Does Atheism harm the fabric of America?

Into statistics? Curious what everyone else thinks? Then start a poll here.

Does Atheism harm the fabric of America?

Poll ended at Sun Apr 16, 2006 9:48 pm

No, America wasn't created for Christians
9
90%
Maybe, because non-religious people are bad
0
No votes
Yes, because America was created for Christians
1
10%
 
Total votes : 10

Postby mikedsjr » Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:57 pm

I don't know the point of this poll except to be combative.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens
Eccl 3:1
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Postby stickmangrit » Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:19 pm

just wanted to chime in on koin's list. i can't find a single thing on it that is inherently bad on it's own. i know just as many people that get drunk, stay where they are, make a bit of an ass of themselves and wake up the next morning and go home with a headache. no harm done, no problems had. and as for drugs, anyone who claims drugs are inherently evil is clearly speaking from a position of great fear and ignorance, which oddly enough is exactly where our government wants us on this issue. i know plenty of people that ingest illegal drugs on a purely recreational basis, cause no harm to anyone, and continue to be productive members of society. one of my friends smokes pot on a quasi-regular basis, and she's the only one out of our group of friends who's kept her scholarships. drugs themselves are not the problem, addiction is. society is not harmed until a person does something incredibly stupid (driving under the influence) or can't handle their s***. when the drug takes control of their life, and all descisions are made based around the drug instead of personal well-being. when someone does this with cocaine, we call it addiction and a tragedy, when someone does this with a thousand year old book, we call it religion and find it commendinble. anything can be an addictor. anything. movies, books, video games, heroin, religion, anything. addiction and stupidity are far worse things then illegal drugs, and yet little is ever done about them. we lock addicts away like criminals instead of giving them the treatment they need. they are sick, both mentally and physically, and ywt no sympathy is given to them. and as for pot, we want to talk about the government lying to us, let's talk about pot. buying weed will not fund terrorism. smoking a joint sill not cause you to turn into a complete moral degenerate or kill yourself. if an ounce of pot is all that's reqiured to do this to you, you were pretty f***ed up to begin with. and shirking your responsibilities to go smoke pot is not pot's fault, it's yours for being a dips***. you set aside a weekend a month and do it when you have no other plans. going about it any other way is dumb and irresponsible, which are personal problems completely unrelated to any drug you might be consuming.
I see as much misery outta them movin' to justify theirselves as them that set out to do harm.
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Postby whoosanightowl » Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:37 pm

Good question, how about we have a little poll, just fill in yes or no next to if you think it is acceptable or not acceptable.

1) Extramarital affairs-no
2) Getting Drunk-not if it affects other adults or children negatively
3) Doing drugs-same as above
4) Abortion-not in most cases
5) Gambling-yes as long as you can afford to lose what you play and it doesn't affect other adults or children negatively
6) Have sex while not married-yes if you are an adult and use protection to prevent the spread of STD's as well as pregnancy
7) Homosexuality-same as above (minus the pregnancy)
8) Human Cloning-not if the clone is used for parts and not respected and protected as human
9) Profanity-yes, as long as those within hearing distance don't object to it and it's not done around young children
10) Prostitution-yes, if it's legal and measures are taken to assure STD's won't be spread
11) Polygamy-not sure on this one
12) Downloading Copyrighted music-no because it's stealing

There are a few other issues I would add to this list:
1) Allowing children to view PG13 and R rated movies?
2) Allowing children to play graphicly violent video games rated T or M?
3) Not teaching children to respect other adult authority figures?
4) Not showing kindness and respect to other drivers on the road?
5) Parking in handicapped spaces without need?
6) Being fiancially irresponsible, getting in debt over your head then claiming bankrupsy?
7) Not taking good care of pets and have them spayed/neutered?
8) Being wasteful?
9) Littering?
10) Not recycling?
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Postby Atheist37 » Tue Apr 04, 2006 3:41 am

mikedsjr wrote:I don't know the point of this poll except to be combative.

Mike,
I do understand how you might see it that way. But atheists are a favorite target of the religious right. Just last week, the powerful political group Vision America held a conference where they claimed that a "War On Christians" is being waged in America. I don't suppose they are blaming the Jews or Muslims for this. No, it's the "secularists" that are supposedly trying to rid our nation of Christian values.

Well the last time I read the Constitution, our founding fathers thought it prudent (1) to not once mention God or Jesus, and (2) to explicitly forbid a religious test in order to hold office.

Article VI, section 3
...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.


Now take a look at the Great Seal of the United States on any handy dollar bill. It says "Novus Ordo Seclorum", Latin for "A new order for the ages". Secular means worldly, or "of the ages", in contrast with eternal. Top this off with the very first clause of the very first amendment to our constitution -- there shall be no state religion, nor shall the state restrict religion.

The war against Christian values is being waged by guys like Tom DeLay (keynote speaker at the Vision America conference) who sell out America to the highest bidder and then lie about it. Atheists are nearly uniform in their support of religious freedom in America, so Christians we are on your side on that issue.
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Postby spongebob » Tue Apr 04, 2006 3:41 am

I noticed that a couple of people commented that downloading pirated music is stealing. That could be an interesting topic for a non-religous thread. My interpretation of the law is different. Certainly it is unlawful, but copyright infingement is not the same thing as outright stealing. If you examine the penalties of most other copyright cases, they look quite different from that of pirated downloading. I think this is another case where the government and big buisness are having their way with us little folk.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
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Postby koin4life » Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:17 am

A37, I think you are stretching just a bit on this:

"Novus Ordo Seclorum", Latin for "A new order for the ages". Secular means worldly, or "of the ages", in contrast with eternal.


I don't think they were going for secular in this instance. I won't argue though that the government as a whole was created to be secular, I think that is fairly common. I think the government had Judeo-Christian values that influenced it, but it was definitely meant to be a secular government, and the United States is better for it.

About the list, I was going for the more common behaviors, as opposed to things like recycle. The reason is becasue I think it's easier to say whether or not a behavior is acceptable if it is more clear. Also, I tried my best not to let any bias affect the way I worded each part. Let me know if it did, and I can try and change it. I will try and sign on later and give, what I think is a good reason why these are unacceptable. I will try and give a reason other then, because the Bible says so, because that's not very good arguement for this situation.
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Postby koin4life » Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:40 am

Okay, as promised, I will try and explain reasons why I think each thing is bad.

1) Extramarital affairs -- I think when a person cheats on their spouse, they have several harmful effects. First, the spouse no longer trusts them, and when this happens, it is very difficult to mend a relationship. Also, when spouses cheat, the likelyhood of STD's can increase than in a monogomous relationship. Finally, I think it causes any children involved in the situation to have a negative view of marriage, and of the cheating figure, which can lead to negative feelings towards that person.

2) Getting Drunk -- When confined to a private situation, this is no longer illegal (public intoxication), but I still think it is bad. The reason is because getting drunk causes you to lose or impair your judgement. This can lead to really bad decisions such as driving home drunk, hitting a girlfriend / wife / child, and harming your body if you become an alcoholic. I don't think drinking in general is bad, but like many things, too much of it is bad.

3) Doing illegal drugs (i.e. marijuana, cocaine, etc) -- Ignoring any legal issues, I think it is bad for similar reasons to getting drunk, only it can cause a lot more physical harm depending on the drug.

4) Abortion -- Obviously any fetus / baby / embryo that is destroyed can be considered a reason on itself. But, another reason I would say is it causes a very tough emotional strain on the person invovled. Alongside that, I think it devalues life and allows people to avoid the consequences of their actions. If they choose to sleep with someone, and get pregnant, then they should live with thier actions.

5) Gambling -- Probably one of the lessar problems, however I think it leads to finance problems. A person that gambles tends to gamble on more and more things after a while and the financial loses can be greater and greater. I think playing cards with the buddies is not bad, because it's the social aspect that is the reason, while gambling, such as video poker or slot machines, has no social value. Besides, not being financially responsible is a bad thing.

6) Have sex while not married -- Besides STD's (which are more common than in married couples), another reason is that people start to be viewed as objects as a means to gratification. Often times it seems to be just to have sex, which is a self-gratifying event. You don't care as much about the other person's feelings, compared to your own. Finally, the issues of pregnancy and children being raised in single family homes causes the child to not have the full education (having both a mother and father figure in their life).

7) Homosexuality -- I think the biggest reason can be the spread of STD's, but because it is illegal to marry, the culture is very promiscuous. Also, from what I have heard, homosexuals tend to have more partners than heterosexuals on average. (Just what I heard from a pyschologist that used to be homosexual).

8) Human Cloning -- I think this trivializes life. If a scientist can create as many lives as they want, then it leads to a devaluation of those lives. Also, cloning is far from perfect. In fact, I think it is only about 2% of the sheep that were cloned before they were successful with Dolly. What happens to those other 98% (numbers aren't exact, but they are close).

9) Profanity -- This is probably the least serious offense, but my reasoning is that it harms culture and vocabulary. In general, I would think if you took the same person, and had him swear in a setting, and then again not have him swear in the same setting, people would tend to think the non-swearing person is more educated. It seems that if people view someone as less educated, they are more likely to not care as much about their feelings (sad, but it seems true).

10) Prostitution -- STD's, also devaluation of a relationship. When people stop having relationships, it is emotionally tougher to get through situations by yourself than it is with another person. Also, often times violence and prostitution are related.

11) Polygamy -- This goes against the idea of a unique bond between a couple. When a husband can marry 5 or 6 wives, then not only are the wives often valued less to the husband, but they are competing for the affection of him. If a wife has to compete for the affection of her husband, than something is wrong. (See also extramarital affairs, and even something such as a job that the husband stays late all the time at).

12) Downloading Copyrighted music -- Along with profanity, this is a rather small offense it seems. After all, only the rich, music company is harmed. But, my arguement against this is that it is theft. The musician performed a service, and by taking it without paying, you are stealing from that person. It would be the same as going to a software company, and stealing their software and not paying for it. I have seen many people have illegal music, and during high school I was the same way, but once I went to college, I noticed it was wrong, and deleted all of my illegal music. (Which was upwards of 500 songs probably).
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Postby stickmangrit » Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:25 am

well, koin, let's take a closer look shall we?

koin4life wrote:Okay, as promised, I will try and explain reasons why I think each thing is bad.

1) Extramarital affairs -- I think when a person cheats on their spouse, they have several harmful effects. First, the spouse no longer trusts them, and when this happens, it is very difficult to mend a relationship. Also, when spouses cheat, the likelyhood of STD's can increase than in a monogomous relationship. Finally, I think it causes any children involved in the situation to have a negative view of marriage, and of the cheating figure, which can lead to negative feelings towards that person.


whilst i do agree with monogamy and a trusting, loving relationship with another person, i don't agree with marriage. as it's something i don't think the state should have anything to do with, and i don't hold to any official religion, it is likely that whilst i hope to one day form a lasting and permanent monogomous relationship, i have no real intention of marriage unless it's something she wants. i don't think that formalizing it into a mass ceremony is really all that necessary, and that two people should be able to commit to each other without all the hooplah. i'll no doubt refer to her as my "wife," because i'm lazy and don't feel like explaining my views to every other person i have a conversation with.

2) Getting Drunk -- When confined to a private situation, this is no longer illegal (public intoxication), but I still think it is bad. The reason is because getting drunk causes you to lose or impair your judgement. This can lead to really bad decisions such as driving home drunk, hitting a girlfriend / wife / child, and harming your body if you become an alcoholic. I don't think drinking in general is bad, but like many things, too much of it is bad.


again, getting drunk is not the problem (as you admit) but getting drunk at an innapropriate time/place and addiction are. if you can't handle you're liquer, you've got no place drinking.

3) Doing illegal drugs (i.e. marijuana, cocaine, etc) -- Ignoring any legal issues, I think it is bad for similar reasons to getting drunk, only it can cause a lot more physical harm depending on the drug.


whilst i do agree that certain drugs (nicotene, crack, crystal meth) are by their very nature a negative, i definitely don't believe this to be the case with all illegal drugs, espescially not the natural three (Marijuana, shrooms, and hashish). once again, it is when people use these drugs to fill a void in their lives and become addicted that the situation becomes hazardous.

4) Abortion -- Obviously any fetus / baby / embryo that is destroyed can be considered a reason on itself. But, another reason I would say is it causes a very tough emotional strain on the person invovled. Alongside that, I think it devalues life and allows people to avoid the consequences of their actions. If they choose to sleep with someone, and get pregnant, then they should live with thier actions.


whilst i agree with the statement above, it fails to mention the cases of rape and when carrying to term would kill the mother.

5) Gambling -- Probably one of the lessar problems, however I think it leads to finance problems. A person that gambles tends to gamble on more and more things after a while and the financial loses can be greater and greater. I think playing cards with the buddies is not bad, because it's the social aspect that is the reason, while gambling, such as video poker or slot machines, has no social value. Besides, not being financially responsible is a bad thing.


once again, it's irresponsibilty and addiction that are the real problem, not the gambling itself.

6) Have sex while not married -- Besides STD's (which are more common than in married couples), another reason is that people start to be viewed as objects as a means to gratification. Often times it seems to be just to have sex, which is a self-gratifying event. You don't care as much about the other person's feelings, compared to your own. Finally, the issues of pregnancy and children being raised in single family homes causes the child to not have the full education (having both a mother and father figure in their life).


my i'm sounding like a broken record. irresponsibility is the key problem here. there are a plethora of contraceptives on the market, all of which can be used to prevent the conception of a child between two people who are not ready for such a burden. same with STD's, if you are in a loving, trusting, honest relationship, this should not be an issue. if you are infected with anything, you should let your partner know, and you should both take extra precaution. this once again boils down to the common misconception that non-marital sex=cosntant unchecked fornicating. i know from experience that i cannot enter into a sexual relation without first loving them in a non-sexual way. just can't do it. as usual, it all boils down to simple responsibility, which does not go away with god.

7) Homosexuality -- I think the biggest reason can be the spread of STD's, but because it is illegal to marry, the culture is very promiscuous. Also, from what I have heard, homosexuals tend to have more partners than heterosexuals on average. (Just what I heard from a pyschologist that used to be homosexual).


huh? from what you've heard from a lone "recovering homosexual"(we want to talk about people who make my blood boil)? don't make me laugh. and the promiscuity amongst gays is certainly no worse than the divorce or adultery rates amongst heterosexual married couples. and when was the las time you heard about a battered gay husband? please, either present objective data to back up your heresay based presumptions or just don't speak on the subject.

8) Human Cloning -- I think this trivializes life. If a scientist can create as many lives as they want, then it leads to a devaluation of those lives. Also, cloning is far from perfect. In fact, I think it is only about 2% of the sheep that were cloned before they were successful with Dolly. What happens to those other 98% (numbers aren't exact, but they are close).


because if Yaweh's greates accomplishment can be reproduced by humans, what does that say about Him?

9) Profanity -- This is probably the least serious offense, but my reasoning is that it harms culture and vocabulary. In general, I would think if you took the same person, and had him swear in a setting, and then again not have him swear in the same setting, people would tend to think the non-swearing person is more educated. It seems that if people view someone as less educated, they are more likely to not care as much about their feelings (sad, but it seems true).


i'll go ahead and take the polar opposite view and say that swearing should be encouraged. to paraphrase the late, great Frank Zappa: at the end of the day, they are only words, and they are extremely flexible and potent words that allow one to communicate an enormous amount of information quickly and efficiantly.

10) Prostitution -- STD's, also devaluation of a relationship. When people stop having relationships, it is emotionally tougher to get through situations by yourself than it is with another person. Also, often times violence and prostitution are related.


violence and any illegal action are usually related, what's your point? and as for the worlds oldest profession, sex is a base drive in the human mind, and some people have a hard time getting any any other way, which is why there has always been a demand for it.

11) Polygamy -- This goes against the idea of a unique bond between a couple. When a husband can marry 5 or 6 wives, then not only are the wives often valued less to the husband, but they are competing for the affection of him. If a wife has to compete for the affection of her husband, than something is wrong. (See also extramarital affairs, and even something such as a job that the husband stays late all the time at).


for once, i whole-heartedly agree. polygamy is wrong. it devalues the relationships, objectifies women, and is generally an unpleasant thing. this is why i will never live in Utah.

12) Downloading Copyrighted music -- Along with profanity, this is a rather small offense it seems. After all, only the rich, music company is harmed. But, my arguement against this is that it is theft. The musician performed a service, and by taking it without paying, you are stealing from that person. It would be the same as going to a software company, and stealing their software and not paying for it. I have seen many people have illegal music, and during high school I was the same way, but once I went to college, I noticed it was wrong, and deleted all of my illegal music. (Which was upwards of 500 songs probably).


you know why i pirate music? because what the major labels are doing is highway robbery. i will only download major label releases, and i have never, and will never, pirate a pirvate label release. example: my friend downloaded the two new System of a Down albums, because he's sick and f***ing tired of this "let's make one album's worth of music and make the fans pay for it twice!!!" business model that the major labels have been ram-rodding down our throats lately, and because he recognizes that only a very small persentage of album sales actually go toward the artist. he intends to go see them live, buy their t-shirts and other merchandise, and gennerally support them as a fan. however, he did go out and Tom Wait's Blood Money album, as it was released on the smaller ANTI- label, and he knows that the majority of his $13 will go straight into mr. Waits' pocket. he, like i, chooses not to fund certain enterprises on principle, because $19.99 is too damn much for a CD.
I see as much misery outta them movin' to justify theirselves as them that set out to do harm.
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Postby Irrational Entity » Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:42 am

koin4life, not attempting to derail the thread, but what about we homosexuals who are not promiscuous and would be quite happy in a monogamous relationship with the right person? Your objections seem to be concerns about disease and breakups than homosexuality of itself.
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Postby stickmangrit » Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:57 am

whoosanightowl wrote:There are a few other issues I would add to this list:
1) Allowing children to view PG13 and R rated movies?
2) Allowing children to play graphicly violent video games rated T or M?
...
10) Not recycling?


oh, Sue, you just opened up a can of worms the likes of which you do no know...

first off, the MPAA ratings system is the biggest crock of horses*** in existence. go track down This Movie Is Not Yet Rated, a new documentary on these filthy little b***ards, or go read some of Film Threat's articles on the MPAA (http://www.filmthreat.com, use the search box and type MPAA). in short these guys are the biggest bunch of hypocrites to ever walk the face of the earth. as Mrs. Broflovski so elequently put it: "Remember what the MPAA says; Horrific, Deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don't say any naughty words!"

and as for the T and M ratings, ditto.

and i take it you haven't seen the Penn & Teller's Bulls*** episode on recycling.
I see as much misery outta them movin' to justify theirselves as them that set out to do harm.
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Postby mikedsjr » Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:50 am

A37,

Ok. I can accept that.

I'm afraid I still can't answer that question because my answer is none of those. However if i did have to pick one based on the atheistic perspective that i hear and the intent and tone of those question, I would pick the first option.

I think secularist are not just atheist, but I guess it is the posterchild for it.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens
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Postby spongebob » Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:27 am

Finally, koin answered my questions, and more...

koin4life wrote:
4) Abortion -- Obviously any fetus / baby / embryo that is destroyed can be considered a reason on itself. But, another reason I would say is it causes a very tough emotional strain on the person invovled. Alongside that, I think it devalues life and allows people to avoid the consequences of their actions. If they choose to sleep with someone, and get pregnant, then they should live with thier actions.


The favorite of all Christian issues, abortion, the killing of innocent children. Well, not really. Only extremists consider an embryo a few weeks old to be a full fledged human being. Extreme extremists consider male sperm to be just as sacred, so you can take this to ridiculous levels. Emotional stress in abortion cases is not really caused by the abortion, it is caused by an unwanted pregnancy. Often times, an abortion relieves the stress. The "devalue life" argument really has no meaning. I think it devalues life to spend every Sunday in church. And it is not up to society to inflict punitive consequences on people for legal behavior. They can do that fine by themselves.

8) Human Cloning -- I think this trivializes life. If a scientist can create as many lives as they want, then it leads to a devaluation of those lives. Also, cloning is far from perfect. In fact, I think it is only about 2% of the sheep that were cloned before they were successful with Dolly. What happens to those other 98% (numbers aren't exact, but they are close).


Just ignore the imperfections in the process for now, those will eventually be eliminated. There's that "devalue" word again, along with "trivialize". Can you explain what this means, koin, because I really don't know. Is it trivializing life to perform invitro fertilization? What about impregnating as many women as I physically can (and have a lot more fun than the scientists, too). Is that any different? Again, disregarding any "Boys of Brazil" scenarios, what is the harm in a couple using cloning to get a biological child of their own? And why would any scientist clone thousands of people anyway? Where would he gestate all those fetuses?

11) Polygamy -- This goes against the idea of a unique bond between a couple. When a husband can marry 5 or 6 wives, then not only are the wives often valued less to the husband, but they are competing for the affection of him. If a wife has to compete for the affection of her husband, than something is wrong.


Personally, I'm not a supporter of polygamy (I'm busy enough with one wife). But philosophically, I can't see a reason to prohibit it. The Constitution certainly does not (nor same-gender marriage), and I can't see any "compelling" interest for the state to do so (which is required by the Constitution). So why ban it? You are making arguments as to why it's not right for you, and not very good ones either. By your logic, no one should have more than 2 children because that's one for each parent. Any more and it is unfair competition for affection.

All the other issues you mentioned are legitimate, although a mite judgemental. Sure, we can harm ouselves with the abuse of alcohol or sex or any number of activities, including obsessive prayer. But the whole point of our nation is to allow people to make those decisions for themselves. I always like to say, it's my right to be a low-life drunk if I want to be. That doesn't make it good for society, but that was the whole point of the Constitution. And, again, I don't really see atheists abusing these things any more than theists. In fact...do the math. If we atheists really make up only 5% or so of the population and theists make up the rest...get my drift???
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Postby koin4life » Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:49 am

Spongebob, I used the fetus / baby / embryo terminology just because I figured people would define abortion in different ways, hence I wanted to steer clear of that and get to the heart of the issue.

For human cloning, sure, in the long run it may be beneficial, but does that mean in the short term certain behaviors can be ignored? That would be like testing a new medicine on a few people until the solution can be worked out, but, in the meantime, those people in the test would die. I am not aware of the "Boys of Brazil scenario," could you explain that?

For polygamy, sure, The Constitution says nothing about it, so that means the states get to decide. Like abortion, the state should decide whether to allow it or not. Also, same with homosexual marriage. These are all states issues I think. Anyway, back to polygamy. sure, it should be up to the individual, but at what point does that stop? What if a 80 year old wants to marry a 5 year old? Or, what if a man wants to marry his sheep. At what point does the state need to step in and say this type of behavior is distructive for society?

If it sounds judgemental, then it is. After all, I am using my judgement for what should be the common behavior. My judgement may very well be wrong. If people have the right to do what they want, as long as it doesn't harm others, then what about suicide? Should people be allowed to commit suicide willy-nilly?

I think an interseting study that could be done would be to determine the "negative" (whether they are negative or not, I'm just using the term for arguement's sake) behavior compared to the group of population. So, see what % of atheists have affair's versus what % of Christians, %Muslims, % Jewish, etc, there are.
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Postby spongebob » Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:22 pm

koin4life wrote:Spongebob, I used the fetus / baby / embryo terminology just because I figured people would define abortion in different ways, hence I wanted to steer clear of that and get to the heart of the issue.


Steer clear? Why in heaven's name? But I still don't understand how it devalues life.

For human cloning, sure, in the long run it may be beneficial, but does that mean in the short term certain behaviors can be ignored? That would be like testing a new medicine on a few people until the solution can be worked out, but, in the meantime, those people in the test would die. I am not aware of the "Boys of Brazil scenario," could you explain that?


Oh, it's a classic 70's sci-fi book and film based on the idea of Hilter clones hiding out in South America. http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue54/classic.html

Where 's my explanation of devalue and trivialize?

Anyway, back to polygamy. sure, it should be up to the individual, but at what point does that stop? What if a 80 year old wants to marry a 5 year old? Or, what if a man wants to marry his sheep. At what point does the state need to step in and say this type of behavior is distructive for society?


Actually I consider it to be a human rights issue, similar to that of same-gender marriage. There's a perfectly logical, rational justification to disallow marriage to small children and animals. Such a bond would not be concensual. Most children do not have the emotional maturity to comprehend marriage until at least 14 or 15. Do you find a 50 year old man marrying a 15 year old girl repugnant? Well, this was common and well accepted up until just 100 years ago. No one seemed to mind then. And, of course, animals can't really agree to a marriage either.

If it sounds judgemental, then it is. After all, I am using my judgement for what should be the common behavior. My judgement may very well be wrong. If people have the right to do what they want, as long as it doesn't harm others, then what about suicide? Should people be allowed to commit suicide willy-nilly?


Right, in your judgement something may be wrong, but that's subjective. It may not be wrong to everyone. The right to die should certainly be protected. Now, I would not support assisted suicide for a 16 year old kid who's depressed about losing his girlfriend. But with the right restrictions and checks and balances, it should be an option. Anyway, you cannot prevent a healthy, capable person from committing suicide if they are determined to do so. You can only prevent an invalid in a wheelchair from doing so. Right?

I think an interseting study that could be done would be to determine the "negative" (whether they are negative or not, I'm just using the term for arguement's sake) behavior compared to the group of population. So, see what % of atheists have affair's versus what % of Christians, %Muslims, % Jewish, etc, there are.


That's probably been done. We do know how shocking Kinsey's research was in the 50's, when everyone was a Christian. Clearly, religion is far less of a deterrant on behavior than cultural pressure.


Back to point...
Ok, so if an atheist is as well behaved as the best Christian, does that remove the "harm" from his presence in our nation? Is it a person's behavior or their lack of religion that makes them a problem?
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Postby koin4life » Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:45 pm

I'll try and answer your questions later, but in regards to the last comment you made, I view it as the stereotyped atheist that is a harm to society. If an atheist values many things, and lives a good life, then they are not a harm to society, and in fact they help society. The question becomes is the beliefs of an atheist considered morally right? After all, if an atheist feels it is acceptable to do all bad things, that doesn't make it right, same if a Christian feels it is acceptable to do all bad things.
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