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Old 07-28-2017, 03:27 AM   #301
jeccross
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Originally Posted by ToothSayer View Post
The guys who did eugenics, killed the Jews and Romas, were using atheist science that denies a human soul or the right to life. We're all just animals like cattle, after all, if there's no God.
I really don't get why you keep going on about "no human soul". Tbh, I don't even know what a soul is supposed to be, you are making a logical jump from:
"no god = no consequences" to "therefore I should kill people".
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Old 07-28-2017, 03:53 AM   #302
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Please don't use the quote function like that - I get what you were doing but a casual reader might think I used the phrase "Jew genocide".
What on earth is wrong with that phrase? How is it different from Roma genocide that even remembrance sites use????? It's a purely descriptive term, widely used.

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Of course that's different, there's clearly a link between thinking a group is inferior and wanting to carry out genocide of that group because they are inferior, one logically follows the other for people in the first group that might be prone to commit genocide.
There is?? All of Europe hated the Jews and thought they were inferior. Not just in the 1930s, but for hundreds of years throughout history. Many of the towns in Europe has historical Jewish ghettos where they were locked in at night. Yet genocide on a large scale only occurred once, with the rise of the Nazis. Thus there is stronger evidence that belief in Jew inferiority does NOT lead to Jew genocide than there is that atheism does NOT lead to horrors.

Just because there's a link in your mind doesn't mean it's real. Yet everyone acts as if belief in the inferiority of Jews is one step away from Hitler. In reality, atheism is closer to atrocities than belief in Jew inferiority is, looking purely at the evidence.

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There isn't a logical progression from "I don't believe in god" to "I think some people are inferior" to "I think I have the right to kill them".
Maybe in your mind, but the data is powerfully against you. At least, all cultures over all centuries - except the Nazis - never genocided Jews.

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People with tendency to genocide might believe the third phrase anyway, but there isn't a logical link between 1 and 2.
There isn't a logical link in that atheism implies genocide. But neither does belief in Jew inferiority.

Look at the following links (in some people):

Atheism -> soulless materialism -> devaluation of people
Atheism -> lack of belief in a powerful all knowing moral agent punishing -> anything goes as long as you can avoid wordy consequences (for some people)
Atheism -> there is no absolute morality -> we can decide entirely for ourselves what is just and right and what we should fight for and what we can put aside to create our utopia and ultimate justice on Earth (which is all that matters) -> atheist Leninism, atheist Maoism, atheist Pol Pot and their actions.

IMO, these links are far stronger - and there is far more evidence for them, looking at history, than

Belief in Jew inferiority -> We must kill the Jews
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Old 07-28-2017, 03:56 AM   #303
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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I really don't get why you keep going on about "no human soul". Tbh, I don't even know what a soul is supposed to be, you are making a logical jump from:
"no god = no consequences" to "therefore I should kill people".
A soul is something that is eternal and transcendent of a physical being and physical biology. Something that implies people have a purpose in life they are meant to fulfill and experience. That all humans have an inherent equal worth that comes from a higher power. It's a reason not to treat people like mere biological units or farm animals.

Granted, there are many other reasons, but when those reasons are stripped away, if you do not believe people have a soul, you end up with things like Unit 731 and the mass extermination of "defective units".
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Old 07-28-2017, 04:24 AM   #304
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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What on earth is wrong with that phrase? How is it different from Roma genocide that even remembrance sites use????? It's a purely descriptive term, widely used.
And the term Jew genocide isn't widely used (If it was you would have quoted that instead of finding a "comparable" term that isn't actually comparable), because it's grammatically incorrect and to me that feels like it's trivialising the deaths of 6m people.

Regardless of that, I don't like having any words put in my mouth.
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Old 07-28-2017, 04:31 AM   #305
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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A soul is something that is eternal and transcendent of a physical being and physical biology. Something that implies people have a purpose in life they are meant to fulfill and experience. That all humans have an inherent equal worth that comes from a higher power. It's a reason not to treat people like mere biological units or farm animals.

Granted, there are many other reasons, but when those reasons are stripped away, if you do not believe people have a soul, you end up with things like Unit 731 and the mass extermination of "defective units".
No, there's no such thing as a soul. From an atheist POV you've made something up and then decided it's necessary to stop people wanting to kill each other. You don't have to believe in a soul to believe people have a right to life and have an inherent equal worth.

In fact, belief in a soul should make it more likely that I feel ok with killing people, since their soul is eternal and I can't destroy it, I'm just taking away their body on earth.
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Old 07-28-2017, 04:46 AM   #306
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

OT calls for genocide. And many Christians believe billions will die in an upcoming Armageddon. Some even think its in the processes of happening now.
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Old 07-29-2017, 10:12 AM   #307
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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No, there's no such thing as a soul.
[citation needed]
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From an atheist POV you've made something up and then decided it's necessary to stop people wanting to kill each other.
Necessary? No. Laws, punishments, habits, cultural training (based on long establish Christian mores), and general cuckery (at least 3/4 of all people are weak and scared and sheep/serfs/followers) is sufficient to contain most. Most people simply don't want to kill others. But that doesn't cover all people, or most powerful people. They're the only ones that matter. An atheist farmer is nothing. An atheist philosopher creates things like Marxism.

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You don't have to believe in a soul to believe people have a right to life and have an inherent equal worth.
No, but these ideas arose out of Christianity. Buddhism has a touch of it too. Western Enlightenment mores - derived from Christianity and incubated in Christian culture over generations- are not normal. No other culture derived them. They're as natural as breathing to you because you've been indoctrinated in them, but they're not normal and they're not natural and they're not the result of some end point of thinking.

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In fact, belief in a soul should make it more likely that I feel ok with killing people, since their soul is eternal and I can't destroy it, I'm just taking away their body on earth.
In fact for the whole thing that God is watching and doesn't want you to. Or the idea that the soul is here to experience and that it's an evil thing to interfere with that.

Why does death or murdering matter if we're just biological units here for a bit? How are we different from deluded robots under materialism? Where do we find justice in a reality without justice (if there's no God) if we don't violently make it ourselves? Such was the underpinning of violent atheist Marxism - the bringing of social justice in the here and now by any means necessary.

You might not go down that path, but some do. And their ideas have led to the greatest horrors the world has seen.
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Old 07-29-2017, 10:54 AM   #308
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

Basically what I'm saying is that most people are moral because other agents, more powerful than them, threaten nasty consequences if they get out of line. This power disparity maintains a kind of morality/status quo, whether it's in the US or in communist Russia in 1955. In Japan and other Asian countries, deeply inculcated habits of avoidance of social shame keep the populace in line - both in doing heinous acts (when expected) and in not doing them.

Most of those cases are temporary steady states (temporary means years to a century or two) So the morality of people in those situations is largely irrelevant, as it's not so much morality as basic game theory and cultural habit.

The interesting cases are what happens when the power order breaks down. War, revolution, etc, are where you see what the various isms and religions create.

I couldn't give a fig if you, an atheist, living in a world where there's a high chance of you ending up in a cage for years if you kill, decide not to kill. It doesn't mean anything. Nazis don't kill in that situation, nor do the KKK, and I think we all agree they're horrible philosophies.

So the real question is, what do atheists do with access to power and the ability to remake their surroundings? What do atheist countries do? Atheism with access to power seems to create a very ugly totalitarianism.
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Old 07-29-2017, 12:27 PM   #309
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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According to you and Original Position, the idea that Jews are an inferior race and that it's morally ok to kill them has no causation with Jews being killed. Anyone who claims such a thing is

No link whatsoever. It's just all happenstance. Even if it's happened.

It's a more extreme example, but it's the same notion.
This is false.

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When Marxism came from an atheist explicitly invoking atheism and its focus on materialism in its ideals, when he said it was a necessary part of that philosophy, there's probably a link between atheism and going into a kind of materialism that has never ever existed in the Christian philosophy and is completely incompatible with it.
Socialism has existed in Christian philosophy, with many appealing to descriptions of the early church as being a socialistic commune as a guide for how Christian community should look. Mormons believe that God and the human soul are material objects.
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Old 07-29-2017, 12:32 PM   #310
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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You can play the non-cognitivist game ("atheism is just a lack of belief and implies nothing else"), but that's as silly as claiming "the belief in the inferiority of Jews is just a belief and implies nothing else", while ignoring the causative links this has with genociding Jews.
That's not what religious or atheistic non-cognitivism is.
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Old 07-29-2017, 03:18 PM   #311
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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To your edit, which I missed:

We have one data point for Nazism. A handful for fascism (itself often closely linked to atheism, but not necessarily). Yet you have no problem whatsoever linking those philosophies with evil. It's a given.

Yet for atheism, it's "three data points".

In reality it's not just three data points. These are entire populations, billions of people under vast geographical areas. Just like the Muslim world isn't 10 or 15 data points - there are far more than that even there are only that many countries.

Is this some kind of high level leveling? You think that Marx was really a Christian pretending to be an atheist to smear atheism? That Lenin was? This is an incredible claim. The milder claim that you could be making is that Marxism has no philosophical links with atheism, and Marx just said it did. This is simply false, there is a large body of literature, and Marx's reasoning is explicitly atheist in parts. Lenin's is absurdly athesist.

You can play the non-cognitivist game ("atheism is just a lack of belief and implies nothing else"), but that's as silly as claiming "the belief in the inferiority of Jews is just a belief and implies nothing else", while ignoring the causative links this has with genociding Jews.

My starting view, my prejudice, was that of course atheism has no links to evil. You have it backwards. It was evidence that led me here, learning about history, reading the actual sources, not my starting view.
Misinterpretations of non-cognitivism aside, of course you can.

But sure, we can give your (rather obvious) flame-bait a try: X doesn't believe in superman. Tell me something else about X.

Good luck. Also, be a good sport and don't try to weasel your way out.
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Old 07-29-2017, 03:32 PM   #312
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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I'm making no such assumption whatsoever. I'm not providing a formal proof that atheism -> evil acts. It's weird that you even think that. I've had much more nuanced conversations with Christians, frankly.
Good, Christians can be thoughtful conversationalists, I'm glad you appreciate this.

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I'm pointing out the ways in which:

- Atheist societies have been incredibly evil, all of them. Atheists are a tiny fraction of the world's population, yet the three avowed atheist societies have been places of oppression, mass murder and horror
I posted a list of the most atheistic countries in the world - they don't seem that bad to me. Are you sure you're not just talking about Marxism?

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- The makers of the philosophies that created those society claimed atheism as an inspiration and necessary part.
They were wrong.
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- Religion probably acts a blocker to the darker forms of materialism and seeing humans as mere biological units, in the people with dispositions that might think that way
- Religion blocks the most fervent isms. When there is no God, justice on Earth is the ultimate thing, and thus any action to achieve something like Marxism becomes justified. You no longer answer to God, but the state, which replaces God as the moral arbiter and righteous holder of power (the same thing happened in Japan, incidentally, where the emperor is a "living God"/divine, but they're otherwise atheists compared to Christians).
Even you don't believe this, as your remarks on Islam demonstrate. You also continue to state false things about Japanese culture. The Japanese imperial family's status as divinity was because of their claimed descent from Amaterasu-omikami, a shinto deity. You should get your basic facts correct before making such sweeping generalizations.

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If you don't realize that these traits of atheism are somewhat likely to lead to horrors, and provably have via direct causal philosophical links (NOT correlation), then I think you're blind, or at the very least ignorant of history and how the various isms have risen and why.
Okay.
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There is no connection whatsoever with this and the idea that atheists are a bad person, or that atheism is inherently evil. None. We're talking about the societal effects of atheism. My personal belief is that atheists who develop their own moral framework and reasons will be more up to the point where their survival is seriously threatened, and then far less moral than Christians
I'm not that concerned with your own assumptions and prejudices about atheists, I'm arguing against your claims about the relation between society and atheism.

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Still. I contend that atheist societies will almost always drift toward being evil and repressive eventually, for a couple of the reasons mentioned above. We're a mere generation out of Christianity, and most people are still Christian or at least religious (atheists are a minority everywhere except maybe China). And the past 70 years since WWII have been very unusual. There's been a single global Christian superpower which has pressured the world into acting morally in various ways, and checked the spread of isms.
Huh? USSR wasn't a global superpower? The past 70 years since WWII have been some of the most peaceful in world history, especially in the West. We've also seen a rise in atheism in the West. Why should I take your thesis seriously when you get so many basic facts wrong?
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Old 07-29-2017, 03:33 PM   #313
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Misinterpretations of non-cognitivism aside, of course you can.

But sure, we can give your (rather obvious) flame-bait a try: X doesn't believe in superman. Tell me something else about X.

Good luck. Also, be a good sport and don't try to weasel your way out.
X likes genocide
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Old 07-30-2017, 01:36 AM   #314
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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I posted a list of the most atheistic countries in the world - they don't seem that bad to me. Are you sure you're not just talking about Marxism?
I've gone through all this and you just ignore the discussion, going back five steps.
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- The makers of the philosophies that created those society claimed atheism as an inspiration and necessary part.
They were wrong.
This is just getting into ridiculous territory. Marx, Lenin, others who created these horrible societies claim atheism was a core inspiration for these philosophies. They extensively justify their acts through atheism. They were atheists.

The two responses to these facts have been "they were lying" and "they were wrong". This is as silly as claiming that the Christian killing of witches wasn't inspired by the bible and Christian theology. It obviously was, even if you can interpret the bible different to see witch-killing as non-Christian.
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(the same thing happened in Japan, incidentally, where the emperor is a "living God"/divine, but they're otherwise atheists compared to Christians).
Even you don't believe this, as your remarks on Islam demonstrate. You also continue to state false things about Japanese culture. The Japanese imperial family's status as divinity was because of their claimed descent from Amaterasu-omikami, a shinto deity. You should get your basic facts correct before making such sweeping generalizations.
You should you get your facts straight before speaking, especially since you claim I don't have mine straight. Shinto is basically an animist religion, not a theistic one, and certainly not a divine morality monotheistic one. Most Shintos are atheist, they do not believe in a supreme power. They believe in animist attributes given to entities.

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And the past 70 years since WWII have been very unusual. There's been a single global Christian superpower which has pressured the world into acting morally in various ways, and checked the spread of isms.
Huh? USSR wasn't a global superpower?
They were the largest threat, but were never a superpower like the US. Powers were fairly equally matched before WWII, hence the carnage we saw. After WWII, there was only the US left. Russia was only interesting because it gained nukes, but look at how large its economy was compared to the US, for example. They never had the ability to make a big impact on the world, except through the spread of atheist Marxist philosophy, and apart from the nuclear threat, which was dire, they were quite easily contained with a fraction of US GDP.
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The past 70 years since WWII have been some of the most peaceful in world history, especially in the West.
Yes. This has been entirely created by heavily Christian, very non-atheist America having overwhelming power. They set the moral tone for the world and enforced it strongly. America forced the end of colonies, forced the end of segregation, raised child protections, forced peace, and provided a counter for the aggression of atheist armies (Russia, Japan). They also, despite having the ability to take over much of the world after they got the nuke, acted extremely morally. Christian values in action.
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We've also seen a rise in atheism in the West. Why should I take your thesis seriously when you get so many basic facts wrong?
You're the one getting basic facts wrong. You have the shape of something but not the meat. It's frustrating.
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Old 07-30-2017, 01:51 AM   #315
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Misinterpretations of non-cognitivism aside, of course you can.
I meant non-cognition. The idea that atheist is just a label and doesn't involve you thinking about things as a result, including morality. It's a dodge.

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But sure, we can give your (rather obvious) flame-bait a try: X doesn't believe in superman. Tell me something else about X.
It's a completely different thing. Superman is a minor meaningless character in fiction. There are no consequences if Superman doesn't exist. It has no moral implications, no implications of how you should live your life, etc.

God on the other hand comes with tons of implications, such as:

1. An all powerful super entity is watching you and requiring you to act morally, or you'll spend eternity in hell
2. An all powerful super entity loves you and cares about you
3. An all powerful super entity created us with eternal souls, and trials in this life that we have to overcome
4. Things have a grand purpose, life doesn't end on death.

You and others are trying to claim there are zero side effects if you either add or remove these sets of beliefs. That's absurd. And superman is just a ridiculous red herring; it's not a belief system that ties into morality and justice and punishment for your actions.

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Good luck. Also, be a good sport and don't try to weasel your way out.
Be a good sport and don't throw out red herrings in an attempt to weasel your way out of meaningful discussion.

Now I'll do you the courtesy (that no one has done me in this thread) of steelmanning your position.

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But sure, we can give your (rather obvious) flame-bait a try: X doesn't believe in atheism. Tell me something else about X.
You can say basically nothing about the person.

You can make statements about the probabilities of what a set of atheists will do under various scenarios, as compared to say, Christians. Which is where my argument comes from.

Atheists are more likely to:

- Support totalitarianism in social upheaval
- Be attracted to isms
- Care more about personal power than eternal principles
- Be more hedonistic
- Create dystopias when given the chance.

Due to the paths that a belief in atheism can lead to, that are blocked by Christianity.

History shows:

Atheists + class struggle = horrific totalitarian regimes
Atheists + revolution = mass murder and oppression
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:55 AM   #316
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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I've gone through all this and you just ignore the discussion, going back five steps.

This is just getting into ridiculous territory. Marx, Lenin, others who created these horrible societies claim atheism was a core inspiration for these philosophies. They extensively justify their acts through atheism. They were atheists.

The two responses to these facts have been "they were lying" and "they were wrong". This is as silly as claiming that the Christian killing of witches wasn't inspired by the bible and Christian theology. It obviously was, even if you can interpret the bible different to see witch-killing as non-Christian.
You claimed that the makers of the philosophies that created those [atheistic] society claimed atheism as an inspiration and necessary part. I said I disagree. More specifically, I accept that it is an inspiration and deny that it is necessary:

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Please don't attribute to me statements I didn't make. Yes, I agree, Marx's materialism was one of the underlying philosophical assumptions of his political views. Similarly, naturalism was one of the underlying philosophical assumptions of J.S. Mill's political views. They were both anti-religious in various ways. Also, atheism is not a necessary component of Marxist views.
I've already clarified this is my view and asked you to not attribute your made up one to me.

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You should you get your facts straight before speaking, especially since you claim I don't have mine straight. Shinto is basically an animist religion, not a theistic one, and certainly not a divine morality monotheistic one. Most Shintos are atheist, they do not believe in a supreme power. They believe in animist attributes given to entities.
Many Shintos today are atheist, yes, but we don't have good reason to believe this was true in the past (except perhaps for some elites). My understanding of atheism isn't compatible with believe in and worship of sun deities, storm gods, etc. Perhaps the claim you really want to make is not a negative one regarding atheism, but rather a positive one about the value of Big God theism.

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Yes. This has been entirely created by heavily Christian, very non-atheist America having overwhelming power. They set the moral tone for the world and enforced it strongly. America forced the end of colonies, forced the end of segregation, raised child protections, forced peace, and provided a counter for the aggression of atheist armies (Russia, Japan). They also, despite having the ability to take over much of the world after they got the nuke, acted extremely morally. Christian values in action.

You're the one getting basic facts wrong. You have the shape of something but not the meat. It's frustrating.
We have a different epistemology on these issues. You feel comfortable making grand historical claims on the basis of what looks to me like a few historical fragments and sweeping generalizations. I can disagree with the claims, but there is no point in arguing about it - our standards for historical argumentation are too far apart.
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Old 07-30-2017, 12:22 PM   #317
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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You claimed that the makers of the philosophies that created those [atheistic] society claimed atheism as an inspiration and necessary part. I said I disagree. More specifically, I accept that it is an inspiration and deny that it is necessary
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Marxist–Leninist atheism (Russian: Марксистско-ленинский атеизм), also known as Marxist-Leninist scientific atheism, is a part of the wider Marxist–Leninist philosophy (the type of Marxist philosophy found in the Soviet Union), which was irreligious and anti-clerical,[1][2] while at the same time advocating a materialist understanding of nature.[3][4] Marxism–Leninism holds that religion is the opium of the people, in the sense of promoting passive acceptance of suffering on Earth in the hope of eternal reward. Therefore, Marxism–Leninism advocates the abolition of religion and the acceptance of atheism.[5] In addition, Marxist-Leninist scientific atheism purports to explain "the origin of religion", as well as what it teaches to be "scientific criticism of it".[3] Marxist–Leninist atheism has its roots in the philosophy of Ludwig Feuerbach, G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Marx, and Vladimir Lenin
The core of the nastier forms of Marxism is that people need to take the power into their own hands, by any means necessary, rather than be sheep, because there is no God and the only place justice can exist is here on Earth. The idea is that religion and its morality structures (and belief in God generally), serves to deny humans power and keep them where they are, which is wrong in Marxist philosophy. Thus it paves the way for the state as the ultimate power and arbiter of right and wrong. It also provides the moral imperative to act and oppress, even against God-given norms.

That's a direct causal link between atheist-derived worldviews and the philosophy underpinning these horrible places.

I find it strange that people deny this link totally. It's not only crystal clear, it's developed at length in Marxist literature, and implemented in practice. You're not denying a link exists, you're denying that it's necessary. I find that strange given how explicitly atheist these ideas are, and how explicitly targeting religion and religious moral norms and worldviews.
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Many Shintos today are atheist, yes, but we don't have good reason to believe this was true in the past (except perhaps for some elites). My understanding of atheism isn't compatible with believe in and worship of sun deities, storm gods, etc. Perhaps the claim you really want to make is not a negative one regarding atheism, but rather a positive one about the value of Big God theism.
On the latter, perhaps. As for Shinto, I don't know enough about Japanese culture to say. I will concede to you at this point an earlier debate that a person can be both atheist and religious.
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We have a different epistemology on these issues. You feel comfortable making grand historical claims on the basis of what looks to me like a few historical fragments and sweeping generalizations. I can disagree with the claims, but there is no point in arguing about it - our standards for historical argumentation are too far apart.
The burden of proof is on you. Avowed atheist societies have been the worst and most murderous and oppressive hellholes on Earth. This is what the data says. You're claiming it's purely a coincidence. You claim that Marxism doesn't require atheism (I agree). However, the nastier versions of it, where human goals and ideals are elevated above eternal God-given ones, do.

Socialism in its various forms is as old as history. Yet the specific Marxist interpretations and philosophical extensions of it that nearly destroyed the planet only arose and gained power as atheist thought became more widespread. Similarly, Nazism, while certainly not explicitly atheist, relied on atheist notions of what people are - mere biological units in which the soul is diminished - and thus it opens the door to it being ok to mass-murder the faulty ones.

There have been some weird comments in this thread. One was that there are only three data points (never mind that it was a vast geographical area over two continents and near a billion people). That claim is equivalent to me saying that Nazism isn't so bad - we've only had one Nazist society (one data point!) and we can't draw seeping generalizations from that. Countries with the most Nazis on Earth (Argentina, parts of Europe) are also pretty nce, so Nazism isn't a dangerous philosophy.

Last edited by ToothSayer; 07-30-2017 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 07-30-2017, 12:40 PM   #318
tame_deuces
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Originally Posted by ToothSayer View Post

It's a completely different thing. Superman is a minor meaningless character in fiction. There are no consequences if Superman doesn't exist. It has no moral implications, no implications of how you should live your life, etc.
And nor does atheism. X's morals no more stems from his lack of belief in Superman than does Y's lack of belief in God. I don't know who this claimed atheist is who stands up and declares "there is no god, so I'll support dictatorship", but I suspect he doesn't really exist outside a desire to flame-bait these forums.

Arguing that X's lack of belief in superman would lead him down a path of crime would just be a silly argument, as is your claim that lack of belief in god(s) leads to class struggle.
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Old 07-30-2017, 12:50 PM   #319
Kelvis
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

What about X's urge to genocide tho
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Old 07-30-2017, 01:12 PM   #320
ToothSayer
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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And nor does atheism. X's morals no more stems from his lack of belief in Superman than does Y's lack of belief in God.
I mean, this is just false. Has anyone in the history of the world gone into a moral stupor/nihilism from losing belief in superman? Has anyone in the history of the world ever felt saved, or loved, or been stopped from doing bad things, by converting to superman belief?

Yet we know, for a fact, that many, many people have had these things happen to them by belief (or loss of belief) in God.

There are entire anguished treatises written by dozens of writers over centuries struggling to find a compass and a sense of morality in the newfound absence of God. And vice versa on finding it.

When that happens 1 part in 1000 for superman belief, I might consider that your analogy is other than a very silly and shallow straw man.
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I don't know who this claimed atheist is who stands up and declares "there is no god, so I'll support dictatorship", but I suspect he doesn't really exist outside a desire to flame-bait these forums.
This is just a silly straw man.

There's a very good article on why someone stopped being a leftist on American Thinker at the moment. She says it better than I do:

Read Marx and discover a mythology that is irreconcilable with any other narrative, including the Bible. Hang out in leftist internet environments, and you will discover a toxic bath of irrational hatred for the Judeo-Christian tradition. You will discover an alternate vocabulary in which Jesus is a "dead Jew on a stick" or a "zombie"...You will discover a rejection of the Judeo-Christian foundation of Western Civilization and American concepts of individual rights and law. You will discover a nihilist void, the kind of vacuum of meaning that nature abhors and that, all too often, history fills with the worst totalitarian nightmares

When there is no God, men become all powerful determiners of reality and morality, and their causes become all-important. You only notice the horrible effects of this when there's an opportunity for an old order to be overturned; we currently live in very stable times thanks to Christianity-derived laws, prosperity, legal structures and work ethic that have infused deeply through Western society.

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Arguing that X's lack of belief in superman would lead him down a path of crime would just be a silly argument
Yes, because superman isn't linked to ultimate questions of morality and purpose and punishment.
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as is your claim that lack of belief in god(s) leads to class struggle.
But this is precisely what happened. The atheist Marx wrote a horrible treatise explicitly using atheism for the moral justifications and imperatives, the atheist Lenin and others extended it and put it into action. There has always been class struggle. Atheism is what made it horrific.

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Old 07-31-2017, 01:55 AM   #321
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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The core of the nastier forms of Marxism is that people need to take the power into their own hands, by any means necessary, rather than be sheep, because there is no God and the only place justice can exist is here on Earth. The idea is that religion and its morality structures (and belief in God generally), serves to deny humans power and keep them where they are, which is wrong in Marxist philosophy. Thus it paves the way for the state as the ultimate power and arbiter of right and wrong. It also provides the moral imperative to act and oppress, even against God-given norms.

That's a direct causal link between atheist-derived worldviews and the philosophy underpinning these horrible places.
I think Marx's view of religion is more complex and less wholly negative than the view you present here. When he said that religion was the opium of the people, he also meant this in its medical use, as dulling the pain and suffering that comes from working in a capitalist society. And, it isn't really his atheism that drives his critique of religion, but rather his view that the relations of production ultimately drive social change rather than the various ideologies of religion, philosophy, or the social sciences.

I would argue that what drives the worst forms of Marxism are the rejections of human rights and of democratic norms and political systems as useful constraints on social change. This rejection is not a particularly religious or non-religious idea - there are many historical examples of religious powers and societies also rejecting them.

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I find it strange that people deny this link totally. It's not only crystal clear, it's developed at length in Marxist literature, and implemented in practice. You're not denying a link exists, you're denying that it's necessary. I find that strange given how explicitly atheist these ideas are, and how explicitly targeting religion and religious moral norms and worldviews.
<snip>
Whether atheism is a necessary component of Marxism is a logical question, not one that is settled by assertion, regardless of who is making it. If x is actual, then x is possible. If x is possible, then it can't be necessarily ~x. Christian Marxism is a real thing.

Last edited by Original Position; 07-31-2017 at 11:37 AM. Reason: formatting
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:34 AM   #322
jeccross
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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In fact for the whole thing that God is watching and doesn't want you to. Or the idea that the soul is here to experience and that it's an evil thing to interfere with that.
It's not hard for certain people to come to a belief that God is speaking to them and they're acting out his will, and convince others of this fact. Pretty sure a lot of cults operate in this way.

It's just as easy to twist "religious logic" as it is to twist "atheist logic" as you have.
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:27 AM   #323
tikmassy
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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[citation needed]
No, but these ideas arose out of Christianity. Buddhism has a touch of it too. Western Enlightenment mores - derived from Christianity and incubated in Christian culture over generations- are not normal. No other culture derived them. They're as natural as breathing to you because you've been indoctrinated in them, but they're not normal and they're not natural and they're not the result of some end point of thinking.
This is just not true at all. Where do you think Christians got there values and core beliefs from? Most of Christianity is copied from older religions!

There are other cultures before Christians such as Hindus and Buddhists long before Christians were even born!
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:13 AM   #324
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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There are other cultures before Christians such as Hindus and Buddhists long before Christians were even born!
Yes, but everyone except the Christians is evil, you need to keep up.
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:07 AM   #325
Kelvis
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Re: A Manual for Creating Atheists

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Yes, but everyone except the Christians is evil, you need to keep up.
Not just evil, they will start a genocide whenever they get the chance.
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