Here's To Those Who Died So I Can Speak Up For What I Believe!

Christians are outraged over the fact that Abdul Rahman, a 41-year-old former medical aid worker faces the death penalty under Islamic laws for becoming a Christian in Afganistan. I am outraged too.

There is absolutely no reason why anyone should be beaten, tortured or executed for their religious or nonreligious beliefs. But just like our apostate forefathers were beaten, tortured, and burned alive by Christians in order that I can have the freedom to deny my former Christian beliefs, so also there will be many former Muslims who will have to die before they will have the same freedoms. The problem is that Christians don't realize this is exactly what they did to suppress dissent and apostasy in past centuries. But I'm thankful for every one of our apostate forefathers. They helped give me my freedoms. Perhaps Christians should once again read about their faith.

To anyone who says Christianity is as bad as Islam, I say that I applaud the freedom to dissent without fear of dying. This would be a start for them.

10 comments:

CalvinDude said...

Can you tell me how exactly the deaths of those previous apostates helped give you your freedoms? I'm trying to track the logic, but it seems to me you're just saying that because you're hoping to score emotional points....

Ah, wait. I know. It's the beloved irony of the atheist who has no reason for morality complaining about moral issues yet again.

If a lion kills a zebra, do you wipe a tear from your eye? How about if a lion kills another lion?

But when people (who are just glorified meat) kill other people (who are just glorified meat), that deserves for a tear to be shed. Yes, yes. That's where this cruel nature red in tooth in claw suddenly becomes fluffy bunnies and cute kittens, when we want it to be that way.

But you go on feeling that way, while those of us who have a reason for morality will continue to not kill you.

Dale Callahan said...

I agree that there have been many horrible things done in the name of Christ. But when we look to the standard of morality that the Christian holds to we see that these horrible things were actually done against that standard. I am amazed that you have the nerve to comment on Christianity's past though. There have been some pretty horrible things done [just in this last century] to promote the religion of humanism. Dictators killing their tens of millions to promote the common good.

But for both the Christian and unbelieving sins or crimes I have an ultimate, absolute, universal standard of morality by which I judge something evil or good.
You do not.

You want the freedom to chose for yourself what is good or evil [in your own life] but then want to condemn others for doing the same thing [Muslims and Christians].
Not very consistent are you.

You may not want to kill others, but others may not want to subject themselves to your standard...who do you think you are...God?

Bruce said...

Can you tell me how exactly the deaths of those previous apostates helped give you your freedoms? I'm trying to track the logic, but it seems to me you're just saying that because you're hoping to score emotional points....

And this comment is coming from someone who believes in that whole nonsensical Jesus dying for our sins thingy. Oh the irony.

But you go on feeling that way, while those of us who have a reason for morality will continue to not kill you.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Christianity harbors the biggest number of potential mass murderers and serial killers in history. Thank their god that they are constrained by their beliefs.

But when we look to the standard of morality that the Christian holds to we see that these horrible things were actually done against that standard.

No true Scotsman Fallacy

There have been some pretty horrible things done [just in this last century] to promote the religion of humanism.

I'd be interested to hear your definition of humanism (hint: it isn't Soviet or Indochinese communism).

But for both the Christian and unbelieving sins or crimes I have an ultimate, absolute, universal standard of morality by which I judge something evil or good.

So you and every other Christian agree with the Pope's opposition to the death penalty. Or maybe Catholics use a different bible?

You want the freedom to chose for yourself what is good or evil [in your own life] but then want to condemn others for doing the same thing [Muslims and Christians].

You're not doing the same thing. We are freely exercising our intellect to make decisions about right and wrong. You are mindlessly obeying whatever it is you think the Bible tells you. Also, we try not to impose our sense of right or wrong on anybody else unless absolutely necessary. You have no problem condeming people who have done you no harm.

Mark Plus said...

There have been some pretty horrible things done [just in this last century] to promote the religion of humanism. Dictators killing their tens of millions to promote the common good.

Communism gave us a mixed bag. On the one hand communist regimes killed horrific numbers of people in the name of social engineering; but on the other hand the survivors often enjoyed a better life than they would have had as peasants. Stalin's regime, for example, created opportunities for millions of dirt-poor people to receive an education, take basically white-collar jobs and achieve upward social mobility.

Considering the post-Soviet communist regimes, while I've heard nothing good about North Korea, Cuba's government has demonstrated that in some ways it values human life more than the U.S. government. The Cuban government offers universal healthcare; it has established a biotechnology research program to find treatments for tropical diseases that Western pharmaceutical companies don't want to bother with because the potential customers don't have any money; it has worked hard to keep its population fed from organic farming after it lost a lot of its oil supply in the 1990's; and most damning of all, Cuba experiences few hurricane deaths because the government moves its population out of harm's way. And remember, Castro offered to send Cuban physicians to help Katrina victims, only Bush turned him down.

Martin Wagner said...

CalvinDude, a superlative idiot, blathered: Can you tell me how exactly the deaths of those previous apostates helped give you your freedoms?

The depradations of the Church throughout the Dark Ages ultimately inspired and led to the Enlightenment, when humanistic, secular values promoting the dignity of humankind began to take hold and push the authoritarian dogmas of Christianity onto the back burner. There's nothing like a monolithic, organized, militarist religion waging a centuries-long campaign of terror and mass murder against "heretics" and "blasphemers" — especially those of a Jewish persuasion — to make rational men finally stand up and do the "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more" routine.

But you go on feeling that way, while those of us who have a reason for morality will continue to not kill you.

And what exactly is your "reason for morality," CD? That your invisible friend will get mad at you if you misbehave? That if you behave properly you get a shiny reward in Heaven? Those are pretty selfish and childish reasons to be moral, if you ask me. Come on over to our side, and learn a thing or two about a concept called altruism, where moral behavior is its own reward, and virtue — as Aristotle wrote long before Christianity — arises from the proper application of reason.

Besides, any religion that has a core tenet stating that all unbelievers deserve an eternity of torture is immoral by definition. How a Christian can claim to derive "reasons for morality" from an innately immoral belief system is ludicrous.

When Christians state that without God doling out rewards and punishments, there is no reason for them to be moral, they are admitting they are immoral people who cannot conceive of any action other than how it affects them. ("If I'm good I go to Heaven, if I'm bad I go to Hell!") The irony is that they think Christianity has made them moral. In fact, it has simply made them immoral people on a leash. It takes reason to understand that truly moral behavior is not that which expects a reward for its application. Because Christians do not understand this, they project their own lack of understanding upon secular rationalists. They can't see that our reason for morality lies in reason itself.

But hey, clearly I'm wrong, as there are all these wonderful examples of morally superior Christians out there in the world, aren't there?

John W. Loftus said...

Calvindude, don't you ever get tired of repeating the same old minority argument to every single argument of ours here? We do. You have not contributed to our discussion here on this Blog any further than to repeat the same argument over and over again, that we atheists don't have an ultimate standard for morality, and I for one am tired of it. If you do not wish to contribute any further than this you will no longer be allowed to waste our time by posting here.

We've effectively dealt with your argument over and over and now it's time to move on. See here first. It's fine that you disagree with us, and it's fine you don't think we effectively dealt with your argument. But move on or else.

But once again keep these things in mind: 1) You do not have an ultimate moral standard for right and wrong. You claim you do, but what is it? A) Is it the moral commands of God? Then you must solve the Euthyphro dilemma, and I dare say no one has ever solved it to any satisfaction. Furthermore, if your ultimate standard is based in the character of God (which does not escape the Euthypro) how do we know for sure that the text in the Bible is God's word? Here textual criticism and a deep understanding of canon criticism is necessary to determine this. See here on this. Moreover, can you harmonize the texts in the Bible with the nature of this God you believe in , or do you worship a different God?

B) Is your ultimate moral standard based in the uninterrupted canonical text of the Bible? That doesn't solve any of the major ethical disputes Christians have had when interpreting it, does it? With this ultimate standard Christians can do pretty much whatever they want to and find a text that legitimizes their behavior. All you can do is to counter that the people who interpret the Bible differently are not Christians. But then they can say the same thing back at you, and you’d be at an impasse.

2) Even if we need an ultimate moral standard for judging whether we act ethically or not, there is no logical reason why the moral standard might not be found in Judaism, Islam, Liberal Christianity, or even Deism. There is no logical connection from the so-called need to have an ultimate moral foundation to the claim that your faith is the locus of that ultimate standard…none at all. It the same with most any argument for the existence of God I have ever seen. It does not lead to the Christian triune incarnational, sacrifical, returning and condemning God.

3)I have argued that Christians and non-Christians alike share the same moral foundation so there is no privileged moral judging, and I have also argued that atheists do have a reason to be moral.

4) Just try on this thought experiment one time: This universe happened by chance. There is no God. We evolved. Our brains evolved to the point of self-consciousness. Now we think and can discuss ideas with each other. Can you step inside our shoes? I doubt it, but this is what we believe. With this scenario we just do the best we can to live life to the fullest. If we are here by chance, then there is no ultimate moral foundation. That’s it.

But I believe there are objective morals, based in holistic happiness, which is based in the same objective foundation you yourself share.

So move on or move out.

Edward T. Babinski said...

Worth reading on this topic:

Biblical Versus Secular Ethics

The Relativity of Biblical Ethics by philosophy Prof. (and former Christian) Joe Barnhard [you must scroll down past the first article]

Rusko Elvenwood said...

The whole point of the story about the Afghanistan man who converted to christianity was that in his country they have based their constitution on religious dogma. It is the law in Afghanistan that anyone who offends allah must be put to death.

This is exactly why our fore fathers, specifically the framers of our constitution, intentionally left religion out of the government. Everytime someone tries to sneak religion back into schools, government buildings, and printed on our money, it brings us one step closer to this theocratic horror story.

I have a strict rule for defining good and bad. It goes like this. Don't harm the person or property of another human being. Period. (just my 2 cents)

Ebonmuse said...

"Can you tell me how exactly the deaths of those previous apostates helped give you your freedoms?"

This really isn't hard to understand, Calvindude. There was a time and a place when speaking out against the orthodox view of religion could get you imprisoned, tortured and killed - the man whom you apparently idolize, John Calvin, did some of that himself, so I trust you don't need me to inform you of this. That state of affairs would never have changed unless people of courage and principle spoke out and fought against it, and some of the first of those people undeniably were put to death or otherwise punished by the intolerant establishment. It is, therefore, absolutely correct to say that we owe our current freedom (including your freedom to accuse us of being immoral) to those early freethinkers and religious dissenters.

"It's the beloved irony of the atheist who has no reason for morality complaining about moral issues yet again."

Atheists have every reason to be moral. It is the height of arrogant ignorance for you to accuse us of moral nihilism, especially coming from a person who apparently espouses one of the most ethically abhorrent variants of Christianity there is.

Lord Timothy said...

I find it interesting that one can get off telling us Christians how evil we are then get off wondering
Why don't people trust us?http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2006/04/atheists-least-trusted-group-in.html