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The Elevation of Religious Ideas

Discussion in 'Congregation of the Masses' started by lati0s, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. ChaosNebula

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    The Atheists and Christains should agree, that there is good in all sides. There is always evil in both sides. And do remember that these people ACTUALLY BELIEVE IN THEIR BELIEFS. And some do get offended by these. At least agree in this, Christains are offended that there are Atheists who do not believe in God, while the Atheists are offended that all "non-believers will go to hell, for not believing in god. Even if they did good in their lives"
  2. MrIndigo

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    Because to nonreligious, this life is the only life that matters, and so getting things right, like, for instance equality in working conditions and rights, tax liabilities, etc. etc.

    I actually agree with this, although will point out there are situations that the problem arises again. Lets say two people apply to have leave on the same day, but the employer can only give it to one person. The nonreligious one's family is coming from overseas and applies first; the religious one wants it for a religious holiday but applies later. In many cases, I expect despite applying later, the religious one would get the time off (it depends on how strictly adhered to the policy was by the employer, though).


    Not actually true. Morality is independent of religious belief. If anything enforces morality, it is the law which codifies the governments power into rules based on general socially accepted morals.


    As a side note, I don't understand why so many debates between American religious and nonreligious cite the founding fathers for anything. The founding fathers were just a bunch of guys, whether or not they believed in the Catholic God, or any god at all, is entirely irrelevant.
  3. Morm

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    This one time a girl I worked with claimed to be Jewish just to get Saturdays off. When she told me this, I was pissed cause it meant nobody else would get them off, so I sabotaged her and got her fired.
  4. J-man

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    Dang, Deck Knight beat me to the punch... Though i admit that he had better points about this complete pile of trash known as "another one of those threads in cong where the liberal secular humanist atheist population in smogon (which btw, according to the US Supreme Court, is a religion) bashes religion".

    But i have some points. This thread has such a blatant double standard that i could gag. It isn't as if those with beliefs that are commonly held by secular humanists don't get special treatment. Just the other day when i went out for breakfast to celebrate my Dad's birthday, i noticed a parking spot with an advantageous location in the lot. No one was parked in it. Why, you might asked? Well, the spot was reserved for "alternate fuel vehicles". Obviously, those who take going green to the extreme and transport themselves in smart cars and electric cars or whatever alternate fuels cars run on these days that i have no idea that exist get all the benefit, while us gasoline guzzlers (words not meant to be associated with trucks) have to find an inferior parking spot because we aren't green enough. Another one would have to be the repeal of DADT. Disregard the fact that in the military, one's sexuality (and subsequently, one's differences) has absolutely no relevance. Gays must be able to be open because it's the BELIEF that the alternative would force them to live a life of lies. Nevermind the opinion of the unborn human, it's the BELIEF that a women raped would live desolate if forced to go through pregnancy. Thus, we must have abortions on demand. So as you can see, we do as much pandering to your beliefs as you do ours.
  5. Morm

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    I am not even sure what you are trying to say J-man, what is the double standard? If anything, I see a religious person crying unfair treatment because someone is criticizing them which is EXACTLY the point of the thread.


    Calling Atheists a religion is like saying not collecting stamps is a hobby. Atheists are the largest 'religious' group in America without a lobby group, they are larger than homosexuals and many religions, yet no lobby group. Double standard RIGHT there.
  6. MrIndigo

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    An unborn child is a blob of cells and doesn't have rights any more than a tumour does. Same thing goes for the opinion of said unborn child. A blob of unformed cells does not have a consciousness and thus cannot have opinions.

    The repeal of DADT was actually the reverse of what you describe; it was because if someone was gay, they could be discharged from the military. It's more the Don't Tell part that was the problem.

    These are, however, irrelevant because you're missing the point of the thread/OP. It's not a problem with the belief itself. The problem is when benefits are afforded to people on the basis of their beliefs, and not afforded to others on the basis of theirs.

    With the green parking-space thing, it's got nothing to do with whether you believe you should be driving a 'gas guzzler'. It's designed to create an incentive to use technologies that are less harmful to the environment. Beliefs don't factor into it at all. (That said, despite understanding why it's there, I still disagree with the policy; it's an easy system to cheat, there's no practical gain from it unlike disabled parking spaces, and walking across a car park is not a huge benefit to an able bodied green-car driver but it is to the physically infirm, etc.)

    DADT repealed is not about affording benefits to people on the basis of their beliefs, it's about affording rights to people on the basis of their sexuality. (Unless you mean that DADT repeal was about stripping rights from the homophobic soldiers, in which case the right to be a bigot is not one protected by law in the USA or in the world, and it was only a right to ignorance in the first place).

    An example of where denying rights to someone on the basis of their beliefs would be to refuse to give a Christian woman an abortion if she wanted one but to allow a nonreligious woman one. Luckily however, this is unlikely to happen.
  7. SEO

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    I wouldn't go so far as to say that an unborn child has no rights, as if it were fact. I'm sure several people, more like millions, would say otherwise. Of course you have the right to express your opinion, so express it LIKE an opinion not as if what you are saying is the ultimate truth. But that was just a quick comment...

    What I was actually going to say is that it is true, between two men, one of which is asking for a day off for a religious holiday and another who wants to see his family from overseas, the man with the religious reason will probably get the day off. Although a kind of specific situation, it brings up an interesting point. Why? I guess someone could argue that religious freedom is guaranteed here in the U.S., and denying the person the day off would be in direct violation of that. The person that just wants to see his family, although it is a very special occasion, is in no way ever guaranteed to have to right to take those days off. Protection of religious freedom is taken pretty seriously here, I think I heard somewhere that there is a certain religion that uses weed legally as part of a religious ceremony.
  8. lati0s

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    The guarantee of religious freedom doesn't mean that people are obligated to go out of their way to accommodate you. It just means that the government won't make any religion illegal.
  9. SEO

    SEO

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    Or inhibit the practice of your religion. They actually do have to accommodate for you.
  10. Morm

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    Are you suggesting that by not accommodating religion I am inhibiting it? Seems to me that something with so much substance shouldn't need consistent and constant sociological hand holding.
  11. SEO

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    If say I was a Muslim woman and was told that I would not be allowed to wear my head dress, that would indeed inhibit my practice of my religion. Said employer would be obliged to accommodate for my particular religious beliefs. I has nothing to do with "sociological hand holding", it is just simple respect for your religion.
  12. Bad Ass

    Bad Ass judy never felt so good except when she was sleeping...
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    as soon as i turn 18, i want to make a religion with ridiculous rules.

    then you have to accomodate me.
  13. capefeather

    capefeather YOU CAN'T STOP ROB
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    lol. Doesn't a religion have to have a significant following in a census to be officially recognized?

    In all seriousness, though, I've only read the OP and a couple of other posts, but a belief is a completely different ballpark from a preference. Accommodating a belief has to do with upholding democracy and ensuring individual well-being. It's no different from accommodating for vegetarians.

    Also, atheism can be a religion depending on how one carries it. Many people preach their atheistic beliefs no differently from a slightly misguided evangelist.
  14. SEO

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    In these ways religious beliefs are protected. As you may have noticed, it is up to the employer to accommodate to those beliefs (within reasonable boundaries).

    Practice of religion is an unalienable right that is protected quite firmly in the U.S. Preferences, though, have no protection whatsoever. You might be able to convince your employer to give you some days off to see your family from overseas or to get a prisoner a kosher meal, but in no way are you guaranteed a simple preference.
  15. Alan

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    You have to be trolling.

    Morm: Technically, atheism isn't a religion, since its the belief in the absence of a higher power.

    Because, the founding fathers used Christianity to help them frame the nation. Regardless of what the Treaty of Tripoli says, its true. Its not a good stance though, I agree, its just that Christianity played a large part in framing the nation much like Islam played a large part in building Saudi Arabia.
  16. MrIndigo

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    It's not my opinion; in a legal theory sense, it's impossible. Only human beings can have rights and an unborn child is not a legal human being (yet). It's exactly the same as how a dead person does not have rights. What we do instead is recognise rights of the parents. For instance, if you caused a miscarriage because you hit a pregnant woman in your car, it is not manslaughter. But since the cells were at that time a part of the mother, it is a form of grievous bodily harm or in some places a specific separate crime. Similarly, animals don't have rights of themselves (yet; this is changing somewhat in relation to our simian relatives), but we protect their health and wellbeing as a product of laws that criminalise cruelty to them.

    The issue of religious tolerance (within certain bounds, as you say) is quite an interesting one, because while tolerance and freedom of religion does not always mean positive assertion (e.g. the manner in which a person prays is their own; you don't actually have to do anything to maintain that, you just have to refrain from interfering), in some cases you can't 'permit' religion without necessarily making active action.

    The rule that most Western countries seem to operate on is that you can freely practice your religion up to the point that you infringe on someone else's rights. This is why, for instance, honour killings are not permitted in the West despite featuring in the religious beliefs of some Islamic sects.

    There are also things where practical considerations trump freedom of religion, the "within reasonable bounds" part. For instance, while hijab-wearing does not interfere with another person's rights, it can cause problems with certain day-to-day scenarios, e.g. laws that require your face to be unmasked in areas such as courts, banks, etc. One case we had over here recently involved a burqa-wearing islamic woman who filed charges against a police officer who pulled her over on the road, she claimed he had assaulted her and tried to rip the burqa off. His defence counsel adduced a video taken by the police camera showing her testimony to be false. After seeing the evidence, she conferred with her lawyer and then made the argument that because the burqa obscured her face, it could not be proved that the woman in the video was her. This is just one example of how freedom of religion clashes with general practices and necessities of society.

    Ultimately, no rights are really absolute. Even the right to life and liberty is conditional; you can be killed in self-defense, you can be arrested and imprisoned for crimes. Religion is a hot topic at the moment which brings this issue up fairly frequently, but religious practices are inherently quite broad, and so they clash more often with other rights that are just as fundamental.
  17. MrIndigo

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    Not quite. It's the absence of belief in a higher power. The word order is important.

    EDIT: I understand that they were important to the creation of the country, I just don't see why they're invoked in arguments about the present. It's appeal to authority, a logical fallacy, and both sides, even the supposedly rational and logical nonreligious side, invoke it a lot.
  18. Morm

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    That's exactly why I like the saying "if atheism is a religion then not collecting stamps is a hobby"
  19. lati0s

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    You do realize that many of the founding fathers weren't even christian. Thomas Jefferson was a deist. Although I agree with mr indigo, this is not very relevant, current events should be the focus of this discussion.
  20. SEO

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    It is only a fallacy if the authority is regarded as infallible. For example: A says P is true, A is an authority, so P is true. Yet the argument that was presented does not do that. Instead what they argue is that the country was founded on certain beliefs, and therefore said beliefs still play a large role in the country today. Like it was mentioned earlier, it may not be the greatest argument, but it isn't fallacious.

    As for the message before that. I feel that this topic has kind of gotten out of scope. Now the argument is focused more on freedom of religion, and not why religious beliefs are taken more seriously than preferences.
  21. billymills

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    I've been thinking about this topic for a while and have been waiting for a thread to pop up.

    First off I completely agree that religious rights are held above most other types. I religious person can ask for a meal that does not have pork (or whatever other animal product), but unless you claim you're vegetarian or something, it doesn't matter if you don't like pork, that's all you're getting.

    I don't have a problem with making accommodations for most beliefs, if you don't want to eat pigs, fine by me, but there's no reason I should have to.

    Who the fuck cares if it causes slightly less emotional anguish, let the non-Jewish guy get a Kosher meal. You're feeding him anyway, why piss him off? There's no problem with letting people have extra choices, whatever you believe doesn't harm me, for the most part (Once you get Evangelical Christians in Government though, they tend to fuck a lot of shit up).

    Giving everyone a variety of reasonable choices would suffice for any of the main religions and it completely removes the element of partiality. It also means that once someone comes up with a ridiculous set of customs, they would not get accommodated.

    Given the meal idea:
    A Christian may be able to eat anything.
    A Jew may want a kosher meal.
    A Muslim may want a meal without pork.
    A Vegan may want a meal without any meat.
    A Bad_Ass may want a meal made entirely of salted bacon.

    If there's a Main Dish, Kosher Dish, No-Pork Dish, and Vegan Dish, EVERYONE should be able to chose ANY of the above. I don't see how there should be any complains with this (except for Bad Ass, he gets screwed =/). There could be possibly 3 options at once, where at least one of above cultures is satisfied with at least one.

    As for holidays, there's a bunch of shit ones both in the States and Canada. We have 2 that I'm not sure even have names. I'm sure it'd be feasible to change it to a Muslim/Jewish holiday if they were at all regular. (Easter Weekend is fucking annoying as is.)
  22. sonickid01

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    Why the in the name of the Flying Spaghetti monster is everything a goddamn belief?! No one forces a woman to perform an abortion and no one forces gays to be gay. No beliefs are being forcedly subjected in controlling people's personal decisions which they have responsibility over through actions like the repeal of DADT. Your idea of a "secular liberal humanist atheist" is, predictably, skewed vastly out of proportion. What these things are based on are the principle that people have the right to choose their lives for themselves; religious people may choose individually (with individual power, not forced by the government mind you!) for themselves on these matters. If a gay man makes himself live straight or stay gay it should be his own choice as much as a straight man has a choice to continue being straight.

    Addressing the original topic of the thread, I'm not partial to religions in general to be honest. That said, if a person claims they will receive eternal damnation and hellfire for consuming some bacon, then they seem to be pretty clearly convinced. Best not to avoid a scuffle and let them have what they want provided it still gives only minimum or no harm to others. If not for fairness or "religious equality" (whatever that means), then in the name of sheer practicality and the avoidance of futile conflict, just give the Jew his Kosher meal and give anyone else who wants it the same.

    INB4 someone repeats the "secular humanist liberal atheist is a religion too so you're a hypocrite" bullshit like a broken record. To reiterate what the others said, secular thought, humanism, and liberalism are all political philosophies, while atheism is the absence of claiming that there is/are deity(ies). Humanism is a religion the same way that purple is a shade of twelve, it doesn't make sense to say that <_<
  23. FlareBlitz

    FlareBlitz This was never a story that would have a happy end
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    Holy Christ, what a clusterfuck.

    Regarding the actual topic at hand...there are indeed some social protections extended towards religious individuals that are not extended towards non-religious individuals in similar situations. I am not sure if these are codified into law (the closest example I can think of is the automatic charitable status of churches), but if they are not...I don't see anything productive that can be accomplished by complaining about it. You might as well say "pretty girls get free drinks and I don't". It's a social convention that is unfair, yes, but there's nothing that can be done about that as long as the majority of the population continues to pay lip service towards a higher power. Now, obviously we shouldn't accept religious favoritism in our legal system...but that's not as common anymore, and probably doesn't fit within the scope of this discussion.

    Speaking of the scope of this discussion, what the fuck guys? I'm seeing little sub-debates on abortion and natural law, and while these are fine topics to discuss, they really don't belong here. That said let me add my $0.02 to the origin of human rights.

    First of all, the majority of the founders were deistic or borderline agnostic. There's a reason they went to great lengths to avoid religious influence over government and they even explicitly wrote it into the constitution. The Treaty of Tripoli has already been mentioned; the US is not a Christian nation. If you want to call it anything, call it a deistic nation. That said, it is the case that the founders believed in "natural law", the derivation of rights from a higher power or some other greater force. They believed that some of these rights were fundamental and deserving of protection from a government.
    A much more realistic (and accurate) approach to the idea of rights is simply "protections codified under the law". This is also much more conducive towards rational policy, since you don't have to legitimize bullshit like "durrr, our rights are derived from god and he wouldn't have liked homos so let's not let them get married". We as a society should establish rights that we believe all people should have; these rights can, and inevitably will, be guided by our moral or religious backgrounds, but ultimately they should be adopted with a view towards the utilitarian, not the ecclesiastical.
  24. MrIndigo

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    Not being someone who goes to the bar much, but isn't the free drinks example based on individuals who choose on a case-by-case basis whether or not they buy a girl a drink, rather than an understanding by society at large that girls should be given free drinks?

    It's a bit of a nitpick, since I'm sure that there are other examples that make the point you want, I just think that one is perhaps not a good one.
  25. Morm

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    If you read my earlier posts you'll know that I said that letting you wear that kind of thing isn't a big deal. It's not like I wanna go out of my way to piss off a muslim women to wear something instilled into their faith only 300 years ago as a means to control women rather than it being written in their true doctrine.

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