[How so? You're making an assertion without supporting it. What is it about the combination of atheism and materialism that you think leads directly to mass murder?
First you are building a strawman. I never said it leads direclty to mass murder. I said it leads to contempt for life. Life in the sense I am using it, is human life. And the position is that one either believes a) that human life has INTRINSIC value, or, b)that it doesn not. Position b, would therefore lead to contempt for life. While it's true I didn't unpack the arguments, I am not making a bald assertion here. Frank Turek and Norm Geisler do a fine job on this subject as well as others.
Strawman, my foot. You say "contempt for human life" but all your examples have been regimes that are/were guilty of mass murder. My statement wasn't much of a leap.
In any case, atheism is simply the rejection of the theistic claim. It makes no judgement whatsoever about the value of anything, apart from the proposition that god(s) exist. Materialism posits that "our reality consists entirely of physical matter that is the sole cause of every possible occurrence, including human thought, feeling, and action" (lifted from Wikipedia). Where are you getting either the idea that atheism or materialism see no intrinsic value in human life?
And why are you ignoring secular humanism, which is fully compatible with atheism and materialism, and which clearly states that human life does, in fact, have intrinsic value?
jlay wrote:Just the act of arguing that atheistic materialism is the RIGHT philospohy implies that mankind (in this case how he thinks) actually has inherent value. Materialism at it's core teaches that our thoughts, actions, etc. are determined by impersonal, unguided forces. This view therefore has no grounds to argue such, unless it smuggles in a contradictory worldview. It's self-defeating on face value.
Right. So Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot didn't value human life because state atheism (and presumably materialism) were characteristics of their regimes. Gotcha. So how do you explain the contempt for human life shown by the Christian regimes that I mentioned previously?
PaulSacramento wrote:Humanism is basically taking Christianity, remove God from the equation, and follow the very core of it.
Actually, it's not the core of Christianity, it's the core of pretty much all religion
. If you take religion and trim off all the fat you're left with a set of universally accepted social norms, without which society couldn't function.
PaulSacramento wrote:The problem with that is that, for a Christian, the reason to follow the moral tenets of their faith is based on there being a objective moral value dictated by a perfect being.
Really? So without God to dictate that rape, theft, and murder are wrong you'd have killed your neighbor, raped his wife, and stolen his truck by now? I seriously doubt that. Hurting people is wrong, and unless your brain is broken you know that.
PaulSacramento wrote:For the humanist, it is simply about following what one believes to be correct, in short- subjective morals.
That both can lead people to a "good place" is not the point the point is what about when it is NOT in the individuals bets interest to be moral?
I can't speak for all atheists (we're not really an organized group and our beliefs vary widely), but personally I do my best to do the right thing, and when I've failed to do so in the past I have felt like an a#####e until I've gone back and fixed my mistake.
I have to ask though - do you really think that the average Christian is any more likely to do the right thing than the average member of any other religion or the average nonbeliever?