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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> Abortion & atheism vs. crusade & religion
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04/12/2013 01:50:36 AM · #1
I can\'t tell you how many times I've heard the argument against Christianity that "religion does just as much bad as it does good, just take the Crusades for example." I hear that over and over again like a broken record. People... use your brains please. Don't repeat unintelligent arguments just because their "hip." But, if that's the way that you want to argue against religion, then I will use the same strategy against atheism.

It is estimated that up to 5 million people died during the crusades, which were a series of religious wars fought by kings in queens in the name of their religion. To be fair, 5 million is a lot of deaths. It was horrific period of human history. Now, let's look at atheism's record.

Take China, for example. The Chinese Communist Party is officially atheist. The atheist Chinese government recently admitted that under their one-child policies, 336 million fetuses/babies have been aborted/killed since 1971, and that many of those procedures were performed forcibly.

You do the math: 5 million vs. 336 million. Really? You want to keep using the Crusade argument against religion?

Now... let\'s put that number into perspective, shall we?

336 million is more than the entire WORLD POPULATION at the time of the Crusades (estimated 320 million).

336 million is more than TWICE the total number of deaths from World War I and World War II combined.

336 million is more than the current U.S. population.

So, Mr. or Mrs. atheist... please, go right on ahead and keep using that "religion does more bad than good" argument and make yourself look silly. I'd say that I'd just laugh at you and walk away, but I'm really not in a laughing mood right now. If you think that religion does more harm than good, and that humanity will be better off without religion like Dawkins & Co. preach to you, then you should be a little more open minded. People aren't good. We're bad. Very bad. We're greedy and we do cruel and horrific things to each other in order to gain power, fame, wealth, etc.

The bottom line: Atheism provides no logical or moral reason as to why human life is special and worthy of protection. Religion teaches that, but not atheism. According to atheism, humans are just highly evolved animals. Nothing more. Nothing less. And because of that, things like the Gosnell abortion clinic are permissible in society (Google it, or read about it on Twitter). The sheer fact that the media is not covering this story goes to show that nobody sees anything wrong with it. There are few major news outlets discussing this right now, even though it's exploding on Twitter.
//www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/11/a-chamber-of-horrors/
//www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/04/10/philadelphia-abortion-clinic-horror-column/2072577/
04/12/2013 02:41:44 AM · #2
I'm an atheist and I haven't killed anybody. Am I doing it wrong?

There are plenty of people of faith who do good things - I thank them as human beings not for their religion. There are plenty of people of no faith who do good things - I thank them as human beings too.

I agree, talk of the crusades is perhaps silly in a modern context. Catholic cover ups of child abuse, Islamic abuse of women, religious faction conflicts in the middle east, sectarian conflicts between India and Pakistan or in Northern Ireland - perhaps not so much.

Sure, the world has problems, people are flawed - far better that we take personal and social responsibility for that than try to pretend belief in a (socially and hegemonically constructed) myth will help.
04/12/2013 03:32:15 AM · #3
I love the jump from 'atheism' to 'abortion' in paragraph 3. How are they related exactly?

Or have you discovered that doctors who perform abortions, nurses and administrators who work in the business, women who get abortions and their families who support the decision are all atheists?
04/12/2013 06:42:01 AM · #4
Originally posted by Paul:

I'm an atheist and I haven't killed anybody. Am I doing it wrong?

There are plenty of people of faith who do good things - I thank them as human beings not for their religion. There are plenty of people of no faith who do good things - I thank them as human beings too.

I agree, talk of the crusades is perhaps silly in a modern context. Catholic cover ups of child abuse, Islamic abuse of women, religious faction conflicts in the middle east, sectarian conflicts between India and Pakistan or in Northern Ireland - perhaps not so much.

Sure, the world has problems, people are flawed - far better that we take personal and social responsibility for that than try to pretend belief in a (socially and hegemonically constructed) myth will help.

Well said, Paul....

Originally posted by johnnyphoto:

People aren't good. We're bad. Very bad. We're greedy and we do cruel and horrific things to each other in order to gain power, fame, wealth, etc.

Please speak for yourself.....this is an opinion, not fact, and therefore your premise doesn't work. We are not all bad, greedy, cruel, and horrific. Please speak for yourself and don't lump all of us into your little band of bad people.

One other thing you may want to consider.......there is no "President of the Atheists" or some such thing, whereas your Christian leaders have long tried to justify their atrocities in "The name of the Lord".

You believers are supposed to behave better and answer to a higher authority. That just makes your history that much more unpalatable.

So again, you're kind of comparing apples and oranges here.....


04/12/2013 07:15:12 AM · #5
the problem i have with religion is that its often used as a cover to negatively influence.

i don't care if you believe in god, why should you care if i don't?

04/12/2013 08:44:44 AM · #6
I know and admire many Atheists that uphold "Christian Values" far better than many Christians I know. Some, far better than me, I'm I try real hard to uphold my Christian Values.

as per Christian and the Crusades : I wonder how intent those "Christian" kings would have been to "free the Holy Land" if it didn't also "free" trade routes to the east. The Crusades were not about Christianity, they were about economics.

as per Atheist and Abortion : The Chinese government is responsible for the one child policy and the abortions that have resulted from it, and yes, the Chinese state religion IS Atheism... However to tie the two together is a bit of a stretch. I've known many Christians in my country (US) that "choose" to have abortions. Who is more guilty of the death of a baby, the Atheist woman dragged to the hospital to have a forced abortion, or the good Christian woman that decides "it's not the right time for another" and pays someone to kill her baby?

Christians need to accept that Atheists are on their own journey to God (although they may disagree) and let them head on down the road. The most profound Bible discussions I've ever had were with Atheists. Many Atheists study the Bible far more than the average Christian, although they typically do so in an attempt to refute it. Virtually every Atheist I've discussed the Bible with comes to admire Jesus very much and they usually live very exemplary lives. When they see Jesus hungry, they feed Him... Thirsty, they give Him drink... They just don't know it's Him. By my reading of the Book of Matthew, there will be a LOT of Atheists over on the right side with the sheep and some very surprised "Christians" on the left with the goats. (For those wondering I refer to Matthew 25: 31 through the end of the chapter)

All I would like to say to my Atheist sisters and brothers is, God bless :)
04/12/2013 08:47:37 AM · #7
Originally posted by johnnyphoto:

...a series of religious wars fought by kings in queens...

Yikes. And I thought Game of Thrones was brutal.
04/12/2013 08:59:37 AM · #8
This has been an interesting thread. I've never felt that morality and religion are tied together. In fact, the atheist who does good for the sake of doing the right thing should be considered better than the person who does good for fear of retribution in the afterlife or social pressure from their church.

I am not a religious person and have always had issues with religion since I was a teenager. I was raised Jewish. A friend who was Christian (Protestant, I think) asked me what was the difference between his religion and mine. When I explained the biggest difference was the Jews don't believe Christ was the savior, that was the end of the friendship. I was going to burn in hell and he wouldn't associate with me any longer.

There are so many different belief systems out there, all claiming to be the right one and everyone else being wrong. Even if tolerant of other faiths, this underlying concept of "We are right and everyone else is an evil sinner" is usually there. This makes me question a lot of things.
04/12/2013 09:10:01 AM · #9
Originally posted by johnnyphoto:

The bottom line: Atheism provides no logical or moral reason as to why human life is special and worthy of protection. Religion teaches that, but not atheism. According to atheism, humans are just highly evolved animals. Nothing more. Nothing less.

So? I see no "bottom line" in this statement. It's just a statement.

I think the difference is that the religious person believes that life and the human soul begins with conception, this makes abortion at any stage into murder. An atheist believes a human at conception is just a cluster of cells that is not aware of itself until a certain point later on. It is clear which definition the legal system goes according to.
04/12/2013 09:22:01 AM · #10
Originally posted by johnnyphoto:

... Atheism provides no logical or moral reason as to why human life is special and worthy of protection...

That's why I'm so good at killing Christians on Black Ops II. I find my camping spot, set up my claymore, doom shield, and trophy system; then proceed with the killing. Soon I have a guardian set up to further lock-down my camping spot, then the sentry gun to really lock my area down and automatically kill even more Christians. At this point, the Christians are getting really pissed off that someone is camping, and they just keep pouring in to my death trap and the score streaks pile up. Guardians, sentry guns, stealth choppers galore ! Oh sweet death!
04/12/2013 09:57:36 AM · #11
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

This has been an interesting thread. I've never felt that morality and religion are tied together. In fact, the atheist who does good for the sake of doing the right thing should be considered better than the person who does good for fear of retribution in the afterlife or social pressure from their church.


That's interesting... Do you really believe that religious people act out of fear of retribution? I think you have a somewhat skewed vision of religious people. That's really far down on the list of motivations...

I always enjoy these kinds of threads because they reveal how little Christians understand the mindset of Atheists and how little Atheists understand the mindset of the Religious... It's be interesting if someday Atheists and Religious had a conversation where the amount of talking didn't vastly overwhelm the amount of listening going on. As someone that has been on both sides of these threads at various stages of my life, I think it would be enlightening to both sides...

But it'll never happen :)
04/12/2013 10:02:16 AM · #12
Originally posted by johnnyphoto:

The bottom line: Atheism provides no logical or moral reason as to why human life is special and worthy of protection. Religion teaches that, but not atheism. According to atheism, humans are just highly evolved animals. Nothing more. Nothing less.


Actually, most atheist do think that you have only one life to live, (which makes it pretty special) and you need to make it count since once you're dead, there is no more. We just tend to worry more about those that are already here, living and breathing, than those who might be.
04/12/2013 10:04:15 AM · #13
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

An atheist believes a human at conception is just a cluster of cells that is not aware of itself until a certain point later on. It is clear which definition the legal system goes according to.


Curious... When is that "certain point later on"? Should a mother be allowed to say "This kid thing isn't working for me" and drive her 14 month and 3 year old babies into a lake and drown them? If so, Susan Smith is wrongfully imprisoned for exercising her Freedom to Choose. We should start a petition to free her. Or was 3 too old? Would have been ok if she only killed the 14 month old?

Just curious
04/12/2013 10:12:22 AM · #14
Originally posted by myqyl:

That's interesting... Do you really believe that religious people act out of fear of retribution? I think you have a somewhat skewed vision of religious people. That's really far down on the list of motivations...

It's certainly the impression that has been given to me every time someone tries to save my soul from burning in hell for not believing what they do. I'm sure it is indeed a skewed impression, but it has been clearly conveyed to me many times.

And it has nothing to do with a belief in god. I've been told that I'm burning in hell when I say I'm Jewish.

Perhaps it is a vocal minority that makes a poor impression which then reflects on others.
04/12/2013 10:15:41 AM · #15
Originally posted by johnnyphoto:

It is estimated that up to 5 million people died during the crusades, which were a series of religious wars fought by kings in [sic] queens in the name of their religion... The Chinese Communist Party is officially atheist...

What a completely screwball comparison. Millions have died in the name of religion for the specific belief that some god demands it, however there is ZERO connection between atheism and mass killings in China. None. Mandarin is the official language of China (technically Standard Chinese), so does that mean millions have been killed in the name of Mandarin? Of course not. Atheism demands no policy or action for the same reason that nobody kills in the name of not believing in unicorns. Your comparison on the value of life is similarly ridiculous since the absence of an afterlife or resurrection makes life MORE valuable (see Rick Warren's son, Jim Jones, Heaven's Gate, Muslim suicide bombers, etc.). Abortions are legal in Sweden, where less than 20% of the people believe in a god, yet their abortion rate is lower than in the U.S. Heed your own advice and don't repeat unintelligent arguments just because their [sic] "hip."

Message edited by author 2013-04-12 10:26:49.
04/12/2013 10:16:17 AM · #16
Originally posted by myqyl:

Curious... When is that "certain point later on"? Should a mother be allowed to say "This kid thing isn't working for me" and drive her 14 month and 3 year old babies into a lake and drown them? If so, Susan Smith is wrongfully imprisoned for exercising her Freedom to Choose. We should start a petition to free her. Or was 3 too old? Would have been ok if she only killed the 14 month old?

Just curious

Doesn't matter. It's not for me to decide. There are laws that define this. No I am not familiar with what they say. I've never been in the position of needing or wanting a loved one to have an abortion.
04/12/2013 10:22:19 AM · #17
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by myqyl:

That's interesting... Do you really believe that religious people act out of fear of retribution? I think you have a somewhat skewed vision of religious people. That's really far down on the list of motivations...

It's certainly the impression that has been given to me every time someone tries to save my soul from burning in hell for not believing what they do. I'm sure it is indeed a skewed impression, but it has been clearly conveyed to me many times.

And it has nothing to do with a belief in god. I've been told that I'm burning in hell when I say I'm Jewish.

Perhaps it is a vocal minority that makes a poor impression which then reflects on others.


Don't feel singled out. They tell me that I'm burning in hell too cause I'm Catholic.

I'll make a deal with you... I won't judge all Atheists by the policies of the Chinese government if you don't judge all Christians by the blathering of the Westboro baptists...

If you want to shut up the "you'll burn in hell" crowd, point out that Jesus says differently, in many places... Matthew 25 is a good start. If you like I'll give you a dozen or so verses to throw at them... They usually just go to the next house and leave me alone.
04/12/2013 10:23:03 AM · #18
Originally posted by myqyl:

Curious... When is that "certain point later on"?

The point of viability.
04/12/2013 10:25:37 AM · #19
Originally posted by myqyl:

I won't judge all Atheists by the policies of the Chinese government if you don't judge all Christians by the blathering of the Westboro baptists...

Dumb. China's policies are not dictated by disbelief in gods, while the Westboro Baptists' policies are wholly dependent upon religious belief.
04/12/2013 10:44:06 AM · #20
This is simple.

The Chinese are quite right - there are now 7+ billion people on this planet, we are overwhelming the natural resources and quite literally on a path to make this planet much more challenging to live on.

I say that 336 million abortions is a great start, but we really need to expand this one child policy to more countries.

As for Atheists - we certainly do have enough common sense to realize the facts, and aren't deluded by trying to live our lives around a 2000 year old book.

Message edited by author 2013-04-12 10:45:07.
04/12/2013 10:48:39 AM · #21
Originally posted by myqyl:



Christians need to accept that Atheists are on their own journey to God (although they may disagree) and let them head on down the road. The most profound Bible discussions I've ever had were with Atheists. Many Atheists study the Bible far more than the average Christian, although they typically do so in an attempt to refute it. Virtually every Atheist I've discussed the Bible with comes to admire Jesus very much and they usually live very exemplary lives. When they see Jesus hungry, they feed Him... Thirsty, they give Him drink... They just don't know it's Him. By my reading of the Book of Matthew, there will be a LOT of Atheists over on the right side with the sheep and some very surprised "Christians" on the left with the goats. (For those wondering I refer to Matthew 25: 31 through the end of the chapter)

All I would like to say to my Atheist sisters and brothers is, God bless :)


I would disagree, but mostly just to replace the word God with truth.

I just wish more Christians were half as wise as you - I'd probably be far less defensively aggressive about the whole thing.
04/12/2013 10:51:18 AM · #22
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:



There are so many different belief systems out there, all claiming to be the right one and everyone else being wrong. Even if tolerant of other faiths, this underlying concept of "We are right and everyone else is an evil sinner" is usually there. This makes me question a lot of things.


For me this is the answer in it's entirety. This simple observation rather neatly proves that almost every religion must be wrong. - The question that remains is "how wrong?"

Message edited by author 2013-04-12 10:51:44.
04/12/2013 10:54:52 AM · #23
Originally posted by myqyl:

Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

This has been an interesting thread. I've never felt that morality and religion are tied together. In fact, the atheist who does good for the sake of doing the right thing should be considered better than the person who does good for fear of retribution in the afterlife or social pressure from their church.


That's interesting... Do you really believe that religious people act out of fear of retribution? I think you have a somewhat skewed vision of religious people. That's really far down on the list of motivations...


Do you not? Really? I mean, seriously, a solid 5th of the bible is about retribution.

Really, a central theme of Christianity is fear of punishment and avoidance of hell - true, people do tend to focus on the heaven and loving God aspects of the whole thing, but in reality, it's a dual motivation - and that's one reason it works so well, the stick and the carrot are in harmony.

ETA: Personal Story:

My favorite Aunt, who I do love dearly, is a bread-belt Christian - it breaks my heart, honestly, that she is truly devastated by my lack of faith in her religion - she is convinced that she will miss me in heaven, and she tells me that she cries thinking about me burning in hell, and doesn't think she can enjoy heaven if I'm not there.

Please, if you can, tell me that this isn't proof of that fear, and just how deeply it is instilled in most Chrisitans, due (I think) to the constant reinforcement from a very young age..

Message edited by author 2013-04-12 10:59:25.
04/12/2013 11:03:07 AM · #24
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by myqyl:

Curious... When is that "certain point later on"? Should a mother be allowed to say "This kid thing isn't working for me" and drive her 14 month and 3 year old babies into a lake and drown them? If so, Susan Smith is wrongfully imprisoned for exercising her Freedom to Choose. We should start a petition to free her. Or was 3 too old? Would have been ok if she only killed the 14 month old?

Just curious

Doesn't matter. It's not for me to decide. There are laws that define this. No I am not familiar with what they say. I've never been in the position of needing or wanting a loved one to have an abortion.


Well, it'd be best to make it so it's before they can talk. That way they can't argue that they are human and would really rather not be killed.
04/12/2013 11:05:05 AM · #25
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by myqyl:

Curious... When is that "certain point later on"?

The point of viability.


The point of viability? I'm 54 and my wife says i probably couldn't survive on my own... Certainly a 1 year old baby would die pretty quickly if left to their own devices... This seems like a very vague line. Could you explain what you mean please?
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