An Atheist Comes Out Against Moral Equivalence

Christofer Hitchens has made a big splash with his latest book claiming that all religion is the cause of the world’s worst problems. Hugh Fitzgerald, also an atheist, provides a thought experiment which deals with the equivalence of Christianity with radical Islam so popular among the leftist elite and showbiz types. His thought experiment is a helpful piece of apologetics which calls out the assertions of those who claim to be as fearful of us conservative Christians as they are of bin Laden.

Posted by pomeranus.

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6 comments on “An Atheist Comes Out Against Moral Equivalence

  1. religionandatheism says:

    The thought experiment boils down to this: wouldn’t you be more scared to fly in a plane with a bearded Muslim pilot than a Christian one. My answer is “no I wouldn’t” and I don’t think that appealing to people’s irrational responses to Muslims, hatred and misunderstanding of whom has been propagated in the media is sufficient. Muslim resentment towards the west is a function, however uncomfortable this is to consider, of western policies towards the Middle-East over the last 100 years at least! The thought experiment would be fair if you asked a Muslim from Iran whether he’d feel safe travelling with fundamentalist Christians behind the controls of the airplane transporting him. I don’t mean to imply that fundamentalist Christians are necessarily violent, just to suggest a balance to the “thought-experiment”. It’s not impossible that either the Christian or the Muslim pilot would want to harm his passangers by crashing the plane. But very unlikely. And as I say, the reasons for anger at the west from Muslims in the Middle-East is well understood, as is the anger amongst Christians towards Muslims.

    AG, http://religionandatheism.wordpress.com

  2. Joe says:

    I think the thought experiment misses the point. Danger from Christianity does not come in the form of terrorism it comes in the form of theocracy.

  3. pomeranus says:

    It seems that Religionandatheism errs in a way one would not expect of a thinking critic of religion. He/she assumes that the “thought experiment” is based on feelings or emotions. Fitzgerald’s point is that it is rational to be concerned about the behavior of the Muslim pilot, while there is little empirical evidence that a Muslim would rationally have a fear of a Christian pilot. Recent experience and Islamic texts provide the evidence. Christian texts and experience do not provide evidence which would warrant the same level of concern. The “thought experiment” only comes to Religionandatheism’s conclusion if the equivalence of feelings is accepted as the underlying premise. Fitzgerald is clear that feelings are not the underlying premise. It would seem that Religionandatheism is somewhat of a post-modern atheist whose stance is not based on reason, but feelings.
    Joe’s comment is based on the false premise that all Christians are millenialists. Millenialism is rejected and condemned by Christians who stand in what is known sometimes as “the Great Tradition.” From the Montanists to the Flagellists to Muenzer, the attempt to establish the reign of God has been rejected and resisted by Christians. Jihadism is neither resisted nor rejected in Islam because it is commanded in the Qu’ran, and embedded in Muslim self-understanding. For Christians, unbelievers are to be loved and given the Gospel. For Muslims, unbelievers are given three choices: convert, submit, or die. Aberrations by Christians from trusting the power of God’s Word have historically been repented of or condemned. Joe demonstrates a lack of understanding of history in general and of Lutheran doctrine and history specifically. Perhaps he could visit the link posted by Father Theophilus in the post on an excellent Lutheran website.
    pomeranus

  4. Joe says:

    I don’t believe that all Christian’s are millenialists. I do believe that not enough Christians have enough respect for or concern about the separation of church and state in this country.

    I don’t want to live in a theocracy no matter how liberal the brand of religion is that runs things.

  5. pomeranus says:

    Joe seems to fear that any Christian involvement in the governing of this nation is by definition theocracy. The consequence is that only atheist/agnostics are fit to govern. That sounds a bit like Soviet or National Socialist doctrine. It is in fact illiberal.

  6. Joe says:

    pomeranus seems to enjoy putting words in my mouth. Christians can govern and govern well I have and will vote for them. In the US I have little choice. Few individuals running for office are willing to express non belief.

    I do see that many religious individuals that do not seem to understand that the separation of church and state protects the religious as much as the irreligious. It is the legislation of religious morality and observance that I and all should oppose. That is a theocracy.

    Thank you for not misrepresenting my position again.

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