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Could it be that it's impossible for atheists to believe?


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In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 2:27:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 31, 2012 4:05:03 AM PDT
Leoncefalo: thankyou for the thoughtful response {s} and like youself I have some issues with my initial response to Spl.
One thing though, i woulden't argue that it would be moral to murder the cereal-Killer, partly cause i love cereal but also, as you noted = there are just too many possible complications for me to execute a life/death judgement.
However, if in fact killing the serial -killer is the only way to save millions of people { though such a situation is hardly plausable } i might opt for the kill -but not as a moral act, simply as necessary lesser of 2 evils - same deal as with political elections.

And no, i'm not in training for Special Forces or Olympics - what could be more humiliating than getting wipped by a bunch of people in Wheelchairs.

Plus -i'm not armchairing it or predicting how i might respond in any given catastrophic or life-threatening situation - and agree that most of us can't predict how we would respond - we might choose death to save an ornery Widow's little puppy or we might push a cute little fouryear old off the deck to insure our safety - tis hard to say or know - so again, agreement.
My not especially remarkable point was something of this sort : In a lifeboat situation where let's say there's enough space and provisions for all but 3 people, how do you decide who goes overboard ?

Let's say there is a 92 year old man in good health, a 4 year old with a nasty cough and an extremely obese, wheezing middle aged spinster with cholera and extremely bad breath and everyone else is pretty much between 26 and 47 and in average or better condition.
Should it be Might equals Right or Majority concensus or draw straws or should the three aformentioned individuals be rationally dubbed as the least fit { or least likely to survive or greteast liability to survival } and tossed out ?
And, how would you go about detemining which approach was the most moral or rational or humane ?
In cases where survival is the highest or even most urgent and practical value, is individual or collective Force or reason the best guide or should other considerations come into play such as compassion, altruism, heroic { and perhaps foolish } self-sacrifice - say of an older person for a child who might soon perish anyway ?

These are problems and it seems hard to determine any single principle that provides an adequate solution.
Even with survival as the Greatest Good for the greatest number there's still many tough questions to answer concerning whose greatest good will be discarded and on what basis.

Ps, One other issue. you said : " In the TITANIC disaster, people held on to the sides of overloaded boats, and survived, because they plainly saw there was no more room IN the boat, and their demanding space would only endanger all the others. "

I don't doubt that was true for some - that they remained outside the boat in freezing artic water so as not to endanger others, but i'd wager that for many it was simply a matter of being in schock or knowing that if they did try to get in they'd be smote and their fingers squashed.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 2:36:13 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 29, 2012 2:43:20 AM PDT
" spl says: Yeah, maybe I should have asked if someone would offer to die in order for NYC to not be annhilated. I'm sure there would be plenty of takers, don't you? "

Hopefully your not being flip here ...

Can't say i'd be first in line but just a brief glance at the 911 honor roll indicates there are many who have perished for less and many more who would.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 6:09:58 AM PDT
MaryAnn H. says:
"spl: Yeah, maybe I should have asked if someone would offer to die in order for NYC to not be annhilated. I'm sure there would be plenty of takers, don't you?"

I think there are takers on that every day - police, fire, armed forces. You don't think they put their lives on the line every day for the protection of others?

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 6:12:48 AM PDT
MaryAnn H. says:
On the same thinking band, Rcd...

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 1:11:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 29, 2012 1:16:38 PM PDT
Bubba says:
From Wikipedia:

"Many lifeboats were only half-filled due to time delays to guide the women and children first into boats, or no open doors to release passengers on lower decks. Few men were allowed into the port-side lifeboats, but the starboard side allowed many men into boats after women and children first. Some final lifeboats were over-filled, and passengers noted the seawater was near the rim of some lifeboats. As the half-filled boats rowed away from the ship, they were too far for other passengers to reach, and most lifeboats did not return toward the wreck, due to protests from passengers or crewmen to avoid being swamped by drowning victims. Two lifeboats returned to pull survivors from the water, but some of those later died."

Although it is not mentioned in the Wikipedia article, even though the "final lifeboats were over-filled, and passengers noted the seawater was near the rim of some lifeboats" that due to the calm sea conditions, the over-filled lifeboats were not in danger of sinking.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2012 3:48:23 PM PDT
Jesus4us says:
spl: Yeah, maybe I should have asked if someone would offer to die in order for NYC to not be annhilated. I'm sure there would be plenty of takers, don't you?"

maryannh: I think there are takers on that every day - police, fire, armed forces. You don't think they put their lives on the line every day for the protection of others?

spl; Yes, I do. That was my point.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 4:30:13 PM PDT
>>" Redcrowdog says:
" spl says: Yeah, maybe I should have asked if someone would offer to die in order for NYC to not be annhilated. I'm sure there would be plenty of takers, don't you? "

Hopefully your not being flip here ...

Can't say i'd be first in line but just a brief glance at the 911 honor roll indicates there are many who have perished for less and many more who would. "<<

?!?!?

You seem to be laboring under the bizarre notion that the people who died at the WTC site on 9/11 "sacrificed" themselves in order to "save" something...............or that they died for "honor".

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I thought that what Professor Ward Churchill had to say on the topic was very perceptive.
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  93
Total posts:  2432
Initial post:  Apr 16, 2012
Latest post:  May 31, 2012

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