Thursday, March 18, 2010

Freedom with the Lord

"I choose to believe that this is not a test." - Dr. Gregory House

This is not a test. Some people are under the impression that Atheism equals complete freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want. These people also assume that religion is a strict set of laws preventing one from doing whatever they want whenever they want. These people also indicate that doing whatever you want whenever you want must include, drugs, illegal sexual activity, murder, theft and other assorted sundry behaviors.

For example, often a supposedly religious person will tell me, 'well if you don't believe in god then why don't you do heroin or rape someone?"

As if everyone really wants to and it is only religion that prevents pedophilia and armed robbery.

The issue is not with atheism. Atheism demands that one accept this reality as your reality. This existence is not a test for some other reality.

But if you're religious than this world is only a test for the next. You can do anything, like kill an abortion doctor or assault policemen for arresting baby murderers and it is all covered by your version of god. And if your god doesn't permit that behavior you can always repent, either way, this reality is just an illusion.

Only with religion can you do what you want when you want how you want. Because with religion you don't really exist anyhow, you and your soul are like two separate beings. You can do what you want and your soul gets off almost scott free.


The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

I don't think that's entirely accurate.

I would say rather that there are rules in atheism but the foundation of those laws is self-preservation. Murder is wrong because someone might murder me. Theft is wrong because someone might steal from me.

On the other hand, atheism can use power to develop assymetric rules. Under the Nazis, Jews were deprived of their rights and the power of the state was used to prevent any consequences from this to the Germans. A la against murder is only good until a person feels he is immune to such a threat. Then he can quite easily justify murder of others.

Now, religion can also justify such behaviour. A religion might permit killing non-believers or stealing from them while simultaneiously forbiddin non-believers to do the same to believers.

So what is the difference in the end? In the case of religion, there is the idea of a higher morality in a next world. Existence here is real enough but part of a greater process. For atheists, however, this is the only kick at the can they get. Thus it isn't so much the morality, since both systems can develop rules that seem repulsive to others, but the reason for being alive and doing anything worth doing in the first place that makes all the difference.

The Way said...

Yes, I agree with you. I was being pithy and was not in the mood to explain again that instinct, biology and self preservation are the inherent rules for life.

These are the rules (with a bunch of other rules) which then got put into the book and codified into religious law.

But the main point is that if you are religious, you are mortgaging this life in the hopes that it is only a test for the next.

As for hitler: a) his goal was not to spread atheism. He may have been, or may not have been an atheist. But hitler did not wage a jihad for atheism. b)hitler did not go door to door killing people. He had the help of numerous populations of which over 90% were religious. He also had the help of the catholic church. The vast majoriaty of people involved in ww2 on the axis side were religious regardless of hitlers possible beliefs.

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The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

I agree about Hitler not fighting a war for atheism but I also disagree because in a way he was. No, atheists don't fight for "atheism" because it's like anarchists having rules - the whole point of atheism is freedom from a dogmatic system of rules and beliefs.
However, I would suggest it is impossible for any society to so exist - the most secular society must have agreed upon values and dogmas, otherwise its collapses in confusion. Nazism was just one such godless philosophy that he was spreading.