The substantial cost of theistic morality

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doubtingthomas
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Re: The substantial cost of theistic morality

Post by doubtingthomas »

Res Ipsa wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:36 am
I've never encountered a religious person who even implied that they would engage in risky behavior because this life was not important to them.
But many gang members believe a saint is protecting them. Other gang members believe they are going to heaven. Some use religion to justify murder.

Res Ipsa wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:36 am
Go find some data

You are right, there is not enough data. But there are many good reasons to suspect that religion is doing more harm than good.
Res Ipsa wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:36 am

The article you cited doesn't support your claims at all. It provides no evidence that religion caused the rise of Stalin. It's about how religion survived despite the best efforts of an atheistic regime. You're proving my point about the No True Atheist game.


No, but many Russians were religious. The Soviet Union didn't have an atheist majority. And "However, professor J. Rufus Fears of the University of Oklahoma unintentionally confirmed Hitchens’ argument. In a lecture on the rise of Christianity, he discussed how Constantine was easily able to establish a totalitarian Christian government by taking advantage of the system already set up by the pagan Roman theocracy. Fears compared this to Lenin and Stalin’s ability to slip into that totalitarian government of the czar and taking advantage of the Russians’ reverence to their leader (Fears), thus validating Hitchens and implicating religion even in Stalin’s rise to power."
https://www.somdnews.com/independent/op ... f9bf2.html
doubtingthomas
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Re: The substantial cost of theistic morality

Post by doubtingthomas »

Res Ipsa wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:36 am
But none of that tells us whether, if religion vanished right now, whether we'd have more or fewer people starting gunfights.
I think atheists are more likely to avoid a dangerous situation.

"Only about 8,000 out of 1.4 million active duty members in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force identify themselves as atheists, and another 1,800 say they are agnostic, according to the Defense Departmen"
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... 9P20120401
drumdude
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Re: The substantial cost of theistic morality

Post by drumdude »

doubtingthomas wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 6:47 pm
Res Ipsa wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:36 am
But none of that tells us whether, if religion vanished right now, whether we'd have more or fewer people starting gunfights.
I think atheists are more likely to avoid a dangerous situation.

"Only about 8,000 out of 1.4 million active duty members in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force identify themselves as atheists, and another 1,800 say they are agnostic, according to the Defense Departmen"
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... 9P20120401
You probably don't want to tell the evangelical fundamentalist Christian that is supposed to have your back in war that you doubt his beliefs in a sky daddy. Lots of incentives to say you're a nominal Christian believer...
Physics Guy
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Re: The substantial cost of theistic morality

Post by Physics Guy »

If the fundamentalist fellow soldier is serious, they’re going to want to protect an atheist’s life more than anyone else’s, so that the atheist will have a chance to repent and be saved. The risky thing would be letting them know that you are also fully saved. Then they’ll figure that if you die, it won’t really be bad.
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Re: The substantial cost of theistic morality

Post by Res Ipsa »

doubtingthomas wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 6:47 pm
Res Ipsa wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:36 am
But none of that tells us whether, if religion vanished right now, whether we'd have more or fewer people starting gunfights.
I think atheists are more likely to avoid a dangerous situation.

"Only about 8,000 out of 1.4 million active duty members in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force identify themselves as atheists, and another 1,800 say they are agnostic, according to the Defense Departmen"
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... 9P20120401
You're ignoring context again. The whole article addresses how non-believers are stigmatized in the armed forces.
Organizers said they hoped the “Rock Beyond Belief” event at Fort Bragg would spur equal treatment toward nonbelievers in the armed forces and help lift the stigma for approximately 295,000 active duty personnel who consider themselves atheist, agnostic or without a religious preference.

Defense Department policy holds that all service members have the right to believe in any or no religion. But those gathered at the event described being ostracized and harassed in the military community for not believing in God and worried about getting passed over for promotions if their secularist stances were widely known.
Griffith is a born-again Christian creationist-turned-atheist who dreamed up the “Rock Beyond Belief” festival to protest an evangelical event held at Fort Bragg in September 2010. Sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, the “Rock the Fort” event featured Christian musicians and speakers who shared an evangelical message with the military community.

Griffith, 29, tried to get “Rock the Fort” canceled, arguing it was aimed at converting soldiers and violated the constitutional separation of church and state. Fort Bragg officials refused to call it off but said the base would offer the same level of support to other groups seeking a similar gathering.
Though some Christian groups asked the Defense Department not to allow the non-theist event and other critics groused about it through social media, the gathering Saturday had a peaceful vibe without a protester in sight. The crowd included many families with children, some of them part of the military community and others civilians who came out to show support.

“This is very cool,” said Brenda Germain, whose husband retired from the Air Force. “So many times the atheists feel like they’re alone in their community.”

Several military members and their spouses echoed Germain’s feelings but didn’t want their names used out of concern about possible repercussions. One Army wife said her home in a town near Fort Bragg was vandalized after her children told their friends they did not believe in God. Her family ended up moving, she said.

Two service members said they put “no religious preference” rather than atheist on their dog tags to avoid having their beliefs influence how they are treated or viewed by their colleagues.

“We’re good people, we’re serving in the military,” said an Army sergeant stationed at Fort Bragg who did not want to be identified. Atheism “hasn’t changed how I serve.”
This is an especially notorious problem within the Air Force. https://www.thedailybeast.com/us-air-fo ... or-get-out You can find lots of other references online.

So, given this stigma, there is no reason to expect that the religious identification that soldiers make publicly during their service reflects their actual stances toward religion.

You have to make a case that atheists avoid military service because it's dangerous, as opposed to numerous other factors that could correlate with military service. You haven't come close.
he/him
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds….”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Res Ipsa
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Re: The substantial cost of theistic morality

Post by Res Ipsa »

doubtingthomas wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 6:25 pm
Res Ipsa wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:36 am
I've never encountered a religious person who even implied that they would engage in risky behavior because this life was not important to them.
But many gang members believe a saint is protecting them. Other gang members believe they are going to heaven. Some use religion to justify murder.

Res Ipsa wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:36 am
Go find some data

You are right, there is not enough data. But there are many good reasons to suspect that religion is doing more harm than good.
Res Ipsa wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:36 am

The article you cited doesn't support your claims at all. It provides no evidence that religion caused the rise of Stalin. It's about how religion survived despite the best efforts of an atheistic regime. You're proving my point about the No True Atheist game.


No, but many Russians were religious. The Soviet Union didn't have an atheist majority. And "However, professor J. Rufus Fears of the University of Oklahoma unintentionally confirmed Hitchens’ argument. In a lecture on the rise of Christianity, he discussed how Constantine was easily able to establish a totalitarian Christian government by taking advantage of the system already set up by the pagan Roman theocracy. Fears compared this to Lenin and Stalin’s ability to slip into that totalitarian government of the czar and taking advantage of the Russians’ reverence to their leader (Fears), thus validating Hitchens and implicating religion even in Stalin’s rise to power."
https://www.somdnews.com/independent/op ... f9bf2.html
You haven't shown that atheists are underrepresented among gang members or that atheist gang members are less violent than believing gang members. You're just cherry picking anecdotes to support your personal disapproval of religion.

There are many reasons to suspect that religion is doing more good than harm. It all depends on the reasons you choose to focus on.

Again, No True Atheist. Given that most of the world is religious, one can argue that religion is implicated in the rise of Hitchens, Dawkins, or any atheist or leader. By your standard, every bad act by an atheist can be traced back to some religious antecedent.
he/him
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds….”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Res Ipsa
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Re: The substantial cost of theistic morality

Post by Res Ipsa »

Physics Guy wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 7:31 pm
If the fundamentalist fellow soldier is serious, they’re going to want to protect an atheist’s life more than anyone else’s, so that the atheist will have a chance to repent and be saved. The risky thing would be letting them know that you are also fully saved. Then they’ll figure that if you die, it won’t really be bad.
Is there any reason to believe that a soldier makes that kind of calculation under fire?
he/him
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds….”
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Physics Guy
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Re: The substantial cost of theistic morality

Post by Physics Guy »

Probably not. And for that matter, a really careful utilitarian who happened also to believe in eternal damnation might reflect that the enemy soldiers, serving a wicked cause as they did, were at high risk of damnation as well. In this version of the trolley problem it might be the righteous who should be let die.

Careful utilitarian ethics probably doesn’t jibe well with damnation, anyway, since it rates a God who consigns people to eternal suffering for finite crimes as unethical. And if I think what qualities I’d most want in a co-combatant, along with appropriate motivations I’d really like some more reliable grasp of reality than I can count on in any fundamentalist.
doubtingthomas
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Re: The substantial cost of theistic morality

Post by doubtingthomas »

drumdude wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 7:10 pm
You probably don't want to tell the evangelical fundamentalist Christian that is supposed to have your back in war that you doubt his beliefs in a sky daddy.
"Is U.S. military becoming outdated?"
https://www.cnn.com/2015/06/08/opinions ... index.html

I would feel safer if everyone on earth would stop believing in sky daddy. The probability for a nuclear WW3 in the future would decrease if all religion ended. '
drumdude
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Re: The substantial cost of theistic morality

Post by drumdude »

I think belief in a God is innate in humans, because humans are inherently irrational. There will always be people who believe irrational things, and some of those irrational things are harmless or perhaps even beneficial to society.

So I disagree with the idea that religion needs to vanish. I think certain religious behaviors need to vanish. Suicide bombing. Genital mutilation. Child marriages. Theocratic rule of law.

The goal needs to be to tame religions, not abolish them. To coexist. But that does not, as Dan Peterson wants, mean treating religions with kid gloves. Religions must continue to be mocked, scrutinized, held to account when they deserve it.
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