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Old 03-01-2014, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
19,958 posts, read 13,450,937 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010 View Post
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.

...

Conclusion: Doing away with religion is not the answer. It is not the ultimate cure for all things that ails humanity.
I think it's silly to suggest that religion does not have any causative or inflammatory relationship to any undesired outcomes. Some things would get better without religion. Some things in the short run would doubtless get worse. Even with that said, I don't think doing away with religion is the "ultimate cure for all things that ail humanity". Nor am I aware of anyone else suggesting something that extreme.

Secondly, I agree that people who do bad things in the name of god would do them anyway, absent religion. But this cuts both ways. People who do good things in the name of god would ALSO do them anyway, absent religion. The same two things can be said of atheism: bad atheists would be bad people even if atheism were eradicated from the face of the earth. Good atheists would be good people in that situation, too.

I think that Christians flatter themselves to think that they are so apart from and unsullied by the world, and at the same time, "the salt of the earth", holding back the surging tides of unrighteousness that would surely wash over the earth in their absence. They are simply participants in the same society as people of other faiths, and of no faith. They live under the only morality that is actually enforced -- that of society -- and participate in the development and refinement of that morality (often, while taking credit for it on god's behalf).

I said somewhere else here today that if I had a magic button to excise religion from the earth instantly, I'd hesitate to press it. Not because I don't think that religion won't ultimately be a fail, but because I think it needs to fail organically and systemically and there needs to be a proper transition away from it. In my view that is already well underway, though I won't live to see its full fruition.
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:33 PM
 
650 posts, read 513,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
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?

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.

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.

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.

Fair enough -- I commend your honesty.

Well all I would add is morality has to do with the individual, its role as part of society contributing to the ethic of society. Ethic is generally referred to the social and morality to the individual.

some of above speaks to the ethic of society and doesn't consider the source of its ethic, the morality of the individual. ( or a bit hazy for my reading only possibly)

We know the individual is subject to choice and in a surviving state. These conditions introduce thoughtlessness and selfishness. In any class of people things built on just pride alone in these ways displease, vice is away from progress. ( edit in afterthought, in response to post , not implying anything others may be talking about in thread, havn't read all the entries.

Last edited by alexcanter; 03-01-2014 at 05:36 PM..
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Hyrule
8,390 posts, read 11,598,532 times
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Quote:
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?)
And, I might add, that atheists supply less than one percent of the prison population. Fancy that!
Atheists Supply Less Than 1% Of Prison Populations It's suprising how many people say to m

I wonder what faith supplies the most?

It's no wonder that the thread on this subject by the one who agrees with refusal of service, despite the bill being vetoed, is still open, and the one who doesn't, and was agreed upon by the governor is the one that's closed.

Discrimination does funny things to people.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
31,373 posts, read 20,168,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppySead View Post
And, I might add, that atheists supply less than one percent of the prison population. Fancy that! ...snip...
They're probably just too smart to get caught.

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Old 03-02-2014, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
372 posts, read 1,042,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010 View Post
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.
As I understand it:

The photographer can refuse on the basis "I don't do racy pictures". He/she can't refuse on the basis "I don't do racy pictures of (fill in the demographic)". Likewise, if a doctor doesn't perform abortions, they don't do abortions. If said doctor performs abortions, just not for white, Christian women, those women have a case.

If the photographer does wedding pictures and the wedding is legal, they're obligated to perform the service they're in business for. If this doesn't work for them, quit offering wedding photography. Same with the cake decorator.

Clergy and the church are exempt under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Believe it or not, in 2014, there are churches that won't perform interracial marriages. Perfectly legal under the exemption.
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Old 03-02-2014, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,612 posts, read 4,892,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undfan View Post
As I understand it:

If the photographer does wedding pictures and the wedding is legal, they're obligated to perform the service they're in business for.
That seems to be true in New Mexico:

Christian Photographer Who Refused Gay Wedding Gig Pays 'Price of Citizenship'

I have not heard of a ruling like this in any other state.

If you read this website, it appears the case in New Mexico was not exactly cut and dried. It looks like it may be appealed to the U.SW. Supreme Court.

http://www.fed-soc.org/publications/...tment-ceremony

Last edited by hiker45; 03-02-2014 at 03:15 PM..
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Chicago Area
12,687 posts, read 6,729,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undfan View Post
As I understand it:

The photographer can refuse on the basis "I don't do racy pictures". He/she can't refuse on the basis "I don't do racy pictures of (fill in the demographic)". Likewise, if a doctor doesn't perform abortions, they don't do abortions. If said doctor performs abortions, just not for white, Christian women, those women have a case.

If the photographer does wedding pictures and the wedding is legal, they're obligated to perform the service they're in business for. If this doesn't work for them, quit offering wedding photography. Same with the cake decorator.
"I don't do racy pictures" is a moral values judgement and it really isn't much different than refusing to do a gay wedding. According to some people, being ashamed of your own naked body and that of others is just silly. So to a nudist or an exhibitionist, the photographer's refusal constitutes moral bias and discrimination against their chosen lifestyle. A doctor refusing to perform an abortion -- and they certainly have the right to refuse -- is another case of a person refusing on the basis of personal morals. Their freedom of conscience allows them to refuse to offer their professional skills and services in support of something that is perfectly legal, but which they personally find reprehensible.

Quote:
Clergy and the church are exempt under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Believe it or not, in 2014, there are churches that won't perform interracial marriages. Perfectly legal under the exemption.
Truth be told, I don't think the LGBT community will be satisfied unless and until all religions and religious professionals are punished for refusing to support and perform gay marriages.

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's was a very different animal. King and others did their best to be harmless and nonthreatening. They actually respected the rights of the idiot white supremacists to continue to believe as they wished. The gay rights movement seems to single out anyone who disagrees with them for public humiliation and punishment whenever possible. It's not a very intelligent approach IMHO. People don't appreciate being bullied into changing their personal deeply held beliefs and convictions. It's an approach that tends to lead to violent backlash, if history is any predictor.

I'm a kinda blown away that anybody has a problem with the photographer example. Why on earth would a gay couple want such a person to do your wedding pictures in the first place? They're likely to do a terrible job on purpose, and since "good photography" is purely subjective based on personal taste and opinion, they'll get away with it every single time. And just imagine a doctor that was forced to do abortions or a minister who is forced to perform gay marriages ... talk about an open invitation to disaster!
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:55 PM
 
3,433 posts, read 5,743,844 times
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What if the wedding cake maker said his specialty is baking a wedding cake and decorating it with a man and woman.

If you want anything different, he will still bake it but not decorate it since you don't like his style/options of decorating.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:12 AM
 
Location: S. Wales.
50,087 posts, read 20,691,451 times
Reputation: 5928
Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010 View Post
"I don't do racy pictures" is a moral values judgement and it really isn't much different than refusing to do a gay wedding. According to some people, being ashamed of your own naked body and that of others is just silly. So to a nudist or an exhibitionist, the photographer's refusal constitutes moral bias and discrimination against their chosen lifestyle. A doctor refusing to perform an abortion -- and they certainly have the right to refuse -- is another case of a person refusing on the basis of personal morals. Their freedom of conscience allows them to refuse to offer their professional skills and services in support of something that is perfectly legal, but which they personally find reprehensible.

Truth be told, I don't think the LGBT community will be satisfied unless and until all religions and religious professionals are punished for refusing to support and perform gay marriages.

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's was a very different animal. King and others did their best to be harmless and nonthreatening. They actually respected the rights of the idiot white supremacists to continue to believe as they wished. The gay rights movement seems to single out anyone who disagrees with them for public humiliation and punishment whenever possible. It's not a very intelligent approach IMHO. People don't appreciate being bullied into changing their personal deeply held beliefs and convictions. It's an approach that tends to lead to violent backlash, if history is any predictor.
It is interesting that what an individual can choose to do and what services they are obliged to offer is a contentious Civil Rights issue. And it does seem to be a remarkably secular 'do what you like in your own home, provided that it doesn't break the law'. Again, what passes into law seems to be the touchstone.

Again, the way it is done, aggressive and threatening, or passive and nonviolent, is not the issue. Whether under the law, they are allowed to do this or that at home or provide this or that service in their business, is the issue. Of course, the law can be changed, and it has been.

If those who are in a particular business pick and choose who to serve, in some ways, they have a right, in which case we can only keep pressing for a social view that will put them out of business. If they are breaking the law, some more direct action is appropriate.

Quote:
I'm a kinda blown away that anybody has a problem with the photographer example. Why on earth would a gay couple want such a person to do your wedding pictures in the first place? They're likely to do a terrible job on purpose, and since "good photography" is purely subjective based on personal taste and opinion, they'll get away with it every single time. And just imagine a doctor that was forced to do abortions or a minister who is forced to perform gay marriages ... talk about an open invitation to disaster!
I'm a photographer. I'm at a wedding, taking the photos. They are of the groom's shoes. The pulpit, the spotty kid in the second row.

'That was our wedding! You ruined it!'

'Nonsense. I consider those photos aesthetically more pleasing than the stock photos of the bride, family etc.'

'That's not your business! I paid you to do the job I wanted!'

'Well, you had better have a civil wedding, because atheist photographers and those who share my views are going to continue to sabotage Church weddings because of our deeply held convictions.'

Your argument is utterly special pleading fallacy.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,612 posts, read 4,892,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy52 View Post
What if the wedding cake maker said his specialty is baking a wedding cake and decorating it with a man and woman.

If you want anything different, he will still bake it but not decorate it since you don't like his style/options of decorating.
In my opinion, the baker is meeting the needs of the customer and the customer should not complain.
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