Dan Barker - Scriptural Misinterpretations and Misapplications, part 11 of 14

This post has been moved to True Freethinker were it resides at this link


  1. Using Barker's logic, would you then be damning the poor to hell by giving them your possessions? One can pick apart the Bible piece by piece and fail to look at the whole picture. I could probably find one rivet in a building of thousands and critic it on strength and vitality. This one rivet may fail all the test I preform. However it does not tell me anything in regards to the integrity of the whole building.

  2. I have to say that even if you pick apart the Bible, it's impossible to find fault. You have to read into the text your own stupidity (and we all got that) to get some thing that doesn't make sense.

  3. So here's a question: What compulsion or logical "ought" do atheists have to be generous with their wealth? Or do they just write it off (i.e., not think about it) when and if they decide to be generous, chalking it up to their brain chemistry aligning (or misaligning) on any given day?

    For that matter, what logical ought do they have to not be avaricious or greedy?

    Or did certain of Enron's CO's (Skilling I think it was) misread Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene" when they were pulling their multi million scams over countless investors and average folks? Maybe they skipped Richard's chapter on how atheists are really nice guys - when they aren't sporting mustaches.

    (Well, given that the Enron snakes were distracted by strippers and intentionally running up California's electricity bills through strategic brown outs, they probably weren't into any heavy reading at that point. Question still stands though.)

  4. Well, an atheist might say that they "ought" to be moral for either their own benefit (which they claim all Christians do anyway, what with how fearful they are of his judgment), or else it benefits society do have nice people in it all the time. From what I can tell, atheist morality is primarily pragmatic, and "goodness for goodness' sake" is something that can only be appreciated by a few, Christians among them.

    Not that I agree that Christians constantly watch their cosmic turnout; just poking a bit of fun on how a lot of atheists boast amazing (or arrogant) knowledge of everyone's motives.

  5. I can see the pragmatics end of it - scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. (Congress gets by on that pretty well, especially when they vote themselves pay raises and pork every year.)

    But my original question still stands: What logical ought do they (atheists) have to not be avaricious or greedy? Especially if greed or avarice becomes the beneficial norm, either for the individual or the society.

    What's more: What happens when "being good for goodness' sake" isn't beneficial at any given time. When doing the "right" thing actually stands to make the doer suffer.

    The Christmas Jingle ethic is great - when it's easy and beneficial. But what happens when there's a heavy price involved - when, say, harboring a family of Jews or zeks against the Nazi or Bolshevik Regime tolls the penalty of your own family's imprisonment or death - what recourse to an "ought" is there then?