“Keith” from @GodsWordIsLaw posted on Twitter today,
We must ask ourselves what an Atheist Bible would look like. Big box abortion? Pedophile marriage? Sex with dogs? These ppl have NO morals.
I’d like to address each of these individually, because I think a lot of far-wing Christians honestly believe atheists are having sex with dogs, cats, lizards, and anything else with an orifice, and that we’re actually TRYING to get pregnant just so we can schedule that abortion appointment.
BIG BOX ABORTION:
I don’t think anyone relishes the thought of having an abortion, and according to the 2006 report by The Center for Reason, atheists dislike abortions just as much as Christians do. Or, worded another way, Christians have just as many abortions as do atheists:
The study reveals that Christians have just as many abortions as non-Christians. Data analyzed for all fifty states show that the rate of abortion is the same in the most-Christian segments of the population as it is in the least-Christian. The most-Catholic segments, on the other hand, showed significantly higher abortion rates.
[Note: The article says the report is available for download, but I was unable to download it.]
I’m not sure what the significance of pedophile marriage is – has it been in the news, lately? Is this about Warren Jeffs (who isn’t an atheist, but LDS – which doesn’t matter, either, because he’s sick in the head no matter what religious preference he marks on his form)?
I have no doubt the people behind the GodsWordIsLaw Twitter page have been aware of the priests-abusing-children scandals, which may be why they accuse atheists of wanting pedophile marriage instead of sex with children (it’s too easy to strike back at them about adults having sex with children). They are, after all, different…? (milk for free vs. buying the cow?). Regardless, research shows that pedophilia has little at all to do with religion (or lack thereof):
… the rate of abuse by Catholic priests is not higher than … national estimates. The public also doesn’t realize how “profoundly prevalent” child sexual abuse is. …
Most child abusers have one thing in common, and it’s not piety—it’s preexisting relationships with their victims. That includes priests and ministers and rabbis, of course, but also family members, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, scout leaders, youth-group volunteers, and doctors.
SEX WITH DOGS:
I don’t know how to respond to this, because it’s ridiculous. But there is a nice article here about zoophilia (human love for animals) for those who are interested, and it doesn’t appear that people who enjoy sex with dogs (or horses or sheep) are of a particular religious upbringing. Look to Wiki, too, for links to research that’s been done on the subject.
Sure we do! And they’re every bit as good or as messed up as Christian morals are. The only difference is that when we behave, we aren’t doing it because the Bible tells us to, but because we think it’s just the right thing to do. More on this can be found in the 2008 Psychology Today article “Do Atheists Pose a Threat to Morality?“:
Evolutionists now think we evolved to be altruistic, because helping others can increase fitness (helping kin spreads our genes and helping strangers promotes beneficial reciprocity and cooperation). These evolutionary models enjoy some psychological support. Felix Warneken and Michael Tomasello have shown that 14 month-old infants exhibit helpful behavior, even in the absence of reward. And even if altuism were not innate, it might be a precondition on stable society, so it might emerge inevitably through the course of “cultural evolution.”
A moral code of some kind is likely to emerge regardless of religious outlook. Indeed, the moral values of major religions may be products of cultural evolution. Of course, cultural evolution does not guarantee that every society will be peaceful or egalitarian. War and hierarchy seem to be features of most social systems, whether religiously grounded or not.
I can only suspect this kind of talk about atheists is grounded in fear, and I hope I’ve managed to quell some of that fear here today. We’re all, religious folk and atheists alike, good, and we’re all messed up – but the scariest of all of us are those who take whatever we believe in to extremes and use it as a basis to create, grow, and spread hate and intolerance.