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2 Tenets of Atheism


Gail

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Atheism is a religion; it is a system of thought centered around the thought that there is no God, and that we are here because of "evolution."

Atheism is not a religion. Religion ussually revolves ritualistic observance of certain set of beliefs in a diety. Disbelief in a diety does not constitute a religion. If it does, then not playing soccer is a sport, and not cooking is a culinary career. It just does not make sense in context.

Atheists say there is no God. When asked where we came from, some resort to evolution, the more intelligent and educated ones say... I really don't know and have no means to know.

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It is The Word of God alone that gives to us an authentic account of the creation of our world.

And how do you know that? Epistemologically speaking... knowledge has to be truth. It can't be a belief in something to be truth. So, tell me... how do you know that, and how can you prove it to be so? Can anyone really do it? I think that's the point where we can respect one another without accusatory statements of being "narrominded" or "unenlightened" or "lacking God's truth".

We are in the same boat. We don't know and we can't know for sure. I have not seen neither God or Christ. I've heard about them. I've read about them in the Bible, much of which does not make sense from the perspective of actions of omnipotent being... but nevertheless it's a trust issue either way.

There's a way to agree on that, and deal with it reasonably and with some humility.

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You know if you would just do a little google search you would save yourself some embarrassment. I really get tired of being one of the few that actually provides some evidence.

A simple search for the oldest laws came up with this link...

Code of Ur-Nammu

One of the first laws listed is

Get off that intellectual high-horse would ya? bwink I understand that with some people it's a way to deal (especially if they try to do the same), but in this case your reasoning is that because we have laws pre-dating Biblical writing... it somehow validates your premise? And you don't see any fallacy in that?

I.E. it could not possibly be that there was a set of God-given laws that predate the ones that you quote... that in fact make the murder out to be a bad thing.

I DO understand your argument about inconsistent view on Biblical murder... i.e. it's ok to kill, but it's not ok to kill. The way these are usually reconciled by Christians is, well, murder and killing two different thing. It's ok to kill at the time of war, it's ok to kill the "bad guys", but it's bad to murder the good guys. Of course, it's ok to kill if God tells you to (sarcasm).

Yet, you seem to be oblivious to other possibilities here... such as perhaps, could very well be that there's error mixed with truth and that there's human factor and justification involved when it comes to ascribing certain events to God's doing. I mean... people do it all the times today!

i.e.

"Thank you God for giving us the victory.... in a football Game", or "Thank you God for inspiring me to write lyrics to "@#$#$#$#@# ##@#@$%" , or "Thank you God for helping me to keep my job by firing Ted". I mean, seriously. God needs to be saved from these people, not other way around :).

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Originally Posted By: cardw

You know if you would just do a little google search you would save yourself some embarrassment. I really get tired of being one of the few that actually provides some evidence.

A simple search for the oldest laws came up with this link...

Code of Ur-Nammu

One of the first laws listed is

Get off that intellectual high-horse would ya? bwink I understand that with some people it's a way to deal (especially if they try to do the same), but in this case your reasoning is that because we have laws pre-dating Biblical writing... it somehow validates your premise? And you don't see any fallacy in that?

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I guess I was too cryptic before when I mentioned Kohlberg. Lawrence Kohlberg looked at the topic of moral reasoning - what reasons do people give for the things they choose to do or not do.

He described a series of stages of moral reasoning. The stages don't describe things people choose to do or not to, but the *reasons* they give when asked.

Here's a short precis of Kohlberg's stages, adapted from Wikipedia:

1. Obedience and punishment orientation (How can I avoid punishment?)

2. Self-interest orientation (What's in it for me?)

3. Interpersonal accord and conformity (Social norms, The good boy/good girl attitude)

4. Authority and social-order maintaining orientation (Law and order morality)

5. Social contract orientation

6. Universal ethical principles (Principled conscience)

Here's a link to the fuller discussion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlberg%27s_stages_of_moral_development#Stages

It's certainly possible to claim that all levels of this framework appeal to moral truths derived from God, and many have made that claim.

But it's also possible to see how moral codes arise in social groups simply because they *work* for promoting a better life. In particular, the steps beyond a "rules for rules' sake" (Stage 4) orientation toward the development of a principled conscience may be seen as a move beyond a Commandments mentality.

Not murdering just makes sense in a social contract way. That is, if no-one murders, no-one gets murdered. The belief that it requires a supernatural entity to *tell* us this just seems bizarre to me - it's self-evident.

Same for many of the other Commandments (at least in the final 6): if no-one steals, no-one gets their stuff stolen. Monogamy leads to a more stable family for raising and protecting children - and to a more fulfulling life. And so on.

The claim that we would not know what is good without being told externally just does not stack up. Neither does the notion that the only two alternatives available are either divine law or absolute relativist nihilism. It's just not true.

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Where did "Utu" get it, and where is your evidence for that?

Originally Posted By: cardw
Utu is a myth.
And where did this "myth" get the ten commandments from?

The Sumerian kings were doing the same thing as the Jewish kings. They were appealing to their god as the authority behind a moral code they made up.

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quote=Overaged]Where did "Utu" get it, and where is your evidence for that?

quote=cardw]Utu is a myth. /quote]And where did this "myth" get the ten commandments from? /quote]

The Sumerian kings were doing the same thing as the Jewish kings. They were appealing to their god as the authority behind a moral code they made up.

And that is all you can tell us? That "they" made it up?

Well, where did they get it from? How did they "make it up?" How can you prove that they just "made it up?"

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I guess I was too cryptic before when I mentioned Kohlberg. Lawrence Kohlberg looked at the topic of moral reasoning - what reasons do people give for the things they choose to do or not do.

He described a series of stages of moral reasoning. The stages don't describe things people choose to do or not to, but the *reasons* they give when asked.

Here's a short precis of Kohlberg's stages, adapted from Wikipedia:

1. Obedience and punishment orientation (How can I avoid punishment?)

2. Self-interest orientation (What's in it for me?)

3. Interpersonal accord and conformity (Social norms, The good boy/good girl attitude)

4. Authority and social-order maintaining orientation (Law and order morality)

5. Social contract orientation

6. Universal ethical principles (Principled conscience)

Here's a link to the fuller discussion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlberg%27s_stages_of_moral_development#Stages

It's certainly possible to claim that all levels of this framework appeal to moral truths derived from God, and many have made that claim.

But it's also possible to see how moral codes arise in social groups simply because they *work* for promoting a better life. In particular, the steps beyond a "rules for rules' sake" (Stage 4) orientation toward the development of a principled conscience may be seen as a move beyond a Commandments mentality.

Not murdering just makes sense in a social contract way. That is, if no-one murders, no-one gets murdered. The belief that it requires a supernatural entity to *tell* us this just seems bizarre to me - it's self-evident.

Same for many of the other Commandments (at least in the final 6): if no-one steals, no-one gets their stuff stolen. Monogamy leads to a more stable family for raising and protecting children - and to a more fulfulling life. And so on.

The claim that we would not know what is good without being told externally just does not stack up. Neither does the notion that the only two alternatives available are either divine law or absolute relativist nihilism. It's just not true.

Well; Kohlberg morals (reasons thereof) are quite interesting. I studied that and other of the "greats" while in nursing. "If no one murders, then no one gets murdered" does not seem like the right way to look at Kohlberg's theories of moral development...but I don't have time or energy to get into that too much for now except to say that the Bible does mention, in it's account of the first murder, that no one murdered previously, yet it did not stop the first murder from happening, as we see in the story of Cain and Abel.

What you are talking about is more like the Skinner's Box morality of many people that we see even today - but getting into some of the higher stages of Kohlberg and other, similar moral models, it becomes a much different story; and one which I feel your last post has kind of skipped over, or under, or around...not sure which?

I can actually state from personal experience, when I had very few moral scruples, that I would not have known that certain things were "wrong" without being told in the ten commandments. And due to the graphic nature of those activities I won't get into it, but even with that, this idea you have about having to be told things are wrong is also reflective of another problem - the problem of not understanding certain things in the Bible correctly - such as the ten commandments. Can you atleast see that there might be other reasons/possiblilities for those commandments besides "morality" or, in my words, for our BEHAVIOR?

Your comments here seem to reflect mostly on behavior, and what motivates it, and besides that being only ONE of the aspects of morality; the ten commandments mean much more than morality. So I feel you have skipped over too much that is important in your comments re behavior. (which you called morality).

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Originally Posted By: cardw
quote=Overaged]Where did "Utu" get it, and where is your evidence for that?

quote=cardw]Utu is a myth. /quote]And where did this "myth" get the ten commandments from? /quote]

The Sumerian kings were doing the same thing as the Jewish kings. They were appealing to their god as the authority behind a moral code they made up.

And that is all you can tell us? That "they" made it up?

Well, where did they get it from? How did they "make it up?" How can you prove that they just "made it up?"

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Quote:
Atheism is a religion; it is a system of thought centered around the thought that there is no God, and that we are here because of "evolution."

Atheism is not a religion. Religion ussually revolves ritualistic observance of certain set of beliefs in a diety. Disbelief in a diety does not constitute a religion. If it does, then not playing soccer is a sport, and not cooking is a culinary career. It just does not make sense in context.

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quote=Overaged]quote=cardw]quote=Overaged]Where did "Utu" get it, and where is your evidence for that?

quote=cardw]Utu is a myth. /quote]And where did this "myth" get the ten commandments from? /quote]

The Sumerian kings were doing the same thing as the Jewish kings. They were appealing to their god as the authority behind a moral code they made up. /quote]And that is all you can tell us? That "they" made it up?

Well, where did they get it from? How did they "make it up?" How can you prove that they just "made it up?" /quote]

How else would they come up with those ideas unless they came to them from a human reasoning process?

If there is no other provable alternative, human reason is all we have left.

You're the one who is making an extra-ordinary claim that god gave them.

How did god do this?

What is the proof?

How likely is this?

It seems more likely that since many different groups and civilizations came to the same conclusions it would make sense that these rules were arrived at to solve the problems that occur when you don't have the rules.

No society would survive very long if they kept killing each other. That is both a quality of life issue and a survival issue. It doesn't take a Divine revelation to figure this out.

I will comment about the golden rule, in another post, as I am running out of time tonight. But, yes, you are quite correct. IF a society "kept killing each other" they would not survive very long. But that's a big IF. While "many different groups and civilizations came to the same conclusions;" my question is still: "Where did they get that from? "Human reasoning" you say; but where did they get that from? If "human reasoning is all we have;" and if human reasoning has ever "evolved" (as in evolution) then why has it utterly failed to prevent murders or any of the other ten commandments? It obviously has not evolved one little bit. There are far too many external factors that affect reasoning for what you say to be believable.

No matter who you are; you have no choice but to admit that in everyone's life, human reasoning has a limit, and in fact will often reach a point where it totally fails. The Christian message is that IN JESUS we have something capable and trustworthy; beyond ourselves, for those times when "reason" fails us. I have never gone wrong trusting Jesus. And thats something you would never be able to prove either.

The "golden rule" which you have mentioned a number of times is actually found very early in the OT scriptures; and most certainly would predate any jewish or Sumerian kings. I am saying that God gave this rule, which is a summary of the ten commandments, and that saying we came up with it purely from "reason" is totally unproven. I can prove what I said about the golden rule. Can you?

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Originally Posted By: cardw
No society would survive very long if they kept killing each other. That is both a quality of life issue and a survival issue. It doesn't take a Divine revelation to figure this out.

But, yes, you are quite correct. IF a society "kept killing each other" they would not survive very long. But that's a big IF. While "many different groups and civilizations came to the same conclusions;" my question is still: "Where did they get that from? "Human reasoning" you say; but where did they get that from? If "human reasoning is all we have;" and if human reasoning has ever "evolved" (as in evolution) then why has it utterly failed to prevent murders or any of the other ten commandments? It obviously has not evolved one little bit. There are far too many external factors that affect reasoning for what you say to be believable.

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I gave you proof about what I said about the golden rule. I gave you a Wikipedia reference and I quoted from a portion of it in reference to Jainism, which existed long before the Ten Commandments.

Obviously your standard of proof is quite different than mine. I never said the Golden rule wasn't in the Old Testament. What I did demonstrate is that it existed before the Old Testament. If you follow the link I gave you will find a version of the golden rule in almost every religion including ancient Egypt.

I didn't say that you said the golden rule wasn't in the OT! You need to can the red herrings (pun intended) and come up with some real evidence based on provable facts, not claimed facts.

What is the absolute oldest example you can come up with regarding the golden rule? Can you name a specific year? Give us specifics with indisputable evidence. No more red herrings or I am going to just decide that something really fishy is going on here. (pun intended). rollingsmile

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You need to can the red herrings (pun intended) and come up with some real evidence based on provable facts, not claimed facts.

What is the absolute oldest example you can come up with regarding the golden rule? Can you name a specific year? Give us specifics with indisputable evidence. No more red herrings or I am going to just decide that something really fishy is going on here. (pun intended).

I gave you the Wikipedia reference and it has references of its own. There is plenty of proof there. I'm not claiming these facts. I'm going by what history records.

Here it is again in case you missed it the first time. Just click on the link below.

The Golden Rule

There are 61 references plus a long list of external links. My position is far from being a simple claim.

So your argument is no longer with me, but with recorded history.

If you aren't willing to read the links I put up then you are participating in willful ignorance.

And there is no argument against that.

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quote=Overaged] You need to can the red herrings (pun intended) and come up with some real evidence based on provable facts, not claimed facts.

What is the absolute oldest example you can come up with regarding the golden rule? Can you name a specific year? Give us specifics with indisputable evidence. No more red herrings or I am going to just decide that something really fishy is going on here. (pun intended). /quote]

I gave you the Wikipedia reference and it has references of its own. There is plenty of proof there. I'm not claiming these facts. I'm going by what history records.

Here it is again in case you missed it the first time. Just click on the link below.

The Golden Rule

There are 61 references plus a long list of external links. My position is far from being a simple claim.

So your argument is no longer with me, but with recorded history.

If you aren't willing to read the links I put up then you are participating in willful ignorance.

And there is no argument against that.

Yes, there is lots of argument against that my friend. I actually did see and read those 61 links; but because of your accusations here, I did double check to make sure I didn't miss something. None of those links will answer my question to you in the last post; they are mostly just claims and their "evidence" is simply a statement about where the info was obtained, but no actual proof that these claims are so.

My question to you was quite specific, and it still needs answering here. Since I am so inept and am missing the boat so badly here, please, do tell us, using any of these 61 plus references, or any other source, tell us what is the oldest reference you can show us AND prove to us, giving the exact year/s and other details needed to prove what you are saying about the golden rule. If, indeed it does predate God's Word, and you want to make people believe it, don't make them search through dozens of links, just come out and tell us the big secret you seem to be keeping here.

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Since I am so inept and am missing the boat so badly here, please, do tell us, using any of these 61 plus references, or any other source, tell us what is the oldest reference you can show us AND prove to us, giving the exact year/s and other details needed to prove what you are saying about the golden rule. If, indeed it does predate God's Word, and you want to make people believe it, don't make them search through dozens of links, just come out and tell us the big secret you seem to be keeping here.
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Examples of statements that mirror the Golden Rule appear in Ancient Egypt, for example in the story of The Eloquent Peasant which is dated to the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (c. 2040–1650 BCE)/quote]

The range of dates for the Exodus are an early date of 1450 BCE and a late date in the 13th century around 1270 BCE. Both dates are clearly hundreds of years later.

Obviously the Bible wasn't written until after the Exodus. So evidence for the golden rule clearly predates the Bible.

Hinduism is the oldest known religion and it dates back to 5000 BCE. Both of these religions had a form of the golden rule long before Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Bible.

Even in Jesus time Hillel the Elder a Jewish sage born in Babylon in 110 BCE wrote before Jesus taught, that the whole law is summed up by the golden rule.

The Wikipedia links you referred us to contain lots of links, but these links are just claims, which do not prove anything regarding our subject at hand.

The fact that one or the other group/s had/have traditions to some extent similar to the Hebrew records is no proof that the one nation borrowed from the other, or that the one had it "before" the other - but it does find it's explanation within a common origin for both records. One doesn't have to dig very deep to see that the inspired book of Genesis conveys divinely imparted information about "the golden rule" in an elevated and pure form, whereas the Babylonian records narrate the same events in a debased pagan setting. Each of these two settings have their own very different ways of defining and viewing the golden rule.

The great civilizations that had risen in Egypt as well as in Mesopotamia are not described very much in Genesis, but their existence is obviously strongly felt in the experiences of the patriarchs. The people of God did not live in abject isolation in a political or social vacuum. They were part of a society of nations, and because the book of Genesis was written about 1,500 years before Christ, while the Hebrews were in bondage in Egypt, we can and do know that it contains a sketch of this world’s history covering many centuries; including well before the oldest religion you were able to name.

The Golden Rule has always existed, even in Genesis, so that clearly outdates the 5000 year "oldest" record you have produced.

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The Wikipedia links you referred us to contain lots of links, but these links are just claims, which do not prove anything regarding our subject at hand.

The fact that one or the other group/s had/have traditions to some extent similar to the Hebrew records is no proof that the one nation borrowed from the other, or that the one had it "before" the other - but it does find it's explanation within a common origin for both records. One doesn't have to dig very deep to see that the inspired book of Genesis conveys divinely imparted information about "the golden rule" in an elevated and pure form, whereas the Babylonian records narrate the same events in a debased pagan setting. Each of these two settings have their own very different ways of defining and viewing the golden rule.

The great civilizations that had risen in Egypt as well as in Mesopotamia are not described very much in Genesis, but their existence is obviously strongly felt in the experiences of the patriarchs. The people of God did not live in abject isolation in a political or social vacuum. They were part of a society of nations, and because the book of Genesis was written about 1,500 years before Christ, while the Hebrews were in bondage in Egypt, we can and do know that it contains a sketch of this world’s history covering many centuries; including well before the oldest religion you were able to name.

The Golden Rule has always existed, even in Genesis, so that clearly outdates the 5000 year "oldest" record you have produced.

You offer all of this with NO proof what-so-ever.

You are basically saying that all other views other than your own are claims.

This is hypocritical.

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The Golden Rule has always existed, even in Genesis, so that clearly outdates the 5000 year "oldest" record you have produced.

Yes. The "Bible" began as the chronicle of events that happened LONG b4 it was put into written form. The existence of the golden rule in other,older writings give evidence that the universal understanding of it's principles verify the Genesis account as well as the accuracy of the Christian teaching of Romans 1. This also demonstrates that mankind has not progressed very far (from the tree)in it's comprehension of what is universally right and wrong in the past 5000 years and counting.
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[Just because humanity is limited doesn't mean that it is not capable and can't learn. I would say that in spite of our limitations humanity has progressed quite a lot over all, when we look at history. In the 1400s and earlier your chances of a violent death as a man were about 40%. Today that number is 2%. That doesn't mean we are perfect or that bad things don't happen, but it does provide hope that we are capable of change.

Do you find it merely coincidental that this reduction just happens to accompany the rise and spread of Protestantism. Is it irrelevant that the greatest number of violent deaths in the past century have been as a direct result of the policies of anti-religious governments? Is the increase of violent deaths in this country unrelated to the decline of Christianity in it's people?
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I'm not saying anything about your life or your trust in what you believe. You are the one trying to define what I believe or don't believe. I and others keep telling you that atheism is not a religion' date=' but you continue to insist that you know what I am thinking even though I have flat out told you that atheism has no religious views period. I am a humanist, which, at its core, is based on the golden rule.

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I'm having trouble buying your definitions here,Rich.If atheism believes that there is no God, that IS a religious opinion,or view.It,by definition, fits the broader requirements of most dictionaries under the canopy of religion.
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