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  • LukeBreuer

    The title ought to be: “What bad things has religion done for us this month?” Otherwise, it is flagrant sampling bias. And to the extent that non-religious people have also done terrible things, targeting only religious people damages one’s ability to properly characterize the problem. Scapegoating religion is shameful, for scapegoating anything or anyone is shameful.

    • Andy_Schueler

      If you see a video that criticizes investment bankers, would you also write a comment saying “non-bankers have also done terrible things!” and “targeting ONLY bankers damages one´s ability to properly characterize the problem!”?

      “Scapegoating religion is shameful”
      – If you say that religion is being “scapegoated” here, you say that religion is not to blame at all for the things shown in the video, it is only being made to blame for these things. Is that what you meant to say?

      • LukeBreuer

        If you see a video that criticizes investment bankers, would you also write a comment saying “non-bankers have also done terrible things!” and “targeting ONLY bankers damages one´s ability to properly characterize the problem!”?

        (1) I would be careful to note whether I have looked for any good things that investment bankers have done. (2) I would be careful to note whether investment bankers are any worse, on average, than other people. (3) I would note that yes, the problems caused by investment bankers are in part due to systematic problems with all of society and probably with the human condition itself. Otherwise I might delude myself into thinking that all I need to do is get rid of all investment bankers, and that’ll make things better than they otherwise would be.

        If you say that religion is being “scapegoated” here, you say that religion is not to blame at all for the things shown in the video, it is only being made to blame for these things.

        No, A does not imply B. Religious belief can bear partial culpability. Furthermore, certain types of religious belief can bear partial culpability. The world is not black and white.

        • Andy_Schueler

          (1) I would be careful to note whether I have looked for any good things that investment bankers have done. (2) I would be careful to note whether investment bankers are any worse, on average, than other people. (3) I would note that yes, the problems caused by investment bankers are in part due to systematic problems with all of society and probably with the human condition itself.

          Alright, I´ll remember that and will remember you if I see you criticizing anything without writing a miniessay on 1-3 as well.

          No, A does not imply B. Religious belief can bear partial culpability. Furthermore, certain types of religious belief can bear partial culpability. The world is not black and white.

          No idea what you are talking about,

          • LukeBreuer

            No idea what you are talking about,

            There is a common meme among atheists where they think the following counterfactual is true, without evidence, but only on their a priori reasoning:

            If religion were to be removed from the world, it would be a better place.

            That, precisely, is scapegoating religion. It places the sins of the many on the few, just like the original goat in Torah. If you still don’t understand my point, then I didn’t understand your root point.

          • Andy_Schueler

            1. Scapegoating doesn´t mean “place the sins of the many on the few”, it means blaming someone for something that others did. The literal goats that were sacrificed in OT times were completely innocent and had nothing whatsoever to do with the “sins” for which they were sacrificed.
            2. So you were not criticizing the video then, but rather what you perceive to be a “common meme among atheists”?

          • http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/ Jonathan MS Pearce

            Jesus as Yom Kippur scapegoat!

            As Carrier has said:

            “The bottom line is: Jesus’ death atoned for the sins of Isreal (you can’t deny that is the Gospel message in a nutshell, confirmed even by Paul), and there is only one sacrifice in Hebrew practice that did that: Yom Kippur. That sacrifice had two goats, one bearing the sins, the other dying for it. Thus the mythic parallel derives from the sacrifice, not the date (thus Jesus is equated with both the Atonement Sacrifice of Yom Kippur and the life-saving sacrifice of Passover, which both are clear in the NT and thus can’t be denied).
            The rarity of Barabbas’ name creates an extraordinary coincidence (two sons of the father? one “just happens” to be said to bear the sins of Israel and the other “just happens” to die for the sins of Israel?) which is improbable on Craig’s theory. Possibility is not probability, thus it doesn’t matter what’s possible, what matters is what’s probable: the probability of these details being in the story on my theory is 100%; the probability of their being there because of a series of amazing historical coincidences is near 0%. You do the math.

            On top of that is the entire implausibility of the narrative (in every respect I noted in the debate and that other historians have remarked upon), which again is 100% expected on myth, but nearly 0% expected on history (again, “possibility” does not purchase probability; Craig loves that fallacy, but he’s delusional, so what do you expect?).”

          • LukeBreuer

            the probability of their being there because of a series of amazing historical coincidences is near 0%.

            “The probability of this event happening is 0% on my way of viewing reality, a way which has the supernatural being very unlikely.” This reminds me of how theists should rationally find the fine-tuning argument a modest boost to their confidence, while atheists should not see much of any boost. It depends on where you start. Furthermore, the ‘goodness’ of a starting point should be decided based on evidence—such as atheist scientists being able to do better science than theist scientists—and not on a priori claims.

            Something you seem to miss is that a real phenomenon is being discussed: some people suffering due to the sins of others. This happens all the time. Your insistence on CFW should help you understand this, because you can see how at least some crime is a natural result of the way the system has evolved/been designed. We can dump our trash on some people, with the result that they behave poorly, and then we can blame them for behaving poorly.

            Jesus inverted how this trash-dumping (which I identify with scapegoating) happens: instead of the weak bearing the weight of the sin (trash), the strong bear it—God bears it. This reversal is pretty dramatic, and many atheists seem to miss it, in favor of calling Jesus’ death “divine child abuse” or something like that.

          • LukeBreuer

            Scapegoating doesn´t mean “place the sins of the many on the few”, it means blaming someone for something that others did.

            To my understanding, these two are equivalent. “place the sins on X” means “blame X for the consequences of said sins”. Perhaps the difference with the Yom Kippur goat and this example is that the actual goat was 100% innocent. But demanding that the term ‘scapegoat’ only be used when guilt and innocence are separated in that way is terribly inconvenient: it’s black and white thinking.

            So you were not criticizing the video then, but rather what you perceive to be a “common meme among atheists”?

            Sort of. The video could be used to contribute toward such a meme. Consider my comment an attempt to ward off such a use.

      • http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/ Jonathan MS Pearce

        Beat me to it.