I was cruising around the site and came across a discussion of "Morality", of which atheists are often accused of being bereft.
I have always had a soft spot for anarchism of the 19th century type. Not the anarchism of the autonomen or punk rockers, but of Kropotkin and Bakunin. These great thinkers believed in the possibility of a society where every member was so good, so hard working, so honest, that police would no longer be necessary.
Regarding morality, and per Kropotkin, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a concept with an evolutionary justification. Kropotkin maintained in his remarkable and largely forgotten book "Mutual Aid" that cooperation between members of a species trumps all other strengths in the struggle for survival. Ants, bees, lions and humans exemplify this principal.
You don't need an explanation any more complex than this to explain morality. Morality is instinctive. Those who do not posses it are deficient in a basic collective survival skill.
Ha! Love your rave dude! I live in a small village in Alberta, dominated by a fundie church (Full Gospel), drive a truck with a Darwin Fish on the tailgate. The car I moved here in had "Fundimentalists are fundimentaly fashist" painted on the back, and the next one had "Evolution is reality, Creationism is myth!" painted on it. The fundies here call me the devil, I tend to refure to myself as anti-theisist, not atheist.
A society with irrational members exhibits collective irrationality. The biggest problem with faith is that having faith reduces the likelihood that the faithful person will retain the capability to think rationally. Thus it is deeply important to reach the gullible members of society with the message that evidence-based thought is critical to social progress, so as to decrease the likelihood that society descends in to the kind of mass hysteria that results in support for characters like the pope, Hitler, Muammar Gadaffi, George Bush, etc.
Lies lies and more lies
Also interesting is how faith can distort a person's values so badly that they will tell lies to encourage others to adopt their "faith".
As an example, I know it to be true that the pope has never spoken with god, because there is no god to speak to, so no such conversation could ever have taken place. Despite this, christians keep talking about their relationship with god as if god actually existed, even though not one has ever seen him/her/it.
Have you ever imagined what goes on at a meeting in the Vatican? How weird it must be when 20 or 30 people, all of whom have never spoken with god, all have to sit in a room and claim to each other to have done so? It must be very uncomfortable. I guess the nice building makes it worthwhile…
It is obvious from the comments made by creationists that the people who oppose evolution have little understanding of the mechanism. In my mind this serves to prove the point that secular education is valuable.
Evolution is ongoing, all the time, and applies to all life forms. The most obvious example currently known to science is the evolution of malaria-resistant humans. The development of drug-resistant bacteria are also examples of evolution at work.
Creationists are fond of absolutist positions. A favorite is claiming that evolutions is "dishonesty parading as science" or words to that effect, because that is the biggest problem atheists have with all the myths that are trotted out as "fact" by preachers. Obvious poppycock like afterlife, heaven, hell, creation, miracles etc. All very unhelpful to normal human development.
Religion is a scam, not even a business
The fact is that religion is a simple but ancient scam.
The word “god” is used by priests interchangeably with “king”, “lord”, “father” etc. How very obvious that the victims of this fraud are being threatened with authoritarian violence to separate them from their cash!
If believers could take three steps back and see themselves objectively, they would see the victims of fraud artists who have been stealing money from working people for thousands of years, using blackmail.
The threat is always the same: Heaven if you give me money (or fight for me), hell if you don't. It's a very simple scam, always the same regardless of the faith.
And the victims of these used ideology dealers don’t even get a lemon for their money! The sad part is the strength of conviction the victims of religion exhibit as they deny the guilt of the fraudsters and their own gullibility.
I think it is time to organize a class-action lawsuit and bring charges of fraud against the whole lousy infrastructure that lives off this scam, including everyone from “legitimate priests” to TV preachers, bankers and the judges and politicians who protect them.
I find that a few hours of "debate" with theists can produce an effect I refer to as "moron fatigue". This condition results from engaging in arguments with people who make preposterous claims, such as: Radiocarbon dating doesn't produce useful results; the fossil record shows the world is 6000 years old; evolutionary forces are not with us; thorns are placed on cactii by god etc.
It is important to realize that these folks are suffering from a type of delusion which results from a deeply-seated fear of mortality or confused sexual guilt. In other words, it isn't their fault. I myself have trouble accepting this and I have gotten mad from time to time.
And just to make me feel better I typed "radiocarbon dating" in to Google and compared the multiple results I found.
Accuracy is widely reported at +- 16 years at 6000 years BP and +- 163 years at 50,000 years BP.
What useless wankers these scientists are eh? Much better to spend time reading the freakin' bible!!
All religions are the same
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Islam, Buddhism, Baha’i, or Zoroastrianism are any better or worse than each other. They all belong on the same trash heap.