[SpamCop-Social] Re: So much for the power of prayer....
devnull at spamcop.net
Mon Apr 10 08:02:21 EDT 2006
"Porpoise" <porpoise1954 at yahoo.co.uk> wrote in message
news:e1bpbk$cue$1 at news.spamcop.net...
> The point is that everyone is free to "believe" whichever concept they
> prefer but whether they are "good" or "bad" people has absolutely nothing
> to do with whether they are religious or not. (As proven by the number of
> people with "religious" beliefs who commit all sorts of crimes - including
It is not so much an argument about whether there are good people who obey
laws or evil people who do not obey laws than it is about semantics. The
contrast between good and evil strikes me as a religious concept of
supernatural absolute standards where people personified the concepts as
angels and devils. Atheists who don't believe in the supernatural wouldn't
think of the difference in the same way - it really is more legal/illegal
because there is no absolute standard and depends on the day and age you are
in what is right and wrong. As you said, there are priests who committed
'crimes' - an 'evil' deed may not be a 'crime' and 'crimes' may not always
be evil to a person of religion. And when we are just using the words
without being careful about their meaning, the same concept is true of
atheists - some laws are 'evil' or wrong.
Actually - the dictionary definition of 'evil' is immoral so anything that
you think is immoral is evil. Each atheist has hir own standard and the
only secular way to create a standard is by making certain acts
legal/illegal, permitted/not permitted. (and as others have pointed out - so
do religions have to make laws).
Being a believer, just because someone doesn't agree with me on the best way
to order society doesn't mean that they are evil because 'evil' is a concept
that we are all seeking to avoid by our lawmaking. I might use the word -
'wrong' or illegal. However, the fundamentalists do see anyone who doesn't
agree with them completely as 'evil' or as on the other side of right,
legal, good, moral.
So I think that 'evil' has religious overtones and is more than just 'wrong'
or 'illegal' or the opposite of 'good' and I would expect that atheists
would avoid using it for that reason.
It never entered my mind that anyone would think that because I think 'evil'
is a religious concept, that I would think that people who do not believe in
good and evil as I am defining them, would be evil or not good.
In fact, that might be part of what made me send that first post - there are
no evil people in my 'standard' - only 'evil' choices. To me, saying that a
person is evil - even using it in the dictionary way, means that anyone who
does not agree with my standard of morality is evil, wrong, immoral - which
is the fundamentalist viewpoint. And that is what is described as wrong,
immoral, bad by many atheists and believers (and to many on this forum, no
atheist would support such a viewpoint).
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