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Religious psychopathology redux

March 2, 2012

In a blog post from a couple months ago, I mentioned going back to the Rational Skepticism forum to give it another try, after giving up on it for about a year. Since then I haven’t found the moderation to have improved one bit, but I continue to read while not taking it as seriously.

An example of the lack of moderation was the post I found there and blogged about on January 4th: the latest iteration of ‘atheists have no absolute morality, therefore they should become psychopaths’. I wonder why it took so long, but the poster left a comment on that two-month-old post, yesterday.

I’m not going to approve it, since that would let him comment freely on my blog, and I have no interest in advertising his xian-apologist website. But it is interesting to note that he seems to be from Brazil – I didn’t think he was a native English speaker – and I suppose I could hang onto the IP for future reference.

I will, however, post a little of it so that I can mock the believer some more. This isn’t RatSkep after all.

Since there is only one life , and after the death its over, even Dawkins recommends to live it to the fullest. In case of a atheist, that does not have to care about objective , prescribed moral standards, that would mean to live your own tendencies at its fullest. That can be to do whatever is considered good by our society, or in the contrary, it could mean to do what is considered to be bad.

Right off the bat he fails with ‘objective’ moral standards. For morality to be objective, it’s supposed to be universally valid, and organized religions like xianity prescribe one set of rules for its adherents, and a different set for its god-concept – well, really the god-concepts tend to be completely amoral, justifying whatever their alleged actions may be by their godhood. It’s the ultimate ‘might makes right’ argument, typified for example in the book of Job.

The ending of that book always cracks me up; it’s as if the writers, sensing the weakness of might-makes-right, have their god character play country music backwards and give Job a new and better everything for his trouble. Not that this helps the hapless, innocent, first family of Job, who gets all slaughtered and such in a divine game of checkers. Original sin to the rescue! But I digress.

As if the amoral, psychopathic source of xian morality wasn’t bad enough, even the supposedly objective moral standards of bible followers have changed over time, most notably in regard to the issue of slavery. So, unfortunately, xians are moral relativists pretending to something superior. We’ll never know if such a revelation turns any of them into criminals, because I expect every last one of them to deny that moral relativism of theirs.

Now, this believer claims that his argument is not meant to be an insult to the skeptic, although I made my case for that in January. But it’s not difficult to show the believer to be wrong, and consequentially an insincere, atheist-bashing fool.

The attack does not go against the atheist, but the atheistic world view. If you would consequently live your world view, in my view, the most intelligent behavior would be the one described.

So this fellow thinks the most intelligent course for the skeptic is to embrace one’s tendencies to the fullest, with complete disregard for society. I addressed the consequences of ignoring societal mores back in January, but it’s interesting to consider how this believer imagines having no trouble at all, breaking rules and laws as his impulses might demand.

Hopefully if he ever does, he won’t be very good at it, and will get caught by the authorities before he does much damage to society.

Of course, the simple fact remains that most skeptics don’t do this. The news isn’t bombarded with stories of the latest amoral atheistic meltdown, of believers abandoning their gods to go on killing sprees.

And in spite of their supposedly objective morality, believers seem to have no trouble breaking laws – should it be ‘because of’? Perhaps, in some cases yes. But for all that they claim to possess some superior moral standard, it just isn’t borne out by their behavior. If their claims were true, you’d think it would; they ought to be obvious, these paragons of virtue. It should be a selling point.

Data like this, that atheists by and large seem to get by just fine in society, thanks, without any recourse to ‘objective’ systems of ethics, goes to disprove the believer’s theory. But that won’t do. No, the facts must be revised to fit the predetermined conclusion. Backed into this rhetorical corner, this fellow simply trots out the same line he used before.

Most atheists however do not live their life according to the world view they defend, They live a intellectually compromising position.

So to sum things up, he thinks the smartest way for an atheist to go is to be an amoral psychopath, and that if atheists are not such, they’re hypocrites failing to live up to their values.

And this is not to be taken as an attack on atheists.

So go on writing to me here if you want, pal. I wouldn’t recommend it, because here you can be treated as you deserve, as a self-righteous, insulting little holy troller should be. I can go right on, happily picking apart your comments and mocking them without letting you get a word in edgewise or indulging your link-spam.

You’re better off harassing folks on RatSkep where they have to behave a bit better than you in response. And that is why I don’t take it seriously. It’s obvious from the moderation there that they like keeping a few rhetorical punching bags like yourself around.

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