Bad Theism

Bad Theism: Apocalyptic Mindset

For the last Bad Theism, click here: Bad Theism: Presuppositional Apologetics

Just to let everyone know I hadn’t really planned on writing another Bad Theism article tonight. I had actually intended on writing a blog about apophenia. If you don’t know, apophenia is how humans will take two completely unrelated occurrences and yet somehow come up with a way that these two things are connected. That’s a fairly simple description and one day soon I will write more on the topic, however, tonight I decided to write about people who wish for the end of the world.

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Apocalyptic prophecies are not the monopoly of the Christian faith and yet since Christianity is the faith that I know the most about, having been a minister for a decade, it will be the faith I deal with the most tonight. Islam, Hinduism, and even New Age Spirituality have their own versions of the coming end of mankind’s reign on the earth. Judaism on the other hand both does and does not have a coming apocalypse….pick a side people! lol

Anyway, the first thing that I want to say is that the vast majority of believers which I have met do not actually wish to see the world come to an end. They will however speak as if they are excitedly awaiting the apocalypse. When I was a Christian minister i would have told you about the glorious return of Christ that could happen every minute and then the horrific things that would occur after the church had been raptured. I would have spoken to you in such a way that you honestly believed I wished for the world to end and yet always in the back of my mind I hoped to have a long life that would end long before the supposed rapture was to occur.

My story is not that unique. I actually used to preach on the idea that most of us don’t really want to see the world to come to an end or else we wouldn’t spend so much time and money attempting to continue our existence here on earth. My grandfather is the type that believes any prediction about the end of the world, Y2K, 2012, the election last year…..all were definitely going to be the end of the world. I believe his latest prediction is that the end of the world will happen sometime in August, and yet he planned a family reunion for September….you can literally see the cognitive dissonance dripping off of him.

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Anyway, my grandfather is this rapture groupie and yet he has spent thousands of dollars and numerous medical procedures in order to prolong his life here on Earth. He had his prostate removed because it was cancerous, has had a couple of stints put into his heart to keep the blood flowing, had surgery to stop a brain bleed after a fall a couple of years back, and he has spent an unimaginable amount of money on vitamins and supplements to keep his eyes strong and his coat extra shiny. Now…wouldn’t you think if he was that eager to see god that he would see any of the issues that have plagued him as an express ticket to the throne of judgment?  You’d think that but the truth is he actually desperately wants to live as long as possible.

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What is there to explain this?

Somewhere in his mind is a sane and rational portion that sees death as the end and doesn’t actively celebrate the idea of the end of time.  I base this on my own experience when I too was someone who outwardly wished for the end of the world while inwardly wanted to ward it off for as long as I could. Now sure this is anecdotal but I’m only mentioning it because I want to point out that the believer and the belief are not always synonymous. It seems strange but a person can be fully 100% in a death cult and yet not wish death and destruction on anyone.

I think one of the interesting pieces of evidence is the fact that in order to explain the end of the world, judgement, and hell the believer will simply throw his hands in the air and state that god is supreme and that he has a better knowledge of life in general than any human could. Death, hell, and the end of the world are not evil, they are simply things that we don’t understand because we are dumb. Now why do I say this is evidence? I say this because it is the ultimate example of throwing someone under the bus and eliminating the problem from your own psyche.

Let’s replace “god” with Dave…

Person A: Hey, did you know Dave is going to return and destroy the world soon.
Person B: Why would Dave do that?
Person A: I don’t know, it’s Dave…
Person B: Dave seems to be a prick.
Person A: Hey, Dave’s in upper management and knows things, are you, a lowly janitor, really going to question Dave?
Person B: I guess not but it still doesn’t make much sense.
Person A: Well, Dave does work in mysterious ways…

Anyway, my point being is that the believer throws these ideas into the lap of god so that they don’t have to deal with it in their own mind and can continue on with their vitamin and supplement regimens while still pretending to excitedly wait for Dave’s return.

The next question that we face is why do believers have to live in this constant state of cognitive dissonance?

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“The Fall and Expulsion from Garden of Eden” depiction of Adam and Eve in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Sebastian Bergmann

The answer to that is their faith is a death cult. Let’s lay this out for you…

  • Adam and Eve sinned which brought death to the world.
  • For generations men had to sacrifice animals in order to keep gods wrath at bay.
  • Jesus came to earth for the sole purpose of dying in a brutal sacrificial way.
  • Peace and Love can only reign once the final death-blow is dealt and all sinners are done away with in a horrifically gruesome way.

Now I say their faith is but I still promote the idea that the believer is likely not in on the want for death to come to the world and destroy all of their friends and family who don’t happen to be a part of the faith. The majority of Christians and Muslims are good people not because of their faith but in spite of their faith. Both Christianity and Islam share the idea of eternal punishment for the sinner and so it is very hard for the believer to accept this truth.

Think of it….

Grandma, who bakes me cookies but doesn’t go to church is going to hell. What kind of torture is that to put on the mind? I can tell you that as a child I was deeply scared that people I knew would end up in hell and yet the older I got the less I thought about it and the more I threw my hands in the air and simply said, “Well….it must be true since it says it is and so….whatever…” That might seem a bit cold but what I mean is that I simply did not think about it all that much because it wasn’t something that I enjoyed thinking about.

Now the last question I want to touch upon is why do these faiths feel the need to promote the idea of an apocalypse?

Simply put, these faiths need some sort of grand finale for people to actually continue following them. Sure there are liberal forms of Christianity but for the most part these are just agnostics that lack the guts to admit it. You have to have the big pay-off at the end or else why would anyone follow the faith?

Think about it, religion is an absolute chore. A bunch of arbitrary rules that don’t really make sense that you have to follow in order to please god….it fucking sucks. However, with the threat of hell and the coming apocalypse, you can keep enough people on the “straight and narrow” in order to keep the lights on, buy a golden staff, and ride around in a weird bubble car. If you take radical Islam, do you really think you could get anyone to blow themselves up if this was all there was and there wasn’t some grand payday in the end? For the fundamentalist faiths you must have some sort of horrific end to keep people from leaving your garbage faith. For me this was definitely true, since when I really started to look into the origins of hell, I began to no longer fear it, and so leaving the faith no longer held the fear that it once had in my mind.

So in conclusion, I want to point out once again that even though these faiths are most definitely death cults, their adherents are not necessarily of the same mindset. The vast majority of believers say one thing while thinking another, we all want a good life and for the most part we all want a long life. Our faiths may teach one thing but in the end we are all human and just want to live our lives in peace and as fear free as possible.


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Bonus: New Age Apocalypse

So perhaps one of the funniest things that I find in the New Age beliefs is how horribly wrong their predictions can be and how they explain the failure of their predictions. It seems that at least once per month the new age crowd is predicting something that is going to take humans to the next step in evolution, when we will transcend our physical bodies and enter in to the 5th, 6th, or 45th dimension. What is going to bring about this change? Well, it could be…

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The Super Moon
A Blood Moon
A Blue Moon
An Alignment of any number of the planets
A Cool numbered day….11/11/11 anyone?
The First Day of Fall
The First Day of Spring
The Winter Solstice
The Summer Solstice
Venus appearing in the sky
and of course NIBIRU!!!!!!

When the transformation doesn’t occur it is ultimately granted to one of two things.

1.) Too many low-frequency humans infesting the earth.
2.) A Paradigm Shift

So it’s either that there are way too many shitty people who haven’t gotten “WOKE” yet, that it was really just a change of thinking that occurred, or a combination of the two. Whenever one of these things happen I like to imagine Star Wars, and instead of the force actually working it ends up with Luke simply thinking differently about the empire and going on with his life. Not a great idea for a movie because it’s just a lazy way to explain away things that were never going to occur in the first place.  That won’t stop them from trying….cause remember….the next blood moon will mark the return of Nibiru and the Nordics are going to save us from the reptilian overlords who are all turning the freaking frogs gay…

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Bad Theism

Bad Theism: Presuppositional Apologetics

For the last Bad theism article, click here: Bad Theism: Lying for the Lord. This will also be a continuation of an earlier article: Bad Theism: Circular Reasoning.

So tonight I’d like to talk a little bit about Presuppositional Apologetics. To start Let’s define the terms.

Presupposition – something tacitly assumed beforehand at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action.

Apologetics – reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.

So together we can gather that these are arguments based around ideas that one assumes everyone shares. Tonight I will be dealing with Christian Presuppositional Apologetics but the facts are that any person can delve into these ideas, it doesn’t matter if you are a Christian, Muslim, Atheist, Far-Left, Far-Right, etc… All that is required is for someone to make an assumption on some ideal that they believe everyone shares and form an argument around that assumption.

In the religious realm this takes the form of assuming that everyone, regardless of what they claim, actually does believe in god and not only that but they recognize the truth and inerrant nature of biblical scripture. If someone says that they do not believe in god or scripture, the presuppositionalist will claim they are lying and once again repeat that everyone knows the bible is true and that god is real.

The reasoning behind Christians, or anyone for that matter, using this type of argument is that there is really no way that any new information can enter into the debate. This prevents anything from contradicting the argument and so it may seem like it makes the one promoting this type of argument appear correct. It feels really good to be right and surprisingly it feels just as good to believe you are right even if the truth of the matter is different from what you may believe.

Bullshit

It may come as a shock to some that are new to this blog but I was once a Christian presuppositionalist. I knew that everyone believed in god and the only ones who said they didn’t were lying because the devil wanted them to lie. I was a major proponent of every bad argument that you have ever heard a creationist or fundamentalist promote. I wasn’t a young earth creationist but I was a creationist and I was definitely a fundamentalist.

At one point I thought that my faith in god was unshakable. If you would have told me ten years ago that I would be an atheist today, writing articles in an effort to disprove arguments I once used, I would have laughed you out of my church. However, my faith was anything but unshakable and it was actually the fragility of those beliefs that exposed the error of presuppositionalist thought.

You see, when I started to question my own beliefs I began to realize that it was actually possible to doubt the existence of god. It was possible to lose a belief that I once thought everyone shared. When my faith began to wane my christian life actually increased for a good period of time. I prayed more, I read the bible more, I fasted and tithed more, in every facet of my life I pushed myself to go further than I ever had in order to reignite the faith that I had once enjoyed. Yet, even with all that my faith continued to wane and I found that there was no devil over my shoulder leading me into the world of sin.

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I never found myself falling into a world of sin that I assumed everyone who claimed to not believe in god lived within. I didn’t get a drinking problem, in fact I drink far less now than I did as a minister….yes I drank when I was a minister, and felt damn guilty every time I did. I didn’t find myself shooting up, wanting to rape or murder anyone, and I didn’t find myself going down any path that I considered sinful. I simply had lost my faith and it never returned. So here I am today telling you that presuppositional apologetics are enshrined by their own desperate weakness.

Now that we have that out-of-the-way let me talk to you a little bit about why these arguments are bad logically.

If I were to ask the classic,

“Have you stopped beating your wife?”

I am assuming, of course, that you beat your wife. You could answer yes, which means you beat your wife in the past, or no, which means you still beat your wife, but either answer still points to domestic violence at some point in time. The same is true for religious arguments.

Example:

“Why do you hate god?”

This question assumes that there is a god in this reality for which we can hate. If you answer that you don’t hate god, then the answer would be, “Well, why don’t you follow him?” If you answer that you do hate god, then the answer would be, “AH-Ha, you do believe in god or else how could you hate him?” If your answer was anywhere outside of the bounds of an I do or an I don’t, the presuppositionalist will simply say, “Of course you say that, you hate god.”

Now another reason why this argument is poorly thought out is that it is open to the exact reverse being said.

A Christian may say, “All men believe in god.”

however

An Atheist could say, “All men know god isn’t real.”

Neither side can be argued from a logical standpoint and but both arguments nullify any information that contradicts the argument. It’s true that both arguments can be debated against but the presuppositionalist will simply disregard any argument, no matter how sound it might be, as rubbish since it contradicts their original argument.

To put it bluntly, the Christian Presuppositional argument is simply a security blanket that allows them to feel better about their beliefs, superior to the evil ones who deny their supposed truth, and giddy at the fact that their argument makes those who use actual logical debate tactics want to rip their hair out.

Thank you for reading and it’s obvious to me that this is the greatest article ever written and anyone who says otherwise is definitely lying. Goodnight!

Bad Theism

Bad Theism: Lying for the Lord

For the Bad Theism Article, click here: Bad Theism: Circular Reasoning

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“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.” Exodus 20:16

I want to talk a little bit tonight about lying, and to be more specific lying in order to spread your faith. Now the bible is pretty clear that lying is not okay in the eyes of the supposed Christian god and yet each and every day Christians spend a huge amount of time coming up with major lies in order to support scripture or give them some sort of backing for their faith. It seems strange but in reality the only way to support any lie is with more lies.

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Have you ever caught someone in the act of lying and so instead of owning up to it they create an even larger lie?

Man: Seriously honey, I was out with the boys last night…
Woman: I called your friends and you weren’t with any of them.
Man: You got me honey, I was out buying you a gift.
Woman: Well where is it?
Man: Do you really think I have it on me? I left it at work.
Woman: Well, it’s strange that the bank statement shows no purchases last night…
Man: Of course not, I paid for it with cash that I got from one of my friends.
Woman: Which friend?
Man: I don’t remember….

Lying comes very naturally to us. In fact, one of the first things that a baby learns is how to lie through its cries in order to be granted whatever it wants. Even though lying is so prevalent, we still want to be seen as truthful people and so the only option we have when caught in a lie is to create a bigger lie. Over time this catches up to the compulsive liar as they are no longer capable of remembering all the lies they have told, things get mixed up and eventually the truth comes out.

Now as I said before, the bible is pretty clear about the prohibition of lying. Not only are you to not willfully lie, but according to the bible you are not supposed to speak on things which you are not absolutely positively sure. This works out for many Christians who don’t try to back up their faith with shoddy evidence. Ask many Christians why they believe and they might not be able to tell you why, they might simply say they believe simply because they have faith in belief. While this answer might be frustrating it is at least honest.

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The problem comes when Christians try to use science as a means to promote their faith, many times by attempting to conform science to their belief. This can come in two forms both of which are dishonest and should be called out any time you see it occur.

 

The first form is used by entities such as “Answers In Genesis” which lists this in their statement of faith…

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“By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.” (Answers in Genesis Website)

What exactly does this mean? It means if there is any evidence, no matter how verifiable, that contradicts biblical scripture they throw it out and still pretend as if the biblical account is correct…in other words….they lie about it. There is no other way to consider this outside of a bold-faced lie.

They will make bold claims about the sedimentary layers being proof of a biblical flood and yet we have scientific evidence that proves this is not the case. Even so, since that scientific evidence runs counter to what the bible teaches they will simply throw it out and continue to pretend it proves their side of the story….I mean…..were you there….

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The second form is employed by liberal theologies where they will state that they no longer believe certain scriptures because those scriptures weren’t really written for this day and age anyway. They might also simply re-write a scripture in order to make it appear as if it doesn’t actually mean what folks thought it meant for nearly 2,000 years. It doesn’t really matter what the topic is but we will use the subject of homosexuality since it is the easiest to work with.

I want to make it clear that these are not my views.  I have absolutely no problem with homosexuality and am a proponent of marriage and workplace equality. Yet, the bible clearly speaks out against homosexuality in both the old and the new testament. The Christian church was entirely anti-gay until nearly the 1990’s and even now the vast majority of Christians would still state that homosexuality is a sin.

Liberal theologies get around this by making claims which cannot be backed by any scriptural source whatsoever.

  1. Rules against homosexuality were actually simply rules against homosexuality outside of marriage and since gay marriage didn’t exist back then it could not be sanctioned by god.
  2. Laws against homosexuality are actually laws against male prostitution and in no way a condemnation of the actual practice.
  3. Stating that the new testament actually doesn’t say anything about homosexuality.

There are a few more ways that the liberal faiths might try to promote their new progressive ideology and yet they are all, in fact, lies. The Christian that believes homosexuality is wrong is following the faith as it is written, the Christian who believes homosexuality is okay is following a faith of their own creation without a scriptural basis.

Now I’m not here to say which form of lying is worse as they are both lies and I am nothing more than a lowly atheist. Yet to me it would seem that if I needed to lie about something in order to continue believing in it….I simply shouldn’t believe in it.  Why live a life of ever-expanding lies?

Well the reason being is that they don’t want to give up their faith and so in both forms they are simply doing things that allow them to continue believing. The liberal lies so that he can conform the bible to his own worldview. The creationist lies so that he can pretend that the bible is still infallible. While the reason for their lies are on the opposite end of the scale, the reasoning is almost exactly the same…Faith cannot stand on its own.

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Faith requires cognitive dissonance in one form or another. You cannot possibly believe that the bible is true and yet also believe in science. You cannot possibly believe that the scriptures are holy and infallible and yet also believe your own progressive worldview aligns with that faith. So when cognitive dissonance kicks in they create lies to help assuage those feelings and after thousands of years of doing so…the truth is shining through brightly.  God isn’t dead….god simply never was.

Bad Theism

Bad Theism: Circular Reasoning

Before I start on tonight’s topic, I’d like to just take a second and thank everyone who has followed this blog so far. We’ve reached over 100 followers and I can’t tell you how exciting that is for me. I know it’s not a huge number but it means a lot and I appreciate each and every one of you. Thank you!


Circular Reasoning is a logical fallacy that states “X is true because Y is true and Y is true because X is true.”

Any atheist can tell you just how often we run into this argument and every single time it is just as frustrating. For example:

Theist: I believe the Bible is the word of god.
Atheist: Why do you believe that?
Theist: God says it is!
Atheist: And where does god say that?
Theist: In the Bible!
Atheist: Okay, and?
Theist: The Bible is the word of God!

The reason Circular Reasoning is a fallacy is that it ends up in an infinite loop of illogical poop. What is most frustrating about this type of reasoning is that it is nearly impossible for the theist to see the illogical nature of the argument. I’m speaking from experience here.

When I was still a minister it wouldn’t have been all that uncommon for you to hear me say something along the lines of the following quote.

“I know that I know that I know that I know, for the Bible told me so.”

I had absolutely no problem with this because I felt like my faith was supported by the Bible and the proof of the bible was supported through my faith. Why else would I believe so earnestly that it was true if it wasn’t in fact true? Why would I separate myself from the rest of the world, commit myself to the work of the lord and spread his word if it wasn’t true? At that time my favorite verse in the bible was Hebrews 11:1.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1

I thought that this was a beautiful passage that explained everything there is to know about the faith. I cannot tell you the amount of sermons that I gave entirely on this passage alone. Today I look at that passage and realize it’s just a bunch of word salad. Faith is completely without evidence and yet it’s claimed to be a substance, a substance of what? Things unseen. Things unseen that have no evidence of their existence require faith which cannot possible act as evidence for why people have faith.

I feel dumb having just written that last paragraph but this is the key to circular arguments, they make no sense and they just make you look stupid.

Mark Twain put it in a better fashion.

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This is the problem with using circular reasoning arguments, they show the fragility of your claim.  Yet, even though it shows the weakness of ones argument it remains one of the only ways that most theists can promote their faith without going into the outer limits of the bullshit realm. Yet if your faith can be proven by your religious text then why is it not the same for every other faith on Earth?

Islam has a book that says it is the direct word of Allah.
Hindus have much older books that claim they are the words of Krishna.
New Agers have works that they claim came directly from the Akashic Records.

If your circular argument is to honestly be taken seriously then we must take all of the other faiths claims in the same vein with the exact same seriousness and yet I don’t think many Christians would stand with a Muslim and say that their scriptures and faith are equally true.

So what is the alternative?

Providing actual evidence for one not personal experience, religious scriptures, or supposed miracles that happened to your aunt’s, cousin’s, mother’s, brother. If one single shred of verifiable evidence existed for theism then atheism would be dead and yet times and again any supposed evidence promoted has been proven as certifiably false. It’s honestly laughable just how much lying believers will do if they believe it will make their faith more believable.

As Martin Luther is quoted as saying:

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This is the mindset that many Christians and theists live in their entire lies. As long as I must lie I will lie for the lord! Who cares if, “Thou shalt not lie or bear false witness” are a huge part of the 10 commandments. Sinning for the sake of salvation seem fairly humorous if you ask me.

So the reason that the theist will use a circular argument is because they must, there is really no other way around it. Their faith has no verifiable evidence that will stand up to scrutiny and so the evidence of their faith will be the scriptures that say faith is the evidence of all the things they cannot prove.

I’ll leave you with one last quote from Aron Ra, Author of “The Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism,” available here.

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Bad Theism

Bad Theism #1: Absolutely Immoral Morality

One of the more popular ideas promoted by theism is that without god atheists can have no sense of morality and by promoting that some actions are moral while others are immoral we are somehow, in essence, pointing towards a higher power.  Bam, atheism is defeated and god reigns supreme… Not so fast though because this argument is actually just plain awful.

First and foremost is that it once again confuses what the word atheist means, which is “a lack of belief in a god or gods.” Anything else falls outside the domain of atheism. So an atheist can be logical or illogical, they can be incredibly smart or incredibly dumb. As I often say, just because you answer the easiest question on the quiz, it doesn’t mean you are a straight A student.

Now the theist will claim that we are promoting some standard to atheism that theism doesn’t also enjoy but this is not the case. A theist can be a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, or any other number of religions. Theism simply means that they have a belief in a god or gods. Anything else falls into another category. So if you are a Christian, you are a theist and you follow the Christian faith. A Muslim is a theist that follows the Islamic faith. The word theist does not in any way connote anything outside of the simple fact that they believe in some form of god.

Secondly, this argument starts with the premise that morals must come from a higher authority and that this higher authority must in the end be god. Affirming the Consequent is a logical fallacy that can be explained in the following example.

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When I am drunk I make bad decisions.
Yesterday I made a bad decision.
Therefore yesterday I must have been drunk.

Or in regards to the current blog…

Morals come from a higher power.
A god is an example of a higher power.
Therefore morals must come from god.

The reason this is a fallacy is because it attempts to prove its stance by working the premises to fit the stance. It is doing nothing more than injecting ones own beliefs into their argument and rejecting any argument that goes against that persons beliefs.  This argument is used because it is convenient and because it sounds good if you don’t think too much about it.

Lastly, many theists like to look at the world in black and white and appeal to the idea of absolute morality. In other words that some things are accepted as moral and immoral by the entirety of the human race and so they must come from some source outside of the human race. This attempts to separate humanity from morality and act as if it is a separate entity unto itself. Without the higher power we could never understand morality and so we would all live in a world of absolute chaos.

We can all agree that morals exist, I’d like to believe that I am a fairly moral person. I don’t murder, I don’t rape, I don’t steal, and as best as I can I try not to do anything that would cause harm to another person. The difference being that most atheists, not all mind you but most, come from the perspective of relative morality. What this means is that our morals change over time as we progress or regress as a species. I believe that our morals evolved in such a way to promote the success of the species and allow us to use the least amount of energy possible. If you don’t have to worry about your neighbor trying to murder you, you can stop worrying about murdering your neighbor and get down to more of that sweet sweet procreative bedroom booty.

Anyway…

Some simple examples of to promote the moral relativist ideas are, in no specific order:

1.) Abolition of Slavery
2.) Womens Rights
3.) Civil Rights
4.) Gay rights
5.) Changing views on the death penalty
6.) Medical and Recreational Marijuana
7.) Greater concern over humanitarian efforts
8.) In many countries Universal Healthcare
9.) The right to die / Living Wills
10.) Technological advancement has changed our ideas of friendship, intimacy, and freedom.
11.) Etc, Etc, Etc…

From a government standpoint the entire bill of rights comes from the moral relativist perspective in that our forefathers set up a government based around inherent rights that the vast majority of humans had never before viewed as inherent.  Free speech, free press, the right to assembly and many other things that we enjoy on a daily basis were at one point unthinkable and immoral. The right to question a figure in authority actually runs counter to biblical morality…

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“1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” – Romans 13:1-4

It seems obvious to me that our morality has changed greatly over the years and I would like to promote that not only do I live according to relative morality but that every theist alive today is also a moral relativist and submits to no higher power in regards to their faith. How can I say this? The reason being is that one can only be a relativist and still view the bible as a book of spiritual authority.

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In the old testament god condones:

  • Rape
  • Murder
  • Pillaging
  • Slavery (Including Sex slavery of foreign women who had not known a man.)
  • Genocide
  • Forcing a woman to have an abortion due to adultery
  • and a whole plethora of things that any sane man today would condemn.

So how is it that people still view these scriptures as good and holy. Ask almost any Christian and they will tell you that those rules and stipulations were for a different time and culture. God set up rules for the Jews specifically to follow and today Christians are not obligated to follow any of these archaic stipulation because Christ set them free from the law. So they will state with a straight face that gods morality is absolute but that Christ came to earth and removed the need for humans to follow much of what that authority once stipulated. This is in fact the very definition of moral relativism, what was good and ok for one culture is now seen as barbaric and disgusting by the people today.

To bring it to a more recent issue, the idea of gay rights.  Thirty years ago the vast majority of Americans viewed homosexuality as immoral. Sixty years ago homosexuals could still be arrested and thrown in asylums simply due to the fact that they were gay. Our ideas changed over the last few decades and we began to realize that homosexuals were no different from the rest of humanity they just had a different sexual preference. Today the vast majority of people are supportive of gay rights and even many Christian denominations allow homosexuals to become members and even some allow homosexual ministers.  Some Christians would say that this is a sign of the times and that we will all end up in hell for our rampant immoral beliefs but in reality it is just another example of how morals can change over time.

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Lastly I’d like to point out that the proponents of absolute morality actually have very different beliefs from one another and thus negate the idea of absolute morality. When I was a minister of the Pentecostal faith we would, to some degree, accept that it was possible for someone to be a Christian outside of the Pentecostal church but that they were wrong in much of their moral stances.  Drinking was seen as a sin by the members of my denomination and yet many other denominations see no issue with drinking. Our denomination views smoking as a sin and yet many of the men in my denomination saw no issue with chewing tobacco, unbelievably due to the fact that it simply didn’t involve fire.( Fire obviously being the devils domain)

So when a person appeals to a higher authority they are actually appealing to their specific denominations god and to be even more specific their own interpretation of god. I have a couple of tattoos, I got these tattoos while I was still a minister and my particular denomination believed that tattoos were sinful and evil. I decided to get a tattoo because my version of god didn’t have a problem with tattoos, mainly due to the fact that I was raised in a time period when tattoos were no longer viewed in a negative way and therefore my own morality never included an issue with tattoos. My god didn’t have a problem with tattoos but many of the people in my own congregations viewed tattoos as something that god would send people to hell for. We all had our own personal version of god in our mind that allowed us to do the things we wanted to and denied us only those things that we really had no interest in.

When it comes right down to it, the only thing that we can be absolutely certain about is that we are all relativists. Every generation has its own set of do’s and don’ts, with things coming into and out of favor. My parents were told that bowling and roller skating were evil, but they grew up when these were cool and so they had no problem with them. I had tattoos and piercings but viewed other things as sinful that my own children never had an issue with. Life evolves and so do our morals.

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And if your only response to this is what about Hitler and Stalin….they were power-hungry dicks and assholes who used the same authority that the church held in years past to do their own immoral deeds. Power corrupts and absolute power creates dicks and assholes.