Saturday, August 15, 2009

What Were Once Vices . . .

Any North American around my age will recognise that as the title of a Doobie Brother’s album - “What were once vices are now habits”

It’s true. Isn’t it?

“As Alexander Pope once wrote:
Vice is a monster of so frightful appearance,
As to be hated yet needs to be seen;
Seen too often, familiar her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

In the atheist world-view, morals, values and obligations, right and wrong, good and bad move and change with the ebb and flow of society’s conscience. In the atheist’s mind, there aren’t any objective morals, values and obligations, no ought or should. The tide comes in. The tide goes out. Once it was wrong. Now it’s right. So we have a community whereby nothing is sacred or safe. That’s not all bad. I mean who in their right mind would want a return to the old days of American Style Slavery? Hopefully there’s less than a handful. On the other hand, who is excited about:

The harm of abortion becoming the spread of abortion.

The harm of adultery becoming the normalisation of adultery

The harm of easy divorce becoming the demand for easy divorce

The harm of sexualising our children becoming the business of sexualising our children

As far as I can tell, most atheists are onside with all of these. Of course, atheists don’t WANT the harm that comes with these behaviours. It’s just that the insanity of atheism causes atheists to keep trying the same thing over and over while hoping for different results. At the very least, atheists, who are being consistent with their philosophy are unable to say with any conviction that any of these things are wrong. Thanks to atheists and functional atheists, “Right” has become, “Whatever you can get away with.”

So why do we witness humanity’s slow, relentless slide into nihilism and the norm of self-destructive behaviours? Because the Bible says so? YES! You got it! In Romans 1:18 esp. and to the end of the chapter in general. “The wrath of God is being revealed against all the godlessness and wickedness of those who suppress the truth . . .”

How is God revealing His wrath? By removing His hand of protection. By allowing you to choose evil as a way of life. By refusing to act as a dictator and thereby allowing you to do what you want. As the saying goes, The consequences of evil are their own punishment. Not only are we acquiescing to forces that destroy ourselves and our families. We're enshrining them in law. Rather than being horrified into action over society's dependence on mood altering chemical, rather than being horrified into action of the sale of women into the sex trade, we give up and say, "Oh well, we may as well legalise that too."

In the beginning, God held back, and protected us from evil completely. We didn’t even know that evil existed. However He did give us the choice to know the difference between good and evil and as Alexander Pope has described, the horror of evil has turned into a love affair with evil. What were once vices are now habit.

5 comments:

Angie Jackson said...

Wow, this is just such FAIL. First, there is no "atheist philosophy". Atheism is a position of disbelief on ONE issue, the existence of god. That's IT. There are conservative, gun-toting pro-choice tax-dodging racist atheists, and there are same-sex marriage activist, child-protection advocate PETA-vegan atheists. And of course every variety, shape, color, size, style, and preference in between.

Second - Major category error. Putting abortion, divorce, and child rape in the same list is intellectually dishonest.

Third - Many atheists, myself included, think there are some objective moral standards. I say "some" because not every issue necessarily has a black and white yes/no answer, but some (such as child rape) clearly do have a correct answer. It is never, under any societal standards, moral to rape a child. Duh.

Slavery isn't just wrong now, it was wrong in the US and it was wrong when "God" told the Israelites how much to sell their daughters for and how to treat (and pierce) their slaves.

OT God told the Jews to kill infants, and himself apparently killed all the first-born boys of Egypt. Abortion is never mentioned as a sin in the Bible, and in fact a potion is recommended to cause a woman's' "thigh to swell and rot" if her hubby suspects another guy got her pregnant.

Right never has been, nor ever will be, "What you can get away with". A general rule of thumb might be "Right is the option which does the least harm and promotes the most good, of all available options". Sometimes that means getting a divorce is the right thing.

We didn’t even know that evil existed. However He did give us the choice to know the difference between good and evil
Oh you mean the bait and switch set-up in the Garden? Yeah, god doesn't tell A&E what evil is, and makes them ignorant of it. Then punishes them for gaining that knowledge with centuries of death, disease, and painful childbirth? "He gave them a choice to know between them" but not an informed choice. I mean, Eve didn't know what sin WAS until she was guilty of committing it.

Makarios said...

Atheism is a position of disbelief on ONE issue, the existence of god.

Yes, that’s true. But what we believe has implications for other areas of our lives and the atheist belief is no exception.
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Putting abortion, divorce, and child rape in the same list is intellectually dishonest.

I'm sorry but I can't see where I comment on child rape.
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Third - Many atheists, myself included, think there are some objective moral standards . . . some (such as child rape) clearly do have a correct answer. It is never, under any societal
standards, moral to rape a child."

There are millions of people who disagree with you. Of course, they wouldn't describe what they are doing as rape. On what grounds to you say they are wrong? Your preference? The buck stops with you does it? What Angie says is right is right and what Angie says is wrong is wrong?
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Slavery isn't just wrong now,

Again, there are millions of people who disagree. Isn’t it awfully arrogant of you to think that your world view is better than theirs? Are you going to deny women the chance to send money home to their families?
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OT God told the Jews to kill infants, and himself apparently killed all the first-born boys of Egypt.

So what do you think about that? In terms of your relationship with Creator God, I mean?
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"Right is the option which does the least harm and promotes the most good, of all available options".

So how do you know that isn’t exactly what God was doing when wiping out the nations that sacrificed their children as live burnt offerings and subjugated thousands of women to work as temple prostitutes?
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Yeah, god doesn't tell A&E what evil is, and makes them ignorant of it.”

How do you know? I doubt that any of us claim ignorance, including A & E.

Angie Jackson said...

Yes, that’s true. But what we believe has implications for other areas of our lives and the atheist belief is no exception.

The conclusions you're drawing from this tautology aren't accurate.
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I'm sorry but I can't see where I comment on child rape.

Perhaps you meant something different by "sexualization of children"?
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There are millions of people who disagree with you. Of course, they wouldn't describe what they are doing as rape. On what grounds to you say they are wrong? Your preference? The buck stops with you does it? What Angie says is right is right and what Angie says is wrong is wrong?

Where are these millions who think child rape is okay? I'm pretty sure the Catholic Church doesn't employ *that* many priests. And of course it's not my personal preference that determines whether or not something is moral. Remember, I said I DO believe in objective morals (and situational ethics).

Our morals are derived from our environment, culture, family, and might survive a religious upbringing. They are also an expression of evolutionary traits we have as a social species. We want to both succeed as individuals AND get along within a group, so we have motivation to behave appropriately. Also, most species which care for their young (as we do) have ingrained instincts to protect their young. Obviously there are exceptions - both in humans and other species. But for the large majority of mentally healthy adult humans, there are certain actions which are repulsive to us, and we wouldn't WANT to do. Torturing an infant (for example) is not practiced in any known culture, including cultures that do engage in infanticide. That indicates that "don't torture infants" is an objective moral, built into who we are as a species.
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Slavery isn't just wrong now,

Again, there are millions of people who disagree. Isn’t it awfully arrogant of you to think that your world view is better than theirs? Are you going to deny women the chance to send money home to their families?

Who disagrees with me that slavery is not okay? Isn't it awfully arrogant of you to think the supposed creator of the universe speaks with you personally and tells you what he wants? Or to think that you have all the answers in your little book, even though that book is full of holes? Isn't it arrogant to believe your god is the only right one, and that people who worship other gods are all deluded or evil or going to hell?

What does sending money home have to do with slavery? Who are these women and families?
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Angie Jackson said...

So what do you think about that? In terms of your relationship with Creator God, I mean?

I don't know how to have a relationship with a fictional being. Let me know how it's working out for you though :)

I do think that a god, if he were to exist, that commanded the atrocities Yawhew did and slaughtered as many as he did, and built a special torture chamber to punish people forever for the crime of not loving him, then such a god would not be worthy of worship. Might does not make right, and an evil action doesn't become "good" simply because the one performing it is supernatural.
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"Right is the option which does the least harm and promotes the most good, of all available options".

So how do you know that isn’t exactly what God was doing when wiping out the nations that sacrificed their children as live burnt offerings and subjugated thousands of women to work as temple prostitutes?

First, reminder: I don't believe he did any of those things. (He's pretend!) Second, I have to ask myself which is more likely to be better (and better for whom). Is it better for a society (for those people god smited) if some portion are either sacrificed or work as prostitutes, but the majority are living, working, and having families, OR if they all get killed? For those people at least, I'm gonna have to say that the problem-religious-ceremonies, as bad as those actions may have been, were less of a harm than "the hand of the almighty" was. Now, for his Chosen People (because unlike good parents, god picks favorites) obviously it's better if god kills all those people so the Israelites can take their land, buildings, and stuff. Oh, and let's not forget keeping the virgin girls for themselves. (Numbers 31)

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How do you know? I doubt that any of us claim ignorance, including A & E.

The fruit was from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. That pretty much is the DEFINTION of being ignorant - lacking knowledge. So yes, God made Adam and Eve ignorant of good and evil. They did not know right from wrong. Then Eve did something god considered wrong, without understanding what "right" and "wrong" were, and he punished everyone for the rest of time? It's such a just-so story to explain menstruation and child labor and why the world sucks sometimes. It's no more credible than ANY other creation myth.

Makarios said...

I don't know how to have a relationship with a fictional being. Let me know how it's working out for you though :)

What an absolutely schizophrenic way to live. You rant about God but when called to explain the rant, “Well, I don’t believe in Him.” How can to stand it?
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“Oh, and let's not forget keeping the virgin girls for themselves. (Numbers 31)”

Yes, well, those things never happened - did they? Do you get that upset by other works of fiction?
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Where are these millions who think child rape is okay?"

You lead a fairly sheltered life, huh? Did you read the post “You gotta love vice”? Today, in the world sex trade there are an estimated 10,000,000 “children” not just adults but children. They are slaves to their masters, usually organised crime. They don’t just sit in a room all day watching tv. They service many millions of men who don’t see it as rape. They don't even see themselves as bad people. They justify it by telling themselves. The ones that I’ve worked with have believed, truly believed that they are helping the child learn about love or that they are giving in to the child’s desire to have sex with an adult.

Read some NAMBLA literature and you’ll see these people simply don’t compute the way you and I do. I can’t remember the name of the research group, BARNA or PEW or ? but just a few weeks ago they stated that fifty years ago, society’s attitude toward adultery was at the same level as it is today to paedophiles. The only thing that’s stopping the slide from here to there is enough people giving up and saying, “Well, who am I to say they’re wrong?” And indeed, who are you? Just another opinion. Just another moral relativist.
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Remember, I said I DO believe in objective morals (and situational ethics).”

Ya I remember. You just don’t have a logical means of supporting it.
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They are also an expression of evolutionary traits we have as a social species."

Survival has NOTHING to do with right or wrong. And survival is the only thing that our genes know how to do. On Darwinism, Might IS right. If it prolongs my gene line, it’s good. If it doesn’t, then it’s bad. That is not the same thing as right and wrong.
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Here's something just off today’s wire service: “Women's rights activists alleged Monday that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has used a constitutional loophole to enact a law that allows minority Shiite Muslim husbands to refuse food and money to their wives if they deny them sex.”

Is that wrong to do? If so, on what basis do you say that it's wrong? I’d suggest that in Darwinian terms that’s a pretty solid law. Tell me whether female genital mutilation is wrong. That culture believes it's the right thing to do for the survival of their culture and their community. On your line of reasoning, doesn't that make it ok? It achieves the greatest amount of good while doing the least amount of harm. Shouldn’t you just mind your own business and let them do what they want?
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Who disagrees with me that slavery is not okay?

Um, everyone who owns and sells slaves? Do you not have access to a news service?
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Isn't it awfully arrogant of you to think the supposed creator of the universe speaks with you personally and tells you what he wants?"

You have access to the same information. How am I arrogant just because you reject that information? Evaluating something and making a choice is not a sign of arrogance. Are you arrogant for choosing one political party over another, one restaurant over another, one philosophy over another. I know that all religions have SOME truth while atheists reject all religions. From you're perspective, 98% of the people in the world are wrong. Guess who’s the exclusivist arrogant person?
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“What does sending money home have to do with slavery? Who are these women and families?”

I’m not sure what Oy Vey means but I think it fits here. Read the news. Read “You gotta love vice.”