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After a schism, a question: Can atheist churches last?

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We had thought that the new atheist churches would sink under the weight of parish council squabbles over paving the parking lot (or not).

It turns out that the Sunday Assembly had a gift for schism:

In October, three former members of Sunday Assembly NYC announced the formation of a breakaway group called Godless Revival.

“The Sunday Assembly,” wrote Godless Revival founder Lee Moore in a scathing blog post, “has a problem with atheism.”

Moore alleges that, among other things, Jones advised the NYC group to “boycott the word atheism” and “not to have speakers from the atheist community.” It also wanted the New York branch to host Assembly services in a churchlike setting, instead of the Manhattan dive bar where it was launched.

Jones denies ordering the NYC chapter to do away with the word “atheism,” but acknowledges telling the group “not to cater solely to atheists.” He also said he advised them to leave the dive bar “where women wore bikinis,” in favor of a more family-friendly venue.

The squabbles led to a tiff and finally a schism …

So now they have everything a church has except God?

Oh, and at the Sunday Assemblies, they DON’T have a dive bar.

Just checkin’ in here. ;)

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26 Responses to After a schism, a question: Can atheist churches last?

  1. A debate on morality in an atheistic church? Can the irony be anymore biting?

    Linda Ronstadt – Desperado Lyrics
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxgmToq5tq8

  2. Morality is how people interact. As social animals humans are intrinsically moral.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_morality

  3. @LP #2

    Morality is how people interact? Please explain?

  4. I love listening to the the evolution of morality debate, because it demonstrates why the theory of evolution is worthless. There is literally no conceivable human behavior that couldn’t be explained by sociobiology. Humans are selfish? Well, evolution predicts selfishness. Humans care about their relatives? Well, kin selection predicts that. Humans are altruistic to non-relatives? Well, reciprocal altruism predicts that. Humans are altruistic to people that couldn’t possibly reciprocate? Well, that’s just a spandrel of mental modules that evolved for other reasons.

  5. Belief in the evolution of behavior and society together with a mechanistic world view eventually and logically leads you to Behaviorism (B.F. Skinner).

    Everything becomes stimulus-response, behavioral objectives in education, conditioning, acquiring skills, crowd control, redundant population, burden on society, re-education camps, and so on. And why shouldn’t it?

    However, it apparently important to sugar-coat the words with euphemisms—especially when you get ready to knock off granny—together with pronouncements by recognized expert ethicists that it’s for the greater common good.

    -Q

  6. Sorry, it should have been, “However, it’s . . .”

  7. lol sorry i love when people define terms that people already obviously know as their “clever” way of insulting them.. but using a wikipedia article for your definition? that’s too obvious

  8. Lincoln Phipps Most people, with common sense, hold objective morality, apart from social convention, to be self evidently true:

    Understanding self-evidence (with a bit of help from Aquinas . . . ) – November 30, 2013
    Conclusion: Therefore, the amorality of evolutionary materialist ideology stands exposed as absurd in the face of self-evident moral truths. Where, such moral yardsticks imply that we are under government of OUGHT, leading onward to the issue that there is only one serious explanation for our finding ourselves living in such a world — a theistic one.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....m-aquinas/

    And as the preceding article, in concise fashion, shows, refusing to acknowledge that objective morality is self evidently true results in logical absurdities. Yet to make the case for objective morality even more watertight, since, as a Christian Theist, I hold that God continuously sustains the universe in the infinite power of His being, and since I also hold that God created our ‘inmost being’, i.e. our souls, then I also hold that morality is a real, objective, tangible, part of reality that we should be able to ‘scientifically’ detect in some way. In taht regards, I think this quote from Martin Luther King is very fitting as to elucidating what the Theist’s starting presupposition should be as to finding objective morality to be a ‘real, tangible, objective’ part of reality:

    “The first principle of value that we need to rediscover is this: that all reality hinges on moral foundations. In other words, that this is a moral universe, and that there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws.”
    - Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

    And, contrary to what the materialist/atheist would presuppose, we find much evidence to back up Dr. King’s assertion that “there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws”. For instance, we find that babies have an innate moral sense thus directly contradicting the notion that morals are learned as we grow older. In fact it is found that a caring, loving, touch from the baby towards the mother’s uterine wall is found very early on in a baby’s development:

    Wired to Be Social: The Ontogeny of Human Interaction – 2010
    Excerpt: Kinematic analysis revealed that movement duration was longer and deceleration time was prolonged for other-directed movements compared to movements directed towards the uterine wall. Similar kinematic profiles were observed for movements directed towards the co-twin and self-directed movements aimed at the eye-region, i.e. the most delicate region of the body.
    http://www.plosone.org/article.....ne.0013199

    This ‘caring touch’ is also displayed in twins:

    Twin fetuses learn how to be social in the womb – October 13, 2010
    Excerpt: Humans have a deep-seated urge to be social, and new research on the interactions of twins in the womb suggests this begins even before babies are born.,,,
    The five pairs of twins were found to be reaching for each other even at 14 weeks, and making a range of contacts including head to head, arm to head and head to arm. By the time they were at 18 weeks, they touched each other more often than they touched their own bodies, spending up to 30 percent of their time reaching out and stroking their co-twin.,,,
    Kinematic analyses of the recordings showed the fetuses made distinct gestures when touching each other, and movements lasted longer — their hands lingered. They also took as much care when touching their twin’s delicate eye region as they did with their own. This type of contact was not the same as the inevitable contact between two bodies sharing a confined space or accidental contacts between the bodies and the walls of the uterus,,,
    The findings clearly demonstrate it is deep within human nature to reach out to other people.
    http://phys.org/news/206164323.....-womb.html

    Even toddlers display a highly developed sense of ‘moral justice’:

    The Moral Life of Babies – May 2010
    Excerpt: From Sigmund Freud to Jean Piaget to Lawrence Kohlberg, psychologists have long argued that we begin life as amoral animals.,,,
    A growing body of evidence, though, suggests that humans do have a rudimentary moral sense from the very start of life. With the help of well-designed experiments, you can see glimmers of moral thought, moral judgment and moral feeling even in the first year of life. Some sense of good and evil seems to be bred in the bone.,,,
    Despite their overall preference for good actors over bad, then, babies are drawn to bad actors when those actors are punishing bad behavior.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05.....&_r=0

    Please note the highly developed moral sense of justice that was detected in toddlers in the preceding study when even the bad actors enforced moral justice!,, The following study goes even further in establishing the objective reality of morality by showing that ‘Moral evaluations of harm are instant and emotional’:

    Moral evaluations of harm are instant and emotional, brain study shows – November 29, 2012
    Excerpt: People are able to detect, within a split second, if a hurtful action they are witnessing is intentional or accidental, new research on the brain at the University of Chicago shows.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....brain.html

    Of course, despite the inherent wonder of the preceding study, which is inexplicable on atheistic materialism, some atheists will, for whatever severely misguided reason reason, insist that this instantaneous moral compass which humans have, completely contrary to the ‘survival of the fittest, dog eat dog’ mantra, ‘just so happened’ to evolve to be an instant moral reaction to violent actions (despite the fact that Darwinists cannot even explain how a single neuron of the brain arose in the first place). But the following study, completely contrary to what atheists/materialists would presuppose beforehand, shows that morality is embedded on a much deeper ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, quantum level.

    Quantum Consciousness – Time Flies Backwards? – Stuart Hameroff MD
    Excerpt: Dean Radin and Dick Bierman have performed a number of experiments of emotional response in human subjects. The subjects view a computer screen on which appear (at randomly varying intervals) a series of images, some of which are emotionally neutral, and some of which are highly emotional (violent, sexual….). In Radin and Bierman’s early studies, skin conductance of a finger was used to measure physiological response They found that subjects responded strongly to emotional images compared to neutral images, and that the emotional response occurred between a fraction of a second to several seconds BEFORE the image appeared! Recently Professor Bierman (University of Amsterdam) repeated these experiments with subjects in an fMRI brain imager and found emotional responses in brain activity up to 4 seconds before the stimuli. Moreover he looked at raw data from other laboratories and found similar emotional responses before stimuli appeared.
    http://www.quantumconsciousnes.....Flies.html

    As well, the following experiment, from Princeton, is very interesting in that it was found that ‘perturbed randomness’ precedes a worldwide ‘moral crisis’:

    Scientific Evidence That Mind Effects Matter – Random Number Generators – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4198007

    Mass Consciousness: Perturbed Randomness Before First Plane Struck on 911 – July 29 2012
    Excerpt: The machine apparently sensed the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre four hours before they happened – but in the fevered mood of conspiracy theories of the time, the claims were swiftly knocked back by sceptics. But it also appeared to forewarn of the Asian tsunami just before the deep sea earthquake that precipitated the epic tragedy.,,
    Now, even the doubters are acknowledging that here is a small box with apparently inexplicable powers. ‘It’s Earth-shattering stuff,’ says Dr Roger Nelson, emeritus researcher at Princeton University in the United States, who is heading the research project behind the ‘black box’ phenomenon.
    http://www.network54.com/Forum.....uck+on+911

    Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research – Scientific Study of Consciousness-Related Physical Phenomena – publications
    http://www.princeton.edu/~pear/publications.html

  9. There is simply no coherent explanation that a materialist/atheist can give as to why morally troubling situations are detected prior to our becoming fully aware of them or before they even happen. The materialist/atheist simply has no beyond space and time cause to appeal to to explain why the phenomena should happen! Whereas as a Theist, especially as a Christian Theist who believes that the Lord Jesus Christ died and rose again to pay for our sins, I fully expect morality would have such a deep, ‘spooky’, beyond space and time, effect since, of course, I hold that God, who is morally perfect, upholds the universe in its continued existence. Moreover, I also hold that we have ‘transcendent souls’, not limited by time and space, which were created by God, in His image, that are able to sense and interact with the perfect objective morality of God.

    This following study, is sort of the cherry on the cake, and shows that objective morality is even built/designed into the way our bodies respond to different kinds of ‘moral’ happiness:

    Human Cells Respond in Healthy, Unhealthy Ways to Different Kinds of Happiness – July 29, 2013
    Excerpt: Human bodies recognize at the molecular level that not all happiness is created equal, responding in ways that can help or hinder physical health,,,
    The sense of well-being derived from “a noble purpose” may provide cellular health benefits, whereas “simple self-gratification” may have negative effects, despite an overall perceived sense of happiness, researchers found.,,,
    “Philosophers have long distinguished two basic forms of well-being: a ‘hedonic’ [hee-DON-ic] form representing an individual’s pleasurable experiences, and a deeper ‘eudaimonic,’ [u-DY-moh-nick] form that results from striving toward meaning and a noble purpose beyond simple self-gratification,” wrote Fredrickson and her colleagues.
    It’s the difference, for example, between enjoying a good meal and feeling connected to a larger community through a service project, she said. Both give us a sense of happiness, but each is experienced very differently in the body’s cells.,,,
    But if all happiness is created equal, and equally opposite to ill-being, then patterns of gene expression should be the same regardless of hedonic or eudaimonic well-being. Not so, found the researchers.
    Eudaimonic well-being was, indeed, associated with a significant decrease in the stress-related CTRA gene expression profile. In contrast, hedonic well-being was associated with a significant increase in the CTRA profile. Their genomics-based analyses, the authors reported, reveal the hidden costs of purely hedonic well-being.,,
    Fredrickson found the results initially surprising, because study participants themselves reported overall feelings of well-being. One possibility, she suggested, is that people who experience more hedonic than eudaimonic well-being consume the emotional equivalent of empty calories. “Their daily activities provide short-term happiness yet result in negative physical consequences long-term,” she said.
    “We can make ourselves happy through simple pleasures, but those ‘empty calories’ don’t help us broaden our awareness or build our capacity in ways that benefit us physically,” she said. “At the cellular level, our bodies appear to respond better to a different kind of well-being, one based on a sense of connectedness and purpose.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....161952.htm

    To believe that Darwinian evolution could produce such a ‘morally nuanced’ genetic mechanism, a mechanism which discerns between morally noble causes and morally self gratifying causes, moral causes which are below our immediate feelings of satisfaction, is not a parsimonious belief to believe in to put it mildly. Especially given the fact that Darwinian evolution has yet to demonstrate the origination of a single gene and/or protein in the first place!

    Supporting Notes:

    ABC News – The Science Behind the Healing Power of Love – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t1p-PwGgE4

    Social isolation and its health implications January 2012
    Excerpt: Studies show that social isolation and/or loneliness predict morbidity and mortality from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and a host of other diseases. In fact, the body perceives loneliness as a threat. Research from the University of California suggests that loneliness or lack of social support could triple the odds of being diagnosed with a heart condition. Redford Williams and his colleagues at Duke University directed a study in 1992 on heart patients and their relationships. They discovered that 50% of patients with heart disease who did not have a spouse or someone to confide in died within five years, while only 17% of those who did have a confidante died in the same time period.12
    http://www.how-to-be-healthy.o.....lications/

    A little known fact, a fact that is very antagonistic to the genetic reductionism model of neo-Darwinism, is that, besides environmental factors, even our thoughts and feelings can ‘epigenetically’ control the gene expression of our bodies:

    Genie In Your Genes – video
    http://www.genieinyourgenes.com/ggtrailer.html

    Scientists Finally Show How Your Thoughts Can Cause Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes, – December 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice,” says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    “Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), where the molecular analyses were conducted.,,,
    the researchers say, there was no difference in the tested genes between the two groups of people at the start of the study. The observed effects were seen only in the meditators following mindfulness practice. In addition, several other DNA-modifying genes showed no differences between groups, suggesting that the mindfulness practice specifically affected certain regulatory pathways.
    http://www.tunedbody.com/scien.....ges-genes/

    How those marital rows can be bad for your health by JENNY HOPE – December 2005
    Excerpt: Married couples who constantly argue risk damaging their health, according to a study.
    It found that marital rows can prolong the time it takes the body to heal itself after an injury.
    One argument alone can slow this process by a day.
    And the study claims that when married couples feel consistently hostile towards one another, the delay in the healing process can be doubled.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/hea.....ealth.html

  10. That a transcendent, beyond space and time, cause is needed to explain the continued existence of the universe is noted here:

    ‘Quantum Magic’ Without Any ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’ – June 2011
    Excerpt: A team of researchers led by Anton Zeilinger at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences used a system which does not allow for entanglement, and still found results which cannot be interpreted classically.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....111942.htm

    and here:

    Quantum Entanglement – The Failure Of Local Realism – Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    Closing the last Bell-test loophole for photons – (Zeilinger) Jun 11, 2013
    http://phys.org/news/2013-06-b.....otons.html

    That a transcendent, beyond space and time, component is present within humans is noted here:

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA – Elisabeth Rieper – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    Verses and Music

    Hebrews 1:3
    ,,and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.,,,

    Psalm 139:13
    For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

    Black Eyed Peas – Where Is The Love?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpYeekQkAdc

    Related note

    Atheism and health
    A meta-analysis of all studies, both published and unpublished, relating to religious involvement and longevity was carried out in 2000. Forty-two studies were included, involving some 126,000 subjects. Active religious involvement increased the chance of living longer by some 29%, and participation in public religious practices, such as church attendance, increased the chance of living longer by 43%.[4][5]
    http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_health

  11. News:

    So now they have everything a church has except God?

    They have a god alright. They are dirt worshipers. Christians say, “God did it: but atheists say, “dirt did it”.

  12. Seriously? What do they discuss about? The Bible serves as the basis to teach core values and serves as guide to the “way of life” in churches. Without any book to guide them , how do they agree about the code of conduct? No wonder they are already splintering.
    Moreover, most pastors spend years in seminaries studying the word of God, what rigor do atheists church speakers go through? Even if they invite professors of philosophies or scientist to come speak to them, why would someone go a ‘atheist church’ to listen to them?

  13. One verse comes to mind at the thought of an atheist church:
    Romans 1:22

  14. Or another one, Jeremiah 2:13 (NASB)

    For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

    -Q

  15. I see canned responses. bornagain77 sprinkling “quantum” like it is magic pixie dust. What bornagain77 forgets is that quantum scales are still nature. Then again it’s a gap in our knowledge so it is useful to shove in whatever bornagain77 is promoting and they are not the only one to do this. Quantum woo is a lucrative field.

    Objective morality is what is mind-independent. As an example of this is how using a game theory strategy of tit-for-tat. “Tit-for-tat” is in itself mind independent and it even works for software agents too. Ultimately it is mathematics. Whilst theists think that God is required for numbers to exist to be able to count them, theists have not yet proven god is necessary for abstracts to be possible.

    What is ironic is how many theists are naysayers to the point of hatred. This is nothing new. bornagain77 quotes Conservapedia (which is funny in its own right as made up nonsense that has a systemic hatred of non-Christians) but what it highlights is that as social animals then humans have a spectrum of gregariousness which feeds back to the wellbeing of the social animal. This is nothing new (and it applies to other social animals too) and equally the strategy of restricting association is a well worn path of established churches and the self-appointed authorities in insular society alike.

  16. I wonder what their own protestant reformation will look like.

  17. Querius,

    I have said something similar to this to others too; if you have a belief in a god and this is what stops you from killing your granny then do not stop believing in your god.

    This applies to all who hold up their god as the extrinsic control of their morality and urges of murder, or rape or theft or lying or eating bacon (or “knock off granny”); If you don’t have the intrinsic self control to your urges then I beg of you to not discard you god even if you find god to absurd. Negotiate with yourself and go for a non-Personal god. Anything really to trick yourself.

    As the statistics show, you don’t need god to be good but if you have been infected by the idea of an extrinsic morality from god then you have not allowed your intrinsic morality to develop.

  18. JGuy,

    What would the “reformation () look like” ?

    In a word: Bloodless !

    I now wait for the trolls to post pages about how the Protestants and Catholics murdering each other is the fault of Darwinism or some such equally inane explanation.

  19. Lincoln Phipps, and what I see from you is basically a science-free rant against God. i.e. Materialistic dogmatism instead of honest inquiry for how such things, as I presented, could possibly be! For instance, I showed you that morality, quite apart from your materialistic expectations, is deeply embedded in the universe to the point of not only eliciting ‘instant and emotional’ moral reactions in humans, but also to the point of eliciting physiological responses in humans to morally troubling situations prior to the situations even being viewed (or even happening). Moreover I showed you that pre-born babies and Toddlers both already have a highly developed sense of morality and even ‘moral justice’ prior to their learning anything whatsoever about morality from other humans (thus directly undermining the materialist’s claim that morals are ‘social’ i.e. Harris – ‘moral landscape’). Moreover, I showed you that a ‘morally nuanced’ genetic mechanism, a mechanism which discerns between morally noble causes and morally self gratifying causes is ‘designed’ into the way are Genes respond ,,,, What should be needless to say to you Mr. Phipps, is that these findings are completely contrary, and inexplicable, given your materialistic presuppositions. But instead of you honestly admitting that your a priori materialistic presuppositions are severely compromised, you quip that ‘quantum scales are still nature’. And like I said before Mr. Phipps when you gave that ‘canned’ response to me before, “I’m glad you finally agree that God is ‘natural’.

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    Max Planck (1858–1947), the originator of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931

    As to your quip that morality is based on game theory (i.e. merely mathematics, although you have no clue, whatsoever, as to how to explain mathematics within materialism in the first place), here is another piece of evidence for you to ignore the importance of. In the following video Dr. Hans Halvorson, of Princeton, shows that the infamous ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’ of game theory is resolved within ‘non-local’ quantum mechanics, but is not resolved within the reductive materialism of classical mechanics:

    Princeton Philosophy Prof Dr. Hans Halvorson speaks on “Quantum Mechanics and Mind” – video
    http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~q.....hans#talks
    Introducing quantum information into multiplayer games allows a new type of equilibrium strategy which is not found in traditional games. The entanglement of players’s choices can have the effect of a contract by preventing players from profiting from betrayal.

    Princeton’s Dr. Hans Halvorson comments further on the implications of quantum mechanics here:

    The Soul Hypothesis: Investigations into the Existence of the Soul
    Chapter 6 is Hans Halvorson’s ‘The Measure of All Things: Quantum Mechanics and the Soul’
    Hans Halvorsen is a philosopher of quantum physics at Princeton University
    Description: Quantum theory’s strange conclusions are founded on data obtained by measuring effects in certain experimental situations. But if quantum theory is correct there are no determinate data of the required sort, for the states of the measuring instruments will be superposed and entangled and thus indeterminate. The dualist has a way out of this problem. Superposition is when a physical system is in two apparently inconsistent states at once — for example, an electron is passing through both the left-hand slit and the right-hand one at the same time. Because of the nature of linear dynamics, this superposition is retained in a device further down the line of this process. If this continued with an observer, he would be aware of inconsistently believing that the electron was in two places at once. But this is not what happens. Observation ‘collapses the wave packet’ (not a phrase Halvorson generally deploys) and only one determinate state is observed. Now it is often pointed out that measurement collapses the wave packet, but that the measuring device need not be a conscious observer. Halvorson replies to this that a non-conscious measuring device will itself be in an entangled state, but that if a conscious subject observes it, only one of its possible states will be seen, so consciousness is crucial to making reality determinate. (151)
    http://ndpr.nd.edu/news/24611-.....-the-soul/

    As to your rant about Christianity and conservapedia, I find your rant to be so incoherent that I have to ask you to rewrite it. But as with everything else you write, if you are trying to say what I think you are, then it also will not turn out well for your preferred atheistic/materialistic position!,,, But hey, it is your reputation that is getting trashed so go for it! :)

  20. @LP #15

    “As the statistics show, you don’t need god to be good but if you have been infected by the idea of an extrinsic morality from god then you have not allowed your intrinsic morality to develop.”

    Intrinsic morality? Intrinsic morality only works when humans have intrinsic worth and I am sorry to say LP, there is no intrinsic worth given to humans in naturalism.

    LP, it looks like you have feet planted firmly in mid air.

  21. Atheist churches. Best oxymoron since military intelligence and advanced beginner.

  22. Re: morality statistics:
    Some interesting stats here which don’t support LP at all:
    http://creation.com/atheism
    Section 11.

  23. Linclon Phipps @17

    I have said something similar to this to others too; if you have a belief in a god and this is what stops you from killing your granny then do not stop believing in your god.

    Does your god, Lincoln Phipps, stop you from making misrepresentations in your posts?

    Do you, Lincoln Phipps, think medical services to the elderly should be capped in favor of providing better services to younger people?

    How about state-assisted suicide? If your granny just found out that she has cancer throughout her body,would you, Lincoln Phipps, object to your granny receiving medical assistance to help her pass away peacefully and painlessly?

    What do you, Lincoln Phipps, think about euthanasia? Is there a point at which the quality of life of your granny has degraded, perhaps due to Alzheimer’s disease, to the point where it would be more merciful to provide her a painless injection rather than allowing her to suffer?

    One of my college professors advocated post-partum abortion up to the age of two years old, based on his idea that keeping an unwanted, unloved child resulted in the worst forms of child abuse. Would you, Lincoln Phipps, agree?

    -Q

  24. After reviewing the teachings of prominent thinkers throughout the centuries, the Encyclopædia Britannica states that from the time of Greek philosopher Socrates to the 20th century, there have been “repeated debates over just what goodness and the standard of right and wrong might be.”

    For example, the Sophists were a prominent group of Greek teachers in the fifth century B.C.E. They taught that standards of right and wrong were determined by popular opinion. Said one such teacher: “Whatever things seem just and fine to each city, are just and fine for that city, so long as it thinks them so.”

    But popular opinion is an unreliable guide. For example, if you had lived in a society where the majority believed that child sacrifices were acceptable, as some societies in the past have thought, would that have made the practice right? (2 Kings 16:3) What if you had been born into a society that viewed cannibalism as a virtuous act? Would that have meant that eating human flesh was not really wrong? The popularity of a practice does not make it right. Long ago, the Bible warned against that trap, saying: “You must not follow after the crowd for evil ends.”—Exodus 23:2.

    Immanuel Kant, a renowned 18th-century philosopher, expressed a different view. The journal Issues in Ethics says: “Immanuel Kant and others like him . . . focused on the individual’s right to choose for herself or himself.” According to Kant’s philosophy, so long as one does not violate the rights of others, what he does would be entirely up to him. He should not allow the opinion of the majority to determine his standards.

    Should each individual, then, decide for himself what is right and what is wrong? The Bible says: “Do not lean upon your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) Why not? Because all humans have inherited a fundamental flaw that can warp their judgment. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, they adopted the standards of the selfish traitor Satan and chose him as their spiritual father. They then passed on to their offspring a family trait—a treacherous heart with the ability to recognize what is right but with the tendency to pursue what is wrong.—Genesis 6:5; Romans 5:12; 7:21-24.

    The Encyclopædia Britannica, in discussing ethics, observes: “It does not seem surprising if people know what they ought morally to do but then proceed to do what is in their own interests instead. How to provide such people with reasons for doing what is right has been a major problem for Western ethics.” The Bible correctly puts it this way: “The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate. Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Would you trust someone who is known for being both treacherous and desperate?

    Granted, even those who have no belief in God have the ability to behave in a morally upright manner and to develop practical and honorable ethical codes. Often, though, the noble principles embedded in their codes simply mirror the moral standards of the Bible. Although such individuals may deny God’s existence, their ideas demonstrate that they have an inherent potential for reflecting God’s personality. This proves that as the Bible reveals, mankind was originally created “in God’s image.” (Genesis 1:27; Acts 17:26-28) The apostle Paul says: “They are the very ones who demonstrate the matter of the law to be written in their hearts.”—Romans 2:15.

  25. 25

    @Lincoln Phipps
    “I have said something similar to this to others too; if you have a belief in a god and this is what stops you from killing your granny then do not stop believing in your god.”

    Now Lincoln please share with us why killing granny is wrong, not just your opinion, but why is it objectively wrong.

    When a Moral relativist such as you argues morality, its akin to me saying there are married bachelors. Can you not see the nonsensical nature of you statement.

    In your worldview what Hitler did in the holocaust is the same as some guy eating a peanut butter sandwich on a wednesday afternoon.

    Sorry but I feel like banging my head against the wall after your post lol

  26. 26

    Correct Barb, this popular opinion thing just doesnt make sense. If it was popular opinion that Rape is perfectly ok Lincoln Phipps would you agree that it is perfectly ok?

    I once asked an atheist on some forum why he believes that rape is objectively wrong. You know what his answer was?

    “isnt it obvious” lolol
    Yes its obvious to us theist and im glad he saw the irony in his statement before leaving that thread.

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