BEEP! BEEP! IT'S ME.

"Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop." (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1896)

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked."Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat."I don't know," Alice answered."Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

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I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Like Arthur Dent from "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", if you do not have a Babel Fish in your ear this blog will be completely unintelligible to you and will read something like this: "boggle, google, snoggle, slurp, slurp, dingleberry to the power of 10". Fortunately, those who have had the Babel Fish inserted in their ear, will understood this blog perfectly. If you are familiar with this technology, you will know that the Babel Fish lives on brainwave radiation. It excretes energy in the form of exactly the correct brainwaves needed by its host to understand what was just said; or in this case, what was read. The Babel Fish, thanks to scientific research, reverses the problem defined by its namesake in the Tower of Babel, where a deity was supposedly inspired to confuse the human race by making them unable to understand each other.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Issue Of Cruelty In The Bible


Image: - "If Jesus Is God."


"Cruelty In The Bible" from Dwindling In Unbelief



Cruelty in the Bible

The List of Some of the Quotes Used in the Video Presentation

  • Genesis 4:8 "And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."
  • Genesis 6:7 "And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them."
  • Genesis 6:17 "And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die."
  • Genesis 7:4 "For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth."
  • Genesis 19:24 "Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;"
  • Genesis 19:26 "But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."
  • Genesis 22:2 "And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
  • Genesis 22:10 "And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son."
  • Genesis 35:5 "And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob."
  • Genesis 38:7 "And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him."
  • Genesis 38:24 "And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt."
  • Genesis 40:19 "Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee."
  • Exodus 2:12 "And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand."
  • Exodus 4:23 "And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn."
  • Exodus 15:3 "The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name."
  • Exodus 17:16 "For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation."
  • Exodus 22:18 "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."
  • Exodus 32:20 "And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it."
  • Exodus 32:27 "And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour."
  • Leviticus 1:9 "But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD."
  • Leviticus 24:16 "And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death."
  • Leviticus 26:7 "And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword."
  • Leviticus 26:18 "And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins."
  • Leviticus 27:28 "Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the LORD of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the LORD."

~*~

And now to let Richard Dawkins have his say.

"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." - Richard Dawkins

Link: - From Pharyngula - "Researchers compared levels of aggression (measured in a test where participants get to blast each other with loud noises) between students at Brigham Young University (99% True Believers) and Vrije University in Amsterdam (50% God-Wallopers). They also compared aggression after reading a quotation that enjoined them to "take arms against their brothers and chasten them before the LORD". The results: getting God's permission increases levels of aggression."

Link: - From The New Atheist - People get aggressive when god says to.


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58 Comments:

Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Hello again, i like this blog. It's interesting--glad I stumbled on to it.

Dawkins:
"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."

What I say:
Mankind is jealous and proud of it; petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freaks; vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleansesr; misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, bullies"

Why place blame on God? Just because he doesn't sidestep our will to be awful to each other? This world sucks because of our own wills to be cruel to one another.

26/2/07 3:13 am  
Anonymous say no to christ said...

Hey Beep, AWESOME post!

Sadie

You can't ignore that the bible says God did this or that and on many many occassions demanded infantcide, genicide and the torture of women, children and minorities.

If your belief is that men wrote the bible to justify the own wills, than why follow it? I know I am COMPLETELY repulsed by the bible and the behavior of its writers. That is why I do not use the bible to form my morals and values. And I have to say my morals and values are far superior to god's, the bible's or any christian's and it shows in my children. Who are gentile, compassionate, loving, impathitic and a 100% atheist. They do not hate gays,minorities or anyone else who doesn't believe what they believe. They are well balanced happy normal kids who have not been indoctrinated with hateful biblical beliefs. And I bet my kids will go a lot further in life than any christians kids. So far they are way ahead of their hate driven christian friends. I can see it and so do their christian parents, who many say that my kids are the only kids their kids can hang out with.


Amy

26/2/07 4:59 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beep beep = fuck you and your abo boyfriend

26/2/07 6:21 am  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

sadie:
Why place blame on God? Just because he doesn't sidestep our will to be awful to each other? This world sucks because of our own wills to be cruel to one another.
Well then, what CAN we blame gawd for?
A good hard look at the design of our environment tells us that this is hardly the work of a good parent, does it?

26/2/07 6:47 am  
Anonymous remy said...

Sadie,
I just have to know why it is that theists turn all criticism of their particular god on to us pathetic sinful humans? Where does this tendency toward self-loathing come from?

26/2/07 7:29 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE sadie:

I agree with this - What I say:
"Mankind is jealous and proud of it; petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freaks; vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleansesr; misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, bullies"

Unfortunately, we are talking about what god does as per the old testament.

26/2/07 10:08 am  
Anonymous ted said...

Sadie: Why place blame on God?

Because if he exists, then it was He that made us that way. That means he's probably not quite the nice bloke most religious folk seem to think he is.

26/2/07 10:24 am  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

You can't ignore that the bible says God did this or that and on many many occassions demanded infantcide, genicide and the torture of women, children and minorities.

I have lots to say on this--I don't have the time. I'm hosting an Oscar party tonight. Also, sometimes I'm going to have to answer "I don't know" because sometimes, I don't. I'm quite comfortable not having the answer to everything.
*smile*

If your belief is that men wrote the bible to justify the own wills, than why follow it? It is my belief that men wrote the Bible which is the inspired words of God. If men fabricated the Old Testament, why would they put that stuff in there that makes God look unloving? Like infanticide?

I know I am COMPLETELY repulsed by the bible and the behavior of its writers. That is why I do not use the bible to form my morals and values. And I have to say my morals and values are far superior to god's, the bible's or any christian's
Wow. I don't think I'm going to waste any more time on you after I address this comment, simply because you're very intolerant, egotistical, judgmental and assuming.

...and it shows in my children. Who are gentile, compassionate, loving, impathitic and a 100% atheist.
*empathetic
Do you also teach them that your ways are far superior to any Christian's ways? If so, I don't believe this statement at all.

They do not hate gays,minorities or anyone else who doesn't believe what they believe.
What about Christians?
Everything you have said up to this point leads me to believe you don't educate your children with the fact that there are intelligent or functional Christians in the world that do not hate gays and minorities and that are fully capable of raising their children to be functional and bright.

They are well balanced happy normal kids who have not been indoctrinated with hateful biblical beliefs.Have they been indoctrinated to be atheists? You said they are 100% atheist. How is that different than me raising my kids to be Christian?

And I bet my kids will go a lot further in life than any christians kids. So far they are way ahead of their hate driven christian friends. I can see it and so do their christian parents, who many say that my kids are the only kids their kids can hang out with.

Forgive my skepticism.

KA--
After I have read the comment of the person above you, your question to me is refreshing. *smile*
Again, I'm sorry if you felt I was attacking your character in a previous post.
I'm just a firm believer in man taking full responsibility in their own horrific/evil intentions/deeds.
Why should God prevent us from doing evil? Are we only going to believe in God if God steps in and makes us into flesh puppets?
Aren't we capable of doing good on our own?
My answer is no--we are driven to sin. Nobody is perfect 100% of the time. We all have lied, stolen, hated--we have hurt people in some way or the other. God still shows people grace. He still makes good come from evil. If he stopped loving his creation, believe me--we'd know it.

Remy--
I don't hate myself for my imperfections. I just hate that even though I have God's convictions and even though I know when I am doing wrong, I still do it. Of course I repent and I try not to repeat my sins but it is man's folly to assume we are capable of perfection.

26/2/07 10:30 am  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

ted...
Because if he exists, then it was He that made us that way. That means he's probably not quite the nice bloke most religious folk seem to think he is.

Ted, do you think man has a will?
If God existed, would he have to hijack our wills in order for us to be "good"?
The first book of the Old Testament said that he made us "good". Sinless, if you will.
It was the temptation of being "like God" that caused us to fall...(ego! pride!)
But then again, if God exists--you think he should have stopped us from that first sin, right?
Like little God-driven flesh puppets? No will of our own? I don't know if I'd be willing to love a God that didn't give me a choice to love him--if we were somehow forced to love him. I don't like the idea of foresaking our wills. Even if it means to prevent evil.

26/2/07 10:36 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

We're not talking about freewill. We are discussing the cruelty in the bible. We are discussing the actions of the god especially in the old testament, which would appear according to the moral compass of many people, to be cruel.

Freewill and the issue of it has been discussed on many articles, one of which is on my blog. Though you will find many others on other blogs as well.

So essentially, we are not discussing the actions of people and why they do what they do, we are discussing the actions of the god in the old testament. The god in the old testament, according to at least some of the quotes from the video provided, indicate a cruel entity.

26/2/07 11:29 am  
Anonymous Gadfly said...

Just for what it's worth -

I make no excuses for the teachings of the OT concerning God's wrath and that which men call cruelty. He is what He is.

The problem with calling something cruel, viewing only from man's point of view, is that it assumes a standard.

I personally do not think it would be cruel to kill a man who I caught in the act of sexually abusing one of my children. If he suffered in the process I would not particularly regret it.

So the issue is not truly the degree of pain rendered but the occasion which caused it. The issue here should be stated "Is God Just?" And that means someone, somewhere has to come up with a standard of justice.

Christians state that God Himself is the standard. That His actions are righteous and even good.

If you want that defended in detail it will require some space and for folks to bear with some extended explanation.

26/2/07 12:07 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: "Christians state that God Himself is the standard. That His actions are righteous and even good."

If the actions of the god of the old testament are the standard for righteousness and goodness, then all I can say, is may human reason prevail.

26/2/07 12:14 pm  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

sadie:
Again, I'm sorry if you felt I was attacking your character in a previous post.
Oh, hey, you apologized about that, I'm over it now. Don't sweat it kiddo.
I'm just a firm believer in man taking full responsibility in their own horrific/evil intentions/deeds.
Oddly enough, so am I.
Why should God prevent us from doing evil? Are we only going to believe in God if God steps in and makes us into flesh puppets?
Aren't we capable of doing good on our own?

It's the express duty of a parent to step in if a child is playing w/a razor, reaching for a hot burner, or is harming another child, is it not?
My answer is no--we are driven to sin. Nobody is perfect 100% of the time. We all have lied, stolen, hated--we have hurt people in some way or the other. God still shows people grace. He still makes good come from evil. If he stopped loving his creation, believe me--we'd know it.
If your deity exists - I'd say we knew it long ago.
You can point to all of creation, & say 'there's your proof'. I can do the same, & say, 'this is all proof that it is NOT created'.
The only thing that has kept Man alive, is His prolificacy.
We have a world on which we can only live on 2/3rds of it. There is danger everywhere. From microscopic bacteria that can slaughter us wholesale, to worms that engorge themselves on our tissues. That's not even accounting for the teeth that tear & the claws that rend.
This entire universe is a death-trap. There is some nasty areas indeed. If we go to high, we suffocate. We can't breathe in space: we explode. No other planet can sustain us.
Tough love is 1 thing: but vicious critters, living bear traps, & the proliferation of bugs & beasts that'll tear us to shreds?
What parent lays these in the path of an infant? An adolescent? Hell, even an adult child?
What responsible parent, I might add?

26/2/07 1:06 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

Sorry Beep.

I still maintain though, what with the quotes in the video and stories they come from (Sodom, Gamorrah, Jerico, etc), that he's not the nice bloke that most religious folk seem to think he his.

26/2/07 2:20 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE ted,

I agree. If the standard of behaviour is set by god, it appears to be a cruel standard.

26/2/07 2:50 pm  
Blogger under_the_mercy said...

yes beep, scary as it is, the God of the Bible is not only loving, but also just.

26/2/07 5:06 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE under:

Obviously, you and I have different definitions of loving, justice and cruelty.

If this low standard of behaviour is the best that a god can do, it appears that I will remain an atheist.

The god of the old testament shall be known by his fruit. He makes "the fruit " of other dictatorial monsters pale into insignificance.

26/2/07 5:52 pm  
Blogger Coffee Messiah said...

It's always interesting when the old testament is used for a basis for anything. It's obviously a cruel joke that anyone would agree as to "violence" being OK.
Anyway, "reason" and "common sense" means everything! ; )

26/2/07 8:47 pm  
Anonymous say no to christ said...

Sadi said:"It is my belief that men wrote the Bible which is the inspired words of God. If men fabricated the Old Testament, why would they put that stuff in there that makes God look unloving? Like infanticide?"
----

Gee, I think men can have HUGE ego problems from time to time and use their brute strength and tyranical mind set for forcing people into submition. I also think the men who wrote the bible were suffering from maddness brought on by drought and famine. After all the bible mentions a LOT of drought and famine and anyone with half a brain knows that drought and famine causes extreme barbaric behaviors much like we see in the areas of Africa and the Middle East where drought and famine are the norm. Would you be so willing to follow, say someone from those areas mentioned or would you ignore their message as someone who was driven mad from starvation? If it is all about following the ways of our ancestors, our pre-historic and early native american ancestors are the ones to follow. They lived a life in tune with nature and with little to no violence. And there are still some indigenous peoples living the same way to this very day. Why not learn from them? Why do you insist on learning from people who were clearly driven mad? To me that is just crazy thinking.
----
Sadie Said:"Do you also teach them that your ways are far superior to any Christian's ways? If so, I don't believe this statement at all."
---------
Well, I teach them the truth about the bible and not some sugar coated "the bible is gods word" and "god is love". And I have to say they have a better understanding and appreciation for the trials and tribulations the jews suffered, but they also realize that the bible is not a manual on how to live your life and form your marals and values from.

And it seems you are intolerant and too egotistical to see the bible for what it really is! It is the JEWS stories of their struggles with drought, famine and maddness!
-------

Sadie said:"hat about Christians?
Everything you have said up to this point leads me to believe you don't educate your children with the fact that there are intelligent or functional Christians in the world that do not hate gays and minorities and that are fully capable of raising their children to be functional and bright."
---

Did you not read what I wrote? My kids have christian friends and even mormon friends. They don't judge them for what their parents forced on them. And my kids have a better understanding of christianity then most adult christians. And our family motto is 'hate christianity, not the christian'.

Amy

27/2/07 4:08 am  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Beep--
Sorry. I didn't mean to hijack your blog but the very first scripture you posted from Gen. 4:8 was about Cain and Abel.
I guess when you talk about "God's cruelty" you're talking about his wrath. When talk about his wrath, you have to ask yourself "why"? When you ask "why" you have to talk about sin and so that goes along with what I was getting at.
I hope that helps you understand where I was going with my comments.

It's the express duty of a parent to step in if a child is playing w/a razor, reaching for a hot burner, or is harming another child, is it not?

If you carry that kind of reasoning out to it's end, then we should put our children in little plastic bubbles and we should never let them make mistakes.
Also, you're comparing an infinite God and his relationship to his creation, to a finite being and their relationship to their children--it's not really the same thing.

I'm not getting your line of questioning as far as the natural world is concerned. Are you saying that if YOU were to create God, you would have this god be a diety that would put his creation in a plastic bubble of safety? Are you saying that in order for this god to be a god you can respect, we should all live in a eutopia?

27/2/07 8:40 am  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

And I have to say my morals and values are far superior to god's, the bible's or any christian's and it shows in my children. Who are gentile, compassionate, loving, impathitic and a 100% atheist.

This just speaks volumes to me. I don't feel like I need to waste my time engaging someone who doesn't respect people just because of their beliefs. Your words are very clear.

27/2/07 8:45 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

The god of the old testament has a dubious moral compass as far as I am concerned.

Especially considering that this god is supposedly omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. All the possible tools for conflict resolution are at its disposal, yet it chooses to kill every first born child in Egypt. All its superpowers must have driven it insane.

27/2/07 9:48 am  
Anonymous remy said...

Respect!?
This is the old bugaboo that I have lived with for over 50 years. You have to respect another person's beliefs.

WHY? I have a lot of respect to give but when I'm told that Heaven contains rivers of milk and honey and I will be given virgins upon arrival I find it immpossible to find respect.

And your beliefs seem as absurd as those. This is not meant to be offensive but can you understand how difficult it is for one such as I to take the god of the bible seriously when he gets upset (I could just leave it at this) with his flock and thinks the best answer is to kill everthing and start over with a reprobate. Is that not the definition of "overkill"?

27/2/07 9:51 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

I don't think it is wise to respect anyone's beliefs including my own. It certainly may be wise to respect someone's right to have beliefs however. But that is another issue.

And I suppose it depends on what "respecting someone's beliefs means?"

Does it mean that one should not question the beliefs? Or does it mean that one should not question the person's right to have beliefs?

Personally, I support the right to question beliefs.

And accordingly, someone can question mine, if they deem fit. Though it is more difficult to question "my beliefs" as I tend to have very basic beliefs which are necessary in order to conduct an argument.

I accept, for instance, that we exist. (Some people call that a belief, it makes not much difference to me.)

The reason I accept, or believe that we, as humans, exist is because I can't see the point in people attempting to discuss issues WITHOUT accepting the existence of both parties.

Now, back to the topic.

I don't believe it is wise to accept all beliefs just because someone holds them, because there are obviously beliefs out there which should be questioned.

Most people would agree for instance, that it is wise to question the beliefs of Nazis. Most people agree with this, except Nazis perhaps.

So, I don't agree that beliefs should be sacrosanct, because it is obvious that some beliefs may dangerous to ourselves or others.

27/2/07 10:54 am  
Anonymous say no to christ said...

Sadie said:"This just speaks volumes to me. I don't feel like I need to waste my time engaging someone who doesn't respect people just because of their beliefs. Your words are very clear."
----

I still stand firm in my belief that I am morally superior to god, the bible and any christian. As I am sure that you believe god's, the bible's and any christians morals are superior to mine, or you wouldn't have chose them. You really need to grow up. Many people are going to believe that some of their beliefs, morals and values are superior to yours, if not all. Its called disagreeing. Why do you christians have such a hard time with anyone who disagrees with your morals? You base your morals and values in the biblical god and I think most of us here believe our own moralistic values are superior to yours.

I for one think more of humanity. I think the overwhelming majority of people are naturally good by insticnt cuz it benefits the species overall to be so. I firmly believe it takes patriarchal religious ideaology to turn people that bad and the bible is a good example of how that works. If you can read the bible and find "just" reasons for god to behave and order his men to behave in such barbaric ways, than I believe your morals and values should be questioned and ridiculed. There is ABSOLUTELY not good excuse for ANYONE including GOD to get away with and not be scorned and shunned for behaving in such barbaric and blood thirsty ways. You see, as long as we make excuses and justify bad behaviors in the god(s), then people will behave the same and use god and the bible to justify it. Just like we see all around us now. Bush justifying his war mongering with god and the bible backs it. All those mothers who killed their children because god told them to and the bible backed their beliefs. They began to see their children for the worthless little sinners they were all becoming cuz thats what the bible says. And dont get me started about the overwhelming MAJORITY of abused children are found in christian homes, cuz that is what the statistics show. "spare the rod spoil the child", isn't that what the bible says? Well, not too long ago a loving christian family beat their adopted 8 year old son too death. I believe they were using books written by loving and moral christians, Dobbs and the Pearls who believe it is a parents god given right and duty to use corporal punishments, even giving advise on how to spank babies and how and where to hit so they wouldn't leave bruses. Oh and my all time favorite is the number one answer men give for beating the wives and children is that it is their "god given right" and the bible back it.


So please forgive me if I can't help but feel my morals and values are far superior to gods, the bible's and yes even yours. :D

Amy

27/2/07 11:40 am  
Anonymous Gadfly said...

Re: Say no says -
"I for one think more of humanity. I think the overwhelming majority of people are naturally good by insticnt cuz it benefits the species overall to be so."

Interesting. This is of course counter to Darwinism which states that moral development, altruism, etc. are cultural impositions that are in place to counter the "selfish gene". Your position would put you at odds with most of the empiricist folks who promote Darwin's view of anthropology.

Ref. See the article in Time Magazine (don't have the date). Robert Wright commenting on Bill Moyer's televised discussion about the Book of Genesis makes this statement: "But according to Darwinism, the evil in nature (speaking of man) lies at its very roots, instilled by ... natural selection."

Sigmund Freud, an avid atheist, agreed. See "The Future of an Illusion".

27/2/07 12:29 pm  
Blogger Matt said...

beepbeep,

Hey, if you have time, I'd like to hear the atheistic explanation of morality.

Is it subjective?

If we exist because of blind evolutionary forces then wouldn't the propigation of the species be the ultimate objective value?

Thanks.

27/2/07 12:29 pm  
Anonymous say no to christ said...

Gadfry, I dont give two rats behinds what Freud, who by the way was not a very nice person and believed that women and girls that were being raped by family members were only fantasizing it.

And The great thing about science is that it is ever changing according to new findings. Dawins theory has been updated with new findings many times. No evolutionist will say everything Darwin believed was correct. What he was right about was the fact that evolution does exist and occures through natural selection.

Humans are social animals and social animals have a better chance of survival if every member is cooperative. And when not influence by barbaric patriarchal ideaology, humans function very peacefully and cooperative.
The studies of indigenous peoples, the early native americans and our prehistoric ancestors show that humans only became bloodthirsty barbaric mosters after pratriachal ideaologies evolved out of drought and famine conditions and spreading out from the Sahara desert through the majority of the world through force. And there are still peaceful matriarchal societies that exist to this day. Why are they so happy and peacefull while our society is barbaric and out of control???

27/2/07 1:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where are these utopian matriarchal societies?

27/2/07 1:29 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Re matt:

I have commented on morality previously and personally, I don't think we know exactly all the processes which form our moral selves.

I think that there are probably many indicators some of which might be:

1. genetics
2. gene expression
2. environment
3. interaction of self with the environment
4. culture
5. chronology
6. geography
7. geo-politics
8. family
9. community
10. tribe
11. religion
12. nurture
13. natural selection

And people can probably think of a few more. The list may be more extensive than I have presented.

When I consider for myself, that which may have influenced my sense of morality, it probably stems to my upbringing, to my family experiences.

Of course, my family brought with them certain genetic traits, gene expressions, life experiences, socio-cultural experiences, political experiences all within a chronological framework which may have led them to think, act and nurture me in the ways in which they did.

There seems to be no guarantee that people will be "moral." Yet for the majority of us, we are not running around stealing, murdering, or raping. In fact, I am always quite amazed at how well-behaved the general population is, considering the stresses, worries and problems that modern life demands of us.

I can only speak of my environment of course, the one in which I participate and observe. I live in a big city with large complex transport and road systems. Yet 99.9% of people (yes, I made that % up, let's just say - a very large %), stay in the lane they are supposed to be in, they don't drive their cars on the footpath, they obey traffic lights and stop signs etc.

I can pass thousands of cars, or have thousands of cars pass me, and yet the basic pattern is the same. The majority of people do the right thing. (Almost like bees flying back to the hive, very orderly and with limited pushing, shoving and fighting.)

I am totally amazed sometimes at how well-behaved we actually are. The mass media, of course, likes to point out the instances when we are NOT well-behaved. Primarily because they wouldn't sell much product if people turned on the TV or opened the newspaper and it said " 500 million children got to school safely today. This is the same as yesterday bar two, one who was attacked by the neighbour's dog, and the other who was runover by a car on the intersection."

What part of the story would people be most interested in? The fact that by far the majority of children got to school safely? Or the part where one was bitten by a dog, or one was hit by a car?

I think we train ourselves to see the "bad" in others and in ourselves to the extent where for some people, it becomes all consuming. There is ALWAYS more "evil" to find and stamp out. It becomes a mission for them, I suppose.

Basically I think that the reason that the majority of us are well-behaved is because we are "social animals" and we display the same characteristics and attributes of other "pack animals" of cooperation for mutual benefit. Couple this with the human ability for empathy and the majority of humans are not sociopathic.

I know some readers won't enjoy the parallels I make with humans and animals, but that is unavoidable with a discussion such as this.

Animals are fairly species specific when it comes to loyalty, cooperation, empathy and mutual benefit. And, I think that human beings are, in this regard, no different. (There are exceptions where there is inter-species cooperation for mutual benefit, but that isn't really relevant to the discussion.)

So, we have loyalties to our families, or communities, our tribes, our "pack" and to others of our own species. These loyalties, or reciprocal behaviours are mutually beneficial. When they cease to be mutually beneficial, when they are perceived to be harmful, or deliterious to survival, people draw back into a smaller group with which they identify their primary interests.

Our social and cultural constructs provide a sense of cohesiveness and shared meaning. With the concept of shared meaning, there is hand in hand, the concept of shared purpose. So, we gravitate to those groups with which we identify a common meaning or frame of reference. These social behaviours increase our chances of survival. An increased change of individual survival, increases the chances of our offspring's survival.

So, I think we evolve a sense of morality, and that this idea of morality and ethics has been evolving with us over perhaps billions of years. (For the creationists, I will say thousands of years, lol.)

This evolution is not only an evolution according to biology, but an evolution driven by social, cultural and political dynamics. In other words, we learn what also works through the experiences of being human.

But if you are after a guarantee that all people will act appropriately under all circumstances, I can't promise you that.

27/2/07 1:36 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Re anonymous

In case you haven't noticed, there are no utopian patriarchies either. ;)

27/2/07 1:56 pm  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

BBIM:
In case you haven't noticed, there are no utopian patriarchies either.
There's no utopia, period.

27/2/07 1:58 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE ka

Goes without saying. lol

27/2/07 2:01 pm  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

matt:
If we exist because of blind evolutionary forces then wouldn't the propigation of the species be the ultimate objective value?
Well, 1st off, there's no 'blindness' per se.
2nd off, it's not just about propagation. A large portion of it is reciprocal altruism.
3rd off, not everybody needs an authoritarian figure to whip us into line.

27/2/07 2:01 pm  
Blogger Matt said...

beepbeep,

Thanks for the quick reply. So, if I understand you correctly, you're saying that morality arises by biological and societal evolution. Wouldn't the implication be that there would be no good or evil except that which is or isn't beneficial to a species or a society at a specific time and place? If that's the case then morality is ultimately subjective and circumstancial, correct?

So then, on what objective moral standard do you judge the God of the Old Testment? The standard that you have arrived at given your unique social and biological upbringing?

I just don't see how an atheist can proclaim subjective morality and then turn around and judge God (or gawd) by an objective moral standard.

27/2/07 2:20 pm  
Anonymous say no to christ said...

Here you go Anonymous....
http://www.congress-matriarchal-studies.com/en/index.html

http://www.radiofeminista.net/sept05/images/austin-fotos1.htm

http://www.saunalahti.fi/penelope/Feminism/matrifoc.html


While I don't know for sure if there is such a thing as Utopia, I do believe there are better ways to live, that can lead to a more peaceful society.

27/2/07 2:30 pm  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

matt:
I just don't see how an atheist can proclaim subjective morality and then turn around and judge God (or gawd) by an objective moral standard.
Which definition of 'objective' are you using?
1. Of or having to do with a material object.
2. Having actual existence or reality.
3.
a. Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices: an objective critic.
b. Based on observable phenomena; presented factually: an objective appraisal.
4. Medicine. Indicating a symptom or condition perceived as a sign of disease by someone other than the person affected.
5. Grammar.
1. Of, relating to, or being the case of a noun or pronoun that serves as the object of a verb.
2. Of or relating to a noun or pronoun used in this case.
I assume you're talking about definition 3a?
Because it's ALL subjective.
So then, on what objective moral standard do you judge the God of the Old Testment? The standard that you have arrived at given your unique social and biological upbringing?
Yep. Welcome to civilization. Play by the rules, nobody gets hurt.

27/2/07 3:02 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: "Wouldn't the implication be that there would be no good or evil except that which is or isn't beneficial to a species or a society at a specific time and place? If that's the case then morality is ultimately subjective and circumstancial, correct?"

I don't believe that there is a "good and evil" in a religious sense, that is correct.

But, I don't think that the process is subjective, as that would imply that people primarily live isolated lives and we don't. We communicate and interact on a level which could only be dreamt of by other species, accepting that some other species dream.

So, are our natural processes and inclinations completely subjective? I don't think so. Primarily because we have such high level interatctions (in both scope and scale) with other humans.

So, morality is essentially defined by all of the factors mentioned previously, but mitigated and influenced by the group dynamic in which we find ourselves. Or the group to which we identify through culture, class, race, gender, religion etc.

It is an ongoing process. One day, perhaps, we might even decide that regardless of the conditions in which we find ourselves, conditions which may be deliterious to the group's survival, that it is immoral under all circumstances to wage war upon each other.

I am not holding my breath for this one, as most religions have wars factored into them. Probably, the result of time periods where the need to compete to survive was at its highest. Or when sufficient stress was placed upon survival through drought, environmental changes, that "the survival instinct kicked in."

So, a concept of morality and what constitutes a moral life, has changed and will continue to change if humans are around long enough. If we don't kill each other all off in our fights about who is the most moral. lol (Sorry, the irony of that doesn't escape me.)

There is an element of morality which is relative to geo-political social and cultural constructs and there is an element which is species universal. If you ask most people across the planet if it is a good idea to rape, kill, steal, torture, the majority will say that it isn't. There is a sense of mutual cooperation for mutual benefit and the ability to empathise with other humans which is intergral to our species.

I would suggest that not only is it possible that our genetic codes express this as a result of natural selection, but that we are capable of learning from the experiences that being human affords us.

So, we can also learn to be a social, mutually dependent species. We have an objective sense of what it is to be moral, and given conditions where competition between tribes/groups is not paramount, we employ those skills in our everyday lives.

An example of this concept of objective morality might be something like Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html

Most people in the world would agree with the sentiments expressed therein. Not all of course, as we are like that. But it is an example of many people coming together and expressing what they believe would be ethical and moral ways to act towards each other.

Contrary to that are the human allegiances which are smaller and more agenda specific. So, even though some people would agree that under most circumstances that killing was wrong, killing a competing tribe or competing tribal member will receive a pass depending on the circumstances.

So human beings have an objective sense of morality which is most likely based upon what they wouldn't like to have happen to them. being aware of the emotional and physical needs of self, is a window into understanding the emotional, psychological and physical needs of others.

People, however, who are unable to process information in this way, have incredible difficulties in understanding appropriate, or moral behaviour when it comes to interacting with others. Those people are usually termed sociopathic, and they need a recipe book of behaviours which they can mimic in order to interact in the human world. (I always think of the clones/cyborgs in "BLaderunner" - or the book "Do Androids Dream of Electic Sheep?" when I try to imagine the difficulty that a sociopath might have.)

Even so, the clones developed a subjective code of morality which was particular to them and their interactions with humans.

Which brings me onto the next point.

How we express our sense of morality depends on to which group we define our allegiances. I will use religious groups for this example. There is very little difference in the moral ideals of each religion, but there is a great difference sometimes in how they are expressed.

Most religions, cultures, nations, tribes, have laws against the killing of people indiscriminately. The laws of when, how and why someone can be killed may differ, but the moral laws concerning indiscriminate killing is essentially the same.

This suggests to me not the existence of one god, or various gods, but an innate sense of group mentality built up over generations which reinforces and perpetuates itself in the next generation.

So there are objective and subjective components to the concept of morality. Both processes influence the other, but eventually what wins out, is the dynamic which can provide the largest group of people, the highest chance of survival.

Some of these other links may help you to understand my thoughts on the issue.

To BEE Or Not To BEE - That Is The BUZZ
http://beepbeepitsme.blogspot.com/2007/01/to-bee-or-not-to-bee-that-is-buzz.html

Are Morality & Moral Behavior Impossible without God, Religion?
http://atheism.about.com/od/atheismatheistsmorals/a/AtheistsMoral.htm

Moral Reflex, Moral Sense
http://atheism.about.com/b/a/176292.htm

Myth: Atheists Have No Reason to be Moral, No Basis for Morality
http://atheism.about.com/od/atheismatheistsmorals/a/AtheistsMoral.htm

27/2/07 3:32 pm  
Blogger Matt said...

beepbeep,

Points well taken. Well stated, a lot of good information there but nothing that addresses a fundamental issue...

So God is cruel according to today's ''dynamic which can provide the largest group of people the highest chance of survival''?

Would you say that God would appear good to you if we lived in different circumstances? Circumstances that required the kind of morality that God appears to practice in the Old Testament? Even if that morality ensured the best survival of the most people?

I hope you can see that your moral relativism justifies any morality given the right circumstances; therefore, how can you argue that the God of the OT was cruel?

27/2/07 5:05 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: "So God is cruel according to today's ''dynamic which can provide the largest group of people the highest chance of survival'"?

Obviously I don't believe that a god exists, I am an atheist.

But for the sake of argument, I think that the god, as described in the old testament is cruel because it uses the methods of man to resolve conflict. This suggests to me that the god, doesn't exist, just mankind's idea of what a god would do if it was on their side.

Arguably, a god which is supposedly omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, has ALL processes, means, methods and tools at their disposal when it comes to sorting out problems.

Also, the god in the old testament, intervened in human affairs according to whim or will, so it isn't relevant to discuss whether or not human freewill exists, as we are discussing the actions of a god regardless of whether freewill exists or not.

In fact, the intervention of said god at least a cuple of times involved removing any supposed concept of freewill from whoever it was he had a beef with.

So, I consider that the actions of said god are cruel, because it had the opportunity to solve any problems without bloodshed, without suffering, without death and destruction and yet, when it stepped in to sort things out, it acted with intent to cause harm.

Only a cruel being acts with intent to cause harm when all possible options are available to it.

I couldn't worship such a being. But then, I don't have to.

27/2/07 5:25 pm  
Blogger Matt said...

beepbeep,

Nice tap dance.

But again, how can your relative idea of cruel apply here if any morality is acceptable given the right circumstances?

You put forth definitive axioms like ''Only a cruel being acts with intent to cause harm...'' yet you claim there is no objective measure of morality other than what's benficial to survival. See the contradiction?

On top of that, the God expressed in the bible doesn't meet with your assumptions of what a God should be and do and therefore He doesn't exist? It was well said but weak at its core.

27/2/07 5:50 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Personally, if you think that this is the best an allpowerful being can do, without what both of us would in reality, consider to be cruelty, then, I don't trust your ability to act morally. That is a sad fact, but how I see the situation.

Let's look at it from another perspective.

Pretend I am all powerful (instead of just being "humanly powerful"), and I don't like you going to the bar in town for 2 drinks on a Saturday night.

I am allpowerful, remember, so I can stop you in any way imaginable and I can imagine all ways because I am allpowerful.

I decide to have the local coach run you over and flatten your head so that your skull is so thin I can use it for tracing paper.

Unecessary cruelty? Or did you deserve it because I am allpowerful and an allpowerful being must be right, no matter what?

You see, I don't see a great deal of difference between the actions of the god in the old testament, and the despicable things that some human beings do to each other.

So, I think the god of the old testament is just an expression of what THOSE human beings IN THAT time period would have done, had they the means to do so.

If we accept the morality of ancient people as the standard for ourselves, the standard, in my opinion, is too low.

Concurrently, if we accept the morality of the god is the old testament as the standard for ourselves, the standard, once again, is too low.

27/2/07 6:06 pm  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

matt:
You put forth definitive axioms like ''Only a cruel being acts with intent to cause harm...'' yet you claim there is no objective measure of morality other than what's benficial to survival. See the contradiction?
Hey, there IS NO 'objective morality'. That's a human filter ONLY. There isn't a contradiction. If you'd stop hitting the 'happy happy gawd' sauce, you'd see it.
On top of that, the God expressed in the bible doesn't meet with your assumptions of what a God should be and do and therefore He doesn't exist? It was well said but weak at its core.
Oh, how typical.
YOUR gawd doesn't even play by his own friggin' rules. What kind of parent does that?
Here, I'll answer for you:
a psychotic one.
Morality stems from evolution. Same place religion came from.
Better get used to it.

27/2/07 6:09 pm  
Anonymous Gadfly said...

Say No
Re: The studies of indigenous peoples, the early native americans and our prehistoric ancestors show that humans only became bloodthirsty barbaric mosters after pratriachal ideaologies evolved out of drought and famine conditions and spreading out from the Sahara desert through the majority of the world through force. And there are still peaceful matriarchal societies that exist to this day. Why are they so happy and peacefull while our society is barbaric and out of control???

I will ask the next Neanderthal I see if that was the case with them? Were they wiped out because they were matriarchal and peaceful little munchkins?

I will have to check out your references but the group credentials mentioned seem to be on the same scientific level as the Institute for Creation Research with regards to the age of the earth.

27/2/07 10:15 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: "Why are they so happy and peacefull while our society is barbaric and out of control???"

I consider this to be case of retrospective rose coloured glasses.

I could suggest to you why I think that matriarchial and or more gender equal societies died a natural death, but you ain't gunna like it.

And I agree that the environment in which judaism, christianity and islam originated have something to do with this. Harsh environmental conditions create survival mechanisms, in this case religions, which are also harsh.

27/2/07 11:01 pm  
Anonymous say no to christ said...

gadfly said:"I will ask the next Neanderthal I see if that was the case with them? Were they wiped out because they were matriarchal and peaceful little munchkins?"
----------

I dont know as much about the Neanderthals, but from what I know about them from school and TV was that they couldn't adapt fast enough to their changing invornment. They were built for very cold climates and when that disapeared so did they and many other species.
-----------

gadfly said:"I will have to check out your references but the group credentials mentioned seem to be on the same scientific level as the Institute for Creation Research with regards to the age of the earth."
----------
Oh give me a break these people have seen and touched these matriarchal societies with their own eyes and hands. How can anyone deny that they exist? There may not be many of them left in one area, but there are still many of them through out the world even in China, Africa, Mexico, and the Middle east.
------
Beep

Do you believe that the early Native americans naturally converted to christianity and patriarchy? Or the Guamanians? Or the Hawians? Who were all matriarchal peaceful peoples till the christians invaded them and forced the to convert by some of the most cruel and inhumane ways possible. They took the Native Americans children from them, forced the kids into boarding schools and beat them till they converted and many of them died.I have a hard time considering that a natural part of evolution. In Guam the christians killed all the men and then raped and pillaged the the women and children. In Hawii, they just came in and took what ever they wanted and shamed the native peoples for living naturally. Partiarchal religions are a result of the driest most inhospitible conditions as a means of survival, but here where I live there is plenty water and food for now, so why should we follow or even allow such barbaric patriarchal ideaology to rule the day? If it were a natural part of evolution I don't think there would be so many unhappy people in our land of plenty. We would just accept it as an only means of survival much like we see in the driest parts of the world where patriarchal religions run ramped.

Amy

28/2/07 4:40 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE amy

Less powerful cultures are and were subsumed by more powerful ones.

Though some indiviuals would have chosen to be included in the dominant invading culture, the majority of native peoples wanted to retain their cultures intact.

Probably the same thing happened everywhere, throughout human history. Native peoples didn't have a lot of choice in the matter.

28/2/07 9:12 am  
Anonymous say no to christ said...

Beep

I think you are missing my point. The majority of our society base their morals and values on a book about how a group of people who were trying to survive one of the cruelest and harshest environments. It wont work for a society that lives in a lush land of plenty. It will only destroy it. Look at what happened to the Roman empire. When a society is force to except unnatural oppressing conditions and ideaologies it only leads to the end. Patriarchy is not natural for the environment that we live in. That is why we are in the trouble that we are in with the environment, the divided societies, poverty, violence and so on.

And in all reality it has been women who have moved us forward in the course of progress. Would America be the country it is (or at least was till the patriarchal christians took over our govenment, which is only another miner set back)without women? I hardly think so! If it wasnt for the influence of matriarchal societies, humanity wouldnt be where it is today. Our society is so blinded by partriarchal religious ideas that the majority of us dont even recognize that America and other industrilized countries are not completely patriarchal. They are actual 50/50 give or take and forced to ignore the fact that the female aspect has been there all along. They do this by rewriting our history to suit them and sometimes write women out of history all together. That is why the patriarchs of all abrahamic religions and others LOVE their book burnings. But inspite of all that, nature and the natural order of things still prevail. Whether anyone likes it or not America, Europe and other industialized countries are becoming more and more matriarchal because it is the natural order and it works better. We may never get back to the old school simplistic matriarchal societies that once was, but we will definately move back to a more female way of thinking. And this time science is on our side! The only thing holding us back now is religion and they are scared shitless and worried to death about the feminists.

I should have warned you that I am an antarchist feminist and can be quite radical and forceful in my views, so please don't take anything I say personal.


Here is a link to a good example of how women who changed the world for the better were just written out.
http://www.suppressedhistories.net/articles/gage.html

1/3/07 5:34 am  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

KA said...
Morality stems from evolution. Same place religion came from.
Better get used to it.

If morality stems from evolution hasn't enough time passed for the human race to be more progressive instead of regressive in terms of morality? We seem to be lowering our standards not raising the bar. And where does accountability factor in? Are we all just supposed to be moral for the good of the species? If so, why isn't that working for us?

1/3/07 8:20 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

I can't answer for KA, but natural selection leads us here, to this point in time.

And according to the processes of natural selection, mankinds wishes for anything different, make diddly squat.

RE: accountability

I consider that there is less accountability if you have a religious life which allows you to be potentially continually forgiven.

A life where you are primarily responsible for your own actions, is one where responsibility is taken.

By responsibility, I mean self - determination.

http://www.psych.rochester.edu/SDT/theory.html

So, essentially I sink or swim on my own recognizance, you sink or swim according to the will or whim of your god.

1/3/07 11:04 am  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

sadie:
If morality stems from evolution hasn't enough time passed for the human race to be more progressive instead of regressive in terms of morality? We seem to be lowering our standards not raising the bar. And where does accountability factor in? Are we all just supposed to be moral for the good of the species? If so, why isn't that working for us?
I think there's an error in your thinking here. Don't be offended: a lotta people do this.
Evolution doesn't always go forward. Sometimes it levels out on a plateau: sometimes it goes a little backwards.
& yes, we're supposed to moral for the benefit of the species.
Think about it: those that act against the betterment of the herd are isolated, punished or (in case of most animals) killed.
Case in point: when the Roman Empire collapsed, most progress ground to a halt, & remained so for many ages, until the renaissance.
The law of diminishing returns only pays out so much, so to speak. ;)

1/3/07 12:47 pm  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

Matt:

So God is cruel according to today's ''dynamic which can provide the largest group of people the highest chance of survival''?

You are running afoul of the Euthyphro Dilemma. The link includes a lengthy, in depth discussion. It is worth your time.

God is cruel, because we have an innate sense of what cruelty is. Because we can conceive of it happening to us, and are capable of empathy, we can imagine it happening to someone else.

No God required.

How cruel was God? In all His dietary restrictions, he completely neglected to direct that his worshipers rigorously separate human waste from their drinking water, and to boil it before drinking.

He could have done that, and saved untold millions of lives, many of them innocent children.

But he didn't, despite it being advice so easy to follow that humans were able to figure it out for themselves.

1800 years later. No God required.

Anyone who can't figure out that is cruel beyond measure on their own is left with only the Good German Defense.

BTW -- a pox on word verification.

1/3/07 1:48 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE skipper:

RE: "Anyone who can't figure out that is cruel beyond measure on their own.."

The interesting thing about this, is that thoughout history there must have been people who thought that the actions of their gods (depending on what culture etc they were born into), were cruel, and probably argued against acting according to the supposed will of these gods.

What would have happened?

Those who didn't consider that their "god's will" could be cruel, went on to enact the cruelty of their god's will upon those who were not cruel enough to do the same thing.

Thereby trying to ensure that there was always enough cruelty to go around.

1/3/07 1:59 pm  
Blogger Dikkii said...

Hi Beep,

Once again, Bronze Dog has come through with the goods:

http://rockstarramblings.blogspot.com/2007/02/myriad-moralities-of-god.html

Fairly relevant to this post, I think.

1/3/07 4:27 pm  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

I consider that there is less accountability if you have a religious life which allows you to be potentially continually forgiven.

There's that "get out of jail free card" idea of yours again. There is something fatally flawed with a "Christians" that goes out to sin with the foreknowledge of asking for forgiveness afterwards. It doesn't work that way. God knows what a person is *up* to.

A life where you are primarily responsible for your own actions, is one where responsibility is taken.
How is a Christian *not* responsible for my own actions? I pay the consequences of sin the same as you do. The difference is our definitions of sin.

By responsibility, I mean self - determination.

I would say self control.

So, essentially I sink or swim on my own recognizance, you sink or swim according to the will or whim of your god.

That still doesn't explain accountability. You can do whatever you want as laong as your personal convictions allow you to sleep at night and as long as you don't get caught. Not so with me. I know there is someone watching me and my convictions do not allow me to rest until I've called them into focus to see what's nagging me.

KA--I have to go--be back in the morning for ya.
:)

1/3/07 4:40 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

My personal convictions appear to be better than the god of the old testament. As, I mentioned previously, if that is the standard, the standard is too low for me.

I don't need a lesson on self-control. I have managed quite successfully, even into my dotage, to stay within the boundaries of the laws of the land.

The morality associated with the bible, is not one which I would use as a standard of behaviour. And thankfully, not many people do.

Re accountability

When one becomes a self -determining adult, one is accountable for one's actions. I am accountable to the laws under which the society I live in works and operates. I am accountable to other people in the sense that I have empathy, self control, intelligence, courage and honesty.

However, I am not accountable to anyone else's god belief. If you wish to believe that you are, well and good, you can believe that you are accountable to tinkerbell if you like. But I am not.

1/3/07 11:02 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE dikki

I agree. Good link.

The Myriad Moralities of God
http://rockstarramblings.blogspot.com/2007/02/myriad-moralities-of-god.html

2/3/07 10:54 pm  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

sadie:
KA--I have to go--be back in the morning for ya.
Stood up again, -SIGH-

10/3/07 7:29 am  

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