I think it says this:
If it takes the threat of hell to make you a moral person, then you are not at all moral, you are just a coward who responds well to threats.
-- Leo Wolf
Nice one Loren. Don't know if I had this one already, thanks!
Thank you Loren I love the quote!
Hi Steph, I agree with what you said. Given that it's amazing that they think we're the immoral ones.
Oh good grief! OK, so claim it as a virtue! One can say, "I am a morally depraved atheist according to your dictionary!" "One can't trust a measuring rod if it uses faulty measures."
Think about it a minute, Steph; if they makes that statement, they reveal their ignorance, insanity, or laziness; maybe all three.
I still get that old bromide from people who should know better, and I have let it be known for many years that I find no compelling reason to believe there is a god. Once I made that decision, if anyone used the "god" word or "pray" word, I expressed my disbelief. I start out politely with someone who doesn't know me, but for those with whom I have the conversation, I don't care if I maintain the relationship.
When/if a person asks me questions, or wants my definition I am more than happy to engage in the conversation and enjoy it. I think family and friends are too overrated. We take far too much dysfunction from people we love. When they cross a line, I have no reason to maintain any contact.
The good news is there are a lot of people who may disagree with me and hold different values, but it doesn't get in the way of genuine care and compassion. Speaking freely and honestly with them in exchange of ideas and experiences provides wonderful ways of being together. We even enjoy each other.
Joan, I agree very much with what you said. Love and respect should be given when they're earned not offered out of obligation. Just because someone's a relative that doesn't mean we have to love or need them in our lives. So many get seriously abused because they feel obligated to stay in really bad relationships. I wonder if that kind of unreasonable level of commitment has its origins in religion? I mean religious people are taught to show unconditional love to mythical beings. Does that make it easier for them to accept the notion that unconditional love must always be given? I'm really enjoying this discussion. Thanks for giving us such a good topic Steph.
Thank you Jonathan .. but all of you have contributed to the topic and made it a good one. I truly appreciate all your replies and wisdom.
Jonathan, I think, at least in my case, insults, put-downs, trivializations, discounts, assaults, and objectifications all came from a foundation of "entitlement" of those who believe they have the right to behave in hurtful ways. The notion of "dominionism" continues to this day to be a respected and expected attitude for many.
Do you remember when there was no such thing as "wife rape" even in a court of law? From where did that come? Certainly not from the Enlightenment.
You make excellent points, Richard, life can be lonely, and we each carry bags of emotional trash. That is why it is reasonable and healthy for all people in toxic relationships to have the right and responsibilities to take the initiative to leave. As for lonely, that hasn't been my experience. People who willingly share their experiences and beliefs with me and reciprocate are delightful, especially if both parties enjoy exchanges. As to dominators, exploiters, absolutists, fundamentalists, they are better off not in my company; and so am I.
“Unhappy, let alone angry, religious people provide more persuasive arguments for atheism and secularism than do all the arguments of atheists.” Dennis Prager