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BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law

theleveller 30 Apr 10 - 07:04 AM
VirginiaTam 30 Apr 10 - 07:15 AM
bobad 30 Apr 10 - 07:21 AM
Jack Campin 30 Apr 10 - 07:22 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 30 Apr 10 - 07:27 AM
theleveller 30 Apr 10 - 07:44 AM
Richard Bridge 30 Apr 10 - 07:49 AM
greg stephens 30 Apr 10 - 07:50 AM
Emma B 30 Apr 10 - 07:51 AM
Ed T 30 Apr 10 - 07:54 AM
greg stephens 30 Apr 10 - 07:59 AM
theleveller 30 Apr 10 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 30 Apr 10 - 12:32 PM
John MacKenzie 30 Apr 10 - 12:45 PM
Richard Bridge 30 Apr 10 - 12:46 PM
Jack Campin 30 Apr 10 - 01:13 PM
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Don(Wyziwyg)T 30 Apr 10 - 05:26 PM
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Subject: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 07:04 AM

When Gary McFarlane was fired from his job as a Relate sex therapist because he refused to advise homosexual couples on the grounds that it was against his Christian beliefs, he took his case to an industrial tribunal. He has lost his case.

The Telegraph reports:
"Lord Justice Laws ruled that while everyone had the right to hold religious beliefs, those beliefs themselves had no standing under the law.
"In the eye of everyone save the believer, religious faith is necessarily subjective, being incommunicable by any kind of proof or evidence," he told the court.
While acknowledging the profound influence of Judeo-Christian traditions over many centuries, he insisted that no religious belief itself could be protected under the law "however long its tradition, however rich its culture".
"The promulgation of law for the protection of a position held purely on religious grounds cannot therefore be justified," he said.
"It is irrational, as preferring the subjective over the objective. But it is also divisive, capricious and arbitrary." "

IMO this is an excellent judgment, as to permit any antisocial actions, be they homophobic, racist, anti-feminist or whatever, on the grounds of religious belief would be the thin end of the wedge that would allow any bigot to defend the most loathsome of opinions by claiming that they were his/her religious views.

Let's not forget that the bastion of South African apartheid for many years was the Dutch Reformed Church.

Good judgment or bad - what do you think?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 07:15 AM

About damned time. A light in the darkness this ruling is.

thanks Leveller.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: bobad
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 07:21 AM

Hear, hear!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 07:22 AM

If it was reported correctly, that appears to take conscientious objectors back to the status quo as of 1914. If your God and conscience tell you not to kill for the state, expect to be shot as a deserter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 07:27 AM

"If your God and conscience tell you not to kill for the state, expect to be shot as a deserter."

I thought it was specifically aimed at beliefs based *purely* on religious faith, rather than otherwise supportable secular (and perhaps humanitarian) ones?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 07:44 AM

"If your God and conscience tell you not to kill for the state, expect to be shot as a deserter. "

Don't follow you logic here. We don't shoot people for desertion these days and haven't done (with, I think, 1 exception) since the end of WW1.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 07:49 AM

Good for Laws, LJ.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: greg stephens
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 07:50 AM

So what would the leagal situation be if he had refused to counsel a sheep-shagger?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Emma B
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 07:51 AM

In 1914, after compulsory call-up for British men looked increasingly likely, pacifist members of the No-Conscription Fellowship, set up in 1915, successfully campaigned to secure 'the conscience clause' in the 1916 Conscription Act: the right to claim exemption from military service.


The story of Harold Bing who was not thought to qualify for exemption....

" '18? - you're too young to have a conscience,' said the chairman. But not, apparently, too young to be sent to war. A policeman came to his home to arrest him, and he was taken to Kingston Barracks. When he refused to regard himself as a soldier, or obey military orders, he was court-martialled.
The sentence: 6 months hard labour. In the end Harold spent nearly 3 years in prison."

was not unusual but they were not actually shot for their beliefs - not all of which were, as CD points out, based on religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Ed T
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 07:54 AM

This is an interesting Canadian case of human rights versus "Catholicity" in a RC school.I suspect there will bbe significant legal wrangling over this one, since the Canadian Constitution makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

A lesbian is hired to teach music (employer did not know she was a lesbian, and I suspect it is not legal to ask), and signs a contract that included a clause "indicating that as a non-Catholic she would not speak out against the Catholic faith or try to influence students with non-Catholic values" She has a baby, and the church learns she is a Lesbian. She is told she cannot teach in the classroom, and is given a non teaching post, which keeps her out of the school. The teacher says she never discussed her sexual oriantation in the classroom and her sexual orientation was never discussed.

The womans job was teaching music...nothing more. So, I suspect that any claim that she could influence "Catholicity" through her teaching job would be a hard case to make. While she was not fired, her employment and career were likely impacted by reasignment, based only on her sexuality.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Sexual+orientation+firing+teacher+claims/2963249/story.html#ixzz0maDxMFrx




http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Sexual+orientation+firing+teacher+claims/2963249/story.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: greg stephens
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 07:59 AM

Some of these rulings go one way. Some the other. But thank heavens the general flow of history at the moment seems to be in favour of tolerance of other peoples' sexuality, and removing bigotry from public life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 08:01 AM

"So what would the leagal situation be if he had refused to counsel a sheep-shagger?"

I suspect it would depend on whether it was consentual sex on the part of the sheep.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 12:32 PM

Excellent decision by the courts. Religion has no standing in law for a very good reason; we are a free country. Freedom of worship includes freedom from worship.

Nice to note the only contribution by a God Botherer is about being shot for being a conchy. Yeah, and even further back in history, you were put in a wicker man and burnt for upsetting your non existent God.

Regarding the sheep; the last time I looked, sheep shagging was a bestial crime whereas people making love to each other wasn't. Putting love making in the same category as the crime of bestiality is a rather sickening move on your part? Resorting to such hate and vitriol just goes to prove that god is love at any cost eh? ZZZ


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 12:45 PM

I hope this ruling will be applied to, and observed by, adherents of all religions, as only Judeo-Christian has been specified in the OP.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 12:46 PM

It also depends on whether the sheep is over the age of consent.

Some sexual acts cannot be consented to - I think the case is "Jaggard": some people who indulged in beating and flogging for sexual satisfaction were convicted by the UK courts of GBH (or was it ABH?) despite the victims' consent. UK law did not recognise the possibility of a valid consent to such things. I think it was the ECHR not the European Court eventually concluded that their human rights had not been infringed.

But I wonder how Laws' actual words would play in the context of a ban on wearing garments that impeded recognition of the face?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 01:13 PM

I am not a god-botherer. But this verdict seems to remove any conceivable basis for conscientious objection to anything, ranging from participation in genocide to eating pork and beef in school lunches. I don't believe the judge was thinking very carefully about the logical implications of this decision, and I would be very surprised if it doesn't get kicked into limbo in a legal millisecond.

There were far less drastic ways to legally declare that bigot out of order.

(The sadomasochism case was known as "Spanner" to most of us, the law may have a different name for it).


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 03:43 PM

Why in God's name (or anyone else's) would a gay person, or gay couple, insist upon receiving advice and counseling from someone with no sympathy or knowledge of their sexual practices? Just to stir up shit, and score some kind of political point?

I am certainly not defending discrimination, but common sense (seems to me) would dictate that not every therapist is right for every client, and that a case of incompatablity should not lead to a therapist losing his/her job.

Now, if the job description specifically stated that anyone hired as a sex therapists must be qualified to tender advice regarding all possible sexual practices and preferences, then Mr McFarlane deserved to be dismissed as lacking specified qualification. I would think it more reasonable to accept that different staff members be recognized as having different strengths and specialties, and that clients be matched up with therapists in an intelligent and sensitive manner.

(On the other hand, one might also ask why a person with religious scruples about certain aspects of sexuality would make a career of sex therapy if the profession customarily requires every practitioner to be conversant with every possible variety of human sexuality.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: akenaton
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 04:27 PM

Well said poppagator, and why should sexual orientation be any more valid in law than religious belief?

How are the "liberals" going to spin this!

From The Sunday Times September 14, 2008

Revealed: UK's first official sharia courtsAbul Taher Recommend? (88) ISLAMIC law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases.

The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.

Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.

Previously, the rulings of sharia courts in Britain could not be enforced, and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.

It has now emerged that sharia courts with these powers have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester with the network's headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Two more courts are being planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi, whose Muslim Arbitration Tribunal runs the courts, said he had taken advantage of a clause in the Arbitration Act 1996.

Under the act, the sharia courts are classified as arbitration tribunals. The rulings of arbitration tribunals are binding in law, provided that both parties in the dispute agree to give it the power to rule on their case.

Siddiqi said: "We realised that under the Arbitration Act we can make rulings which can be enforced by county and high courts. The act allows disputes to be resolved using alternatives like tribunals. This method is called alternative dispute resolution, which for Muslims is what the sharia courts are."

The disclosure that Muslim courts have legal powers in Britain comes seven months after Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was pilloried for suggesting that the establishment of sharia in the future "seems unavoidable" in Britain.

In July, the head of the judiciary, the lord chief justice, Lord Phillips, further stoked controversy when he said that sharia could be used to settle marital and financial disputes.

In fact, Muslim tribunal courts started passing sharia judgments in August 2007. They have dealt with more than 100 cases that range from Muslim divorce and inheritance to nuisance neighbours.

It has also emerged that tribunal courts have settled six cases of domestic violence between married couples, working in tandem with the police investigations.

Siddiqi said he expected the courts to handle a greater number of "smaller" criminal cases in coming years as more Muslim clients approach them. "All we are doing is regulating community affairs in these cases," said Siddiqi, chairman of the governing council of the tribunal.

Jewish Beth Din courts operate under the same provision in the Arbitration Act and resolve civil cases, ranging from divorce to business disputes. They have existed in Britain for more than 100 years, and previously operated under a precursor to the act.

Politicians and church leaders expressed concerns that this could mark the beginnings of a "parallel legal system" based on sharia for some British Muslims.

Dominic Grieve, the shadow home secretary, said: "If it is true that these tribunals are passing binding decisions in the areas of family and criminal law, I would like to know which courts are enforcing them because I would consider such action unlawful. British law is absolute and must remain so."

Douglas Murray, the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, said: "I think it's appalling. I don't think arbitration that is done by sharia should ever be endorsed or enforced by the British state


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 05:26 PM

""I am not a god-botherer. But this verdict seems to remove any conceivable basis for conscientious objection to anything, ranging from participation in genocide to eating pork and beef in school lunches.""

Conscience is not a religious belief Jack. Atheists have consciences too, and conscientious objection to killing is a moral, not a religious, concept.

It is unaffected by this ruling, which concerns only religious belief, not moral or ethical viewpoints(accepted norms of right and wrong), which are in fact what most law is originally based upon.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 05:30 PM

If one is employed by an organisation that counsels relationships, and they have an equality and diversity policy (which I am almost sure Relate will have), then one signs up to that code when you sign your contract. If he did not raise the issue in interview (for example, "I am a Christian and will not expect to counsel Gay couples") and signed the contract then he has agreed to carry out Relate's policies.

The subject matters not. Had he said he was a black male who only wanted to councel non whites I suspect the ruling would have gone the same way. I think this judgment is not totally about religion but is totally about contactual obligation.

What if a vegan applied for a job at a butchers, got the job, and then refused to serve anyone wanting to buy meat? Would that not be similar? How far do you think the vegan would get in a tribunal?

Couples turn to relate for help. People at Relate should be able to offer that help or not be employed. That goes for us all. If we cannot do our job, or refuse to do it, then we would be sacked.

I think this ruling has come about more on employment law than anything to do with religion and sexuality

mp


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 05:34 PM

""Why in God's name (or anyone else's) would a gay person, or gay couple, insist upon receiving advice and counseling from someone with no sympathy or knowledge of their sexual practices? Just to stir up shit, and score some kind of political point?

I am certainly not defending discrimination, but common sense (seems to me) would dictate that not every therapist is right for every client, and that a case of incompatablity should not lead to a therapist losing his/her job.
""

I suspect that it wasn't quite like that Poppagator. The sexuality of a client would only become evident in the course of the first session, and if the person you are paying for counselling suddenly says something along the lines of "Get out of here, I don't do queers", I suspect it might constitute a valid reason for complaint.

What do you think?

Would you just quietly go, or would you want the bigot dismissed.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 05:40 PM

Relate: Equality and Diversity statements and policy

Just found this to help hoepfully

mp


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 05:41 PM

In practice, most conscientious objectors have always been motivated by religion. It looks like some people here are saying it's okay to be a CO if your reasons are purely secular but tough shit if you're a Quaker, Witness, Buddhist or Baha'i.

If the judge had meant to confine himself to contractual obligation he could have said so. Judges are not in the job to make vague assertions. We have to assume he meant exactly what he said, which went WAY beyond that, to a level of generality which would normally require a decision from the highest courts in the land (or in the US, a constitutional amendment). It was such an extreme statement that it will certainly get slapped down, and thereby open the way for the bigot to try again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 05:47 PM

This guy voluntarily took this job. But he can't perform all of the duties required. Drafted soldiers didn't voluntarily take the job, so allowing for a conscientious objector status only make sense. Apples and oranges.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 05:50 PM

""Douglas Murray, the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, said: "I think it's appalling. I don't think arbitration that is done by sharia should ever be endorsed or enforced by the British state""

This is a strawman argument.

There are arbitration services in many situations making rulings which are ratified by the courts, not least our own divorce proceedings (separation agreement, two years wait, then uncontested divorce).

This is not a parallel legal system as some would have us believe.

Two parties agree to accept the ruling of an arbiter whom they can both trust. Based on the arguments, that arbiter gives a ruling which is, with a very few exceptions, ratified by the British courts.

The exceptions of course are those decisions which conflict with British Law, which are set aside, so British law is in fact paramount.

This has been going on in industry for decades, and arbitration by the Sharia courts is no different.

Sorry Ake, you'll have to find something more convincing with which to beat Muslims over the head.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 05:57 PM

""In practice, most conscientious objectors have always been motivated by religion. It looks like some people here are saying it's okay to be a CO if your reasons are purely secular but tough shit if you're a Quaker, Witness, Buddhist or Baha'i.""

That's pure bollocks Jack. Religious people have the same rights to invoke conscientious objection.

That's why it's call "conscientious", not "religious".

Or do you actually believe that religion is a requirement for having a conscience?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 05:58 PM

"It looks like some people here are saying it's okay to be a CO if your reasons are purely secular but tough shit if you're a Quaker, Witness, Buddhist or Baha'i."

No, exactly the opposite Jack. The Judge was commenting on issues of a purely religious basis. My reading was that the Judge was referring to purely FAITH based beliefs, which were otherwise unsupportable by any other secular and/or humanitarian means.

So, quite reasonably, a humanitarian based objection to something (whether it be religiously inspired or otherwise) might be able to provide grounds for it's case from other avenues than simply "God Said!".

I think that's a good thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 05:59 PM

He may have become a counsellor before gay marriages were legal here. So may not have had the conflict of conscience as a possibility when he joined Relate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 06:01 PM

I would have liked to see "Relate: Equality and Diversity statements and policy," but the link doesn't work. Relate's stated policies would, of course, have EVERYTHING to do with this particular case. If the therapist in question took the job under false pretenses ~ that is, if he were specifically required to work with everyone and anyone, regardless of the kind of relationships in which they are involved, he is inded in the wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 06:02 PM

Only married couples get sex counseling? It's not offered or allowed for unmarried partners? If not, why not?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Stringsinger
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 06:03 PM

Conscientious objection in the U.S. doesn't require only a belief in a supreme being any more. The Vern Davidson test case means you can object on philosophical grounds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 06:37 PM

"(On the other hand, one might also ask why a person with religious scruples about certain aspects of sexuality would make a career of sex therapy if the profession customarily requires every practitioner to be conversant with every possible variety of human sexuality.)"

Well, Science lecturers for some time have been confronted with the dilemma of failing Science students who insist on using Biblical quotes to justify their Science theses...


"allows disputes to be resolved using alternatives like tribunals. This method is called alternative dispute resolution, which for Muslims is what the sharia courts are"

Will they be televised like their original - Judge Judy?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 06:40 PM

QUOTE
I would have liked to see "Relate: Equality and Diversity statements and policy," but the link doesn't work. Relate's stated policies would, of course, have EVERYTHING to do with this particular case. If the therapist in question took the job under false pretences ~ that is, if he were specifically required to work with everyone and anyone, regardless of the kind of relationships in which they are involved, he is indeed in the wrong.
UNQUOTE

Ha - in Aus, we have "Lifeline" & "Mission Employment" both church run entities, and there have been hassles with some of their employees being insensitive in matters of 'religious tolerance' in applying their wonderful corporate ideals...


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 06:47 PM

Only married couples get sex counseling? It's not offered or allowed for unmarried partners?

Relate used to be the Marriage Guidance Bureau. They changed their name (decades ago) specifically to make it clear they were there to help unmarried couples too.

So, quite reasonably, a humanitarian based objection to something (whether it be religiously inspired or otherwise) might be able to provide grounds for it's case from other avenues than simply "God Said!".

Fine, but if somebody's objection to killing people or eating a roast pork sandwich *is* simply "God says not to", are you going to tell them they have no right to that objection?

The judge: The promulgation of law for the protection of a position held purely on religious grounds cannot therefore be justified

That's completely unambiguous, and rules out any law that permits schoolchildren or prisoners to refuse institutional food that conflicts with their religion.

In the name of tolerance this dickhead judge has unleashed a repressive nightmare.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 07:37 PM

Are you saying we can force people to eat pork sandwiches? What a stupid example.

If this guy hired on after this firm changed to accept non-married clients, he's screwed as far as I'm concerned (no pun intended) (oh hell, i'll come clean - pun was definitely intended). He knew the job was dangerous when he took it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 08:00 PM

It's not a friggin example, it's an implication of what the judge said. If he was setting a precedent, it can be used in many ways that go FAR beyond the situation he was ruling on. He was stating a general principle. Look at his actual words, and what they mean - you can bet thousands of lawyers are thinking about what they can do with this, and they will NOT all be gay rights activists.

Specifically, as Richard Bridge seems to have been hinting, this is food for anti-Muslim repression, as if there wasn't enough of it already.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Paul Burke
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 10:04 PM

Jack: you'r shooting yourself rather badly in the arse. How is a ruling requiring EVERY counsellor to consider a couple's needs, irrespective of their sexuality, specifically or generally anti-Muslim?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 11:39 PM

Isn't repressing Anti-Muslims a good thing? Or, is that the AnaBaptists?

Amazing how some will twist and turn another's words, innit?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 May 10 - 12:29 AM

I think people should be allowed to stick to their religious beliefs, but it's quite clear from the Relate Website that they provide counseling for LGBT relationships. Seems to me, anybody wanting to work as a counselor for Relate, ought to be prepared to serve all of Relate's clients.

I suppose there's a great need for sex therapists for born-again Christians, and counselors with religious scruples would be better off at a born-again sex agency.

I have some religious scruples myself, and I'm not sure how comfortable I would be, counseling homosexual or bisexual relationships. I do my best to be tolerant, but I'm not sure I want to hear all the details...

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 01 May 10 - 12:37 AM

If you can't do the job, don't take the job. WTF does that have to do with Arabs?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 May 10 - 01:05 AM

I have a friend who just went thru mediation re child access. They were bullied to insert the 'rubbish' about the child having alternate halves of the Easter 4 day weekend alternating in alternate years - about half a page of complicated nonsense!

Why 'rubbish' & 'nonsense' you ask? Well, since both parents are long term pagans (from about 10 years before the child was born), and thus non-Christians, what relevance does this Easter' rubbish have to their lives? Does this Aussie Christian based counselling service do the same to muslims or force Christians to respect ramadam in their agreements?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 May 10 - 03:01 AM

How is a ruling requiring EVERY counsellor to consider a couple's needs, irrespective of their sexuality, specifically or generally anti-Muslim?

Because the words I quoted deny ANY legal concession to religious beliefs that conflict with the authority of the state. They were NOT specifically about counsellors, jobs or sexuality, and don't even mention those specific issues.

There was no need at all for the judge to try imposing such a general principle just to get a sensible answer in this case - as other people have said, the guy was violating the terms of his contract with his employer. But the judge said NOTHING specifically about contract law.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: akenaton
Date: 01 May 10 - 03:25 AM

The "Liberals" are busy tying themselves in knots.


"If you can't do the job, don't take the job. WTF does that have to do with Arabs?"(mousethief)

Religious Beliefs....no standing in law.
My previous post, shows how Sharia Law (most of which is based on religious belief) is being incorporated into the UK legal system to appease a minority religious grouping.

"liberals" want "their way", both ways, even if there is a direct contradiction.
Thankfully their excesses cant continue for much longer.

Biggest laugh of the week?   Brown ostracised by "liberals" for using the "B" word.....   :0)    Fucking idiots!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 May 10 - 03:38 AM

What country did this occur in? Not the USA, but across the pond.

Now much hot air has already been expended, but has anybody noticed that the concept of the authority of THE CROWN exceeding the authority of The Church was established by Henry VIII. He became head of the only church authorised - the Anglican - (which sorta made that argument moot!) and great fuss and murder of RCs ensued for some time thereafter.

Now some 'enlightenment' occurred later on, and RC followers are no longer in fear of their lives, due solely to practising their religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Mo the caller
Date: 01 May 10 - 04:28 AM

My first reaction was that even if Relate had the 'right' to end his employment maybe they could have worked round his beliefs in arranging his case load.
But then I started wondering what would happen if a married man and women were being counselled by him and it became apparent that homosexual tendancies of one partner was part of the problem. Or a family with a teenager uncertain about their sexuality.

Discrimmination legislation is a good thing (generally) but must be applied with common sense. So if a job has requirement they should come first. This could be discrimination in favour of one religion in some cases.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 May 10 - 05:07 AM

The history is a bit more complex and contentious than Foolestroupe's post says. In Scotland, resistance to the state telling people how to run their religion got Mary Queen of Scots deposed, motivated three or four civil wars in the 17th century and was still provoking riots by 1800. From the other side, virtually all the splits in the Scottish church were caused by pressure from the state, with one faction conceding and another resisting. The result really needs to be put on a T-shirt:

Schisms in the Church of Scotland since 1700


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 01 May 10 - 05:22 AM

""My previous post, shows how Sharia Law (most of which is based on religious belief) is being incorporated into the UK legal system to appease a minority religious grouping.""

Only in your twisted and biased interpretation.

In fact it is arbitration, not law.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 01 May 10 - 05:47 AM

I am sorry the link about the Equality and Diversity policy does not work. Maybe it's because it goes straight to opening or savinf a PDF document.

I just tried the link and it has opened for me using the URL but not the link I posted here. So, for those who want it, her is the link for you to cut and paste into a browser

www.relate.org.uk/assets/b186d2f5a8/Equality-Diversity-Watford.pdf

Hope it helps

mp


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 01 May 10 - 06:11 AM

Many years ago, when nursing, it was allowed that if you were against abortion then you could not be made to assist in the operating theatre if an abortion was being done. What you could not do is refuse to nurse the woman on the ward before or after the operation nor discriminate against her (rightly so). The objection rule allowed for those who felt they were being involved in the death of a child. Back then it was a common sense approach to a hotly debated topic. But that was then and this is now. I am not sure that that rule still exists in the NHS. Maybe a nurse now could comment

In the current case I see no space to allow a comon sense approach for objecting as one would be being specifically employed (potentially) to do the very thing you are objecting to. I empathise with the objectors spiritual beliefs but he should still do his job.

These days a lot of couples counselling centres around sexuality and sexual practices. More people are 'out' or get caught out, and it becomes apparent that the person cheating is actually doing it with someone of the same sex. They try to keep the relationship together and need help. Relate is there to do just that.

In the very least they are dealing with bisexuality in such an instance. Someone who applies arbitrary rules over sexuality has no place to be there. I say 'arbitrary' rather loosely and with no offence. Because if, as Christians, they applied the Jesus rule "Love one another" then it is not their place to judge or place judgement on others. They should help them all the more in fact! Their conscience, in helping resolve a relationship and keep people together, should be more than clear. If they feel, in all conscience, they cannot counsel LGB people, then they should not be there. It is that simple. They are showing discrimination that Christ himself never did.

He may have been an excellent counsellor in other areas. I respect him standing on his own personal beliefs. But he cannot expect to allow those beliefs to be so discriminatory and then keep his job. There are areas of my job that I do not like BUT I signed the policies and the contract when I joined. I have an obligation to my employer and my clients to do my job to my fullest extent. That is what they train me for and that is what I get paid for. If, at some point, I come against something I really cannot do because of conscience, then I would have to raise it and hope for the best... but I would not expect to be able to hold my job. I would have to walk. But that's just me. Everyone is different

mp


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 May 10 - 07:46 AM

"history is a bit more complex"

But some things are very clear - the 'right to religious sanctuary' is now overridden (abolished even) - I don't see too many NYPD boys not arrest a guy in church on TV - but if he has guns, knives, bombs & hostages, it does slow the process down. The same as the 'right to cannon sanctuary' no longer exists for the military.

The Pope waltzed all over Europe with his armies to hold on to his right to be supreme over Emperors and Kings. To no avail.

There one was a guy who said "Render unto Ceaser that which is Ceaser's - unto God that which is God's"

Of course, there are countries - not in Europe, where religion DOES rule over civil rights and law.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 May 10 - 07:57 AM

"history is a bit more complex"

But some things arestill very clear - the 'right to religious sanctuary' is now overridden (abolished even) - I don't see too many NYPD boys not arrest a guy in church on TV - but if he has guns, knives, bombs & hostages, it does slow the process down. The same as the 'right to cannon sanctuary' no longer exists for the military.

The Pope waltzed all over Europe with his armies to hold on to his right to be supreme over Emperors and Kings. To no avail.

There once was a guy who said "Render unto Ceaser that which is Ceaser's - unto God that which is God's"

Of course, there are countries - not in Europe, where religion DOES rule over civil rights and law.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 May 10 - 08:30 AM

Of course, there are countries - not in Europe, where religion DOES rule over civil rights and law.

Poland is in Europe. Look at their anti-abortion laws (imposed by John Paul 2 and Ronald Reagan, effectively).

And the bans on Islamic clothing in France and Belgium are simply Christian bigotry enacted into law.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Ian Burdon
Date: 01 May 10 - 10:40 AM

In case anyone is interested, this is the text of the actual judgement:-

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2010/B1.html

The judge made no new law as such - the appeal was decided on the basis of existing precedent. The much quoted comments by the judge (from para 16 onwards in the judgement), with which I agree, were written in response to a statement lodged in the case by a former Archbishop of Canterbury and while they may be influential they are not binding (I think)

Ian


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Penny S.
Date: 01 May 10 - 11:30 AM

I'm interested that there seems to have been an element of dishonesty on the part of the applicant, in assuring Relate that he would work with same sex couples, while not intending to do so. I did feel, until I read that, that Relate had been at the least, inconsiderate in dealing with him. But I also felt that there was an agenda the other way, as well, and that had made me uneasy. There seems to be a movement to bring cases like this to public attention which may not be helpful to the people concerned.

I was not happy to hear the applicant emphasising the discrimination against his strongly held Christian beliefs, and have written to the BBC PM programme, suggesting that as when referring to businesses or election candidates, they should add the rider that other Christian beliefs are available, in the interests of balance.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Paul Burke
Date: 01 May 10 - 01:45 PM

If it was reported correctly, that appears to take conscientious objectors back to the status quo as of 1914. If your God and conscience tell you not to kill for the state, expect to be shot as a deserter.

That's a new one for me Jack. I didn't know Relate counsellors were conscripted, I thought they chose the job.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 01 May 10 - 03:38 PM

"Religious Beliefs....no standing in law.
My previous post, shows how Sharia Law (most of which is based on religious belief) is being incorporated into the UK legal system to appease a minority religious grouping."

As usual, the reactionary and illiberal Mr Akenaton is talking out of his rear end. Maybe he should actually read his own post, especially this bit...

"provided that both parties in the dispute agree to give it the power to rule on their case."

Rather pissed on his own bonfire there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 May 10 - 06:18 PM

QUOTE
Of course, there are countries - not in Europe, where religion DOES rule over civil rights and law.

Poland is in Europe. Look at their anti-abortion laws (imposed by John Paul 2 and Ronald Reagan, effectively).
UNQUOTE

And of course these are also failures of the separation of Church and state.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 May 10 - 06:33 PM

It's a pity that
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2010/B1.html
was not read by all first.

but then never let the facts get in the way of a good trolling... :-)

As demonstrated by the text of the Appeal itself - the various opinions of the law by various citizens often has little to do with what the law actually is...


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 May 10 - 06:37 PM

I don't agree with laws that prohibit abortion; but in all fairness, I have to suspect that the Polish anti-abortion laws were enacted by the Polish legislature, and not by Ronald Reagan or John Paul II. And I have to suspect that the members of the legislature are adults who voted for these laws, did so of their own free will; and not under the control of Reagan or the Pope.
I think the mind-control exercised by religion is vastly overrated. It happens, but it is far from universal. Most people really aren't that stupid.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 02 May 10 - 02:30 AM

Ake, since when is thinking people should perform the duties of their job a "liberal" position? I should think any good conservative would say the same thing. Unless they were trying to make excuses for not performing the duties of their own job when it doesn't suit them. The old "Do as I say, not as I do" thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 May 10 - 02:54 AM

"since when is thinking people should perform the duties of their job a "liberal" position"

Since Americans tried to take over the English language. See what happens when you put the ignorant in charge?


;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 02 May 10 - 03:51 AM

You tryin' to start a pond war, punk?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 May 10 - 04:45 AM

You and what army, the piddlin' Marines? :-P


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 03 May 10 - 01:58 AM

Sorry, they're busy somewhere in the Middle East. I have some very scary militia groups I could send over, but I'm afraid they'd all kill each other on the way over.

Hey....


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 03 May 10 - 02:11 AM

"....Most people really aren't that stupid."
-Joe Offer-

Well...hmmm...The problem is, that they let other people do their thinking for them...then tell them what to think.

"The difference between GENIUS and STUPIDITY, is that GENIUS has its limits!"...........................................Albert Einstein


GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 03 May 10 - 05:58 AM

Interesting to read through the posts here. Some very good arguments for and against the stance of the ex employee and the implications of the judgement.

I do feel though that such dilemmas will not go away whilst;

1. You can have the view that he may well have been good at his job in other respects. Sorry, but to use his own moral stance as prejudice when helping couples breaks the first golden rule of his job, you must never compare their situation with your own ideal standard. Never judge. Clearly this idiot was not capable of seeing beyond his superstition, and that made him patently unsuitable to his work.

2. I always appreciate the input in these debates of Joe Offer, as although we wouldn't exaclty agree on much if we ever met, I do like how he explains where he is coming from and never lets preconceptions cloud his view. But Joe! What do you mean by " I'm not sure how comfortable I would be, counseling homosexual or bisexual relationships. I do my best to be tolerant, but I'm not sure I want to hear all the details..."????

Nobody asks you to be tolerant. Nobody has the right to be tolerant of other's lifestyles, or indeed intolerant. You can like, agree, not like or disagree, but to say you tolerate something stinks of saying they can only carry on whilst it pleases me to let them get away with it. Sorry, but there is a huge difference between tolerating and accepting how the world spins. You are quick to point out you cannot make a judgement as a moderator on this website, so why make them as a human?

In the UK, we do have a state religion as a tradition, and sadly, allow it's leaders to have a voice in our upper house, the House of Lords. However, they are there because it pleases the politicians to allow it, to keep their followers quiet, same as restricting my ability to buy a tap washer on a Sunday. We are a secular society and politicians know that any attempt to enforce religion will be met by ridicule ignoring it by the vast majority of the population. Nobody wants to enforce anarchy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 03 May 10 - 07:13 AM

I have always said that acceptance is far far better than tolerance. But there are some things that people find unacceptable for themselves that they do tolerate in other people. Tolerance is better than intolerance.

In counselling one can have your own issues and be allowed them, as long as you know what they are and do not let them affect your ability to counsel. If you know it is going to then you have a duty to pass the client onto someone you know better suited to help them. However, if you are employed to counsel certain types of problem, and accept that post, then you say you will not do it, you are bound to 'come unstuck'.

I know some brilliant counsellors in some areas that would be useless in others. They know it too. Counsellors spend huge amounts of time on personal development and knowing themselves. They also have supervision to aid them make the right choices. Going into a job where you know you will be expected to deal with problems that you cannot handle because of your own belief system/prejudices or whatever makes no sense.

Counsellors are human too and are entitled to have their own feelongs and emotions on subjects. What they are not allowed to be is discriminatory in the role they are employed in. Such questions of conscience are always difficult and, in such circumstance, there can be several 'victims'.

I wonder if the couple eventually got their problems solved and are back in 'safe space'? One can only hope they did and are.

mp


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: banjoman
Date: 03 May 10 - 10:47 AM

As a practicing Christian, I have always held the belief that everybody should be allowed to worship, and act, according to theur own conscience. However, I agree that this particular person should not have taken a job as a sex counsellor unless it was specifically to bring this matter into the public eye through the courts.
What I object to is the continued effort by this and to some extent previous governments to tell me how I should exercise or apply my beliefs.
I do not believe in abortion, or same sex marriages but respect the right of others to do so.

Overall, we are in danger of allowing government officers to force their particular stance on certain matters on us all and I cannot accept that that does good for anybody.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 03 May 10 - 12:43 PM

Things like this do not help

Rising Tory star Philippa Stroud ran prayer sessions to 'cure' gay people

and, while I fully respect the rights of individuals to practice their various needs (within the law), I do think that politics and religion should ideally be kept apart.

I would fight for the right for you to hold your beliefs banjoman, and the counsellor involved in this case, but to be able to express them in the right and proper place. I often have ethical, moral and spiritual dilemmas. I think I am lucky that seldom have they led me into a place where I was unable to do my job or practice that which I held dear. There but for the grace of God go I...

There are so many facets to the argument and it is never straightforward is it?

I just think it's time we all got on better, no matter what party or religion we are, sexuality or gender. We all inhabit the same planet. To agree to disagree on some things should not mean we have to fall out to achieve anything because then we all lose :-(

mp


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 May 10 - 03:55 PM

Man, if only we could get that attitude to cross the Pond... and *we're* the ones who are supposed to have church and state separation!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: MMario
Date: 03 May 10 - 03:56 PM

Our constitution states that Congress shall make no laws preventing the free excercise of religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 03 May 10 - 04:07 PM

"Overall, we are in danger of allowing government officers to force their particular stance on certain matters on us all and I cannot accept that that does good for anybody."

But that's what religion can do. As I mentioned earlier, the Dutch Reformed Church was the bastion of the apartheid system in South Africa - they stated that god had given the white man dominion over the black man and that to oppose that was to go against god. This is still the view held by the white supremacists in South Africa. So, should these people be given the freedom to practice what they believe?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 03 May 10 - 05:29 PM

Proper nouns should be capitalized. "God" when referring to one specific God, such as the Christian God, should be capitalized. "God" in the plural, or when referring to a god you haven't already specified, should be in the lower case. Using "god" where "God" is called for is both ungrammatical and passive-aggressive.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: John Hardly
Date: 03 May 10 - 05:30 PM

Interesting. So, in principle, everyone who works in England actually works for the State?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 04 May 10 - 03:22 AM

"Using "god" where "God" is called for is both ungrammatical and passive-aggressive."

Using "god" to refer to an illogical theoretical concept is perfectly acceptable and I will continue to do so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Gervase
Date: 04 May 10 - 10:40 AM

I stand corrected. In future I shall use "Imaginary Friend" rather than "imaginary friend".


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 04 May 10 - 11:40 AM

yesterday, MMario said: "Our constitution states that Congress shall make no laws preventing the free excercise of religion."

This is true, and it is a fundamental part of our system....but so is the part that says matters of church & state shall be kept separate. This means that, unlike in the UK House of Lords, the government may not endorse any specific religion. Unfortunately, there IS a de facto endorsement of Christianity in practice.

It is understood that Christianity is practiced by a majority of US citizens, but the full clause in the Constitution reads ""Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .".
This would seem to mean that any genuine religion may be practiced, but NOT imposed on those who may practice another religion, and **by implication**, does not require anyone to practice any religion.
This seems simple & fair enough, but I hear constantly from those who assert that 'this country was founded by Christians, and as such is a Christian nation and thus Christian principles and beliefs DO have a place in the laws, ceremonies and general fabric of our country.'
I don't know what to say except that this is NOT what the Constitution says! It is not even totally accurate to describe many of the founders as **Christians**. The very concept of "separation of church & state" was a basic principle introduced by Thomas Jefferson.

These days I hear almost daily of some very conservative member of Congress making some pronouncement about policy and defending his attitude by reference to the Bible. I have little doubt that many of our legislators, especially from the South, would happily write laws specifically based on their religious beliefs.

   In my 14 years on Mudcat, I have posted many times the admonition that: "Freedom OF religion must, if it is be consistent, include Freedom FROM religion for those who wish it."
   Sadly, this concept is just lost on many. It is hard to maintain my dedication to defending their rights when they have no interest in even recognizing mine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Paul Burke
Date: 04 May 10 - 01:46 PM

any genuine religion

Wherein lies the rub.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 04 May 10 - 01:54 PM

That was intentional on my part to pre-empt any who would argue for the right to 'practice' a religion that worships the Volcano God and demands virgins be sacrificed to it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 04 May 10 - 01:55 PM

Man, Bill, you're so TOUCHY about those virgins, dude. Chill out!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 04 May 10 - 01:59 PM

"If you want to marry a virgin, SAVE SOME!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 04 May 10 - 02:02 PM

""It is understood that Christianity is practiced by a majority of US citizens, but the full clause in the Constitution reads ""Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .".""

It's all in the interpretation Bill.

To you or me, free exercise means that we can practise our religion, whatever it may be, without fear of resistance, or reprisal.

To the fundamentalist Christian Right, it means that they can practise, proselytise, and persecute, until they either convert or marginalise others, and override the terms of the Constitution in attempting to coerce government into doing what they require.

It's what they do, and all in the name of Christ, who wouldn't have advocated, or endorsed, any of it.

So what else is new?
Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 04 May 10 - 02:12 PM

I know, Don T.... when the basic tenets of your religion say "go, and become fishers of men" and "I am the way, the truth and the light...no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.",* you feel righteous about declaring, in various ways, that your ways is supposed to be dominant.

*(that's from memory...apologies if I got any details wrong)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: MMario
Date: 04 May 10 - 02:21 PM

I don't particularly want "my way" to be dominant; I don't particlarly feel that churches should be tax exempt. I do feel that I should be able to at least MENTION my religion in public without being castigated and told how it infringes on someone else's right to be free of religion.

They can ignore me; just as I ignore many people with whom I don't agree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 04 May 10 - 04:19 PM

"I do feel that I should be able to at least MENTION my religion in public without being castigated ...

Of course! I know many of religious persuasion who regularly note various things about their belief, and remind ME of such things as needed to schedule an event to avoid some religious holiday, etc. I see no need to complain and berate and castigate them for having their beliefs. It is just one of the things we learn about each other.

I know Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Quakers, Jews, Baptists...and several brands of others... with whom I co-exist and cooperate on a regular basis.

I am sad if some DO go out of their way to denigrate anyone's religion on some general principle of 'not liking it'.

I am also sad when I have to watch Jews and atheists feel supremely uncomfortable and leave the room when the 'majority' of a group (whose basic purpose has nothing to do with religion) always begins a meeting by a long supplication to Jesus. A number of these members are adamant, rigid Christians, and have NO inclination to respect those who are not.

It ain't easy...............


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 May 10 - 06:33 PM

Hear hear, Bill D.

Unfortunately, an individual's right to have unreasonable beliefs trumps society's duty to educate its members as to what is reasonable, here in the USA. If only it were the other way around.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Donuel
Date: 04 May 10 - 07:28 PM

TOO BAD that insurance companies still use acts of GOD as an excuse for not paying their customers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 May 10 - 02:40 AM

Then there's "Only a fool says there is no God"....Albert Einstein

Ok, smart guys!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Gervase
Date: 05 May 10 - 03:12 AM

Ah, Einstein. That quote is often cherry-picked. The poor chap would be turning in his grave if he knew how often it was used to bolster a religious argument.

It was the same Einstein who wrote: "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

And the same Einstein who wrote: "During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution, human fantasy created gods in man's own image who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate influence, the phenomenal world... The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old conception of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfillment of their wishes... In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vase power in the hands of priests."
        
And the same Einstein who wrote: "Thus I came...to a deep religiosity, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of 12. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached a conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true....Suspicion against every kind of authority grew out of this experience...an attitude which has never left me."

And even the same Einstein who wrote: "A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."

There is enough of his writing to know conclusively that he did not believe in a personal god, and would certainly not consider himself Jewish or Christian in anything but culture.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 05 May 10 - 03:30 AM

What the ruling restates, in effect, is that same stance taken over the years by philosophers like Descartes, Holles and Hume, that there is a difference between freedom of belief and freedom of action - where it impinges on the rights and freedoms of others. This is where I get so angry with evangelists of any denomination and people who claim they are fulfilling god's will - not because of their beliefs per se but because they think they have freedom (or indeed a duty) of action (hence my earlier remark about apartheid and the Dutch Reformed Church).


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 May 10 - 03:35 AM

Then he wrote, in a letter to Sigmund Freud: "Why do you ask? I feel fortunate. All I what I do, is admire God's handiwork"

There is a difference between God, and 'Religion'. As Far as being 'Religious, that he was not! There is a difference between 'religion's' concept of spiritual, and the unseen, and the force that manifests itself, as all matter, time, space and dimension.

The Bible states, God is light, and all things are made By Him, and all things are in Him. In Him we live, move and have our being....."

Now, is that not true of light? Do you think he MISSED this???

Just not in 'religious terms'!

Perception, perception, perception!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 05 May 10 - 04:08 AM

WHo would have thought my PhD in quantum mechanics could have been useful to this debate? (It ain't useful to me in any other way, mind...)

Having had to study and interpret a lot of Einstein, perhaps I can help here with a middle ground?

Whilst Einstein never professed a belief in a personal god, he did feel that as you can express physics by mathematical solution, it cannot be just chaos that developed in such a manner.

He said "God doesn't play dice." By this, he expressed his concern over probability and chance at the quantum level, as the laws around classical Newtonian physics were so fixed and worked at every observable level.

Whilst I don't have the quote to hand, (somebody else might?) he did clarify his position regarding the God concept by saying that aethiesm is chaos and under that condition, no laws of physics would work. Therefore, there is an order to the universe as expressed in mathematical terms. If you want to call this god, you are most welcome.

Obviously, he had no time for the concept of supernatural beings that can break the laws of physics or that mankind had some special status other than being special to each other. (I suppose by that, he meant you can go to a human and say E=MC2 and hope to impress them, but you would be disappointed if you tried impressing a goldfish by stating it.)

Oh, guest from sanity... Nobody "makes" light, it is a quantum event which we loosely describe as a photon. If you really must use biblical quotes to prove the god concept, I personally prefer God is Love. At least that calls out to human interaction and interventionalism. And is as much bollocks as the light quote....


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 05 May 10 - 05:33 AM

""The Bible states, God is light, and all things are made By Him, and all things are in Him. In Him we live, move and have our being....."""

The classic pratfall situation of the guy who misunderstood the question!

You state that God and religion are two entirely different things, and on that we are totally in accord, as I have been saying the same thing for years, both here and elsewhere.

Then you shut your eyes and jump right over the edge with the above piece of nonsense.

It may have escaped your notice, but God didn't write the Bible. Religious men did, and their descendants still claim to have the definitive "word of GOD"!

You have just failed at the first hurdle in trying to separate God and Religion, so what do you really believe?

Or are you, as usual, making it up as you go along?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 May 10 - 09:53 AM

Don, as usual you make little or no sense. Let me try to simplify, the difference.

In the beginning, God (light, love, life, consciousness) created man, in His own image,... and ever since, man has been trying to return the favor.(Religion)

Steamin' Willie: "Nobody "makes" light, it is a quantum event which we loosely describe as a photon. If you really must use biblical quotes to prove the god concept, I personally prefer God is Love. At least that calls out to human interaction and interventionalism. And is as much bollocks as the light quote...."

Correct, nobody makes 'light'. ..and yet, all things are made of light. Which correlates another verse, " In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."

I hope that sheds new 'light' on the subject.
Perhaps, what confuses a lot of folks, is they assume the HE, and Him, are exclusive to a singular 'personage',..like themselves...in which case refer to my reply to Don T.

Concept, concept, concept!

That being said, being as I've quoted the New Testament a couple of times, (which quotes happen to be consistent with science, and Einstein's quotes, I wasn't planning on getting into 'proving' that there is, or is not a God'. I'm not exactly a fundamentalist evangelical type....nor have I expressed, subscribing to any 'religion', or 'denomination' on here. So I don't want to get pigeon-holed, by those whose limited brained 'anti-God rap' is aimed at, just by the thought of a God.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 05 May 10 - 10:53 AM

"So I don't want to get pigeon-holed, by those whose limited brained 'anti-God rap' is aimed at, just by the thought of a God"

But you're prepared to pigeon-hole those with a differing opinion from you as 'limited brained', whereas most will have given this a great deal of thought, consideration and probably read far more widely than you before reaching a considered and deeply held opinion - a belief that is just as strongly held as those who are 'believers'.

I think this merits pigeon-holeing you as an ignorant, arrogant twat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 05 May 10 - 11:33 AM

theleveller: there is a difference between freedom of belief and freedom of action

We don't need the Constitution to protect freedom of belief. It's not observable and it's nothing you can change. I will believe what I believe and nothing the government does will change that. It's freedom of action that needs protecting. Meeting together. Worshipping. Not being made to go to the government-sponsored church(es). These are the things that need protecting. My internal states, not so much so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 05 May 10 - 12:31 PM

mmmm... interesting.

At the risk of going off on tangents, (laws of physics rather than UK laws and their interpretation by courts,) no, I can't accept that all things are made from light. So your argument falls at the first hurdle.

I reckon the problem is that you are trying to put physics and metaphysics in the same room and expecting them to have sex. As much as many superstitious people would love that to happen, it is an idea put forward by those who reckon astrology and astronomy are one and the same.

there may be a sense of order to the otherwise chaotic, but there is not a shred of evidence I have seen that it is something to do with an interventionalist being. In fact, as Einstein pointed out, intervening would negate the laws that prove a sense of order. My take on that is that by intervening a god would prove he / she / it doesn't exist. Not as hard a concept as you think really, as quantum physics (we are talking about light, yes?) allows reality based on probability of observation.

So, in the wonderful words of Douglas Adams, "That just about wraps it up for God."


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Stu
Date: 05 May 10 - 01:07 PM

"Correct, nobody makes 'light'. ..and yet, all things are made of light."

What a heap of steaming shite - this is the sort of bilge that might wash with the airy-fairy angel brigade but anyone with a mildly enquiring mind understands this is totally and utterly wrong. Can a statement be more wrong?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 05 May 10 - 01:36 PM

""Don, as usual you make little or no sense. Let me try to simplify, the difference.

In the beginning, God (light, love, life, consciousness) created man, in His own image,... and ever since, man has been trying to return the favor.(Religion)
""

And you base that twaddle on a collection of books, written, refined, altered, and corrupted, over a period of two thousand years, by generations of men with widely differing agendas, but all with the desire to control the behaviour of populations, and governments, sometimes with good intentions, but very often not.

The old testament was a chronicle of what Hebrews believed to be their history. It was largely composed of stories which had been handed down orally for thousands of generations. Anyone who has played Chinese Whispers will know how reliable that is.

The New Testament, as I said, much corrupted, and even the basics were not laid down until about one hundred years after the death of Jesus.

I don't deny the existence of God, but I do have serious doubts about the ultimate Purity and Saintliness of many who profess to serve or represent Him.

If you dispute that, tell me which part of the bible covers Jesus suggesting anything remotely like the Spanish Inquisition?

I am a Christian because I believe in the basic tenets of the gospels, but Christianity, for me, is nothing to do with a place to which I go, once or twice a week, to ask God for favours I do not deserve.

It is how I live my whole life, every single day of it, and it is about how I treat my neighbour, not how I want to be treated by God.

So, GfS, being regarded as a limited thinker by one who is congenitally incapable of sustaining a consistent point of view for even five sentences is something of a compliment.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 05 May 10 - 05:29 PM

Oh goody! It's pile on religious believers hour! Bile by the bucket! Let me go get a flask.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 May 10 - 05:37 PM

Willie: "no, I can't accept that all things are made from light. So your argument falls at the first hurdle."

Do your homework!


Don T., I'm not sure what bug crawled up your rear-end, but you sound ready to piss and moan about EVERYTHING! If you say you are a Christian, than believe it..all of it. Picking and choosing, what selections you agree with, and then attacking those who point that out to you, is more ignorant, than anything you'd like to heap on those who do!!!

Get real!


GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Gervase
Date: 05 May 10 - 05:47 PM

'Kinell; agnostics just as mad and intolerant as theists - shock!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 05 May 10 - 05:48 PM

"If you say you are a Christian, than believe it..all of it"

Oh my... where have I heard THAT sort of reasoning before..

"My country, right or wrong"
"You're either for us or against us."

Believe WHOSE version of "it"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 May 10 - 05:59 PM

Bill: "Believe WHOSE version of "it"? "

I'm not offering a version, and your analogy is off, too. I suppose, that if he is spiritually inclined, then he should seek the spirit to lead him into all truths.....at least that's what his Bible tells him to do....so-o-o-o-o, let him do it. No brainer!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 05 May 10 - 06:13 PM

Yep... I suspect Don T. can sort thru 'truths' just fine...without any need to 'believe it all' from ANY source.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 05 May 10 - 09:46 PM

""If you say you are a Christian, than believe it..all of it. Picking and choosing, what selections you agree with, and then attacking those who point that out to you, is more ignorant, than anything you'd like to heap on those who do!!!""

The secret is in the name, you prat.

"Christian".   Follower of the teachings of Christ. GET IT?

Not follower of the men in black frocks who have caused some of the greatest misery in the history of this planet.

I repeat.....Christianity is a way of life, not a place you go to once or twice a week to ask God for favours you don't deserve.

And I don't give a shit whether you believe that or not.

That's the thing about freedom of thought, and of faith, it allows those of us with more than half a dozen brain cells to make decisions based on morals and ethics, rather than dogma and liturgy force fed since childhood.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 06 May 10 - 02:57 AM

Easy there, chief. I'm not at all into the guys with the frocks. ..and you're right, Christian was a name given to the early believers. It meant Christ-like.

Comes from the Greek, 'Kristos' a unifying force. Christians believe that it came from an anointing from the Holy Spirit, which they believe lives inside the actual person..as in God's love, and his own spirit.

Hey, I got something for ya'......(first calm down).......

When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith, is knowing one of two things will happen. There will be either something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.

Peace,
GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 06 May 10 - 03:43 AM

This thread wasn't intended to be an argument about who's belief is right or wrong – that will always be a dead end. What is was intended to be about was the ethics of belief – the rights and responsibilities of belief, especially where the actions they generate impinge on those who hold contradictory beliefs.

Had McFarlane said to the gay couple' "I CAN'T advise you because I haven't the knowledge or experience to do so" that would have been a responsible stance for someone in his position, putting the onus back on his employer. However, by saying, in effect, "I WON'T advise you because your actions go against my beliefs, even though those actions are lawful and do no harm to anyone else", he was fairly and squarely in the wrong because he was demonstrating an unreasonable prejudice.

Whatever beliefs we hold, we have to be responsible for the actions that come from them and cannot expect these actions to be upheld in law when they impinge on the rights of others.


theleveller - member fron sanity


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 06 May 10 - 04:33 AM

Good on yer, theleveller! Whilst agreeing that the thread is supposed to be about somebody thinking his superstition allows him to not do what he is paid to do.... we must expect the "my view has infallibility on its side" to creep in somewhere, so dead end or not, the thread will boil down to it until everybody gets bored.

Guest from sanity asked me to do some homework. I just did. I'm right, your'e wrong. Move on.

It is not easy having a right versus wrong argument with people who allow irrational concepts to form part of their stance, so for the time being it is best if superstitious people get on with being superstitious, and the vast majority of people remain vigilant to ensure god botherers don't let their hobby interfere with people who don't have such a hobby.

This judge has sent a message that helps people not feel threatened by strange people who smile too much and too often.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 06 May 10 - 05:58 AM

Point taken, Willie. When I said it was a dead end I meant that we'll only know who's right and who's wrong when we're dead - or not, as the case may be!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 06 May 10 - 10:13 AM

"It is not easy having a right versus wrong argument with people who allow irrational concepts to form part of their stance,..."

I think I will steal that line.... it kinda summarizes a number of ideas in a nicely compact way.

thanks, Willie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Stu
Date: 06 May 10 - 10:55 AM

Has there ever been a better argument for keeping religion out of the public services? If people (like the chap in the OP) are incapable of doing that, then they shouldn't work for us out of respect for their fellow citizens.

That applies to all religions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 06 May 10 - 11:56 AM

I think it's really very simple and has nothing to do with religion at all. If you can't, in good conscience, perform all of the duties of the job, don't take the fucking job. Stands to reason.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: frogprince
Date: 06 May 10 - 12:27 PM

""If you say you are a Christian, than believe it..all of it. Picking and choosing, what selections you agree with,   is more ignorant, than anything you'd like to heap on those who do!!!""
You say you aren't a fundamentalist, but that is a fundamentalist statement through and through. Realistically, it can only mean that any true Christian has to believe every word of the Bible.

What chance is there that any single person here has not, on more than one occasion, found comfort and guidance in some published material outside the Bible. That could be anything from a "self help" book to a work of fiction that inspired you to see things in a more positive way. But no one tells you to either accept every word of that material or discard it all completely.

There are countless liberal Christians who find the Bible to be a rich source of strengh, guidance, and inspiration, but who realize that it is an accumulation of writings by fallible people, sometimes steeped in cultural values we could no longer dream of accepting, trying to sort out their relationship to God. There is nothing authoritative about the Bible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Paul Burke
Date: 06 May 10 - 01:39 PM

Christianity is a way of life, not a place you go to once or twice a week

That's YOUR interpretation of Christianity. Other Christians might not believe that Jesus was God, or that his death was as significant as his teachings, or that his teachings were infallible and/ or complete. But no doubt you wouldn't call them Christians at all.

And even allowing your statement for argument's sake, it's not A way of life, it's MANY ways of life, often mutually contradictory.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 07 May 10 - 06:12 AM

""And even allowing your statement for argument's sake, it's not A way of life, it's MANY ways of life, often mutually contradictory.""

My point, which you are carefully ignoring, is that being a Christian doesn't, or shouldn't, stop when step out of the church on Sunday, and head for the pub.

So yes, it is a way of life, one of many, in that you are correct.

But in answer to your misinterpretation of what I said, I think if you check back through my posts on the subject, you will find that I said "For me, it is a way of life".

Don't agree?......Fine! I don't care too much what others do, I just choose for me.

That's what separates me from fundamentalists, the operative two syllables of which, are "mental".

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 07 May 10 - 09:41 AM

Willie: 'Guest from sanity asked me to do some homework. I just did. I'm right, your'e wrong. Move on"

What?..about all matter being made of light, and/or light particles???
Shit, I forgot, your brain....a vacuum???

Paul Burke: "..Other Christians might not believe that Jesus was God, or that his death was as significant as his teachings, or that his teachings were infallible and/ or complete. But no doubt you wouldn't call them Christians at all."

...or that you do!

Froggers: "You say you aren't a fundamentalist, but that is a fundamentalist statement through and through. Realistically, it can only mean that any true Christian has to believe every word of the Bible."

Actually, I'm not at all a fundamentalist...however, just because someone is well-read on the subject, and is familiar with the gig, don't go assuming that I'm a fundamentalist, or on the 'religious right'..I am not...to return the favor, just because you can spell, I'll pretend you aren't in the third grade!
As far as the second part of your statement, I don't think I've met a Christian who knows 'every word of the Bible'.

The BIG question, and the topic of the thread, would be....IF your Religious beliefs contradict civil law, or possibly a medical service, being provided, can you object to performing that procedure, based on your religious beliefs?

Methinks, you'd rather find some nuance to smear someone for their religious beliefs, even if they don't have any, than understand what they are, or why.......then attack someone ELSE for being a bigot!......just love you guys!
Can you spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E?????

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 07 May 10 - 12:01 PM

Why do I get the feeling I am having to deal with the oxymoron "light particles" before finally dealing with the moron.....

Yep, my brain is a vacuum, or at least 99.9998% of the space does not hold any matter (or wave...) so amazingly, you are inadvertently accurate, well done!

Pity your more metaphysical contributions didn't get a lucky break. The bit of my brain that is not empty space doesn't understand you. No matter, your view doesn't count in Willie's world.

Or, luckily, any sane world.

You know, when you have to make a list of contributors who you take issue with, and they just happen to be everybody who has posted since your last one, I would give up if I were you. If this was comedy rather than a serious debate, people would be laughing at you rather than with you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 07 May 10 - 12:04 PM

A photon without obvious contradiction could be called a light particle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 07 May 10 - 12:16 PM

Willie, as I've posted before, "The difference between GENIUS and STUPIDITY, is that GENIUS and its limits!"....Albert Einstein

Now sit down!...and let nothing circulate in that vacuum!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 07 May 10 - 12:22 PM

Willie, as I've posted before, "The difference between GENIUS and STUPIDITY, is that GENIUS has its limits!"....Albert Einstein

Now sit down!...and let nothing circulate in that vacuum!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 May 10 - 12:45 PM

God asked me to tell you all to stop talking about this shit. Yes, the Constitution protects your rights to believe as you wish, BUT he says you shouldn`t piss him off because he`ll send a flood and wipe you out.

If anyone`s upset by that, please don`t shoot the messenger. And, have a NICE day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: frogprince
Date: 07 May 10 - 01:03 PM

And that is the most intelligent thing posted for awhile!
       (heeheeheeheehee)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 07 May 10 - 01:17 PM

How messages from God REALLY work


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 07 May 10 - 02:09 PM

God promised no more floods. It's lava this time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: beardedbruce
Date: 07 May 10 - 02:16 PM

Anybody else notice the increase in volcanic activity over the last few decades?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 07 May 10 - 03:56 PM

"Anybody else notice the increase in volcanic activity over the last few decades?"

Sure...the supply of virgins to sacrifice is way down...


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 07 May 10 - 06:01 PM

It's all those Catholic priests.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 08 May 10 - 11:07 AM

God already did punish me. The Owls were relegated to the fizzy pop league...

I wish he would send a flood. Despite a bit of rain, the soil is bone dry after an inch or two, and my tatas need a bit of moisture, not to mention the greenhouse plants that are watered by an irrigation system from a water butt.

And don't get me started on the Jehovah's Witnesses coming to the door the other day when I was getting out of the shower and expecting a delivery so came down in a towel dripping wet. Now... remembering that God botherers are used to being proved wrong all the ruddy time and that not deterring them... Get a load of this; they saw I was "recently baptised" and still dripping wet and yet still started rattling on about the bible even as the door slammed... Got to admire their perseverance.

Unlike the bloke this thread is about, who thought his hobby allows him not to do what he is paid to do. I don't admire his sanctimonious arrogance.

Oh, guest from sanity; I heard you the first time. So did Albert, and he told me to tell you to f..........


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 08 May 10 - 10:05 PM

ALl things are NOT made of light. The photon is a gauge boson. Photons are the quantum of light and other electromagnetic energy, regarded as discrete particles having zero rest mass, no electric charge, and an indefinitely long lifetime. Matter absorbs photons, and matter emits photons, but matter is not "made of" photons.

It is possible that all things are made of thought, including light, but that is a different metaphysic altogether than this shallow-witted attempt to proselytize "enlightened" Christianity as some sort of global absolute.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 09 May 10 - 12:20 AM

Planck's Constant is a global absolute. I may start a church with Planck's Constant as its deity. Properly handled, it could make me a lot of money.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 09 May 10 - 01:08 AM

I think I know what your platform will start with...


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 09 May 10 - 01:10 AM

I'll have to remove the Planck from my own eye first.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 09 May 10 - 02:15 AM

Steamin' Willie: "Oh, guest from sanity; I heard you the first time. So did Albert, and he told me to tell you to f.........."

"......ind someone who has more intelligence to correspond with, who isn't so pre-occupied with his 'steamin' willie'...so much, he names himself after it"

Of course Al,..What was I thinking?? I mean, look where all his brains are!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 09 May 10 - 02:37 AM

I love irony but enough is enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 09 May 10 - 05:57 AM

At last, somebody recognises my "handle" as being my pan handle. Takes one to know one nerr err.

Planck's constant is not an absolute to be fair, and can only be exhibited as being less than probability of position multiplied by probability of time. ergo - there is a probability it is an absolute, and then only for the reason of being a relative mathematical quantity for relative resolution.

Which comes down to light versus enlightened.

Or put another way, some see being enlightened as seeing Jesus's love. Others see being enlightened as seeing Jesus is a cracking good yarn, even selling more than Wilbur Smith on a good day.

Planck's constant weaves into the probability of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow turning out to be a bucket of shit.

Despite blokes with large hats sitting in the House of Lords, law is secular and it took an "enlightened" judge to see through the mist (or ether...) and state the fact.

Next step, allow me to buy a washer for my leaking tap after 4.00pm on a Sunday. Can't wait..


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 09 May 10 - 01:21 PM

Truly you have a dizzying intellect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 09 May 10 - 02:22 PM

As a contribution to the power of your dizzying intellect, let me suggest buying a box of washers, assorted, and keeping them with your tools for just such emergencies...



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 09 May 10 - 02:28 PM

Amos: "As a contribution to the power of your dizzying intellect, let me suggest buying a box of washers, assorted, and keeping them with your tools for just such emergencies..."

".....and if you need to figure it out, you can rely on your box of rocks..between your ears!"

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 09 May 10 - 02:29 PM

So Planck, Occam and Heisenberg walk into a bar and meet Descartes, who soon doesn't know WHAT to think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 09 May 10 - 03:16 PM

Bill D: "So Planck, Occam and Heisenberg walk into a bar and meet Descartes, who soon doesn't know WHAT to think......"

.....So he became a liberal Democrat, where he was instructed both WHAT to think, and how to re-act. He dies not long after, from boredom....but not before he took up singing Folk/protest songs!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 09 May 10 - 03:39 PM

"...where he was instructed both WHAT to think, and how to re-act."

I thought it was Rush Limbaugh who dispensed that kind of wisdom....my liberal friends never quite agree on the details...which may account for some of the election results recently.

Now...back to the silly physicist remarks...


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 09 May 10 - 03:54 PM

HfS has a bee in her bonnet, believing that anyone who does not see the world as she does must have been programmed into robotic compliance by one of the Lurking Powers.

Sad it is not so, but, in a larger sense, a great blessing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 09 May 10 - 04:07 PM

I stand corrected...he joined A political party....

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 10 May 10 - 05:44 AM

My method for resolving my dilemma was to purchase, via the internet (which doesn't recognise superstition) a couple of quarter turn ceramic valve tap inserts, thus negating the need to either buy washers nor indeed chase Schroedinger's cat with Occam's razor. (Sorry, I have a bet with a fellow mudcatter that I couldn't weave the RSPCA into this thread.)

Dizzying intellect? Who has one of those then? Guest from Sanity?

I reckon the clue is in the title of this thread; "religious beliefs - no standing in law." it obviously wasn't said as a debating point but a fact. I'm comfortable with that. In the meantime, for all our true believers out there, whether it be Jesus, Mohammed, a tree or Elvis; Stop quoting Einstein and then go on to say why superstition is relevant to law. Because you'd better watch out, you'd better beware, Albert said........

"You cannot solve a problem with the mindset that created it."


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 10 May 10 - 12:21 PM

Sad old secularists who can't tell the difference between superstition and religion. When will they evolve?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 10 May 10 - 01:27 PM

...ummm..well, perhaps they are waiting for the religious ones to figure out the difference....


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 11 May 10 - 01:33 AM

I'm waiting for the internet to get invented.

Oh. Never mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin Willie
Date: 11 May 10 - 12:26 PM

Well, considering religious belief must be, by any definition, a belief, then it must be believing something. Now, believing the sun is hot takes little or no imagination and can by conversational definition be a fact.

Religious belief however involves accepting irrational statements, such as an interventionalist god, elevating some humans to the status of being different to the rest of us and capable of doing things that no human can ever have done. Also, religious people don't like their irrational behaviour to be questioned, hence the Spanish inquisition, crusades, Islamic terror etc.

Whilst accepting that religion is a proxy for having power over others, that aside it certainly looks like a superstition to me?

There is no difference between the existence of a god and the existence of a hobbit that lives in my pantry but is invisible and therefore I cannot see it. Neither can exist unless and until somebody proves otherwise. I am amused by those who say normal people must prove there is no god rather than superstitious people prove there is one. Sorry, but your mental health is for you to deal with, not me. All I can do is a) point and laugh and b) go out of my way to stop religion having an intervention in my life. Get the bishops out of the Lords, repeal laws that are based on religion such as opening hours of shops and have the guts to call a bigot a bigot, even if, or especially if for that matter, he wears a dog collar and thinks that being a woman or a gay dude prevents anybody doing his job to the same level of expertise.

This judgement is a good start.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 11 May 10 - 01:09 PM

Religious belief however involves accepting irrational statements.

I submit that depends on the religion and the statements. Our dominant religions--Christianity, Judaism, Mohammedanism, have plenty of authoritarian dicta that aren't rational by any usual standard of the word. But they also have a lot of wise and pithy syaings which are useable as general guides in the confusions of life and which although they are not material can certainly be deemed rational. Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoisdm are also rich with propositions which are pretty rational even when they are abstract and sometimes poetic.

A lot of intellectual abuse has been perpetrated by churches and priests of various religions (whatever they are called). This makes people understandably of the whole sloppy mess. But, ya know, babies versus bath water.


A

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 11 May 10 - 05:53 PM

Willie: Religious belief however involves accepting irrational statements

Some does.

Whilst accepting that religion is a proxy for having power over others, that aside it certainly looks like a superstition to me?

Are you the person who gets to define "superstition"? Or is this just post-modernism in disguise?

There is no difference between the existence of a god and the existence of a hobbit that lives in my pantry but is invisible and therefore I cannot see it. Neither can exist unless and until somebody proves otherwise.

Perhaps no difference you can see. But there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy. Lots of things exist that nobody has proven yet. If they didn't exist you couldn't prove them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 11 May 10 - 08:34 PM

""But they also have a lot of wise and pithy syaings which are useable as general guides in the confusions of life and which although they are not material can certainly be deemed rational.""

Plenty of Atheists and Agnostics have produced equally useable and equally wise words.

Religion is not an indispensible prerequisite for a moral, or ethical, compass. I have naught against religions, and I understand the need some people have to believe in a deity, but to assert that the only way to lead a moral and ethical life is through religion simply does not stand up to scrutiny.

In point of fact, religion is not even an indispensible prerequisite for belief in a deity.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 12 May 10 - 03:17 AM

With all the statements slamming 'religions', one must point out that there IS a difference between 'religions' and the spiritual side of things, or even the 'dimensionally' unseen part of both our existence, and reality.
Religion, as a man made, provision to provide 'righteousness' as a 'ticket' for one, or a group, is usually absolute nonsense. In contrast, those who have a conscious valid link, to the unseen, including the unseen collective consciousness, or any other communications, from the origin of life, is quite another thing!..

Come to think of it, why am I posting that here??? I wouldn't think robot parrots would have the slightest clue what the hell I'm talking about!

Oh boy, here they come!.....of course, a response without thinking it through........

Have Fun!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 12 May 10 - 03:29 AM

"I wouldn't think robot parrots would have the slightest clue what the hell I'm talking about!"

Actually, I do and, to a point, I agree with you. This is something I've been studying for over 40 years - from the neol;itic maind and the early philosophers, through Jung's archetypes to Sheldrake's morphic resonance and the thinking on the nature and origins of consciousness by that superb modern philosopher, David Chalmers, in his book The Conscious Mind. I firmly believe that spirituality, the nature of the 'soul' and even memory and experience are linked to consciousness, including both collective consciousness and the collective unconscious. Once, if ever, the nature, origins and development of cosnciousness are understood, then the nature of spirituality will also be revealed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 12 May 10 - 03:35 AM

Apologies for the typos - my eyes and fingers aren't working yet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 12 May 10 - 04:34 AM

theleveller: "Apologies for the typos - my eyes and fingers aren't working yet"

So heavenly minded and bound, that you're no earthly good???....Wink!

GfS

P.S. My man has done his homework!!..Take a bow!

Think of it as peoples minds are like 'modems' that plug into the master conscious computer 'in the sky', from where all collective consciousness and life, being a form of living consciousness, originates. ..Gotta' watch out for those viruses, called politics and religion, though, which keep your feet nailed to the floor(makes it hard to fly)...gotta' keep your filters clean, and able to process the information coming in, as not to screw up one's objectivity, and therefore damaging the data to be analyzed.

As I posted before: Intelligence is the ability to process information. Speed, is a Bi-product of accuracy!...........and at that, Good Night, (morning).

Regards,
GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 12 May 10 - 11:35 AM

Robot parrots? At least my hobbit stands a chance of existing.. Robot parrots cannot exist as I would determine the term "robot" to denote made by other beings, (humans normally as my dog hasn't got past the opposing thumbs dilemma yet, although he can lick his own balls, which puts him on a higher plane of existence than me in that respect.)

If you are made by others to carry out their function, ergo you don't exist. It is a bit like a company setting up a department, as opposed to contracting to another company.

All this of course has little to do with religion and its standing in law. Of course, it is a dilemma when you try to make a case or agree with a stance, knowing that touchy buggers will get all self righteous and upset that by not agreeing with their superstitions, you are aggressive towards them personally. In my case, not true. I don't begin to understand stamp collecting or Morris Dancing but so long as laws don't exist to make me put penny blacks in wallets or wear bells, I have an infinite live & let live attitude. I even allow a good friend to keep telling me what a great time you have Morris dancing, keeping you fit whilst drinking beer from a leather tankard. Heady stuff...

But if he told me there should be a law preventing me from taking the piss out of him, I draw a line. And that is the situation I have with religions. A bloke with a dog collar once told me I should be arrested for blasphemy. So I told him that if I was around 2,000 years ago and saw a bloke we could blame for the Spanish inquisition, Crusades etc., I would get my hammer and nails out and do the job myself.

Didn't go down too well. I am barred from his crummy church and he is not welcome in the pub until he apologises to the landlord for provoking and upsetting his regulars. So you see, religion and I don't even get the chance to to exist.

Anyway, ability to process information is just the start, you need to analyse and assess before you spout. In any case, metaphysical considerations make circular arguments, which makes me have to reboot the old brain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 12 May 10 - 12:01 PM

mousethief: "Lots of things exist that nobody has proven yet. If they didn't exist you couldn't prove them."

ummm... how about "Lots of things may exist that nobody has..."...etc.

And the 2nd part is a tautology that tends to suggest that 'because you haven't proved them yet, they probably exist'.
I am not being facetious...I have heard essentially this argument made.
It is SO easy to make a mis-step on the slippery slope of our own language and begin embedding assumptions of the sort.. 'if we have words for it, it kinda validates its existence'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 12 May 10 - 12:42 PM

"If something does not exist you can't prove it" does not mean "if it is unproven, it probably exists" Bill. No way, no how.

Any number of impossible things can be emvbedded into words before breakfast, and believed, too. It should be obvious, I would think, that belief and actuality are independent variables!! :D


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: frogprince
Date: 12 May 10 - 12:55 PM

Gfs, I believe I get, and can relate to, a lot of your last couple of posts. I know people whom I consider to be genuinely spiritual, although not at all religious. I know others who are markedly religious, but for whom the trappings do not appear to interfere that much with their genuine spiritual connection. I also know too many, with their religious definitions locked up so tight that they are entirely surrounded by the unrighteous "them", in whom I can't see a trace of actual spirituallity.

On the other hand, You seem to be setting yourself up as one who has a direct spiritual connection undistorted by religious or political indoctrination, so that you are able to arrive at "objective" spiritual truth. How can this be safely distinguished from someone who hears the voice of "God" in his head, possibly telling him to do things that any of the "robot parrots" around him would find appalling? Who "objectively" determines what is the "objective" truth?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 12 May 10 - 01:39 PM

Frogprince: "so that you are able to arrive at "objective" spiritual truth. How can this be safely distinguished from someone who hears the voice of "God" in his head, possibly telling him to do things that any of the "robot parrots" around him would find appalling? Who "objectively" determines what is the "objective" truth?"

In regards experiencing spiritual Truth, Gnostics call that sudden overwhelming awareness "Gnosis" - a Greek term describing *divine* Knowledge, distinguished from it's mundane brother term Episteme reffering to *intellectual* knowledge.

As for the supposed "gnosis" telling someone to do 'appalling' things, some speak of "unverified personal gnosis" - in contrast to personal 'verifiable' Gnosis which has strong features common to the gnosis of others. In other words you'd have to be around people of like mind, to contrast and compare your visions or individual mystical experiences. Mind you, that it itself opens a whole great can of worms...


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: beardedbruce
Date: 12 May 10 - 01:46 PM

Can, or Diet?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 May 10 - 02:18 PM

""On the other hand, You seem to be setting yourself up as one who has a direct spiritual connection undistorted by religious or political indoctrination, so that you are able to arrive at "objective" spiritual truth.""

Yep, GfS does indeed present a front of spirituality, devoid of religious influence, then spoils it entirely by quoting the bible, which, as I have pointed out, was written by religious leaders, NOT by God.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 12 May 10 - 04:28 PM

Amos.. no one said"If something does not exist you can't prove it" neither mousethief nor I.

The line I took issue with was "Lots of things exist that nobody has proven yet." That has a certain ring to it...at least it rings MY alarm bell. ;>)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 12 May 10 - 05:10 PM

Got ya Bill.

Well, the counter position is "everything that exists has been proven..." which is equally untenable.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 12 May 10 - 06:39 PM

Yes..untenable...but a straw man, and not the only possible counter position.

If I had time, I'd do 7-8 Venn diagrams of the alternatives...


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 12 May 10 - 07:32 PM

God does not have a "voice". Like any spiritual power, he transmits thought which brains turn onto concepts (stage 1 step-down) cultural representations of concepts (stage-two step-down) language (stage 3) and ones own vernacular (stage 4 step-down) AFTER filtering through one's personal capacitance filter to ensure only those patterns which one is already willing to think are allowed through.

With all that alteration, it is mighty presumptuous to assert you are hearing the voice of God, as Mister Presumption Bush himself did in respect to invading Iraq, I think for him the voice came through his hairdryer or somp'n.   



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Stringsinger
Date: 12 May 10 - 08:42 PM

Has anyone noticed how discussions of religion always turn into war?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 13 May 10 - 12:34 AM

Huh??...Look at how all the 'assumptions' you've made about what I posted turned into 'how I set myself up'..then Amos says " God does not have a voice',...then this, amazing insight from one who professes to be a Christian: "Yep, GfS does indeed present a front of spirituality, devoid of religious influence, then spoils it entirely by quoting the bible, which, as I have pointed out, was written by religious leaders, NOT by God."....and then this: "How can this be safely distinguished from someone who hears the voice of "God" in his head, possibly telling him to do things that any of the "robot parrots" around him would find appalling? Who "objectively" determines what is the "objective" truth?"

To answer the last question first, I'm sure Robots don't understand LIFE, and are presumably 'appalled' at it, being as being 'appalled', required emotions...which of course robots don't have.

I mean, shit guys, give me something to work with!

Mention God, and watch all the confused, make even less sense, and not even see THAT!

Anyway, I'm tired, I might check this out later.

G' Night..Slan,

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 13 May 10 - 12:37 AM

I fail to see any war; I only see reasoned and calm discussion.

ummm... how about "Lots of things may exist that nobody has..."...etc.

Nope. I'm certain there are things that exist that nobody has proven. Million of them. They have to exist before they can be proven. Proving them doesn't bring them into existence. If the moons of Jupiter didn't already exist, Galileo couldn't have proved they did. His proof didn't make the moons, the moons made his proof (so to speak).

Willie said, Neither can exist unless and until somebody proves otherwise.

Nope. They can exist without waiting for your puny proof. Not saying they do. That's a whole 'nother can o' worms™. But your proving or disproving them doesn't change their ontological status a foothair.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 13 May 10 - 12:36 PM

In a decision of this sort, it's important to look beyond the specific case to the broader implications and to the precedent set.   This ruling does not apply only to right-wing bigots. Many progressives cite religious beliefs to buttress their political arguments. Religious minorities in the UK make legal claims based upon faith. Will this ruling be applied universally to enforce the secularization of society? Or will it be used a bludgeon against particular groups? It's a troubling decision either way.

" . . . religious faith is necessarily subjective, being incommunicable by any kind of proof or evidence."

The same could be said for matters of conscience in general. Go back and read your Nietzsche. Are you certain you want to discard anything that cannot be empirically verified?

" . . . a position held purely on religious grounds cannot therefore be justified."

I don't know how one determines whether a position is "purely" religious, and I question whether such a distinction can even be made, but it doesn't take a scholar to see that this line of reasoning can be used against any position based upon religious faith. Well, there goes the 'Higher Law' argument made by abolitionists in the antebellum United States. So much for the arguments of Liberation Theology, and the opposition of some Christian groups to the Reagan administration's "low-intensity warfare" and support for right-wing dictators in Central America during the 1980s. And I'm afraid this ruling does undermine much of the basis for conscientious objectors, sophistic distinctions between 'religious views' and 'personal conscience' notwithstanding.

Finally, if matters that cannot be empirically verified have no valid legal standing, and if matters of religion and conscience are equally unverifiable, then what remains? It seems to me that this ruling – whether deliberately or not – essentially claims that law itself is the source of truth. You might want to ponder the implications of this philosophical position.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: frogprince
Date: 13 May 10 - 01:11 PM

"I'm sure Robots don't understand LIFE, and are presumably 'appalled' at it, being as being 'appalled', required emotions...which of course robots don't have."

That's quite an "answer" to the question. Allow me to exposit it:

If the truly spiritually connected person picks up the message that he should drown his children in the bathtub, hey, that's life; the "robot parrots" may be appalled, because they have nothing like real working minds with which to grasp the greater truths of life.

And no, I don't even begin to imagine that that is anything like what you meant; it's just that your statement was so incoherent that it could mean that, or almost anything else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 13 May 10 - 01:44 PM

If the truly spiritually connected person picks up the message that he should drown his children in the bathtub

From a false premise, all things become possible. "Truly spiritually connected" people (speaking in general) learn to discriminate (just as intelligent, non-spiritual people do) between messages that are coherent, relatively rational and which aid broad well-being, and those which emanate from the deep black wells of psychosis. Just because a voice is "spiritual" (a very loose term, here) does not mean it is sane, and knowing the difference is critical to "spiritual" survival (another somewhat oxymoronic proposition, but that's another thread). Ghosts tales and voodoo stories are full of examples of "spiritual" entities in the grips of insanity. One could argue, even, that it takes a certain measure of madness to become a ghost at all, obsessing about the past, revenge, incomplete discussions, and the like.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 13 May 10 - 01:55 PM

Gooser: "The same could be said for matters of conscience in general. Go back and read your Nietzsche. Are you certain you want to discard anything that cannot be empirically verified?"

Saw this quote carved on a rest stop wall in California: " God is dead
!-Nietzsche.............."Nietzsche is dead."- God

Amos: "God does not have a voice',...THEN: "Just because a voice is "spiritual" (a very loose term, here) does not mean it is sane, and knowing the difference is critical to "spiritual" survival (another somewhat oxymoronic proposition, but that's another thread). Ghosts tales and voodoo stories are full of examples of "spiritual" entities in the grips of insanity."

Neil Young: "Is it hard to make arrangements with yourself?..."

I think you might need to think this through, Amos..and figure out just what exactly you're trying to say. It sounds like,

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
I'm a schizophrenic,
And so am I!??

Winking,
GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 13 May 10 - 03:39 PM

Both statements are perfectly valid, GfS, once you understand them. It is clear to me that you do not, yet.

1. Spiritual "voices" may be rational or irrational just as human voices are.

2. There are so many vias, filters, alterations and translations between any pure spiritual intention and the form it takes in the average confused human mind that there is no reliability.

3. Spiritual impulses or thoughts are not "voices" but they can be translated into seeming like "voices" by step-down transformations, filters, dub-in and all kinds of other human twists.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 13 May 10 - 06:34 PM

Amos: "2. There are so many vias, filters, alterations and translations between any pure spiritual intention and the form it takes in the average confused human mind that there is no reliability."

Do you know this from 'experience'...or from something you heard some one say, or logic you came up with..or what?

Yes, I understood you the first time...but you weren't making sense, from your original statement, of "God has no voice'...now he does, from your second statement. I was just wondering if you were changing your thought on it, or modifying your argument?

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 14 May 10 - 07:41 AM

Mousethief reckons things can exist without us seeing them.

Depends.

I have every faith in the fact Tokyo exists yet I haven't ever seen it. So does it? After all, there is more documentary assertions that God exists than there is Tokyo, yet I know Tokyo does and I know God is a human abstraction designed to fill in the gaps of knowledge and useful as a tool of subjugation.

If things can exist without us experiencing them, then god is as tangible as Tokyo. If you have experienced either, you are either well travelled or schizophrenic.

Just out of interest, this thread ventured into quantum mechanics earlier. Heisenberg shows that nothing at all exists unless and until it affects us. Interesting, as that means when I can't buy a washer for a leaking tap on a Sunday, it is proof that god exists after all...

Oh shit...

Nice God, get down boy. there, there, who's a frisky little god then eh? Do you want to go walkies???


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 14 May 10 - 09:07 AM

Before we venture too far down the existentialist, epistomological, ontological or experientialist arguments as to whether god exists or not, can I just reiterate that, as far as British law is concerned, he/she/it doesn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Ron Davies
Date: 14 May 10 - 09:45 AM

"...as far as British law is concerned...."

Fine.   It's interesting that Goose Gander's excellent points have not been addressed by any atheist.

If God has no standing in British law, how about conscience?   Also no standing?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 14 May 10 - 10:13 AM

Better ask a lawyer about that. Richard?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 14 May 10 - 10:54 AM

But but but...

I just proved that God DOES exist. Worse, I don't believe in all that nonsense....

So if he / she / it does exist, (and the local B&Q shutting at 4.00pm on Sunday proves it,) then it is either inside or outside of the law. Leveller asserts it does not have standing in UK law.

So, in that case, it is an outlaw concept.

Ok, put bars on the church windows and lock the ruddy doors whilst they are clapping and hugging each other. Might be able to enjoy my Sunday mornings without them knocking on my door smiling too much.

On a serious note, conscience does have a standing in law; it is called judgement. the guys with the silly wigs, once they have finished playing top trumps with points of law have to use conscience to interpret the spirit (now there's a word...) of the law when the word of the law isn't enough. Sentencing is society's instruction to a judge to use his or her conscience, (coupled with political tariff nonsense.)

(If I changed all my taps for quarter turn ones that don't need washers, would God stop existing? Just a thought.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 14 May 10 - 11:11 AM

"I just proved that God DOES exist. "

If you were staying in a Greek holiday resort you'd have a much harder job proving that plumbing exists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 14 May 10 - 11:34 AM

(And to add an answer to GfS's question, my assertions about spiritual matters is entirely my personal opinion.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 14 May 10 - 12:13 PM

" . . . religious faith is necessarily subjective, being incommunicable by any kind of proof or evidence."
The same could be said for matters of conscience in general."

Not at all. As far as memory serves, contemporary moral philosophers will usually use non-religious reasoning in their arguments.

"Conscience" IMO is pretty much founded on a biological mammalian instinct to care for and support the group (including 'self sacrifice'), the finer details of which tend to be something we learn in order to integrate successfully with our society, however it happens to have developed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 14 May 10 - 05:49 PM

If God doesn't exist in Britain, why do they have an established church?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 14 May 10 - 05:54 PM

You might as well ask "if fairies don't exist, why are there fairy stories?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mauvepink
Date: 14 May 10 - 06:00 PM

We have chocolate. Of course there's a God!

What other proof do you all need?

;-)

On a more serious note it all comes down to faith in the end. Faith cannot be seen or measured as such but we know it when we come across it. Does not loving each other call for faith of sorts? What is trust?

So many things we cannot see and yet we accept them every day. For those who have a God so be it. Until it is proved otherwise, one way or the other, I'll keep an open mind I suppose

mp


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 14 May 10 - 06:05 PM

You might as well ask "if fairies don't exist, why are there fairy stories?"

No, it's more like, if I don't believe fairies exist, why do I keep writing them a cheque every week?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 14 May 10 - 06:07 PM

There's a very fine line between an "open mind" and gullibility. It takes constant work to discern where one is treading.... more work than many are willing to do. Still, a genuine open mind is a wonderful thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 14 May 10 - 06:13 PM

Does not loving each other call for faith of sorts? What is trust?

Two very different questions. For the former, no love doesn't necessarily imply 'faith' (it doesn't for me) - it's an attachment based on strong human empathy, attraction and compatability - and even emotional dependency at times. I have NO "faith" in love - but nevertheless it seems to endure..

What is trust? Umm, a basic need if you're tiny, so it comes as a default setting in response to certain pre-programmed key triggers. Otherwise, we trust what we learn to know doesn't kill us. Basic empirical pragmatism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 14 May 10 - 06:21 PM

I aught to add that us Gnostics are not too into 'faith', experience is everything.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 14 May 10 - 06:52 PM

The word 'faith' can have several interpretations under different circumstances.
It can simply mean 'trust'...which in matters of love can be just a 'hunch' or even a set of feelings and indications that some sort of reciprocal caring can be discerned.

But **faith**, as a matter of accepting claims or ideas or entities for which no direct evidence can be easily found, is on another level....which is why the language has words like 'belief' to say certain things.

Defending having faith by giving examples of one sort, when the issue is about another, leads to slippery arguments.

Similarly, 'conviction' and 'certitude' get tossed into discussions, often with careless references as to exactly what is meant.

It can be REALLY hard to find the right words to state precisely what you want to say about some things...and many upsetting arguments are a result of people mistaking what the other is saying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 14 May 10 - 07:03 PM

By the way... there is a specific term for misusing words in the manner I noted.

"Equivocation is classified as both a formal and informal fallacy. It is the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time)."


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 14 May 10 - 08:36 PM

"Not at all. As far as memory serves, contemporary moral philosophers will usually use non-religious reasoning in their arguments."

That has nothing to do with my argument. Anyone - even a 'contemporary moral philosopher' - can construct an internally consistent argument. Just as theologians can and do construct arguments that are logically sound and consistent, as long as one accepts the underlying premises. But neither can be verified empirically.

I do believe there is a biological basis to conscience, compassion, empathy, etc. There are biological bases and evolutionary advantages to aggressive behavior as well. There may well be an evolutionary advantage to religious faith, for that matter. But specific points of religious faith and matters of conscience remain empirically unverifiable.

So where does truth reside?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Ron Davies
Date: 14 May 10 - 11:24 PM

I notice no lawyer has come on to tell us if conscience has any standing in law. Interesting question, because what some people call God is called conscience by some others--as has been pointed out earlier.

So it's definitely a question we need a clear answer to--( naively assuming that there is such a thing as a clear answer in law)--British law being the one at issue, though the question should also be raised re: US law.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 15 May 10 - 12:08 AM

Religious faith and moral conscience are equally subjective, and in practice there is often no clear distinction between the two. A Quaker may oppose military service based upon feelings of conscience, which in turn are grounded in religious belief. Someone may turn to Buddhism, as friends of mine have, based upon feelings of compassion toward other living things. Speaking for myself, I believe members of civilized societies are obligated to protect the weak and suffering. I developed this belief while under the influence of Maryknoll sisters who taught me at school. Though my religious beliefs have faded - I am a collapsed Catholic, if anyone's wondering - I retain my core moral beliefs. But it is not possible for me to objectively prove that my social views are correct. Someone might argue that caring for the weak only prolongs suffering and prevents the down and out from bettering themselves. The whole 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps' argument. While I might with time, persistence and a little luck convince such a person that my views are superior and healthier for society and individuals, I cannot empirically prove my beliefs, at least not to the satisfaction of my intellectual opponents.

And that's just about what I have to say about matters of conscience and faith. If someone would like to respond to the wider argument I outlined in my initial post regarding the legal decision in question, I'll be following this thread and would be happy to engage in further discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 15 May 10 - 07:01 AM

Do let me assure I was not trying to be slippery nor knowingly invoking quivocation with my questions below. What I was trying to point to is that there are things we all believe in with little proof of their existence but we still 'know' they are there, or think we do. The two things were meant to be two very different examples of such things. There are others.

Initial love is a chemical cocktail mix that flows around us giving us certain feelings. The longer lasting, steadfast type love takes a little more understanding and, whilst I accept it may not be an act of faith for many, in nonetheless shows a faith in someone.

Trust is harder to pin down. We know what it is and we know what it is not to have it. We know what mistrust does and feels like. Yet trust is a concept of some sort that cannot be demonstrated. That was all I was trying to point out.

In religion maybe love and faith should go hand in hand. Certainly in counselling you need trust. As in most relationships, trust is paramount. It will never work for you if you have no trust in the person counselling you nor if they do not trust you because you go against their core belief system.

Anyway, maybe my commets muddled thing ups a bit. If they did I apologise. They certainly were not meant to. I should have left it with my comments at the start of the thread

mp


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 15 May 10 - 07:40 AM

Sorry, I didn't read ALL the posts. The first 30 or so seemed to uniformly agree that the fired person was the wrong person for the job, but many people worried about the judge's reasoning.

First: the thing we should be MOST worried about is that it's so difficult for an employer to fire individuals who turn out to be unsuitable for a job. That affects us all, every day. (And no, I don't want everyone to live in fear of a tiff with their boss, but clear and admitted evidence of non-performance...)

Second: the implications of one legal judgment don't necessarily carry over to the cases we see as logically similar. For example, while some people might see here a clear statement that a conscientious objector could no longer avoid being drafted into combat, it's unlikely that the judge in this case saw ANY similarity, or was trying to reverse older decisions of other courts relating to CO status.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 15 May 10 - 10:05 AM

Thought it would happen..

The word "faith" has quietly slipped in.

Oh dear.

Look, faith and religion are not necessarily exclusive terms but they can be. I have faith in Sheffield Wednesday. They lose, I say next time we will win. They get relegated, I say we will bounce straight back. They win, I accept this is their divine right.

Now... I know they are a board on behalf of shareholders just like any other club, there is no mystic metaphysical aspect to them. Just a ground with 42,000 seats, turf in the middle and a large echoey trophy room.

You see, I don't think there should be laws that everybody supports Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United supporters need to be removed from society. I can't understand why not everybody supports Sheffield Wednesday but at a push, I can just accept that the law of the land is not the place to ensure allegiance. The game after the one we just lost should be enough.

So, if I don't need laws to protect my right to faith, why should people need the law to protect what they have faith in?

There is no difference between having faith in your football team and having faith with a god concept. Each can give moments of euphoria and long periods of testing your faith when they move in mysterious ways. (Not playing wide enough, Johnson not getting enough possession, not making the rains come today, not turning disbelievers into a pillar of salt.)

Oh, and to those still harping on about it. Law IS conscience. Pillock..


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Leadfingers
Date: 15 May 10 - 10:16 AM

200


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 May 10 - 11:06 AM

Steamin' Willie: "Thought it would happen..
The word "faith" has quietly slipped in.
Oh dear."

When people's 'faith' in the almighty dollar fails, you might just look to 'faith'...in something!..certainly not into your 'hipness'!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Ron Davies
Date: 15 May 10 - 11:34 AM

"Law is conscience."   Drivel.   As any lawyer will tell you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 May 10 - 11:39 AM

Love is the law....Don't break it, keep it!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 15 May 10 - 12:17 PM

Is that a slogan or just an aphorism?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 15 May 10 - 12:28 PM

I think you're missing the point, Goose Gander, we're talking about legal obligations here. We have no conscription in the UK, so no-one is obliged to serve in the armed forces or go to war. It would require an Act of Parliament to bring in such conscription and this act would probably provide for conscientious objectors - as in WW2. People have the right to believe what they like. What they do not have the right to do is infringe the rights of others by their actions - rights that are protected in law.I may have religious beliefs that require me to perform human sacrifices - are you saying that this would be OK?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 15 May 10 - 02:54 PM

I think you are missing the point, the wider point contained in the judge's logic. If the fool in question had refused to do his job, the job for which he was hired, that should have been reason enough for dismissal. But Laws went much further than that. The logic of his decision undermines the basis for any religious or - as I understand it - moral objection to the "legal obligations" that concern you so much.

"We have no conscription in the UK, so no-one is obliged to serve in the armed forces or go to war. It would require an Act of Parliament to bring in such conscription and this act would probably provide for conscientious objectors"

What would be the basis for conscientious objectors? Any reason put forward for refusal to serve would necessarily be subjective.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 15 May 10 - 04:18 PM

"The logic of his decision undermines the basis for any religious or - as I understand it - moral objection to the "legal obligations" that concern you so much."

Why? Are you saying that religious beliefs, which are subjective and cannot be substantiated, should override the law? Pretty much an argument for anarchy. As Hume said, "freedom of thought does not mean freedom of action" (or words to that effect).

"What would be the basis for conscientious objectors?"

Well, as no such law exists, that's pure conjecture.Let me state, once again, that where a person's belief leads to actions that infringe the right of others, they are unacceptable, but where they do not infringe the rights of others (such as refusal to kill another person no matter what the situation) then the law protects that right. You still haven't answered my last question in my previous post - if you're not missing the point you are certainly evading it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 May 10 - 04:41 PM

As I have stated, it's the old leap of faith thing;---deja vu all over again. Applying all that I have learned and thought in this life, I cannot make the jump. This is why I think that religion, faith, all of it, all the dogmas, are nothing more than wishful thinking; designed, mostly, to strive to circumvent the fact that death is the one real ending a person can intellectually expect.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 May 10 - 05:55 PM

Bill D: "Is that a slogan or just an aphorism?"

The word 'religion' means, 'way of life'.

Slogan?? aphorism??

What is music?..another vehicle to get people to 'notice' you??..as if one deserves to be noticed for doing nothing but boring shit?

I guess, it's how much you 'believe' in what you are doing. From what I've seen, many of these so-called 'liberals', are not 'accomplishers' of anything much of value, but hide behind what they think is 'hip' to hide their self inadequacies!

To answer your question, Love is the reason, the motivator, and the objective of much anything worth accomplishing.

If you write a piece of music, is the objective to make people yawn? or feel nothing?....and what you want them to feel, is it anything more than just horny??(if they needed any help?) Is it to make them feel more greedy? More selfish? Inspired to become a serial murderer?

No,...it just a slogan...(rolls eyes).

Wink,

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 15 May 10 - 06:16 PM

Regarding human sacrifice, don't be silly. There are perfectly good reasons why human sacrifice is not allowed by law. It is not necessary to assert that religion has no standing under the law to construct a legal prohibition against the practice. In the United States, religion does have standing under the law. The 1st amendment forbids both an establishment of religion and laws preventing the free exercise of religion. And yet human sacrifice is not legal in the United States. Go figure.

It is the principle in Laws' decision that is dangerous, not the specific case. You apparently believe this is a progressive decision that will protect the rights of the weak. Well, if so, your faith is touching. Do you realize it would be very easy to apply the logic of this decision AGAINST religious minorities? Against ANY who object to a law based upon matters of conscience?

"Well, as no such law exists, that's pure conjecture." No, it isn't. It follows logically from Laws' decision. Just because there's no conscription law at present doesn't mean there never will be.

The more I think about this case, the more convinced I am it stinks all around. This is simply a matter of someone refusing to do their job. Let's try a thought experiment: suppose the man in question was not a Christian but a Muslim. Suppose he got a job at a fast food restaurant and refused to make a bacon cheeseburger, based upon his religious beliefs, and for this he was fired (substitute any scenario you like: a Hindu on a cattle ranch; a Buddhist in a butcher shop; etc.). Suppose he "took his case to an industrial tribune" and invoked his religious beliefs. The judge would only need to remind him that this is not a matter of religion, but of meeting the terms of his employment. Complaint dismissed, case closed. Laws used a cannon when he should have used a flyswatter.

And, finally, let's be clear: Gary McFarlane certainly inconvenienced the couple and likely offended them, but he did not "infringe upon their rights." He did not prevent them from receiving therapy from another counselor. He did not physically attack them, or vandalize their property. He did not offer them up as human sacrifices to his god. He refused to do his job, and for this he was fired. The employer's decision was correct, Laws' decision was wrong. Wrong, and dangerous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 16 May 10 - 12:28 AM

Back to the first amendment, two important points regarding religion - no established religion, and no laws preventing the free exercise of religion. The second premise flows from the first. Based upon this, religious beliefs have standing under US law. Of course there are limitations upon freedom of religion, just as there are limitations upon any freedom. You can't commit human sacrifice. Polygamy is still illegal as well. It's one thing to accept that there are limitations upon freedom of religion, and quite another to say that religious beliefs have no standing in law because they are subjective. The first is pragmatic, and reflects moderation and accommodation within a pluralistic society; the second not only fails to guarantee freedom of religion, it actually undermines the basis for the free exercise of religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 16 May 10 - 12:35 AM

Yes, I am pointing out that American law on this subject is superior to British law and custom. You and your hoary, old established church. Bah!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 May 10 - 01:56 AM

If God doesn't exist in Britain, why do they have an established church?

We don't.

England and Wales do, but not Scotland.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 16 May 10 - 05:21 AM

Some pillock snorted at my comment about law being conscience, saying "ask any solicitor."

That's a bit like saying there is a God, ask any priest.

Solicitors would have you believe law is more than conscience. Ok, I will meet them half way. it is applied conscience.

Oh, something which Goose Gander may find interesting; Unlike The USA, we don't have a written constitution, so to say we have an established church here in Blighty is missing the point somewhat. We have a tradition of an established church and whilst it doesn't piss us off too much we put up with blokes in absurd hats rattling on about aspects of society they have no comprehension of.

But there is nothing in law or constitution other than we put up with Monarchy, and Monarchy holds the title of head of the establishment church. that makes the church of England by royal appointment, just like HP Sauce and Andrex Toilet paper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Ron Davies
Date: 16 May 10 - 10:47 AM

"Some pillock..."

Temper, temper, little man.    Not getting enough sleep these days?

I note with interest that no one--particularly no lawyer-- has addressed the actual issue raised by GooseGander and me---that what is called God by some is called conscience by others.

So if God has no standing in law, all you have to do is call your reason for not obeying a law conscience, not God, and you'll be fine.

Unless of course conscience also has no standing in British or US law--and in that case conscientious objectors all lose their cases.

Those who so smugly applaud the official banning of God from the law are not considering the logical consequences of this--too broad--decision.   As GooseGander has pointed out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Ron Davies
Date: 16 May 10 - 10:56 AM

And my understanding is that there have in fact been conscientious objectors in UK history.

There could be again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 16 May 10 - 11:48 AM

Aye, and (wrongly) conchies were convicted of breaking the law.

Conscience and morals are perhaps built into us, in the same way that pack animals look out for each other. Religion however is a man made abstract designed for plenty of reasons, but trying to explain what you don't yet understand and having power over others are two of the main reasons we have to put up with religion.

It is not a matter of being smug, (temper temper little pillock) more a matter of differentiating between conscience and religion. As I see it, one is weighing up the circumstances and coming to your own conclusion whereas the other is having somebody make your decision for you. Whatever floats your boat, but the law seems to have come down on the case for the former, not the latter. And that makes me just a little bit happier.

However, whilst it makes me happy, it doesn't make me smile more than is strictly necessary, and doesn't make me knock on peoples' doors asking if they would like to be told what to do.

God is not conscience. God may be what some people use as a proxy for conscience, but I can't help it if they are either tooo shallow or too thick to use their own judgement. Some people can't you know, and that is why the situation with priests buggering children is so tragic. Many people look up to religious leaders for their moral compass and prod towards conscience. Look where it gets them... No wonder the law is increasingly seeing religion as irrelevant.

After all, what is the difference between wanting a court to respect Christian values and people wanting sharia law to be used? Answer - none. If Christians want to be tried using the bible as a guide and Muslims want sharia law to apply to them, we would have a multi tier system for justice and that doesn't seem satisfactory on any level.

Therefore secular law is not anti religion, more recognising the irrelevance of it, and especially to the millions of rational people who don't have any belief whatsoever.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 16 May 10 - 06:07 PM

knock on peoples' doors asking if they would like to be told what to do.

From an anti-religious screed of a post, this turn of phrase made me smile.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 16 May 10 - 09:07 PM

"From what I've seen, many of these so-called 'liberals', are not 'accomplishers' of anything much of value"

So...you have a list of who HAS accomplished something of value, along with their political affiliations? Maybe the Noble prize winners?

*shrug*...ok, a slogan. I don't necessarily agree that 'love' is that historically relevant as a driving force, though it is a very nice sentiment.
Greed & power and sex have motivated more folks than love, I'd guess...but I don't have any learned studies about it to quote.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 16 May 10 - 09:46 PM

"Conscience and morals are perhaps built into us, in the same way that pack animals look out for each other."

So is aggression. There are evolutionary advantages to both cooperation and competition, as there are to both compassion and aggression. To a certain degree, the capacity for religious belief may be built into us as well.

"Religion however is a man made abstract"

All moral codes are "man made abstract" in their specific details. Religious beliefs are simply moral codes with an overlay of the supernatural.

There is no definable distinction between between religious beliefs and moral conscience, and in practice they often blur together. Look into to the beliefs of Quakers and Buddhists if you need examples.

All moral codes and religious beliefs are subjective in this way. I believe it is right for society to look after the weak, but I can't offer objective proof for my beliefs. My beliefs developed out of my religious training, but while my faith has faded my beliefs remain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 16 May 10 - 11:07 PM

We have free will, despite all the baggage of our upbringing, education, etc. One may choose to be compassionate and helpful, and cite religious reasons for doing so; one may be cruel and cite religious justification. One may be compassionate and helpful and cite secular philosophy to explain his or her actions; one may be cruel and justify one's actions as naturalistic, darwinistic in nature. Either way, one's beliefs are subjective. We can't know either way, so we choose based upon who we are and who we would like to be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 16 May 10 - 11:24 PM

"We have free will, despite all the baggage of our upbringing, education, etc"

But that is one of the most disputed of the Philosophic conundrums. It is 'almost' unresolvable. (My partially done master's thesis was to have been on how it 'might' have been resolved.)

What is clear is that it 'feels' like we have free will, whether or not all these new DNA & chemical studies show that we are programmed in many ways. The criminal statutes are based on the idea the we have it....


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 17 May 10 - 03:19 AM

What's the alternative, Bill? If we don't, then there is no freedom or dignity. The now-fashionable sociobiology reads (to me, anyway) like a bad sci-fi retread of miserable Calvinism.

Either way, it's still a man-made projection upon the universe. Freud used to be considered science. So was Marx, for fuck's sake.

But you're welcome to take that Soma holiday anytime you want. Don't bother to send me any postcards, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 17 May 10 - 03:24 AM

"Regarding human sacrifice, don't be silly."

I agree it's silly. But it's your argument that I'm taking to its logical conclusion.


It is the principle in Laws' decision that is dangerous, not the specific case. You apparently believe this is a progressive decision that will protect the rights of the weak. Well, if so, your faith is touching. Do you realize it would be very easy to apply the logic of this decision AGAINST religious minorities? Against ANY who object to a law based upon matters of conscience?

""Well, as no such law exists, that's pure conjecture." No, it isn't. It follows logically from Laws' decision. "

No it doesn't. In the UK the laws are made by Parliament and the legislature applies them. You can't apply the judge's decision in one case to a law that doesn't exist - unless you're claiming to be able to see into the future. Is that so? In which case, can you give me the exact wording a this future conscription legislation - oh and how about the winning numbers for next week's lottery?

"And, finally, let's be clear: Gary McFarlane certainly inconvenienced the couple and likely offended them, but he did not "infringe upon their rights.""

Wrong again. He infringed the right of his employer to expect an employee to meet his/her contractual commitments, and he infringed the right of the couple not to be discriminated against on the grounds of their sexual orientation. Pretty fundamental stuff - at least it is in UK law.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 17 May 10 - 03:53 AM

"But it's your argument that I'm taking to its logical conclusion."

No it isn't, because my argument was not for absolute freedom of religion. That should be clear enough if you've read my posts.

"You can't apply the judge's decision in one case to a law that doesn't exist - unless you're claiming to be able to see into the future."

The principle involved in Laws' decision is dangerous. Whether it will be applied to future cases remains to be seen. I don't know if it will, and neither do you, but it is a dangerous precedent and a wholly unnecessary one. McFarlane had no standing to sue, and the specifics of his case really had nothing to do with religion. He refused to do his job, and for this he was fired. That should have been the end of the story.

The couple in question had no right to counseling from McFarlane over any other (more qualified) counselor, any more than I have the 'right' to purchase a bacon cheeseburger from any specific individual at at restaurant. If an employee of a restaurant that has bacon cheesburgers on the menu refuses to sell me one based upon his religious beliefs, his employer has the right to fire that employee. McFarlane's employer had the right to fire him. End of story.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 17 May 10 - 06:33 AM

I'm getting confused now.

I find myself agreeing with those who I disagreed with earlier..

1. have I misread either now or earlier?

2. Have some people changed their opinion based on debate?

3. Have I found religion and started blinkering myself from reality?

Ok, get a coffee and think this one over.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 17 May 10 - 10:58 AM

I would like to return to the language of Laws' decision, and that of Leveller's opening post. If the passages cited by Leveller and reported in several articles I've read on this case accurately reflect Laws' decision, then this was not so much a decision involving discrimination but rather a decision on the place of religious beliefs in law. Laws ruled that religious beliefs have no standing in law because religious beliefs are subjective. While neither Leveller nor I can know how this precedent will applied in future cases, Leveller clearly believes that it will be applied because he wrote in his opening post, "this is an excellent judgment, as to permit any antisocial actions, be they homophobic, racist, anti-feminist or whatever, on the grounds of religious belief would be the thin end of the wedge that would allow any bigot to defend the most loathsome of opinions by claiming that they were his/her religious views." I have tried to point out that Laws' decision, if it does apply to future cases, will not only apply to cases of the types listed by Leveller, but potentially to any case involving religious beliefs and, by extension, matters of conscience.

Leveller's argument is under-girded by an apparent belief that religion is by nature destructive and regressive. This is certainly true in many cases, and in other cases the exact opposite prevails. Agents of his own government murdered Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador as he celebrated mass because he spoke out against the oppression of the poor in his country by the government. Leveller reminded us in his opening post that "the bastion of South African apartheid for many years was the Dutch Reformed Church," but failed to recall that Bishop Desmond Tutu led the opposition to apartheid in South Africa.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 17 May 10 - 11:25 AM

""The couple in question had no right to counseling from McFarlane over any other (more qualified) counselor,""

While this would be true, had the couple insisted on being counselled by this particular man, as I understand it, such was not the case.

Apparently their sexual orientation became clear during counselling, after which McFarlane refused to continue.

That is prima facie discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.

Secondly, the decision of the judge was based on the fact that he tried to offer his religious beliefs as a defence.

This is highly unlikely to make any serious change in future decisions, being a single decision in a particular set of circumstances, rather than a general legal precedent.

To me the whole damn thing is a storm in a teacup, which will be forgotten in the real world long before folks on here will stop arguing about it.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 17 May 10 - 11:31 AM

"What's the alternative, Bill? If we don't, then there is no freedom or dignity. "

Yes...but then perhaps freedom & dignity are just artificial constructs also. It's a fine point, but what is ultimately the basis of experience 'could' be just complex causality. We just can't act that way.

"There was a faith-healer of Deal,
Who said, "Although pain isn't real,
When I sit on a pin.
And it punctures my skin,
I dislike what I fancy I feel."
---------------------------------------------------------------
But to also comment on the 'point of Law'..
...It is not necessary to assign ratings to religious beliefs in order to argue that they should not have independent standing in law. Because they are subjective and variable, they are subject to many interpretations and formats, and a single set of laws needs to be applicable to everyone. The law should take account of a person's motivations, but not be bound by them....else the oft-heard "God told me to do it" would become VERY popular.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 17 May 10 - 12:03 PM

There is no definable distinction between between religious beliefs and moral conscience, and in practice they often blur together. Look into to the beliefs of Quakers and Buddhists if you need examples.


I think this is sloppy thought, with all due respect. Moral conscience can be articulated perfectly well without any religious referent whatsoever, and using religious rationalization to frame it is actually (I believe) a copout and a failure to won one's personal ethical sense. The definable distinction you say does not exist is simple and readily available to anyone who wants his moral perception uncompromised by artificial constructs; for example, it could be structured by examining the relative "good" in consequences of any action in terms of bringing about future existence along various channels of creative work (such as families, other organizations, various forms of life, etc.)

It is also (IMHO) perfectly possible to construct a highly complete set of spiritual values without troubling oneself about theology (and Buddhism is a good example, in its original form).

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 17 May 10 - 02:09 PM

"The definable distinction you say does not exist is simple and readily available to anyone who wants his moral perception uncompromised by artificial constructs; for example, it could be structured by examining the relative "good" in consequences of any action in terms of bringing about future existence along various channels of creative work (such as families, other organizations, various forms of life, etc.).

Good itself is a subjective term. Different people will have differing ideas about what is "good" regarding "families, other organizations, various forms of life". Moral perception itself is an artificial construct in the literal sense that it is constructed by humans, in social environments and as individuals. Let's face it, religion and moral perception are both human inventions. And both are subjective.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 17 May 10 - 02:13 PM

I did not say good was not subjective. I said it has no necessary coupling with what usually passes for religious ideation.

There is an infinite space for subjectivity to play out without invoking any religious idols of any sort.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 17 May 10 - 02:18 PM

One last question, then I'll take my marbles and go home: Was Bishop Desmond Tutu 'coping out' when he invoked the Gospel in opposition to apartheid?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 17 May 10 - 02:35 PM

Tutu was, after all, a bishop...he used what HE had, and knew who he was speaking to. *I* would argue that the moral principles he invoked were a logical subset of more general principles...such as Kant's Categorical Imperative. But since he knew that the idea "God says it's wrong" has more force with some than invoking a complex idea from Kant, he played the cards that he held.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 17 May 10 - 02:42 PM

"Was Bishop Desmond Tutu 'coping out' when he invoked the Gospel in opposition to apartheid?"

As a man of religion, Tutu was simply doing his job.

But I'd say anyone who believes an argument against apartheid actually *requires* invoking the Christian gospel, is indeed as Amos say's 'copping out' of making an otherwise well reasoned argument.

An argument against an inhumanitarian practice, shouldn't require any superhuman basis.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 17 May 10 - 02:58 PM

His copout, in the sense I used the word, was long prior to the invocation of religion as the grounds for a moral stand against apartheid. Bill has summarized the matter most cogently. He was already a bishop in a Christian Church organization, so he had long since subordinated his personal moral clarity to the dance of the icons.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 17 May 10 - 06:54 PM

Then a final postscript to my last question - let's consider the case of Archbishop Romero of El Salvador, murdered because he spoke out against the oppression of the poor of his country. Was he a sell-out? Because it seems to me he could have saved his life by keeping his mouth shut, but that would have been, well, a sell-out.

See you all at the next get together.

Regards.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 17 May 10 - 07:03 PM

Sell out, cop out, whatever.

Bye, kids.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 17 May 10 - 07:52 PM

You're shifting the context here, GG--implying that the Bishops' moral fiber was due to their involvement with the Christian churches they belonged to, rather than in spite of it.

No-one is implying in any degree that these stands were less than moral. To the degree that they were projected on spiritual artifacts of problematic existence, yes.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 17 May 10 - 07:58 PM

he had long since subordinated his personal moral clarity to the dance of the icons.

Oh, brother.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Ron Davies
Date: 17 May 10 - 08:59 PM

Oh. c'mon, Amos et al.   Your convictions are clouding your judgment. "in spite of..."?

Religion has been the bulwark of many progressives for a long time--if you don't like Tutu, try Martin Luther King--and virtually all the abolitionists in the 19th century.   Sure it was also used by slavery defenders.   But only somebody with a bad case of tunnel vision will see only the conservative side of religion.

And if we are to believe that we are hard-wired for compassion--like other animals, it's been said-- then there is at least as much evidence that we are hard-wired for religion.

Name one major civilization that had no religion.

In fact, even when we try to get away from religion, we often wind up with a God-substitute.   Hasn't worked out very well:   Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 18 May 10 - 01:49 AM

"But only somebody with a bad case of tunnel vision will see only the conservative side of religion."

Ron I can't recall seeing arguments against the conservative side of religion on this thread (they may be there, but I've not kept up with this thread). I think the point is, that as hopefully an evolved society, we aught not need to call upon the supposed 'word' of any supernatural agency, in order to defend an ethical standpoint which plays out in this material world right here, among our fellow human beings.

I'd agree with you that there is an historical precedent for very good compassionate and humanitarian work being done by the Christian faithful in particular in the West, but that precedent IMO is equally balanced by the evil done in the name of religion.

When we stop invoking the word of any supposed God to support our actions and start relying on our own reasoning and moral compass, we cease abdicating personal responsibility for our choices and accept personal responsibility for both our reasoning behind those actions, and their consequences - be they helpful or harmful to our fellow man.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 18 May 10 - 02:01 AM

Take my two atheist vegan friends for example. There is nothing in the Christian gospel that demands we do not kill other creatures to consume. But my atheist friends came to their own ethical conclusions from (very broadly) Utilitarian reasoning: I do not need meat to survive and be healthy, so eating meat is merely a pleasure to me. Animals suffer in meat production and slaughter, so I choose to relinquish the pleasure of meat in order to prevent contributing to the unnecessary suffering of creatures weaker than I in this world.

Subjective yes, but perfectly logical and acknowledging direct responsibility for personal choices and their consequences.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: theleveller
Date: 18 May 10 - 03:29 AM

"Leveller's argument is under-girded by an apparent belief that religion is by nature destructive and regressive."

Wrong again! Your arguments really are built on sand, aren't they?

"Leveller reminded us in his opening post that "the bastion of South African apartheid for many years was the Dutch Reformed Church," but failed to recall that Bishop Desmond Tutu led the opposition to apartheid in South Africa."

Eh? Tutu was not a member of the Dutch Reformed Church. You're getting a bit tied up in knots here, Goose. I suggest you find out a bit more about S African politics before you try to use that as an argument against mine - I was there and I was involved.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 18 May 10 - 03:41 AM

In another thread, I have my disagreements with Ron Davies, but in this matter, he is correct in his post to Amos. The very concept of our Bill of Rights, and Constitution, is predicated on "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you" and to not have your wills intrude on other's rights...whether you like it or not!..and NO amount of spin, will re-write that FACT...as much as you might have to grind your teeth, to wrap your little political minds around that! That being said, there is no 'conservative side', nor 'liberal side' to God...maybe religion..but not to God...and those two things are light years apart from each other! Defining God into political sides is like trying to stuff the whole of existence, into a 30 second commercial. Politics are just too small...but then, little things amuse little minds!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 18 May 10 - 04:05 AM

"That being said, there is no 'conservative side', nor 'liberal side' to God...maybe religion..but not to God...and those two things are light years apart from each other!"

Which one? Some Gods (like the old testament one for example) are not exactly 'liberal' in their dealings with mankind. Others (like Buddha for example) are highly compassionate and 'liberal' by nature. As far as making a unilateral objective and generalised statement about the nature of 'God', I'm afraid you're not the first to be so presumptuous - lots of prophets and religions got there a long time before you. You need to get in line I'm afraid.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 18 May 10 - 04:15 AM

Right! Back onto familiar territory.

Desmond Tutu, Martin Luther King and many other good and great people who believe in God. All invoked their belief to bolster their humanitarian message.

Well, if I believed in God, it would not be much of a mental effort to believe that God gave me my moral compass. I don't believe in fairy stories yet I try to be one of the good guys, lame dogs helped over stiles, that sort of thing. If I were superstitious, I might believe my volunteering / community work etc was somehow interweaved with my belief. Perhaps pack animals can't help looking out for the pack after all.

I can't help wondering if some people here are trying to say that if these great people weren't religious they would not have felt as strongly about social justice. I would concede they (especially Tutu) wouldn't have found themselves in a position to influence. After all, many political leaders are either superstitious or like to give the impression they are, so a religious leader questioning them can be useful in putting pressure to bear. Hoist by their own petard as it were.

I just get a bit hot under the collar when people seem to think that if it wasn't for religious superstition, we would all act like anarchic savages with no moral code whatsoever. They seem to think religion should interfere in the lives of normal people, and then call us trolls when we politely ask them to bugger off.

And that it what this thread is about, or I'm being thick again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 18 May 10 - 04:26 AM

I remember a passage from one of the "Doctor" books of the fifties, where the director of surgery, a pillar of the local church, was checking out a young houseman, for potential to be a surgeon.

From memory, the coversation went:-

DOS   "Supposing you were operating and you suddenly found you had produced a serious bleed, what would you do?"

HOUSEMAN "I would have suction applied to clear the field, then repair the bleed"

DOS   "Vey well, but what if the bleed were unstoppable?"

HOUSEMAN (mindful of the DOS's religious leanings) "I would pray to the almighty for guidance Sir."

DOS "Do you not think, Doctor, that it might be in the patient's best interests to call in a consultant surgeon, before seeking the advice of an unqualified practitioner?"

Apposite, I think, in ths case where the discussion hinges on whether religion should be allowed to influence legal process. Law has its place, and so does religion, but "God told me to do it" quite rightly cannot stand in a court of law. If it were a court of morals, the situation might be different, as there both sides would be dealing in the abstract.

Don T.

Do T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Ron Davies
Date: 18 May 10 - 09:01 AM

Look, it is totally pointless to speculate whether Martin Luther King and other evangelists would have been good people without religion. That is an absurd blind alley.

The fact is:   they cited it constantly--and doing so was very useful in convincing others to do the same. So it has been a great force for good.   Sure it's been abused--as has patriotism, capitalism, and even, dare I say it, the idea of "socialism".   That does not negate the good of any of these.

And somehow it seems we've been over this ground before.   Wonder why it seems so.




Also, in an attempt to discredit religion, it was theorized that conscience is not the same as religion since we are "hard-wired" for it.

As I said, every major civilization has had religion. Therefore it's as least as likely that we are "hard-wired" for religion.

If not, I'm still waiting for--anybody--to cite a major civilization. without religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Ron Davies
Date: 18 May 10 - 09:04 AM

And by the way, I am not in the slightest religious--I just believe in fair play--including for religion and the religious.    Not the desperate smearing of all religion which goes on around here sometimes.

WMMV.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Ron Davies
Date: 18 May 10 - 09:05 AM

"...Martin Luther King and other abolitionists..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 18 May 10 - 11:33 AM

As most religions are based on being the "true" religion, any major civilisation that was not based on your religion was a major civilisation without religion.

I too believe in fair play for religions, but also fair play for stamp collectors. the difference is that stamp collectors don't try to interfere with my life by attaching their hobby to laws.

If somebody wants to be a member of a religious sect, then get on with it. Same as if somebody wants to be a morris dancer or athlete. But to say that your hobby affects me and I must be affected by it, then don't be surprised if I come over all angry and carry out my "desperate smearing." Nothing desperate, nothing smearing actually, just debating this particular thread;

Religious belief has no standing in law I believe the thread to be. Some people are trying to say it is a good thing, others that we are a religious society. really? I am part of society too and so are the vast majority of people in The UK.   it doesn't follow that we are sucked in by religious nonsense. There is no such thing as God, and if there was, he / she / it must have more important things to worry about than asking us to stone women, kill our offspring, shag our daughters and all the other disturbing commands of the bible that god botherers hypocritically ignore when trying to smugly say they lead a Christian life.

There may not be a god, but there is UK law. And UK law seems to have a much higher moral code than the bible. So, what's the next debate?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Ron Davies
Date: 18 May 10 - 11:25 PM

Still have not addressed the problem of God and conscience--which many see as interchangeable--as I have noted.   

Sounds like in your world all a person has to do is cite his or her conscience, rather than God, and they're off scot free.

Still need an answer:   if God has no standing in UK law, how about conscience?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Amos
Date: 19 May 10 - 12:26 AM

MAjor civilizations do not have conscience or an inherent sense of ethics.

Individuals do.

But it can be suppressed, altered, denied, invalidated, or made inoperable by any number of dramatizations.

So it takes a certain personal fiber to retain any clarity in one's sense of ethics.

Just as it takes a certain fiber to defend one's intelligence against cultural swamps.

A man can go into a group organized toward moral goals and agreements with his conscience intact (because he wants to do things only a group can accomplish) or with it already subordinated to icons, myths, superstitions, or just cultural pressure.

In the final analysis though, any individual who lets his own conscience be eroded owns that responsibility.

You don't need a fabric of belief or a set of specialized vocabulary (such as "sin" or "God", for example) to speak truth.


A

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 May 10 - 01:03 AM

I would disagree with the idea that individuals have an inherent sense of ethics.   In fact I have had occasion to note this problem just recently.   Two children from the same family--a family that has unfortunately little time for their children. One has had wonderful care by another person, starting about 6 months.   The other only started with that person at about 4 years old. By then she was set in her incredibly selfish ways--no sign of a sense of ethics whatsoever.   Her brother is a delightful, caring person, always willing to cheer others on, willing to win or lose, etc. none of which his sister would ever do. She even was unwilling to let the friends she had invited to her 9th birthday party have any cake, or sing her "Happy Birthday"--though she was willing to take the presents. The caregiver is trying to bring some sense of ethics and fair play to the sister--but it's an uphill struggle--the parents seem to be afraid to criticize her in the least--so she runs wild.   Storing up big trouble for teenage years, it appears.

It seems clear to me that ethics must be taught.

This inculcation of a moral code is one of the main goals--and advantages of many religions.   True, it is not necessary to be religious to set a good example--obviously.    But some setting of moral guidelines is necessary.

The family in question is not at all religious.   But that is not crucial. What is crucial is that they do not try to guide their children.   The boy has gotten good guidance elsewhere.   The girl is already seemingly past receiving guidance.   We hope this changes soon.
It is not at all clear that a sense of ethics comes naturally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 May 10 - 01:06 AM

And Willie seems to "steam" about the most amazing things. It's hard to believe he is under siege by religious fundamentalists to the extent he seems to imagine.

But of course some Mudcatters seem to always have their dials set on "outrage". And in that regard he fits right in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 May 10 - 04:18 AM

In the UK, I think we would identify as a primarily non-religious nation and people. Or at best very quietly religious. The CofE is a very modest business and doesn't tend to shove itself at people. Though we do get evangelical imports from the US banging on our doors on a Sunday morning when normal people are either having sex or sleeping or watching Countryfile in bed with a cuppa. They cynically drag mentally disabled kids and people in wheelchairs around with them to elicit guilt from those being cold-called on rejecting their efforts to save them. And what's more they won't go away until they've got to you.
It's not just Willie, everybody hates them!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 19 May 10 - 04:26 AM

And Willie may come over as being a bit paranoid, but that's because we are debating this one particular subject, so the fact that religion affects me 1) when I am on this and similar threads, 2) when trying to buy a washer for a leaking tap on a Sunday after 4.00pm and 3) when my mother in law is staying and I drive to the local church and back again afterwards, (popping home for a coffee in the interim.)

It is that middle one, 2) that gets me though.

Can anybody explain to me why we have to put up with restrictions on a Sunday? As the debate is religious standing in law, this is rather pertinent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 19 May 10 - 05:40 AM

Willie,

It's a throwback to the days of control by the actions of the "Lord's Day Observance Society", which had the ear of government to the extent of setting rules preventing any but "essential" services from operating on a Sunday.

They came up with some damn good ones too (NOT).

Because the public must have their news (and the newspaper Barons their profits) you could buy a soft porn magazine on a Sunday. Because bookstores weren't "essential", you had to wait till Monday to buy a bible.

Your Sunday shopping difficulties are simply a hangover from this era. Although rules have been relaxed, there are still restrictions on opening times etc. And of course some shopkeepers choose to have Sunday off.

It's not a case of religion overriding law now, more a question of failure to change sufficiently from the days when it did.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 May 10 - 01:02 AM

So we still have no answer to the query as to whether conscience has any standing in British law.   Raised a while ago by GooseGander, it is quite germane to the topic.

It seems we can all agree the employee in question deserved to be fired since he refused to do his job.

The issue is whether the judge's ruling is too broad--and will have unfortunate ramifications.

The conscience question is crucial.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: mousethief
Date: 20 May 10 - 02:12 AM

Used to not be able to buy booze in this state before noon on Sunday. I remember as a wee lad going to the grocery store and seeing the beer displays covered with black plastic, and the grocer going about removing it at noon. Haven't seen it in decades; I'm sure it can't have outlasted the 60's.

"Sabbath" (Sunday) blue laws are ridiculous in a pluralistic society. Indeed in anything short of a theocracy. Although for 8 years there it looked like we were heading .... no, probably best not to go there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 May 10 - 02:17 AM

I hadn't been following this thread, and I see that Steamin' Willie addressed me above and mauvepink made a related comment on tolerance. Willie thinks he wouldn't agree with me on much if we met in person, but I think he'd be surprised. He and mauvepink have some really good things to say about tolerance. I respect both of them very much.

The word 'tolerate' has almost a negative implication - it seems to mean "to put up with something." But I think the word "tolerance" has taken on a much more positive meaning, at least in the United States. To me, "tolerance" is an ideal. I don't know if I can ever achieve it perfectly, but I keep trying. Rather than just putting up with people, I think the ideal of tolerance demands that we accept and respect people for exactly who they are. If they're gay, we not only have to accept their being gay - we need to hold them in value and respect as a gay person, even if we might happen to disagree with the idea of gay sex (or at least be a bit squeamish about it, as I am).

My own code of ethics requires me to value and respect every person. I sin against that code on occasion, but that is the code I hold myself to. And what I actually strive for is to value and respect and enjoy every person. That doesn't always work, but I find it usually does - and that means I usually have a hell of a good time with people. I have to say that I believe my violations of my code are the only things I consider sinful, and the only things that God will hold me accountable for. (cf. Matthew 25 - feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, etc.)

In some ways, the idea of religous beliefs having no standing in law is troublesome to me, but maybe there's good in it. Perhaps the better thing would be if personal beliefs were respected by the law.

I'm a Catholic, and being Catholic is an important part of my life - but my personal moral code is far stricter than Catholic morals. My personal belief is that any intolerance is sinful - and for me, that especially includes intolerance against the poor, the mentally ill, the immigrant, the homosexual, and the Muslim. I am also a pacifist, although my Catholic religion does allow warfare in some situations. I think abortion is wrong, although I cannot agree with "pro-life" factions who demand that abortion be prohibited by law. And I also think that capital punishment is savage and immoral, although US Federal law and the laws of many states demand it.

I accept the fact that in some aspects, my personal moral code is in conflict with the laws of the state and country where I live. I hope that in most cases, society can accept me with my moral code, and allow me to live in accordance with that code without legal penalty. I'm up for jury duty in a federal court, and I'm a bit apprehensive about it. In conscience, I cannot vote to condemn anyone to death. But on the other hand, I think I'm a person who would be very close to absolutely fair and objective as a juror. So, should I be disqualified from a jury because I oppose the death penalty, or should I be chosen because of my objectivity and my sense of fairness? should I be punished or penalized because of my opposition to the death penalty or my favoring of rights for immigrants?

So, maybe it's right that religious beliefs not be respected by law, as long as the law does respect individual beliefs.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: akenaton
Date: 20 May 10 - 02:50 AM

Unfortunately Joe, stating the available facts on the effects of certain minorities behaviour, is regarded here as intolerance.

I am tolerant of most alternative lifestyles and do not wish to see the people who practice the behaviour criminalised.
That does not necessarily mean that I think the behaviour benificial to society or those who practice it.

Are we expected to tolerate anything to be righteous?

In the realms of sexuality who makes the rules on what should be tolerated?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Bill D
Date: 20 May 10 - 10:41 AM

"In the realms of sexuality who makes the rules on what should be tolerated?"

Well, Ake.... since there are so many ideas about that, why not just make the rule simple and say that 'NO tolerance of sexual behavior between adults and children (who are unable to give 'reasoned consent'....but NO rules about the behavior of adults who ARE able to mutually consent (except about where)?

There are many, many aspects of life where people disagree about 'proper' behavior, and I can't think of any way to resolve them except to suggest.."if YOU don't like 'X', don't do it."


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 20 May 10 - 11:39 AM

I still very much see this particular case as involving employment law far more than religion and beliefs. Religion is brought into it because of the counsellor's own religious beliefs conflicting with what he was being asked to do.

As I have said, I would defend the counsellor's right to have a religion and be able to practice it in peace. What I cannot defend is his discrimination to the gay couple on such grounds when his employment asked it of him. He knew what he would be getting into.

I cannot comment about other religions, but what sits really bad about this is that the man was/is a Christian. Being Christian is a way of life. Which actual Christian faith you belong to would then maybe colour what you find acceptable and able to tolerate, but the basic Christian premise has to be one of love and forgiveness, being non-judgmental and caring for one's fellows.

It is my belief that Jesus, who CHRISTianity is ALL about, would not judge this gay couple. Christ never once spoke out against gay people. He preached about love and acceptance of sinners, which we all are (not that I personally see homosexuality as a sin). What I trying to say is that God, if he/she exists, is said to have given us free will. He/she wants a relationship with us by the free will. Only he/she can judge. Our duty to our fellows, therefore, if we are to follow JESUS teachings - not the church or any particular flavour of Christianity that is practised - is to do as Jesus asked us. That can often conflict with what the church asks us to do. Do as Jesus did and you will not go far wrong I guess.

Jesus cherished people having relationships. He died so we could all get on, we are told, and he wanted us all to love one another. Helping people nurture those relationships and flourish must surely be more in keeping with true Christianity than sticking to a man-made edict about homosexulity being repugnant, unnatural, wrong or against Christianity. What happened to let he who is without sin... ?

Live and let live...

Judge yea not as you may be judged...

It's not rocket science. Have your belief system. Abide by it. Have principles. But don't say you have all that and then discriminate against something that actually has nothing to do with you....

"In the realms of sexuality who makes the rules on what should be tolerated?". What the heck has it got to do with anyone what two, or more, consenting adults get up to as long as it is not against children or animals? It may not be my or your thing but that does not make it wrong for those who are doing it. If it does not affect me it is none of my business. Some people go out of their way to make some things affect them so they can moan about it, try and spoil it for others. Some are just plainly jealous because others have something they do not not. Some moan because some are doing things they would love to do but are not brave enough to give it a try. They should get a life of their own that is full and wholesome. It's a great cure toward open mindedness and acceptance of others also having a life.

Sorry for being so passionate but it never ceases to amaze me why being gay is such a problem to those who are (supposedly) not gay. Why does it trouble them so? We still have far more in common with each other than that which we do not. Why can we not concentrate on those things that are important about a person?

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

-Alexander Pope,
An Essay on Man, Epistle I, 1733


mp


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: akenaton
Date: 20 May 10 - 06:55 PM

There are many types of human sexual behaviour which are not "tolerated"
Incest is banned on health issues, but the health problems associated with homosexuality are far greater than those associated with incest.

Sexual relations between close relatives are common in nature....much more common than same gender sex, and if the means of procreation were removed or blocked, I suppose the behaviour would be completely safefrom the standpoint of physical health.

Personally, I am no more in favour of the promotion of incest, than I am in favour of the promotion of homosexuality.
This is simply another example of the law being an ass.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 May 10 - 07:11 PM

the basic Christian premise has to be one of love and forgiveness, being non-judgmental and caring for one's fellows.

Like I said above, mauvepink, I have a lot of respect for you.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 20 May 10 - 07:47 PM

Alas, Joe, I often fail my own litmus test as, I can be very judgemental and opinionated. I would like to think it was on the side of being fair and open but I am sure some who have suffered a tongue lashing from me would think otherwise ;-)

One can only try. I have many failings...

But thank you for the respect and compliment. When comparing myself to others I fall far short of the true goodness that abides in many out there. One can never have too much of such things :-)

mp


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 21 May 10 - 06:52 AM

Hey Joe,

Thanks for your interesting and thoughtful post. I know I come over as very anti religion and some extrapolate that to mean I have bigoted views about a lifestyle, (following a religious belief) whilst trying to promote lifestyles, (being gay or anything else that offends some religious teachings.)

The conundrum can be explained, (in my head anyway..) by having an overall concern about a religion having influence on the laws and customs I am expected to adhere to. i didn't vote for the party (s) that won our government election earlier this month, but accept that as a democratic voter, I am expected to live with the decision and abide by their laws.

With religion, I am not a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or in fact anything. I am Steamin' Willie, or whatever. What's more, I am not even atheist. Because that would mean I have a stance having thought it through. I haven't bothered thinking it through any more than I have thought it through about joining the local pigeon fanciers' society. (Ok, sorry, for those not familiar, breeding and racing pigeons, popular where I come from..) So not even the term atheist applies to me, as I see it as a negative description by those with belief.

You know, I actually envy people with belief. My Gran, on her deathbed, was content because she was going to meet again soon with my Granddad, my Dad, her sisters etc. She really believed that, making the final curtain that much less traumatic. When my time comes, all I have to look forward to is

I have officially joined The Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster, but that was because I do some work for the government and they survey the population make up of those who work for them, some forms include asking your religion. No surprises then that I reckon being a Pastafarian is better than being an atheist....

Sadly, if something is said in terms of religious interpretation, it is held by some as being true, despite evidence to the contrary. That is the, if you like, tangible issue I have. As a scientist, (my PhD is in physics) I am used to holding a stance or belief but dismiss it out of hand when evidence is shown to demonstrate it no longer holds.   For many people, proof denies faith and that just about wraps up the reason and logic in threads such as this one.

Akenaton has just tried saying that incest has less health risks than homosexuality. The only thing missing in that is proof, as there is none. But stupid statements such as that fit in with his / her / its awful views on life, so say it often enough and there are enough shallow idiots to believe it, or at least print it in their newspaper.....

Come to think about it... defending incest... Ok, it all comes clear now. the lack of logic, the irrational stances, the grudge, the fast replies, (that extra finger comes in handy when typing eh?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: Stringsinger
Date: 21 May 10 - 10:01 AM

The Separation is one of the hallmarks of American democracy.

It is being undermined by certain Christians who want their version of Sharia Law.
Palin, Rand Paul, Robertson and others are culpable. These beliefs have no legal standing
based on what we know historically about the American Constitution created by Deists
who were wary of religious zealots who would attempt to take over our country.

We are not yet a theocracy but there are those who are attempting to change this.

The right to "believe" is legal. The supplanting of religious ideas for the purpose of
subverting the law is not.

Churches are legal but not in government decisions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious beliefs - no standing in law
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 21 May 10 - 10:12 AM

The official USA stance is admirable and reflects how most rational people here in The UK view reality. We too have our weird would be dictators using old books as a tool for their attempted tyranny.

However, we also have a small issue that led to the court judgement this thread started with; going back to Henry VIII, monarchy is head of our protestant church. Therefore, their head preachers (bishops) have the right to sit in our upper house (House of Lords) not because they are clever, not because their great great granddad was a slave owner, but because of their beliefs.

That is in my opinion wrong and due for overhaul. The new government speak of having an elected upper house in their reforms. No mention of the blokes in silly hats being kicked out though I notice....


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