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Old 03-01-2014, 07:29 AM
 
6,324 posts, read 4,336,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
As you know...I don't think much of "law"...any law. They are too differing from place to place, ever changing, arbitrary, tools used to unjustly control, and many times contradictory & conflicting.
I think even less of anarchy and the idea that I would have to defend myself from thugs looking to take my food to roving rape gangs that would do their business and murder me just for the fun of it. No thanks. Laws may not be perfect, but the alternative is far and away worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
The "contradictory & conflicting" aspect is what is at play in this situation.
This is a BIG problem. We have basic and fundamental law in place as part of our Constitution that says the government can't make any law (not some laws, or a few laws, but NO law) that prohibits free religious exercise. It is even referred to as a "right".
You're thinking too much like a Christian here because that's what Christians always say. They think that the Constitution gives them a right to INFINITELY practice their religion any way they see fit. In other words, they believe that there are NO laws that prohibits religion from doing what it wishes to do.

Except there is a second part to that law, the one that says congress (including state congress) shall pass no law with respect to the establishment of religion. This means, of course, that the government cannot turn religion into law. And THAT is precisely the law this Arizona bill would be breaking.

The trouble with rights is that sometimes one person's right clashes with someone else's right. Thus, as a general rule, a right only applies to the individual and cannot be forced upon another. Thus my right to freedom of expression (1st Amendment) does not include forcing my expression on to you at 4am by blasting rap music in the neighborhood. However, you still maintain the right to listen to rap music - even if it does suck.

In the same way, a person has the right to believe what they want and practice their religion freely up UNTIL that point where it begins to violate someone else's right to practice THEIR religion - or non-religion as the case may be. Therefore, it should be idiot-simple lawmaking here. A religion does not have the right to impose itself onto me or anyone else who disagrees with them. It doesn't matter if people vote for it or if churches crow about it or if people protest. Our rights are sacrosanct and, according to many Christians, given to us by God (though why God would be concerned about us owning guns is, well ... ) but that's what they believe. As such no one can simply vote or legislate away or the rights of other human beings.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
Then...there are laws passed that deal with "discrimination"...and set rules that proscribe actions and conduct toward certain groups that are demonstrative of bias and prejudice.
It has now come about that this could conflict with the fundamental laws that are coined as "rights"...to be in compliance with the new laws.
As I told you before, without those laws, we wouldn't have a civil society. It's too late for that now. Do you really think that the blacks of the South will meekly return to being 2nd class citizens, for instance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
Now...we actually have people arguing that it is okay to have that most basic laws (more than a law--a "right") violated over something as insignificant as saving people the hassle of going to a different bakery or hiring some other photographer...based on these new (and I submit: lesser & subordinate) laws.
LOL! C'mon, GldnRule, you know damn well that's not what's REALLY at stake here.

But you should see where I live - rural bumpkinville mostly made up of foaming-at-the-mouth fundamentalists, hillbillies with 8th grade educations (where the only non-white they've ever seen was on television), and people who wear racism and prejudice on their sleeve. Right now, I'm stuck here. BUT, fortunately, we have laws that prevent discrimination given that my appearance is a cross between an Asian-Indian and an Asian Oriental with dark-ish skin, dark hair, dark eyes, etc. Around here, I stand out not like a sore thumb but like a third arm or a second head. But I can still go to any store and not be thrown out because they think I'm a Muslim or because they don't like the look of me ("But, but, I thought she was GAY!" would be their defense) ... and they would do it too. I keep to myself in these parts ... AND ... given that the nearest soda machine is already 16 miles away, if I was denied service somewhere, yeah, it would mean at LEAST another 30 mile trip (one way).

But like I said, you're advocating for unlimited freedom, the freedom to act like petulant children barely out of the jungle (and, in fact, the Law of the Jungle IS precisely what you're cheerleading for). Yeah, it's all fun and games to think all of our laws are just too whimsical and arbitrary - that is until we didn't have them and some vigilante gang comes knocking on YOUR door for doing what you do.
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
20,141 posts, read 13,585,734 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexcanter View Post
Religions are all about an objective morality, it's the premise which allows love thy neighbor.

Subjective morality is the secularist view which atheist's maintain is superior.

Unfortunately the secularists view will never be able to justify any rational approach, unless it can demonstrate that locking your door is a waste of time.
By your logic, theist "objective" morality fails because people still have to lock their doors.

Atheist morality does not exist, since atheism is only statement about god-belief, not about other beliefs. However, by definition an atheist cannot see god as a source of given morality, and most of us end up seeing societal consensus as the source of morality.

Since we see god as a subjective perception of agency, we actually see god-given morality as subjective and mutable. The immutability of god and his morality is only a human construct, it varies from religion to religion and over time even within a religion -- just slowly enough to appear to any given generation to be more stable than it actually is.

All morality, therefore, is situational. Differences between moral systems are just a matter of who is deciding the morality (in this present conversation, a particular religion or a particular society) and how nimble it is in adapting to the best interests of the deciders (denominational leaders or, in a democratic republic, the citizens).

So there is nothing "objective" about morality promulgated by religions. Even to the extent it is based on the religion's holy book(s), it is still subject to interpretation and shifts of emphasis. It tends to change more slowly and/or less overtly than societal mores, but change it does. Theists no longer attempt to cherry pick proof-texts to justify slavery or the proper treatment of indentured servants or an earth-centric cosmology, because they have been forced to change the rules by the REAL moral force in the world, which is societal morality. Societal morality has always led the way because it is relatively unencumbered by arbitrary dogma -- it has to have as its main concern, the sustainable health of society as a whole. If it does not keep its eye on that ball, the society collapses.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexcanter View Post
Religions are all about guiding a path for these good attributes of charity in man, not supposing they magically come about by the will. Parents can't even begin to raise a family without an objective good.
There are over a billion atheists in the world and they not only begin, but finish raising their families without an objective good. But as I pointed out above, theists raise their children without an objective good, too, they simply don't admit it to themselves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexcanter View Post
This subject gets allot of attention because the social is making a suggestion to not only itself, but the youth and future generations the homosexual commitment within itself contributes a value to the species which has a value on equal par with the traditional unit.
Homosexuality is not a value or a commitment, it is simply a sexual orientation. All that society has been recognizing of late is that the (mostly religiously driven) perceptions that it is harmful to society are inaccurate and therefore treating same-gender relationships differently than opposite-gender relationships is doing lots of harm and little to no good. Society is able to recognize and self-correct for such things much more readily and quickly than religion. Religion then follows, reluctantly at first, then pretends as if it was self-evident all along. Just like it does today on subjects like slavery or female suffrage.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:43 AM
 
6,324 posts, read 4,336,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010 View Post
A.) You're missing thousands and thousands of believers who really were targeted. Thousands of Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Eastern Orthodox and Protestants were forcibly relocated to Siberia where they ultimately died. And the USSR didn't really give up the fight either. They just postponed it, putting it on their "to do" list. They never stopped abusing religion until the fall of Communism.
And how many were put in Gulags for some OTHER reason and they just happened to be religious? Hmm, do you think the Soviets kept such detailed records as to delineate between the two? Heh, I highly doubt it. So your assetion "A" doesn't provide conclusive evidence. However, that isn't to say that people weren't harassed and heavily propagandized for maintaining religious belief, but wholesale murder wasn't part of the plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010 View Post
B.) You're also missing the point. Lenin, Stalin, Kim Sung, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro and all of the others prove their "devout" militant atheism beyond all doubt by their anti-religious crusades.
Uh huh, and every last one of them were dictators. Funny thing about being a dictator - they don't like to share power, not even with God. Sure, atheism is a great thing to be if you're a dictator, but the point YOU'RE missing is that their "militant atheism" was not due to atheism. It was due to the dictator not wanting his people serving two masters. The ultimate motive wasn't to spread atheism, it was to solidify the dictator's position of power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010 View Post
I'm not saying that all of their victims were targets of anti-religious mass movements. Some certainly were. Taken together, millions of people died for their religion in Marxist countries. But the real point: Yes, they most definitely were atheists. Some of the most inhuman monsters in human history absolutely were atheists.
So? Both Hitler and Kim Il-Sung loved American movies; Hitler's favorite was Gone with the Wind. What are we supposed to take away from that information? That movies are bad because dicators liked them? It's the same principle when you jab your finger at atheism and say, "Those inhuman monsters were atheists!" Sure, and they were also all male. Is that somehow significant? Does it say something about men? All of them but Hitler also ate meat - is there an argument for being a vegan lurking somewhere inside this information?

I think we've lost sight of the original premise of this discussion - that being it was a lack of religion that caused all of these atrocities to take place. I said that you have to prove causality, but you really haven't. All you've really done here is to say having a lack of religion isn't any better than having one, but you haven't actually shown that it was atheism that caused Stalin and Hitler and et. al. to murder all of those people. You've simply plucked one specific trait (atheism) from a plethora of traits and tried to make IT the over-arching cause. Except it's not. All you can really say about atheism in this case is that yes, it IS a really great tool for dictators (even though I'm really letting you off the hook since there is reason to believe that some of those dictators were not really atheists.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010 View Post
C.) Thusly, you had the supreme leaders and the entire ruling elite in those nations that were -- to a man -- hardcore atheists. Atheists who ardently believed what you suggested earlier: "If we could just get rid of all religion, problems X, Y, Z would cease to exist."
So? I honestly believe much the same. If not for religion, many of Mankind's current struggles wouldn't exist. The absence of religion eliminates fanaticism - and before you start pointing to dictators that had a fanatical following, keep in mind, they didn't. Fanaticism over a dictator only occurs when times are good, but even Hitler had to hide the Holocaust from the German people and Galtieri had to manufacture the Falklands invasion to stay in power. Fighting for a dictator is only good when you're winning the war. Fighting for a God? Heh, that's when you fight to the death.

Bottom line is this: Without religion, no one could use it as an ulterior motive. Whenever a lunatic or megalomaniac wanted to take over their neighbor or initiate ethnic cleansing, they couldn't hide behind religion as an excuse. They would have to lay out their reasoning for the entire world to see, and since greed or power or simple hatred aren't acceptable reasons for killing, these people wouldn't get any support or sympathy. In addition, the powers-that-be wouldn't be able to use religion as a motivation to fight. I doubt very much that Osama bin Laden could have gotten all those men to commit suicide by flying planes into buildings if they thought they were doing it to help bin Laden get richer or achieve more power. Religion is the ultimate motivator to get common soldiers with absolutely NOTHING to gain by doing so to fight on behalf of a king, emperor, president, or prime minister. Even "Dubya" didn't hold back mentioning God every couple of sentences when talking about the Iraq war.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010 View Post
I'm not suggesting that atheism is in any way dogmatic, but there is no denying that atheism carries the same stigma with it that every religion does. "I'm right and you're wrong, therefore I'm better/smarter/more enlightened than you are." Far too many atheists carry their contempt for religiousness proudly, wearing it like a badge of honor.
No, atheism has an even worse stigma than religion - because religion caused it. How many Christians make the claim that atheists have no moral compass or we're atheists because we want to sin? Polling data shows that atheists are the least trusted demographic group in the country - even less than gays and Muslims. And guess who took that poll? Yeah, the majority of them were Christians who, no doubt, were TAUGHT how rotten we atheists are by their propagandizing churches. Religion has placed a stigma on atheism through the use of lies, misconceptions, willful ignorance, and bad historical analogies.

The fact that you seem to find it somehow "wrong" for atheists to proudly carry our contempt for religion on our sleeves speaks volumes to what I'm saying. Especially given that it would appear Christians proudly carrying their contempt for atheism on their sleeves is somehow the epitome of righteousness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010 View Post
Jesus Christ never taught his followers that Jews and heretics should be tortured and killed. Self-righteous (or otherwise corrupt) human beings came up with that all on their own. It's about like having one of your kids decapitate your neighbor, bring you the head and tell you, "I did it for you daddy!" Jesus is not amused.
Americans don't worship Jesus Christ. America is a greedy, selfish, materialistic, wholly spoiled nation that is obsessed with money and possessing things. How many of THOSE traits did Jesus embody? Yet those are the things far too many Americans hold dear. Yahweh was the one who hated gays and ordered Hebrews to murder homosexuals - and it is Yahweh that Americans listen to. I suppose that's why courthouses are littered with the 10 Commandments and depictions of Moses and figures from the Old Testament, but you won't find too many crucifixes in a courthouse - nor will you find engravings of passages from the Sermon on the Mount.

I suppose when I call Americans "Christians," I'm doing real Christians a disservice, because a lot of Americans are actually Hebrew Mammon worshipers and are as far from Jesus as one could possibly get without being outright evil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010 View Post
Marxism failed horribly because atheists are not immune to human nature. They are not immune to self-righteousness. They are not immune to being corrupted by absolute power. They are not immune to greed and general selfishness.
You're absolutely right, we're not immune to any of those things. But if an atheist robs a bank because he wants to buy some drugs - can we blame the fact that he's an atheist? Far too many try. The irony here, of course, is that if there was no religion, we wouldn't even be having this discussion about the divide between atheist and believer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010 View Post
We tend to delude ourselves into believing in quick and easy fixes to for everything bad in the world. There are no quick and easy fixes. Eliminating certain religions won't help.
Oh, I'm not deluded into thinking the absence of religion would solve all of our problems - but yes, it would, in fact, help. Look around the world right now and notice just how many people are still dying due to a religious beleif. Turn to Africa especially. Then, look around the world and see how many people are oppressed or living as 2nd class citizens because of religion. You're going to see a lot of that. Not here in the West, per se, but you'll find it in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Without the absolutist and insane beliefs regarding superstition and the supernatural, anyone would be hardpressed to convince a mother to abandon her 4 year-old child because that child is a witch casting curses on her. But it happens every day in Africa. Only the belief in a God can turn a bizarre one-off tragedy into a full-fledged cult movement embraced by half a continent. And that is why there are tens of thousands of orphaned toddlers wandering around the streets of Kinshasa even as we speak - and hundreds of thousands more wandering around in other places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010 View Post
Eliminating all religion won't work.
You're right, it won't. And I don't think we should try. If religion is to become extinct, it will have to occur naturally, organically, through the will of the people themselves. That does NOT mean, however, that atheists should just sit back and let religion run roughshod over their freedoms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010 View Post
Hating gay people or black people or white people or any other people is not a religion vs atheism problem. It is a human problem.
True ... but like I said before, religion gives people a legitmate and acceptable shield behind which people can throw stones at those they don't like. Imagine if Arizona tried to pass a bill that stated something like, "Arizona acknowledges the right to hate people different than themselves and hereby gives residents of Arizona the ability to discriminate against anyone they don't like - for any reason - without fear of civil or legal recriminations."

How far do you think that would get? But slap religion in it, and suddenly, it becomes acceptable. Look how many Christians were quick to support this bill. Well ... how come they didn't push for a bill like this before? Why now? Because the issue with the photographer presented a perfect window that allowed a push for pro-discrimination legislation under the guise of respecting religious belief. Why would they have to "disguse" bigotry and hatred? Because the fundamentalists knew full well that a pro-bigotry and pro-hatred bill would never make it through congress. A pro-religion bill would, though, and it almost passed. Without religion, Arizona would have nothing to hide behind; they would have to plainly state that it was to cater to bigotry and hatred.

Last edited by Shirina; 03-01-2014 at 08:54 AM..
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Chicago Area
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Shirina I have absolutely no idea why you're so obsessed with defending Marxism and it's leaders. I point out that all of them were anti-religious crusaders who also massacred their people enmasse, on a scale never before imagined. All of them turned their nations into cesspools of misery on an absolutely terrifying scale. You seem to believe that all dictators and monarchs do this as a matter of course -- which is absolutely not true. Julius Caesar did not massacre Romans. Napoleon did not massacre the French. You seem to want to deny the universality of their sociopathic behavior. All of them started out as idealists you know. True believers in the cause. Yet their blind devotion to their atheistic utopian vision turned them into the worst collection of monsters humanity has ever seen.

As to the USSR brutalizing religions, do a little research:
Estimates in the USSR of people who died for their religion run as high as 12 million, but in our modern world nobody seems to care about that sort of thing.

You seem to believe that atheism is morally superior to religion. I am trying very hard to convey that your premise it flat out garbage. Human beings don't need religion to act like a bunch of psychopaths. Religions like Christianity and Islam and Buddhism actually teach love and tolerance, not hate. In the overall scheme of things, the world is a much better place because of religion. The USSR, PRC and the entire failed Marxism experiment provides ample evidence of this. Take away the moral compass of society and you end up with a bloodbath. You seem to believe that bigotry and hatred are exclusive to religion, when it is so obvious that religion holds no such monopoly. The failed Marxism experiment is the one and only test lab in human history where religion is made powerless and atheists exclusively hold power. It did not result in love and peace like Marx believed it would. It resulted in a colossal nightmare.

Your premise that a world without religion would be a better place has already been debunked, so why continue to promote the idea? I don't think I'm getting anywhere here. You seem to be trapped in your own dogmatic belief in a presumed atheistic utopian world. I don't understand why you seem to believe so absolutely and unquestioningly in the face of all the contradicting evidence. So I wish you well and I won't continue to debate the matter.
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:39 AM
 
Location: West Virginia
16,744 posts, read 15,767,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010 View Post
Shirina I have absolutely no idea why you're so obsessed with defending Marxism and it's leaders. I point out that all of them were anti-religious crusaders who also massacred their people enmasse, on a scale never before imagined. All of them turned their nations into cesspools of misery on an absolutely terrifying scale. You seem to believe that all dictators and monarchs do this as a matter of course -- which is absolutely not true. Julius Caesar did not massacre Romans. Napoleon did not massacre the French. You seem to want to deny the universality of their sociopathic behavior. All of them started out as idealists you know. True believers in the cause. Yet their blind devotion to their atheistic utopian vision turned them into the worst collection of monsters humanity has ever seen.

As to the USSR brutalizing religions, do a little research:
Estimates in the USSR of people who died for their religion run as high as 12 million, but in our modern world nobody seems to care about that sort of thing.

You seem to believe that atheism is morally superior to religion. I am trying very hard to convey that your premise it flat out garbage. Human beings don't need religion to act like a bunch of psychopaths. Religions like Christianity and Islam and Buddhism actually teach love and tolerance, not hate. In the overall scheme of things, the world is a much better place because of religion. The USSR, PRC and the entire failed Marxism experiment provides ample evidence of this. Take away the moral compass of society and you end up with a bloodbath. You seem to believe that bigotry and hatred are exclusive to religion, when it is so obvious that religion holds no such monopoly. The failed Marxism experiment is the one and only test lab in human history where religion is made powerless and atheists exclusively hold power. It did not result in love and peace like Marx believed it would. It resulted in a colossal nightmare.

Your premise that a world without religion would be a better place has already been debunked, so why continue to promote the idea? I don't think I'm getting anywhere here. You seem to be trapped in your own dogmatic belief in a presumed atheistic utopian world. I don't understand why you seem to believe so absolutely and unquestioningly in the face of all the contradicting evidence. So I wish you well and I won't continue to debate the matter.
Actually, your entire premise is pretty ridiculous. You seem to think that a few tyrants who may have been atheists represent the desired behavior of all atheists. Get off it. That's simply preposterous! An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in any god(s). Period. It has nothing to do with political power or tyrannical behavior. It also has nothing to do with Marx, Marxism, communism, socialism, or any other -ism. While I'm trying to set you straight, morality is not lost when religion is not in play. Otherwise, the US would be nothing short of a bloodbath (as you so quaintly put it) since the percentage of the population that claims no religion is approaching 20%. That 60M people. Imagine that! 60,000,000 people with NO moral compass. There wouldn't be enough room in all the jails and prisons in the country to hold all those evil people. (Besides, 90-some % of prisoners claim to be Christians. Where is their moral compass?)
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:56 PM
 
650 posts, read 515,032 times
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
By your logic, theist "objective" morality fails because people still have to lock their doors.

Atheist morality does not exist, since atheism is only statement about god-belief, not about other beliefs. However, by definition an atheist cannot see god as a source of given morality, and most of us end up seeing societal consensus as the source of morality.

Since we see god as a subjective perception of agency, we actually see god-given morality as subjective and mutable. The immutability of god and his morality is only a human construct, it varies from religion to religion and over time even within a religion -- just slowly enough to appear to any given generation to be more stable than it actually is.

All morality, therefore, is situational. Differences between moral systems are just a matter of who is deciding the morality (in this present conversation, a particular religion or a particular society) and how nimble it is in adapting to the best interests of the deciders (denominational leaders or, in a democratic republic, the citizens).

So there is nothing "objective" about morality promulgated by religions. Even to the extent it is based on the religion's holy book(s), it is still subject to interpretation and shifts of emphasis. It tends to change more slowly and/or less overtly than societal mores, but change it does. Theists no longer attempt to cherry pick proof-texts to justify slavery or the proper treatment of indentured servants or an earth-centric cosmology, because they have been forced to change the rules by the REAL moral force in the world, which is societal morality. Societal morality has always led the way because it is relatively unencumbered by arbitrary dogma -- it has to have as its main concern, the sustainable health of society as a whole. If it does not keep its eye on that ball, the society collapses.

There are over a billion atheists in the world and they not only begin, but finish raising their families without an objective good. But as I pointed out above, theists raise their children without an objective good, too, they simply don't admit it to themselves.

Homosexuality is not a value or a commitment, it is simply a sexual orientation. All that society has been recognizing of late is that the (mostly religiously driven) perceptions that it is harmful to society are inaccurate and therefore treating same-gender relationships differently than opposite-gender relationships is doing lots of harm and little to no good. Society is able to recognize and self-correct for such things much more readily and quickly than religion. Religion then follows, reluctantly at first, then pretends as if it was self-evident all along. Just like it does today on subjects like slavery or female suffrage.

First Paragraph don't disagree: an atheist weighs out and governs behavior reflecting on issues individually, and reports to the community in things to do with right vrs wrong.

Enter the cops for an objective morality, accomplishing order and establishing law & order instead of what would be chaos.

Second Paragraph: atheists might see a god idea as a subjective perception of agency but it represents things to do with the given world including man and progress. The given world together with the nature of man and survival don't change.

So its not a human construct any more then the world and the nature of man is a human construct. The known in variance from religion to religion would be expected, no different then from household to household on the same street.

Third Paragraph : Morality will always be somewhat situational because each generation grows out of the previous tackling different issues and challenges.

If unity is the ultimate objective of a belief which most hold or define in different ways, where unity is lacking it could outweigh emphasis on issues which may arise, and simply cannot be addressed without a unifying theme in front.

So while things may seem to change, there may be more going on then what appears to be. As it is today, compared to just a few decades ago with communication and entertainment the ability to concentrate and focus is depreciating. Morality requires management because it is a managing issue, morality includes a structure in its framework. There needs to be a foundation to build anything.

Fourth Paragraph: There is an objective morality promulgated, the chief objective is to best represent the intended . Teachings and guidelines reflect an organized effort to encourage individual peace while recognizing the nature in life to err.

This is why its called a journey or a becoming, man never stops becoming. As far as thoughts go for our present society and the socials contribution, society has broken its contract with future generations. ($) not sure where saving the day comes in.

not to be anything but a young guy without some kind of indication of a good plan should get one before asking a girl out on a date. If there is no objective good why would she consider.

Also many general modes for action , paths toward comfort, hobbies, pass times, work, habits and examples learned in forming years from spiritual generations in the past , remain and would be contributing in large ways, toward present day atheist.

regarding the last paragraph I was answering a question which had to do with a commitment and issue of tradition( marriage) . ( and in an objective manner) Other then that I'd rather not talk about the issue. Have given out of my wallet a few times anyway to gay people in charity , with both hands not one tied behind the back, including assistance, so I don't think its fair to myself to get wedged into conversation's if things become misunderstood. Iow don't want to subject myself to a possible mood change in the present outlook.

Last edited by alexcanter; 03-01-2014 at 02:03 PM..
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:29 PM
 
12,595 posts, read 6,676,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirina View Post
I think even less of anarchy and the idea that I would have to defend myself from thugs looking to take my food to roving rape gangs that would do their business and murder me just for the fun of it. No thanks. Laws may not be perfect, but the alternative is far and away worse.
You assume a free society is sure to adopt some wild, barbaric, anarchist conduct...I don't.
Those that have a mindset to steal, rape, and kill were never dissuaded by "laws"...regardless of the conceptual basis of the laws.

Quote:
You're thinking too much like a Christian here because that's what Christians always say. They think that the Constitution gives them a right to INFINITELY practice their religion any way they see fit. In other words, they believe that there are NO laws that prohibits religion from doing what it wishes to do.

Except there is a second part to that law, the one that says congress (including state congress) shall pass no law with respect to the establishment of religion. This means, of course, that the government cannot turn religion into law. And THAT is precisely the law this Arizona bill would be breaking.
The part of the law that proscribes rules that prohibit free religious exercise...does not then constitute an "establishment" of some particular religion by the enforcement of that provision.
The Arizona law wasn't the government "establishing" religion...it was permitting those that were religions (ANY religion) their right to "the free exercise thereof", and attempting to subordinate other laws contradictory to that "right".
Of course...my opinion is that the government should not ever even consider religion in any way, or use the word in any law it might make. The government should stay completely out of the religion game in every way. Then there would be no issue about how "religion" figures into the laws, regulations, and ordinances they do make.

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The trouble with rights is that sometimes one person's right clashes with someone else's right. Thus, as a general rule, a right only applies to the individual and cannot be forced upon another. Thus my right to freedom of expression (1st Amendment) does not include forcing my expression on to you at 4am by blasting rap music in the neighborhood. However, you still maintain the right to listen to rap music - even if it does suck.

In the same way, a person has the right to believe what they want and practice their religion freely up UNTIL that point where it begins to violate someone else's right to practice THEIR religion - or non-religion as the case may be. Therefore, it should be idiot-simple lawmaking here. A religion does not have the right to impose itself onto me or anyone else who disagrees with them. It doesn't matter if people vote for it or if churches crow about it or if people protest. Our rights are sacrosanct and, according to many Christians, given to us by God (though why God would be concerned about us owning guns is, well ... ) but that's what they believe. As such no one can simply vote or legislate away or the rights of other human beings.
And my concept is to remove religion from the issue...and in the issue of the subject of the thread, make it only an issue of Buyers and Sellers in a transaction. Don't allow the rights of either to "be forced upon" the other. Neither can "force" the other to do what they don't want to do. The Seller cannot force the Buyer to buy...The Buyer cannot force the Seller to sell. It must be a MUTUAL agreement. Neither can "force" the other. THAT is what is fair...THAT is what is equal. Anything is less so. Leave religion (and anything else) totally out of it.

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As I told you before, without those laws, we wouldn't have a civil society. It's too late for that now. Do you really think that the blacks of the South will meekly return to being 2nd class citizens, for instance?

LOL! C'mon, GldnRule, you know damn well that's not what's REALLY at stake here.

But you should see where I live - rural bumpkinville mostly made up of foaming-at-the-mouth fundamentalists, hillbillies with 8th grade educations (where the only non-white they've ever seen was on television), and people who wear racism and prejudice on their sleeve. Right now, I'm stuck here. BUT, fortunately, we have laws that prevent discrimination given that my appearance is a cross between an Asian-Indian and an Asian Oriental with dark-ish skin, dark hair, dark eyes, etc. Around here, I stand out not like a sore thumb but like a third arm or a second head. But I can still go to any store and not be thrown out because they think I'm a Muslim or because they don't like the look of me ("But, but, I thought she was GAY!" would be their defense) ... and they would do it too. I keep to myself in these parts ... AND ... given that the nearest soda machine is already 16 miles away, if I was denied service somewhere, yeah, it would mean at LEAST another 30 mile trip (one way).

But like I said, you're advocating for unlimited freedom, the freedom to act like petulant children barely out of the jungle (and, in fact, the Law of the Jungle IS precisely what you're cheerleading for). Yeah, it's all fun and games to think all of our laws are just too whimsical and arbitrary - that is until we didn't have them and some vigilante gang comes knocking on YOUR door for doing what you do.
You believe Liberty and Freedom = Lawlessness...I don't. People need to cooperate if they want to function in society. It is NOT the "Law of the Jungle"...humans have the ability to function above the ways of animals that don't have are ability to reason.
I guess I just have more faith in my fellow man. Having a few people decide what is and isn't acceptable for everyone is what causes the problems. And using the U.S...with only 5% of the worlds population...is not a good example.

I've said before...laws are bogus. If they weren't...you'd have to consider any and all them as acceptable...not just the ones you, or another, think are good or acceptable...the consensus is NEVER unanimous, since they are all conjured up by man, and all arbitrary.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
20,141 posts, read 13,585,734 times
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Originally Posted by alexcanter View Post
Morality will always be somewhat situational because each generation grows out of the previous tackling different issues and challenges.
Then why the obsession with "objective" morality if you don't think it removes the situational aspect? Are you arguing for an objective foundation with situational applications and interpretations?
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Originally Posted by alexcanter View Post
... while things may seem to change, there may be more going on then what appears to be. As it is today, compared to just a few decades ago with communication and entertainment the ability to concentrate and focus is depreciating. Morality requires management because it is a managing issue, morality includes a structure in its framework. There needs to be a foundation to build anything.
Yes ... I think maybe you ARE thinking in terms of a foundation you can regard as a solid undergirding for situational applications. This was the appeal of the concept to me when I was a theist; it's just that I see it as illusory now. What authenticates morality is the long term sustainability of a society -- in other words, results. Regrettably, as you point out here, not all outcomes unfold in real time or can be foreseen. I grant you that mass media and the internet and the rapidly accelerating rate of scientific progress are new things under the sun, which have added distractions and accelerated human progress to a point faster than society can absorb is full implications. This represents a danger, to be sure, but also an opportunity. I just don't see how the source of one's morality is the point. There is not even that much difference between the morality of most western nations and that of Christianity. Christianity is after all part of society and therefore participates in the development and evolution of society's morality.
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Originally Posted by alexcanter View Post
As far as thoughts go for our present society and the socials contribution, never has there ever been such self centered greed. Society has virtually broken its contract with future generations. So I'm not sure what eye is on what ball being referred to saving the day.
To the extent your concerns are well-founded, society will falter and will have to self-correct. I don't make pretenses to any special insights here; environmental perils and many others are also counteracted by the fact that they are part of complex chaotic systems which tend to be far more resilient than alarmists say they are -- and yet at some point the need of capitalism for constant expansion at all costs with as few restraints as possible, does represent a systemic problem, too.
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Originally Posted by alexcanter View Post
Also many general modes for action , paths toward comfort, hobbies, pass times, learned habits and examples learned in forming years from spiritual generations in the past , remain and would be contributing in large ways, in the atheist.
A valid point, although for me it is less a question of whether that makes the old ways inherently virtuous, than it is a question of whether humanity is ready to detach its religious training-wheels altogether. I see humanity as climbing out of a very deep hole of ignorance and superstition, and I see religion as having been advantageous, particularly in the prescientific age, in helping people cope better amidst that ignorance and superstition. My intuition is that education and enlightenment ultimately will win the day and do a better job than religion, but if I were presented with a Magic Button which I could press to eradicate religion and religious ideation from the face of the earth, right now in a moment of time, I would still hesitate to press it, because of concern over the law of unintended consequences. Sure, I believe religion as we know it will ultimately become marginalized and possibly even functionally extinct; but I am not positive that humanity doesn't in a back-handed way still need it in some ways.

I say that, not because religion in fact possesses some sort of corner on morality (indeed, I think it largely just takes credit for societal morality's effectiveness). I say it because some people still need a way to shield themselves from the human condition and religion is probably the most effective method for certain personality types and certain kinds of societies, that a sudden transition could be an overcorrection.
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Originally Posted by alexcanter View Post
Regarding the last paragraph I was answering a question which had everything to do with a commitment and issue of tradition( marriage) . Other then that I'd rather not talk about the issue. Have given out of my wallet many times to exactly gay people in charity , with both hands not one tied behind the back, including time spent and assistance, so I don't think its fair to myself to get wedged into conversation's if things become misunderstood, which can happen in the public talking. Iow don't want to subject myself to being thought of as a bigot or contribute to the subject or have a change in my present outlook.
Fair enough -- I commend your honesty.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Chicago Area
12,688 posts, read 6,760,270 times
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Originally Posted by mensaguy View Post
Actually, your entire premise is pretty ridiculous. You seem to think that a few tyrants who may have been atheists represent the desired behavior of all atheists. Get off it. That's simply preposterous! An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in any god(s). Period. It has nothing to do with political power or tyrannical behavior. It also has nothing to do with Marx, Marxism, communism, socialism, or any other -ism. While I'm trying to set you straight, morality is not lost when religion is not in play. Otherwise, the US would be nothing short of a bloodbath (as you so quaintly put it) since the percentage of the population that claims no religion is approaching 20%. That 60M people. Imagine that! 60,000,000 people with NO moral compass. There wouldn't be enough room in all the jails and prisons in the country to hold all those evil people. (Besides, 90-some % of prisoners claim to be Christians. Where is their moral compass?)
The suggestion I'm actually countering is the ridiculous premise that "if only we did away with religion, X, Y and Z bad things would finally cease to exist." The premise is that if atheists were the majority and were in charge, then things would be better. The general premise so many atheists passionately believe is that religion alone is to blame for the majority (or at least a huge amount) of all the evils in the world.

Atheists are not in charge in the USA, Europe or anywhere else outside of Marxist nations. Being an atheist in the USA is a major liability, making it very difficult for you to attain any significant elected office. We've never had a POTUS who was an atheist. Precious few elected officials are atheists even now. Marxism is the only example in human history where atheists were 100% in charge. There is no other example from which to draw any conclusions.

Can some other atheist-first system do it better? It is certainly possible. But at the very least, Marxism should teach us a healthy amount of skepticism. And Marxism proves that even when you strip away religion, bad people continue to do bad things. Folks that used religion as an excuse will simply find another excuse. See also the Chinese Cultural Revolution for example.

I am not saying that all atheists are bad people or that they are good people. They are people. As a demographic, atheism contains the same full range of good and evil people as any other. But the real point is that even when you put atheists in charge, all the same bad things still keep happening. Conclusion: Doing away with religion is not the answer. It is not the ultimate cure for all things that ails humanity.
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Chicago Area
12,688 posts, read 6,760,270 times
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Getting back to the OP, here's my take on the matter. Nobody has a right to force anyone else to engage in an activity that is overtly supportive of something they believe is morally reprehensible.

I do not have the right to demand that a photographer take pictures of my wife and I having sex or engaging in a mass orgy. If I were so inclined, I'm sure I could find a photographer that would do that for us ... but I do not have the right to demand it of any and all photographers. A woman seeking an abortion does not have the right to demand that her family doctor perform the abortion in his clinic or doctors office. She most certainly can find people and places that will do that for her, and it is up to her find them.

Likewise, a photographer should not be forced to do a gay wedding if they are not so inclined. They should have the same right to refuse as the above example. A cake decorator depicting a gay couple, a minister performing the marriage, a church that rents out church property for weddings ... all of them should have the right to refuse on the grounds of their own morals. All of these are examples of supporting something they strongly disagree with. Religions, cake decorators, photographers, etc. are losing money in the process of course, but somebody else always steps in to fill the void when there is money to be made.

A grocery store, a restaurant, a gas station or anything else that has nothing to do with sexual orientation: These businesses and people have no business refusing LGTB business. Serving a lesbian a Big Mac and fries has absolutely nothing to do with condoning her homosexuality. The vast majority of businesses and business transactions fall into this category. AZ got it wrong because they left the door open for a cab driver to refuse to do business with a gay couple, etc. So the law as a whole didn't make any sense.
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