So, the argument continues. It's a stereotype, but Andy continues to post on a blog with no comment function, whilst I provide an open comment system, allowing anybody to express themselves directly. It also shortens posts, because it would mean I wouldn't have to keep going over past posts to place comments back in the correct context
I'm not convinced there is much point carrying on, since Andy is either deliberately misreading me, or simply does not understand what I am saying.
Firstly, Andy tried to dismiss the evils committed by christians as not being relevant, because they were committed by individuals. He conveniently ignores the fact that all the evils I listed were committed BY christians, IN THE NAME OF GOD.
Secondly, he bases part of his argument on the assumption that humans are "naturally fallen", and thus cannot be "good" without the intervention of a god. When I give him examples of atheists being upright and moral, he dismisses it as bragging, then changws his question. He switches to the (unfounded) assertion that atheists have no right to exert disciplinary authority, because they have no moral framework within which to work.
He throws in the buzzword "moral relativism", but clearly does not understand it - moral relativism does not mean that every single individual creates their own moral code from scratch. Morality is an emergent function of the complexities of human interaction. It cannot exist except between groups and societies, and is always based, at least in part, on what goes before, much like christianity is based on judaism, and judaism is based on the Egyptian and Babylonian religions that existed earlier.
Third, he expresses surprise that atheists consider anything outside "this life". It is a sad fact that strongly religious individuals are the least likely to plan for the future, and to consider the long-term consequences of their actions. They are the least likely to use renewable resources, to join environmental groups, or to campaign on issues like climate change. I don't know if Andy is a victim of propaganda from other Believers, but he seems to think that being an atheist means you have to be inherently selfish.
Fourth, he exibits amazing arrogance when assuming that any worldview that is not based on his own religion is inherently lacking in value. How dare he so casually dismiss the five billion non-christians on this planet? Christianity is a religion based on fear and guilt, which is axiomatically hypocritical. It is so riddled with contradictions that it has schismed into hundreds of factions, many of which are in active, violent conflict with each other.
Fifth (and, for now, finally), Andy demonstrates a deep ignorance of what atheism actually is. I stated that all atheists agree on what atheism means. Of course they agree. It's simple: atheism means that you do not believe in any gods. The consequence is that atheists are ultimately responsible for their own behaviour. We can't blame it on the invisible machinations of bogey men.
Andy, though, to try and disprove a point about atheism, provides examples of scientists disagreeing about science, or of a single philosopher having a moan about nomenclature.
Pay attention, Andy, atheism is nothing to do with Science. True, Science is often the trigger that helps a thinking human realise that religions are false, but atheism is not Science. If two atheists disagree over a point of Science, they are disagreeing as Scientists, not as atheists.
Sorry, this is the final point; Andy claims to have "an objectively true standard" to which to measure himself.
Objective? Really? You're stretching beyond yourself here, Andy, and laying yourself open to ridicule from real philosophers and theologians.
An objective fact is one that is true no matter what your worldview. It can be observed and measured independently. I am a male, 1.7m tall, 70kg. They are objective facts. Am I handsome? That is a subjective opinion.
If your god is an "objective truth", why do so many people disagree on whether he even exists? Such disagreement is not possible when being objective.
If your god is an "objective truth", why are there forty one thousand different denominations of the "one" faith? Why do so many of these denominations turn upon each other, often violently, purely because of their interpretations of this "objective truth"?
The fact is that the majority of christians label themselves as such through family tradition and cultural inertia, not because they have encountered their god. That minority who claim to have come to their faith after meeting their god do so through personal revelation, the ultimate in subjectivity.
Andy, if you are going to continue in this ill-informed, self-delusional vein, and if you continue to exclude direct responses to your posts, then I am done with you.
But, if you bring factual evidence to the table, and keep the table in one place, then I'm happy to carry on.
Pax, donec tempus.