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Old 09-13-2008, 07:29 PM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,187,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
Yes, I appreciate where you are coming from.

In my mind there are only three types of belief - religious, agnostic, atheist. Each type has many values that are derived from or influenced by their belief system. I see atheism as its own quasi-religion, often looking to the State to fill in where a Church otherwise might. Look no farther than Marxism for an example of that. The rise of Secularism is also a quasi-religion. (By "quasi-religion" I mean a belief system that has many of the markings of a traditional religion without much of the formal organization and rituals.)
I think there is a substantial difference for most atheists and most adherents to a religion - and, similarly, substantial differences between the construct of most religions and atheism.

I'm not going to spend a heap of energy chasing it down right now, but suffice it to say that "belief there is no god" is mostly not a "belief system." Nor, for that matter, is my own agnosticism. Further, "I believe there is no god" and "I do not believe there is a god," while both atheism, are often not the same in a practical sense - one is a more active examination.

But, really, the term atheism may suggest some sort of formality, but really there is seldom any there. It is not, for most, a "quasi-religion," so much as either active or passive conclusion. "I believe I'll have some ice cream" does not imply "quasi-religion," either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
Under your hypothetical that absolute separation of Church and State is possible it would require either a) a society that is 100% agnostic or b) a society that only had laws based on the morals that were not religiously based. Option A is theoretically possible. I doubt that option B is.
I get what you are saying, but I believe you have changed the topic. Here are your words to which I was responding:

Quote:
In analyzing one's opinion of a candidate and their positions, the morals of the voter will play a part. There is no way around that. Based on that, the absolute separation of Church and State is unattainable (and IMO, undesirable).
We were discussing an individual voter's morality, not societal morality. If the morals of the voter are not religiously based, then for that voter there is such a situation.[/i]

I hope I am making sense.
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Old 09-13-2008, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Lynbrook
517 posts, read 2,240,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
Under your hypothetical that absolute separation of Church and State is possible it would require either a) a society that is 100% agnostic or b) a society that only had laws based on the morals that were not religiously based. Option A is theoretically possible. I doubt that option B is.
I think that many of societies' morals are similar to those taught in religious sects. Essentially, anything that harms someone else is bad. Murder, bad. Theft, bad. Rape, bad. I don't think that society needs to be 100% agnostic in order to have separation of Church and State.

The big sticking point seems to be the evangelical aspect of certain religions. If you believe that your mission is to proselytize, then you may do so even if that breaks "civil" laws. This is where the "moral" issue comes in. Some people believe that it is their duty to uphold "God's will."

I feel that it takes incredible hubris to believe that any one person knows God's will (whichever God you believe in). I don't believe that I am fit to judge other's morality. Of course, I believe that we need laws, particularly those that prevent individuals from harming others. However, what two consenting adults do in their home, is not for me to judge as moral or not. Again, I'm talking about adults only - not children, animals, severely mentally impaired individuals.

If people can get past their own agenda, and allow for free will like they say that God does, then we can have separation of church and state. Besides, you can't really legislate morals, if you could then there would be no sinners and no need for jails. You can only punish the law breakers in the hopes that this will dissuade those who were so inclined.
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:56 PM
 
3,566 posts, read 4,490,175 times
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Default Lots of problems here

Oyez: Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, 551 U.S. ___ (2007), U.S. Supreme Court Case Summary & Oral Argument
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:32 PM
 
4,172 posts, read 5,856,835 times
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Just an observation on how things are going in 2 democracies with completely different background. In the US, it seems that the distance between state and religion is decreasing. If you follow events in Turkey, they are trying to go out of their way to keep religion out of even universities. In Turkey, "secular" is not a bad word, whereas in the US, if you listen to parts of the media, "secualr" is identified as being almost anti-god, which it is not. Perhaps people more familiar with the Turkish situation can chime in here. However, as a visitor, it seemed ironic that a muslim country is fighting to stay secular whereas US is moving the other way.
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 34,361,805 times
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Does anyone here object to:

1) Politicans ending their speeches with "and may God bless America?"

2) Sessions of Congress (and other government entities) opening thier sessions with a prayer or invocation?
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
1,356 posts, read 5,324,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calmdude View Post
Just an observation on how things are going in 2 democracies with completely different background. In the US, it seems that the distance between state and religion is decreasing. If you follow events in Turkey, they are trying to go out of their way to keep religion out of even universities. In Turkey, "secular" is not a bad word, whereas in the US, if you listen to parts of the media, "secualr" is identified as being almost anti-god, which it is not. Perhaps people more familiar with the Turkish situation can chime in here. However, as a visitor, it seemed ironic that a muslim country is fighting to stay secular whereas US is moving the other way.
I can't speak on Turkey but I am really interested in your perception that the distance between Church and State is decreasing in America. When I look at the efforts to take references to God out of schools and public areas I conclude the opposite. I know that is not a new movement but it has made progress and is still going strong. Just a couple of years ago I remember reading about the removal of God from the services at national cemeteries for veterans.

Besides Bush's efforts to distribute welfare through some faith-based groups, I am curious what you base your opinion on.
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:52 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,237 posts, read 72,402,860 times
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there has been progress in this area. i am however at this point more concerned
about the separation of good and evil. i am seeing way too much evil mixed in with the good. since church traditonally takes the advocacy of good or god, i dont like what i am seeing at all passing itself off as a child of the state. let us remove it from our presence.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:09 PM
 
4,172 posts, read 5,856,835 times
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The distribution of welfare via faith-based groups is a biggie.
Columns: Bush's church-state mess takes liberties with ours
It sets the tone for many more such decisions in the future. Google "church + bush + state" and you will get many articles on this. Basically, when the head of the nation or state openly sets parts of his agenda often citing god, I see problems. In a way, the Church-State gap narrows and the constitution becomes weaker. This has been the trend over the last 8 years.
Here is another site that details a lot of these issues
http://www.theocracywatch.org/

Last edited by calmdude; 09-14-2008 at 09:15 PM.. Reason: EDIT: added last 2 lines
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Old 09-15-2008, 12:17 AM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,187,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatday View Post
Does anyone here object to:

1) Politicans ending their speeches with "and may God bless America?"

2) Sessions of Congress (and other government entities) opening thier sessions with a prayer or invocation?
1) It depends on the politician, the circumstance, and other factors, but I will confess to being made to feel uncomfortable with it under some circumstances.

2) Vehemently. I object even more strongly to their hiring a chaplain!
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Old 09-15-2008, 07:43 AM
 
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 4,898,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatday View Post
Does anyone here object to:

1) Politicans ending their speeches with "and may God bless America?"

2) Sessions of Congress (and other government entities) opening thier sessions with a prayer or invocation?
I would rather not see either, because to my mind it simply reinforces the growing intermingling of Church (meaning Christianity) and State. But on the other hand I always wonder if the speech-ending "may god bless.." is more representative of the politician's true beliefs or simply a form of CYA (because he/she knows that if it was NOT included, there would be an outcry from the religious right over its omission; in other words, it's less 'belief' than 'political pandering').

I see no reason why government entities should open sessions with any sort of religious invocation. Why not simply use the same moment of silence that is used in public schools? (which IMO was a right and proper replacement for the prayer that was imposed on students when I grew up in the 50s and 60s)
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