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Why I Am Stupid And Lnc Is Smart


shantonu
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In the "Open Discussion with LNC" I posted the following argument. I'll explain why I'm stupid in just a moment. But first my argument . . . .

 

 

I don't know if LNC is just stupid or is just playing stupid--and I don't know which is worse. I suppose I have be charitable and assume that he is actually stupid.

 

The point is that one can say, without contradiction: "Killing babies is wrong," and "Morality does not exist outside of the human sphere." Similarly one can say "Hamlet is a great play" at the same time one can admit that "The features that make a play 'a great play' are decided soley by human judgment."

 

A radical skeptic could, I suppose say, "That's just your opinion." But I don't think that would be countenanced by any educated person. I mean, what if one were to say to the faculty at Yale's English Department "Prove to me that Hamlet is a great play." Or worse, "Explain what 'good' is and tell me if you are using an objective or subjective standard." The faculty would have no choice but to say that the question is misplaced. That's not how the faculty goes about making the attribution. They start by investigating aspects of the play through tools that are part of the tradition of criticism. These tools and judgments are not fixed of course, and to that extent they are subjective, but that doesn't mean the Yale Faculty can't get the enterprise off the ground or is merely bullshitting about purely subjective things. After all, the faculty already has gotten the thing started, so it's a bit late to attack it now.

 

Similarly with ethics: We can see the Genevea Convention as part of a long line of historical developments regarding ethical conduct in war. We might even say that Jesus would be proud of the GC, based on what we know about his general comments about non-violence, whereas we believe that he would think poorly of the Nuremburg Laws or the Fugitive Slave Act or whatever. We can praise or critque the GC on whatever ground we see fit. If we convince others we are right, we have accomplished something in the real world. What we cannot do--and what is stupid even to suggest--is that we first have to come to perfect agreement about what is the Objective ground for the critique before we even discuss the matter. We'd never get anything done if we had to do that--which I think is LNC's real goal: accomplishing nothing.

 

I just can't see how LNC thinks he is doing anything. His skepticism about "Objective" grounds for morality is a bit like being skeptical about the value of paper money. Imagine someone saying, "Before I accept your money, I want to know whether it has Objective value or not." You would try to explain to him that nothing has "Objective" value in that sense, but that money can be used to exchange for goods and services. The value of paper money is subjective to that extent. But everything is subjective to that extent. And no one seriously thinks that money is merely subjective or that its subjectiveness robs it of value. LNC, I suppose, wants what . . . gold? I suppose he think gold's value is objective. And he's too stupid to understand that gold's value is just as subjective as paper money's value.

 

I think LNC has probably been confused by some trick that he learned in apologetics class, which is something like this: first ask whether the criteria by which we judge God's actions are objective or subjective. If the atheist says "subjective" then you reply, well then it's a matter of subjective opinion so there's no point discussing the matter. If the atheist says "objective," then ask the atheist how is it ojective. But the atheist won't be able to explain how ethics is grounded in timeless and objective rules. This is why he keeps coming back to that distinction.

 

But this trick assumes that things are either/or--either subjective or objective. But as the example of money makes clear, many things are both or neither. Money has only "subjective" value in the sense that aliens from outer space would not recognize the value of money, but that doesn't mean that art appraiser's statement "This Picasso is worth $10,000,000" merely expresses the appraiser's subjective opinion. (Perhaps LNC doesn't mind getting paid in turnips. He shouldn't ask for money because money only has "subjective" value.)

 

The trick is a very silly one because it relies on the false choice between objective and subjective. I think that LNC must realize his argument leans upon a slender reed. But, like I said, I can't tell whether he's just a moron or is only pretending to be. Either way, I've given up trying. My point here is simply to dissuade other ex-Christians from wasting their time.

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But previously, I had said that LNC was probably just pulling stuff off an apologetics website and we were all better off just ignoring him because he can't think for himself.

 

However, the above deconstruction got me thinking. Of course, it's a false choice between subjective and objective. Why did LNC continually hammer away at that point?

 

Then I decided to just google it: I googled: "apologetics" "objective" "subjective"

 

See for yourself. It's the first thing that pops up.

 

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz...amp;btnG=Search

 

More to follow.

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Okay, you are stupid... :HaHa:

 

What LNC is trying to do is to put a categorical divide between "absolute" and "relative". Or in other words, there is a very convincing logical argument against relative truth, because with relative truth, nothing is true, not even relative truth, and hence, relative truth is false. Only absolute truth can hold that logical argument, that some things must exist as absolute truths. And he wants to put moral in that box.

 

(Which is the Law of Non-Contradiction like you reference in the next post above.)

 

That's why I use more of the word of "subjective" because subjective is not relative, and it's not absolute. Subjective Ethics is a form of ethics, and even the Divine Command Theory in practical terms fall under it too. Absolute can exist, but we are subjective creatures. We don't know the objective (the outsiders look into us), but we see the world from within ourselves and out. So even when we know one objective truth, it is from a subjective standpoint still.

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According to this apologetics website:

 

"If someone were to say, “There is no such thing as truth, and the LNC is meaningless” he has done two things. First, he has assumed that his view is true as opposed to false, and thus he uses the LNC (which of course, implies that the LNC has meaning, because his view is assumed to be meaningful). Second, he has violated the LNC by suggesting that there is no such thing as truth while at the same time and in the same sense insisting there is such a thing as truth—The truth of his own view by doing so , he automatically validates the LNC.”

 

So that's why LNC was hammering away at the objective/subjective distinction. But as I've shown in the first post, that distinction doesn't really apply in context we are discussing.

 

Anyway, the larger point is not that I was right about LNC just pulling shit off an apolgetics website, but that I was right about us wasting our time. I should have trusted my first instincts and just googled his bullshit from the very beginning. Then we would not have wasted our time with a fraud.

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Anyway, the larger point is not that I was right about LNC just pulling shit off an apolgetics website, but that I was right about us wasting our time. I should have trusted my first instincts and just googled his bullshit from the very beginning. Then we would not have wasted our time with a fraud.

Nah, it's not a waste, you provide insights to others who read, and you also learn things, like the above.

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Here's an example of what LNC was trying to do--this is from the website:

 

Dialogue: Between a Christian and Subjective Truth

 

Mike Skeptic and Joe Christian meet again after the party to follow up on their conversation about Morality and its source.

 

Joe Christian: Mike, have you had a chance to think about our conversation?

 

Mike Skeptic: Joe, I thought about it and I just don’t think there is anyway anybody can know what the truth really is. There is no way; we can possibly know who God is.

 

Joe: How do you know we cannot know who God is?

 

Mike: Joe, just look at all the religions of the world, Islam, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheism, Christian and a hundred more are you telling me you can possibly know which one is true?

 

Joe: Mike, can they all be true?

 

Mike: Why not, each may have a part of truth?

 

Joe: Mike for example, Atheists believe there is no God and Christian’s, Muslims and Jews believe there is God. It is not logical or possible for both groups to be right. Would you agree?

 

Mike: Ok Joe, for the argument’s sake lets say there is a God out there and the Atheists are wrong. Don’t all religions believe the same thing, isn’t it just the matter of loving and accepting those around you, that’s what God wants us to do.

 

Joe: God does want us to love people, but even if we for arguments sake admit God exists, not all these different religions can be true. For example, Muslims believe Jesus did not die on the cross, Christians believe he did die on the cross. Muslims believe Jesus is just a prophet and only a man, Christians believes Jesus is not only a man but also the Son of God. Just looking at Islam, and Christianity we see contradictory beliefs.

 

Jesus could not be Die and Not Die on the Cross-, both Islam and Christianity and Islam cannot be true.

 

Jesus could not be the Son of God and Not the Son of God. It’s just not logical. With Jesus, we have two options: He was the Son of God or He was not the Son of God. He died on the cross or did not die on the cross. Can both Islam and Christianity be true?

 

Mike: Joe, truth is subjective, to the Muslim’s Jesus did not die on the cross and to the Christian’s he did die on the cross.

 

Joe: Mike if truth was subjective, and you believed you could fly and you climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and really believed you could fly and jumped, what would happen?

 

Mike: I would fly for about 5 seconds and probably hit the ground.

 

Joe: You mean you would fall for about 5 seconds, but if truth were subjective that would mean you should fly. Truth was not subject to your belief but you were subject to the objective truth of gravity. It did not matter what you believed you still fell. Mike the truth is what the facts are, if Jesus is not who he said he was he would be a liar, wouldn’t you agree?

 

Mike: I would, and some people think Jesus was a liar and some do not, it is not possible to know what the truth is until after we die.

 

Joe: I do not think we have to wait until death to find the truth; all we really have to do is examine the evidence. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.” If Jesus is not the Son of God, then don’t worry about it, but if He is then he is saying he is the only way. Don’t you think eternity is worth spending the time investigating?

 

Mike: Sure, I would love to know what the truth is, but How can anyone find God?

 

Man, do any of these apologists think for themselves? I guess not. There are so many category mistakes in the above, it's difficult to know where to begin.

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Anyway, the larger point is not that I was right about LNC just pulling shit off an apolgetics website, but that I was right about us wasting our time. I should have trusted my first instincts and just googled his bullshit from the very beginning. Then we would not have wasted our time with a fraud.

Nah, it's not a waste, you provide insights to others who read, and you also learn things, like the above.

 

He, he, he that's what we usually say about our time in the Church! :-)

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Well, he is packaging vulgar relativism together with ethical subjectivism, and that is like putting calling Christians Muslims.

 

Here's and extract from Wiki about ethical subjectivism:

Ethical subjectivism

Main article: Ethical subjectivism

 

Ethical subjectivism is the meta-ethical belief that ethical sentences reduce to factual statements about the attitudes and/or conventions of individual people, or that any ethical sentence implies an attitude held by someone. As such, it is a form of moral relativism in which the truth of moral claims is relative to the attitudes of individuals[1] (as opposed to, for instance, communities). Consider the case this way - to a cat, catching and eating mice is perfectly natural and morally sound. To a mouse, being hunted by cats is morally abhorrent. Though this is a loose metaphor, it serves to illustrate the view that each individual subject has their own understanding of right and wrong.

 

An ethical subjectivist might propose, for example, that what it means for something to be morally right is just for it to be approved of. (This can lead to the belief that different things are right according to each idiosyncratic moral outlook.) One implication of these beliefs is that, unlike the moral skeptic or the non-cognitivist, the subjectivist thinks that ethical sentences, while subjective, are nonetheless the kind of thing that can be true or false.

Basically, it doesn't deny that morality exists, just that it isn't absolute for everything, everywhere, all the time, but is based on context. And the extension is, on what context do humans create a moral system? It's based on biological, psychological, and social evolution.

 

Rules of nature are the objective base, descriptive constructs based on reason and arguments, are subjective.

 

Hence it is neither absolute-only or relative-only, but a perfect mix, and in a state between.

 

It bugs me when they clump it together with relativism. It's a deceitful argument. It sounds sound and convincing, but is false.

 

The Geneva convention and all these laws we create for human rights etc, matches a theory I heard once which I decided to call "The Retreat Method." It was a Christian philosopher who suggested this solution to the problem of absolute vs relative morals. Because he--even as a Christian philosopher--admitted too that absolute moral doesn't work. Absolute logic is acceptable, but absolute moral is dangerous.

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Boy, I leave for ten minutes and miss all the fun! So our christian philosopher basically cuts and pastes his arguments! That's funny stuff :lmao:

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Shantonu and Agnosticator, seriously, if you ever drive through Southern Orange County, let me know, I really would love to buy you guys a beer. :beer:

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Man, do any of these apologists think for themselves? I guess not. There are so many category mistakes in the above, it's difficult to know where to begin.

Oh, you have no clue. I like to listen to educational stuff on my iPod, and got some courses on it. I finished one about consciousness and mind, and this is a very high level philosopher, who in the last part argued for the existence of God (kind'a). But when I heard the arguments, I realized I had questions or saw problems with them. He admitted that he wasn't that skilled in that particular area of philosophy, so I guess he was excused, but here I am, a regular guy seeing through several of these arguments. It's a phenomenon of logical blindness. People, even extremely intelligent ones, can overlook and become blind in areas they have certain predispositions to. Even I do it, which shouldn't be any surprise. :HaHa:

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It bugs me when they clump it together with relativism. It's a deceitful argument. It sounds sound and convincing, but is false.

 

The Geneva convention and all these laws we create for human rights etc, matches a theory I heard once which I decided to call "The Retreat Method." It was a Christian philosopher who suggested this solution to the problem of absolute vs relative morals. Because he--even as a Christian philosopher--admitted too that absolute moral doesn't work. Absolute logic is acceptable, but absolute moral is dangerous.

 

My own view of ethics is basically that we derive principles from experience. We don't need theories. We just need empathy and experience, which is all we really have. You can learn more about ethics by talking to a victim of oppression than you can from any theory. You have to first an empathetic person. But that doesn't require much in the way of theory, just a fairly normal upbringing. Take animal rights. We could debate from here to eternity about animal rights and not come up with an answer regarding whether animals have rights. One trip to a modern slaughterhouse would probably be more convincing, which is why I--being a meat eater myself--stay away from slaughterhouses. Am I a hyprocrite? Of course, but I don't need a theory to tell me that.

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Shantonu and Agnosticator, seriously, if you ever drive through Southern Orange County, let me know, I really would love to buy you guys a beer. :beer:

 

Likewise, if either of you are in the New York City area.

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Am I a hyprocrite? Of course, but I don't need a theory to tell me that.

I hear ya'! Life is full of paradoxes, and we can't solve them all.

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Man, do any of these apologists think for themselves? I guess not. There are so many category mistakes in the above, it's difficult to know where to begin.
This is one of those things that drives me insane about xtians. Why is it that when they try to 'disprove" skeptical arguments they just hold mock arguments with imaginary skeptics instead of actually debating the skeptic first before pulling whatever idea happens to fall out of their ass? And whenever they have these mock debates, why do they always have the mock skeptic ask idiotic questions a real skeptic would never ask? Wouldn't it just be easier to ask a real skeptic what they think? Then when they debate with an actual skeptic and find out we're not anything like their inane mock debates, they dare to think they can tell us what atheism really is as if they would know better than real atheists.
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Man, do any of these apologists think for themselves? I guess not. There are so many category mistakes in the above, it's difficult to know where to begin.
This is one of those things that drives me insane about xtians. Why is it that when they try to 'disprove" skeptical arguments they just hold mock arguments with imaginary skeptics instead of actually debating the skeptic first before pulling whatever idea happens to fall out of their ass? And whenever they have these mock debates, why do they always have the mock skeptic ask idiotic questions a real skeptic would never ask? Wouldn't it just be easier to ask a real skeptic what they think? Then when they debate with an actual skeptic and find out we're not anything like their inane mock debates, they dare to think they can tell us what atheism really is as if they would know better than real atheists.

 

It's because they are afraid. I went back and read some of what LNC actually wrote. When he was not bullshitting, when he was honest, he actually made sense. Thus he wrote:

 

". . . as to how I come to believe that moral values are objective. I would say that I come to that conclusion a couple of different ways. I believe intuitively, the way that we know much of what we know, that certain things are objectively wrong for all people at all times. For example, I believe that it is alway wrong for people to torture babies, or to murder, or to be racist. These are things that people would commonly agree are wrong. So, the question is whether that is true or just a false impression on my brain and everyone else's. Are we under some sort of mass delusion. Well, if all we are is matter in motion, then yes, this would be a useful fiction conjured up by our brains. That would mean that it is really not better to not murder than to murder. There is no true moral distinction between Mother Teresa and Jeffrey Dahmer, the best we could say is that I don't prefer one's behaviors, or I do prefer another's. I believe that the only way that we can arrive at objective morality is to ground it in a source that transcends our reality, a source that is eternal and unchanging which are necessary attributes for objective grounding, and who is personal to convey what those moral values are, and who can enforce those moral values by punishing moral failure, thereby giving an oughtness to them. Each of these attributes, I believe, are necessary for objective grounding of morality and those attributes sound a lot like God to me."

 

And this is a perfectly reasonable thing to say. He was thinking for himself there. If you read the whole thing, it's really quite admirable. He says that he intuitively feels that certain things are right and certain things are wrong. That's fine. We all feel that way. So he wants that feeling to be "backed up" by something. And that makes sense. No one wants to feel that our judgments about art or ethics are just subjective. We want to feel that all the world should share in our judgment that Hitler was evil--because he really was--and that the 9th Symphony is beautiful--because it really is.

 

It's scary to believe that nothing backs up our judgments, except our own human rhetoric and the weight of historical judgment. The atheists says that's all there is and that seems such weak thing. If there is nothing to "enforce moral values by punishing moral failure" well that is frightening. On occasion, I'm frightened by it myself. Dostoevsky says something like this in Brother's Karamazov, "if God doesn't exist, then everything is permitted." But that's not true. Dostoeveksy was wrong. We still have human judgment and the weight of history. This may not seem like enough, but it's all we have, and there is every reason to think that it is enough. To use LNC's examples, Jeffrey Dahmer is punished by being Jeffrey Dahmer. What greater punishment could there be? Mother Teresa is rewarded by being Mother Teresa. What greater reward could there be?

 

What annoys me is that LNC--who is obviously not stupid--chose to cheat and rely on a canned argument rather than his own good sense. Thus he saw no conflict with his instinct that killing babies is wrong and the Biblical text that said it was right. And the reason why he failed to see the conflict was that he supressed his own good sense. That's the problem with dogma. Instead of confronting the issue, he hid behind the objective/subjective disctinction--which turned out to be inapplicable--but also did not grow out of him really wrestling with the question honestly.

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I never understood this argument that without God, everything is permissible. I think the opposite is true that with God, everything is permissible. I mean, all you have to do is find any bible verse you can find that reinforces your hatred to justify hurting others and then it's ok to do so because God says so. But apparently, LNC ignored me when I pointed out to him that Hitler was a Christian and used the bible as a justification for the Holocaust. And there's dozens of other examples throughout history where Christians justified violence using the bible, like the Salem witch trials, the Spanish Inquisition, the Catholic church's abuse of Galileo, the denying of equal rights for the LGBT community, but when was the last time you ever saw somebody commit murder because they were too rational? This is not to say all religious people are violent or immoral but I think the fact that so many atrocities were waged because of religion is proof enough that religion is not needed to have morality. It might provide a sense of morality for some people, but the xtians can't seem to grasp that there's no one size shoe fits all for everyone and I frankly fail to see how doing something simply for the sake of saving your ass from being fried in hell is the epitome of morality. That's frankly more like selfishness to me.

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I never understood this argument that without God, everything is permissible. I think the opposite is true that with God, everything is permissible. I mean, all you have to do is find any bible verse you can find that reinforces your hatred to justify hurting others and then it's ok to do so because God says so. But apparently, LNC ignored me when I pointed out to him that Hitler was a Christian and used the bible as a justification for the Holocaust. And there's dozens of other examples throughout history where Christians justified violence using the bible, like the Salem witch trials, the Spanish Inquisition, the Catholic church's abuse of Galileo, the denying of equal rights for the LGBT community, but when was the last time you ever saw somebody commit murder because they were too rational? This is not to say all religious people are violent or immoral but I think the fact that so many atrocities were waged because of religion is proof enough that religion is not needed to have morality. It might provide a sense of morality for some people, but the xtians can't seem to grasp that there's no one size shoe fits all for everyone and I frankly fail to see how doing something simply for the sake of saving your ass from being fried in hell is the epitome of morality. That's frankly more like selfishness to me.

 

Agreed. I've never been a big fan of the argument "who has killed more, atheists or Christians." There's more than enough blood on the hands of both sides, Pol Pot and Stalin jump out as proof that atheism can lead to mass killings just as easily as religion.

 

I think you're right to point out that religion certainly doens't seem to have any preventative effects, otherwise more Christians would have resisted the Nazis.

 

 

There was an article about this issue in the Times just the other day:

 

February 28, 2009

Beliefs

Scandinavian Nonbelievers, Which Is Not to Say Atheists

By PETER STEINFELS

Phil Zuckerman spent 14 months in Scandinavia, talking to hundreds of Danes and Swedes about religion. It wasn’t easy.

 

Anyone who has paid attention knows that Denmark and Sweden are among the least religious nations in the world. Polls asking about belief in God, the importance of religion in people’s lives, belief in life after death or church attendance consistently bear this out.

 

It is also well known that in various rankings of nations by life expectancy, child welfare, literacy, schooling, economic equality, standard of living and competitiveness, Denmark and Sweden stand in the first tier.

 

Well documented though they may be, these two sets of facts run up against the assumption of many Americans that a society where religion is minimal would be, in Mr. Zuckerman’s words, “rampant with immorality, full of evil and teeming with depravity.”

 

Which is why he insists at some length that what he and his wife and children experienced was quite the opposite: “a society — a markedly irreligious society — that was, above all, moral, stable, humane and deeply good.”

 

Mr. Zuckerman, a sociologist who teaches at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., has reported his findings on religion in Denmark and Sweden in “Society Without God” (New York University Press, 2008). Much that he found will surprise many people, as it did him.

 

The many nonbelievers he interviewed, both informally and in structured, taped and transcribed sessions, were anything but antireligious, for example. They typically balked at the label “atheist.” An overwhelming majority had in fact been baptized, and many had been confirmed or married in church.

 

Though they denied most of the traditional teachings of Christianity, they called themselves Christians, and most were content to remain in the Danish National Church or the Church of Sweden, the traditional national branches of Lutheranism.

 

At the same time, they were “often disinclined or hesitant to talk with me about religion,” Mr. Zuckerman reported, “and even once they agreed to do so, they usually had very little to say on the matter.”

 

Were they reticent because they considered religion, as Scandinavians generally do, a private, personal matter? Is there, perhaps, as one Lutheran bishop in Denmark has argued, a deep religiosity to be discovered if only one scratches this taciturn surface?

 

“I spent a year scratching,” Mr. Zuckerman writes. “I scratched and I scratched and I scratched.”

 

And he concluded that “religion wasn’t really so much a private, personal issue, but rather, a nonissue.” His interviewees just didn’t care about it.

 

Beyond reticence, Mr. Zuckerman found what he terms “benign indifference” and even “utter obliviousness.” The key word in his description of their benign indifference is “nice.” Religion, in their view, is “nice.” Jesus “was a nice man who taught some nice things.” The Bible “is full of nice stories and good morals, isn’t it?”

 

Beyond niceness came utter obliviousness.

 

Thoughtful, well-educated Danes and Swedes reacted to Mr. Zuckerman’s basic questions about God, Jesus, death and so on as completely novel. “I really have never thought about that,” one of his interviewees answered, adding, “It’s been fun to get these kinds of questions that I never, never think about.”

 

This indifference or obliviousness to religious matters was sometimes subtly enforced. “In Denmark,” a pastor told Mr. Zuckerman, “the word ‘God’ is one of the most embarrassing words you can say. You would rather go naked through the city than talk about God.”

 

One man recounted the shock he felt when a colleague, after a few drinks, confessed to believing in God. “I hope you don’t feel I’m a bad person,” the colleague pleaded.

 

Social conformity or not, Mr. Zuckerman was deeply impressed with the matter-of-fact way in which many of his interviewees spoke of death, without fear or anxiety, and their notable lack of existential searching for any ultimate meaning of life.

 

A long list of thinkers, both believers and nonbelievers, have posited something like an innate religious instinct. Confronted by the mystery of death or the puzzle of life’s ultimate meaning, humans are said to be hard-wired to turn to religion or something like it. Based on his experience in Scandinavia, Mr. Zuckerman disagrees.

 

“It is possible for a society to exist in which most people don’t really fear death all that much,” he concluded, “and simultaneously don’t give a great deal of thought to the meaning of life.”

 

Are these Scandinavians out to prove that Socrates was wrong and the unexamined life is definitely worth living? Mr. Zuckerman emphasizes that his interviewees were in no way despairing nihilists but “for the most part, a happy, satisfied lot” who “generally live productive, creative, contented lives.”

 

André Comte-Sponville, the French philosopher whose “Little Book of Atheist Spirituality” (Viking, 2007) was discussed here two weeks ago, maintains that individuals can live well without religion but that society, or even humanity as a whole, needs a set of bonds that might be considered “sacred,” at least in the sense of something “that would justify, if necessary, the sacrifice of our lives.”

 

A fidelity to inherited values, a “nonreligiousness” that is “more than just an empty shell or an elegant form of amnesia,” is Mr. Comte-Sponvilles’s atheist answer to his own question, “What remains of the Christian West when it ceases to be Christian?”

 

He might find reassurance in Scandinavia and in Mr. Zuckerman’s description of the “cultural religion” that he discovered there. The interviewees affirmed a Christianity that seems to have everything to do with “holidays, songs, stories and food” but little to do with God or Creed, everything to do with rituals marking important passages in life but little to do with the religious meaning of those rituals.

 

Others may be puzzled or even repelled by the apparent dissonance, but Mr. Zuckerman, comparing it to the experience of many Jews in the United States and Israel, strives to make sense of it, and he suggests that it deserves much more study all around the world.

 

This cultural religion may partly explain aspects of Denmark and Sweden that he admires.

 

At one point, he queries Jens, a 68-year-old nonbeliever, about the sources of Denmark’s very ethical culture. Jens replies: “We are Lutherans in our souls — I’m an atheist, but still have the Lutheran perceptions of many: to help your neighbor. Yeah. It’s an old, good, moral thought.”

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/us/28bel...agewanted=print

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Now you know why I argue so strongly against absolute/God-morality. I am from Sweden.

 

And here's the crazy fact: in Sweden I was super-religious, hard-core, putting Southern Baptists and LNC in the dust behind me. I was a rebel.

 

I move to USA, lose my faith, and now I'm an atheist in a God-riddled country. I'm still a rebel.

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Thanks, Hans. I'll take a pilsner arquell (sp?)

Not sure what that is? Is that a certain brand?

 

It's a czech brand of pilsner. It's pretty good.

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Now you know why I argue so strongly against absolute/God-morality. I am from Sweden.

 

And here's the crazy fact: in Sweden I was super-religious, hard-core, putting Southern Baptists and LNC in the dust behind me. I was a rebel.

 

I move to USA, lose my faith, and now I'm an atheist in a God-riddled country. I'm still a rebel.

To paraphrase the Greenday song, "he's a rebel, he's a saint, he's a salt of the Earth and he's dangerous." It's not fair, I wish I could move to Scandinavia! Why did I have to be cursed with living in the bible belt?
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