Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#61  Postby Aern Rakesh » Sep 15, 2013 9:18 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:
stevecook172001 wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:

Okay, but you're not saying that more religious people would participate in genocide than non-religious...and again, I'm wondering how that would be measured......


In a world without ideologies, good people do good things and bad people do bad things

But, it takes ideologies to get good people to do bad things.

Religions, of whatever stripe, are ideologies. As are all the "isms" that have replaced them.


You're still handing out platitudes. Where is the proof of this?

What reason would a good person have to do evil things?


Good people who do evil things—and I suspect that all good people do evil things now and again—find reasons, whether they are religiously motivated or not. They convince themselves they're right to do these things.

Am I really in a tiny minority of atheists on this board that thinks this? If I am, then the rest of you are very much more confident in your goodness-of-personhood than I am.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#62  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Sep 15, 2013 9:20 am

Nora_Leonard wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:
stevecook172001 wrote:

In a world without ideologies, good people do good things and bad people do bad things

But, it takes ideologies to get good people to do bad things.

Religions, of whatever stripe, are ideologies. As are all the "isms" that have replaced them.


You're still handing out platitudes. Where is the proof of this?

What reason would a good person have to do evil things?


Good people who do evil things—and I suspect that all good people do evil things now and again—find reasons, whether they are religiously motivated or not. They convince themselves they're right to do these things.

Am I really in a tiny minority of atheists on this board that thinks this? If I am, then the rest of you are very much more confident in your goodness-of-personhood than I am.

No, just one of the few who fails to realise that ideologies and -isms, whether they be religions or otherwise, provide these reasons a plenty.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#63  Postby nunnington » Sep 15, 2013 9:29 am

Nora_Leonard wrote:
natselrox wrote:To paraphrase Eddie Izzard, "Religion doesn't kill people, people kill people. But religion helps, I think."
Those last two words (paraphrase or not) is the point. You guys think religion makes people behave in a worse manner than not being religious, and you've certainly got loads of examples of horrors where religion is in the mix there somewhere. But when religion is not in the mix, the reports don't highlight that.

What both SS and I are saying is: where is the actual proof—not the supposition, theorising, thinking—that atheists are better humans than religious people?

natselrox wrote:In short, if you believe in a myth that endorses this 'them and us' view of the world, I think, it'll be easier for you to vilify others with a sense of self-righteous anger.


A myth like "religion makes a person less of a good person than being atheist"? We've certainly got that "them and us" view expressed all over this forum.


I think the phrase from Izzard is interesting: 'religion helps, I think'. This sounds very vague and fuzzy to me. OK, this is what he thinks, but, as you say, is there any more substantive weight to this idea or group of ideas? I'm not sure how you would begin to calculate the relative harm done by theists and atheists. Just making lists of bad people doesn't really hack it, does it? Then some people make grand historical lists - think of all the people killed in the inquisitions, the crusades, and so on. But how does one calculate exactly the harm done by theists and atheists? If Christians dropped 'LIttle Boy' and 'Fat Man' on Japan, does that count as Christian violence?
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#64  Postby DarthHelmet86 » Sep 15, 2013 9:31 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:

You're still handing out platitudes. Where is the proof of this?

What reason would a good person have to do evil things?


Good people who do evil things—and I suspect that all good people do evil things now and again—find reasons, whether they are religiously motivated or not. They convince themselves they're right to do these things.

Am I really in a tiny minority of atheists on this board that thinks this? If I am, then the rest of you are very much more confident in your goodness-of-personhood than I am.

No, just one of the few who fails to realise that ideologies and -isms, whether they be religions or otherwise, provide these reasons a plenty.


I think Nora understands that rather well. Non religious people still have ideologies and -isms that lead or provide them with reasons for them to do evil things and more than likely always will. People are people and no matter their religion or lack of they can and do do evil horrible shit. Dividing people into good and bad is silly and naive to me, sometimes a good person only needs a small nudge and they are a bad person, sometimes they just need the world to move around them for that to happen.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#65  Postby Aern Rakesh » Sep 15, 2013 9:42 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:

You're still handing out platitudes. Where is the proof of this?

What reason would a good person have to do evil things?


Good people who do evil things—and I suspect that all good people do evil things now and again—find reasons, whether they are religiously motivated or not. They convince themselves they're right to do these things.

Am I really in a tiny minority of atheists on this board that thinks this? If I am, then the rest of you are very much more confident in your goodness-of-personhood than I am.

No, just one of the few who fails to realise that ideologies and -isms, whether they be religions or otherwise, provide these reasons a plenty.


Dear god, Thomas. I haven't failed to realise that! :roll:

I just don't believe that even with those reasons religious people are more likely to behave badly than non-religious people, because non-religious people are just as capable of inventing justifications for their bad behaviour. It's just that their 'reasons' aren't ready-made religious ones.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#66  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Sep 15, 2013 9:46 am

Nora_Leonard wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
What reason would a good person have to do evil things?


Good people who do evil things—and I suspect that all good people do evil things now and again—find reasons, whether they are religiously motivated or not. They convince themselves they're right to do these things.

Am I really in a tiny minority of atheists on this board that thinks this? If I am, then the rest of you are very much more confident in your goodness-of-personhood than I am.

No, just one of the few who fails to realise that ideologies and -isms, whether they be religions or otherwise, provide these reasons a plenty.


Dear god, Thomas. I haven't failed to realise that! :roll:

It seemed to me that you were objecting to that point.

Nora_Leonard wrote:I just don't believe that even with those reasons religious people are more likely to behave badly than non-religious people,

But that's not the point/claim being made.
The point/claim is that religion, unlike atheism, can give an excuse to do bad things.

Nora_Leonard wrote:because non-religious people are just as capable of inventing justifications for their bad behaviour. It's just that their 'reasons' aren't ready-made religious ones.

That was acknowledged by pointing to ideologies and -isms in general.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#67  Postby nunnington » Sep 15, 2013 9:55 am

It's an odd claim in any case, that theism, unlike atheism, can give people reason to do bad things, since how could an absence of belief produce any action at all? Surely, a better comparison is between religion and anti-theism, since some anti-theists seem to be feel strongly enough about religion, to carry out bad things. However, clearly atheism does not necessarily lead to anti-theism.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#68  Postby Aern Rakesh » Sep 15, 2013 10:13 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:

Good people who do evil things—and I suspect that all good people do evil things now and again—find reasons, whether they are religiously motivated or not. They convince themselves they're right to do these things.

Am I really in a tiny minority of atheists on this board that thinks this? If I am, then the rest of you are very much more confident in your goodness-of-personhood than I am.

No, just one of the few who fails to realise that ideologies and -isms, whether they be religions or otherwise, provide these reasons a plenty.


Dear god, Thomas. I haven't failed to realise that! :roll:

It seemed to me that you were objecting to that point.


Not at all.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:I just don't believe that even with those reasons religious people are more likely to behave badly than non-religious people,

But that's not the point/claim being made.
The point/claim is that religion, unlike atheism, can give an excuse to do bad things.


No, that is not the claim that I was arguing against. I was arguing against DougC's comment (what I've bolded, and clearly it isn't just Doug who feels this way)

DougC wrote:From my understanding of the bible, and the other works of woo. The Athiests are as near as dammit to the chosen people. We are the ones who actualy live decent lives and try not to harm others.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#69  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Sep 15, 2013 10:15 am

Nora_Leonard wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
No, just one of the few who fails to realise that ideologies and -isms, whether they be religions or otherwise, provide these reasons a plenty.


Dear god, Thomas. I haven't failed to realise that! :roll:

It seemed to me that you were objecting to that point.


Not at all.

My apologies then, I've misread your post.

Nora_Leonard wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:I just don't believe that even with those reasons religious people are more likely to behave badly than non-religious people,

But that's not the point/claim being made.
The point/claim is that religion, unlike atheism, can give an excuse to do bad things.


No, that is not the claim that I was arguing against. I was arguing against DougC's comment (what I've bolded, and clearly it isn't just Doug who feels this way)

DougC wrote:From my understanding of the bible, and the other works of woo. The Athiests are as near as dammit to the chosen people. We are the ones who actualy live decent lives and try not to harm others.
[/quote]
I see. Never mind then. :oops:
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#70  Postby Aern Rakesh » Sep 15, 2013 11:04 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:Never mind then. :oops:
Absolutely no reason to be embarrassed. It's easy to lose track in these threads... :hugs:
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#71  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Sep 15, 2013 11:08 am

:cheers:
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#72  Postby GenesForLife » Sep 15, 2013 12:03 pm

The only way any data can be shown is on a per-issue basis. On support for gay marriage, for instance, religiosity does seem to affect support in the US setting, and the average muslim in the UK is far likelier to condemn homosexuality and premarital sex compared to other muslims in Germany and France and relative to the general population. http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/may/ ... CMP=twt_gu (I know Andrew Brown waffles about sample sizes being small, but it's a 5% error for muslim respondents at best).
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#74  Postby stevecook172001 » Sep 15, 2013 12:40 pm

Nora_Leonard wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:
stevecook172001 wrote:

In a world without ideologies, good people do good things and bad people do bad things

But, it takes ideologies to get good people to do bad things.

Religions, of whatever stripe, are ideologies. As are all the "isms" that have replaced them.


You're still handing out platitudes. Where is the proof of this?

What reason would a good person have to do evil things?


Good people who do evil things—and I suspect that all good people do evil things now and again—find reasons, whether they are religiously motivated or not. They convince themselves they're right to do these things.

Am I really in a tiny minority of atheists on this board that thinks this? If I am, then the rest of you are very much more confident in your goodness-of-personhood than I am.
Anybody can be susceptable to psychologically protecting themselves from the immorality of their actions by redefining those actions in terms of a moral lie. Humans, of course, do this kind of thing all the times because, religious or otherwise, we are inherently superstitious creatures who make shit up all the time for a whole load of broader Darwinian reasons which I am not going to go into here.

However, what religion does is codify that self-delusional, self-justyifying bullshit into an entire doctrine.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#75  Postby Doubtdispelled » Sep 15, 2013 1:10 pm

Darwinsbulldog wrote:Likewise murders, rapes and assaults are more common in highly religious areas than those which are more secular and atheist.

:eh:
Can you provide us with some data on this, DB? It's quite a strong claim.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#76  Postby Aern Rakesh » Sep 15, 2013 1:11 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:
Darwinsbulldog wrote:Likewise murders, rapes and assaults are more common in highly religious areas than those which are more secular and atheist.

:eh:
Can you provide us with some data on this, DB? It's quite a strong claim.


:this:
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#77  Postby stevecook172001 » Sep 15, 2013 1:21 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:
Darwinsbulldog wrote:Likewise murders, rapes and assaults are more common in highly religious areas than those which are more secular and atheist.

:eh:
Can you provide us with some data on this, DB? It's quite a strong claim.
I don't know about the data on the above, but what I do recall reading is that a higher frequency of religiosity tends to co-occur in societies that have large disparities between rich and poor and where there is a low level of eduction amongst the poor. We also know that violent crime is more prevalent amongst the poor for all of the obvious and well documented socio/economic reasons. One might plausibly hypothesise, therefore, that higher levels of violent crime are, at the very least, a correlate of both religion and poverty.

Or, to put it more bluntly:

Ignorance and desperation makes people more likely to believe in any old crap (as a result of desperation) and deal with their problems in simplistic, violent ways (as a result of ignorance). Which is, of course, why organisations such as the Catholic church love their poor people. Indeed, they love them so much, their policies would seem specifically designed to keep them that way.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#78  Postby Fallible » Sep 15, 2013 1:50 pm

Nora_Leonard wrote:
stevecook172001 wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:
Fallible wrote:Of course I'm being somewhat tongue in cheek. But yes, I would expect there to be a large number of certainly Christians who condone God's actions only because they're perpetrated by God, not just vocally but by continuing to worship a genocidal God.


Okay, but you're not saying that more religious people would participate in genocide than non-religious...and again, I'm wondering how that would be measured......


In a world without ideologies, good people do good things and bad people do bad things

But, it takes ideologies to get good people to do bad things.

Religions, of whatever stripe, are ideologies. As are all the "isms" that have replaced them.


You're still handing out platitudes. Where is the proof of this? And, presumably you're not saying that only religious people are bad people?

The statement that I first questioned was that by DougC, i.e. (and by 'we' he's referring to atheists)

We are the ones who actualy live decent lives and try not to harm others.


And I asked where is the proof that atheists are better people than religious people or that they try harder to live decent lives and to not harm people.

All any of you has done is give reasons why a religious person might do something bad, or specific examples of bad religious people. Well :dunno:


No it isn't. I have said that the worship of a being who has done unimaginable things is one way in which some theists are in my view less moral than atheists. Atheists are capable of having some pretty nasty views, but they're not attempting to claim that nasty things are OK when the master of the universe does them or gets others to do them, that "badness" goes away when God is involved. You didn't come back with anything in relation to that, so I assumed you were satisfied on that count. Now I find that you've just gone back to claiming that no one has given you a decent answer.

I say again - if a person is willing to actually worship a being that they believe has wiped out humanity almost in its entirety because it was not living as this being thought it should, is willing to claim that this being is the pinnacle of all that is good and right and just, is willing to excuse genocide, mass starvation, deadly illnesses and who knows what else in a being that could put a stop to it all by its sheer will, then that person is less moral than another person who does not worship such a being. There will be atheists who have supported despicable acts by various leaders I'm sure, but to actually try to claim that God is good, and to live life devoted to a religion that at its very heart contains a creature capable and guilty of committing such heinous atrocities, is in my view immoral. And if they're compartmentalising because their faith is precious to them, they're putting heir own well-being above even basic human kindness, despite what they tell themselves. Because theists do "good" because they get a reward for it, just like the rest of us. The difference is that they do "good" because they think their genocidal master will like that, in a kind of do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do lesson in abject hypocrisy. If they were really moral, they'd do good without also endorsing a monster, and without expectation of reward above what we all get - that warm feeling that we've done good. There is no need for statistics in order to back this up, unless you want to argue that Christians and Jews for example do not in fact worship this god.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#79  Postby Fallible » Sep 15, 2013 2:04 pm

Nora_Leonard wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
What reason would a good person have to do evil things?


Good people who do evil things—and I suspect that all good people do evil things now and again—find reasons, whether they are religiously motivated or not. They convince themselves they're right to do these things.

Am I really in a tiny minority of atheists on this board that thinks this? If I am, then the rest of you are very much more confident in your goodness-of-personhood than I am.

No, just one of the few who fails to realise that ideologies and -isms, whether they be religions or otherwise, provide these reasons a plenty.


Dear god, Thomas. I haven't failed to realise that! :roll:

I just don't believe that even with those reasons religious people are more likely to behave badly than non-religious people, because non-religious people are just as capable of inventing justifications for their bad behaviour. It's just that their 'reasons' aren't ready-made religious ones.


It's not about actions. The fact is a theist's whole life is based on the belief in the goodness of a monster whom they wish to please. Why would you want to please a monster? Because you'll get something. So it's not about them behaving badly. It's about the very foundations of their beliefs, which are about what's best for them. Well perhaps actions do come into it in the sense that even when they behave well, they behave well in order to please an immoral, genocidal shit.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#80  Postby Matthew Shute » Sep 15, 2013 2:18 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
The point/claim is that religion, unlike atheism, can give an excuse to do bad things.
Not only an excuse. Sometimes the sole motivation.

What, other than religious dogma, motivates those who carve away at the genitals of male and female children when there is no medical necessity to do so? This would make no sense whatsoever without believing some very strange things. Without the dogma, the cause is removed. Spurious child genital mutilation is almost exclusively "faith based".
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