Monday, June 19, 2006

The hatred of Martin Luther

Is it a coincidence that Germany, the home of Martin Luther and his doctrines, was also the home of Adolph Hitler and his doctrines? I think not. Many, many historians think not as well. British conservative historian Paul Johnson says that Luther’s notorious anti-Jewish tract On the Jews and their Lies the “first work of modern anti-Semitism, and a giant step forward on the road to the Holocaust.” William Shirer, in his The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich writes: “It is difficult to understand the behavior of most German Protestants in the first Nazi years unless one is aware of two things: their history and the influence of Martin Luther. The great founder of Protestantism was both a passionate anti-Semite and a ferocious believe in absolute obedience to political authority. He wanted Germany rid of the Jews. Luther’s advice was literally followed four centuries later by Hitler, Goering and Himmler.”

And the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada confessed that Lutherans “carry a special burden in this matter because of the anti-Semitic statements made by Martin Luther and because of the suffering inflicted on Jews during the Holocaust in countries and places where the Lutheran Church is strongly represented.” The Austrian Evangelical Church wrote “our churches shares the guilt of the Holocaust” because they are “burdened by the late writings of Luther and their demand for expulsion and persecution of the Jews.” And the Lutheran Church of Bavaria said that followers of Luther ought to take seriously Luther’s anti-Semitism and “acknowledge their theological function, and to reflect on their consequences” and said that the Lutheran Church “knows itself to co-responsible for anti-Jewish thoughts and actions that made possible or at least tolerated the crime of the ‘Third Reich’ against children, women, and men of Jewish origin.”

Some future postings will discuss the authoritarianism of Luther along with his anti-capitalist views on economics. Suffice to say that if you combine his authoritarianism, with his anti-market views, along with his anti-Semitism you have Nazism in a nutshell. The only thing missing is rampant racial nationalism. In this discussion I will only cover Luther’s views on Jews. I shall try to put his own words in italics throughout.

Now Luther, like many theologians, took various views on things and changed his mind. He argued for tolerance of religion when his faith was out of power and then argued for persecution of non-Lutherans when Lutherans held power. In his early years he was a bit friendly toward Jews but he ended his life with a full on assault on them. His essay On the Jews and their Lies was written three years before his death. This was not the writing of a young, inexperienced youth but the tract of a mature adult. Luther never repudiated this view and we can only assume that when he died it was the view he still held.

Now the entire vile document by this alleged great Christian can be read here. There is a CD-Rom out with 55 volumes of Luther included. But from a reading of the web site promoting it I can’t find Luther’s diatribe against Jews included. It would have been wise to leave it out and the CD doesn’t say it is the “complete” works of Luther. On the other hand the exclusion of this tract does give one a false view of Luther. What I shall do here is merely mention the “highlights” (lowlights?) of Luther’s tract. If you wish to read the entire document do so but be aware that it is rather vicious.

Luther said he the mistreatment of Jews was a sign that they were cursed by God and something they brought upon themselves by not believing in Christianity. He said “such ruthless wrath of God is sufficient evidence” that Jews “have erred and gone astray. ...Therefore this work of wrath is proof that the Jews, surely rejected by God, are no longer his people, and neither is he any longer their God.

Luther advised against trying to convert Jews or engage “much in debate with Jews about the article of our faith” because “From their youth they have been so nurtured with venom and rancor against our Lord that there is no hope until they reach the point where their misery finally makes them pliable and they are forced to confess that the Messiah has come, and that he is our Jesus.” Until the Jews are truly suffering it is useless to speak to them was Luther’s view.

Most the beginnings of Luther’s tract is an attack on Jews for being proud of being Jewish. This really upset Luther. He calls such pride “blasphemous and damnable”. Next there is a huge section on circumcision and why Jews ought not worry about it. Even throughout this section Luther can’t stop the pure evil of his comments from coming through. He refers to Jews as “real liars”, calls them arrogant, blind, senseless and a people who “continually perverted and falsified all of Scripture”. He says that never has the sun “shone on a more bloodthirsty and vengeful people than they are who imagine that they are God’s people who have been commissioned and commanded to murder and slay the Gentiles. In fact, the most important thing that they expect of their Messiah is that he will murder and kill the entire world with their sword.” (Sounds like the Left Behind series to me.) Luther continues: “They treated us Christians in this manner at the very beginning through out all the world. They would still like to do this if they had the power, and often enough have made the attempt, for which they have got their snouts boxed lustily.

Luther says the Jews “have scourged, crucified, spat upon, blasphemed, and cursed God” and he calls them “a defiled bride”, “an incorrigible whore and an evil slut with whom God ever had to wrangle, scuffle and fight.” Luther writes they are “the vilest whores and rogues under the sun.” But some argue that pious Jews worship God but Luther says they are still persecuted and that proves they are not of God at all because God doesn’t allow his people to be persecuted. Since they are persecuted that proves that God “will not listen to these Jews” and “They must assuredly be the base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth. If there were a single pious Jew among them who observed these, he would have to be heard; for God cannot let his saints pray in vain, as Scripture demonstrates by many examples. This is conclusive evidence that they cannot be pious Jews, but must the multitude of the whoring and muderous people.” He says that while they pray in the synagogue they are “full of conceit, envy, usury, greed, and all sorts of malice. The worst offenders are those who pretend to be very devout and holy in their prayers.

Luther warns his followers “be on your guard against the Jews, knowing that wherever they have their synagogues, nothing is found but a den of devils in which sheer self-glory, conceit, leis, blasphemy, and defaming of God and men are practiced most maliciously...” He says, “I do not wish to have anything more to do with any Jews. As St. Paul says, they are consigned to wrath; the more one tries to help them the baser and more stubborn they become.

Luther is pretty disgusting, “wherever you see a genuine Jew, you may with a good conscience cross yourself and bluntly say: ‘There goes a devil incarnate.’” Even if a Jew is kind Luther says “you may rest assured that they are not prompted by love, nor is it done with your benefit in mind. Since they are compelled to live among us, they do this for reasons of expediency; but their heart remains and is as I have described it.

For Luther Jew’s are nasty people who rob Christians even though “we show them every kindness. They live among us, enjoy our shield and protection, they use our country and our highways, our markets and streets. Meanwhile our princes and rulers sit there and snore with mouths hanging open and permit the Jews to take, steal, and rob from their open money bags and treasures whatever they want. That is, they let the Jews, by means of their usury, skin and fleece them and their subjects and make them beggars with their own money. For the Jews, who are exiles, should really have nothing, and whatever they have must surely be our property. They do not work, and they do not earn anything from us, nor do we give or present it to them, and yet they are in possession of our money and goods and are our masters in our own country and in their exile. A thief is condemned to hang for the theft of ten florins, and if he robs anyone on the highway, he forfeits his head. But when a Jew steals and robs ten tons of gold through his usury, he is more highly esteemed than God himself.

Note that to Luther the Jew is entirely “other” and not German. There is “they” and “our”. “They” live under “our” protection. “They” use “our” country. So to Luther the Jew is the parasite living off the productive labour of hard working Gentiles. This is the sort of theory that Marx would pick up later in his diatribe against Jews and which the Nazis borrowed as well. Not only does this show contempt for Jews as people but a contempt for the role of the middleman in economic affairs. Here you have a passage of Luther that combines anti-market views and anti-Semitism. Something that Marx and Hitler both were happy to do. Whatever hatred Marx and Hitler had for Jews and markets it was Luther who got there first. He wrote that Jews “are nothing but thieves and robbers who daily eat no morsel and wear no thread of clothing which they have not stolen and pilfered from us by means of their accursed usury. Thus they live from day to day, together with wife and child, by theft and robbery, as arch-thieves and robbers, in the most impenitent security. For a usurer is an arch-thief and robber who should right be hanged on the gallows seven times higher than other thieves.

Luther assures his followers: “Since we are not conversant with the Hebrew, they can vent their wrath on us secretly. While we suppose that they are speaking kindly to us, they are calling down hellfire and every misfortune on our heads. Such splendid guests we poor, pious Christians are harboring in our country in the persons of the Jews, we who mean well with them, who would gladly serve their physical and spiritual welfare, who who suffer so coarse wrongs from them.” Notice again that in spite of having been born in Germany as much as he was Luther calls Jews “guest” in Germany. He refuses to accept them as Germans. Consider this description by Luther of Jews: “They have been blood thirsty bloodhounds and murderers of all Christendom for more than fourteen hundred years in their intentions, and would undoubtedly prefer to be such with their deeds. Thus they have been accused of poisoning water and wells, of kidnapping children, of piercing them through with an awl, of hacking them in pieces, and in that way secretly cooling their wrath with the blood of Christians, for all of which they have often been condemned to death by fire.” Now I have forced myself to read the diatribes of Hitler and I can assure you that nothing that man said about Jews came close to be as vile as what Luther wrote. Hitler was a vile Jew hater but even in his most vicious speeches he did not come close to the crude hatred of Luther.

Again Luther characterizes the Jews as an exploiter of the labor of others (another crude Marxist concept): “In fact, they hold us Christians captive in our own country. They let us work in the sweat of our brow to earn money and property while they sit behind the stove, idle away the time, fart, and roast pears. They stuff themselves, guzzle, and live in luxury and ease from our hard-earned goods. With their accursed usury they hold us and our property captive. Moreover, they mock and deride us because we work and let them play the role of lazy squires at our expense and in our land. Thus they are our masters and we are their servants, with our property, our sweat, and our labor. And by way of reward and thanks they curse our Lord and us! Should the devil not laugh and dance if he can enjoy such a fine paradise at the expense of us Christians? He devours what is ours through his saints, the Jews, and repays us by insulting us, in addition to mocking and cursing both God and man.

Toward the end of his disgusting tirade of hatred Luther finally tells his followers what must be done with these “rejected and condemned people, the Jews”. I will allow Luther to speak for himself and thus condemn himself.

“ First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians.

"Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them the fact that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God.

"Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them.

"Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. For they have justly forfeited the right to such an office by holding the poor Jews captive with the saying of Moses (Deuteronomy 17:10) in which he commands them to obey their teachers on penalty of death, although Moses clearly adds: "what they teach you in accord with the law of the Lord." Those villains ignore that. They wantonly employ the poor people's obedience contrary to the law of the Lord and infuse them with this poison, cursing, and blasphemy. In the same way the pope also held us captive with the declaration in Matthew 16:18, "You are Peter," etc., inducing us to believe all the lies and deceptions that issued from his devilish mind. He did not teach in accord with the word of God, and therefore he forfeited the right to teach.

"Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside, since they are not lords, officials, tradesmen, or the like. Let them stay at home. I have heard it said that a rich Jew is now traveling across the country with twelve horses his ambition is to become a Kokhba devouring princes, lords, lands, and people with his usury, so that the great lords view it with jealous eyes. If you great lords and princes will not forbid such usurers the highway legally, some day a troop may gather against them, having learned from this booklet the true nature of the Jews and how one should deal with them and not protect their activities. For you, too, must not and cannot protect them unless you wish to become participants in an their abominations in the sight of God. Consider carefully what good could come from this, and prevent it.

"Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. The reason for such a measure is that, as said above, they have no other means of earning a livelihood than usury, and by it they have stolen and robbed from us an they possess. Such money should now be used in no other way than the following: Whenever a Jew is sincerely converted, he should be handed one hundred, two hundred, or three hundred florins, as personal circumstances may suggest. With this he could set himself up in some occupation for the support of his poor wife and children, and the maintenance of the old or feeble. For such evil gains are cursed if they are not put to use with God's blessing in a good and worthy cause.

"... Seventh, I recommend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen. 3 [:19]). For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting., and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants.”

And if the princes don’t use force against the Jews Luther has one final solution: “But if the authorities are reluctant to use force and restrain the Jews' devilish wantonness, the latter should, as we said, be expelled from the country and be told to return to their land and their possessions in Jerusalem, where they may lie, curse, blaspheme, defame, murder, steal, rob, practice usury, mock, and indulge in all those infamous abominations which they practice among us, and leave us our government, our country, our life, and our property, much more leave our Lord the Messiah, our faith, and our church undefiled and uncontaminated with their devilish tyranny and malice. Any privileges that they may plead shall not help them; for no one can grant privileges for practicing such abominations. These cancel and abrogate all privileges.

If you doubt what I say here regarding Luther’s vile hatred and anti-Semitism go and read his disgusting tract yourself. This is what one of the “greatest” Christians of all time presents to the world. This is what he finds in his Bible. Many have tried to defend Luther saying his hatred for Jews wasn’t racial in nature like the Nazis. Instead they assure us that Luther’s hatred was religious. Oh, that’s so much better! Islamic fanatics kill, not out of racial intolerance, but religious intolerance. Is that better? The myths of religion, like the myths of racialism, are murderous doctrines. Both have been used to kill. Both are the enemies of freedom.

The men most responsible for the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe are the unholy trinity of Martin Luther, Karl Marx and Adolph Hitler.


Blogger Derreck said...

Only fools can be forgiven of racism and hatred; beasts who claim they act righteous in their racism, should be banned to the deepest pits of hell for they are a disease among humans.

June 19, 2006

Blogger Matt Tully said...

I will not defend Luther. "On the Jews and Their Lies" is a disgusting tract that should never have been written. Shame on Luther.

However, I will not throw the whole man out on account of one fault. No one is perfect.

First, one must remember that Luther used very course and vulgar language throughout many of his writings. To quote one writer, "he was not a man to say manure, when he meant ." This was not all that uncommon in the violent and rough 16th century. This however, does not excuse Luther's words.

Second, though Hitler and the Nazis often quoted Luther and cited him as an encouragment to their cause, Luther was not against the Jewish people as a race (like the Nazis). Jewish Christians would have been welcomed by Luther (indeed Jesus was a Jew), unlike the Nazis and modern anti-semitics, who have pseudo-scientific reasons to hate the Jewish people as a race.

However, none of this excuses the horrible things that Luther wrote. No where does the Bible condone the type of behavior the Luther advocated. This tract is a dark stain on his record, but to let it completely overshadow his life and other writings would be foolish.

P.S.- That 55 volume CD does include "On the Jews and Their Lies."

June 19, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

You note that Luther was not a racial anti-Semite just a religious one. I said that already but noted that it makes not one jot of difference to those who are victimized by such hatred. If a man breaks my leg because he's a racist, or breaks it because he a fanatic believer, either way my leg is broken. You say "No where does the Bible condone the type of behavior the (sic) Luther advocated." Luther clearly thought it did. You quoted Luther as being pro reason except when it is under "the Devils control" but that reason when illuminated by Scrpture helps faith. Now Luther used his spiritual reason in this essay. He quoted copiously from Scripture to prove his point. Yet with the Bible and the Spirit illuminating him he still wrote this monstrous piece of rubbish. Yet this pathetic, sad old atheist, clearly in the clutches of Satan can immediately discern that this is pure evil. Yet spiritual reason is supposedly better than secular reason. I had no Bible to teach me on this (as Luther did) and surely am not guided by the Spirit. Yet my reason is sufficient to judge and Luther's so deficient.

You said on your blog that Luther is "one of the greatest Christian thinkers in history". If this is the sort of material that one of the "greatest Christian thinkers" turns out I would hate to see what some of the worst thinkers turn out. Or is he no longer one of the "greatest" as you originally thought? I am of two minds that they CD collection you have includes this. One is that I think it so disgusting that it ought not be disseminated like that. On the other hand I think people need to know the real Luther so they stop thinking of him as some great reformer. I suppose that if the CDs do contain this monstrous essay, monstrous by your own admission, that you will retract your claim that it is 55 volumes of "pure bliss". I assume you find no "pure bliss" in this essay by Luther.

Now the question is how does one judge whether the 19 year old Christian Tully is more Biblical or whether Luther, who Tully calls one of the greatest thinkers in Christian history, is right? Both claim to be guided by Scripture? Now my own view is that Luther was evil and very wrong. I think he was evil in most things. You don't. I think you are wrong and doubt you are evil. I find Scripture used by bigots of all stripes to justify their hatred and Luther was no except. I reject Scripture because it is nonsense so when a bigot quotes the Bible to prove his hatred, as Luther did repeatedly, it doesn't impress me. I use my innate secular reason to discern things that seemed to escape one of the greatest thinkers in Christian history. Odd. Reconsider your views Matt. I think you are headed in the completely wrong direction.

June 19, 2006

Blogger Matt Tully said...

People have used the Bible in support of their wrong, and sometimes downright evil, views and actions ever since Christ actually walked the earth. I am not arguing that it can't be abused. Luther abused it in this instance. But in others, Luther has some excellent things to say.

Again, I am not excusing what Luther wrote. I just am able to see both the good and the bad. It seems to me that you want to ignore the good (although, I guess since you are an atheist, you see it all as bad) and just focus on the bad. That's pretty unfair.

"On the Jews and Their Lies" is merely one chapter of one volume on that CD, so I don't retract my comment about the CD being 55 volumes of bliss. I agree with a lot of what Luther says. However, in this instance, I am disgusted with Luther's cruelty and un-godly attitude.

It is sad, but you are right that one can find bigots of "all stripes" using Scripture to justify their actions. Like I said, people abuse the Bible. But that in no was speaks to the veracity and reliability of the Bible, just as the fact that the Crusades took place (a horrible blotch in the history of Christianity) does not prove that Christianity, as a religion, is evil. Men abuse many good things. I could list off dozens of atheists who had committed terrible crimes, but this doesnt mean that all atheists are evil criminals etc.

Also, when you say, "I reject Scripture because it is nonsense" you are sort of begging the question. You give no reasons why you think it is "nonsense" (other than the fact that people have used it to justify their evil actions).

My question for you is, on what basis can you condemn the words of Luther in "On the Jews and Their Lies"? Please understand, I am not saying I support what he said against the Jews. He was wrong. However, because you don't believe in God, how do you call anything right or wrong? You say you use your "innate secular reason" to determine what is right and what is wrong. But what makes your reason better than that of...say....Adolf Hitler? In his own mind, Hitler had reasons (good reasons) for massacring the Jewish people. I mean, after all, we are just globs of matter, stuck on a rock, floating in space. Ultimatly, we are no different than a bit of dust orbitting Neptune. So what does it matter what happens to man? It doesn't.

Ultimatly, without God, there is no such thing as right or wrong for that matter. You have no basis for condemning anything Luther said if you truly are an atheist.

Oh yeah, P.S. - what Bible college did you go to?

June 19, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

What you call Luther’s good is what I see as nonsense. Fantasy stuff about a deity in the sky and all the fairy tales that go with it. Yes, that stuff is dangerous. Once you accept the mystical and revelation you have literally thrown reason out the window. Any assertion you make can be claimed as coming from God, guided by the Spirit, etc. and one can’t refute it for the believer. If you point out it is rationally absurd you get remarks like that of Augustine, “I believe because it is is absurd.” or Paul talking about how God confounds the wisdom of the wise (philosophy).

With Luther there a lot that is downright deadly and other stuff that is just silly. His view toward how to treat Catholics wasn’t much better nor was he fond of tolerating other Protestants either. He advocated authoritarian and harsh rule with a “bloody sword” but I will go into that later.

As for people abusing the people I find it strange that for centuries the accepted view of the Bible can suddenly become an “abuse” of the Bible. Slavery was justified by Scripture and now, except for fundamentalists Reconstructionists, no one justifies slavery. But for centuries it was orthodox opinion that slavery is part of God’s plan. Ditto for the treatment of other races or the treatment of women. Your church would still strenuously argue I suggest, that gays are second class citizens and many would go even further than that (a dangerous thing for Moody to push too hard on considering things there...)

You can list dozens of bad atheists. So can I. The difference is that I don’t pretend they are nothing more than mere men with good and bad in them. I don’t say they are led by the Spirit, following an infallible books, or inspired by a deity. I make no assertion for the supernatural at work with them. Surely if there is a god working through men then the men he is working through ought to do better than Luther did? You shouldn’t merely have to resort to showing that there are bad atheists as well since I would be the first to acknowledge that. God’s people, ought to have a better track record if a deity is working with them, inspiring them, leading them, etc. If they do good God gets the credit if they do badly they get the blame. Talk about staking the deck.

I have given reasons why I think Scripture and deity are nonsense in numerous articles here over the last few months and will continue to do so. Read the blog for that.

How do I call anything right or wrong? Ever hear of the entirely non-theistic concept of natural law? The Greek philosophers first started talking about it centuries ago. Right and wrong is determined by the nature of the entity involved. But that is too complex to cover here. Some Christians tried to graft it onto religion (Aquinas as the first major example) but Luther and Calvin hated it. But it has a fine tradition and is one I support.

What makes one reason better than another? Reality. Reality is a harsh judge. Hitler’s way led to death and misery. It was anti life to the core and a philosophy that did not allow him, his followers or his enemies to live. Every action we take on earth is judged by the results. And the results are not based on whims or preferences but on the nature of the entities involved.

We are not merely globs of matter, though some come damn close. We are minds and no dust orbiting Neptune has the ability to think and choose and create. It is pure rubbish to believe that without God there is no morality. The opposite is true. With God morality is unknown. Thou shall not kill! Right? Well, except “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” and “if a man lieth with a man as he lieth with a woman they shall both be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.” Except for the countless times God told his followers to slaughter and commit genocide and kill entire races of people. One man and one woman for life except when god tells a prophet to take a second wife or allows them to take hundreds. When a deity can over ride all moral codes anytime he wishes there is no possible morality.

I prefer to keep the name of the Bible school out of the discussion. Those Christians can get might nasty if they want to be.

June 19, 2006

Blogger Matt Tully said...

I have heard about the "natural law," but I think that this law is "written on our hearts" by God, and is not innate or purely natural. Again, look at a particle of dust orbitting Neptune. It is neither morally right nor wrong that it do anything or even exist. It is amoral - morality doesn't apply. Why are humans any different?

You say every action is judged by its results. Ok, I'll roll with that. But who determines "good" results from "bad" results. Again, Hitler saw the results of the Holocaust (the murder of 6 million Jews) as good, so for Hitler, the Holocaust was good. Now you (and I) see the Holocaust as an atrocity. But why are we more "right" than Hitler? Just because we "prefer" it our way, does not mean that we are objectively "right".

I think that you will say that because Hitler was "anti-life", that is why you can say he was wrong. But again, why is life better than death. My uncle, a staunch atheist, made the argument that "right" is whatever serves to advance the species. But again, this is begging the question. Why is it right that the species advance? Was it immoral (wrong) that the dinosaurs died off? Why is the life of a human being ANY different than the life of an ant, or (since life is merely another natural occurance) the movement of leaf blowing in the wind?

You say we are not just "globs of matter" but that we are "minds" with the ability to "think and choose and create." So what? Why does that make us special? That just means we are slightly more complex than ants. Whoopty crap.

A better translation of Exodus 20:12 is "thou shalt not murder." Killing is not prohibited. It is murder that is condemned by God. When He led the Isrealites on their campaigns, because their actions were sanctioned by God Himself, it was not murder, because murder is killing out of selfish motives, mostly driven by hate and rage. God also instituted a justice system, which had punishments. Killing a person condemned of a crime was not the same as murder.

June 19, 2006

Blogger Matt Tully said...

I believe that the reason that you and almost all atheists (except the honest ones) hold so strongly to the notion of a "natural law" is because there really is a law that all people know (this is not to say that people must obey it or that it is exactly the same in every person). As I said before, it is a law that is from God, written on our hearts. This "natural law" is undeniable, but, according to your beliefs, there is no reason it should exist, and certainly no reason to follow it.

And just consider this: Ultimatly, all things that happen are natural - nothing is really unatural. So, then Hitler's massacre of the Jews was natural. Additionally, why is this natural "law" unlike all other natural laws? Gravity always works etc. But this "natural law" of morality seems more like "natural suggestions" - they are regularly broken.

June 19, 2006

Blogger Heather Simpson said...

my heart goes out to you. this "godless zone" is so far from Godless. your topics are consistently about God. there is a lot of confusion here though. there are many things that obviously you do not understand in the Bible. God made His law clear, and it does not say "thou shalt not kill" but rather "thou shalt not murder" which is the unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice. I am seeing that you have some anger toward God and are trying very hard to do whatever you can to discredit Him. You must have something in your past that you perceive He has done wrong to you. most, if not all frustrations, and/or sin come from pride. Each of us has pride issues, stemming from our flesh. we want to exalt ourselves above God. many times we do not consiously do this, but we feel sorry for ourselves, because we think we are more important, or we feel indignant and angry because we feel we know more, or are better in some way... it all boils down to selfishness and pride. you think God did something wrong to you, but really you have done something wrong to him and feel guilty about it so you have to find fault in Him to cover up your shame. it is ok, we have all done it. But, He wants to heal you. He loves you. He wants to bring peace and joy back into your life. Remember when you were very young and innocent and felt the breath of God on your face and KNEW He was real and loved you? THAT IS TRUE!!!! Somehow though, some person or people have hurt you in a very big way and you have gotten all mixed up about who is to blame. you forgot and were told what you knew was not true. I was too, but He is waiting for you with open arms. He wants to forgive you. He wants you to forgive Him. He didn't do anything wrong, but he doesn't want you to hold it against Him any longer. His heart aches for you, longs for you to come to His arms again. There is so much love and healing waiting for YOU!!! He cries out for you, longing to heal your broken heart.

June 20, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

Let's try to keep to one thing at a time due to space limitation. First, Matt. Why does morality apply to humans and not dust? Obvious I would think. Humans face morality because unlike dust they make choices. Dust has no choice, is not faced with decisions. It's existence as dust does not depend on those choices. Humans have to choose and their existence is determined by the choices they make.

Existence passes judgment on each action. Those consistent with the nature of the entity result in life. Those that are inconsistent promote death.

You ask why is life better than death? Because as entities that is all we have. It is your cult of eternal life that degrades human life as it does exist in promise of life that does not exist.

The question was it immoral for the dinosaurs to die is invalid. Morality can not apply where choice does not exist. It's a very bad question. It is like asking was it immoral for the passangers on the planes on 9/11 to die? You can ask whether it was moral for those who killed them to act as they did since they were active agents. But their victims didn't make that choice and thus are outside the realm of morality. Morality can only apply to a conscious choice. That means it can't apply to dust, dinosaurs killed by a change in environment, plants, etc. It can only apply to people. Humans are the only entity that can value life because they are the only entity witht he ability to know that they face death or non-existence.

I find your disdain for an intrinsic value of human life shocking. You basically are saying without the fantasy that some deity exist then humans are disposable trash. Tell me who really values humans? I do.

I do thank you for this confession "When he led the Israelites on their campaigns, because their actions were sanctioned by God Himself, it was not murder.. killing a person condemned of a crime was not the same as murder." Out the window goes the idea of a moral standard. It is murder to kill when someone thinks that a deity doesn't want them to murder. But when they say a deity has ordered them to murder then it isn't murder it's obeying a god. That was my point. As for the crime go and read the slaughter in the OT. These vile creature Jehovah supposedly ordered the Israelites to execute small children, even the livestock of people. Justice? I think not. What crime did those children commit? None. My argument is that you fantasize a god and then say he alone makes morality possible. Then you admit that this morality is entirely dependent on what he says. So sometimes killing small children is morally wrong and sometimes it isn't. If god says kill then it is immoral not to kill even if the victim is a small child who has never had the ability to commit a crime.

June 20, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

Matt (second response to your next reply) It is not true that "almost all atheists" hold to natural law. And it is insulting to add (except the honest ones). That is saying that I am a dishonest atheist. The worst I have said about you is that you wrong and still to young to know what exactly you are doing. I have not attacked your integrity or honesty. It is difficult to decide whether to continue a conversation with someone who has just attacked my honesty in this debate. Don't say that is not what you said. You said "the reason you and almost all atheists (except the honest one) hold..." That puts me in one category and honest atheists in another. If I am dishonest they why bother talking to me? You can't hold a discussion with someone whose words you can not trust especially on the net since the only thing you have from me are my words and you just attacked them as dishonest. Had I seen this remark I would not have wasted my time with the previous reply. Since you believe I am dishonest, since all I have to offer are my words here and thus they are the only thing you have to judge me upon, and since you have just said those words are dishonest there is no reason to offer you anymore words.

June 20, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

Heather: It is not good to start out with condescension. "My heart goes out to you" is condesencenion and pity. Treat a rational being with respect if you want dialogue.

My topics are not about God in the long run they about religious individuals and what they do to others. It is about people. I do not believe there is a god, a tooth fairy, or Santa Claus. Please don't pity me for that! You spend some time discussion killing vs. murder. I know all that. I did go to Bible School for two years. I graduated from a Christian school, I know it! I did not say anything to the contrary. I said that sometimes murder is murder and other times it isn't because some nutter says God told them to kill. The Isrealites killed innocent children but you people have to pretend that is not murder because they said "God told us to kill you, your wives and all your children and then steal all your property for ourselves because we are the choosen race (Zieg heil)." Rubbish. Genocide is genocide and having religious delusions do not justify murder!

I do not attempt to discredit god. There is no such thing. I do try to discredit religion and take aways its power to harm people. I have an anger when I see people working so hard to strip people of rights because they believe they hare a crusade from god. If people who believed in the Loch Ness monster were trying to take control of govt. to impose their beliefs on others by the force of law I would go after them as well. Most nutters are happy enough to leave other people alone. Not the fundamentalists, Muslim or Christian, who feel they have to literally knock people around through coercive government.

God did nothing wrong. Neither did the tooth fairy. I can not believe that a god hurt me because I don't think there is one. I have, however, seen religious people constantly harass, harm, intimidate, accuse, threaten, conjole, etc other people. I have seen fanatics act in inhumane ways. So if you want to pllay Dr Freud (and he was a con as well) know something about the person before you offer condescending pity . The problem is that faith is a belief without evidence or with very little to support it. You have jumped to a faith based conclusion about me, not because you have any reason to believe it, but in spite of any evidence. You can't fathom that someone doesn't believe in the fairy tales you believe. I don't. Many people don't. Even many Christians don't buy a lot of it.

Now here is the deal I am happy to make with Christians. Leave each other alone. I won't push for laws against you (and I don't) so don't push for laws that ram your Christianity down my throat (ah, but there's the rub, Christians can't want to get Ceasar on their side and force the nation to follow Christian teachings). I am happy to let you have exclusively Christian schools. I'll even accept vouchers so you all can afford them. Then stop trying to push God into the state schools (I wouldn't have state schools at all but that is not up to me). I think you should be free to preach what you believe without censorship. You let other people say what they want without censorship. Never should you be required to deny what you believe in word or deed. Neither should you require by law that others deny what they believe (such as forcing them to close their business on a Sunday). I believe that people should respect each other and that requires leaving people alone. But when you drip with condescending pity for others the temptation is to want to "help" them even when they only want to be left alone. So you meddle and interfer and pass laws and legislation and rules and regulations. And there is this tendency to do it because you feel sorry for them. You want to help them. May I quote one of your guys who understood the problem with this:

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." CS Lewis

June 20, 2006

Blogger Matt Tully said...

When I said "except the honest ones" I was implying that if an atheist seriously considers what he says he believes, he will see that in fact, without God, morality does dissappear. Your point about morality coming from the ability to make choices is arbitrary and subjective. What if I disagree with you? Nietzsche does. "God is dead." Well thats not all that uncommon. But Nietzsche didn't stop there. He continued to that statement's logical conclusion - God is dead and therefore all absolute values died with him. Nietzsche was an honest atheist.

You also seem to have misunderstood what I was saying in regards to the value of human life. You say, "I find your disdain for an intrinsic value of human life shocking." This could not be farther from the truth. Because I believe in God and because I believe that man was created in His image, I see immense value in every human life. However, without God, man is no different than any other natural thing - you have yet to give me good, objective reasons for why man is any different. Conscious thought is merely the next step on the evolutionary ladder...its just more complex. Why does that mean that morality all of a sudden starts to apply?

You also betray yourself with this statement: "You ask why is life better than death? Because as entities that is all we have." Right here you change your reason for valuing life. You say it is because it is "all we have." But life was all the dinosaurs had as well. Conscious choices aren't even in the picture!

June 20, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

You are still saying that unless one agrees with you conclusion as to what it means to believe or not in a god that one is dishonest. I'm not sure you are making it any better or less insulting.

And then you drop contexts all over the place. Stay in context, hard to do when you spend so much time in fantasy. I did not change my reason for valuing life. I am clearly speaking of human life not all life. I don't respect the life of a mosquito and will swat it if it tries to bite me. Especially if I'm in Africa where that bite can kill me. The dinosaurs had life but had no ability to choose life. Don't flit about from one category (life for anything) to another (human's only). The question was why do human's need morality and I said they need because of life. You then asked why is life better than death and I said because life is all that we have. And from that you jump back to dinosaurs being moral. You drop context. Human's need morality because they are the only beings that we know of with the ability to choose, why should they value life because that is all they have. Everything we have depends on life. Why value liberty? Because liberty is necessary to obtain all else we value. Why morality because we need it to survive? It serves us as humans to have a moral code. We benefit from it. If you wish not to benefit from this life that is your choice. YOu can choose to be moral or not, choose ot live or not, choose to be rational or not. But those choices have consequences.

The man who knows that disease what causes diseases and how to treat them is more likely to live than the savage who thinks they are demons and that exorcism will cure them, or that magic is the cure, or that prayer can heal.

June 20, 2006

Blogger Heather Simpson said...

I am truly sorry if it appears to be condescending if I say my heart goes out to you. It is not my intention for my warm feelings and desire for you to have joy in your life to be perceived as condescending. I truly wish for you that you didn't have to spend your life like this. It is obviously an angry life. I have known anger and can recognize it.

Also, I spent a couple of years in Bible school too and didn't find what I was looking for there either. I searched for peace elsewhere, but all along, I knew Jesus was real, alive and wanted me back. You know it too, you are just in denial. By the way, the definition of "discredit" according to is

dis·cred·it Pronunciation (ds-krdt)
tr.v. dis·cred·it·ed, dis·cred·it·ing, dis·cred·its
1. To damage in reputation; disgrace.
2. To cause to be doubted or distrusted.
3. To refuse to believe.

You change the subject, or allow it to be changed when it serves you. Matthew 7:21-23 says "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Proverbs 3:7 says "Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil."

I think your only "evidence" that there is no God is that you have seen "religious" people doing evil. This is not evidence of no God, but evidence they have no God in their life. Also, you are right there is no god. There is one God though. And He does love you very much. If you have any real evidence or proof that there is no God please present it. I have to exclaim that it does NOT exist. On the contrary. Of course, personal experience knowing, seeing, hearing, feeling and tasting Him and His love are absolutes to one who has had those experiences. When you have known Him personally you cannot possibly say there is no God.

June 20, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

Heather: What is condescending is the assumption that unless one believes are you do that they are unhappy, angry, etc. You say you know my life but then you don't. You know what you think it has to be for your "truths" to be right and then you jump to conclusions.

It is irrational to say that my only "evidence that there is no God is that you have seen 'religious' people doing evil." No Heather. Religious people doing evil no proves the non existence of God than religious people doing good or being happy, for that matter, proves that God is real. You say "if you have any real evidence or proof that there is no God please prevent it" shows what is wrong here.

Why is a person considered innocent until proven guilty? Because the one making the assertion has to prvoe his case. The arrested person does not prove he is innocent. The prosecution has to prove he is guilty. Could you prove to me that garden faires don't exist? Of course not. You can't even prove the Loch Ness monster doesn't exist or Santa Claus. It is incumbent on the one making the positive claim to present positive evidence. If I believed in garden fairies I would have to offer evidence that is clear and convincing that they exist. My assertion that they make me happy is not enough. My claim to have "experienced" them is not proof. You would demand more and rightfully so.

The reason I don't believe is that there is no evidence for belief. By the way the second rule of proof is that the greater the claim the greater the evidence needed to prove it. Your assertions are vast and monumental and your evidence so far is that your belief makes you happy (I've know miserable Christians who claimed to be happy but weren't) and that no one has proven god doesn't exist. No one has, no one can because you can't prove a negative. Proofs are indications of a positive. So he who asserts the positive (that something is) has to offer the evidence and if the "is" in question is something really big (like a supernatural, all knowing, all powerful being) they better have some really incredible proof.

June 20, 2006

Blogger Matt Tully said...

I do not believe that one can prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt that God exists. Scientifically this is not possible. However, I believe that there are some (many) good reasons to believe that God exists. This is a bit off topic, so I won't go into it here, but I believe it is VERY reasonable, in fact MORE reasonable, to believe that God exists than to believe that He does not.

You say that there is "no evidence for belief." If you truly believe this, then I don't think you have looked very hard...

Check out the Ontological Argument, or just the basic rule that every effect needs a cause, etc. But, like I said, this is not really the place to go into all that.

I'm not sure that we are making much progress, so this will be my last post. I just have one question: What is it that caused you to stop believing in God and feel so strongly against the very concept of God that you would create a blog devoted to discrediting God and those who believe in Him?

Nice talking to you and, I say this in all humility, I will pray for you.

June 20, 2006

Blogger Heather Simpson said...

godlesszone said "Why is a person considered innocent until proven guilty? Because the one making the assertion has to prvoe his case. The arrested person does not prove he is innocent. The prosecution has to prove he is guilty. Could you prove to me that garden faires don't exist? Of course not. You can't even prove the Loch Ness monster doesn't exist or Santa Claus. It is incumbent on the one making the positive claim to present positive evidence. If I believed in garden fairies I would have to offer evidence that is clear and convincing that they exist. My assertion that they make me happy is not enough. My claim to have "experienced" them is not proof. You would demand more and rightfully so.

Heather says "Here, in any court, eye witness accounts may not count for everything, you cannot of course base an entire case on it, but they ARE considered evidence. God isn't making any assertions about you except that He loves you"

godlesszone said "The reason I don't believe is that there is no evidence for belief. By the way the second rule of proof is that the greater the claim the greater the evidence needed to prove it. Your assertions are vast and monumental and your evidence so far is that your belief makes you happy (I've know miserable Christians who claimed to be happy but weren't) and that no one has proven god doesn't exist. No one has, no one can because you can't prove a negative. Proofs are indications of a positive. So he who asserts the positive (that something is) has to offer the evidence and if the "is" in question is something really big (like a supernatural, all knowing, all powerful being) they better have some really incredible proof."

Here is your answer! Wow! You answered your own question, and proved yourself wrong!!
God now has to prove His existence because you are claiming He doesn't exist? I do not think so. HE is the innocent one! According to your theory HE is guilty of not existing and since you assert He has no proof of existence and He isn't going around trying to prove He exists then you must be right! Except that you present no evidence and conversly He has presented the greatest evidence of all!! That you and I and this universe exist in the first place!! The unexplainable has been explained, and in our oh-so-lofty human minds (made in His image mind you), there is no other possible answer! There is no explanation for us being here (gas and dust can't explain it like I said..where did the gas and dust come from?) other than something bigger and greater than ourselves must have caused it to come into existance.
We have THE GREATEST EVIDENCE!! the miracle of life, the amazing ability of the human hand, eye, brain etc... the smell of a rose, the awesome greatness of the universe! Don't you see?!!

Romans 1:18-21 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness (other translations use godlessness) and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened."

1 John 1:9 says "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

June 20, 2006

Blogger CLS said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

June 20, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

Matt: The ontological argument has several flaws in it starting with Anselms premise of trying to imagine the most perfect being and then assuming we know precisely what that is. We don't. I have no idea what that could mean and by what standard it would be judged? Without that accepted as the premise the rest of the argument goes nowhere immediately. Anselm just said imagine perfect and we all know what that is and left it at that. This also runs into problems if one replaces god with anything else, Gaunilo suggest think of the perfect island. By the same logic Anselm used the perfect island must also exist. Yet it does not. There is no understanding of a "perfect being". And yet Anselm assumes that their must be.

To answer your questions I stopped believing about 25 years ago. I decided that I, as a Christian, had to be honest and consider whether a belief as important as this one was to me was valid. To do that I felt I had to sit down and take time to consider the arguments of the atheists. I had only heard one side in school and life up until then. I sat down and studied the arguments and concluded that I had been wrong. Fast forward to far more recent events. I am a student of politics and public policy. I believe passionately in human freedom and limited government. But in the last few years the rise of the Religious Right has troubled me. They are creating a theocracy and destroying freedom in the name of their religion. (Especially Mr. Bush, who I know sends shivers down your spin because of the power he holds). I fear power as did the Founding Fathers, I don't worship it or admire it. As Washington said it is, like fire, a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

Certainly 9/11 had something to do with this as well. Fanatical believers in God willing to kill and saying God ordered them to do it, something which you said, if it were really the case (which I deny possilbe) then it would not be murder. As the world advances in technology the ability to destory large segments of it has become more readily available and available to people, Muslim and Christian, who are still rooted in the Dark Ages. Freedom and survival are at stake by the threat of these people and they need to be combated.

June 20, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

Heather: An eye witness account means the person actually saw something. Not that they have an emotional response to an idea. And the eye witness is cross examined and has to be credible.

Heather, there is no god. There is you assertion to a god. It is not up to the nonbeing to prove anything since he is not there to do the proving. You made the assertion so you need to prove it. Does this simple concept really escape you?

That we exist does not prove that divine being of some sort exists. If existence is proof that a god exists then if, as you say there is a god who exists, he would prove thus an even greater being, ad infinitum. You would have an endless chain of causation with no stopping.

Quoting the Bible is about as much proof as someone quoting the Koran.

June 20, 2006

Blogger Heather Simpson said...

Apparently you have not met any Christians who actually walk in the presence of the Living Loving Breathing God. This is a common occurance, as they are few and far between. It is not your fault, it is ours, and someday, maybe you will see the real thing, the real presence of Jesus and know. Until then, I pray that God, Jehovah Yahweh Shammah will bless your life exceedingly and that you have a revelation of Him on your own. It has been done before and He'll do it again. I am sure you remember Saul's experience. God bless you, and I mean that in all sincerity.

June 23, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

Heather: I simply can't follow your bizarre logic. What you have just posted is totally irrelevent to the discussion to date. I have met hundreds of Christians, born again, and the other kind. I met them in church and at seminary (all evangelical by the way). But of course, like so many you imply you are the real thing while all the others are not. As you say "they are so few and far between". Oh, Heather if they were only fewer and farther between them. Pray if you wish, it obviously makes you feel good. But don't waste your time for my sake. I mean that in all sincerity.

June 23, 2006

Blogger Heather Simpson said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

June 29, 2006

Blogger Heather Simpson said...

The only "reason" someone could possibly have (deep down in your heart you know this is true) for not WANTING God to exist, is that it removes any minute amount of accountability in your life. Why would you WANT God to be nonexistant? There is NO other good reason. Not that this is a GOOD reason, but is the only one that possibly makes sense at all. Wouldn't you WANT there to be something more and better to this life and the life afterward? Wouldn't you WANT to know that every single wrong thing you have ever done has been wiped away? Wouldn't you WANT to know the Creator of the universe if in fact He does exist? If He is "an even greater being, ad infinitum" wouldn't you WANT Him to be on YOUR side?

If in fact you do WANT to believe, but cannot find a reason to, ask Him to prove it and HE WILL.

June 29, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

Heather: I have removed your sermon for your beliefs in the magic man in the sky. I would not go to your blog and post remarks preaching atheism there. I would find that a rather rude thing to do myself. Of course as an atheist I believe in absolute accountability for how I treat others. i can't justify rudeness, state interference or any of the many things Christians have done to people they dislike throughout history (or preach to them on their blog either) under the pretense that I'm acting for the magic man. I act for myself. I take responsibility for myself. I am accountable for what I do. I can't pass it off on the mythological or non existent fairy tales of a deity.

I am sure that you really are sincer and totally ignorant of what I believe. I never said I don't want there to be a god. I wouldn't mind. I wouldn't mind Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny or evey the Tooth Fairy. It is not what I want that matters it is what is real and what is not. Would I like a better life? Who wouldn't? What irrelevent nonsense as everyone wants "better" by definition except some really odd person. But wanting better is no excuse for making up things.

On one hand you say I am against accountability and then offer "wouldn't you want to know that every single wrong thing you have ever done has been wiped away?" That sounds like the ultimate escape for accountability. And it is rubbish to say just "ask him" as people do that all the time and get answers. If I did and told you I was a Muslim as a result you would be very unhappy as you think they are going to hell. Or a Mormon? Same reply from you. Every religion on the planet has people who say "ask him to prove it and he will" and end up saying that every other religion on the planet is wrong. I think they are all correct about all religions except one -- the one they believe.

July 04, 2006

Blogger Heather Simpson said...

true forgiveness cannot come without accountability. I am accountable every day for the things I have done wrong on my conscience, but I choose to receive the complete forgiveness that Christ provided on the cross. There is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood. If I murder, I myself should be put to death. This is fair. I want to be held accountable for the things I do, but I of course do not want to die for screwing up, nor does anyone. I am accountable to Jesus, who paid my price and forgave me of all my sin. Who are you accountable to? Who has forgiven you?
Of course atheism asserts there is no right or wrong. Why bother with right and wrong if no one can judge you. If there is no just punishment for wrongdoing, or reward for good, then do as you wish. It doesn't matter either way. This is a foolish way to live though. It is clear to me you have no rules but your own and that you make them up as you see fit. This is prideful which really in essence is trying to put yourself in God's position.

July 08, 2006

Blogger Heather Simpson said...

I have a question for godless, whoever you are. How is it that you can so rigorously prescribe to your belief system, have specific things you "believe" or "think" are true, yet deny the fact that atheism is in fact a religion? your choice to "not believe in anything" is just the same as choosing to do nothing, it is still a decision, whether you "do" anything or not. Your statement "Every religion on the planet has people who say "ask him to prove it and he will" and end up saying that every other religion on the planet is wrong. I think they are all correct about all religions except one -- the one they believe." applies to yourself as well, as you "believe" very specific things. Also, perhaps, every religion has a bit of truth, of God in it, to varying degrees, except yours of course. not one religion could possibly be perfectly correct. But there may be that in each on God shows up when you look for Him. answer truthfully if you dare

July 08, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

Heather: I have previously removed your attempts to use my blog to preach your theology. Please respect my property right to my blog as I respect your right to your own blog. If you say that you are worthy of death then I say that is one example of the self contempt that is taught by your religion. That your sins are forgiven through the use of violent torture and murder and that your god is only capable of forgiving sins by having his own son tortured shows us the monstrous nature of the god in which you believe. Could your god forgive you without murdering his own son? If not he is not all powerful. If he could and still prefered torture and murder then he is a monster.

As for who has forgiven me? The only people who have any need to forgive me are people whom I have hurt. I can't hurt a god. The very idea tht anything I can do can harm this all powerful being is silly. If you have hurt others they are the ones who need to forgive you not some third party who had nothing to do with the situation.

I am sorry you are so unaware and ignorant about atheism that y ou saw absurd things. Atheism does not teach there is no right or wrong. Atheism is not an ethical system. It is merely the absence of a belief in a fictional deity. As such it asserts no beliefs on other issues at all. But then I don't expect Christians to be well informed otherwise they wouldn't be Christians. That you only act morally out of the fear of punishisment shows me how undeveloped your own moral character actually is. I act morally out of respect for others. But Christians don't respect others much do they? That is why they wish to impose their religion through the government on others. You can't understand morality without fear. That's your problem not mine. That you think I make the rules up as I go along shows how uninformed you are about moral principles.

By the way for the same reason that atheism is not an ethical system it is not a religion. What utter nonsense. I am sorry but it is hard to engage in an intellectual duel with someone like yourself who is clearly intellectually unarmed. Atheism is not a religion. And the quest for living morally is not helped by making up magic men in the sky.

July 09, 2006

Blogger Heather Simpson said...
a·the·ism Pronunciation (th-zm)
a. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
b. The doctrine that there is no God or gods.
*****2. Godlessness; immorality.****
re·li·gion Pronunciation (r-ljn)
a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
****4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.***
mor·al Pronunciation (môrl, mr-)
1. Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary.
2. Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior: a moral lesson.
3. Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous: a moral life.
4. Arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong: a moral obligation.
5. Having psychological rather than physical or tangible effects: a moral victory; moral support.
6. Based on strong likelihood or firm conviction, rather than on the actual evidence: a moral certainty.
1. The lesson or principle contained in or taught by a fable, a story, or an event.
2. A concisely expressed precept or general truth; a maxim.
3. morals Rules or habits of conduct, especially of sexual conduct, with reference to standards of right and wrong: a person of loose morals; a decline in the public morals.
hate Pronunciation (ht)
v. hat·ed, hat·ing, hates
a. To feel hostility or animosity toward.
b. To detest.
2. To feel dislike or distaste for: hates washing dishes.
big·ot Pronunciation (bgt)
One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.
cen·sor Pronunciation (snsr)
1. A person authorized to examine books, films, or other material and to remove or suppress what is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable.

None of these definitions are my own. Your censorship shows your fear and intolerance of my my morals which are not morally objectionable to a very large portion of the world. You are not persecuting me, but Jesus. But He forgives you as I am His child. When you are brave enough to at least identify your first name, then I will respect your ownership of your blog, until then, you are in the public domain, and are a coward.

July 10, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

Heather: I regret saying it but I suspect you really are not the brightest bulb around. First you say atheism is a religion. Then you post definitions which show that it is a lack of a belief in a deity and that religion is a system of beliefs based on a belief in a deity thus contradicting yourself. Secondly freedom of speech does not mean that I am required to provide you with a forum to push your Jesus addiction. I am not obligated to provide you with my forum for your religion anymore than your church is required to allow me to preach from the pulpit when I feel like it. It is called property rights. But then I've long said Christianity slides into communism and doesn't respect property rights. If I stopped you from your using your resources to preach your nonsense it would be censorship. Not giving you my resources for your message is not censorshiping.

Censorship requires the use of force to prevent a person from using their own resources or those made freely available to them by others. I did no such thing. Exactly what principle do you have that gives you the delusion that I am obligated to give you space on my website so you can preach your message? Secondly, since when were you Christians opposed to censorship. I thought you guys gloried in it. And I mean real censorship where you demand that the government ban books and magazines. If you wish to comment on things you are welcome. If you wish to preach your theology then do so on your website.

By the way, since you have already posted messages here preaching the Jesus nonsense would you take an essay on atheism and post it on your site? If you wouldn't would you be a censor? Logic is not your strong point. I suggest sticking to selling plane tickets.

July 10, 2006

Blogger Heather Simpson said...

First, I quoted the definition for atheism, please note the following:
"b. The doctrine that there is no God or gods.
*****2. Godlessness; immorality.****"

also, the definition for doctrine is now added..
doc·trine Pronunciation (dktrn)
****1. A principle or body of principles presented for acceptance or belief, as by a religious, political, scientific, or philosophic group; dogma.****

Second, I quoted the following definition.
re·li·gion Pronunciation (r-ljn)
****4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.***

Third, I quoted the definition of the word bigot. Not as a snide remark, but as a factual description of yourself.
big·ot Pronunciation (bgt)
One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

You sir, are intolerant of my beliefs. you dedicate you site to attempting to destroy, bring down, deride and defame MY GOD. You make rude remarks attempting to do the same to myself. Your remarks are hateful and you try to discredit me as unintelligent when you yourself cannot even take the time to read what I have written. These definitions logically show that you do have a religion called atheism, you are intolerant although you say everyone else is, and you chastise others for having faith when it takes great faith to believe there is no God.

When you have a site dedicated to true discussion, (of which there is none here) can face the music and come out of hiding with some kind of identity and not be afraid to be a man and show your face, I will respect your so called right. I do not respect people who have to hide in order to speak their hatred. If you really feel this way, stand up and identify yourself, otherwise you have zero credibility.

Anyone who reads this will see your fallacy and your contempt. And I am certain that it is not me you feel contempt toward, but God. Somehow, you perceive that He wronged you in some way, and your selfish pride has kept you from coming to terms with it so you deny His existence. Well, you are wrong, and someday, you will find out the truth. Hopefully it will not be in hell. You are certainly welcome to come to my new blog the and freely speak your mind. :) You are welcome there, as is everyone else. I am not hiding, and am not afraid of you. I would not censor anything other than clearly offensive remarks such as foul language, disgusting topics, and hate speech, which is NOT defined as dissention or preaching something I don't believe to be true.

July 11, 2006

Blogger Heather Simpson said...

oh and p.s. i would prefer peoples hearts change out of a desire to do the right thing, not from fear of punishment, but out of love for God for what He has done, which would cause those books and magazines to go out of business. i do not believe in censorship unless it is something criminal such as child pornography. it would be so much better if people just wanted good things instead of being told what they can and cannot have.

July 11, 2006

Blogger Heather Simpson said...

I want to point out a couple other things and ask you yet another question.
First of all, over two thirds of the world are part of 5 major religions, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Budhism, and Hindu. Each of them at least, believes in a higher power. Three of them even use many of the same writings. These writings are just part of the evidence of the existance of God. Even as your writings are the only evidence I have that you exist, I do not purport that you do not exist. I believe you do, I have seen evidence. You never answered my question as to whether you believe there is such a thing as wind. Prove there is such a thing, I will prove the existance of God.
That I am unintelligent, just because I do not use logic, let alone your logic is silly. How you can assert there is no God (based on what?) when most of the world believes in one, is absurd. Are you so arrogant to believe that you have found a better way, as if your tini amount of believers are so much more intelligent than most of the world? How prideful. Of course men and women have been trying to act wiser than God since the garden. i assure you God is precise, but he does not operate by man's logic. You say that you are intelligent and I am not, as if spiritual things can be explained logically. it is not an insult to me to say I am not intelligent, although i really do not believe i am the moron you apparently think i am. i thank you really for the complement.
i do not wish to be wise in my own eyes, and the fact that you see me as such a fool shows i am right where i need to be.

So what was it? was it a miracle you were expecting, was it a healing, a financial miracle, a more "logical" way. Did a man kill someone you love and all of a sudden it is God's fault? Did He not show up when you asked Him to? I purport you never truly believed in Him so why would He come? How was it that God disappointed you?

as if HE has to line up to YOUR way of thinking to be real.

What will you do, when He shows up, in all His glory in front of your face?

Tell me, if you live your life preaching His non-existance, and then one day stand face to face with Him, what will you think?
What will you say?
I know what you will do, you'll get on your knees.
are you really going to live your whole life purporting Him to be a fairy tale, only to find out you are wrong?
you should seek the truth. of course you can't handle the truth, and do not want to look for it let alone find it.

1 Corinthians 1:27 (King James Version)
King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

July 11, 2006

Blogger amyalkon said...

"However, I will not throw the whole man out on account of one fault. No one is perfect."

That's sick. It's not like the guy dropped his ice cream on your shoe.

When I was growing up in Michigan, kids chased me around and called me "dirty Jew." They egged our house, shaving-creamed our garage door with anti-Semitic epithets, and asked me why I killed Jesus.

Nobody's perfect, huh? I wish you were around to tell me that when I was six and had no friends because the church taught the kids in my neighborhood that I was a dirty, Christ-killing Jew.

And based on what? The belief, without evidence, in The Imaginary Friend?

Hey, all of you believers, don't you get it - the church is the most successful multinational corporation ever. But their business isn't ethical capitalism. It's anything but. Think about why priests are no longer allowed to marry. Do you think it has something to do with the fact that their wives might inheirit their worldly goods. That today, divorce law and paternity rules wouldn't absolve the church from re$ponsibility when a priest was a husband or father?

When they say, "It's not the money, it's the principle", guess what: nine times out of 10, it's the money.

Religion is primitive, and the cause of much of the evil in the world. Remember how women were burned at the stake? Oops, now we know there are no such things as witches. Tell that to all the women who died being burned alive.

If the entire world stopped believing in dumb shit (ie, believing without proof in god) right now, at this second, think about how much less violence there'd be? The middle east would be filled with people creating things, and going home to watch Law & Order dubbed in Arabic on TV.

July 16, 2006

Blogger amyalkon said...

"Of course atheism asserts there is no right or wrong."

Atheism asserts nothing of the kind. The dictionary definition talks only of non-belief in god.

In my case, I put it like this: I see no evidence of god, therefore I'd be a moron to believe in god.

A moron. Yes. Only an idiot would believe, without proof, in some entity moving us all around like chess pieces.

As for all the "proof" of god Heather and other lightweight thinkers post above, the fact that you feel there is a god means nothing. The fact that you've been told there's a god means nothing. The fact that you've read there's a god in the bible means nothing. PS Do you stone your neighbors when they commit adultery? There's some wacky shit in the bible. Most religious nutters are very selective about what they trot out and use. I mean, if you believe the bible is the word of god, and you must do as god tells you, why aren't you out stoning adulters and all the rest.

And then there's the Abraham story. Some guy hears voices and he's going to kill his kid? Either he's mentally ill, or he's a barbarian, if you think about it, and don't just suck down what you're told. Ah, the interactive potential of the human brain. You can actually do more than memorize with it. Trust me, I use it to reason every day. It works really well!

And back to the ethics question - I would venture I have a stronger set of ethics and that I'm more moral than most religious people. See The Josephson Institute for a lesson in secular ethics. Moreover, I would say it's in my self-interest to be moral. Not only will I do better in society than a cheater (cheaters are generally tripped up eventually - see religious nutter Ken Lay's story for that), I know if I haven't behaved ethically, and it affects my self-worth.

Because I have no evidence there's heaven or hell or any of the silly beyond stuff people believe in, all I have is now. My job on earth is to make the world a better place. "Leave the campground better than (I) found it." My life has meaning, not because I believe in unproven crap, but because I give it meaning. I couldn't imagine wasting one minute of my life praying, out of fear and nonthink, to an entity I see no evidence exists.

That's right.

There's zero evidence god exists. None. Zip. Zero. Nil.

July 16, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

My experience is that beneath all the talk about "love" the typical born againer means hatred and it usually comes out when you refuse to believe their doctrines about the Magic Man in the Sky. Heather is starting to unhinge but it was a matter of time I suspect. In the end they usually do. Let me note a few points in reply though she is becoming tedious.

My remarks are not hateful. I have no hate for her just a sad sort of pity which I reserve for anyone caught up in one cult or another. I feel that way when people get conned and think they can talk to the dead or that crystals can heal cancer or any sort of mysticism. That they have not yet joined the 21st century is actually sad. I would not strip Heather of rights. Unlike the Christians I don't want the law to go after people whose lifestyle I disagree with. I would even let Christians marry! The only people actively working to limit the rights of others in Jesusland USA are the born again totalitarians. Her contempt for the rights of others is shown in her reference to "your so called rights". I am convinced that once you get beneath the faux smiles and "Jesus loves you" platitudes that you will find someone who at their deepest core wants to rule you. Respect for rights implies the desire to not rule others. Heather may think I have "so called rights" but I respect hers which is why I have not inundated her own blog with comments the ways she does here. It would be rude.

But often Christians want to be rude. They need to believe they are being persecuted for his sake. They aren't but they need the delusion. So they act rudely and improperly until someone tells them to bugger off and then they whine about being persecuted.

Heather says my site is not dedicated to true discussion. But then I didn't say it was did I. I said the comment section is for comments on what I write and to discuss those articles. It doesn't mean that any religious nut case has carte blanche to hijack the site to preach their theology.

You are right in that I don't feel contempt for you. I don't. Nor do I feel contempt for your god. You exist, he does not. I can not hold in contempt a fantasy only a reality. I do not feel that way about you but I do feel sorry for you. I do not fear hell but I fear people who invent such a monstrous concept in order to rule others.

July 17, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

In reply to the PS. Heather says she wishes people to do the right thing but not out of fear of punishment. In that sense she is more civilized than the deity in which she believes. He supposedly tortures for eternity anyone who, using the best judgment of his mind, doesn't believe. It is rather monstrous of him. (Actually it is the people who invented him that were the monsters as he doesn't exist. The one thing Heather says which worries me is "it would be so much better if people just wanted good things instead of being told what they can and cannot have."

First, the issue is that people disagree on what they consider good things. I just worry that when it is put this way that it doesn't deal with the issue when people don't want "good things" as the religionist defines them. They say it would be better to do what they want out of conviction not fear but are they willing to impose the force of law when people don't choose their view of good things? I don't mean when people violate the life, liberty or property of others here I simply mean when they don't do what Christians think are right.

July 17, 2006

Blogger amyalkon said...

"My experience is that beneath all the talk about "love" the typical born againer means hatred and it usually comes out when you refuse to believe their doctrines about the Magic Man in the Sky."

I agree. It's the tribalistic, primitive hatred of "the other." In group and out group. In the case of religion, it's hatred for not believing in that which doesn't exist and is damaging. I don't hate religious people (or anybody), but I hate what religion does, and I can't respect people who have the capacity for reasoning and are so firmly against using it.

People are absolutely conned by reliigion -- again, because it's big business. Why does anyone need religion to be good? "Be kind, live rationally, live ethically, and leave the campground better than you found it" is my religion. You can live that way and not ever pay a penny into one collection plate.

How many religious people ever stand up for what's right? Really stand up? I have a campaign against SUVs, which pollute unnecessarily (meaning, many people who drive them could drive smaller, less polluting vehicles --ones that endanger fewer other people). In addition to pollution concerns, I can't look at the faces of 21-year-old kids being killed in Iraq, so I drive a Honda Insight (66 or 67 mpg, if there's not a lot of traffic). I bought it in 2004, as soon as I could afford to buy a new vehicle. Look at all the Jesus people driving giant SUVs...probably because they read in the big book of the Imaginary Friend that they have dominion over the earth. Yeah, right. As an atheist, I have real respect for the planet and people on it, and I act -- very actively, and very often. I am my brother's keeper, much more than many, many religious nutters, who are self-interested above all us. Again, Ken Lay, anyone? All the famous religious leaders taking money from the poorest people to build their Crystal Cathedrals?

I saw a homeless artist being taken advantage of and I spoke up -- firmly and repeatedly.

FYI, I've now helped him get his Illinois birth certificate and California non-driver ID, and I'm going to go help him open a bank account this week so he can easily take money and sell his art. PS It's now selling for $100 for a copy and $200 for an original. And the guy's a class act -- tips at Starbucks, and refuses to let me help him get housing through a homeless assistance center here because he doesn't "take handouts," no matter how I try to convince him he can pay them back after he's on his feet.

I see no evidence god exists. I don't need irrational belief to give my life meaning. Far from it, I see that I probably have a very short time on earth, and I do as much as I can to make a difference while I'm here.

And PS I have to laugh when I hear about how Christians are a persecuted minority - as the majority in this country, and as they try to run roughshod over the constitution in their Lincoln Navigators. Ann Coulter's yet another hateful, self-interested persecutor using Christianity as a convenient weapon. And PS there's a great debunking of her ridiculous chapter on evolution that I'll link to soon on my site. I can't find the site with the piece now, or I'd post the link here. Anyway, great work -- it's just a pity people are so firmly against rational thought or they might actually let what you're saying into their heads and think about it instead of simply getting all defensive about it and repeating, by rote, what they learned from the people taking their money in church.

"A fool and his money are soon parted." I believe PT Barnum said it.

July 17, 2006

Blogger amyalkon said...

I meant, "I can't look at the faces of 21-year-olds being killed in Iraq and use one more drop of gas than necessary."

That level of thought comes from not being a person on mental autopilot, which is the essence of god belief.

July 17, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

Amy: Thanks for joining the discussion. I am very surprised by your post because only shortly before it was posted I was thinking of the very same thing while out for a walk. I think the tribal religions in partifcular such as Judaism and its offshot, Christianity, and Islam are very much infested with tribal thinking. That stems from the cultures that invented those ideas. I agree and your motto is a pretty good one.

I will disagree with you about SUVs even though I don't presently even own a car. I walk everywhere right now. I haven't even used the public transport here which is fairly prevelant and even though the underground stations are a short walk away. I see zero evidence that the war in Iraq is to secure oil. It is a left-wing doctrine that is the case but not one that fits reality. Saddam was quite willing to sell the oil all along. And other oil is available at rates well below the cost of the war itself. If the war were about oil its a very poor way of getting any. It would be easier and far cheaper to buy it at market rates. All the war did was drive up the price of oil for everyone.

I am sorry you think you are your brother's keeper. Animals have keepers. People don't. What we get from others can be either gifts of free trade of exchange of value for value where both people make each other better off. And I happen to think rational self-interest (redundant but said to emphasize that all rational actions are inherently in one's self interest) is a good thing.

I do agree about Coulter. She is just foul and a stench to the nostrils of decent people. I appreciate your comments and you are most welcome to join in.

July 17, 2006


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