Retarded arguments against atheism #1

There are a number of retarded arguments against atheism. The one I want to talk about today is, sadly, one of the most frequently encounated and most retarded.

These take the form:

“Atheism leads to X”

Where X is some undesirable thing. A quick google search for “atheism leads to” turns up 7400 hits or so. Among those hits are these actual examples:

  • Atheism leads to cruelty and injustice
  • Atheism leads to Hopelessness and Despair
  • Atheism leads to communism
  • Atheism leads to ‘The Greatest Forms Of Cruelty And Violations of Justice’ (according to the Pope)
  • Atheism leads to Moral Relativism
  • Atheism leads to immorality
  • Atheism leads to nihilism
  • Atheism leads to moral subjectivism
  • Atheism leads to a pessimistic view of the universe
  • Atheism leads to moral depravity
  • Atheism leads to moral evil
  • Atheism leads to totalitarianism
  • Atheism leads to degeneracy
  • Atheism leads to a lack of morality, meaning, or purpose to life
  • Atheism leads to suppression of all

Well, damn! That atheism is some real bad shit then, I guess, eh? One is tempted to add diarrhea, cold sores, prevarication, and dry skin to the list of things to which atheism leads.

So, what’s wrong with the above list? I’m not even going to attempt to argue that atheism doesn’t lead to these things, (though I’m pretty sure it doesn’t lead to dry skin,) because they are all irrelevant.

Lets suppose atheism did lead to some or all of these things, for the sake of argument. What bearing would this have on whether atheism were true or not?

Zero. That’s because every one of these things is an appeal to consequences, which is a logical fallacy. Every one of these statements is an argument of the form: If X is true then Y happens. I don’t like Y. Therefore I can’t believe X.

If “it’s raining outside” is true then “I will get wet if I go outside.” I don’t like “getting wet if I go outside”. Therefore I can’t believe “it’s raining outside.”

If “I’m allergic to peanuts” is true then “I will get sick if I eat that peanut.” I don’t like getting “sick from eating that peanut”. Therefore I can’t believe “I’m allergic to peanuts.”

See how retarded it is?

It is amazing that otherwise mostly sensible people use these kinds of arguments as often as they do.

~ by scaryreasoner on January 3, 2008.

43 Responses to “Retarded arguments against atheism #1”

  1. This is excellent, I always wonder, when I hear someone blather on about stuff which I know is bullshit, how do you analyze the logical error involved. Most of the time is is hopeless, and the thinking involved is just mush anyway, but once in a while it’s nice to see the formal analysis of a fuckup, and I look forward to items 2, 3, & etc, which I hope will follow. Thanks
    John Fullerton

  2. I believe it was God who said it best when he said, “all atheists are douchebags”

  3. Ooh, check out the big brain on tylerberger24.

  4. […] the comment which lead to this post, #3). Retarded arguments against atheism #2 (first cause) and Retarded arguments against atheism #1 (appeal to consequences). Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)The things people search […]

  5. Not slating atheist’s , but i must agree, Im non religious btw even atheism. Since people have became more atheistic things have went down the shittier. People have no morals or anything else since people just think we are walking lumps of meat. People do anything they want just cause they can .

  6. Well Bob, I guess we can add:

    “Since people have became more atheistic things have went down the shittier. People have no morals or anything else since people just think we are walking lumps of meat. People do anything they want just cause they can”, to the list of retarded arguments against atheism.

    Sounds to me like you may be retarded. Go directly to some church, kneel down and pray
    to win the lottery so you can get and hopefully read a book on grammar.

  7. Really enjoyed this blog. I’ve been reading a bit today about theists’ inability to understand how morality can exist without their respective Gods. I’ve put a link below to a fairly amusing one. It made me laugh anyway.

  8. Bob, America is the most religious country in the western world and also leads the world in rates of violent crime, teen pregnancy, teen STD transmission, etc. Thus your assertion is untrue. The happiest and most stable societies like Iceland, Sweden and Norway are the most atheist ones.

  9. I’ve come across many of these pronouncements by Christians in my internet travels (and sometimes real travels). It’s all very post hoc ergo propter hoc stuff. It all comes down to whether they can fit the fact that nonbelievers can act in a moral/ethical manner when believers proclaim that morality can only come from religion. Hence we get these bad arguments born of perfectly good logic but based on ridiculous premises.

  10. Science and Atheism

    Science is different from religion. It does not pretend that it knows everything. There are even now deep questions about the origins of the universe that we don’t have answers to now though it is possible we may be able to answer some of them in the future.

    But the inability of science to provide answers to these questions does not prove that religious faith, tradition, or an ancient holy text has the ability to answer them. Science cannot prove that God does not exist, but this in no way establishes that God exists. There are millions of things whose lack of existence cannot be established.

    The philosopher Bertrand Russel had an analogy. Imagine that there is a teapot in orbit around the sun. It is impossible to prove that the teapot does not exist because it is too small to be detected by our telescopes. Nobody but a crazy person would say “Well, I’m prepared to believe in the teapot because I cannot establish that it doesn’t exist.” This means that maybe we have to be technically agnostics, but really we are all atheists about teapots with orbits around the sun.

    But now let us suppose that everybody in our society including our teachers and the sages of our tribes all had faith in a teapot that orbits the sun. Let us also suppose that stories of the teapot have come down to us for many generations as one of the traditions of our own society and there are ancient holy texts about the teapot. In this case people would say that a person who did not believe in the teapot is eccentric or mad.

    There are infinite numbers of things like celestial teapots whose lack of existence we are unable to establish. There are fairies, for example, and there are unicorns and goblins. We cannot prove that any of these creatures of the imagination do not exist in reality. But we don’t believe they exist, just as we don’t believe that the gods of the Scandinavians, for example, have any true existence.

    We are all atheists about almost all of the gods created by societies in the past. Some of us, however, take the ultimate step of believing that the god of the Jews and the Christians, like the gods of the Greeks and the Egyptians, also do not exist.

    Now here’s a version of this text in Interlingua. (For more information about Interlingua, use a search enging to search on the title “Interlingua in interlingua” or go to

    Le scientia es differente del religion. Illo non pretende que illo sape toto. Il ha etiam nunc questiones profunde sur le origines del universe al quales nos nunc non ha responsas ben que il es possible que nos potera responder a alicunes de illos in le futuro.

    Ma le incapacitate del scientia de provider responsas a iste questiones non proba que le fide religiose, le tradition, o un texto sancte e ancian pote responder a illos. Le scientia non pote probar que Deo non existe, ma isto non establi de ulle maniera que Deo existe. Il ha milliones de cosas cuje existentia non pote esser establite.

    Le philosopho Bertrand Russell habeva un analogia. Imagina que il ha un theiera in orbita circum le sol. Il es impossibile probar que le theiera non existe proque illo es troppo parve pro esser detegite per nostre telescopios. Nemo excepte un folle dicerea, “Multo ben, io es preparate a creder in le theiera proque io non pote establir que illo non existe.” Isto significa que forsan nos debe esser technicamente agnosticos, ma vermente nos es omnes atheistas sur theieras con orbitas circum le sol.

    Ma que nos nunc suppone que omnes in nostre societate includente nostre professores e le sagios de nostre tribos habeva fide in un theiera que orbita le sol. Que nos anque suppone que historias del theiera ha venite usque nos trans multe generationes como un del traditiones de nostre proprie societate e que il ha textos sancte ancian sur le theiera. In iste caso le gente dicerea que un persona qui non credeva in le theiera es eccentric o folle.

    Il ha numeros infinite de cosas como theieras celestial cuje manco de existentia nos non pote establir. Il ha fees, pro exemplo, e il ha unicornios e gnomos. Nos non pote probar que iste creaturas del imagination non existe in le realitate. Ma nos non crede que illos existe exactamente como nos non crede que le deos del Scandinavos, pro exemplo, ha ulle existential ver.

    Nos es omnes atheistas sur quasi omne le deos create per societates in le passato. Alicunes de nos tamen prende le ultime passo de creder que le deo del judaeos e del christianos, como le deos del grecos e le egyptianos, anque non existe.

  11. Re: America is the most religious country in the western world? How about all of Latin America, where the dominance of the Catholic Church is clearly evident? Nations such as Norway and Sweden are also experiencing a population decline: any net gains in population are from immigration. They will eventually dwindle away, if the trend continues–as will much of western Europe. That’s a good thing, if you’re not an atheist. Maybe atheism is simply not a vital and viable philosophy. Anyway, I am most amused when atheists talk about love. What is love? A genetic predilection, a chemical/biological process to provide for the preservation of ones own genetic material–hence we love our own children more than other children, even if the other children may be genetically superior and more viable than the our own. “Love” is as valid in a purely scientific sense as the apparent human desire/need to create gods and goddesses. An atheist talking about love is talking pure twaddle and nonsense. He might as well give up and buy a lottery ticket.

    I am, by the way, ostensibly an atheist. But I’m not rabid about having everybody see things my way. And I’m not certain that the world would be a better place if everyone did see things my way. Our modern experience with forced atheism includes the former Soviet Union and Communist China, two places I would never want to live. Which doesn’t mean that atheists are all communists, it just means that atheism doesn’t necessarily guarantee and civil and sane society.

  12. Dale, you’re “amused” when atheists talk about love? Why? (When you say that, what it makes me think is that you haven’t given it much thought. Or rather, that you *think* that you have, but if you *have*, you didn’t do a very good job of thinking about it.)) You imagine we’re all robots or something? And you’re “ostensibly” an atheist? What does that mean? You certainly talk as if you do not consider yourself to be an atheist, like you’re different from atheists.

    And who’s talking about forced atheism? Just because I, for example, might think that religion is obvious idiocy doesn’t mean that I think a person can somehow be forced into not being an idiot.

    Trying to convince people that their religion is wrong, or simply pointing out the completel obvious idiocy of their religion is not “forcing,” it’s talking (or writing). How did you get “forcing”?

    Of course if everyone were to wake up to the obviousness of the idiocy of religion tomorrow this would be no guarantee of a civil and sane society. Nobody claims that it would..

    But I do think, that on balance, the more openly atheistic people there are in society, the better things will be *for me*.

    If people are going around believing that 2+2=5, and teaching their kids that, and spreading this kind of nonsense around, that’s not harmless. I do not view religion as being harmless. It’s easy, as an atheist to think that religion is harmless if you don’t have much to do with it and just ignore it, so long as it doesn’t impact you. But, one day you might find it impacting you, and it likely won’t be in a good way.

    • Faith might not be harmless, but faithlessness is assuredly more harmful. Atheism permits gross selfishness in the name of personal advancement. At least we who have faith fear God enough not to go on a rampage. The more atheists in society, the more Harris and Klebold style massacres will occur. Faith can impact people in a good way too. It can inspire some very heroic and selfless deeds. Something an atheist would call a “waste’ or a “pointless gamble.” Why save them when I can save myself? It’s such a monsterous way of thinking. I believe that you can never be an atheist and a great man. Only a man who believes that he is working for the Greater Good will put everything he has into his endeavors.
      Listen, the crusades and the inquisitions are over. Christians have not oppressed people in the past 2 centuries. Yet, we have had two big atheists, Mao and Stalin, kill millions (20) apiece in the name of “progress.” If anything, atheists have become the new oppressors. You push the faithful out of the academic community. You call yourselves “brights.” You demean our faiths by calling them superstitions. You remove our right to prayer whenever it offends you. You took Christ out of Christmas. (Happy holidays, my ass!) If anyone has been impacting people in a negative way, it’s been those who deify Richard Dawkins. Find a faith, any faith. It’s good for you. If you can declare that there is no God without a burden of proof, why not declare that there is one without any?

      • Faith might not be harmless, but faithlessness is assuredly more harmful. Atheism permits gross selfishness in the name of personal advancement. At least we who have faith fear God enough not to go on a rampage. The more atheists in society, the more Harris and Klebold style massacres will occur. Faith can impact people in a good way too.

        So, the only thing keeping you from massacring people is your faith? You’re just itching to kill people but, gosh darn it, that pesky faith prevents you? Okay, psychopath, keep sucking on that pacifier then.

        Even if that were true that faithlessness leads to the things you say it does, (and that has not been shown) you make only an appeal to consequences, which is a logical fallacy.


        It can inspire some very heroic and selfless deeds. Something an atheist would call a “waste’ or a “pointless gamble.” Why save them when I can save myself? It’s such a monsterous way of thinking.

        More appeal to consequences (which have not even been demonstrated to be actual consequences) More fail.

        I believe that you can never be an atheist and a great man.

        What you believe is irrelevant. You’ve already mentioned you believe lots of idiotic stuff.

        Only a man who believes that he is working for the Greater Good will put everything he has into his endeavors. Listen, the crusades and the inquisitions are over. Christians have not oppressed people in the past 2 centuries. Yet, we have had two big atheists, Mao and Stalin, kill millions (20) apiece in the name of “progress.”

        But not in the name of atheism, dumbass.

        If anything, atheists have become the new oppressors. You push the faithful out of the academic community. You call yourselves “brights.” You demean our faiths by calling them superstitions.

        You fail to differentiate your faith from superstition. Faith is very obviously idiotic, and complaining that it’s mean for me to point this out does not amount to a defense of faith. It’s just whining.

        You remove our right to prayer whenever it offends you.

        Baloney. You can pray whenever you want. You can’t force others others pray, or listen your prayers by force of law. Education in the U.S. is compulsory. One is required to attend school until a certain age, or grade level. If one cannot afford a private school then there is the public school. The public school is required to be neutral towards all religions and non-religion, as it is an arm of the government. Get this through your thick skull. Your imagine persecution, and your “rights” to prayer being taken away is a failure on your part to understand basic civics. You blockhead. The majority does not get to decide which religion is most popular and then push all its ceremonies and what not into compulsory education, you nitwit.

        You took Christ out of Christmas. (Happy holidays, my ass!)

        For a Christian you sure are a self-centered bitchy little ass. Nobody took Christ out of Christmas. Oh, you mean you can’t have the Government giving preferential treatment to your religion? That’s what you’re complaining about? Grow a brain. You really want the government telling you how to celebrate Christmas? You think the government is always going to agree with your little pet religion? You’re a fool with an overdeveloped sense of persecution. The “persecution” you’ve experienced amounts to not being allowed to shove your religion down everyone else’s throat whenever you please. Fuck you, asshole.

        If anyone has been impacting people in a negative way, it’s been those who deify Richard Dawkins. Find a faith, any faith. It’s good for you. If you can declare that there is no God without a burden of proof, why not declare that there is one without any?

        Fuck, you’re stupid. You ask this question with a straight face? You really are incapable of figuring out the answer to this question, you really don’t know? How about you think about it for 10 seconds.

        Here’s a question for you: Which god? Zeus? Thor? Woden? Oh, you don’t believe in those? Can you prove they don’t exist? Unicorns? No? They’re in the Bible, you know, so they must be real, right? Can you prove they don’t exist? You claim something exists, you need some evidence to back that up. And don’t start with the idiotic first cause argument.


        Hint: the answer is no. If you had any, there would be no need for that most idiotic invention in the history of civilization, faith.

        Paul wrote in the idiot’s book:

        But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,

        Paul argues like a fucking two year old, and you’re not much better.

        And again with the appeal to consequences. Get this through your head: an appeal to consequences is a logical fallacy. “it’s good for you.” you say. If it were true that faith were good for you (let’s say, for example, that cancer rates for the faithful were significantly less than for the unfaithful with a high confidence factor, and a causal relationship was established — nothing like this has been established by the way) this would only make faith something which one might desire to cultivate, it would in no way make the act of faith — of deliberately believing something to a degree of certainty which exceeds what is warranted by the available evidence — any easier to accomplish.

        Faith is inherently dishonest. To exercise faith is to lie to yourself about how certain you should be about something. There is no escaping this dishonesty. Faith is dishonesty.

        Why do you lie to yourself?

  13. I just did a post with proofs from the Quran, that no atheist cold deny the existence of God.

  14. […] I thought Christians were retarded. I get a comment on one of my earlier posts which says: I just did a post with proofs from the Quran, that no atheist cold deny the existence […]

  15. I like the post. Good argument.

  16. This has been been the biggest problem in the history of mankind- fighting over religion. The “I am right and you are wrong” Mentality of extremists from all religions, (INCLUDING atheists, christians, muslim, ect.) Is as dangerous mindset that often leads to killing. I myself am an atheist. I don’t believe in a Christian God, an Islamic god, or any other God. I also do not believe what was written in any holy book.
    That does not mean, however, that I deny any existence of those gods. I don’t know for a fact, which religion, if any, is real. Therefore, I choose not to follow any of them. I choose to judge people based on ethics and personality, not on religion or background. I see a Christian and a Muslim as brothers of the same race, each with different beliefs but good intentions.
    If you disagree with me, I will not try to convert you or tell you how illogical your religion is. That only leads to hatred. If I disagree with you, Don’t tell me how stupid I am for thinking differently than you. Form your opinion about my character, not religion. I will be your atheist brother if you ignore my beliefs, no matter how stupid you think they may be.

    • So, if you disagree with someone, you don’t try to convince them. So… what’s the purpose of your comment?

      The word “stupid” has a meaning. There are times when it is applicable. People do stupid things, make stupid decisions, etc. When they do it repeatedly and deliberately, it is my opinion that they need to be called on it. Your opinion may differ, but you promised you wouldn’t try to to convince me you’re right if my opinion differs from yours — how convenient for me, and for everyone except you.

      The strategy of being the quiet, accommodating atheist doesn’t work. With the internet, the arguments for atheism are finally making some headway, getting out from under the squashing of the religious hegemony. But you would have us live and let live, when the other side wants nothing other than to stamp out rational thought and replace it with that idiocy known as faith.

      Thomas Jefferson is supposed to have said, regarding religious faith of his neighbors, that it “neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg.” The thought being that it was mostly harmless. I have not found this to be the case. I have found that there is a great deal of senseless harm carried out and directly attributable to religion.

      So, no, but FUCK no. I’m not going to be quiet.

      You prattle on about atheism being a religion, how this leads to killing. Killing? What have I done, apart from type away at a keyboard at my little leaf node of the internet here? I’ve never argued for any sort of coercive force to be used to “win” an argument, in fact, I’ve argued against it.

      You say you don’t know for a fact that these various religions are not real. Well, you can’t prove that unicorns and leprechauns don’t exist, but this is not a license to believe that there’s a unicorn-riding leprechaun cavalry that rides through clouds.

      You strike me as well meaning, but it also strikes me that you either haven’t given this all that much thought, or, if you have, you’re not all that bright. Oh well.

  17. You’re all gay. Get some lives and stop going on stupid websites. we get that ur all losers. I’m christian, and just saying to the christians and athesists, don’t u have anything better to do?

  18. plus all u guys are grown ups rite? don’t u have jobs?

  19. “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God'”

    Indeed, you’re scarily stupid:

    seeya windbag

  20. I found your post very interesting. I was just browsing various posts about various theological things.

    I think that most people think that atheism leads to “insert whatever negative idea you want” because as an atheist, they don’t answer to any sort of higher calling other than their own ideals, and of those around whose ideas they may agree with. The idea that there is no higher form of justice of guidance…idk. Just my thoughts.

    • Lauren: Right, but, this whole notion that “they don’t answer to any sort of higher calling other then their own ideals” and the notion that this is bad, esp. note this latter addendum of mine, is something that’s been subtly inculcated since childhood, so subtly, that they (read: you, you personally, (my judgement, based only on your comment)) do not realize that it’s even happened to them.

      Essentially, I think your brain is tainted with bullshit, based on what you’ve written.

      (It’s also completely possible that I misjudge you. Your comment leaves plenty of room for interpretation. So much room, that it’s almost a useless comment, actually. Tell me what you really think. (see, I subscribe to the idea that pissing people off gets them to tell you what they really think.) And, oh yeah, drink a bunch of beer, or wine, or whisky, or whatever your favorite is, as in vino veritas. This will help you to type in what you really think, even if it’s dumb.) And I like parentheses.

  21. Very entertaining article, indeed. Loved the correlations to the rain outside and the allergic reactions. Great stuff.

    But seriously, this sort of talk really gets on my nerves. It’s also comical how lacking in education some of our fellow bible-thumpers are – for instance, their complete inability to differentiate theism from atheism. These blockheads don’t understand that while these terms mean opposite things, they both entertain a lot of room for interpretation and respective loyalty. Let me re-iterate:

    The issue here is that people automatically place this negative connotation to “atheism,” like it’s some sort of devil-magic and rabid amorality. They think that a person who is an atheist will automatically parade the streets, burning the bible and slandering their precious god. Yet – to be a theist is to be a saint. They just simply don’t understand that as there are levels of devotion to theism (Anything from the peer-pressured pushover to the Jehovah’s Witness), such a spectrum exists for the atheists.

    Some just need to attain a higher education. And maybe read the Dictionary.

    OH – an amusing side-note that I think you’d appreciate very much! I attend the U.S. Naval Academy, and guess what? WE HAVE NOON MEAL PRAYERS. And since the meal is mandatory for all 4,500 of us students, so are the prayers. How ridiculous is that? And it’s UNCONSTITUTIONAL as well… no really, it definitely is. It was ruled that way a few years ago in the case of supper prayers at Virginia Military Institute. (

    Actually… it’s the entire military that’s just too religious. For a nation which prides itself on religious freedom and lack of persecution, they sure as shit rub it in our faces as much as they can.

    Where’s the ACLU when you need it?

    Cheers mate!

  22. I just cannot stand it when people tell me that my atheism leaves me empty and in need of God’s love. Or that atheism leads to immoral behavior, because for as long as there has been faith in God, there have been people using him to exploit others. I just wonder what they think makes them so much more moral than us simply because of faith.

  23. I never understood this idea that human beings are so stupendously stupid that without the guiding hand of religion and the blinding fear of god, they would simply kill each other off. For all the talk of how religionists love humanity, this only serves to betray their arrogance and their condescending view of humanity in general.

  24. I’ve had apologists trying to tell me that the logical progression from atheism is communism. That’s just ridiculous… I’ve encountered many retarded arguments against atheism in my time – that one was especially facepalm worthy.

  25. Ya’ll are fucktards. Atheism is a killer of hope and does nobody good.

    • Seriously “None of your damn business”? Your response to a post demonstrating why an appeal to consequences is idiotic is … wait for it … to make an appeal to consequences?

  26. Great list!

  27. Would you say that some Atheists use similar arguments towards Theists?

    Theism lead to persecution…etc.

    If what you say is true about Atheism leads to…being ridiculous than logically Theism leads to…is just as ridiculous. I hope you agree.

    • If the argument is essentially of the form “X leads to Y, and I find Y undesirable, therefore X can’t be true,” that is a logical fallacy no matter who uses it or what point of view it is being used to advance.

      Most of the time I’ve seen atheists arguing that theism (usually a particular kind of theism, e.g. Christianity or Islam) leads to some undesirable consequence, it is not in order to advance the position that theism is false, but that some other claim *about* that particular theism is false. For example, it may be argued that:

      1) The Bible is the perfect word of God.
      2) Anything God commands is good.

      and then the atheist might come back with “What about all that horrible stuff in Numbers 31?” In asking such a question, the point being made is not that theism is false, but that 1 and 2 cannot both be true unless you regard the goings on in Numbers 31 as being good, which is quite a hard thing to do without contorting yourself into a monster.

      But suppose I were to concede your point, and agree that atheists make bad arguments sometimes. What am I to conclude from this? That people aren’t very smart? I already knew that. 🙂

  28. So you’re not conceding? Or you are?

    You have tried to cleverly disguise your concession. “But suppose…”

    It’s like in wrestling when person A uses a move where person B thinks they have gained the advantage just before person A pins person B to win the match.

    What I hope we can conclude from this is that people on both sides of a debate can make bad arguments.

    And that some people aren’t very smart.

    • Conceding that all kinds of people sometimes make bad arguments? Of course. Obviously there are all kinds of people making all sorts of stupid arguments from time to time. Conceding that the majority of times atheists argue that religion and faith result in undesirable consequences are using this to justify that the main claims of religion and faith (e.g. that a supernatural god exists and his name is Jesus) are false, and thus are in the majority of cases engaging in a logical fallacy? Well, I have no hard data on this, but my guess would be that this is not the case, and that in most cases, the pointing out of the bad consequences of religion is done merely to counter claims that religion has mostly good consequences (e.g. encouraging “moral” behavior.)

      Perhaps you can point out an example in which I make use of such a logical fallacy and by this mean make your case stronger.

  29. How did you feel about America’s response to 911?

    This is not how you feel about it now, but right after it happened and we sent troops, how did you feel then?

    • I remember it very clearly as I was in Glacier National park at the time, and my flight home was delayed by several days. I remember watching on TV in the motel I was staying, and I remember thinking that we were going in with a military response to what was clearly a criminal case, which was completely inappropriate. That’s what I thought. I also thought, and still think, (and this is a very unpopular view) that the 9/11 attacks were not as big a deal as what was made of them. Spectacular (as in, it was a spectacle) but in the scheme of things, small potatoes, but we reacted as if we’d been hit with the biggest atrocity ever visited upon any civilization in the history of the world, which is to say, _greatly_ over reacted.

      Oh, and just ask the question you really mean to ask and knock it off with this beating around the bush sneaking up on your question sideways.

      • You’ve told me two things: you are older than me and that at the time of 9/11 you held largely the same beliefs you hold today.

        The question was asked so I would not jump to an assumption.

        Because most people as you stated differs from your view on it. I would say most Americans felt that the response to 9/11 was just. If you were alive during WWII, I could have asked about the dropping of the Atomic bombs.

        I was using the question to attempt to make a comparison to your comment about Numbers 31. These more current day responses to events are still different but I would hope that it could shed light.

        To answer your question about Numbers 31 being good. Your argument is used to appeal to our knowledge of what is right or wrong by today’s standards. Numbers 31 does not fit in the world today. The “fallacy” being committed is that we are applying present day biases to events that occurred in the past.

        To determine whether or not Numbers 31 was “good” you must first put it into context.

        What was common warfare practices at that time? Either wipe the nation our or kill all the men and take the women and children as slaves.

        What was God doing with the Israelite’s? Setting them apart from all other nations to be His own…Holy, Clean, etc. (i.e. remnant)

        What happened before Israel wiped out Midian? Midian cause Israel to sin and worship idols and a Midianite woman killed an Israelite.

        Why did God command Israel to wipe them off the face of the earth? I would contend mainly for the Baal worship in order that Israel not fall into sin and can carry out God’s plan of being His remnant.

        So was Numbers 31 good commandment from God? I would argue yes. Would it be good for someone to use it today to justify war or to revolve the belief system around it? ABSOLUTELY NO.

        To put Numbers 31 as a good commandment into possible a better perspective: The American Revolutionary war…was it good? We have been taught the context of the American Revolutionary war since grade school. Perhaps this is a better comparison to make than 9/11 or the Atomic Bombs.

  30. Oh, please. Do you really think I’ve not heard this particular lnie of horseshit before?

    “Context context context!” — the battle cry of the defeated theologian.

    Let’s try another tack:

    Leviticus 25:44-46:

    “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.


    Under what context is it OK to have other human beings as slaves and as property for life?

    So “God” could not be bothered to explain that slavery is not OK? The Israelites were (supposedly — the Exodus never happened) glad enough to escape the bonds of slavery themselves, so they must have some inkling that being a slave is not too much fun. One of the “ten” commandments could not have been, “Thou shalt not own other human beings as property” (instead we have a prohibition on coveting your neighbor’s slaves and other misc. chattel)? The new testament says not one word against slavery. Jesus advises slaves to obey their masters. Great moral teacher, that Jesus, meek and mild, bringer of threats of hellfire (see end of Matt. ch 25.)

    And under what context something like this ok?

    “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people. 17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.


    Hint: One context under which it is ok: When it is fiction.

    Bending over backwards to make the supposed “word of god” comport with reality when it’s obvious that it’s a load of bronze age horseshit strikes me as being willfully dumb.

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