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"Ten things Christians and Atheists can and must agree on." An article that would serve this community well

Whether you're Christian, atheist, or anything else, please read and try to keep an open mind


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How are rights variable?

You picked one right that has stood the longest test of time as your example. I'm referring to all the rights we have today. Some came in as recently as a few decades ago. Others came in 2500 years ago. Still others may have come from cave times under who knows what circumstances. The point is that even though they may be long lasting, they weren't inherent from day one to eternity.

A better example would be the right to drink alcohol. How arbitrary can we be to set aside a highest level restriction on a permission to drink. And then we changed our minds and set it as an OK for permission to do so. This back and forth was caused by social conventions in exactly the same way that lower level things like writing from left to right on paper (in applicable countries) was. It just gained enough importance that we decided it needed enforcement. Writing direction simply grew out of convenience I would imagine.

That any of these can be and are broken at times says exactly zero about what they mean to society as a whole. It's completely unrelated. Each of them gets weighed on their importance and impact to the rest of us and then we decide if they need a PSA, an ordinance/fine, a law, a Geneva Convention law, an Amendment or maybe just a voluntary organization supporting and promoting it.

I'm not so against having a shared set of rules. As my examples show, I think society requires some for there to be any interactions. My contention was more that "because god said so" is ruling by fear, not teaching people how every action they do has ramifications everywhere. Call it the butterfly effect or whatever, but if you're not learning to act from genuine internal moral compass reasons then you're being hypocritical on some level. And just like the butterfly effect, each action has a result that affects another result and so on. This leads to people doing things they don't fully understand they why behind and that begins the downfall of society. Just tell the truth in everything even if it hurts or causes pain. But keep in mind that that pain can always be removed when the full reasons are explained. This is another reason why we need to keep track of all the 'why' reasons for our social and personal rules.

And on misinterpreting the bible... Isn't that just another type of an innocent false case? I wasn't laying the blame of intent for why it was wrong, just that if any part is wrong, then all of it can be suspect. And don't try to suggest that any rendition of the bible in any part of history has ever been without logical error. There are way too many contradictions (hundreds or more) for that statement to stand. Just the first 3 words are contradictory to where it says that god has existed forever because that would imply there was no beginning.

Variable rights....

I gotta admit, I don't really follow what your saying with the alcohol situation, but people have always had a right to drink alcohol, because it'd be wrong to stop them...just because some organization says so or tries to define rights doesn't change them. The Bill of Rights was written to reiterate our already existing natural rights, and it does not mention all of them, so we have more rights than it says.

If you misinterpret the bible, how would that be an innocent false case on behalf of the bible? What if the story was not meant to be factual? Or what if there was supernatural power involved? But if you don't see it and haven't proven it now, then I can see how you'd find it hard to believe...however that does not remove the possibility that there was supernatural powers in play, and it really did happen (in which case it wouldn't be false).

Also, you claim the first 3 words are contradictory because they imply there was no beginning...how do you know there was a beginning? Please, tell me the truth in everything even if it hurts, I'm interested :)

What if? (this will piss off Christians but is only in good fun)

There was a young woman named Mary and she lived in the village of Nazarath. One day Mary noticed that she had become pregnant; probably from that handsome stable boy the other night, she knew she would be shunned since she wasn't married. So she came up with a story that an angel visited her and told her she would carry the son of god named Jesus. She quickly told her parents and as many people she could; of course back in those days people weren't so bright so they bought up all her lies. She quickly swindled her future picked husband Joesph to believing her lies; soon the Romans declared a census and she was to travel to Bethlehem. After her long journey with Joesph she made it to Bethlehem and the rest is history.

NOW this could of happened or God could of impregnated her with a "magical son of God child" that would be the savoir of the Jews. I personally don't believe it but hell stranger things have happened in life.

NOW for all of you BIBLE THUMPERS! The bible probably doesn't hold one merit of truth. In fact the Bible was written by many scholars and presented to a king with the best one being picked. I don't have any sources of this claim but have read about it several times. Anyways after the King picked his favorite he distilled it though-out the land.

My point is that people who make reference to bible quotes are doing so in good nature but it probably didn't happen. The bible is a book of story's that are meant for us to follow; it preaches the good we should do in life and also tells us about the bad we must avoid. The bible is a bunch of stories for people to live by. I hope I haven't offended anyone by posting this but I probably did.


Actually, there is no evidence that Mary, Joseph or Jesus ever existed. There were many "sons of gods" in other cultures who were born of virgins, performed miracles, died on a cross or tree (The Christian bible claims Jesus both died on a cross and a tree. Which is it?) and then came back to life. ALL THESE "SAVIOR" STORIES PREDATE THE JESUS MYTH BY HUNDREDS OF YEARS.


'died on a cross or tree'

omg, seriously? wow, how can you ever reconcile that: tree, cross...gosh, I just cannot see the connection...

Feel free to believe what you want to believe obviously, but please keep your superficial logic and research to yourself

I look up people with

I look up people with principles in both sides. I dislike hypocrites in both sides. I appreciate Chomsky I have Cheney in very low regard. I appreciate Dr. Paul I hold Stalin in low regard, etc, etc.

Dr. Frankl in his autobiographical book Mans search for meaning talks about the guards and the prisoners in the concentration camp. He said that he could find good people in both groups. He could also find villains in both groups.

Phxarcher87's picture


Type it in on youtube great watch

James Madison


For the most part, the article is fine. However, there was at least one area I thought needed qualification.

When it says:
"4. There Are Good People on Both Sides"

Now I understand the point that is being made, and how the relative goodness of people on both sides can be the same, and how according to worldly standards, many atheists can be very good indeed, and in some cases better than most Christians. However, I wish the author would have said that the level of visible goodness on both sides can be the same, rather than that they are actually good. To say that people are actually good goes against the old and new testaments in the Bible, so from a theological perspective, we can't all fully agree with the fourth point:

Psalms 14:2-3 "The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one."

Romans 3:10-18 as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips."
"Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known." "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

There are commands in the Bible which only believers could fulfill , like loving God, believing him, obeying him regarding church ordinances, etc. Giving the appearance that Christians perform more moral duties within religion than atheists who perform no moral duties within religion. But both parties would be considered equally sinful in christianity and therefore not morally better than the other:

Romans 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

So it would be better to focus on the similar level of morality rather than goodness itself.

another thing that might be an issue is the point that disbelief is unrelated to morality:

The article said "... if there is a God, it appears that some good people honestly don't perceive him."

The problem here is that within some religious beliefs, this would also go against doctrine.

In Christianity, there is a belief that everyone is sort of bent towards unbelief at some level and as the bible puts it, they actively suppress the truth. And God steps in and draws people to faith who would otherwise try to reject him:

Romans 1:18 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,"
John 6:44 "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."

I think I've heard that Islam believes that everyone is born a Muslim and then if they abandon it, it is for moral reasons as well.

I'm not saying that it's taught that this is necessarily a 'conscious' moral rejection of belief in the view of either religion, but there are popular religious beliefs that morals are somehow involved in belief.

But on the atheist side, there is no sin, and there might not even be goodness outside of cultural convention or subjectivity, so they might not agree to Christians saying we are equally sinful, and might not agree that anyone is objectively good.

Not very good

I'm an atheist, but only because someone else will tell me I am when I reject their religion. The real problem is theocrats and socialists. I don't mind atheists or Christians as long as they keep their religion away from the government and me. As soon as an atheist talks about universal healthcare or a Christian brings up gay marriage I am done with both of them.

No train to Stockholm.

Not only Christians question

Not only Christians question gay marriage. The atheist-communist governments and also Islamic governments oppose this concept.

Collectivists question the

Collectivists question the "legality" of gay marriage.

Individualists can believe anything they want on the matter.

If you think gay marriage should be illegal, guess which camp you fall into? Not the side of liberty.

Sure because muslims think

Sure because muslims think freedom of association is a bad idea as much as christians and socialists tend to.

I'm an 'atheist' because I don't believe, not because I do.

Faithful atheists annoy me more than christians. At least christians have an excuse, they were brought up that way. Faithful atheists not only positively and actively believe in an assertion, faithful atheists almost usually also believe in fascism or socialism, ie progressivism, compulsory change by government force/guns.

If you're a libertarian or ancap that says 1000 times more about your morality than whether you worship a god in the sky or a god in Washington DC.

And christians seem to 'get' freedom better, on the whole, so most of my friends and the people I respect are christians, even though I don't believe.

What the article fails at is very very simple. If you believe in using government force to make people do as you wish, you will ALWAYS be fighting over your beliefs. Because it is the beliefs that determine what is done, and who it is done to, and who is the one doing.

In a free society religion is a positive force. In our society it will always be a source of friction.

Religion isn't the problem, any more than corporations or unions are the problem, on their own.

The state is the problem.

Well said. What seperates

Well said. What seperates the wheat from the chafe is wether or not a person is an individualist or a collectivist.

I think most of the things in that article are nonsense. The few things that are not, are highly condensable.

There is only 1 thing Christians, athiests and everyone else in the world needs to agree on if you ever want this world to not suck:

No person or group of persons, no matter what kind of funny hat or badge they have on, has the right to take from another individual their right to life, liberty or property. Only individuals who violate another's rights are subject to criminal justice.

If everyone followed that one simple philosophy, they could lead the rest of their lives however the hell they wanted and there would be peace on earth. Sure it wouldn't be holding hands and rainbows. Sure their would be plenty of things someone considers "immoral" but none of that immorality would be forced on anyone who did not want it, and we could all live in peace. Humans will never learn to get along, but who cares so long as its universally understood that you can't mess with other people's rights.

Collectivism, now, as ever is the enemy of free humanity. As long as there are enough collectivists anywhere on earth to field an army or influence an election, there will never be peace on earth. Right now, there are probably not enough Individualists to field an army or influence an election... so we are in trouble.

I think if the battle can be

I think if the battle can be won at all, the battle can be won as simply as clarifying the debate, which is individualism vs collectivism, voluntarism vs compulsion.

I think prevention of clarifying the debate is the secondary purpose of our two party system. People are kept from having coherent and consistent thought by being tricked into thinking there are only two sides to the debate, both of which have bad and good things. IE if you have innate individualist and moral tendencies you think, if there is some privilege to be afforded to a certain sort of contract, marriage, then all should have access. So you'd think democrat. But then you also find taxes, especially a jacked up tax system as we have, immoral. So you think republican.

What to do? Well you just pick one and try to justify to yourself why it's ok to do so, which cannot help but screw up your mind, or at least turn you off to thinking morally or philosophically. You associate mostly with your 'team' and they reinforce whatever rhetorical devices seem to best justify the 'team A coercion is ok sometimes but team B coercion is bad' that minimizes cognitive dissonance.

But that is all they accomplish, minimizing dissonance. They are intellectually stunted so long as the brain is prevented from having a consistent and coherent cognition. In essence the media delivers an electric shock whenever someone seems to be connecting two dots.

The intelligentsia turns this incoherence into an art.

Wisdom becomes avoiding conclusions.

Subtlety becomes being able to articulate any point of view, none of which is actually believed.

That which is believed is never openly articulated at all, the pure pragmatism of force.

I love the irony

The guy that wrote the article attempts to bring people together and all the comments on here are about how one side or the other sucks.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

this is good . . .

but then I'm a Christian who doesn't hate: Atheists, agnostics, bhuddists, Hindus, Jews or Muslims--

and I find myself distrusting really radical Christians, even though I am part of that group, or a subset of it--

I don't understand religious intolerance; I don't care who exhibits it--atheist or religionist--

mean people are mean people, whatever their label

kind people are kind people, whatever their label--

so I think the article has a lot of good points--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Christianity and my conscience lead me to the same conclusion.

Treat others as you would like to be treated.Treat others with goodwill,kindness,compassion and mercy.Admit and repent of your mistakes and the wrong things you have done ,said, and thought.Swallow your pride and let your conscience be your guide to truth and to what is right or wrong.That is what being a Christian and following Christ means to me.To me,it has nothing to do with religious denominations.Even if you don't believe in God,does it not make sense to live by these principles anyway?..........If this makes sense to you,you might appreciate the video linked at the bottom of this post.

Bizarre that Cracked would

Bizarre that Cracked would post such an editorial, they were originally a competitor to MAD Magazine.

David Wong and several other

of the main writers for the site have been known to write life advice pieces.

Christianity vs Atheism

This country was founded by Deists not christians, yet I never hear or read any discussion of the one truly freeing philosophy.
Organized religion is usded to control the masses by whoever is in power, thats why stalin had to make the state the center of his new religion when he outlawed the old religions.
Deism uses no fairy tales to coerce you or threats to cajole you, it puts no one between you and The Higher Power and gives no man or state power over you!
It truly frees the soul and demands morality through a libertarian philosophy

Tasers are Torture, Deism.com

I guess that Jesus guy is just a fairy tale

I mean, it wasn't like he walked around and rose from the dead. Oh wait, he did.

Deism, that is so 1700, good thing in like the past 200 years, Christians are keeping on going. I dare you to stamp us out.

May the LORD bless you and keep you
May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you
May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace
Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/Burning_Sirius

Founders Deists, not Christians?

On what basis are you making that claim? The following shows the religion of the signers of three salient founding-era documents. (I'm assuming that that's the era/individuals you were talking about, not the Pilgrims, whose Mayflower Compact, linked at the bottom, leaves no question as to their religion & religious goals for the new world.)

"Religious Affiliation of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America"

Note that Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, whose religious affiliations are shown, are acknowledged as Deists. I thought these were interesting quotes for a couple of Deists:

"Benjamin Franklin

As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.

The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer, like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and guilding, lies here, food for worms. Yet the work itself shall not be lost; for it will, as he believed, appear once more in a new and more beatiful edition, corrected and amended by the Author.31 (FRANKLIN’S EULOGY THAT HE WROTE FOR HIMSELF)"

Thomas Jefferson

The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.

The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He [God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses.

I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others.

I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ."

Source: "A Few Declarations of Founding Fathers and Early Statesmen on Jesus, Christianity, and the Bible" http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=8755

Mayflower Compact http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayflower_Compact

Btw, Chef4Paul, I don't disagree with you that organized religion is used to control the masses. I'm Christian, but I do not belong to a church, nor have I as an adult (with one brief exception, after which I left for a second time). But a few years ago, having heard much on the "myth" of America's Christian founding, I did look into the issue some. What we choose to do from here is one thing, but there is no doubt about America's religious/spiritual heritage.

And ever see our first textbook (from 1777), "The New England Primer?" http://shop.wallbuilders.com/The-New-England-Primer-Book I have a copy somewhere. In this widely-used pocket-sized book, the alphabet is taught in rhymes with Bible references; there are children's graces and bedtime prayers; a Bible Q&A covers such salient events as the Transfiguration of Christ. It was used into the 1900's.

There's a lot of revisionist history out there. Here's one article on the subject: "Revisionism: How to Identify It In Your Children's Textbooks" http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=112

I'm here at the Daily Paul because I'm interested to know the truth. If I'm wrong about something, I'll gladly stand corrected.

P.S. Incidentally, along with his other research, David Barton, founder of Wallbuilders, has amassed a treasure trove of (original) founding documents; it has been his life's work to set the record straight, and I appreciate that. (Another eye opener for me was C-Span's tour of the Capitol, filled with religious symbolism in its murals, paintings, statues, engravings....) However, I do not necessarily share his personal beliefs. I believe he's an evangelical Christian.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

So you think...

A christian would cut the bible up, taking out any reference to the divinity of Jesus?

No train to Stockholm.

Don't ask me. Ask Jefferson.

What's your point? The source I provided noted that Jefferson was a Deist. And I didn't call him a Christian; Christian is what he called himself. Personally? I'd say that one wasn't a Christian in the traditional sense of the word if one did not believe in His divinity. But that's just my opinion. Jefferson obviously felt differently.

So let me ask you, what *do* you call someone who a) believes in God, and b) claims to be "a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ?"

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Jefferson, like any

Jefferson, like any politician said some things in his "public" life, and others in his "personal" life.

I have no doubt there was enormous social preasure at the time to call youself "Christian" in politics. Jefferson however "was" a diest by any logical account. His "dislike" (to put it mildly)for organized religeon is not exactly hidden. Case in point:

"The priest has ever been the enemy of liberty."

Jefferson wrote the Declairation of Independance which really is the soul of America. Christians always want to claim that somehow its based on Christianity, but I strongly suspect Bastiat and John Locke were bigger influences to Jefferson. Selling the Declairation as a Christian article was Jefferson playing politics like a slick master.

He knew it had to have the "Christian" stamp of approval in order to be able to sell the idea to all the collectivist religeous fanatics surrounding him. To accomplish this, he boiled Christianity down to what he considered to be its root; free will. He then sold Christian free will in place of simply saying "Natural Law" in order to appease his peers. By packaging the declairation as a Christian document, the rest of the religeous fanatics had no choice but to sign on. A vote against it would have been like a vote against God.

Genius really.

In reality, free will in the bible is an illusion as the bible is a book of coersion. You are given commandments. If you question or break them, you are tortured and doomed to eternal suffering. The philosophy of liberty is superior in every way and doesn't resemble the bible's Orwelleon definition of free will in the slightest... you no more have the free will to choose not to worship God than you do to avoid paying your taxes. Compliance is manditory. Submit or suffer the consequences of the god/state.

That Jefferson used the illusion of biblical "free will" to sell natural law to the founding father's is a testiment to the virtue of using political strategy to advance the cause of human liberty.

Is it wrong to lie to win? That depends. When you lie to someone maliciously, you are depriving them of their liberty. You steal from them the ability to make rational choices, and though often minor, this can lead to great personal harm. We call it fraud. But how do you punish fraud? By depriving the person of their liberty in a court of law, and placing them in a cage.

Christians say that lying is "always" wrong. "Stealing" is always wrong. Yet... they all agree that violence, while undesirable, is not wrong when in self defense. So Christians aknoweldge that self defense is a circumstance when you may deprive another of their right to life. Why is the right of life afforded an exception, yet liberty and property are not when it comes to self defense to the faithful?

Why is it that when men try to deprive you of your liberty by pushing an Orwelleon police state onto you, based on collectivist lies, the Christians believe you are unprincipaled if you lie to take power away from them and restore your liberty? How is this differant than combating offensive violence with defensive violence?
Your liberty is in danger because of a lie, so if you must mislead your opposition in order to get elected and restore your liberty (such as endorsing your foe in order to gain the support of his sheeple and thus, gain electability), this is self defense. You are protecting your liberty from those who would use fraud (intentionally, or as a product of miseducation) to steal it from you.

Obviously it is not appropriate to use violent self defense to combat fraud, so what defense is left to us if we cannot defend ourselves by engaging our enemies' liberty? In court, perpetrators of fraud are locked in a cage. Liberty for liberty. However what court will defend Americans when the enemy is our own government and the judicial system it owns? What other form of "liberty" self defense is left to us other than using effective tactics to revoke our enemies' ability to deprive us of our right to liberty. Yet Christians want us to be defensless against them... which is why this strain of the Libertarian movment and their false sense of biblical principal will at best, net 2% of the vote and insure our slavery. Oh sure they might make good martyrs and look saintly, but they will loose. Because when usurpers come for your rights, those who do not defend them, loose them.

How can you possibly expect to live free when you are unwilling to defend yourself? Remember, rights are won on the battlefield.

If a man steals your personal property without just cause, is it wrong to take it back from him at a later date? Is this not what a court does on your behalf? This is self defense in measure to the crime done upon you.

The Christian "version" of morality is a hinderance because its based on bullshit. Natural law is a far better and more practicle guide to morality. Its also realistic and insures that free humanity has the means to defend itself from collectivism.

Being Christian

In your public life, while in private writing you aren't, is exactly what any politician would do in the "christian" colonies. Jefferson didn't believe in Jesus Christ as a savior who died for your sins. He thought he was a good moral teacher from the east. Franklin said his religion was to do good. He was a sexual deviant with a child from a prostitute. He expressed no faith in Christianity as it's displayed in the bible.

No train to Stockholm.

My Jefferson quotes

came from his writings. But Jefferson thought that Jesus was more than just "a" good moral teacher. He said he was "sincerely attached" to the doctrines of Jesus Christ "in preference to all others." I don't understand why you are attempting to minimize Thomas Jefferson's religious beliefs, what point you're trying to make. He believed in God. And he thought that Jesus' doctrines were preferable to all others. Did you ever read the Gospels, LukeO? Because, that's where you'll find Jesus' doctrines, and they cover a lot (not just re morality, either). As to some purported deviancy of Franklin, what is your point there? That Christians and non-Christians can both have character flaws? If so, I agree! So did Ben. Using the metaphor of a book, he said he believed that, after his death, he would "appear once more in a new and more beatiful edition, corrected and amended by the Author." And it would appear Franklin had mixed thoughts about Jesus if he said he had no faith in Christianity as per the Bible *and* also that he considered "the system of morals and His [Jesus'] religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see." Or else, if he really meant both, he must have thought mankind hopeless! Ever feel that way? I have. Like this past November!

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Did you

Did you really just say this? I never met a single person that actually pretended this. Very interesting.

wolfe's picture

No good points.

I couldn't find a single accurate thing the man said. It was contrived and not natural observations of behavior.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -