Saturday, May 2, 2015

It's the Ideology, Stupid

Victor's at it again.  Yet another post blaming communist atrocities on atheism.  No matter how many times we talk about it and explain that all humans share the same basic moral instincts, that ideologies rather than lack of belief are what give us motivation to fight and harm others, we can't say anything that will penetrate the religion-hardened skull of the atheist-haters.  But as long as he insists on blaming atheism for the crimes of communists, I will insist on calling out his lack of reason.

You can't say it isn't deliberate.  I've tried to explain this to him over and over again.  He goes and finds another atheist-hater who tells the same story (there are millions of them), and then he thinks that's all the proof he needs.  As if they understand what motivates atheists better than we do.

We've talked about John Lennon's Imagine.  What part of "nothing to kill or die for" is beyond their comprehension?  Victor says this is the basis of communism, which leads to massive killing and atrocities.  In Victor's incoherent conception of atheism, "nothing (ie. no ideology) to kill or die for" is precisely equivalent to the ideology (ie. communism) that has motivated massive killing and atrocities.  Please get that through your head:  ATHEISM IS NOT COMMUNISM.  It's communism that led to all those things, not atheism.  Got it?

Actually the morality of atheists (absent communism or some other destructive ideology) is superior to that of theists.  You don't have to take my word for it.  Here's a list of reasons from another atheist.  Note especially number 10 in this list.  I think it's the most important one.  It makes the same point I have made in the past.

Assume for the sake of argument that God does not exist.  We atheists take responsibility for our behavior.  But what does the Christian do upon making the realization of no God?  He no longer has the moral constraint imposed by that God, and so for him, anything goes.  The atheist exercises self-control and responsibility.  The theist is controlled by his God, and without God, by his own reckoning, he has no moral bounds.  No constraints on his behavior based on empathy, respect, societal cohesion, etc.

How can any theist claim that his theistic morality is in any way better than atheists' morality?  It takes Chutzpa.


  1. Bob Prokop pretends not to respond:

    //You've come up with a tough one to wrap your mind around, Victor. First of all, atheism is so mind numbingly incoherent, contradictory, and irrational that its hard to say "assume atheism is true" even for the sake of argument. It's akin to saying "just for the sake of argument, let's say that 2 plus 2 equals 5."

    But let's throw caution (and reason) to the wind, and do it. Let's assume atheism is true. What follows?

    First of all, the "Meaning of Life the Universe and Everything" isn't even 42 - it's NOTHING. Just nothing. There is no good, there is no evil. There are no lasting consequences to anything we either do or don't do. You can toil your life away in the slums of Calcutta helping the poor like Mother Teresa, or "live life to the hilt, guilt free" like John Loftus. What's the difference? (Hint: the answer is "none".) There is no good reason to put yourself out for anybody or anything. In the long run, we'll all be dead, and it will all be as though it never happened. Love, beauty, truth itself? Just evolutionary survival mechanisms of no intrinsic value - doomed in any case to ultimate failure with the death of the solar system. Meaning in life? That's just for suckers!

    The funny thing is, many atheists realize this, when they claim that religion is "just another one of those evolutionary survival mechanisms". 'Cause if that's really the case, then they ought to be vigorously promoting religion rather than tearing it down. After all, why work against survival? So even the semi-coherent atheists out there do indeed realize that, if atheism is actually true, it's better that we do not know it.//

    1. Well, Bob. That's your take on things. Without your God to hang on, you have no morality and you see no meaning. If you had the courage to stand on your own feet and think for yourself, you might see things differently. The idea that meaning is found only in the heavenly world of your imagination is incoherent if you bother to think about it. Consider: you have achieved the Beatific Vision. All you do for all of eternity is gaze in awe at your creator. You don't do anything, you don't learn anything. There is nothing left for you to experience. And you think that somehow the brief moment that you spent living on earth, which by all accounts amounts to nothing by comparison to sitting next to your God for eternity, now makes some sort of difference? How is that? The only way it could possibly matter is if this Beatific Vision is not all it's cracked up to be.

      As for your scientifically uninformed view of evolution, you ought to be aware that many evolutionary outcomes are not survival mechanisms in their own right. There are evolutionary by-products, and religion appears to be one of them. It is a side effect of our evolved tendency to perceive agency in all kinds of things. You see a pair of dark spots, and you think there might be something watching that wants to eat you. But you also see other things has having some kind of life or spirit. And then the priests take control of your thought processes, and suddenly Jesus is your savior.

      Is it worth knowing that you are living a delusion? Sure, as long as you use that knowledge to direct your energy in a more productive way in this one and only life that you have.