James Kirk Wall replies to Mark Thompson’s claim of Christian moral supremacy

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This reply to Mark is going to be on the harsh side.
#1 don’t tell me I secretly believe in your god
#2 don’t engage in a moral argument with an atheist who knows the Bible

Mark Thompson claims that Christianity is on higher moral ground than atheism. In his criticism of my article regarding what was then an upcoming Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate, much of it wasn’t about creationism vs. evolution in regards to science, but in regards to ethical foundation. I addressed the scientific aspects in my reply regarding evolution. This article will deal with the aspects of morality.

Mark’s arguments included:
Evolution is the evil moral doctrine of atheists
Without god there’s no absolute morality
Hitler, Stalin and Mao were really bad
God’s jealous like a man is jealous of his wife

My response will include:
Mark’s assertion that I secretly believe in his god
Why I don’t believe that the Bible is divine
Jim vs. Mark on moral foundation
The insanity of a jealous god
Conclusion

Mark’s assertion that I secretly believe in his god

Mark, by his own words, “realized that his sin merited the wrath of a holy God and turned to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.” He then makes the following comment towards me. “You react violently against God because deep down you know that you are accountable to Him.”

I find Mark’s comment doubting my sincerity as an atheist to be arrogant and insulting.

Do we have reason to doubt the sincerity of a Buddhist, Taoist or Confucian? Each of which don’t have the concept of the Biblical deity. Do we have reason to doubt the sincerity of beliefs of those who lived long before Jesus was born, or long before the Bible was ever written, or in Eastern parts of the world?

My worldview is obviously different than Mark’s. I don’t live in a Christian centric mindset, my world is much larger. Where did Mark’s idea of sin and accepting Jesus come from? How did this idea enter his mind? Mark’s religion isn’t due to divine inspiration, it’s mostly due to logistics.

I don’t believe in the god of the Bible or any other religious text. I’m more than willing to take a polygraph on that. In my worldview a man is responsible for his own actions. In my world view, there comes a time to stop needing a daddy, and be the daddy.

“If I owe Smith ten dollars and God forgives me, that doesn't pay Smith.” – Robert Green Ingersoll

Why I don’t believe that the Bible is divine

Things that give me doubt include:
A perfect god realizing he made a mistake and drowning just about everyone
Rib woman
Moses being saved by having a freshly cut foreskin touch his feet
Stoning to death a man for picking up sticks
God loving the smell of burnt offerings
A talking snake
A talking donkey
Stoning to death women who aren’t virgins on their wedding night
God inspiring the slaughtering of Midianite civilians including children
An ultimate sacrifice only being 3 days long
A man becoming a slave because his father saw his 600 year old grandfather’s penis
Killing Egyptian babies
Killing after commanding thou shall not kill
God killing people for protesting that god kills people
The Biblical cure for leprosy
Mauling kids to death
Casting demons into pigs
Telling a father to murder his son to prove his obedience
God sending himself to be tortured and murdered to save us from himself, but only if you believe it
Killing a man for not having sex with his dead brother’s wife
Instruction on how to get your cheating pregnant wife to have a god induced miscarriage

Jim vs. Mark on moral foundation

Atheist Penn Jillette was asked without god, why isn’t he raping and killing as many people as he wants. Penn replied that he already was raping and killing as many people as he wanted which was none. I have no reason to doubt that Mark is a good husband and loving father who’s a Christian. If Mark was to lose his faith, he’d be a good husband and loving father who’s an atheist. He wouldn’t be any less moral, he’d just be far more rational. He would be one of millions of atheists who used to be religious before breaking the mental chains of child indoctrination and delusion.

Many atheists don’t spend much time on moral analysis. They’re innately and naturally good people and the notion of needing a deity in order to behave appropriately is alien to them. For myself, I’ve spent a great deal of time on the greatest moral questions. What is good, what is evil? Why be good? What is the definition of a perfect gentleman, lady, or parent? What are the highest virtues?

I’ve written two secular books focused on finding truth and morality and have released many articles on this subject. I’ve found that obtaining the best collection of moral wisdom involves harvesting the greatest guidance from many sources. The best harvest involves ancient philosophers such as Confucius, Socrates and Loa Tzu. That’s not to say there aren’t numerous modern examples of ethical wisdom (such as the earlier Penn reference) that are immediately available to us through today’s incredible technology of information. The Bible can also be harvested, but pickings are relatively slim.

Examples of my work in secular moral guidance include:
Atheism isn't a moral stance, secular humanism is
250 Quotes to strengthen our minds
The Analects of Confucius – 46 Greatest Secular Quotes
The godless morality and ethics collection by James Kirk Wall

Mark insists that with the Bible he has higher moral ground. That’s simply not true. I’m able to harvest the greatest moral wisdom from all over the world and in all of recorded history. Mark has one book that condones slavery and murder.

The rejection of so called absolute morality through the words of god is quite simple. It’s because there never has been a word of god. Only the words of men put in the mouths of invisible puppets. Many may stare at the smoke, but others look to the man behind the curtain.

Mark brings up Hitler, Stalin, Mao and some death toll number to try and say this is evolution which he equates to atheism. He also keeps insisting that evolution is the morality of racism. Origin of Species was published in 1859. Is Mark actually arguing that race supremacy started in 1859?

In regards to Hitler, are centuries of hatred against the Jews because the atheists blame them for killing their messiah? Is hatred against the Jews because they rejected the atheist prophet? “God with us” was on the belt buckles of the Nazis. That is not an atheist motto.

In regards to Stalin, Mao and other dictators, this is not evolution or atheism. The word atheist simply means not believing in the divinity claims of religions. Atheism is not a form of government or doctrine of oppression. Every Christian is an atheist towards every other god or religious belief, furthermore, they’re even atheists regarding other sects within their own faith. Atheists simply take it one god further.

There is no atheist principle that advocates a dictatorship or the oppression of those who have different beliefs. Bad people come in all flavors, fortunately so do good. Secular humanism is a moral stance against any brutal dictatorship whether it be religious based or not.

If you take the centuries of brutal conquest and slavery by the Christians and Muslims and relate those to modern population numbers, the total would absolutely eclipse any past century tyrant. After trying to equate some type of fatality number to the term, Mark then tries to blame poor education and family issues on evolution as well. Absurd!

So this is the game. Blame every problem on evolution and claim every advancement for a Christian world view. Let’s see if I can play this game going the other way to show how absolutely ridiculous this argument is.

Since 1859
The North winning the U.S. Civil War – evolution (notice how this happened right after 1859)
Jim Crow Laws – Christian world view
Man on the moon – evolution
Kennedy assassination – Christian world view
Women gaining the right to vote – evolution
Man getting killed by falling ice – gravity
The Beatles – evolution
Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus – Christian world view

Evolution – Modern humans arose about 200,000 years ago and will likely exist 200,000 years from now. We should all plan accordingly.

Christian world view – The end of the world should be here any day now. We should all plan accordingly.

Charles Darwin engaged on an unbiased quest for truth. Why are there breeds and species on the Galapagos Islands unique to any other place on earth? Not only breeds, but unique species. The answer was evolution. It’s an answer to what we observe. It’s the best explanation we have for species diversity along with DNA and fossil evidence.

When humans use selective breeding with plants and animals for the purposes of domestication and food supply, we are using the very mechanics of evolution. When recognizing the small and gradual changes that can be made through human hands, it’s not difficult to understand that small changes can accumulate and result in large changes. Through human hands we can rapidly make modifications to breeds, in nature alterations typically take much longer. Once the separation of breeds extends to the point where they can no longer biologically mate (or when that possibility is extremely slim), they are then categorized as different species.

Evolution is not an argument of morality, it’s an argument of reality. Evolution tells us that the reason humans have what we consider to be good traits such as love and compassion is that we needed these attributes in order to survive. And that’s extremely powerful and should give us great comfort. Unfortunately the same can be said for characteristics that we don’t consider to be good such as greed. The reason we have in this world what humans categorize as good and evil is because one is not stronger than the other. This is why we have the constant struggle. In Taoism this struggle between opposing forces is expressed by the Yin and Yang symbol.
yinyang
You may have noticed how I praise ancient philosophers but dismissed many long dead scientists lacking current knowledge of the universe in my evolution response to Mark Thompson. This is because there is timeless wisdom that transcends technology. Super computers and fiber optics have not replaced the importance of know thyself and living an examined life.

The insanity of a jealous god

Imagine that you are the only human on the planet. You feel the need to be worshiped by a gnat. You pick one up. What do you say to it? I am your god. You shall worship only me. Because if you worship something else that isn’t me, I will get jealous. So don’t do it! Oh, and even though I’m the omnipotent creator of the universe, I can only speak to one of you at a time. So go tell your friends. Off with you!

Does that sound insane? What is the most likely scenario? Jealous men making a jealous god, or a jealous god making jealous men? The apologist response is that god is jealous of our love the way that a man is jealous of his wife. Really? Damn it’s good to be an atheist! I’d hate to be in a position where I had some dogmatic obligation to defend something so un-defendable.

The husband and wife analogy is ridiculous on so many levels. It tries to equate a human to human relationship. But that’s not anything close to the proposed model. We’re talking about an all-powerful creator. An entity that created billions of galaxies and trillions of stars. A singular supreme being that created all the laws of the universe being jealous of a human that can barely get off of his own planet.

But the flaw in correlation may not be the most disturbing part. On the husband and wife analogy, the husband demands love from the wife. Typically married couples expect love from each other. They don’t demand it. And what happens if this demanded love isn’t given? The husband will burn his wife forever. Sadistic love brought about by insane jealousy. When reading the Bible it’s easy to get confused about which character is god and which character is Satan.

Conclusion

Most Christians are wonderful and ethical people not because of the Bible, but despite it. Atheism is not a moral stance, but it’s also not a blind allegiance to an ancient book filled with irrelevance, ignorance, intolerance and hatred. The atheists also don’t claim that anyone who doesn’t believe as they do will be tortured forever. Whether you’re religious or not, make the extensive harvesting of the greatest moral wisdom and reasoning part of your life.

-James Kirk Wall

Additional Sources:

Nigella Lawson – A friend to the atheist, a nightmare to the vegan
nigella

Penn Gillette
Penn

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