Sample clip of my debate with an
atheist on the issue of morality.
Find the whole debate at this link
Inhumane Humanism – Atheist Propaganda Thinly Disguised, part 1
Let us consider further arguments that have broken out about atheist attempts to proselytize children and otherwise express anti-Christian prejudice in the guise of humanism and concern and free thinking freedom of choice.
Here is one such example:
critics say the ideas behind the campaign are seriously flawed, especially the notion that it is possible to bring children up in a neutral environment. Fr Stephen Wang says “the call to liberate children is superficially appealing but fundamentally naive . . . If you really want your children to be free, you need to tell them why their freedom matters, and help them appreciate some of the values they might pursue. And to do that, you need to use at least a few labels.”
Brian McClinton, of the Northern Ireland Humanist Association, is frustrated at what he calls the “wilful misunderstanding” of the campaign. “We’re not devil-worshippers,” he says wearily.
“In a society full of labels, this is simply a plea for freedom of thought. All the billboard is doing is asking parents to be aware that children are not their possessions, that they have rights too . . . Why brainwash them with fantastical nonsense about floods and original sins, heavens and hells, resurrections, deaths and apocalypses?”
Can we agree on this much; neither am I or my wife devil-worshippers but we might as well be as we are referred to as “child abusers” who “brainwash” our children. Thank you Brian McClinton for proving that this is not, as you claimed that “All the billboard is doing is asking parents to be aware that children are not their possessions, that they have rights too” and ending by expressing your anti-“religion” zealotry—that is, indeed, what this is about. Note that Brian McClinton did not state that parents brainwash their children by telling them that it is wrong to be greedy and hit others. He did not refer to brainwashing when parents feed their children meat before the children can choose to be vegetarians—or when parents raise them vegetarian before they can choose to eat meat.
Also, Brian McClinton did not refer to brainwashing parents who tell their children that there is no God (as my previous pastor’s wife’s father did as he tucked her into bed at night), or who tell children that the universe and everything in it is an accident, that they are glorified animals, that death will bring annihilation, etc.
I encountered an article that struck me as misconceived which was written by “The [atheist] Chaplain” from An Apostate’s Chapel and includes a quotation from Daniel Dennett:
I am delighted with the American Humanist Association’s campaign. It articulates a simple truth that should not even be considered controversial. OF COURSE you can be good without a belief in God….
We can all be good for goodness’ sake, and not because an imaginary God ‘commands’ it (who believes, literally, in such an anthropomorphic commander anyway?) or because we fear eternal torture if we don’t (what a vicious idea!), or because we crave the goodies in an afterlife (what an ignoble, childish myth!). Once we set aside, as beneath respect, those traditional themes of obedience to a supernatural monarch, fear of punishment, and covetousness of reward, religion turns out to have nothing to offer to morality except some inspiring examples of good and courageous behavior that can be appreciated by believers and non-believers alike. [ellipses in original]
It is sad to see the deleterious effects that becoming an atheist activist have had on this professor of philosophy.
I have detailed the reasons why “OF COURSE you can be good without a belief in God” at this link. OF COURSE they can since they borrow Judeo-Christian morality—even while cutting their own feet from under themselves by throwing away its ethos—God.
As to “who believes, literally, in such an anthropomorphic commander anyway?” Well, the overwhelming majority of the entire planet’s population, why do you ask?
Are we to be good (whatever “good” may mean in an atheistic universe) “because we fear eternal torture if we don’t”? This surely is a “vicious idea!” and it is Daniel Dennett’s vicious idea. At least speaking from Judeo-Christian theology, there is no such concept of “torture” known to the Bible.
And to assert that this is why Judeo-Christians do good is an attempt at mind reading and viciously narrow minded as is his assertion to craving “goodies in an afterlife.”
I considered the claim to ulteriorly motivated good doing in both Christians and atheists in the essay: The Red Light of Punishment. For now, note that in assuming to speak for theism he misses the point, which is his point, lest he be left without a point to make. The main point of Judeo-Christian theology is to love God and love humans. Love God who created humans in His image, love the humans that God loves and you will see that you have no right to violate anyone and reason enough to love everyone. Indeed, set aside, as beneath respect, those traditional themes of obedience to a supernatural monarch, fear of punishment, and covetousness of reward and do good for the main reason laid out in the Bible—love:
a lawyer, asked Him [Jesus] a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:35-40).
Interestingly enough, The Chaplain commented that they are “troubled” by Dennett’s statement, “inspiring examples of good and courageous behavior.” But why this, why not his narrow-minded arrogance? It is because:
“As I think about those exemplars and their deeds, I’m struck by how often these people fail(ed) to live up to their moral ideals:
Jacob cheated his brother
Abraham lied about his relationship with Sarah
Jesus cursed a fig tree that didn’t bear fruit out of season
Inquisitors tortured people they deemed as heretics and infidels
Protestants and Catholics bled Europe dry during religious wars
The Catholic Church still refuses to take full responsibility for pedophilia
Muslims stone women for being unchaperoned when in the presence of males to whom they are not related”
Note that while the reference was to “inspiring examples of good and courageous behavior,” the response is to essentially ignore the statement and merely be contrarian by offering examples of bad and un-courageous behavior. One does not defeat the fact of “inspiring examples of good and courageous behavior” by noting the opposite since the former is a fact and was not claimed to be an absolute. What we see is a desperate attempt to grasp at straws in attempting to deny the facts of history.
As for Jacob and Abraham; failing to live up to our own, or God’s, moral ideals is part attempting to live up to our own, or God’s, moral ideals. The Bible constantly points out the moral failings of its heroes and villains alike. The issue of Jesus cursing the tree is obviously a parabolic action which I exposited here.
I will not attempt to tackle an issue as misunderstood and talking-pointitive as the Inquisition in brevity but will note that the accused would request to be held as prisoners by the religious authorities as the secular authorities as the secular were merciless. Note that:
Historians estimate that the Spanish Inquisition killed approximately 5,000-6,000 people over its 350-year history. That's fewer than 18 a year. One a year is too many, but the number hardly sustains the monstrous narratives we often hear.
In fact, the Inquisition was premised upon political intrigues. As The Jewish Encyclopedia notes (1906 ed. Vol. XI, p. 485), “It remains a fact that the Jews, either directly or through their correligionists in Africa, encouraged the Mohammedans to conquer Spain.”Indeed, directly prior to the commencement of the Inquisition, Turks attacked Otranto where the choice was offered to convert to Islam or, as was done to the 800 Christians who refused, beheading on The Hill of the Martyrs. Overall, 20,000 were slaughtered along with the archbishop and a bishop. Thereafter, the Turks attacked Vieste, Lecce, Taranto and Brindisi.
prisoners would have their skulls squeezed within iron rings…human being would be lowered into an acid bath…they would be trussed up naked to be bitten by ants and bedbugs…a ramrod heated over a primus stove would be thrust up their anal canal (the “secret brand”)…a man’s genitals would be slowly crushed beneath the toe of a jackboot…
Some had their heads repeatedly plunged into a bucket of urine and fecal matter while the guards intoned a parody of the baptismal rite…
And this merely scratches the surface.
We will conclude considering The Chaplain’s article in the next segment.
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