I have often seen the misguided claim that atheism was at the heart of mass killings such as Stalin's murders and Mao's bloodlettings. Of course, the fallacy is confusion between correlation and causation.
Seems to me that those who hold to a continuum, i.e., a life after mortal death, would view this present life as expendable compared to one whose views are that this mortal life is all there is. This certainly appears to be the case in martyr suicide bombings.
So who really holds life in higher stead? Who has the higher moral value concerning life? Believer or Non-believer?
rational thought tells me if one believes there is no after life then that should try to be all he can be in this life, and by that is taking all he can get, for after death there is nothing and a good name is actually meaningless..
So take all that you can without any compumction nor fear of consequences.... after all life is where you gain all things and not death.
So why value human life when all it amounts to is death?
Again rational thought says this ... if there is an after life to gain if I were to be good to my neighbors then in order to gain this life I would give all that I have for such... because by living such a life I stand to gain more in the next...
Now those who belong to the first line of thinking usually lives in hypocrisy because they also say there is much value to life...
Those who belong to the second line of thinking also lives in hypocrisy because they usually are not selfless as they propose themselves to be... simply because they too strive at gaining all within this life just as the former.... while using fear of God for justification of their actions....
And it is hypocrisy which excludes a person from eternal Life...not the extent to which they value human life.
(rational thought tells me if one believes there is no after life then that should try to be all he can be in this life, and by that is taking all he can get, for after death there is nothing and a good name is actually meaningless..)
The argument is rational but there is no reason to assume that "taking all he can get" indicates any negative action. It may well represent being the most positive influence on others one can be.
(So take all that you can without any compumction nor fear of consequences.... after all life is where you gain all things and not death.)
This argument is not rational. Consequences are a natural result of actions and occur in real time. Even if you steal and get away with it, you have the consequences of higher anxiety and lower self-esteem. Only magical thinking proposes reward and punishment after life.
(...in order to gain this life I would give all that I have for such... because by living such a life I stand to gain more in the next...)
People who follow this line of thinking hijack airliners and fly them into skyscrapers.
The skyscaper was a other religious action not an atheist one. Unless you think most of the people on earth are either antichrist or atheist, than include all other religious groups in your re-thread
Exactly. All religions are equally delusional but some delusions are more dangerous than others.
Would you not say Christians have the highest murder rate than all other groups in human history, according to my records they do.
I don't think that is entirely fair. Most of it involves religion as excuse, not impetus.
From what I can make out of history, it is monotheism that creates the conditions for atrocities.
if there is no afterlife, then one should make the most of the one short life they have.
Many believers believe so much in an afterlife, that they are willing to die or 'honour kill' because of their irrational belief
I never did understand the absurd Muslim belief in martyrdom for the cause.
I could never understand the sheer gullibility of those who could be brainwashed into becoming a suicide bomber given that it is them who are expected to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Do they never question the fact that if Martyrdom is such a great deal how come the Mullah’s and other religious leaders are not at the head of the queue ?
I guess they really must be brainwashed or just plain stupid beyond all reason.
I think you got me mixed up...
irrationality is this..
believers in the god of religion believes in an after life nevertheless do not live like if they do....
non believers of the god of relgion do not believe in an after life yet they try to live like if they do....
To answer your original question, both.
Had you asked this:
Who has the higher moral value concerning the after life? Believer or Non-believer?
I would say the believer.
what do you make of this comment left on one of my hubs:
"A example of choice is a loaded guns held to your head and you are ordered to stripped in order to be raped. Some people will say they don't have a choice but to strip. The reality is that they CHOOSE to strip with the hope that compliance will save their life. The other CHOICE is not to strip and face being shot and killed. At every step of the way and in all circumstances, we make choices, but with ALL CHOICE COME CONSEQUENCE GOOD/BAD OR BOTH."
Both ... one for Physical reasons ... the other for much more than merely Physical ... Truth !
I believe both Believers and Non-believers value human life
Stalin was Eastern Orthodox Catholic so it is said. If God uses a holocaust of eternal hell, why should not believers?
Neither. Belief, or non belief in God is not the primary factor in how you determine the value of a human life. I, personally, have used that argument against atheists because it is, in my opinion, as nonsensical as saying God has killed millions.
What? Moral value. What's the difference? I read what the guy said and answered, what I believed. Please explain what I missed. I think the individual decision as to the moral value where human life is concerned has more important factors than religion, or lack thereof. I don't appear to think of religion in the terms you do maybe that's my problem?
To determine value of human life, one must be honest. As I said in your other thread and apparently have to repeat myself, because of your comprehension inability is not all to shocking, but necessary- the belief is selfish based to begin with. How is that being honest? Being selfish is dishonesty.
Oh. I see. You were just saying I don't read your posts and take them as gospel. Thanks for the clarification. I fear the problem may persist.
It is not clear that in all cases god is an operator in a continuum of life.
Those who hold that this one life is it would seem to naturally hold life in higher esteem.
I wouldn't agree with that, but I can certainly follow your line of reasoning. I'm just sorry it is a conclusion you have come to.
If (or perhaps I should have said 'when' (past tense)I held the view that this life was IT, that there was oblivion upon my demise, why would I exercise ANY constraint in my dealings with others?
I may extend some protection and courtesy to those who I held affection for, or were possibly useful to me, but all others would be of no consequence.
It may be a fact that our forum secularists are kindly and considerate, but then again they are not totally representative of all secular non believers either, they perhaps represent a small percentage of the 'nice' ones, the ones who want to put the world to rights and know that if they could ONLY get rid of religion, the world would be a better place.
For the rest of secular humanity, and certainly for the section I came from, you are all part of the food chain, just meat to eat.
Now onward to believers.
The mere fact that one considers and arrives at the conclusion that ALL of this creation may just have something bigger than random chance behind it,will normally lead to that individual understanding that IF there is a bigger picture, we sure do not understand it, and make them start looking for clues to let them decide where they fit into things.
Once you get to this apprehension, you start considering seriously whether your life attitudes will better your chances of some eternal security yet unknown or not.
Hence faith is defined as hope in things not yet seen.
A believer then starts to have faith in something bigger than themselves, who they hope is a benevolent significant bigger, but suspect may not be.
So it is a reasonable assumption that most folk come to faith (assuming they were not tagged and bagged at birth) from fear of the unknown, mixed with belief that there is some unknown to fear.
It is only later, when a believer has reached a relationship with God, that they reach a belief that God is loving and cares for them.
Maybe from that understanding they will start to interact with other humans in a more passive and helpful, self less manner.
But if they do act nice to folk, whether they are secular or religious, it's mainly because they are 'nice' for whatever reason they choose to be nice.
But in my old neighbourhood, you were just a part of the food chain, and your only option was to work out where you were on the food chain.
I'm glad I moved from that kingdom.
My sentiments exactly. I think the problem with people in society is that many make automatic associations based on stereotypes. Sure, we can easily deduce that all believers don't value human life based on actions of previous religious nuts like the Taliban and Wars started over religion. However, who's really to blame? The religion itself or the people using the religion for power? I don't know about you, but I think it's the people who use it as a form of power are the ones we should be looking at. Not the religion itself.
It's kind of the same thing about the "N" word to describe African Americans. Sure, it's a bad word, and nobody should ever use it. However, nobody seems to mind that a black comedian uses it all the time. Why is that? Is it because they're black and they have a entitlement to use it? No, it's because they're just using it as a joke, as the word itself is meaningless. Now the person USING the word is the one that we should keep and eye on. Same thing with religion. Religion if you looked at the intent of them is built to establish a sense of peace and inner harmony. It's the person that uses that belief for their own selfish gains is the person we should be focusing on as a bad person.
However, that's my two cents anyways. I would go into more detail over what I mean, but I have to work on my Oscar hubs for now. I just wanted to add my two cents to this topic.
I think you miss the critical point - it is not religion but belief in the irrational that is the culprit. Without this irrational belief, followers would not follow the leaders you want to blame.
If I organized a worldwide throw-a-snowball-for-Santa fight, would it be me who caused all those 5-year-olds to clobber all the adults or would it be the irrational belief in Santa that is reallly to blame?
I'm not missing what your saying, as I understand where your coming from quite perfectly. However, that still shouldn't exonerate the leaders of said horrific actions of any liability, wouldn't you agree? Besides, would you put Ghandi in the same category as Osama Bin Laden then? Or put the leader of the Klu Klux Klan in the same breath as Martin Luther King Jr? All these men were religious too, and I don't think you'll hear much argument from people saying that Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi did value life quite a bit. Therefore, you can't really say that the religion itself is evil, as it's more about the person using the religion to justify their own wicked acts that we should be worried about.
Don't get me wrong, you bring up a very good point, but I think you might've missed out on what I was trying to get at there.
Edit: Plus if you want to get even more technical, Martin Luther King Jr. did use references to religion quite a bit in his famous, "I had a dream.." speech to unite the united states in the civil rights era. therefore, i think one can say that the belief in said religion has been used to promote positive acts as well.
(Therefore, you can't really say that the religion itself is evil, as it's more about the person using the religion to justify their own wicked acts that we should be worried about. )
I did not imply religion itself was evil - the point is that we allow ourselves to believe without applying a critical standard - we care more about testing our mouthwash for safety than our religious beliefs for plausibility. Some beliefs are more dangerous than others. It would be hard to imagine the Jains having an Inquisition, for example. That does not mean Jainism is a positive development for mankind.
The enemy is willful ignorance. Sometimes it it dangerous. Sometimes it is not. But even when it produces good works, it would do even greater good if not handicapped by the time spent teaching its irrational beliefs.
Kill 'em all and let god sort them out.
Atheists value life because we know there is nothing more.
Pcunix, that is so sad. I believe atheists value life.
What evidence do you have that a neighbor, someone you can observe in person who is religious, does not value it in the same way? On what evidence are you hinging your opinion on?
I guess you missed it:
Kill 'em all and let god sort them out.
Well, if you've got a neighbor saying that, it might be time to move. Sounds crazy.
Not in my sense of god, a christian neighbor are ok, unless they have many guns.
I was thinking of our former POTUS, who did not say that (that dishonor belongs to another warmonger), but surely thought it.
Who values human life more believers or non-believers. Non-believers value life more and even understand better than those who have a belief.
"Non-believers value life more and even understand better than those who have a belief." Was not sure before but I think I agree with this. Non-believers don't have anything to hide behind and must make up their own minds and take responsibility for same.
Belonging to no group, I have no sake if atheists or religions are the greatest murderers. From my studies building history displays in museum and in my opinion 9 times out of ten killings in wars is a murder by a soldier in an uniform, Leaders who instigate murder should be lock up as criminal too.
More people have died in the name of a religious God than of any other reason. I don’t hear about wars being won in the name of atheists. It’s proven, the nations that are very religious within their governments have been bloody nightmares in human history. Take the USA with half the world’s war budget have the largest Christian base. Then you have German Christians people felt that Hitler was doing god's work in fighting Bolshevism and the Christ killing Jews. Christians in Germany, by and large, did not try to stop him.
Modern bloody dictatorships can relate to oppressive as any European government in the 11th century when religion and the government create another fight club.
Stalin's role in the Russian Orthodox Church is complex. Before Stalin's death 1953, certain religious sects and some areas were destroyed yet small compared to the many religions popular in the ethnic regions of the Soviet Union including the Roman Catholic Church, Baptists, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, etc. underwent ordeals similar to the Orthodox churches in other parts: Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.
Eventually, the Red Army drove through in 1944–45 and captured Berlin in May 1945. Having played the decisive role in the Allied victory the USSR emerged a recognized after the war. Christian talk about the 6 million Jew or the 7 million Christian killed in World War 2, what about the 20 million Russian who were killed by Nazi Germans?
The believer thinks he's going to a magical heaven where he'll live forever (although on the limited numbers of neurons in his brain, he might forget his own name after the first 100,000 years). The believer can't help but divide our expected average lifespan of, oh, 75 years with his "infinite" lifespan and conclude we are zeroes, gnats, mayflies, ephemeral, not worth worrying about. In that way, the religious fanatic, whose future happiness depends on our mass-extermination, has the basis for the ultimate super-duper bigotry that this world has ever seen.
Oh, but they don't think their thoughts come from neurons. They think they have "souls', even though anyone should be able to see that no such thing exists,
The danger lies in the certainty that irrational belief is the will of a superbeing coupled with timing. At one point, the certainty of an irrational belief and power to follow through with tragic consequences belonged to the Christians, who exercised this power as The Inquisition.
Today, the certainty is with theocratic Islam who is in a similar power position with the possibility of using modern nuclear weapons.
Anytime life is segregated between them and us, faithful and heretic, believer and infidel, one side views the lives of others to be of less value.
The Muslims have the smarts for only ONE atomic bomb, not 2,000. Let them use their little firecracker. Right now the Muslims have angered all five major nuclear powers with their shenanigans. If they dare try something, we'll show them just how great Allah is, by bombing the little sugar-cube-shaped house he lives in. Then nobody gets to worship there, they lose the definition of being Muslim, and the religion disappears.
You are right. "aThey think they have "souls', even though anyone should be able to see that no such thing exists,"
I have found my spirit but to date my soul goes unfounded.
"The enemy is willful ignorance." Isn't the definition of willful ignorance - faith.
Seems to me life is cheaper if you think it is eternal. Death is just a door to another life. The only thing that keeps zealots from
killing themselves and joining their god in a wonderful new heaven is that god supposedly forbids it.
Anyone know where in the bible it says that, by the way?
The Roman church was very strict about that. Early on in the inquisitions which most people don't know started the late 300s, they even (ironically) killed off a heretical cult that was preaching the idea that every child born took a bit of light from god, so having no children and killing yourself was a great idea to restore god and rid the world of evil. They got their wish, and were wiped out.
While the Roman church valued life, it thought nothing of killing or torturing and killing a person and sending them to god, if they were heretics. It was for their own good.
For me, all life has a high value because when we die, it's over. There are no second chances. Life only has real value if it is not eternal.
Quran/Islam/Muhammad enjoins on the believers to respect human life
; those who don't do it are responsible for their own acts.
It would be nice if everyone valued life, but I think that it actually depends on each individual, rather than on their beliefs.
I don't think it has to do with believing or not believing. The danger comes from the fanaticism that some people experience when they think their way of thinking is the only righteous way.
YOU ARE, VERY VERY WRONG!!!
Just kidding, if someone tells you, never think about blue, you will increase your thoughts about blue. That is the same for too many rules along with many very old rules, and that create 25% of the world prisons in predominant Christian USA.
That increases punishment worst than the crime, It also increases wars, murderer, plus Sodom and Gomorrah tendencies.
Some one who says he is a believer and kills only claims he is a believer. He is not really a believer. God will consider his belief non-existent
Non-believers who don't kill are better people.
How is the value human life related to whether you believe in the tooth fairy or not???
You don't need to believe in an after life to be a decent human being in this life. I think its very judgmental that most religious people decide that if someone doesn't believe in God, they live immoral lives.
Who values human life more, believers or non-believers?
I think the believers value life more than the non-believers.
Quran/Islam/Muhammad enjoins on the believers to respect human life; those who don't do it are responsible for their own acts.
wrong...believers have concept of heaven or after life , for non believer this life is only life...one can value thing which is singular more than which is considered to be trial or experimental..i guess that explains why suicide bombers are keen to end their own lives in name of religion...
It is a fault of the suicide bombers; the truthful religion does not support them.
Regardless, it is still the fault of religion. Whether one interprets the words of the holy book in a moderate fashion or in a fundamental, militant fashion, if there were no words to interpret there would be no problem. This has always held true, from the Christians with their Crusades and Inquisition to the men who flew the planes on 9-11.
Saying the "true" religion does not condone the action is simply refusing to take ownership of the underlying supporting reason: an irrational belief in the supernatural that is necessary for any religion to exist.
If the religion has given no instruction for suicide attacks or suicide terrorist bombing; the religion is not responsible for that. To blame religion for that is sheer injustice.
I think paar somewhat right, except the fact that within religion allow other to feel his neighbor’s religion is possessed with an evil devil, and making it much easier with a purpose to destroy their lives.
There were no Iraqi on that plane during 9/11 and no prove an Iraqi has killed any American on their soil. After killing one million Iraqi on their soil, so, who are you really attracting, all Muslims? I think the real crinminal are not locked up yet , and more of the same is still to come.
If America truly wants to love Americans, look at your own suicide in your own back yard first, due mainly to the unloved.
You miss the point entirely. I am not attacking just Islam - I am attacking the idea of any belief in fairy tales and mythical beings. It is ridiculous. It is well past time the world grew up and took responsibility for its own actions instead of crawling on our hands and knees, praising some imaginary being.
When I became a man, I put away childish things.
There is nothing wrong from learning metaphor from fairytale and mystical stories.
Something must be wrong with a bible story like- The children who mock the bald head of the bald headed priest. He then shredded them to death.
Christian do not question these kind of stories.
My question would be? Does this mean it’s OK for clergyman to molest child with an anger of Freddy Cougar.
(There is nothing wrong from learning metaphor from fairytale and mystical stories)
I agree 100% - it is beneficial, in fact. But we do not bow our heads and pray to the Brother's Grim. We never had a Brother's Grim Inquistion to torture confessions from those who didn't really believe that Hansel and Gretel were the son and daughter of god.
Kids and I do not understand why parent want to get rid of Grim Brothers book from School. About 25% of all people have been child molested in their lives and very few want to talk about it.
The Hansel and Gretel is like a secrete (warning) story for children to protect themselves because Adult are too afraid to talk about it.
Of course it's a subjective thing. Not all believers are going to be the same, and not all non-believers are going to be the same. But if we're talking generally, I think non-believers value life more.
Believers generally believe in afterlife, whereas non-believers don't believe in any form of "life" after death, so it makes sense that non-believers would value life more. We believe it's all we've got.
Hence the non-believers lose meaning to the life; they waste it.
I don't believe the meaning of my life is measured by how much religious faith I have. I believe the meaning of my life is to achieve happiness and to help others be happy too. I wouldn't call helping others a "waste".
I think a true believer achieves happiness more than the Athiests do; and a true believer helps others to be happy more than the non-believers .
If you say so. I know all the people who have made me truly happy have been atheists and agnostics.
Most definitely. There are exceptions to most everything, I find.
In order to get along or even love your neighbors simplified all your rules down to - be honest and do not harm or kill your neighbor, also meaning your neighbors living on this planet and all of its natural enjoinment.
None sense rules that only harm most of your neighbor on this planet like Torah hundreds of commandments, for which many you will never be able to commit specifically those which are pointless, insincere or never carried out to, for example....
You shall have no other gods before me, (most people have other ideas of God)
You shall not make for yourself an idol (I serve myself first in order to serve others better)
Do not take the name of the Lord in vain (but it’s OK to take other god’s and members in vain)
Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. (Nonsense takes a day off when you need it)
Adultery, This commandment includes not just the act of adultery, but lust as well. If my sex with my partner is not dirty enough, I am not doing it right.
AND SO ON.....
I think that the capacity of loving (yourself, others, animals, plants, etc) is not a quality inherited from the gods. Or at least it doesn't need to be.
It is intrinsically Human.
One who loves, values life as the most precious thing one can perceive.
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