I love this quote from Penn Jillette and a wonderful interview.
The question I get asked by religious people all the time is, without God, what’s to stop me from raping all I want? And my answer is: I do rape all I want. And the amount I want is zero. And I do murder all I want, and the amount I want is zero. The fact that these people think that if they didn’t have this person watching over them that they would go on killing, raping rampages is the most self-damning thing I can imagine. I don't want to do that. Right now, without any god, I don't want to jump across this table and strangle you. I have no desire to strangle you. I have no desire to flip you over and rape you. You know what I mean?
Ron Bennington: Now what do you say to people though that say, whether or not there’s an afterlife, it’s still important to have this because it keeps us morally based, it keeps us family based and even at the end of this life, if nothing happens, it’s still good to have these set of rules.
Penn Jillette: Well, you know, God told Abraham to kill his son, and his proof of Abraham’s devotion was his willingness to kill his son. Jesus says very clearly, “abandon your father and mother, abandon your children and come with me.” There’s nothing pro-family about Christianity. That is all layered on. That is all-American. The American Christian church has a great deal of family values, but those aren’t found in the Bible, those aren’t in the root material. We have a lot of evidence, [Christopher] Hitchens, a good friend of mine, we miss him all the time, but Hitchens had a standing offer for a religious person to name a moral thing that was done in the name of religion that had not been done by an atheist. All of your self-sacrifice, all of the help for communities, have all been done by religious people and by atheists. But I’ll tell one story that I just love, I brought a date once, because this is the kind of guy I am, to hear an atheist speaker. We’re sitting there in a college-type atmosphere, probably about 150 people in the audience, and I even forgot who it was speaking because there were a lot of people that day, it might have been [Michael] Shermer, and he speaks and he finished and he opens the floor up to questions. The person on the other side of my date stands up and says, “Well if there’s no God, what’s to stop me from raping and killing everyone around me?” And my date raised her hand and said, “May I change my seat?” [Laughter]
Ron Bennington: But maybe it’s because we distrust each other, we’re so afraid of other humans, that we have that, you know?
Penn Jillette: It’s amazing, and I always bring this up, that religion is for people who kind of at some level don’t like people. And I love people. And I think if you take the 7 billion people on the planet and you round it off, about 7 billion of them are good. To find bad people is really difficult. Not people doing bad things, but really bad people who get up in the morning and say, How can I fuck people up? That’s a really rare thing. Misguided, you know, mistaken, but I just can’t understand how this view of humanity that all we want to do is horrible things to each other and it’s just this belief in something else that stops us. And that that is what you see over and over again through the Bible. There’s reward and punishment but there’s no – I mean, nothing feels better than helping someone out. I mean, there’s nothing better, nothing better in the world than someone whose life was fucked up and you do a little something and now their life isn’t. I mean, you can talk about the joy of sex, hedonistic joys of food, and you can talk about the joy with your children, but man, someone is going through a hard time and you help them out, man you feel good for months.
Read the rest here.
Right in there with that, Steph, is another factor. Most murderers are former theists even if they were just christians in their youth. Watching real crime programs on ID Discovery, I have found incidents of murder where the killer kills an old christian couple and justifies his act by saying "he did them a favor." This can only be interpreted to mean he guaranteed their entrance into heaven. If this could only be true remotely, then the killer was "doing god's will." How fuct up is that?
These same type programs also have a man confessing to a crime because his father is dead now, and that means his father is a spirit and therefore the father knows what he did. To be good with his father he has to confess to the crime.
Look how screwed up all of this is, and it's all caused by christian belefs!
Yes I agree Michael - Xtian beliefs so screw things up.
I cannot understand why the religious keep rehashing this argument. Its moral bankruptcy is so obvious. I guess they keep re-hashing the same old hack because there is nothing new of substance to present. Of course, there wouldn't be.
A day ago I watched a video of a muslim challenging an Atheist with the "watchmaker argument," the argument that any semblance of order must imply a designer. I actually have an Atheist version of this argument that I believe sums up a lot. When people ask me, "how can you not believe?" I answer, "Look around, the world doesn't work that way."
Apparently the theists believe that without a god they would rape, rob, and pillage all they want to. That simply shows me that they cannot be trusted.
As for the watchmaker argument we have to understand that all the individual parts of a "watch" wouldn't be there in the first place. In evolution those parts would have evolved just like the watch itself did, and you would never see or have any individual parts just waiting to be put together. If you did and this was so, then dogs would be having kittens. Evolution does work that way but you cannot tell the theist that. He doesn't think he came from a monkey, and I agree. He might have came from a fish. Follow it back far enough and he might have came from a rock.
He might have came from a fish.
Michael, weren't the ancestors of all land animals seafood for a while?
Right Michael - I agree. I unfortunately hear this argument used over and over again.