List of Quotes from Dan Barker

by Matt Slick

This list contains quotes from Dan Barker.  I developed this list in preparation for my debate with him on "Is there reason to be good without God?"  I arranged them by topic, alphabetically, and have released them here in the hopes of aiding others in researching Dan Barker should they debate him.  Those quotes from audio discussion are transcribed, and it was my intention to make them as accurate as possible.  If there are mistakes, please let me know and I will correct them, but they were carefully extracted and transcribed by me, so they should all be fine.

Some of the quotes are repeated since they fit under multiple categories.

Sources

  1. Debates
    1. Kyle Butt vs. Dan Barker Debate MP3 Audio--Does the God of the Bible Exist?
    2. Dan Barker vs. Douglas Wilson Debate MP3 Audio--Does the Triune God Exist?
    3. Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne--Does ethics require God?
    4. Dan Barker vs. Paul Manata--Is Atheism or Christianity more rational?
  2. Books
    1. Barker, Dan, Losing Faith in Faith, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., 2006
    2. Barker, Dan, Godless, Ulysses Press, 2008

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Quote List by Topic

  1. Agnosticism
    1. “Agnosticism is the refusal to take as a fact any statement for which there is insufficient evidence.” Godless, page 96
  2. Atheism
    1. "Theists do not have a God: they have a belief. Atheism is the lack of theism, the lack of belief in god(s). I am an atheist because there is no reason to believe." Godless, page 90
      1. Regarding defining “spirit:” "no one can define it! Make them define the word, or else abandon it." Losing Faith in Faith, page 113
      2. Yet, Mr. Barker defines atheism in the negative: "Atheism is not a belief. It is the ‘lack of belief’ in god(s).” Losing Faith in Faith, page 135
    2. "Atheism has nothing to offer and nothing to prove. Being an atheist is no guarantee of kindness, morality, fairness, happiness, or even rationality." Losing Faith in Faith, page 100
    3. "Atheism is not a belief. It is the ‘lack of belief’ in god(s).” Losing Faith in Faith, page 135
    4. "I am both an atheist and an agnostic . . . agnosticism addresses knowledge; atheism addresses belief. The agnostic says, ‘I don't have any knowledge that God exists.’ The atheist says, ‘I don't have any belief that God exists.’" Godless, page 96
    5. "It turns out that atheism means much less than I had thought. It is merely the lack of theism. It is not a philosophy of life and it offers no values. It predicts nothing of morality or motives. In my case, becoming an atheist was a positive move-the removal of the negative baggage of religious fallacy . . . " Godless, page 97
    6. "You are an atheist if you lack a belief in a God." page 97
    7. "However, even the atheists who ‘deny’ the existence of a God (which I often do in casual conversation) will have to back off when pressed against the philosophical wall, and admit that a lack of belief is not a belief." Godless, page 90
    8. “We can know that the atheistic way is actually a superior intellectual and moral way of thinking.” (Debate with Kyle Butt on “Does the God of the Bible Exist?" Feb. 12, 2009, 43:30)
    9. “I am an atheist because I honestly want truth. I don't know everything, but I do know that there is no evidence for the existence of God." Losing Faith in Faith, page 94
    10. "Since a belief in a God is irrational and potentially dangerous, atheism-the lack of such belief-is positive." Godless, page 99
    11. “I think all of us will have to admit, in your heart of hearts you have to admit when you are honest with yourself, you know in your heart of hearts that we all live in a completely godless universe. It is one hundred percent natural.” (Dan Barker vs. Doug Wilson in 1997, Does the Triune God Exist. 23:45)
  3. Bible
    1. Even the Bible admits that you can't know if God exists. You have to ‘believe that he is.’ Abracadabra.” Godless, page 101
      1. Where does the Bible say that you can't know if God exists?
    2. "Those barbaric Scriptures are still being sold in bookstores." Godless, page 165
    3. "The Bible argues from authority, not from reason, claiming that ‘might makes right’". Godless, page 166
    4. "This is a circular argument, of course. Don't question the Bible. Why? Because the Bible says so." Godless, page 169
  4. Ethics
    1. He said ethics is the minimizing of harm. (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, March 14, 2005, 1hr:01)
    2. “Morals are relative. Morals are relative to the situation.” (Dan Barker vs. Doug Wilson in 1997, Does the Triune God Exist. 39:45)
  5. Faith
    1. "If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are admitting that the assertion can't be taken on its own merits. If something is true, we don't invoke faith. Instead we use reason to prove it. Faith is intellectual bankruptcy. With faith, you don't have to put any work into proving your case or overcoming objections. You can ‘just believe.’” Godless, page 101
    2. "But religious faith is not adjustable. It remains strong in spite of a lack of evidence, or in spite of contrary evidence." Godless, page 102
  6. Falsifiability
    1. “In order for a statement to be true there must be other statements which if true would make your original statement false. In other words, what would prove you wrong.” (Debate with Kyle Butt on “Does the God of the Bible exist? Feb. 12, 2009, 57:30)
      1. Kyle responded that the principle of falsifiability can’t be falsified. Kyle referred to A.J. Ayers in his “Language, Truth, and Logic” and in his 2nd edition of that he said that the statement of falsifiability itself isn’t falsifiable.
  7. Freethinkers
    1. “What is a freethinkers basis for knowledge? "The scientific method is the only trustworthy means of obtaining knowledge. For a statement to be considered true it must be testable (but repeatable experiments or methods confirm it?), falsifiable (what, in theory, would disconfirm it, and have all attempts to disprove it failed?) . . . " Losing Faith in Faith, page 133
    2. "Freethinkers accept human life as the primary basis for morality. That which enhances humanity is "good." That which threatens it is "evil." Losing Faith in Faith, page 134
  8. Free will
    1. Barker says he is a compatibalist regarding free will and that we have the illusion of free will. (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, March 14, 2005, 48:10)
  9. God
    1. "Theists do not have a God: they have a belief. Atheism is the lack of theism, the lack of belief in god(s). I am an atheist because there is no reason to believe." Godless, page 90
    2. “The reason I don’t believe in a god is because there is no evidence.” (Dan Barker vs. Doug Wilson in 1997, Does the Triune God Exist. 21:50)
    3. "Since a belief in a God is irrational and potentially dangerous, atheism-the lack of such belief-is positive." Godless, page 99
    4. "Abraham argued with God and succeeded in getting him to change his mind about slaughtering innocent victims in Sodom." Godless, page 161
    5. "God is good because God said he is good, and we should worship him not because he has earned our admiration but because he has demanded it. Morality is not a question with which mere human minds should wrestle, believers insist." Godless, page 163
    6. Regarding the Sabbath day to keep it holy. "This commandment does not deal with ethics; it deals with the superiority of God. When true believers say that something is ‘wrong,’ it is because it has been decreed wrong by a ‘holy’ deity, not because there is a good ethical reason . . . p. 168 A deity might give reasons for its decrees, but they must be irrelevant. If God gives reasons, then he is appealing to a court outside himself-- a court to which he could just as well appeal directly, circumventing his authority. If God needs reasons, it is not God." Godless, pages 167,168
    7. "Speaking for myself, if the Bible heaven and hell exist, I would choose hell. Having to spend eternity pretending to worship a petty tyrant who tortures those who insult his authority would be more hellish than baking in eternal flames. There is no way such a bully can earn my admiration." Godless, page 170
    8. "He drowned the entire population of the planet, saving one family. He sent a plague to kill all the firstborn children in Egypt, human and animal. He rained fire and brimstone on Sodom, killing everyone-boys, girls, babies, pregnant women, animals. He said his Israelite warriors to destroy the neighboring pagan tribes-men, women and children." Godless, page 173
    9. "There is not enough space to mention all of the places in the Bible where God committed, commanded or condoned murder." Godless, page 177
    10. “I am an atheist because I honestly want truth. I don't know everything, but I do know that there is no evidence for the existence of God." (Losing Faith in Faith, page 94)
    11. Barker repeatedly quoted alleged contradictions and then repeatedly said, “He [the God of the Bible] does not exist.” (Debate with Kyle Butt on “Does the God of the Bible exist? Feb. 12, 2009)
    12. Barker responds to a question from someone in the audience. Barker lists people like Mark Twain, George Gershwin, Margaret Sanger, Betrand Russell, Carl Sagan, etc., being wonderful people, yet being in hell. He then says, “Are you telling me that the God you love and admire can consign us to eternal torture, then I would say to that God if you created hell, you go to hell. You wanna, if you want to torture me forever, fine. (unintelligible) . . . what a big macho man you are. You do not have my respect. Of course he doesn’t exist. This is all, this is all hypothetical.” (Debate with Kyle Butt on “Does the God of the Bible exist? Feb. 12, 2009, 1:11:00)
      1. Barker’s objection is emotional, which is interesting since in his book Godless on page 347 he says that “Truth is truth. It shouldn’t matter what any of us believe.”
    13. Look at what happened in the name of God. Look what at what happened in 9/11.” (Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, March 14, 2005, 29:00)
      1. Do a few wackos mean that what they believe in is bad?
      2. You said that the Soviet Union was atheistic: "’Have atheists ever built any hospitals?’ I am sometimes asked. Yes, they have. The obvious example is the Soviet Union, with an officially atheistic government, where hundreds of hospitals were constructed.” Godless, page 100. Okay, then can we look at what happened in the name of the officially atheistic government in Russia when it killed tens of millions of its own people?
  10. Good
    1. "’Good’ is that which enhances life, and ‘evil’ is that which threatens it.” (Losing Faith in Faith, page 125)
    2. “That which enhances humanity is ‘good’. That which threatens it is ‘evil.’" (Losing Faith in Faith, page 134)
  11. Harm
    1. “Harm is something that can be measured and analyzed naturally . . . it is not something we need from the outside to tell us if this hurts or doesn't hurt and it is all relative to the situation.” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, March 14, 2005, 33:37).
    2. If we didn’t have harm we wouldn't be talking about ethics at all." (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, March 14, 2005, 45:25)
    3. “You use reason to analyze each situation. In one case you should tell the truth. In another case you should lie to minimize harm. You can’t make an absolute rule that lying is absolutely always wrong.” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, March 14, 2005, 47:35)
    4. “We naturalists know that we can be good by following a simple principle of trying to act in a way that minimizes harm in the world.” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, March 14, 2005, 35:50)
    5. “By nature we natural organisms recoil from pain and from harm. That is built into us as a part of our survival. It’s not something we decide. It’s not some principle that came from on high. The harm is bad by definition otherwise we wouldn't be here.” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, March 14, 2005, 43:40)
    6. “How do we naturalists know how to be ethical without a God. Here is very simple. It is a principle not a rule. If you intend to act in a way that minimizes harm by your actions in the real world then by definition you can be called an ethical person. If you don't act in a way that minimizes harm you or not ethical.” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, March 14, 2005, 33:47)
  12. Heaven and Hell
    1. "Speaking for myself, if the Bible heaven and hell exist, I would choose hell. Having to spend eternity pretending to worship a petty tyrant who tortures those who insult his authority would be more hellish than baking in eternal flames. There is no way such a bully can earn my admiration." Godless, page 170
    2. Barker responds to a question from someone in the audience. Barker lists people like Mark Twain, George Gershwin, Margaret Sanger, Betrand Russell, Carl Sagan, etc., being wonderful people, yet being in hell. He then says, “Are you telling me that the God you love and admire can consign us to eternal torture, then I would say to that God if you created hell, you go to hell. You wanna, if you want to torture me forever, fine. (unintelligible) . . . what a big macho man you are. You do not have my respect. Of course he doesn’t exist. This is all, this is all hypothetical.” (Debate with Kyle Butt on “Does the God of the Bible exist? Feb. 12, 2009, 1:11:00)
  13. Hitler:
    1. In Mr. Barker’s debate with Kyle Butt on “Does the God of the Bible exist? Feb. 12, 2009, 45:00). Mr. Kyle Butt mentioned to Mr. Barker that Hitler was not a Christian. Mr. Kyle Butt then provided the documentation of the quote from Hitler in his table talks, Oct. 19, 1941, where Hitler called both Christianity and the Pox (small pox?) scourges. Also, in Hitler’s Table Talks, Dec. 13, 1941, Hitler spoke about being immunized against the drug of Christianity.
  14. Humanism
    1. "’The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’ (Solomon, Proverbs 1:7) The humanist, on the other hand, looks for some reason or principle independent of authority." Godless, page 167
    2. "Humanists are accountable to real, natural, breathing human beings (and other sentient animals), and to enforceable human laws, not to an unprovable, pie-in-the-sky deity. This makes humanism superior as a guide for moral behavior. Humanism is not just better than the Bible-a bad book-it is the only way we can be moral." Godless, page 202
      1. Which sentient animals are humans accountable to?
    3. “humanism: Secular humanism is a rationalistic natural outlook which makes humanity to measure of values.” (Losing Faith in Faith, page 131)
  15. Impartiality
    1. "The lack of impartiality of most believers merely underlines the difficulty of dialogue with atheists." Godless, page 93
  16. Jesus
    1. "Why did Jesus, the unrivaled moral example, never once speak out against slavery? . . . Jesus never spoke out against poverty or did anything to eliminate it." Godless, page 178
    2. "Jesus was violent. He cast seven devils into swine and ‘the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters’ (Matthew 8:32). Why not show a little more respect for life? He also made a quip and threatened to harm the money changers, driving them out of the temple (John 2: 15). These were people who are practicing free enterprise, most likely using the profits to provide for their families." Godless, page 179
  17. Knowledge
    1. “What is a freethinker’s basis for knowledge? "The scientific method is the only trustworthy means of obtaining knowledge. For a statement to be considered true it must be testable (but repeatable experiments or methods confirm it?), falsifiable (what, in theory, would disconfirm it, and have all attempts to disprove it failed?) . . . " Losing Faith in Faith, page 133
    2. In order for a statement to be true, there must be other statements that can be made which, if true, would make the original statement false . . . if you can't find such statements that would (but not necessarily do) prove you wrong, then you can't say your proposition is true or false." Godless, page 74
    3. "The burden of proof in any argument is on the shoulders of the one who makes the affirmative claim, not the one who doubts it." Godless, page 92
    4. "Scientists and rationalists gain knowledge by applying limits. Believers do the opposite, as faith has no borders." Godless, page 94
    5. "The scientist and historian-anyone in pursuit of verifiable knowledge-applies specific criteria in a uniform manner across time to help determine what is true or false." Godless, page 95
    6. “Agnosticism is the refusal to take as a fact any statement for which there is insufficient evidence.” Godless, page 96
    7. "If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are admitting that the assertion can't be taken on its own merits. If something is true, we don't invoke faith. Instead we use reason to prove it. Faith is intellectual bankruptcy. With faith, you don't have to put any work into proving your case or overcoming objections. You can ‘just believe.’” Godless, page 101
  18. Logic
    1. “Logic is not some capital L thing existing up in the universe we need to find. It is just a function of the mind, a function of the human brain. (Dan Barker vs. Doug Wilson in 1997, Does the Triune God Exist. 58:33)
    2. “The truth comes from verifying, from falsifiability, from repeatability, from the basic principles of logic and basic principles of reason.” (Dan Barker vs. Doug Wilson in 1997, Does the Triune God Exist. 57:05)
  19. Love
    1. "I do understand what love is, and that is one of the reasons I could never again be a Christian . . . true love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy unafraid human being." Godless, page 89
  20. Lying
    1. “Telling a lie can sometimes be a very good moral thing to do.” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, March 14, 2005, 35:40)
      1. Since you want to reduce harm, and you believe religion harms people, then shouldn’t you lie in debates to win the debates and try to convince people that religion is harmful in order to reduce harm by making religion less acceptable?”
    2. “You use reason to analyze each situation. In one case you should tell the truth. In another case you should lie to minimize harm. You can’t make an absolute rule that lying is absolutely always wrong.” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, March 14, 2005, 47:35)
  21. Ministers
    1. "Ministers are only successful if people want them to be. There are no creatures alive who would succeed without a following, without gullible people willing to call them "Pastor," "Reverend" or "Father." Godless, page 95
  22. Miracles
    1. “Science presupposes the regularity of natural law. It doesn’t mean this is true. But science in order to be science has to presuppose that natural law is regular and uniform over time. Miracles might have happened. But science can’t know it because science must presuppose that they don’t.(Dan Barker vs. Doug Wilson in 1997, Does the Triune God Exist. 1:00:40)
    2. “There might have been miracles, but science is limited to the natural world. Therefore, using science, using the principles of science rules out the triune God of scripture who commits miracles.” (Dan Barker vs. Doug Wilson in 1997, Does the Triune God Exist. 01:01:20)
  23. Morals
    1. “Morals are relative. Morals are relative to the situation.” (Dan Barker vs. Doug Wilson in 1997, Does the Triune God Exist. 39:45)
    2. “There is an objective basis for morality . . . It’s human nature and pain. We evolved to require water, for example. What if we had evolved to require something else like arsenic? . . . but relative to our human nature to what helps us, and what either enhances our life or what causes harm for our life, we can say relative to our human nature, this is something that’s good. There is no cosmic objective good . . . " (Dan Barker vs. Doug Wilson in 1997, Does the Triune God Exist. 40:35)
    3. “Morality is an issue of avoiding pain.” (Dan Barker vs. Doug Wilson in 1997, Does the Triune God Exist. 41:25)
  24. Obedience
    1. "Obedient conformity to the dictates of another mind is supremely immoral and very dangerous." Losing Faith in Faith, page 134
  25. People
    1. We are natural organisms in a natural environment.” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, March 14, 2005, 43:25)
    2. “By nature we natural organisms recoil from pain and from harm. That is built into us as a part of our survival. It’s not something we decide. It’s not some principle that came from on high. The harm is bad by definition otherwise we wouldn't be here.” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, March 14, 2005, 43:40)
    3. “I am a strict determinist. We are natural creatures and the material world is all there is.” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, March 14, 2005, 48:30)
  26. Proof
    1. "The burden of proof in any argument is on the shoulders of the one who makes the affirmative claim, not the one who doubts it." Godless, page 92
    2. “In any argument, the burden of proof is on the one making the claim . . . The burden of proof is always on the shoulders of the affirmative, not the negative . . . " Godless, page 104
    3. "The burden of proof is on the one who is making the claim; the skeptic is not required to say anything." Losing Faith in Faith, page 113
    4. "In any argument, the burden of proof is on the one making the claim." Losing Faith in Faith, page 122
    5. “Arguments based on faith, authority or ad hominem character attacks are unacceptable." Losing Faith in Faith, page 134
  27. Rape
    1. Kyle asked about rape. Would be it be okay to rape a woman to save the human race? Could you rape 2 girls, 2000, 2,000,000 to save all of humanity? Barker defended the necessity to do that which minimizes harm. (Debate with Kyle Butt on “Does the God of the Bible exist? Feb. 12, 2009, 1:02:00)
  28. Reason
    1. "If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are admitting that the assertion can't be taken on its own merits. If something is true, we don't invoke faith. Instead we use reason to prove it. Faith is intellectual bankruptcy. With faith, you don't have to put any work into proving your case or overcoming objections. You can ‘just believe.’” Godless, page 101
      1. Mr. Barker, can you prove that good is what brings the least amount of harm to people?
    2. "Freethinkers are convinced that religious claims are false-they have not withstood the tests of evidence and reason." Losing Faith in Faith, page 134
  29. Religion
    1. “Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.” (A sign maintained by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Dan Barker is the co-president of the FFRF.)
  30. Science
    1. “There might have been miracles, but science is limited to the natural world. Therefore, using science, using the principles of science rules out the triune God of scripture who commits miracles.” (Dan Barker vs. Doug Wilson in 1997, Does the Triune God Exist. 01:01:20)
  31. Scientific Method
    1. “What is a freethinkers basis for knowledge? "The scientific method is the only trustworthy means of obtaining knowledge. For a statement to be considered true it must be testable (but repeatable experiments or methods confirm it?), falsifiable (what, in theory, would disconfirm it, and have all attempts to disprove it failed?) . . . " Losing Faith in Faith, page 133
    2. “Science presupposes the regularity of natural law. It doesn’t mean this is true. But science in order to be science has to presuppose that natural law is regular and uniform over time. Miracles might have happened. But science can’t know it because science must presuppose that they don’t. (Dan Barker vs. Doug Wilson in 1997, Does the Triune God Exist. 1:00:40)
  32. Spirit
    1. In your debate with Kyle Butt on “Does the God of the Bible exist? In Feb, 2009, You rejected the Kyle’s definition “spirit” when he said it was non-corporeal. You didn’t accept what ‘spirit’ was not. You wanted to know what it is. But, you say atheism is the lack of belief in a god or gods. So, why do you define atheism as non theism and reject the definition that ‘spirit’ is non-corporeality?
  33. Truth
    1. “Truth is truth. It shouldn't matter what any of us wants to believe. The fact that life is ultimately meaningless does not mean it is not immediately meaningful.” Godless, page 347
    2. “We know that there are principles of truth that transcend majority rules.” (Debate with Kyle Butt on “Does the God of the Bible exist? Feb. 12, 2009, 39:35)
    3. “Truth: the degree to which a statement correspond with reality and logic.” Losing Faith in Faith, page 131
    4. “The truth comes from verifying, from falsifiability, from repeatability, from the basic principles of logic and basic principles of reason.” (Dan Barker vs. Doug Wilson in 1997, Does the Triune God Exist. 57:05)
    5. “Just because one thing might presuppose another that does not mean that the thing it presupposes is necessarily true . . . for example, we are conducting our debate tonight in the English language, presupposing that this audience understands English. We don’t determine if that is true by our presuppositions. We determine it is true by investigating.” (Dan Barker vs. Doug Wilson in 1997, Does the Triune God Exist. 56:00).
    6. Truth is the degree to which a statement corresponds with reality.”
    7. (ffrf.org/nontracts/freethinker.php, Nontract #11, What is a Freethinker?)
  34. Values
    1. Values reside within physical brains . . . " Losing Faith in Faith, page 125
    2. Good is that which enhances life,” Losing Faith in Faith, page 125
    3. “There are no moral absolutes . . . ” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, March 14, 2005, 34:45)
    4. There is no universal ought.” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, March 14, 2005, 45:00)
    5. “You use reason to analyze each situation. In one case you should tell the truth. In another case you should lie to minimize harm. You can’t make an absolute rule that lying is absolutely always wrong.” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, March 14, 2005, 47:35)
    6. There are no actions in and of themselves that are always absolutely right or wrong. It depends on the context. You cannot name an action that is always absolutely right or wrong. I can't think of an exception in any case.” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, March 14, 2005, 35:10)
      1. Really? Mr. Barker, I say that torturing babies for your personal enjoyment is wrong. Could you please tell us of a situation where the torturing babies for your personal enjoyment is good?
      2. If you can’t, then you are wrong. If you can, why complain against the God of the Bible who sends people to hell? Are you saying ‘you’ can justify torture, but God can’t?
    7. “Mature people are comfortable with the relativism of humanism since it provides a consistent, rational and flexible framework for ethical human behavior-- without a deity." . . . " Losing Faith in Faith, page 126
      1. How does relativism produce consistent frameworks of ethical behavior? Doesn’t relativism mean that the ethical behaviors can change? So, how can then be consistent?
    8. “Telling a lie can sometimes be a very good moral thing to do.” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, March 14, 2005, 35:40)
      1. Then since you want to reduce harm, and you believe religion harms people, then shouldn’t you lie in debates to win the debates and try to convince people that religion is harmful in order to reduce harm by making religion less acceptable?
    9. "In the Scriptures that might support a good law do so only because they have met the test of human values, which long predates the ineffective 10 Commandments." . . . " Losing Faith in Faith, page 126
    10. "Freethinkers accept human life as the primary basis for morality. That which enhances humanity is "good." That which threatens it is "evil." Losing Faith in Faith, page 134
    11. "It turns out that atheism means much less than I had thought. It is merely the lack of theism. It is not a philosophy of life and it offers no values. It predicts nothing of morality or motives. In my case, becoming an atheist was a positive move-the removal of the negative baggage of religious fallacy . . . " Godless, page 97
    12. "God is good because God said he is good, and we should worship him not because he has earned our admiration but because he has demanded it. Morality is not a question with which mere human minds should wrestle, believers insist." Godless, page 163
    13. Regarding the Sabbath day to keep it holy. "This commandment does not deal with ethics; it deals with the superiority of God. When true believers say that something is ‘wrong,’ it is because it has been decreed wrong by a ‘holy’ deity, not because there is a good ethical reason . . . p. 168 A deity might give reasons for its decrees, but they must be irrelevant. If God gives reasons, then he is appealing to a court outside himself-- a court to which he could just as well appeal directly, circumventing his authority. If God needs reasons, it is not God." Godless, pages 167,168
    14. "a true moral guide should have some principles. If humans are supposed to treat other humans in certain ways, or to avoid treating humans in other ways, then there should be some examination of the general value of human life and of human rights. Yet this is not to be found anywhere in the Bible." Godless, page 171
    15. "Humanists are accountable to real, natural, breathing human beings (and other sentient animals), and to enforceable human laws, not to an unprovable, pie-in-the-sky deity. This makes humanism superior as a guide for moral behavior. Humanism is not just better than the Bible-a bad book-it is the only way we can be moral." Godless, page 202
    16. “ . . . life is ultimately meaningless, and we should not want it any other way if we value life.” Godless, page 347
      1. So, in order to value life we must acknowledge that life is meaningless?
    17. “Truth is truth. It shouldn't matter what any of us wants to believe. The fact that life is ultimately meaningless does not mean it is not immediately meaningful.” Godless, page 347
    18. “The way to be moral, ethical . . . involves the intention to act in ways that minimize harm." (lecture called “Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists” on Oct. 2006, 35:25)
    19. “This is my formulation . . a person can be called moral who intends to act in ways that minimize harm” (lecture called “Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists” on Oct. 2006, 36:05)
    20. The word ‘morality’ is just a label for a concept . . . but if we choose to be moral then those of us who intend to act in ways that minimize harm are the ones who can be called moral or ethical people.” (lecture called “Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists” on Oct. 2006, 36:40)
    21. “What does harm mean? Certainly it means suffering to some degree . . . whatever harm means, it is physical. It is natural." (lecture called “Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists” on Oct. 2006, 37:30)
    22. “Since harm is a natural thing. Do you have enough food to eat . . you define harm in some way as your ability to live a full successful and free life in this world. Anything that impedes that you can call that as a kind of harm. Now notice that I did not say that morality involves eliminating harm . . . sometimes the way to minimize harm is to create harm. For example.. we would all agree that it is wrong to stick a needle into a baby unless that baby needs a life saving injection.” (lecture called “Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists” on Oct. 2006, 38:40)
    23. “Sometimes you have to cause harm in the world but your intention is to end up minimizing the total amount of harm there is in the world . . . the only way to know how to minimize harm is not by looking at some list, it is to examine the facts, examine the situation, use your mind, use your reason.” (lecture called “Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists” on Oct. 2006, 38:40)
    24. but if it was your intention to act in a way to minimize harm then you are by definition a moral person. (lecture called “Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists” on Oct. 2006, 39:10)
    25. All ethics are situational. All ethics are in some kind of a context” (lecture called “Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists” on Oct. 2006, 39:55)
    26. ‘moral values are not real’. (Mr. Barker in his lecture “Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists” on Oct. 19, 2006)
      1. If moral values are not real then it isn’t actually true that torturing babies is wrong.
    27. There are no objective moral values in the universe. There are not. We make values in our brain. A value is a function of a brain (unintelligible word). Just like digestion is a function of the stomach. Thought is a function of a computing brain . . . we make values based on what we need to survive, what we need to enhance our lives, what we need to avoid pain in our lives and we make comparisons of those values . . . when the brain dies the values go away.” (Debate with Kyle Butt on “Does the God of the Bible exist? Feb. 12, 2009, 35:50)
    28. “We can know that the atheistic way is actually a superior intellectual and moral way of thinking.” (Debate with Kyle Butt on “Does the God of the Bible exist? Feb. 12, 2009, 43:30)
    29. Ethics is a principle: “How do we naturalists know how to be ethical without a God. Here is very simple. It is a principle not a rule. If you intend to act in a way that minimizes harm by your actions in the real world then by definition you can be called an ethical person. If you don't act in a way that minimizes harm you or not ethical.” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, March 14, 2005, 33:47)
    30. Ethics and Morality: Failing to distinguish between ethics and morality . . . “morality is something that is culture specific . . . ethics is addressing a broader picture of in between cultures are there really values there?” (Debate between Dan Barker and Peter Payne at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, March 14, 2005, 49:25)
    31. Values from nature: "I learned that relativism is all we've got. Human values are not absolutes-they are relative to human needs . . . the basis for values lies in nature. Since we are a part of nature, and since there is nothing ‘beyond’ nature, it is necessary to assign value to actions in the context of nature itself.” Losing Faith in Faith, page 323
    32. Morality is in the mind: “morality is in the mind, and reason is in the mind. No matter where you look for reality, it all comes down to the mind." Losing Faith in Faith, page 324
  35. Other
    1. Thank an insult: “That's a good tactic, thanking people for what they think is an insult." page 77
    2. Prescriptive and descriptive: “Most Philosophy 101 students know there is a difference between prescriptive laws (like the highway speed limit) and descriptive laws (like the inverse square law of gravitational attraction)." page 82
    3. Start with the natural universe: "We can only start where we both agree, and proceed from there. We both agree that there is a natural universe-no argument there." page 92
    4. Soviet Union is atheistic: "’Have atheists ever built any hospitals?’ I am sometimes asked. Yes, they have. The obvious example is the Soviet Union, with an officially atheistic government, where hundreds of hospitals were constructed.” Godless, page 100
    5. Angel asked Mary’s permission: " . . . the angel asked the Virgin Mary for her permission to be impregnated by the Holy Ghost." Godless, page 171
    6. Make the person define terms: "If you ever get into a situation where you are stumped, over your head, out of ideas, and can't think of a way to loop the argument around, then there's always the appropriate tactic of backing up and making the person define terms." Losing Faith in Faith, page 113

 

 

 

 
 
CARM ison