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Old 08-19-2012, 04:24 PM
 
Location: The Other California
4,255 posts, read 4,709,680 times
Reputation: 1527

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It's not possible for the state to be neutral with respect to religion. Why? Because religion makes truth claims. To be neutral towards those claims is, in effect, to be against them.

Let's say you have to be somewhere at 6:00pm, and three men tell you what they believe to be the time of day. One says it's 5:00pm, the other 4:45pm, and the other 5:30pm. You want to be neutral and don't want to offend anyone, but you don't have a watch and can't afford to miss this meeting. So you have to choose. Neutrality is impossible. By choosing the time Joe gave you, you have rejected the claims of Sam and George. Presumably you have some reason for trusting Joe over the others - perhaps he's a relative, or a friend you've known since childhood, and he has a good track record.

The state must make the same kinds of choices with respect to religion. Naturally, the state is going to prefer, almost sub-consciously, the religion with which it is historically associated and the religion of those it serves. Religion and morality are not the same thing, but it's true that most people derive their morality from their religious faith. Since the state must make laws on the basis of morality, it will always favor certain religious views and discriminate against others.

The next thing to realize is that the very attempt at religious neutrality is prejudicial against the truth. That is to say - "Where moral and religious truth cannot be preferred, moral and religious truth will sooner or later be proscribed."

Last edited by WesternPilgrim; 08-19-2012 at 04:48 PM..
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles County, CA
29,125 posts, read 21,963,098 times
Reputation: 6128
I'm going to stay neutral in this discussion.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,088 posts, read 17,506,015 times
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The government should be atheistic.

[keep it simple]
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:46 PM
 
14,920 posts, read 11,132,503 times
Reputation: 4828
Quote:
Originally Posted by WesternPilgrim View Post
It's not possible for the state to be neutral with respect to religion. Why? Because religion makes truth claims. To be neutral towards those claims is, in effect, to be against them.

Let's say you have to be somewhere at 6:00pm, and three men tell you what they believe to be the time of day. One says it's 5:00pm, the other 4:45pm, and the other 5:30pm. You want to be neutral and don't want to offend anyone, but you don't have a watch and can't afford to miss this meeting. So you have to choose. Neutrality is impossible. By choosing the time Joe gave you, you have rejected the claims of Sam and George. Presumably you have some reason for trusting Joe over the others - perhaps he's a relative, or a friend you've known since childhood, and he has a good track record.

The state must make the same kinds of choices with respect to religion. Naturally, the state is going to prefer, almost sub-consciously, the religion with which it is historically associated and the religion of those it serves. Religion and morality are not the same thing, but it's true that most people derive their morality from their religious faith. Since the state must make laws on the basis of morality, it will always be seen as favoring certain religious views and discriminating against others.

The next thing to realize is that the very attempt at religious neutrality is prejudicial against the truth. That is to say - "Where moral and religious truth cannot be preferred, moral and religious truth will sooner or later be proscribed."

DUMB DUMB DUMB DUMB DUMB - YouTube
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:47 PM
 
32,070 posts, read 16,493,051 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesternPilgrim View Post
It's not possible for the state to be neutral with respect to religion. Why? Because religion makes truth claims. To be neutral towards those claims is, in effect, to be against them.
And the problem is?
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:50 PM
 
Location: The Other California
4,255 posts, read 4,709,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post
And the problem is?
The problem is that secularism falsely claims to be neutral and denies that it's anti-Christian.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:51 PM
 
5,906 posts, read 5,175,860 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post
And the problem is?
...that he's upset we're not officially a theocracy. (and also not yet the "United State of Texas")
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:56 PM
 
31,385 posts, read 32,002,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesternPilgrim View Post
Let's say you have to be somewhere at 6:00pm,
I just can't stand it! Where did you people go to school!?!? Clearly there wasn't a debating class within a country mile!

PLEASE look up the term False Analogy!
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles County, CA
29,125 posts, read 21,963,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
I just can't stand it! Where did you people go to school!?!? Clearly there wasn't a debating class within a country mile!

PLEASE look up the term False Analogy!
Why do you think that Sam and George are right?

(I retract my earlier statement about remaining neutral...

I actually voted for neutrality - before I voted against it.)
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:00 PM
 
Location: The Other California
4,255 posts, read 4,709,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
Teach me, ovcatto. No analogy is perfect, but please show me how this one is "false" or inapplicable.
Better yet, why don't you offer an alternative analogy? This should be fun.
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