Sunday, April 3, 2011

You. Must. Read.



MichaelRyerson said...

Came upon a guy who had been wounded in the shelling. A corpsman was doing what he could, trying maintain the appearance that something could be done. We tried to keep our faces blank so that he couldn't see in our expressions the inevitability but the blast had taken his left shoulder, arm and all. The loss of soft tissue was enormous. The chopper was still minutes away. He was quite lucid, being held by the corpsman, chatting and even laughing a little bit, trying to ignore what was happening. A couple of guys came up carrying a stretcher. One of them was holding a body bag.

Twain said it better,

Archaeopteryx said...

Michael--I don't know that it's ever been said better.

Aaron said...

Ah... The atheist pontificates about the actions of the faithful. It's a nice sentiment, but it fails to deal with the one thing that underpins Judeo/Christian/Moslem morality.

"God Wills It."

The problem isn't that morality becomes too caught up in shades of gray. It's that Morality is based upon the perceived edicts of a deity that isn't bound by that morality itself. I think it was Christopher Hitchens who made the point, "With God, all things are permissible." The violence in the Middle East is baffling to me, and pastor Jones and his Florida freakshow just as much. But I don't think that I have the Universe whispering in my ear, and telling me what I should and should not be doing, or what actions of others, if left unanswered, will consign me to an eternity of suffering.

Archaeopteryx said...

Aaron, that's exactly the point. I'm all for freedom of religion, but not to the point where people let their beliefs impose on the lives of others--and I mean "impose" in the sense of "blowing to smithereens."

It is interesting, though, that religious folk usually cite morality as an advantage of theism over atheism, but that morality apparently includes exploding people for the sake of a book.

Aaron said...

It's more that the morality tells them that they are superior to others.

There's a reason for the saying that God created men, but Sam Colt made them equal.

The equality of all people isn't a feature of Judeo/Christian/Moslem theology - it's a bug. I don't know that it does any good to rail against that. I don't know of a morality that's centered around obedience to a deity that also holds that the disobedient are just as worthy. After all, wouldn't it defeat the purpose. So while I thought that PZ Myers made some good points, that's a discussion that one needs to have with God. For as long as the deity reserves the right to order the death of anyone he dislikes, telling the followers that they ought to be more selective in which instructions they carry out seems pointlessly moralistic.

The same with supporting freedom of religion. When you grant people the freedom to see you as a moral reprobate at best, and an active threat to what's right with the Universe at worst, accepting the bloodshed that follows also has to come with the territory.

Archaeopteryx said...

That's an interesting--and pessimistic--viewpoint. Unfortunately, there's some truth to it. At this point, perhaps I should put my fingers in my ears. "la, la, la, la, la." Or maybe I should be trying to bring an end to freedom of religion.

Aaron said...

Trust me, I'm not very pleased with it either. But that's the way of the world. Nothing is without its problems.