Sunday, September 11, 2005

As an atheist, my world view is constantly under attack by people whom I reveal to them that I do not believe in fairy tales. One of the most common misconceptions about atheist is that we all share a common view on ethics. The thought is that this supposed atheist view of ethics is that there are no moral absolutes. Whenever a theist makes this claim I know automatically that I am dealing with someone with a very myopic view of philosophy. Surely there are atheist who hold such a view. But this view of moral subjectivity is not a requisite for being an atheist. Normally theist have lived their entire lives being told about other world views from the mouths of their theist leaders and have not actually undertook a fair and objective assessment on their own to validate the claims they posit. Claims such as the assumption that all atheist view ethics as subjective. In fact the theist leaders more than likely have not undertaken an objective study into the claims and philosophies of other points of view themselves. It's really a seemingly endless regurgitation of specious claims of other world views supposed conclusions that are asserted as true but never supported as being true by the theist. This falls right into the philosophy inherent with Christianity of the sheeple being told what to think and how to think. The thinking has been done for you. Here it is in a package ready made for your convince. No thinking required! I'm reminded of the lyrics written by Neil Peart in a Rush song titled 'The Big Wheel".

"I placed no trust in a faith that was ready-made.Take no chances on paradise delayed"

You need not go out to think for yourself. Don't worry about validating any of these assessments of other philosophies for yourself. Joyous is he who believes with no proof yes? (ie, faith). It's the root of their irrationality and it permeates deep into their philosophy of mysticism that it is held as virtuous to not use your own mind. Though they don't hold that premise explicitly. It is however a logical necessity of other irrational premises they hold to explicitly.

Working from the false assumption that since I'm an atheist therefore I must view ethics as subjective, the question the theist thinks they have me cornered with goes something like this. "How can you say that what Hitler did to the Jews is wrong if ethics is subjective?" Normally I would try to undertake the arduous task of explaining to them that not all atheist view ethics as subjective and then the reasoning behind the non-theistic view of the Objectivist ethics. But this creates many problems because it requires me to be too verbose and the point seems to get lost in the process. Instead of going in to that with them I have discovered a much more effective way of defusing that question and simultaneously turn the tables back onto the theist thus shinning a glaring spot light onto their own view of ethics and how it is in fact subjective.

(If you are interested in a cursory view on Objectvist ethics you can go to...

http://solohq.com/Objectivism/

...and click under the appropriately named link, "ethics".)

Many (but not all) Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and all those who do not accept him will perish and suffer in hell for an eternity. Since Jews do not believe in Jesus Christ as a saviour then this rule would also apply to them. So I ask the theist after they pose the question to me. "Tell me why is it wrong for Hitler to have done what he did?" Their eyes light up as if they think I have just taken their bait hook line and sinker. They state the obvious horrors of doing such things to innocent people and thinking they are going in for the intellectual check mate they say. "Ah ha! You cannot say what Hitler did is wrong. Your world view cannot claim that such things are atrocities!" I then ask them. "After the Jews suffered and died because of Hitlers concentration camps, what is it your supposedly all good god did to their souls if Jesus is the only way to heaven?" Um..blank out..One Christian actually said to me that Hitler was wrong because he did not have the authority to do what he did but god does because he created us. The implication from that statement is that the acts of torturing the Jews itself is not wrong. It was only wrong because Hitler did not have the authority to do such a thing! "Might makes right?", I ask. The back stepping and the clamoring starts as I point out to them that they in fact hold two views of ethics. Their god according to them has done nothing but pick up where Hitler left off. In fact if we accept the Christian view that hell is the worst punishment, then in fact not only does he continue where Hitler left off, but he steps it up a notch or two!
No matter what "reasoning" they use, (and when I say "reasoning" I mean "cop outs") it serves as nothing but a red herring. The inescapable fact remains that the theist hold two standards of ethics. One for man, the other for their magic fairy tale guy in the sky.