Religion is dangerous but atheism isn't?

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Religion is dangerous but atheism isn't?

#1

Post by Phoenix » Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:41 am

I could use some help with an arguement I've seen quite often. The atheist puts forth that the view that religion is dangerous. Religion has slaughtere untold numberss innocent people, etc.

The atheist then put forths the view that no one has killed in "the name of atheism".

Anyone have input on the view?

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#2

Post by SUGAAAAA » Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:49 am

here's on article on this site that deals with this very issue:

http://godandscience.org/apologetics/atrocities.html

To say no one has ever killed in the name of atheism is false. Here's a good response to that from the article:

Pol Pot, the leader of the Marxist regime in Cambodia, Kampuchea, in the 1970's killed 1.7 million of his own people. In fact, the Pol Pot regime specifically preached atheism and sought to exterminate all religious expression in Cambodia.

Also, as the article pointed, most of those "atrocities" were caused by people who weren't "real" Christians.
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#3

Post by Phoenix » Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:59 am

The only problem though is that many atheists claim Pol-Pot, and Stalin were not atheists. Is there info I could get proving Pol-Pot and Stalin were atheists?

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athiesm

#4

Post by ray » Sat Jun 03, 2006 5:59 pm

Athiesm is dangerous to the athiest.

Ray

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Re: Religion is dangerous but atheism isn't?

#5

Post by August » Sat Jun 03, 2006 7:21 pm

Phoenix wrote:I could use some help with an arguement I've seen quite often. The atheist puts forth that the view that religion is dangerous. Religion has slaughtere untold numberss innocent people, etc.

The atheist then put forths the view that no one has killed in "the name of atheism".

Anyone have input on the view?
Couple of issues...

1. We are not particularly interested in defending "religion". We are defenders of Christianity, so the debate should be about that. Ask for very specific accounts of killing in the name of Christianity that amount to their claims of "untold numbers".
2. Make the atheists explain why killing is wrong from their worldview. They must account for where they got their concept of right and wrong from, and how they personally know something is wrong.
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#6

Post by godslanguage » Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:22 pm

Thou shall not kill?

Did people misinterpret this or something, did Stalin forget about Gods commandment. Did Stalin kill in the name of God or for his own reasons?

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#7

Post by Canuckster1127 » Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:54 pm

godslanguage wrote:Thou shall not kill?

Did people misinterpret this or something, did Stalin forget about Gods commandment. Did Stalin kill in the name of God or for his own reasons?
The Soviet Union stated within its chartering government documents that it was Atheist. Stalin killed to supress dissent and solidify his political power.
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why people murder

#8

Post by bluesman » Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:26 am

Its not Religion or Atheism that we should fault for the killing in history.
It whats in a persons heart.
For those who read Lord of The Flies its Man's nature if left unchecked that
leads to evil.

Religion, by it very nature of the power it must contain leaves the strong possibility for it abuse.
The Koran is especially open to abuse.

Its not an easy objection of atheists to deal with. You can't really honestly make an excuse for horrible past of "the Church". You just acknowledge that these were horrible times and behavior not in keeping with the word of the bible.

On an Individual basis if a person really subscribes to What Jesus says then that person must become more peaceful.

Lee Strobel addresses this objection in his book "Case for Faith"

What did Jesus say?
Turn the other cheek. Love your enemy! Love Your enemy!

Always filter the OT through the NT . What did Jesus teach.

Follow the Ten Commandments!

Your works do matter.

Michael Thomas

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Re: why people murder

#9

Post by Canuckster1127 » Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:50 am

bluesman wrote:
Its not Religion or Atheism that we should fault for the killing in history.
It whats in a persons heart.
For those who read Lord of The Flies its Man's nature if left unchecked that
leads to evil.
Agreed. Good example by the way. Goulding's Lord of the Flies is a very effective literary examination of the heart of man.
Religion, by it very nature of the power it must contain leaves the strong possibility for it abuse.
The Koran is especially open to abuse.
In terms of religious institutions and power systems this is true. In terms of Christianity as modelled by Christ, the prequesite for the wielding of power first and foremost is a servant-heart that elevates the needs of others above one's own.
Its not an easy objection of atheists to deal with. You can't really honestly make an excuse for horrible past of "the Church". You just acknowledge that these were horrible times and behavior not in keeping with the word of the bible.
On the contrary, as you demonstrate below, it is not particularly difficult to address. You simply have to address the fallacy in the way that the question is framed.

Use of Religious power and influence to wrong ends, is first and foremost an indictment of the individual using it as such, not necessarily an inherent flaw with the organization or institution being so used.

That being said I happen to subscribe to Lord Acton's maxim, "Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely."

Sadly, religious institutions have not been exempt from this truth and when such an institution is tied to political, state power, then the institution itself becomes a target and means of acquiring such power by anyone who desire power for its own sake.

This is the reason for the separation of Church and State embraced in the US. It was designed first and foremost as a separation institutionally to avoid such comingling and concentration of power.

Sadly, it is being extended way beyond that original intent into an interpretation that seeks to separate religious thought and values from a public forum.
On an Individual basis if a person really subscribes to What Jesus says then that person must become more peaceful.
Probably. I would argue that they must become more of a servant however. Servanthood does not preclude the use of state power and violence in every situation, but it does preculde its use for anything other than the legitimate need and good of those being served.
Lee Strobel addresses this objection in his book "Case for Faith"

What did Jesus say?
Turn the other cheek. Love your enemy! Love Your enemy!
Yes. Jesus did say that.
Always filter the OT through the NT . What did Jesus teach.

Follow the Ten Commandments!

Your works do matter.

Michael Thomas
Not a complete picture.

Jesus had some things to say about simply following commandments and relying upon works. The Pharisees were masters of this.

You'll recall, Jesus had some pretty strong and harsh things to say to them.

We're the Pharisees Servant-Leaders?

No. They used the religious structures and institutions for their own goals which included:

1. The admiration of others.
2. Political power.
3. Economic gain.
4. Personal pride.

Christ's modelling and teaching included:

1. Service with effort to avoid noteriety.
2. Spiritual Power.
3. Freedom from the love of money.
4. Death to self.

Christ emphasized clearly that he came not to remove the Old Testament but to fulfill it.

It would be a mistake however to draw from that a sense that following the 10 commandments and doing works is a sufficient model.

There is much, much more.
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James

#10

Post by bluesman » Sun Jun 04, 2006 10:43 pm

Spend sometimes and read James

We're the Pharisees Servant-Leaders?

No. They used the religious structures and institutions for their own goals which included:


What you are saying show clearly that works no matter!
In the example of the Pharisees their works were bad or bad for the reason
they did them.

When I speak of works I think even the simple matter of behaving like
a Christian. Repent and try to sin no more.

However, as you say there is much much more. So much it could fill a book or books. Hmmmm say like the Bible.
Probably. I would argue that they must become more of a servant however. Servanthood does not preclude the use of state power and violence in every situation, but it does preculde its use for anything other than the legitimate need and good of those being served.


I would agree especially in a self-defence matter. Jesus does say those who live by the sword will die by the sword. However, who pulled out a sword and cut an ear when Jesus was being arrested? The disciples of Jesus apparently carried swords.

The OT is full of stories of violence, and these stories often often seem at first to contradict Jesus's message.

The problem I see is how to define "the legitimate need and good of those
being served" ? In a true sense of the Jihad I could maybe support.
From my understanding is when a people are not being allowed to worship their God, then a Jihad or Holy War is allowed.

In a case such as Hilter its clear that war was called for. However, the world has seen many conflicts since that are unclear about their Justification, at least in a biblical sense.

Also on the peace comment, Christians certainly don't have the market on
being peaceful and meek. Ghandi , is probably the best know supporter of peace. John Lennon, is another, he was against religion. He sang that religion was a cause of war and violence.

I would differ religion as compared to a relationship with Jesus. There is many stories of a relationship with Jesus, transforming a violent hateful
person into a peaceful loving one.

Michael
Thomas

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wrong way to go

#11

Post by bluesman » Sun Jun 04, 2006 10:59 pm

1. We are not particularly interested in defending "religion". We are defenders of Christianity, so the debate should be about that. Ask for very specific accounts of killing in the name of Christianity that amount to their claims of "untold numbers".
2. Make the atheists explain why killing is wrong from their worldview. They must account for where they got their concept of right and wrong from, and how they personally know something is wrong.


Bless the person who said the above, but I think it would be a big mistake
to go this way. Why? Because if you know history, its basically true what the atheist is saying. Much killing has been done in the "Name of Christianity"

In what the atheist was saying it doesn't matter where the idea of killing being wrong came from. It only matters that murder is wrong. You would be change the subject rather than dealing with it. IMHO.

Now I think in the other posts I think we layed out the better way to go.

How many have seen the movie "Kingdom of Heaven" about the Crusades to capture and control Jerusalem.?

Michael Thomas

God Bless

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Re: James

#12

Post by Canuckster1127 » Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:12 pm

bluesman wrote:Spend sometimes and read James

We're the Pharisees Servant-Leaders?

No. They used the religious structures and institutions for their own goals which included:


What you are saying show clearly that works no matter!
In the example of the Pharisees their works were bad or bad for the reason
they did them.

When I speak of works I think even the simple matter of behaving like
a Christian. Repent and try to sin no more.

However, as you say there is much much more. So much it could fill a book or books. Hmmmm say like the Bible.
Probably. I would argue that they must become more of a servant however. Servanthood does not preclude the use of state power and violence in every situation, but it does preculde its use for anything other than the legitimate need and good of those being served.


I would agree especially in a self-defence matter. Jesus does say those who live by the sword will die by the sword. However, who pulled out a sword and cut an ear when Jesus was being arrested? The disciples of Jesus apparently carried swords.

The OT is full of stories of violence, and these stories often often seem at first to contradict Jesus's message.

The problem I see is how to define "the legitimate need and good of those
being served" ? In a true sense of the Jihad I could maybe support.
From my understanding is when a people are not being allowed to worship their God, then a Jihad or Holy War is allowed.

In a case such as Hilter its clear that war was called for. However, the world has seen many conflicts since that are unclear about their Justification, at least in a biblical sense.

Also on the peace comment, Christians certainly don't have the market on
being peaceful and meek. Ghandi , is probably the best know supporter of peace. John Lennon, is another, he was against religion. He sang that religion was a cause of war and violence.

I would differ religion as compared to a relationship with Jesus. There is many stories of a relationship with Jesus, transforming a violent hateful
person into a peaceful loving one.

Michael
Thomas
I have read James, many times.

Works are the result, not the basis of salvation.

Gal 2:8-9

As I've said before, we all have opinions. Just throwing them out there without supporting them from Scripture is not particularly helpful.

Works are not the foundation or means of our salvation. The work of Christ on our behalf is.

Christ's response and reactions to the Pharisees clearly demonstrate this. Works devoid of right motives and a proper foundation clearly are hypocritical and Jesus seems to have reserved his strongest condemnation for those whose practice of them in this manner led others astray.
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James

#13

Post by bluesman » Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:57 pm

As I've said before, we all have opinions. Just throwing them out there without supporting them from Scripture is not particularly helpful.


ah I did support with Scripture! Read James again maybe!

James
14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him?(Web)

People New Testament
James
2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works. Faith that has no power to bring one to obedience and to sway the life is as worthless as good wishes which end in words.

Is dead, being alone. It cannot stand alone and be of any avail. Only when it shows its power in works is it of the slightest value.

2:18 Yea, a man may say, etc. One may claim works, another faith. They must go hand in hand. One cannot show faith without works. The life lived is the proof of the faith held. If a man lives in obedience to Christ, that is proof that he has faith in Christ.

2:19 Thou believest that there is one God. That is very well, but can that alone save you?

The devils also believe, and tremble. Even the demons believe that also. See Mt 8:29. Evil spirits confessed Christ, but this confession of faith did not save them.

2:20 But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead? (Web)

2:24You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not only by faith.

Shall I go on or do you see my point. As it relates to the original question.
Those who did these horrible acts of violence may have stated they
were Christians, but their works said they were not.
Their faith was at least dead or worse.

I agree accepting Jesus into you heart is the basis and first step of salvation. However, did you really meaning accepting Christ or was it just
words? Show me your faith by your works.

Michael Thomas

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Re: James

#14

Post by Canuckster1127 » Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:32 am

bluesman wrote:
As I've said before, we all have opinions. Just throwing them out there without supporting them from Scripture is not particularly helpful.


ah I did support with Scripture! Read James again maybe!

James
14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him?(Web)

People New Testament
James
2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works. Faith that has no power to bring one to obedience and to sway the life is as worthless as good wishes which end in words.

Is dead, being alone. It cannot stand alone and be of any avail. Only when it shows its power in works is it of the slightest value.

2:18 Yea, a man may say, etc. One may claim works, another faith. They must go hand in hand. One cannot show faith without works. The life lived is the proof of the faith held. If a man lives in obedience to Christ, that is proof that he has faith in Christ.

2:19 Thou believest that there is one God. That is very well, but can that alone save you?

The devils also believe, and tremble. Even the demons believe that also. See Mt 8:29. Evil spirits confessed Christ, but this confession of faith did not save them.

2:20 But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead? (Web)

2:24You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not only by faith.

Shall I go on or do you see my point. As it relates to the original question.
Those who did these horrible acts of violence may have stated they
were Christians, but their works said they were not.
Their faith was at least dead or worse.

I agree accepting Jesus into you heart is the basis and first step of salvation. However, did you really meaning accepting Christ or was it just
words? Show me your faith by your works.

Michael Thomas
Cause and effect.

Works are the fruit and evidence, not the basis.
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

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Re: James

#15

Post by Byblos » Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:16 am

Canuckster1127 wrote:
bluesman wrote:
As I've said before, we all have opinions. Just throwing them out there without supporting them from Scripture is not particularly helpful.


ah I did support with Scripture! Read James again maybe!

James
14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him?(Web)

People New Testament
James
2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works. Faith that has no power to bring one to obedience and to sway the life is as worthless as good wishes which end in words.

Is dead, being alone. It cannot stand alone and be of any avail. Only when it shows its power in works is it of the slightest value.

2:18 Yea, a man may say, etc. One may claim works, another faith. They must go hand in hand. One cannot show faith without works. The life lived is the proof of the faith held. If a man lives in obedience to Christ, that is proof that he has faith in Christ.

2:19 Thou believest that there is one God. That is very well, but can that alone save you?

The devils also believe, and tremble. Even the demons believe that also. See Mt 8:29. Evil spirits confessed Christ, but this confession of faith did not save them.

2:20 But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead? (Web)

2:24You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not only by faith.

Shall I go on or do you see my point. As it relates to the original question.
Those who did these horrible acts of violence may have stated they
were Christians, but their works said they were not.
Their faith was at least dead or worse.

I agree accepting Jesus into you heart is the basis and first step of salvation. However, did you really meaning accepting Christ or was it just
words? Show me your faith by your works.

Michael Thomas


Cause and effect.

Works are the fruit and evidence, not the basis.


I totally agree. What James is talking about are works of love and charity which are the outward evidence of faith and not the kind that will earn you salvation. This complements rather than contradicts what Paul refers to as works. Paul is referring to the works of law, or the mosaic law which earns you nothing (i.e. again, it does not earn you salvation as it is the free gift of God by his grace). I see total harmony between the two (and this is coming from a Catholic; go figure!).

God Bless,

Byblos.

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