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 narsil » Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:51 am

it's not how do you decide morality, it is a question of parts of it do you enforce? and on what levels? clearly if an action brings harm to other seems like a really easy rule to follow, but it breaks down to degrees again, and then what is harm? and then harm in only a direct sense, or indirect too? how many degrees of indirection? sure seems like divorce harms kids. sure seems like p0rn objectifies women, and on and on, that simple standard isn't as clear as I'd like it to be, as least to me, anyway.
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Postby spongebob » Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:18 pm

narsil wrote:it's not how do you decide morality, it is a question of parts of it do you enforce? and on what levels? clearly if an action brings harm to other seems like a really easy rule to follow, but it breaks down to degrees again, and then what is harm? and then harm in only a direct sense, or indirect too? how many degrees of indirection? sure seems like divorce harms kids. sure seems like p0rn objectifies women, and on and on, that simple standard isn't as clear as I'd like it to be, as least to me, anyway.


Stickmangrit is correct. Consent is the opperative word here; I think I addressed this earlier...

You're right, narsil, which moral codes do you decide to legislate? Oppressive legislation is not more likely to change behavior, but will surely build animosity. And excessive legislation is certianly counter to the original intent of the Constitution. I don't want to see anyone become an alcoholic, but I also don't want the choice to be revoked.
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 stickmangrit » Sun Apr 09, 2006 1:29 pm

spongebob nailed it. consent is the operative concept here. so long as all involved parties are of sound mind and proper age, what they do is their business.

and as for direct or indirect, intent has a lot to do with it. divorce can be bad for the kids, but the question is if staying married is actually worse. is the relationship abusive? are the differences irreconcileable? these are personal moral choices to be made by mature minds, and legislation really has no role in these descisions so long as the process is civil and fully thought-out. legislation exists to enforce the security and general well-being of it's citizens as a whole. actions that cause direct harm to others are the realm of legislation. you can't kill someone without cause, because citizens as a whole don't want to be killed without cause. you can't drive innebrieated because you become an immediate and potentially lethal threat to everone between you and your destination.

and this is where i think legislation should be, and it's why i disagree with a lot of our country's laws. i don't think that drug users should recieve the kind of punishment that they are subjected to in this country. they are sick, and they need medical assistnce, not jail time. as for pushers, most of them have done enough other forms of criminal behavior (murder and theft) to more than qualify for jail time. and i certainly don't think that possesion of pot should have the same degree of punishment associated with it that the harder drugs do. quite frankly, it really shouldn't be anything more than a slap on the wrist and a parking-ticket-esque fine. but my country seems to be in disagreement with me.

but at the end of the day, my question is, if we're viewing war as an acceptable means of social engineering now, why the f*** haven't we gone into Colombia yet?
I see as much misery outta them movin' to justify theirselves as them that set out to do harm.
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Postby spongebob » Sun Apr 09, 2006 7:55 pm

but at the end of the day, my question is, if we're viewing war as an acceptable means of social engineering now, why the f*** haven't we gone into Colombia yet?


Not to mention Cuba, several South American countries, Asia Minor, Tibet, Chechnia and China.

If we decide as a 'majority' of Americans that Biblical morals should be legislated and we should jail homosexuals, divorce's, pornographers, gamblers, drinkers and sodomizers, then why do we need religion? I think this type of experiment has already been tried and failed. It was called the Soviet Union.
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 Tony » Thu May 25, 2006 9:49 pm

koin4life wrote:
And what other values do atheists tend to portray that are unhealthy for the nation?

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
[...]
12) Downloading Copyrighted music
These are in no order, I put them up as I thought of them. Let me know if there are some others I can add.


I feel offended by this. Do you automatically think that atheists are unprincipled? Do you think christians behave any better? I think we just do the same things for different reasons.

Think again.

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Postby koin4life » Fri May 26, 2006 4:42 am

No Tony, I was simply asking a question. I just wanted to get what people thought was morally right or wrong. I wasn't implying that atheists automatically thought those. Sorry for the confusion it may have caused.
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Postby Tony » Fri May 26, 2006 8:02 pm

koin4life wrote:No Tony, I was simply asking a question. I just wanted to get what people thought was morally right or wrong. I wasn't implying that atheists automatically thought those. Sorry for the confusion it may have caused.


Hmm...I think you may be confused in one aspect (forgive me if I am wrong) :

- Christians supposedly have the same concept of right and wrong.
- Atheists may vary. Most even have abandoned the definition of good vs. evil and I am sure many no longer see a line between wrong and right, but more like a grey area that requires thought and contemplation, and a line that has to be constantly reevaluated as generations adapt and learn.

In other words, making out a question to atheists in generic terms will give you erroneous information, because no matter how many replies you get, you won't get information that is representative of the ones that didn't reply. Each person can be unique.

However, this has no relationship with the morality of their behaviours. If you study criminals, or "sinful" people, I am not sure they will have proportionally more atheists then believers than the rest of the population. Maybe even the contrary.

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Re:

Postby Char » Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:22 pm

koin4life wrote:As an example, I think atheists would tend to be okay with abortion more than the average American, and that is because more value is placed on the life that is currently there (mother) as opposed to the life that hasn't grown yet (baby).


Several points.
1. It isn't just atheists and agnostics who are pro-choice (though I hate that term); democrats and libertarians make up more than half of the country when added together, and are both pro-choice as a rule. I don't know if you know this, but atheists and agnostics do 'not' make up anywhere near half the country. I call red herring on your entire argument.
2. I'm actually not a big fan of abortion, myself; there are some solid secular arguments I could put forth against it without having to invoke an invisible friend.
3. Simply because their morals don't like up with the ones you happen to have, or the ones in your blood-splattered book, they are immoral? Maybe they have 'better' morals than the sand nomads of two-thousand years ago? Killing homosexuals, for example, could never be considered 'justice'.
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Re:

Postby Char » Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:30 pm

1) Extramarital affairs No
2) Getting Drunk So long as you're responsible and don't drive.
3) Doing drugs Depends on the drug. Marijuana? Absolutely. Heroine? No.
4) Abortion Depends on the situation. In situations of rape and the health of the mother, yes. Otherwise I don't know, tough issue.
5) Gambling Not a fan of it myself, but not sure why others shouldn't be able to piss their money away.
6) Have sex while not married Sure.
7) Homosexuality Sure.
8) Human Cloning Yup.
9) Profanity I'm in full support of the first amendment.
10) Prostitution Yes. The world's oldest job isn't going away soon. Ask Ted Haggard.
11) Polygamy I'm actually not sure, on this one. I imagine that children in such relationships may be harmed, so I'm inclined to say no.
12) Downloading Copyrighted music Because, of course, the only ones stealing music are those devil atheists.
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Does Atheism harm the fabric of America?

Postby Shadrach » Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:16 am

Does Atheism harm the fabric of America?

No.

atheism has no method or desire to cause harm or help to anything or anyone.

it is strictly a lack of belief in god(s).
Not all religions can be right but they can all be wrong.
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Re:

Postby emily4189 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:38 pm

koin4life wrote:
And what other values do atheists tend to portray that are unhealthy for the nation?


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
2) Getting Drunk
3) Doing drugs
4) Abortion
5) Gambling
6) Have sex while not married
7) Homosexuality
8) Human Cloning
9) Profanity
10) Prostitution
11) Polygamy
12) Downloading Copyrighted music

These are in no order, I put them up as I thought of them. Let me know if there are some others I can add.


I'm not even an atheist and it kind of offends me that you accuse all atheists of behaving this way. =P Actually, I think I'm jumping to a conclusion in saying that you're automatically accusing all atheists of this behavior. Sorry. But anyway--who's to say that self-proclaimed Christians can't be equally guilty of any of these? They just have to do it on the sneak so they can still look good on Sundays. Morality ain't all there is to life anyway. If I had to give my opinion on each thing listed, though:

Extramarital affairs--I don't think anyone wakes up and thinks, "Hmm, I'm going to cheat on my spouse today. It'll be a laugh and a half," because of their religious (or non-religious) background. And if they do, then that's their problem. I definitely don't think that atheists have a stranglehold in the extramarital affairs department. Christians are just as capable of it.
Getting drunk--I'm a baptist (southern baptist! be afraid! ... well, even if I don't consider myself a strict one) and even I don't think there's anything wrong with drinking. Come on now. And that's one of the cardinal sins in the baptist handbook. =P Like Char said a million years ago, as long as you're responsible and don't drive or do anything else to put others in danger, then I don't see the harm.
Doing drugs--Marijuana? Sure. Cocaine? That'll kill you good and proper. So it depends.
Abortion--I'd say it depends on the situation. I'm not chomping at the bit to kill babies or something, but I don't think that the government has any business regulating that sort of thing. Not to the extent of completely outlawing it, in any event.
Gambling--I played the penny slots at a casino in Oklahoma once. I thoroughly enjoyed myself (won a couple dollars, to boot). If it's not taking control of your life (think compulsive gambler or some such), then I don't see what the harm is. Just don't burn through your food money.
Have sex while not married--I've chosen this route for myself, but if other people don't feel that way, then fine. I can't force people who choose not to be Christian to follow Christian morality; it's nonsense. That isn't their religion, why should they follow its tenets?
Homosexuality--I have a feeling that Jesus would be on their side right now. He kind of had this thing for siding with the poor and oppressed. Plus, I think homosexual people are still people, and they still deserve all the rights that people have (yes, including marriage).
Human cloning--That gives me pause because of Frankenstein, if for no other reason--he thought he was doing such good, but really he just ruined both his life and that of his creation. Makes me wonder.
Profanity--Words are just words; the intent behind them is what makes them harmful or helpful. I know I've called people "idiot" before with as much venom as if I'd just spat out a string of profanity at them--but that doesn't mean I'm off the hook for not cussing. God looks at the heart.
Prostitution--I don't want to go out and be a prostitute, and I'd be rather upset if my boyfriend went out and bought one, but sometimes it's the only way to put food on the table. Now, forcing people into prostitution against their wills--that's wrong.
Polygamy--I don't understand it myself, because to me it (usually) smacks of patriarchal society taking away the rights of women. Ever notice how most polygamist societies will allow men to have multiple wives but won't allow women to have multiple husbands? Let's at least be egalitarian here, people.
Downloading copyrighted music--There's a difference between stealing an album from a band who uses the money from CD sales to put gas in their van so they can make it to the next town and downloading one song from Metallica. I don't think Metallica is going to be out on the street because I downloaded one song once. But whenever it's a local band, or one that makes all their money off their merch, then in my opinion you are doing them harm by stealing from them.

That's what I think, anyway. Hooray for resurrecting old threads.
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Re: Does Atheism harm the fabric of America?

Postby mitchellmckain » Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:42 am

NO

Intolerance harms the fabric of America!

Intolerance by theists and intolerance by atheists.
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Re: Does Atheism harm the fabric of America?

Postby darkumbra » Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:06 am

mitchellmckain wrote:NO

Intolerance harms the fabric of America!

Intolerance by theists and intolerance by atheists.


I hereby make a prediction. In less than 3 months you will be invited to be on the show.
The "god experience"? I have no idea what you are talking about. This sounds like COMPLETE BULLSHIT that you are just making up. How do you define "god experience" in objective scientific terms?-Mitch - a Christian beyond compare.
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Re: Does Atheism harm the fabric of America?

Postby davemccall » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:34 am

I don't think Atheism harms the fabric of America. This land was first settled by people wishing to escape religious oppression, so I'd say it fits right in with the theme of the early colonists (do they count as the fabric of America?).

That said, the founding fathers were pretty messed up. I think the fabric of this country (as the USA) is pretty flawed from the start. They were willing to kill British soldiers over taxation and representation issues. Personally, I'm a pacifist, and I think the whole revolutionary war was pretty unjustifiable. Granted, the Boston Massacre was unjust, but did we really need to escalate that further? I'd rather be paying higher taxes and subject to the crown without representation than to have blood on my hands.
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Re: Does Atheism harm the fabric of America?

Postby NH Baritone » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:33 pm

davemccall wrote:I don't think Atheism harms the fabric of America. This land was first settled by people wishing to escape religious oppression, so I'd say it fits right in with the theme of the early colonists (do they count as the fabric of America?).

That said, the founding fathers were pretty messed up. I think the fabric of this country (as the USA) is pretty flawed from the start. They were willing to kill British soldiers over taxation and representation issues. Personally, I'm a pacifist, and I think the whole revolutionary war was pretty unjustifiable. Granted, the Boston Massacre was unjust, but did we really need to escalate that further? I'd rather be paying higher taxes and subject to the crown without representation than to have blood on my hands.

Interesting. Do you have the same reaction to the civil war and slavery?
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