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"If God doesn't exist, it doesn't matter if you're good or bad, if you help in emergency efforts or are one of those people who fly planes into buildings. It doesn't matter, if there is no God, whether you donate selflessly to a Pro-Life organization or if you are an abortionist. It just doesn't matter."
Even if this is true, it still doesn't make God exist.
"It just doesn't seem right to hurt other people, to steal from others, to cause pain to the innocent. It just doesn't feel right. But there is absolutely no rational reason an atheist could bring forward to defend his living an at least minimally moral life."
Actually if it feels bad to do these things than self interest is a rational reason not to do them. way to undermine your own argument.
1/31/2012 4:04:46 PM
It does matter, because being an atheist means realizing that your actions are no longer accountable to your imaginary friend of choice, but to real people who exist, who have feelings, hopes, dreams, and fears just like you do. Who is far more likely to actually commit atrocities, a Christian who can just ask God to forgive him, or an atheist, who would actually have to seek forgiveness from those they wronged, those who might not forgive them? Trick question, the answer is sociopaths, people who don't have empathy, and the history of the 20th century has shown us that sociopathic dictators know no religious barrier, from the Christian Adolf Hitler to the atheist Stalin.
And Mario, if you think that the only reason to be nice to people is out of fear of a celestial tyrant's wrath and not out of compassion and empathy to your fellow man, then you are probably closer to those monsters than I am.
1/31/2012 4:07:10 PM
Mutually beneficial behaviour within a group of social animals help that group's chances of survival.
1/31/2012 4:13:46 PM
makes you wonder if jesus is the only thing keeping her from a killing spree.
1/31/2012 4:34:00 PM
If God doesn't exist, it doesn't matter if you're good or bad
Suppose God does exist. What makes Mario think we can influence God's actions by our behavior? There's no evidence that God, if He exists, does anything in response to human behavior. Religious people don't suffer any less disease, die less in wars or earthquakes, have a happier marriage or better-behaved or more successful children. Prayer doesn't do anything that can't be explained by random chance. So it apparently doesn't matter to God, either.
And what makes Mario think he knows how to influence God? Muslims say you have to bow toward Mecca and chant in Arabic. Jews say you have to abstain from pork and wear a funny hat. Catholics say you have to attend mass and eat a wafer. Each one insists they're right - which is a sure sign they're just making it all up.
It just doesn't seem right to hurt other people, to steal from others, to cause pain to the innocent. It just doesn't feel right.
Turn that around. Is Mario saying if God weren't holding a stick over his head, he'd go around hurting people, stealing and causing pain to the innocent? That kind of person scares me a lot more than someone who simply believes in the Golden Rule.
1/31/2012 4:38:38 PM
You do have to give an account of your actions. To everyone you ever interact with. What account you give is not the question, just the fact that you must pay heed to how your actions affect other people. If this is not enough, then you are what is technically known as a sociopath.
Whether God exists or not, people clearly do. If you can't accord them the same respect as the entity which is supposed to encompass all of them, then you can lay no claim to loving God.
1/31/2012 4:43:44 PM
What a sad and terrifying life you must live Mario.
Your "God" character is irrelevent to logic. People are social animals, we NEED other people. Morality is the framework within which social animals must live, if they want to live in groups.
Every wolf knows to share food with weaker wolves, and that when they grow too old and weak to hunt, stronger wolves will share food with them. Teamwork and sharing of food... This is wolf morality.
A wolf who cannot do this is a danger to the whole pack.
1/31/2012 4:45:05 PM
No, no, Mario; all it means is that you, the Pope, Bill Donohue, and the rest of the black-robed boy-buggering brigade don't matter.
1/31/2012 4:51:45 PM
Morality benefits everyone.
1/31/2012 5:02:33 PM
For everyone else's sake I hope this man never loses his faith.
1/31/2012 5:02:35 PM
"Why not just look out for yourself, maximize the pleasures and minimize the pains of life?"
So close, so close, yet so far.
I have something called empathy. Something which you seem to lack naturally. Because of my empathy, I can sympathize with my fellow humans.
Things like: "I wouldn't want someone to steal my stuff, so I won't do it to them either, because I know how much it sucks."
Or: "I'd like to keep on living, and not get hurt, because pain hurts, and being dead is the end of the line, so I won't kill or hurt other human beings."
That's my rationalization. Pretty simple and easy to grasp. Now what's yours besides 'God says so'?
1/31/2012 5:07:16 PM
He's on this idiot's list of top evil-doers?
Wow, I wish I lived in a world where I could actually consider Howard Stern a real problem.
1/31/2012 5:12:41 PM
"If there is no one who rewards and punishes, what's it all matter? Why not just look out for yourself, maximize the pleasures and minimize the pains of life? Why not have fun and let everyone else suffer?"
Um, because I care about other human beings? Unlike you, who seems to be only in it for the chance of a reward. You selfish fuck.
1/31/2012 5:13:49 PM
Balthazar The Wise
I was a friend of this guy back when he wasn't a fundie catholic. Or at least, he was conservative Novus Ordo at the time.
It took a few years before he went full on Sedevacantist.
Sad thing is, he'd probably burn me at the stake if he met me now.
1/31/2012 5:29:11 PM
Once again we have a theist incapable of understanding why an atheist would live a moral life without gods. It's simple, making others happy makes me happy. I have to live within society and I realized a long time ago that it was far more pleasant when you don't behave like a dick to other people.
Now, explain to me all the Christians who act like dicks all the time to others. If, as you say, atheists have no reason to be moral, then why aren't more criminals atheists? Why are our jails not filled with them?
Like it or not, we evolved compassion because it helped our survival. It had nothing to do with gods, but by all means, if belief in god is the only thing that saves you from being a psychopath, keep believing.
1/31/2012 5:41:52 PM
According to your fundamentalist ilk, it does not matter if you're good or bad IF you believe in god. Its that whole, "I'm saved by faith, not works" deal they love to trot out when their hypocrisy becomes blatantly obvious. Maybe you should be directing your ire at the people who are denigrating your faith form inside, as opposed to those of us who simply ignore it as much as possible.
1/31/2012 5:50:50 PM
Mario... There's a few thousand years worth of ethics philosophy that wants to have a chat with you.
1/31/2012 5:51:18 PM
He Who Doubts
What fucking bullshit. How disheartening. I want everyone who reads my comment to make sure to open the source page and take note at the top that this guy has a fucking Master's degree in philosophy. This is what we get for a Master's in that field? Disgusting.
1/31/2012 6:01:33 PM
But it just doesn't feel right.
We don't need the promise of a reward nor the threat of punishment to act morally and help others. It comes to us naturally.
1/31/2012 6:16:22 PM
Even if god does not exist, we gain pleasure through the dhamma. Theism is not necessary to lead a meaningful or virtuous life.
1/31/2012 6:22:10 PM
"donate selflessly to a Pro-Life organization"
How is it "selfless" when the underlying concern is wanting to make a good impression on God in order to get into heaven or to feel moral or righteous.
I hate the word "selfless". When are people going to learn to be honest enough with themselves to admit that there is no such thing. Everything you do is for yourself in some way.
1/31/2012 6:29:59 PM
For anyone who has ever seen "Fritz the Cat", this sounds a Hell of a lot like his "I've been there and done it all, and it's meaningless..." kvetch he used to pick up chicks. Taken seriously, though, I'd ask this guy: Are you sterile, in mind and in body? Afterlife or no afterlife, the only physical trace you leave is a plot of ground six by six by three and a worm farm. The rest of what you leave is the fruit of your words and deeds, and with these your aftercomers must live. If you do not think "Gahd" is going to fix your mistakes for them, you had better be prepared to live your life conscienciously and foresightedly, so they don't inherit your mess, and if that isn't enough to motivate you, you're a complete Grand Prix.
1/31/2012 6:58:52 PM
As an atheist I would prefer to live in a society where there is protection for all, and help for those who need help. A place where my 14 year old daughter can walk safely to visit friends, buy stuff and bring it home without fear of theft, assault or rape.
Christianity does not supply that, because there is always repentance and forgiveness later.
1/31/2012 6:58:55 PM
Well... There are good reasons to be good, even if you're a sociopath.
If you are likely to help people, they are likely to help you. If I help people out when I can, that impression is remembered and they are more likely to favor me later with special favors or resources - I am, logically, a more favorable choice when the choice to distribute these special goods comes up. Helping others is only one step removed from helping myself. (Conversely, people are more likely to deny me special favors when I am a jerk to others. Hurting others is only one step removed from hurting myself.)
And charity? Charity makes my money more efficient. $1 of cure solves more than $1 of problems. If I buy a guy a meal and a bus pass for $10, for example, and that guy goes on to work for a day, then that man just made $50 and the guy he worked for probably made $100 of value from the deal. That's a 900% return on my investment... And I've hit my phone's character limit.
1/31/2012 7:21:19 PM
To finish my thought, charity is valuable because it creates value, just as surely as work. The more value in the system there is, the more there is for the producers of my goods (increasing the value of what they make) and the more there is to be distributed to people (ME). Even thinking of myself only, charity still makes sense.
I don't have to die to see whether my actions are just. I can see the results of my actions in the here and now.
1/31/2012 7:32:30 PM
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