Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #101  
Old 05-30-2019, 01:23 AM
Voyager's Avatar
Voyager is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 45,944
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAZombie View Post
Atheists and liberals generally believe that they were born with morals and ethics and are smarter than all of humanity that proceeded them. They constantly berate the people of the past for things such as slavery when in all likelihood they would have behaved no better than their ancestors if they had been born 200 years ago. They knowingly purchase products made by de facto slave labor and claim to be morally superior.
Bullshit. We certainly don't think we are smarter. We do think our morals and ethics have evolved - as a society. Sure there are underpaid workers. Even some slaves, but isn't it ethically superior for these things to be illegal - in the West at least - and not supported by the government? Isn't ethically superior for the government to not kill those not supporting the state religion? Isn't it ethically superior to not put thieves to death?
However downtrodden third world workers are, I don't hear the right clamoring for their "liberation" and in any case they can leave their companies and are not killed for learning how to read, which gives them at least some advantages over slaves in the glorious South.
Quote:
Societies around the world developed through trial and error and synthesized their wisdom into religions and cultural norms. The abolition of slavery came through trial and error as well. Religion is a reference guide to how people should behave; and thus, religion does have a place in public debate.
Why is religion a reference guide to how people should behave? If so which parts count? If no one coveted their neighbor's ass, where would capitalism be? Do you think that societies of the past when Christianity ruled were more just than our society today? Why should we pay any attention to what some clowns said god said unless you can present us with evidence of this god?
  #102  
Old 05-30-2019, 05:39 AM
Cheesesteak's Avatar
Cheesesteak is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Lovely Montclair, NJ
Posts: 13,410
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
From this, I infer that your definition of a religious argument (as opposed to a nonreligious or secular argument) is one which rests somehow on "God said so."

My feeling is that this is too narrow a definition. But in order to challenge it, I'd have to provide an alternative definition, or at least give a counterexample of a religious argument that doesn't fit this definition. Which I haven't been able to do, at least not yet.
Best of luck to you there. By my thinking the concept of a religious argument must, practically by definition, rely in some way on Man's relationship with God. If you strip away God and what God wants of his Children out of a religious argument, it becomes a secular argument.
  #103  
Old 05-30-2019, 06:34 AM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 18,271
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisu View Post
All societies are influenced by the religion of the founders and residents, not controlled but informed. I am an atheist who identifies as a cultural Christian and that influences my voting choices etc.
If you stop and think for a minute, I bet you can name several societies that are controlled by their religious foundings. Take another minute and you'll realize that the entire abortion debate in the US is founded on religious beliefs and the resulting attempts to deny and control specific human rights. Are you under the mistaken impression that religion will just stop there if they achieve this goal?
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #104  
Old 05-30-2019, 07:35 AM
Crane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,047
Religious premises are the infallible word of God. Debating them is pointless.

Politicized religion is the greatest danger faced by any society. That is why it does not belong in the political/social policy debate.
  #105  
Old 05-30-2019, 08:15 AM
DrCube is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Caseyville, IL
Posts: 7,419
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
You got me right. Think of why an argument from the Bible is different from an argument from the Iliad or War and Peace or Gilgamesh or the Eddas.
All of these things can be a trigger for a moral discussion. But none of these works of fiction should be given a special position in moral discussions.
But "shouldn't be given a special position" isn't the same as "has no place in public debate". I disagree with religious arguments as well. I just don't see what makes them different from any other arguments I disagree with.

I disagree with instituting communism, for example, but it doesn't matter to me whether my opponents want communism because of what Marx said, or because of what Jesus said. I don't see why the latter argument should be singled out for "having no place" while the former is just a run of the mill disagreement. And if I base my disagreement with communism on what Ayn Rand said, or what Pat Robertson said, what difference should that make to my opponents?

If "Does religion have a place in public debate?" means "do you agree with arguments based on religion?" then no, I usually don't. But that doesn't seem to be what the OP is asking.
  #106  
Old 05-30-2019, 08:24 AM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 10,946
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Then should you answer the original question with a "yes, if only to be struck down as invalid"?

~Max
You don't seem to understand that when someone brings a religious justification to a public policy debate, they don't accept that their religious reasoning is invalid.

Why is homosexuality a sin? Because the bible says so. Why is abortion a sin? Because the bible says so. (actually it doesn't).

The point is that anyone can justify any position by invoking a religious reason, therefore, religious reasoning has not place.

Sure, someone can stand up and say, "This is what god told me!", and they are free to do so. However, that should not be used to actually form policy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
But that's not what you said, you said "Religion has no place in political social policy debate." And I said by public debate I meant political social policy debate.

If you aren't throwing out debaters who use religious arguments, and you actually address their arguments, I don't see how that squares up with religion having no place in public (political social policy) debate.

If most people inform their personal morals with religion, I would think most of the debates will involve religious arguments.

~Max
You are correct that public policy is polluted with ideas based on bronze age writings as justification. This is not a good thing. No one said anything about throwing out deabter, just throwing out their arguments if based on superstition rather than reason.

If one gets their morality from a book, from an unquestionable and ambiguous source, then one can justify anything. Slavery was justified on religious grounds, genocide has been justified on religious grounds. Racism and homophobia and general bigotry is justified on religious grounds. Anything you want to justify, whether it be feeding the homeless, or stoning adulterers, can be justified with religion.

Most people do not form their personal morals based on religion, most people justify their personal morals with religion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LAZombie View Post
Atheists and liberals generally believe that they were born with morals and ethics and are smarter than all of humanity that proceeded them. They constantly berate the people of the past for things such as slavery when in all likelihood they would have behaved no better than their ancestors if they had been born 200 years ago. They knowingly purchase products made by de facto slave labor and claim to be morally superior.
See, for instance, this example of someone who thinks that being religious gives the power to read minds.

Quote:
Societies around the world developed through trial and error and synthesized their wisdom into religions and cultural norms. The abolition of slavery came through trial and error as well. Religion is a reference guide to how people should behave; and thus, religion does have a place in public debate.
Right, like when we have debates about whether FGM is an atrocity or God's will. If throwing acid in the face of women for trying to educate themselves is a hate crime or God's will. If killing your daughter because she was raped is a heinous act or God's will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sisu View Post
All societies are influenced by the religion of the founders and residents, not controlled but informed. I am an atheist who identifies as a cultural Christian and that influences my voting choices etc.
Does it influence you to vote against homosexual rights? Is it only because of your Christian culture that you do not murder and steal? If the bible tells you to commit an act of violence against your neighbor, do you take that influence into account? If you had never heard of the bible or Christianity, would you steal the things you want from your neighbor, and kill him if he tries to stop you?

If it influences you to be a better person, great. People have a hard time justifying being a good person, and if they find inspiration in the pages of the bible to be a better person, then good for them.



Religion was useful back in the day when it was very hard to explain to someone why they shouldn't be allowed to murder their neighbor.

Community: "Don't murder your neighbor."

Member of Community: "But I want to. He has stuff I want to take, and a woman I want."

C: "Well, don't take his stuff either, and don't take his wife."

MoC: "Why not?"

C: "Well, you wouldn't want to have your neighbor murder you, take your stuff, and take your wife, would you?"

MoC: "My neighbor is puny, I'd like to see him try."

C: "Well, if you do so, then we will not approve of that, and we will try to stop you, or punish you for committing these acts."

MoC: "Even if you caught me, I'd like to see you try."

C: "Fine, God said not to, and god is all powerful, and all knowing, and will send you to hell for eternal punishment for these acts."

So, to some extent, I am happy that religion scares some people who are unable to understand a secular argument against murder and theft and assault into not committing these acts, but I would far rather people not commit these acts because they are able to understand the secular argument, as being based on a holy book is pretty flimsy, as there are number of atrocities that are also based on that same holy book.
  #107  
Old 05-30-2019, 08:43 AM
Crane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,047
Religious citizens should not be excluded from social debate. To participate they need only present premises that are secular. That's not as elitist as it sounds. To participate they must speak the common language of the debate which is secular English. After all, religious premises are not just invalid in the secular environment. Religious premises are invalid with respect to each other.
  #108  
Old 05-30-2019, 10:42 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
Okay. I see what you're asking now.

I'll clarify my response: Arguments based on religious beliefs have no place in political social policy debates (in a secular society). I'm not suggesting people with religious beliefs can't participate in public policy debates. They just can't present/argue policy based on what they think their god thinks. That's the disqualifier.

Now, how about you address why you think a religious argument has the same standing as a secular one.
In my opinion every argument has equal standing to participate, and the mere fact that an argument includes a "religious" premise does not invalidate the argument. It may very well be that this "religious" premise is not disputed in debate, that would be determined by the particular debaters. Even if the debate is nondenominational, and the premise is disputed, a religious argument that only persuades those of the same religion might convince enough of the public so as to pass a law. At that point, unless said law violates the constitution (state or federal), I must yield to the will of society.

Also in my opinion, it is not my right nor yours to disqualify religious arguments from publicly run debate, as in to cut the debater's time when they say "because it is in the Bible". Of course, you have the freedom to do so in private debate, and most debates are private, and some (such as this board) are privately run with public access, which is a public debate with private rules. Even so I don't think it is the right thing to disqualify an argument because it involves religious premises. You shouldn't even disqualify invalid arguments from debate - otherwise there would be no debate. You can point out that the argument is invalid, but unless your opponent agrees it should be up to the audience to decide, or if the moderator feels one side is arguing in bad faith (won't agree to disagree or back up their premises), the moderator can step in.

~Max
  #109  
Old 05-30-2019, 10:55 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Bullshit. We certainly don't think we are smarter. We do think our morals and ethics have evolved - as a society. Sure there are underpaid workers. Even some slaves, but isn't it ethically superior for these things to be illegal - in the West at least - and not supported by the government? Isn't ethically superior for the government to not kill those not supporting the state religion? Isn't it ethically superior to not put thieves to death?
However downtrodden third world workers are, I don't hear the right clamoring for their "liberation" and in any case they can leave their companies and are not killed for learning how to read, which gives them at least some advantages over slaves in the glorious South.
Of course, I agree that it the world today is "ethically superior" compared to history, but only if we use today's ethics. Or do you believe there is some universal sense of ethics?

And there are theories that ancient people, before the neolithic revolution, somehow had a highly ethical society (I do not subscribe to that notion).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Why is religion a reference guide to how people should behave? If so which parts count? If no one coveted their neighbor's ass, where would capitalism be? Do you think that societies of the past when Christianity ruled were more just than our society today? Why should we pay any attention to what some clowns said god said unless you can present us with evidence of this god?
Religion is a reference guide to how people should behave because people make it a guide. The parts people decide to follow count. If no one coveted their neighbor's property, capitalism as we know it could not exist. I do not think that Christian societies of old were more just than our society today. And you should definitely pay attention to people who say "God said", because like it or not, they are your equals and you share living space and their opinions affect you.

~Max
  #110  
Old 05-30-2019, 11:22 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
You don't seem to understand that when someone brings a religious justification to a public policy debate, they don't accept that their religious reasoning is invalid.

Why is homosexuality a sin? Because the bible says so. Why is abortion a sin? Because the bible says so. (actually it doesn't).

The point is that anyone can justify any position by invoking a religious reason, therefore, religious reasoning has not place.

Sure, someone can stand up and say, "This is what god told me!", and they are free to do so. However, that should not be used to actually form policy.
Even if a religious argument is invalid, it doesn't make sense to throw out the argument because it is religious, or to assume that your opponent is arguing in bad faith because they presented a religious argument. You may think people base their religion on their personal morals but you must admit that at least some people think they base their personal morals on religion. Therefore when a person backs up a moral argument* with a religious premise, it is sometimes inappropriate to accuse them of arguing in bad faith.

Ideally the only reason to disqualify an argument is if that argument is made in bad faith. After all, every conclusion must have its premises and eventually you must assume a number of fundamental or "religious" premises. If you and your opponent disagree on a fundamental premise, all you can do is try and convince each other to drop the premise by showing that it leads to a contradiction with other premises you both agree upon. If there is no such contradiction, no authority in the world can settle your dispute. Either that or you agree to disagree and let the audience decide, or one of you starts arguing in bad faith. And at that point, the moderator should intervene and disqualify the argument made in bad faith. That's what I consider to be an ideal debate. Real debates often have constraints on time or scope, etc. But meta-debates, such as aggregate public discourse, need not have such constraints.

*an argument about morality

~Max
  #111  
Old 05-30-2019, 11:22 AM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 10,946
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
In my opinion every argument has equal standing to participate, and the mere fact that an argument includes a "religious" premise does not invalidate the argument. It may very well be that this "religious" premise is not disputed in debate, that would be determined by the particular debaters. Even if the debate is nondenominational, and the premise is disputed, a religious argument that only persuades those of the same religion might convince enough of the public so as to pass a law. At that point, unless said law violates the constitution (state or federal), I must yield to the will of society.
Well, yeh, if you find yourself living in a theocracy, then you have to yield to that will.

You don't seem to be understanding the nature of this debate at all. The point is, if you can only justify your position by "it says so in the bible", or "God told me so," or "That's what my faith says", then your premise is flawed and should not be used in consideration.

No one has said that a religious person cannot participate. No one has said that they cannot use religious premises. We are just saying that if you use a religious premise, then our argument is invalid and should not be given weight in a secular society.
Quote:
Also in my opinion, it is not my right nor yours to disqualify religious arguments from publicly run debate, as in to cut the debater's time when they say "because it is in the Bible".
And is there anyone at all that has said that we should? You are arguing against strawmen here.
Quote:
Of course, you have the freedom to do so in private debate, and most debates are private, and some (such as this board) are privately run with public access, which is a public debate with private rules. Even so I don't think it is the right thing to disqualify an argument because it involves religious premises. You shouldn't even disqualify invalid arguments from debate - otherwise there would be no debate. You can point out that the argument is invalid, but unless your opponent agrees it should be up to the audience to decide, or if the moderator feels one side is arguing in bad faith (won't agree to disagree or back up their premises), the moderator can step in.

~Max
Are you considering "Leviticus 20:13" as a good cite to back up their premise that homoseuxality should be illegal? If not, then you contradict yourself, as you say that a moderator should step in because they refuse to back up their premises. If so, then you are saying that we should be a theocracy.
  #112  
Old 05-30-2019, 11:26 AM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 10,946
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Even if a religious argument is invalid, it doesn't make sense to throw out the argument because it is religious, or to assume that your opponent is arguing in bad faith because they presented a religious argument. You may think people base their religion on their personal morals but you must admit that at least some people think they base their personal morals on religion. Therefore when a person backs up a moral argument* with a religious premise, it is sometimes inappropriate to accuse them of arguing in bad faith.

Ideally the only reason to disqualify an argument is if that argument is made in bad faith. After all, every conclusion must have its premises and eventually you must assume a number of fundamental or "religious" premises. If you and your opponent disagree on a fundamental premise, all you can do is try and convince each other to drop the premise by showing that it leads to a contradiction with other premises you both agree upon. If there is no such contradiction, no authority in the world can settle your dispute. Either that or you agree to disagree and let the audience decide, or one of you starts arguing in bad faith. And at that point, the moderator should intervene and disqualify the argument made in bad faith. That's what I consider to be an ideal debate. Real debates often have constraints on time or scope, etc. But meta-debates, such as aggregate public discourse, need not have such constraints.

*an argument about morality

~Max
So, I should accept and give equal weight to someone saying that adulterers should be stoned because "Leviticus 20:10" as someone who makes an argument that murdering people for sexual infidelity is harmful to society as a whole?
  #113  
Old 05-30-2019, 11:42 AM
Try2B Comprehensive's Avatar
Try2B Comprehensive is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 6,465
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crane View Post
Religious citizens should not be excluded from social debate. To participate they need only present premises that are secular. That's not as elitist as it sounds. To participate they must speak the common language of the debate which is secular English. After all, religious premises are not just invalid in the secular environment. Religious premises are invalid with respect to each other.
Yes. I think the correct answer to this thread is to take this just one step further: religious premises are not debate premises at all. They are dogma, and therefore no evidence or reasoning can dissuade a believer away from them. A person who brings religious premises into a public policy debate is, strange as it sounds, automatically arguing in bad faith because they are not engaging in debate at all, but apologia instead.

The public sphere is no place to be enthralled to unquestionable bare assertions. Religion does not belong in public debate simply by definition.
  #114  
Old 05-30-2019, 11:58 AM
thorny locust is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
From this, I infer that your definition of a religious argument (as opposed to a nonreligious or secular argument) is one which rests somehow on "God said so."

My feeling is that this is too narrow a definition. But in order to challenge it, I'd have to provide an alternative definition, or at least give a counterexample of a religious argument that doesn't fit this definition. Which I haven't been able to do, at least not yet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
An excellent example of why honest and thoughtful religious debate should be welcome in public forum.

Thank you, TB.


Thudlow Boink's statement reads to me as meaning 'I don't like that definition of "religious argument" but I can't think of any other definition.'

That might well be honest and thoughtful as a description of TB's own thought process; but why is it an example of why religious debate should be welcome in public forum?
  #115  
Old 05-30-2019, 12:11 PM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 18,271
Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post


Thudlow Boink's statement reads to me as meaning 'I don't like that definition of "religious argument" but I can't think of any other definition.'

That might well be honest and thoughtful as a description of TB's own thought process; but why is it an example of why religious debate should be welcome in public forum?
Because I understood it as TB willing to concede that arguments made on a strictly religious basis are insufficient in making public policy.

It was meant to illustrate my original response to the OP:

Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
Religion absolutely has a place in public debate.

Religion has no place in political social policy debate.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #116  
Old 05-30-2019, 12:44 PM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Well, yeh, if you find yourself living in a theocracy, then you have to yield to that will.
I don't see why it must be a theocracy for me to yield to the laws of society, so long as those laws do not violate the constitution. Or perhaps you think a law motivated by religion is necessarily unconstitutional? What if it is a constitutional amendment instead of a law?

Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
You don't seem to be understanding the nature of this debate at all. The point is, if you can only justify your position by "it says so in the bible", or "God told me so," or "That's what my faith says", then your premise is flawed and should not be used in consideration.
A fundamental premise, one which is so basic that it cannot be backed up, is not actually flawed because you disagree with it. It is flawed to you, and to anyone else who disagrees with it. That just means you give the premise no weight, and you might not share any conclusions following such a premise. Any number of your fellow citizens might disagree with you, and unless you show a contradiction from their perspective, you cannot logically change their minds (even if you do find a contradiction, they might choose cognitive dissonance over your position).

Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
No one has said that a religious person cannot participate. No one has said that they cannot use religious premises. We are just saying that if you use a religious premise, then our argument is invalid and should not be given weight in a secular society.
I might agree with you, depending very much on what you mean by "a secular society". I do not believe we live in "a secular society", if the meaning of that word agrees with the sentence in which it appears. As I said before, it is my opinion that a great number of people in America and worldwide base their personal morals on religion. Personal morals inform public policy and so I would expect religious arguments to have a prominent place in public debate. That does not mean you have to agree with religious arguments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
And is there anyone at all that has said that we should? You are arguing against strawmen here.
But then why wouldn't religion have a place in public debate? Why shouldn't religion have a place in public debate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Are you considering "Leviticus 20:13" as a good cite to back up their premise that homoseuxality should be illegal? If not, then you contradict yourself, as you say that a moderator should step in because they refuse to back up their premises. If so, then you are saying that we should be a theocracy.
Well, a conclusion can not follow from one premise. I certainly cannot deny that Leviticus 20:13 exists, and I can agree that Leviticus 20:13 says homosexuality should be illegal. It does not follow that homosexuality should actually be illegal. If my opponent refused to fill in the missing premise, the moderator can certainly step in and declare his argument invalid.

Let's say my opponent does fill in the missing premise, and says public policy should be based on the bible. Then I will debate him on that. He might say the bible is the word of God, and public policy should be based on the word of God, and claim that these two premises are fundamental. At which point I can either agree to disagree and end the debate (or sub-debate), or I can try and find a contradiction between these and other statements he has endorsed.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 05-30-2019 at 12:48 PM.
  #117  
Old 05-30-2019, 12:57 PM
Nava is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 41,873
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Should religion have a place in public debate? Why or why not?
To me it has a place when what is being debated is stuff about the relationship between the State and religious institutions. For example: should religious officers be able to register marriages with civil authorities, and if so, what would be needed in order for a religious officer to be able to act in this way? Or, should it be possible for a school that's got a specific religious bent (from being owned by a religious order to being a theology college) or for its students to get any kind of financial help from the government?



"We must change the laws 'cos God says so" - no. Separation of Church and State, freedom of religion, etc.
It doesn't even have a place when what people are defending is based on religion without them understanding it's so: in Spain (in much of the EU) we're having friction regarding stores opening on Sunday. At one point I caught a TV program where someone was interviewing a representative of the Communist Worker's Union who was putting it in terms of "big surfaces will destroy little stores if we allow stores to open on Sunday, because big surfaces can afford to hire more people and small ones cannot" and a little old lady turned her into mincemeat pointing out that the prohibition originated in Christianity, that many of the stores that open on Sunday are owned by non-Christians which choose a different day to close down, and that some establishments (most notoriously restaurants and bars) have always been exempt from the "must close on Sunday" laws and usually just close on a different day. There is a huge difference between "all workers must get at least one day off every week" and "that day must be Sunday", but the woman from the Union apparently doesn't live in a place with a lot of Muslim, Sikh and Hindu immigrants (I do, so did the little old lady).
__________________
Evidence gathered through the use of science is easily dismissed through the use of idiocy. - Czarcasm.

Last edited by Nava; 05-30-2019 at 12:58 PM.
  #118  
Old 05-30-2019, 01:13 PM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 26,983
Quote:
Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
Yes. I think the correct answer to this thread is to take this just one step further: religious premises are not debate premises at all. They are dogma, and therefore no evidence or reasoning can dissuade a believer away from them. A person who brings religious premises into a public policy debate is, strange as it sounds, automatically arguing in bad faith because they are not engaging in debate at all, but apologia instead.
Is Thomas Jefferson arguing from religious premises when he writes "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."?
  #119  
Old 05-30-2019, 01:15 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 61,313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Is Thomas Jefferson arguing from religious premises when he writes "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."?
Who was he debating at the time?
  #120  
Old 05-30-2019, 01:23 PM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 26,983
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Who was he debating at the time?
Why do you ask?

I asked my question because I'm trying to figure out what Try2B Comprehensive and others consider to be religious premises; and I don't think your question is relevant to that particular point, though it is relevant to other points.
  #121  
Old 05-30-2019, 01:38 PM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 18,271
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Is Thomas Jefferson arguing from religious premises when he writes "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."?
Jefferson was a theist, not classically religious for his time:

Quote:
Care must also be taken in evaluating Jefferson’s statements on religion, both because he often defined terms in a rather idiosyncratic manner, and because many comments with literal religious significance must be understood in the context of social convention as much as theology (e.g. telling a bereaved spouse that he/she might meet the departed in an afterlife may evidence empathy as much as theology).
That said, what if he was arguing from religious premise? Is a notable historical person infallible?
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.

Last edited by QuickSilver; 05-30-2019 at 01:40 PM.
  #122  
Old 05-30-2019, 01:47 PM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 26,983
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
That said, what if he was arguing from religious premise? Is a notable historical person infallible?
Again, my point is to try to find out what people consider to be a "religious premise."
  #123  
Old 05-30-2019, 02:00 PM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 18,271
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
... Let's say my opponent does fill in the missing premise, and says public policy should be based on the bible. Then I will debate him on that. He might say the bible is the word of God, and public policy should be based on the word of God, and claim that these two premises are fundamental. At which point I can either agree to disagree and end the debate (or sub-debate), or I can try and find a contradiction between these and other statements he has endorsed.

~Max
These kinds of debates go on all the time. They are hardly new or unexplored. You're arguing from a point of principle that has already been settled. In a secular society, laws ought not be passed because they are "God's Will". It's generally accepted, though sadly not without exceptions, that argument from religious belief is a weak argument. Must every debate, as part of political discourse, be reduced to proving over and over why arguments based on what people think gods thinks are fundamentally flawed? How many times must we prove it? One more time? Ten? Ten thousand? Would it not be more efficient and practical to just dismiss the argument based on religious tenets as an invalid part of public policy debates?

What are you going to gain by proving over and over to your opponent that his/her religious arguments are entirely unsupported claims many of which are in contradiction with other religions, let alone secularism?
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #124  
Old 05-30-2019, 02:02 PM
D'Anconia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,468
Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Why is abortion a sin? Because the bible says so. (actually it doesn't).
Cite, please.
  #125  
Old 05-30-2019, 02:08 PM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 18,271
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Again, my point is to try to find out what people consider to be a "religious premise."
My take on it is that it's any argument based on a deistic/theistic belief system. I know "religion" is something more than simply a belief in a supreme being. But all religions start with that premise and go on to presume to tell everyone that they know what their god wants. So if they believe that their god hates fags, they are going to pursue public policy based on that premise.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #126  
Old 05-30-2019, 02:11 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 61,313
Quote:
Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
Cite, please.
Here you go.
  #127  
Old 05-30-2019, 02:21 PM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 10,946
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I don't see why it must be a theocracy for me to yield to the laws of society, so long as those laws do not violate the constitution. Or perhaps you think a law motivated by religion is necessarily unconstitutional? What if it is a constitutional amendment instead of a law?
No, I didn't say anything about the constitution. If a law is justified by an appeal to religious authority, then it is theocratic. There's nothing in the constitution that says you cannot justify a law banning wearing hats on saturdays because the church of Flying Ponies says it's a sin.

If it is an amendment rather than a law, then it is a religiously justified amendment rather than a religiously justified law.
Quote:

A fundamental premise, one which is so basic that it cannot be backed up, is not actually flawed because you disagree with it. It is flawed to you, and to anyone else who disagrees with it. That just means you give the premise no weight, and you might not share any conclusions following such a premise. Any number of your fellow citizens might disagree with you, and unless you show a contradiction from their perspective, you cannot logically change their minds (even if you do find a contradiction, they might choose cognitive dissonance over your position).
Right, there are people out there who feel that these premise that are written in a book about bronze age goat herders should be enforced in today's society. I disagree.

You are welcome to embrace arguments based on nothing but "God said so", but to do so is to admit that you have no reason to believe that it is actually something that is good for society.
Quote:

I might agree with you, depending very much on what you mean by "a secular society". I do not believe we live in "a secular society", if the meaning of that word agrees with the sentence in which it appears. As I said before, it is my opinion that a great number of people in America and worldwide base their personal morals on religion. Personal morals inform public policy and so I would expect religious arguments to have a prominent place in public debate. That does not mean you have to agree with religious arguments.
But it does mean that others think that I should.
Quote:
But then why wouldn't religion have a place in public debate? Why shouldn't religion have a place in public debate?
Are you just repeating yourself here?
Quote:

Well, a conclusion can not follow from one premise. I certainly cannot deny that Leviticus 20:13 exists, and I can agree that Leviticus 20:13 says homosexuality should be illegal. It does not follow that homosexuality should actually be illegal. If my opponent refused to fill in the missing premise, the moderator can certainly step in and declare his argument invalid.
So you just said that religion has no place in a policy debate. Or at least, that it should be declared as invalid.

Did you answer your question?
Quote:
Let's say my opponent does fill in the missing premise, and says public policy should be based on the bible. Then I will debate him on that. He might say the bible is the word of God, and public policy should be based on the word of God, and claim that these two premises are fundamental. At which point I can either agree to disagree and end the debate (or sub-debate), or I can try and find a contradiction between these and other statements he has endorsed.
That's not really how that plays out. They will insist that it is the word of god, and no matter what logic or contradictions they throw out you, they will turn around and tell you that you are a sinner for questioning the word of god.

That's their debate. That's what you want informing public policy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
Cite, please.
Cite for something that does not appear in the bible? That's a tough one to do. How about you cite where abortion *does* appear in the bible, and we'll go from there.
  #128  
Old 05-30-2019, 02:42 PM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
These kinds of debates go on all the time. They are hardly new or unexplored. You're arguing from a point of principle that has already been settled. In a secular society, laws ought not be passed because they are "God's Will". It's generally accepted, though sadly not without exceptions, that argument from religious belief is a weak argument.
As I said, I don't think we live in "a secular society", because I think a significant number of people base their personal morals on religious beliefs. I don't think it is generally accepted that argument from religious belief is weak, however I do think argument from religious belief other than one's own religion are generally viewed as weak.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
Must every debate, as part of political discourse, be reduced to proving over and over why arguments based on what people think gods thinks are fundamentally flawed? How many times must we prove it? One more time? Ten? Ten thousand?
No, you can simply point to a transcript of a previous debate and ask if your opponent has anything to add. If he cannot access the transcript you are obliged to provide access or repeat yourself. I don't think political debates are ever fully settled - new people are born and if history class fails to teach/convince them to take a political position, even a "settled" debate might come back from the dead. Much like any other fight against ignorance, politics will live on until the end of humanity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
What are you going to gain by proving over and over to your opponent that his/her religious arguments are entirely unsupported claims many of which are in contradiction with other religions, let alone secularism?
If you are unsure which side to take, you stand to convince yourself of a position. If you are already convinced as to which position is superior, you stand to convince undecided people in the audience. If you find contradictions within your opponent's position, you even stand to convince your opponent to abandon their position. If you do not want any of these things, why are you debating to begin with?

~Max
  #129  
Old 05-30-2019, 02:44 PM
thorny locust is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I don't see why it must be a theocracy for me to yield to the laws of society, so long as those laws do not violate the constitution. Or perhaps you think a law motivated by religion is necessarily unconstitutional? What if it is a constitutional amendment instead of a law?
If the law is based only on religious belief, then it does violate the US Constitution: because it favors that religious belief over all other religious beliefs and over a lack of religious belief.

And basing laws solely on the belief of a religion is exactly what a theocracy is. 'God said so, therefore everyone has to do it.' That's theocracy: God is considered the supreme ruler of the society.

If the USA amended the Constitution to say that laws based solely on the beliefs of a particular religion are constitutional, that would either pose an existential contradiction with the First Amendment, or would require repealing at least part of the First Amendment. This is theoretically possible, but I think it's a really bad idea.

Passing an amendment to the Constitution that forbid abortion would also be theoretically possible, and would not in itself pose that problem, because passing such an amendment in itself wouldn't necessarily be done solely on religious grounds. There are people making secular arguments in favor of banning abortion. I don't think they're good arguments, and I think this would also be a bad idea; but I think it's a bad idea for different reasons.

People very often have multiple reasons for wanting to do something. It's quite possible, and I'm sure quite common, that a particular person's decision as to whether they think a particular secular argument is correct, incorrect, or just plain nonsensical may be based on their religious beliefs. But that's not the same thing as imposing that religious belief on everybody else based only on the fact that some people believe it.
  #130  
Old 05-30-2019, 02:49 PM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 26,983
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
My take on it is that it's any argument based on a deistic/theistic belief system.
So, in your opinion, is Jefferson's argument in the Declaration of Independence an example of an argument based on a deistic/theistic belief system?

Last edited by Thudlow Boink; 05-30-2019 at 02:49 PM.
  #131  
Old 05-30-2019, 03:11 PM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
If the law is based only on religious belief, then it does violate the US Constitution: because it favors that religious belief over all other religious beliefs and over a lack of religious belief.

And basing laws solely on the belief of a religion is exactly what a theocracy is. 'God said so, therefore everyone has to do it.' That's theocracy: God is considered the supreme ruler of the society.
I don't follow. A law based on religious belief does not necessarily violate the establishment clause, so long as it was passed democratically. It is still the people passing the law, not a church or state or even God. The government remains a "secular" government despite the motivation behind the law being religious in nature.

A constitutional amendment could change the government into a theocracy, however, and if said theocracy deprives me of fundamental rights I may well refuse to accept the will of society. But a mere legislative act? I wouldn't take up arms over a law unless it was unconstitutional, and even then only in extreme cases where I can't wait for the courts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
If the USA amended the Constitution to say that laws based solely on the beliefs of a particular religion are constitutional, that would either pose an existential contradiction with the First Amendment, or would require repealing at least part of the First Amendment. This is theoretically possible, but I think it's a really bad idea.

Passing an amendment to the Constitution that forbid abortion would also be theoretically possible, and would not in itself pose that problem, because passing such an amendment in itself wouldn't necessarily be done solely on religious grounds. There are people making secular arguments in favor of banning abortion. I don't think they're good arguments, and I think this would also be a bad idea; but I think it's a bad idea for different reasons.

People very often have multiple reasons for wanting to do something. It's quite possible, and I'm sure quite common, that a particular person's decision as to whether they think a particular secular argument is correct, incorrect, or just plain nonsensical may be based on their religious beliefs. But that's not the same thing as imposing that religious belief on everybody else based only on the fact that some people believe it.
I agree with you concur about the rest.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 05-30-2019 at 03:12 PM. Reason: concurrance
  #132  
Old 05-30-2019, 03:11 PM
thorny locust is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
As I said, I don't think we live in "a secular society", because I think a significant number of people base their personal morals on religious beliefs.
A secular society isn't a society in which nobody is religious. That is just plain not what the term means.

A secular society is one in which believers in different religions, and people who don't believe in any, are treated equally by the laws, and all have the right to practice or to not practice the religion (or lack of it) of their choice. This requires the laws not to favor the beliefs of one (or several, the things schism and meld all the time anyway) religious groups over the beliefs of other religious groups or of non-believers; and not to require people who don't want to follow some specific religion to follow its tenets, unless there's also a non-religiously-based reason to require them to do so.

Secular societies also protect the right to freely espouse religious beliefs. Believers who think they want a religious society generally seem to assume it's their particular set of beliefs which will be in charge. My reading of history indicates that sooner or later just about everybody will find that it's somebody else's beliefs in charge, and their own which are being trampled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
A I don't think it is generally accepted that argument from religious belief is weak, however I do think argument from religious belief other than one's own religion are generally viewed as weak.
in other words, all arguments from religious belief are viewed as weak; they're just not all viewed as weak by the same people. Instead, each of them is viewed as weak by atheists, agnostics, members of other religions, and members of different sects of what's more-or-less the same religion. Which is a whole lot of people.

Religious belief varies widely. Extremely widely. Again, if you want to be ruled by religious belief: watch out. It's liable not to be yours.
  #133  
Old 05-30-2019, 03:44 PM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 971
If you don't mind, I will replace a secular society with our society in the following quotes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
[Our] society is one in which believers in different religions, and people who don't believe in any, are treated equally by the laws, and all have the right to practice or to not practice the religion (or lack of it) of their choice.
I will grant your first clause on the basis of Amendment XIV, but not your second clause. People in our society do not have the right to practice the religion of their choice. They have the right to hold religious beliefs, but if those religious beliefs conflict with the law, they do not have the right to practice that part of their religion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
[Our society] requires the laws not to favor the beliefs of one (or several, the things schism and meld all the time anyway) religious groups over the beliefs of other religious groups or of non-believers;
I disagree for the same reason as above. If a law is passed that complies with the beliefs of one group over another, and said law complies with the constitution (Amendments I and XIV, not a bill of attainder), it may have the effect of favoring the one group over another. In fact, every law passed in the face of opposition favors the pro- side over the anti- side. Would you argue that people who support a law for moral reasons, whose morals are entirely based on religion, are pushing for an unconstitutional law? Is it not enough that the majority of people supported the law, that "it is the sense of the people"?

Say we didn't have a public debate, just a bunch of private debates with no transcripts. The state runs a referendum and most people want a certain law passed. The congressmen vote for the law, and in their speeches the only rationale offered is a combination of religious arguments, possibly a very very weak secular reason, and the results of the referendum. Would you ask the judiciary to issue an injunction? On what grounds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
[Our society can not] require people who don't want to follow some specific religion to follow its tenets, unless there's also a non-religiously-based reason to require them to do so.
If a tenet is a personal belief, or following a tenet violates some civil right, I agree. Otherwise, I don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
[Societies like ours] also protect the right to freely espouse religious beliefs.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Believers who think they want a religious society generally seem to assume it's their particular set of beliefs which will be in charge. My reading of history indicates that sooner or later just about everybody will find that it's somebody else's beliefs in charge, and their own which are being trampled.
Perhaps. I don't want a religious society because I am not religious, but if it was the will of the people, I wouldn't have much choice would I? I might move to a different jurisdiction, or if my rights were taken away I might sue or refuse to comply with the law (if extreme).

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
in other words, all arguments from religious belief are viewed as weak; they're just not all viewed as weak by the same people. Instead, each of them is viewed as weak by atheists, agnostics, members of other religions, and members of different sects of what's more-or-less the same religion. Which is a whole lot of people.
Also agreed, except sometimes it might not be a "whole lot of people", especially in local politics.

~Max
  #134  
Old 05-30-2019, 03:52 PM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 10,946
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I don't follow. A law based on religious belief does not necessarily violate the establishment clause, so long as it was passed democratically. It is still the people passing the law, not a church or state or even God. The government remains a "secular" government despite the motivation behind the law being religious in nature.
If someone wants to make a law that murder should be illegal, and they say, "Because God said so", I would say that I agree with their proposed law, but not their reason, and I would provide a secual reason for why murder should be illegal.

If we just leave it at "Because god said so", then we can justify anything at all.

You can be motivated to pass a law due to your religion, but if you cannot justify it through logic and reason, then it is theocracy.
Quote:
A constitutional amendment could change the government into a theocracy, however, and if said theocracy deprives me of fundamental rights I may well refuse to accept the will of society. But a mere legislative act? I wouldn't take up arms over a law unless it was unconstitutional, and even then only in extreme cases where I can't wait for the courts.
No one is asking you to take up arms, just to recognize that religious based arguments have no place in a secular society. They are free to spout them, but we need to make sure that they do not make it into public policy.

A mere legislative act? So, my God doesn't think that people with red hair should be allowed to walk in the park on Sundays. Is that a fundamental right? Not really. Is that imposing your beliefs on others? Yes it is.

As I think has been repeated more times than god can count, it is not the motivation behind the argument, but the argument itself that we are talking about when we say that religion has not place in informing public policy.
  #135  
Old 05-30-2019, 03:55 PM
Crane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,047

What's a religious argument?


In the context of the OP a religious argument is a statement made as a premise in a discussion or debate:

All of our rights are derived from God
Abortion violates God's law
The US has the blessings of heaven on our arms
In God we trust
We are one nation under God
Anyone who would vote wet is lower than a egg suckin hound
US law is based on the 10 commandments
America is Flag, Faith and Firearms


These come to mind. Perhaps someone can offer religious premises that are not romantic nonsense and belong in the political/social discourse.
  #136  
Old 05-30-2019, 04:09 PM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crane View Post
In the context of the OP a religious argument is a statement made as a premise in a discussion or debate:

All of our rights are derived from God
Abortion violates God's law
The US has the blessings of heaven on our arms
In God we trust
We are one nation under God
Anyone who would vote wet is lower than a egg suckin hound
US law is based on the 10 commandments
America is Flag, Faith and Firearms


These come to mind. Perhaps someone can offer religious premises that are not romantic nonsense and belong in the political/social discourse.
Basic logic, such as modus ponens;
the cogito;
a rejection of solipsism;
the theory of empirical weight (a posteriori knowledge can lead to phenomenological laws);
possibly dualism or theism;
free will;
the existence and nature of consciousness;
a moral system;
probably more.

~Max
  #137  
Old 05-30-2019, 04:18 PM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
If someone wants to make a law that murder should be illegal, and they say, "Because God said so", I would say that I agree with their proposed law, but not their reason, and I would provide a secual reason for why murder should be illegal.

If we just leave it at "Because god said so", then we can justify anything at all.
You don't have to agree with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
You can be motivated to pass a law due to your religion, but if you cannot justify it through logic and reason, then it is theocracy.
If you don't have the debate how can you prove their argument is illogical or unreasonable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
No one is asking you to take up arms, just to recognize that religious based arguments have no place in a secular society. They are free to spout them, but we need to make sure that they do not make it into public policy.
I will agree with you that in my opinion, religion has no place in public policy. But also in my opinion, religion has a prominent place in public policy debate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
A mere legislative act? So, my God doesn't think that people with red hair should be allowed to walk in the park on Sundays. Is that a fundamental right? Not really. Is that imposing your beliefs on others? Yes it is.
Maybe you're on to something. I would argue against that law because it unfairly discriminates against red-haired people.

~Max
  #138  
Old 05-30-2019, 04:31 PM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 18,271
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
So, in your opinion, is Jefferson's argument in the Declaration of Independence an example of an argument based on a deistic/theistic belief system?
I am not well enough informed on this subject to give an erudite opinion. However, it seems to me that it would have been just as important and valid an argument with my edit below:

Quote:
...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Jefferson was a deist so I would not exclude the influence his beliefs had on his thinking when he drafted this document (later edited by others). Nor can I dismiss the influence of flourish of oration of that time. On the other hand, it's so well written, it can hardly be considered deistic at all.

Truth is, I'm not sure what was in the man's mind when he hit <send>.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.

Last edited by QuickSilver; 05-30-2019 at 04:33 PM.
  #139  
Old 05-30-2019, 04:38 PM
begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 12,592
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Basic logic, such as modus ponens;
the cogito;
a rejection of solipsism;
the theory of empirical weight (a posteriori knowledge can lead to phenomenological laws);
possibly dualism or theism;
free will;
the existence and nature of consciousness;
a moral system;
probably more.

~Max
You think all these are religious premises? Seriously?
  #140  
Old 05-30-2019, 04:39 PM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 10,946
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
You don't have to agree with them.
And I don't
Quote:

If you don't have the debate how can you prove their argument is illogical or unreasonable?
Because I've seen the debate a million times before. In the abortion threads, there were people talking about baby's souls and god's will. It is like arguing with a brick wall. You can not use logic and reason to argue someone out of a position they did not use logic or reason to get themselves into.
Quote:
I will agree with you that in my opinion, religion has no place in public policy. But also in my opinion, religion has a prominent place in public policy debate.
Okay, I'm not sure what you are trying to get at here, so you need to give an example of how you would go about putting religion in the public policy debate without it being in the public policy.
Quote:

Maybe you're on to something. I would argue against that law because it unfairly discriminates against red-haired people.
That's okay, because God hates red haired people.
  #141  
Old 05-30-2019, 04:43 PM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 18,271
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I will agree with you that in my opinion, religion has no place in public policy. But also in my opinion, religion has a prominent place in public policy debate.


Maybe you're on to something. I would argue against that law because it unfairly discriminates against red-haired people.

~Max
What if you held the same belief about red-haired people because you attended the same church? Would you argue against the law based on the fact that it unfairly discriminates, or would you agree with your fellow anti-gingers?

And what if you were in a position of power, like a congressman in a representative democracy, representing lots of constituents that were also anti-gingers?

Would you then think it fair and right to pass laws based on your religious belief system despite the fact that many of the people you also happen to represent are red-heads?

Can you now see how arguments from religious convictions are a problem in public policy debate?
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.

Last edited by QuickSilver; 05-30-2019 at 04:44 PM.
  #142  
Old 05-30-2019, 04:44 PM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
You think all these are religious premises? Seriously?
Yeah. But I guess I'm using a weird definition of "religious":

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
To me, religion is a person's deep and sincere philosophy. Alternatively religion is the denomination or large group of people who share a deep and sincere philosophy.
And a "religious premise" would be a fundamental premise (can't be backed up) which is deeply and sincerely held.

I'm open to other definitions so long as it does not imply a religious premise is invalid.

~Max
  #143  
Old 05-30-2019, 04:47 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 61,313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Yeah. But I guess I'm using a weird definition of "religious":



And a "religious premise" would be a fundamental premise (can't be backed up) which is deeply and sincerely held.

I'm open to other definitions so long as it does not imply a religious premise is invalid.

~Max
Look up the word "religion". A "religious premise" is a "premise" based on "religion".
  #144  
Old 05-30-2019, 04:48 PM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Okay, I'm not sure what you are trying to get at here, so you need to give an example of how you would go about putting religion in the public policy debate without it being in the public policy.
Blue laws with weak secular rationale passed largely because of support from the religious majority.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
That's okay, because God hates red haired people.
And we're back to post #78-#80, which was never resolved.

~Max
  #145  
Old 05-30-2019, 04:55 PM
begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 12,592
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I'm open to other definitions so long as it does not imply a religious premise is invalid.
Hold on - why can't a religious premise be invalid? And what does it mean for a premise to be invalid, again?

From my education in formal logic, arguments are invalid; premises are either true or false - which really means "accepted as true" or "not accepted as true".

The nature of a religious premise is that people only accept it as true if they're part of the religion that sources the premise. Which means that every religious argument is automatically unsound to everyone not of the religion. This is not so good for debate - it forces the debate to immediately turn to a debate over the validity of the premise. Well, that or one side or the other forces the issue through fiat or force of arms or something.

Of course in practice the religious people are aware that nobody else is going to buy their arguments, because religious doesn't automatically equal stupid. The arguments they pull out instead do tend to be invalid, though.
  #146  
Old 05-30-2019, 05:01 PM
Crane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,047
Max S.

Basic logic and posterior analytics are not religious concepts.

possibly dualism or theism; - irrelevant to Political/social debate
free will; - again irrelevant to public debate and you cannot even define it
the existence and nature of consciousness; - pure science - not religious
a moral system; - religious dogma - has no place in public debate

probably more. - I have yet to see the first one.



Please provide an example of how any of these topics could provide premises for public debate in a way that does not violate separation of church and state.
  #147  
Old 05-30-2019, 05:08 PM
Crane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,047
Max S.

Exactly - the example I gave was from Reverend Willard Stalcup in the election for Morgan County Alabama to allow liquor sales:


Anyone who would vote wet is lower than a egg suckin hound.


Is the premise true?


Is the argument valid?

Last edited by Crane; 05-30-2019 at 05:09 PM.
  #148  
Old 05-30-2019, 05:45 PM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 10,946
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Yeah. But I guess I'm using a weird definition of "religious":



And a "religious premise" would be a fundamental premise (can't be backed up) which is deeply and sincerely held.

I'm open to other definitions so long as it does not imply a religious premise is invalid.

~Max
That's your own definition. The primary definition, one that most people are going to be working off of, is "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods."

If you want to define religion as something else, something that is compatible with public policy, that's fine, but then, you have only sidestepped the question with semantics, not actually addressed it.

And you are open to other definitions, so long as they do not invalidate your argument? What does that even mean? Does the actual dictionary definition imply that a religious premise is invalid, in your opinion?

I have deep and sincere beliefs. For instance, I have a deep and sincere belief that I don't want to be killed. Based on that premise, I can justify saying that no one would be killed. Now, can I prove or justify that premise, can I back it up? No. But does that make it religious? Also, NO.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Blue laws with weak secular rationale passed largely because of support from the religious majority.
Exactly the sort of thing that I am talking about. These blue laws are being overturned quite a bit in areas that have less religious influence as there are no actual secular reasons for them. They are based on religious premises.

Quote:
And we're back to post #78-#80, which was never resolved.
Other than that was when you proved that religion belief has no place in forming public policy, but that wasn't good enough for you.

What exactly is it that you are trying to determine here? You are just going in circles and asking the same questions over an over and not being satisfied with the answers.
  #149  
Old 05-30-2019, 06:14 PM
Crane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,047
The real problem is that arguments presented by religious people are often complex, folksy, emotional and personal.

That, as much as religion, makes them unsuitable for public debate.
  #150  
Old 05-30-2019, 07:25 PM
I Love Me, Vol. I's Avatar
I Love Me, Vol. I is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SF
Posts: 4,475
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
But then why wouldn't religion have a place in public debate? Why shouldn't religion have a place in public debate?
Because it's not relevant.

Another irrelevant talking point would be the rules I choose for my household. In my home, I am the King. I make the rules and there is no appeal. What I say goes. Period. Here are just two of my unbreakable commandments:

Rule #1: Any homosexual sex that happens in my home shall be punishable by death for all parties involved.

Rule #2: Thou shall not mix peanut butter and jelly. Any who do so will be caged in the basement not less that 60 years.


If I suggest that governmental policy really should be run the same way I run my household how much credence should be my argument be given? My personal rules are just as crucial Catholic Church's rules in terms of their bearing on public policy.


Quote:
I certainly cannot deny that Leviticus 20:13 exists, and I can agree that Leviticus 20:13 says homosexuality should be illegal. It does not follow that homosexuality should actually be illegal. If my opponent refused to fill in the missing premise, the moderator can certainly step in and declare his argument invalid.

Let's say my opponent does fill in the missing premise, and says public policy should be based on the bible. Then I will debate him on that. He might say the bible is the word of God, and public policy should be based on the word of God, and claim that these two premises are fundamental. At which point I can either agree to disagree and end the debate (or sub-debate), or I can try and find a contradiction between these and other statements he has endorsed.
I read this as you saying the entire argument of "Does God Exist? (Show Your Work!)" needs to take place in its entirety any time religion is invoked in a public debate. That's not good time management.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:21 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017