Monday, April 14, 2008


I think I can second SurferJesus' contention that most (if not all) morality really can boil down to, Be excellent to each other.

I'm reading up on some Christian viewpoints of atheism, and I stumbled across a gem on Conservapedia:

In regards to atheism and morality, the Barna Group also found that those who hold to the worldviews of atheism or agnosticism in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviors as morally acceptable: illegal drug use; excessive drinking; sexual relationships outside of marriage; abortion; cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage; obscene language; gambling; pornography and obscene sexual behavior; and engaging in homosexuality/bisexuality.
First off, "The Barna Group conducts opinion polls, which are generally interpreted from an evangelical perspective, and often cited within evangelical circles." Well duh, of course we're gonna use research from a sympathetic firm. But let's talk here anyway...

  • illegal drug use - okay sure, on the surface doing something illegal can be considered immoral simply because you're supposed to follow the laws period. Social cohesiveness and all. But if we ignore the obvious - hey, just because it's a law doesn't mean it's a moral matter - we can probably agree that most illegal drugs are bad, mm'kay?

  • excessive drinking - it's unhealthy, and can be dangerous when mixed with youth, bad judgement, cars, Kennedys, etc etc etc. But actually immoral on its own? Sure, why not, we'll give you that one.

  • sexual relationships outside of marriage - now hang on a minute! Who the hell said (besides the Christians) that the Christians are the gatekeepers of morality? We can easily agree that murder is bad, because, well, nobody wants to be murdered. Murder is NOT excellence to the victim. But sexual relationships outside of marriage are (a) consentual, and therefore victimless, but also (b) quite excellent to each other, provided you're doing it right.

  • abortion - I get that this one's debatable, within and without religion.

  • cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage - I know you seperated the two with "abortion", but why don't we just lump cohabitating with premarital sex? And while you're at it, quit trying to church it's LIVING TOGETHER. Cohabitating, indeed.

  • obscene language - WTF? F-bombs are immoral? And don't try to make the argument that I don't swear around my kids, so it's bad...I don't fuck my husband or take a dump around my kids either, and Christians don't think those things are immoral. This is an entirely seperate post (of the FUTURE), so we'll leave it for now.

  • gambling - again, you're the one saying that gambling is immoral. I think it's odd to make up your own rules, then try to pull GOTCHA! on people when they aren't playing along. Exclusionary Calvinball.

  • pornography and obscene sexual behavior - again, legal porn is pretty victimless. The participants are consentual, the consumers are happy. Why is touching your private parts in private, immoral? As for obscene sexual behavior, well now well depends on what we're talking about. Anything consentual with above age partner or partners isn't immoral, for the same reson that nonmarital sex is okee dokee.

  • engaging in homosexuality/bisexuality - see all the sex talk above.

I realize I'm proving their point. But there's an assumption here that needs to be put to words: These things are bad, atheists tend think they're not, so atheists are bad. It's a given, like god is a given. I know, I know, they HAVE to think that way, just like I have to think that knowledge is good. It just pisses me off that they think EVERYONE has to think that way.

I dunno, I've got my own point of view too, and I'm pretty militant about it. I think the difference is that you can try and argue that I'm immoral for supporting homosexuality, but I can PROVE that you're stupid for supporting Intelligent Design. And the talking snake thing. And so on.

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