave and pine for the afterlife,

The atheist can accept his role as a slave and accept that life isn't fair and that all men are not endowed with the same physical attributes nor born into the same priviledged societal class.
See how easy this is yet?

or the theistic slaveholder can find slaves as not one of god's chosen ones and not have empathy.

Nice to see you critiquing your own little religion you just created. Where men aren't equal in the eyes of God and where men are not required to be loving towards one another.

And your empty responses are mature and well thought out?

If there was a child throwing a tantrum, calling you all names, making fun of you for your clothes, your views, your beliefs.... would you think a well timed argument would squelch the outburst?

How much thinking did you need to come up with, "You're wrong, although I can't articulate why?"

Well, considering it's one of the many things you put into my mouth and then claimed that I said it.... you tell me.
Or, read that bit I just quoted from you and wonder why I don't think a "kick ass" argument is needed.

You know....
after reading the blog posts on hear, your ability to respond to objections (regardless of how thoughtout) we are in agreement about one thing: there is no way in hell that any of you have a Ph.D.
So, you've got that amount of honesty going for you.

GCT said...

"Tell me the logical consequence of all humans being equal in the eyes of God?
In the absence of God's existence is it obvious that all men are created equal? No. Not in the least. Some are more intelligent, stronger, faster, resourceful. And through the ages men have used this to support their individual claims (or personal thoughts) of superiority over others."

You contradicted yourself in the span of one paragraph. All are equal in the eyes of god, but some are stronger, faster, more intelligent...and god made them that way. So, therefore not all are equal in the eyes of god. Besides, when we speak of equal, we mean equal rights. This is not a concept that came from religion and god but from secular Enlightenment values.

"Evidence? If this is true why should be assume truth-value to it? Evolution doesn't select for that which is true, but that which is functional in a given environment. Also, evolution isn't necessarily cumulative - continuously making better that which follows."

The evidence is in the evolution of primates and mammals in general. We (all mammals) live in groups and cooperate in groups. This is functional and has been selected, because it works. Besides, whether we should continue to work like this or not, it answers the initial question.

"Wow. Another assertion from Mr. Logic and Reason."

Another borne out by evidence. Religion doesn't change, and in fact the "morals" from religion are generally dragged kicking and screaming into the modern conception of what is moral and what isn't. Religionists were on the wrong side of the slavery debate, the wrong side of women's rights, the wrong side of civil rights. Freethinkers, OTOH, were at the forefronts of these movements (check Susan Jacoby's book, Freethinkers).

"Cultural evolution? Knucklebeak, evolution as you are viewing it would be something random culled by something law like. A culture does not operate in that mode. A selective filter at the cultural level would be the conscious agency of the people that are the constituents of that culture. Your argument is bogus."

You're either intentionally misinterpreting my argument or you're just simply, sadly mistaken. Either way, "evolution" in this sense is not the biological theory, but it is similar. If cultures don't evolve, how else would you explain the changes in our culture? Since religion doesn't change, how did religion cause these changes?

"Childish reasoning."

So, Jesus's message is childish. Thank you for that. BTW, however, it is not childish, it is the basis of our laws and where we get the idea of rights from. If I am free to kill you, what is there to keep you from killing me first? If I understand this concept of empathy and common cause to not kill lest I not be killed, then society functions.

"And also, in the absence of a standard for all you have no reason to assume that others just follow your cute little point of view. Say I'm stronger, healthier, more attractive, wealthier than you.... and say that I like exploiting people like you, what's the argument you give to me to change my mind? "Oh please don't, it's nice to do onto others what you would have done onto you...". Sure."

Your idea of a standard is trivially false. Is everyone a Christian? Nope, don't think so. IOW, not everyone is following a standard. And, yes, sometimes people do rise up in power and think they can do what they want, it does happen, and only by banding together do we depose them, a la WWI and WWII.

"Anyone can create an arbitrary standard. Enforcing it is another issue all together. And you're confusing the two."

Who is talking about enforcement? You're either moving the goal posts or you're projecting your confusion onto me.

"Ugh. An argument from person inclination?"

No, an argument from logical conclusions. Your situation ignores what I've been saying, that if I take that attitude, what's to keep others from doing the same? You can't take snippets of my argument and apply or ignore them at different times to make your point. Either deal with the full argument or admit that you can't.

"The atheist can accept his role as a slave and accept that life isn't fair and that all men are not endowed with the same physical attributes nor born into the same priviledged societal class.
See how easy this is yet?"

This is implicit admission that there is no reason for theists to be upset at being slaves. Thank you for your frank admission; it's exactly what I was saying.

"Nice to see you critiquing your own little religion you just created. Where men aren't equal in the eyes of God and where men are not required to be loving towards one another."

Where in your religion did this idea come from? It didn't come from the Bible, but ad-hoc reasoning applied later, after the cultural evolution of the secular Enlightenment period. IOW, the Bible is all about god's chosen people, the in group and the out group. You are told to love others in your in group, but not so with outsiders. The Bible is provincial in attitude.

"If there was a child throwing a tantrum, calling you all names, making fun of you for your clothes, your views, your beliefs.... would you think a well timed argument would squelch the outburst?"

That's why I continue to present arguments against your position, since you seem to want to call me names, tell me how immature and stupid I am, etc. And, you are (mostly) engaging in empty responses still. Give reasons for your positions instead of hurling ridicule. Obviously your position is not obvious nor is it obviously derived since I question and challenge it. It's not enough for you to hold to the theistic tradition of assuming that your position is correct and that I believe so too, because I don't believe your position is correct.

"after reading the blog posts on hear, your ability to respond to objections (regardless of how thoughtout) we are in agreement about one thing: there is no way in hell that any of you have a Ph.D.
So, you've got that amount of honesty going for you."

And, the point is that I don't need a Ph.D. in theology to know that the Bible is made up by men, is inaccurate, that no evidence of god exists, etc. How you missed that is beyond me. But, hey, keep calling me childish, stupid, etc. It's really helping your cause...so much more than presenting arguments for your side.

GCT said...

"Tell me the logical consequence of all humans being equal in the eyes of God?"

BTW, it should be noted that this may very well be so, although in god's eyes we are all evil according to the Bible. So, if we are all equal in god's eyes, we are all equally bad. This is not a loving theology, nor a good one.