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Old 03-03-2014, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
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.
Yes, it has been that way for a long time.

In the 1950's I would often see restaurants with 'White Only' signs.

After Civil Rights Laws began to take effect, I saw a restaurant with a sign "We may change prices at any time". I figured that meant they would serve black people but they would have to pay very high prices.

We have pretty well addressed the race problem, but now the situation with gay people has come up. I bet the lawyers are loving it.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
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.
I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of people were tempted at least once in their life to steal from someone when the opportunity presented itself. Some, no doubt, fantasized about murdering someone and, in their minds, tried to plan the perfect crime. Or, in a flash of intense anger, really WANTED to kill.

BUT, I don't disagree, really. But it doesn't take "most" to fundamentally change the way we live. All it takes is for enough people to resort to violence and brute strength to destroy civil society. Since it would be every man for himself, essentially, survival alone would be nigh impossible. You would have to join some kind of small community living behind guarded walls - and you better have a useful skill like being a farmer, mechanic, doctor, or engineer. Those with intellectual abilities would be considered useless in this world.

Since we would have no laws, we would also have no police force, and that guarantees that people really would take to the streets to steal and loot. Why wouldn't they? Perhaps a majority wouldn't because a strong sense of morality prevails, but it doesn't take a majority to turn our world into a waking nightmare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
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.
You're a closet Christian, aren't ya.

Of course it does. Whenever congress rules in favor of one particular religion, it "establishes" the supremacy of that religion. Christians are really screwed here since America is overwhelmingly Christian. You don't see any Muslims cheerleading for this bill. It is a Christian bill invented by Christians and desired by Christians. Therefore, allowing it "establishes" the supremacy of Christians to discriminate. Does it give atheists the right to discriminate? NO! Because we don't have a religion. Thus, since the law cannot give everyone the same privilege, it violates the 1st Amendment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
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".
Tsk, tsk, GldnRule, you're being hoodwinked - just like they want you to be. Christians always carefully word their legislation as to appear "all inclusive" or to make it appear that religion had nothing to do with it.

But c'mon, this bill was an invention of Christian bigots whining about persecution (again) and looking for a way to gain special dispensation to practice their own particular brand of hatred. It didn't have ANY thing to do with the "other" religions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
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.
LOL! That's how Christians loophole the Constitution. Don't you KNOW that? This was precisely how all of those states managed to pass those unconstitutional marriage defintion amendments. They deliberately left out the part about how marriage was Christian and invented by GOD when they authored the bill, but they sure didn't leave it out when they were campaigning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
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.
Hmm ... so you wouldn't mind it, then, if certain religious cults began snatching children to be used in some ceremonial blood sacrifice, right? Gotta keep the government out of religion, after all! Give religion a blank check to commit whatever crimes and atrocities it so desires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
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.
Why should we do that? I think motive is important. Removing religion is just a way of loopholing the Constitution again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
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.
That's impossible. It's like the rights of air and water. If I pour water into a glass, some air is being displaced (and losing freedoms), but if I take water out of the glass, then water is losing rights and freedoms. Air and water cannot exist simultaneously in the same space. And I'm not about to give over that space to religion and your desire to let it run roughshod over everyone else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
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.
No, it's not "equal." It certainly isn't equal to the person who just got thrown out of a store. It certainly wouldn't be equal for me who might have to drive all day before I find a store willing to serve me.

Seriously, in this situation SOMEONE'S freedoms are going to be violated, so why are you picking the most negative freedom and waving your pom poms for it? Why would you cheerlead for the freedom to discriminate rather than the freedom not to be discriminated against? Why would you champion the rights of bullies, bigotes, racists, and simpletons above the concepts of civil liberty, peace, and justice?

Like it or not, this bill was introduced to several other states - and they all failed. Americans have finally come around to believing that discrimination is wrong. The only people who hold on to such immorality are bigoted Christians and anarchists who hate any law that prohibits the concept of infinite freedom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
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.
Show me just ONE example in all of human history when a society co-existed without laws and simply cooperated, lived well, and never did anything immoral because it was the "right thing to do."

You can't find one, can you. No, of course you can't. Hence, I rest my case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
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 DON'T have much faith in my fellow Man. I'd like to ... but I don't. That's not to say that we can't have wonderful relationships with specific individuals, but as a whole, no. If I were to fall on a crowded sidewalk, there's a greater chance 20 people would whip out their phone-cameras to record it for YouTube than there would be for one person to extend a helping hand. That's the way it is, and whether I like it or not doesn't change reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
I've said before...laws are bogus.
Sure they are. And all you have to do to convince me is to show me that one society that existed peacefully without any laws or rules or taboos. No, I don't mean five people in a kibbutz, either. I mean a real society, a civilization like ours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
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.
No ... we don't. Where do you get this idea that we have to consider all laws as equally good and acceptable? Are you saying that we're bound by some immutable physical law that prevents us from choosing laws that help society while rejecting the ones that hinder it? I don't recall ever reading about one in science class.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:26 AM
 
6,324 posts, read 4,332,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Secondly, I agree that people who do bad things in the name of god would do them anyway, absent religion
Usually I always agree with you 100%, but in this case, I have to disagree with you on this point.

I fully subscribe to the quote, the utterer of which I'm too lazy to look up, which says: "Good people will do good things. Evil people will do evil things. But for a good person to do an evil thing, that takes religion."

This latest bill in Arizona, I think, proves my point. Look at how many on this forum supported it. I don't think anyone here is a "bad" person yet they supported a measure they must have known in their heart of hearts was bad legislation. I think a lot of good people get whipped up into an unthinking religious zeal that they don't even think about what they're doing - or they actually think the evil they do is good and for the glory of their god.

But would they REALLY have this burning desire to discriminate against homosexuals without the Bible telling them what an abomination they are? I doubt it. In fact, I don't even think homosexuality would be all that big of an issue right now; chances are, most states would have allowed them to marry. No one has been able to stand up in front of a crowd and, using secular arguments, convince anyone to discriminate against gays. Every rally, every speech, every bill, and every debate in the various state legislatures, needed a heavy infusion of religion to make them palatable. Just how far do you think a bill like this would have gone if it had been pushed for secular reasons and without the help of religious fervor? Religion offers that unifying thread that people need to support immoral legislation that they would never dare to support alone.

Without religion guiding them, Christians wouldn't have an excuse. They couldn't use the Nuremburg Defense when confronted. ("Well, I was only following orders. God said they're abominations, not me!") They would have to admit THEY (not God) hate gays, and the average person knows that hating or practicing bigotry against other groups of people simply due to personal dislike is immoral and unacceptable by mainstream society. That doesn't mean you have to like everyone, but that should be an individual-by-individual decision and not an instant reaction levied against an entire group ("I don't have to know the person to dislike him. He's gay, and that's all that matters.")

Religion gives everyone that insulation between the hatred and themselves. They can wear God and religion like armor to defend against personal recriminations and consequences. As I said, the Nuremburg Defense. This bolsters their courage and even makes them feel all holy and righteous by defending their religious beliefs even in the face of unpopularity and harsh criticism.

But without religion, well, they would just have to put up with things they don't like - just like the rest of us who do not have a "religion card" to play.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:40 PM
 
5,458 posts, read 6,723,267 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.
Legally, I imagine it would be as useful an excuse as a restaurant which claimed that their specialty was cooking food for white couples.
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Chicago Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
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.
Yes that is exactly the question that needs to be answered. I think we're on the same page for the most part. It must be determined what kinds of services can be refused on the basis of personal morals. An atheist photographer who disagrees with homosexuality in general should have the same rights as a Muslim or a Christian or any other. But what rights do they actually have?

IMHO, being coerced into doing a photo spread of a gay wedding falls into the same category as coercing a doctor to perform an abortion: It forces a person to utilize their professional skill set in order to support something they passionately disagree with. You may disagree with me on this one.

Where we do agree is that we need to figure out where we can draw the line. Serving a lesbian a Big Mac with fries is a little more obvious since it has absolutely nothing to do with supporting or even acknowledging the lesbian's chosen lifestyle. I hope we agree that coercing religions and forcing them to perform gay marriage ceremonies is inappropriate. I think a good general rule is that you cannot ask somebody to do anything that could be construed as overtly supporting gay marriage or homosexuality.

Quote:
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.
Right there in bold is where the photographer blew it. You don't actually admit that you were doing a crappy job on purpose!! And by all means, take lots of photos of the actual people, but delete every good picture under the premise that it sucked and wasn't worth keeping. When doing computer touch-up, you "accidentally" make mistakes or degrade the quality of pictures. Take out all the zits from the happy couple, but turn their skin an unhealthy grayish white. That sort of thing, and then insist that you think they look great. That sort of thing.

Just imagine for a moment trying to enforce laws requiring a photographer to not only do the wedding photos but to do their very best work in the process. How can you materially prove in court that one photo is better than another? And if every photographer conscientiously objecting to being coerced in such a manner all do pretty much the same thing, then what?

Photography is a form of art and "good photography" is impossible to clearly define. Coercing an artist just isn't a good idea.
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010 View Post
Just imagine for a moment trying to enforce laws requiring a photographer to not only do the wedding photos but to do their very best work in the process. How can you materially prove in court that one photo is better than another? And if every photographer conscientiously objecting to being coerced in such a manner all do pretty much the same thing, then what?

Photography is a form of art and "good photography" is impossible to clearly define. Coercing an artist just isn't a good idea.
Actually, no photographer would be able to get away with that. All the employer would have to do is take them to civil court or a court of binding arbitration and sue for their money. The nature of evidence in a civil suit is FAR less demanding than the evidence required in a criminal case.

No judge worth his robe will ever believe that all of the normal pictures just happened to be ruined, but all of these shots of shoes, pulpits, the back right corner of the ceiling, etc. somehow came out just fine. No one will believe that a photographer would really think a couple with gray skin 'looked great' or that somehow he botched every single photo. I'm not a photographer but even I know what a wedding photo is supposed to look like.

Even if every word out of the photographer's mouth was actually true, a judge would award a refund to the plaintiff due to gross negligence on the part of the photographer; the employer did not get what they paid for.

So good luck trying to weasel out of anything that way.

However, I do agree that forcing a photographer to take pictures of things he is morally against cannot stand. Because then we can expect photographers to be forced into taking pictures of kiddie porn or a rape or some other horrible crime - and they would have to do it by law.

But this Arizona bill was overkill in trying to protect the same scenario from happening in their state. If they want to prevent it, they need to get serious and actually write a bill that isn't some half-baked legislation they thought about for two and a half seconds before pushing it through congress.
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirina View Post
Usually I always agree with you 100%, but in this case, I have to disagree with you on this point.

I fully subscribe to the quote, the utterer of which I'm too lazy to look up, which says: "Good people will do good things. Evil people will do evil things. But for a good person to do an evil thing, that takes religion."

...

Religion gives everyone that insulation between the hatred and themselves. They can wear God and religion like armor to defend against personal recriminations and consequences. As I said, the Nuremburg Defense. This bolsters their courage and even makes them feel all holy and righteous by defending their religious beliefs even in the face of unpopularity and harsh criticism.

But without religion, well, they would just have to put up with things they don't like - just like the rest of us who do not have a "religion card" to play.
I agree that religion provides cover for "evildoers". Perhaps there IS no comparable cover elsewhere, and since bad people tend on average to be lazier than good people, maybe the absence of religion would result in a net decrease of harm in the world if bad folks had to work harder to get away with it. In fact, I'm certain of it. How big a difference it'd be, i don't know, but it'd be significant. It would, at least, take them time to invent some other scam as a vehicle for their perfidy.

But I had more in mind the way theists blame mass-murderer tyrants on atheists ... if we don't want that association foisted upon us, then we have to be careful about trying to foist it on them. In theory at least, an opportunist will manipulate religion to nefarious ends, or Marxism or atheism or any other ideology.

Naturally I believe that religion is more ripe for being a vehicle of human suffering than true atheism, but I can't empirically prove that to theists because they won't accept the basic premise that belief without an evidentiary basis is a Bad Thing, nor that evidence-based beliefs are a Good Thing -- and often, not even on what constitutes valid evidence. So trying to demonstrate it anecdotally is not a place I care to go as a rule. It's just another Eusubius-like touche-kicking he said / she said where they will trot out a string of heart-warming things the church has done and I trot out a list of Inquisition-like things they have done. After awhile it becomes a pointless side show: all the world's ills are because of religion! No, because of atheism! The very confirmation bias that allows that to go on and on without resolution is, at root, because people are willing to believe certain things without evidence. I prefer to hammer on that.
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
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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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCfromNC View Post
Legally, I imagine it would be as useful an excuse as a restaurant which claimed that their specialty was cooking food for white couples.
Yeah, I guess these two cases are about the same.

The baker could say his wedding cakes always have a man and woman at the top. If the gay couple still want it, they will have to accept it that way.

By the same token, the restaurant owner could welcome non-white people as long as they accepted the kind of food white people eat.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirina View Post
I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of people were tempted at least once in their life to steal from someone when the opportunity presented itself. Some, no doubt, fantasized about murdering someone and, in their minds, tried to plan the perfect crime. Or, in a flash of intense anger, really WANTED to kill.

BUT, I don't disagree, really. But it doesn't take "most" to fundamentally change the way we live. All it takes is for enough people to resort to violence and brute strength to destroy civil society. Since it would be every man for himself, essentially, survival alone would be nigh impossible. You would have to join some kind of small community living behind guarded walls - and you better have a useful skill like being a farmer, mechanic, doctor, or engineer. Those with intellectual abilities would be considered useless in this world.

Since we would have no laws, we would also have no police force, and that guarantees that people really would take to the streets to steal and loot. Why wouldn't they? Perhaps a majority wouldn't because a strong sense of morality prevails, but it doesn't take a majority to turn our world into a waking nightmare.
I don't believe we should have no parameters governing society what-so-ever. But they should be very broad and general...not to the point of micro-managing every action and interaction.
I am looking at it from a global perspective.
Without laws shielding people from being "bothered" or "annoyed", you would never have laws that are based upon headtrips that have their basis in religious dogma...and there would never be consequences for a personality or conduct that merely "bothered" others.
To use law as a valid arbiter...then you are using the opinion of whoever drafted the laws as your basis. Just because something is legal...does not mean it is cool.

Quote:
You're a closet Christian, aren't ya.
I am Christian...in a way. I endorse the mandate and standard for human conduct and interaction passed down through the ages in the legend of the man known as Jesus the Christ (thus the CHRISTian designation): "Love each other"..."Treat others the way you would want them to treat you".
I know it, and similar, has been said by others...but no where near with as much leverage...though it is just as valid no matter who puts if forth.

Quote:
Of course it does. Whenever congress rules in favor of one particular religion, it "establishes" the supremacy of that religion. Christians are really screwed here since America is overwhelmingly Christian. You don't see any Muslims cheerleading for this bill. It is a Christian bill invented by Christians and desired by Christians. Therefore, allowing it "establishes" the supremacy of Christians to discriminate. Does it give atheists the right to discriminate? NO! Because we don't have a religion. Thus, since the law cannot give everyone the same privilege, it violates the 1st Amendment.

Tsk, tsk, GldnRule, you're being hoodwinked - just like they want you to be. Christians always carefully word their legislation as to appear "all inclusive" or to make it appear that religion had nothing to do with it.

But c'mon, this bill was an invention of Christian bigots whining about persecution (again) and looking for a way to gain special dispensation to practice their own particular brand of hatred. It didn't have ANY thing to do with the "other" religions.

LOL! That's how Christians loophole the Constitution. Don't you KNOW that? This was precisely how all of those states managed to pass those unconstitutional marriage defintion amendments. They deliberately left out the part about how marriage was Christian and invented by GOD when they authored the bill, but they sure didn't leave it out when they were campaigning.

Hmm ... so you wouldn't mind it, then, if certain religious cults began snatching children to be used in some ceremonial blood sacrifice, right? Gotta keep the government out of religion, after all! Give religion a blank check to commit whatever crimes and atrocities it so desires.

Why should we do that? I think motive is important. Removing religion is just a way of loopholing the Constitution again.
This is why I feel there should be no consideration, or even mention, of religion in any law, regulation, or ordinance. That solves any problem of actions based upon religious dogma or doctrine looking for a free pass on them. Any laws made should be completely secular in nature.
The mission should always be to have the minimum amount of laws necessary to prevent major offences...and keep maximum liberty and freedom for all.

Quote:
That's impossible. It's like the rights of air and water. If I pour water into a glass, some air is being displaced (and losing freedoms), but if I take water out of the glass, then water is losing rights and freedoms. Air and water cannot exist simultaneously in the same space. And I'm not about to give over that space to religion and your desire to let it run roughshod over everyone else.

No, it's not "equal." It certainly isn't equal to the person who just got thrown out of a store. It certainly wouldn't be equal for me who might have to drive all day before I find a store willing to serve me.

Seriously, in this situation SOMEONE'S freedoms are going to be violated, so why are you picking the most negative freedom and waving your pom poms for it? Why would you cheerlead for the freedom to discriminate rather than the freedom not to be discriminated against? Why would you champion the rights of bullies, bigotes, racists, and simpletons above the concepts of civil liberty, peace, and justice?

Like it or not, this bill was introduced to several other states - and they all failed. Americans have finally come around to believing that discrimination is wrong. The only people who hold on to such immorality are bigoted Christians and anarchists who hate any law that prohibits the concept of infinite freedom.
Just as the Buyer should not expect the Seller to be able to "throw" them into the store and make them buy from them...the Buyer should not expect to be able to make the Seller sell to them. If they can come to a mutual agreement (and it would 99.9999999% of the time) then the transaction will take place. But no way should there be "laws" that compel either one to buy or sell, or not.

Quote:
Show me just ONE example in all of human history when a society co-existed without laws and simply cooperated, lived well, and never did anything immoral because it was the "right thing to do."

You can't find one, can you. No, of course you can't. Hence, I rest my case.
That's a loaded question...since there is no known society of any note ever in human history that had no regulations what-so-ever.
BUT...since ALL societies of note did have laws and rules: Show me just ONE example when a society co-existed, with their laws...and simply cooperated, lived well, and never did anything immoral because there were laws in place that enforced it as the "right thing to do".
You can't find one, can you? No, of course you can't. Hence, I rest my case.

Quote:
I DON'T have much faith in my fellow Man. I'd like to ... but I don't. That's not to say that we can't have wonderful relationships with specific individuals, but as a whole, no. If I were to fall on a crowded sidewalk, there's a greater chance 20 people would whip out their phone-cameras to record it for YouTube than there would be for one person to extend a helping hand. That's the way it is, and whether I like it or not doesn't change reality.
That is too bad Shirina...I'm sorry that you have adopted that attitude and perspective.

Quote:
Sure they are. And all you have to do to convince me is to show me that one society that existed peacefully without any laws or rules or taboos. No, I don't mean five people in a kibbutz, either. I mean a real society, a civilization like ours.
See the above on this.

Quote:
No ... we don't. Where do you get this idea that we have to consider all laws as equally good and acceptable? Are you saying that we're bound by some immutable physical law that prevents us from choosing laws that help society while rejecting the ones that hinder it? I don't recall ever reading about one in science class.
Like I said...laws are always based on the opinion of the drafters and what they think is right, and good, and helpful to society...but only according to their arbitrary and subjective judgment.
You will always get those that do and don't agree with laws...especially the more "fine and detailed" they get.
That is my point: You will never have full consensus on what "helps or hinders society". Until you have some "immutable physical law" that indicates what hinders society, and what helps society...on what basis can you ever "fairly" choose the rules?
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:34 PM
 
Location: S. Wales.
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Well, you are right, Goldie, but as I argued before, is is the best we have, and all we can do is choose the people best suited to make the laws and the best precedents. Which is why it is bad news when the laws are made using Holy Books as the basis.
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