Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-29-2019, 10:02 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 785

Does religion have a place in public debate?


Prompted by k9bfriender's post in the thread "Pro-lifers want to control women's bodies" - Okay, but........why?

Does religion have a place in public debate? I'm primarily interested in American debate, but the question's scope is not necessarily limited to the United States.

I am aware of arguments on both sides of the issue, and as of yet, am convinced by none. I suspect there are fundamental disagreements as to the purpose of public debate, the freedom of religion, and the separation of church and state.

So what do you think, readers of the Straight Dope Message Boards? Should religion have a place in public debate? Why or why not?

~Max
  #2  
Old 05-29-2019, 10:05 AM
Velocity is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 14,246
That's kind of hard to answer without really knowing what "have a place" means. In debate, do you mean, one side using their religion as a talking point or reference for argument? (i.e., a Muslim demanding that non-Muslim people abide by his Quran)
  #3  
Old 05-29-2019, 10:07 AM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 60,819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
That's kind of hard to answer without really knowing what "have a place" means. In debate, do you mean, one side using their religion as a talking point or reference for argument? (i.e., a Muslim demanding that non-Muslim people abide by his Quran)
Or a politician saying this country is based on the teachings of the Bible...which is more likely by a factor of 1000?
  #4  
Old 05-29-2019, 10:23 AM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 17,909
Religion absolutely has a place in public debate.

Religion has no place in political social policy debate.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #5  
Old 05-29-2019, 10:38 AM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 60,819
I absolutely believe that people should talk about their religionosity-If they are willing to follow their religious tenets to the point of scrapping parts of the Constitution, I want to know ahead of time.

Last edited by Czarcasm; 05-29-2019 at 10:38 AM.
  #6  
Old 05-29-2019, 10:40 AM
BrickBat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: US
Posts: 353
No.

It should have nothing whatsoever to do with policy, vis-a-vis the state.
  #7  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:01 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 33,879
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
Religion absolutely has a place in public debate.

Religion has no place in political social policy debate.
This is what I believe. The first because everything that affects humans "has a place in public debate".

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 05-29-2019 at 11:01 AM.
  #8  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:23 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
Religion absolutely has a place in public debate.

Religion has no place in political social policy debate.
Yes, I mean political debate about social policies.

ETA: Why not?

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 05-29-2019 at 11:23 AM.
  #9  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:24 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 33,879
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Yes, I mean political debate about social policies.

ETA: Why not?

~Max
Because social policy should be debated on the grounds of evidence, logic, and data, not superstition.
  #10  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:27 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
That's kind of hard to answer without really knowing what "have a place" means. In debate, do you mean, one side using their religion as a talking point or reference for argument? (i.e., a Muslim demanding that non-Muslim people abide by his Quran)
By "having a place", I mean should it take up air time, newspaper space, blog entries, conversations in-person, etcetera.

~Max
  #11  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:33 AM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 17,909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Yes, I mean political debate about social policies.

ETA: Why not?

~Max
Because religion is not a basis on which to build a just society. If you disagree, I challenge you to cite one country governed by religious doctrine that you would call a just society.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.

Last edited by QuickSilver; 05-29-2019 at 11:35 AM.
  #12  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:34 AM
Velocity is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 14,246
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
By "having a place", I mean should it take up air time, newspaper space, blog entries, conversations in-person, etcetera.

~Max
Then it's usually impossible for it not to have a place. You have to cover what's there. Christianity, etc., has a real influence on many people and things. You couldn't not cover it in media if it has an influence. How is the media and social media supposed to cover things like the pro-life movement, traditional marriage movement, etc., without pointing out that there is a lot of religious reason propelling such movements?
  #13  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:34 AM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 17,909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
By "having a place", I mean should it take up air time, newspaper space, blog entries, conversations in-person, etcetera.

~Max
No-one has objected thus far.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #14  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:36 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
Because social policy should be debated on the grounds of evidence, logic, and data, not superstition.
I take it you identify religion with superstition: the absence of evidence, logic, and data.

I am not religious but it is my understanding that religious people necessarily disagree with you. What is your next step? Do you debate them on the merits of their religion?

~Max
  #15  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:38 AM
you with the face is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 12,222
The purpose of debate is to persuade others to your view. If you're religious and you're trying to persuade non-believers, then it's unlikely they are going to be impressed by arguments that appeal to your religion. Imagine a debate that looks like this:

"We should ban pork."

"No, we shouldn't. Pork is a great source of protein and it tastes great. The benefits greatly outweigh the risks."

"Pork is unclean and is not fit to be eaten."

"According to whom? I eat it all the time and nothing bad has happened."

"Ah, that you know of. Your soul is violated every time you eat that wicked flesh of the devil."

"Dude, what are you talking--"

"The Koran says..."

Not very compelling is it? I'm trying to imagine an example of how a religious-based argument would ever be persuasive to someone who is not a follower, and I'm drawing a blank.

Last edited by you with the face; 05-29-2019 at 11:39 AM.
  #16  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:40 AM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 17,909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I take it you identify religion with superstition: the absence of evidence, logic, and data.
Don't you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I am not religious but it is my understanding that religious people necessarily disagree with you. What is your next step? Do you debate them on the merits of their religion?

~Max
If their religious convictions impinge on my human rights, you're damn right I will.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #17  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:42 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
The purpose of debate is to persuade others to your view. If you're religious and you're trying to persuade non-believers, then it's unlikely they are going to be impressed by arguments that appeal to your religion. Imagine a debate that looks like this:

"We should ban pork."

"No, we shouldn't. Pork is a great source of protein and it tastes great. The benefits greatly outweigh the risks."

"Pork is unclean and is not fit to be eaten."

"According to whom? I eat it all the time and nothing bad has happened."

"Ah, that you know of. Your soul is violated every time you eat that wicked flesh of the devil."

"Dude, what are you talking--"

"The Koran says..."

Not very compelling is it? I'm trying to imagine an example of how a religious-based argument would ever be persuasive to someone who is not a follower, and I'm drawing a blank.
Then does religion have a place in public political debate among followers of the same religion?

~Max
  #18  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:43 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Then it's usually impossible for it not to have a place. You have to cover what's there. Christianity, etc., has a real influence on many people and things. You couldn't not cover it in media if it has an influence. How is the media and social media supposed to cover things like the pro-life movement, traditional marriage movement, etc., without pointing out that there is a lot of religious reason propelling such movements?
I had in mind coverage with intent to persuade, not mere coverage for newsworthiness.

~Max
  #19  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:43 AM
Velocity is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 14,246
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Then does religion have a place in public political debate among followers of the same religion?

~Max
Sure it does. But they still ought to account for the fact that many in their city/state/nation are non-followers.
  #20  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:44 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 33,879
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I take it you identify religion with superstition: the absence of evidence, logic, and data.
Generally, yes.

Quote:
I am not religious but it is my understanding that religious people necessarily disagree with you. What is your next step? Do you debate them on the merits of their religion?

~Max
If that's how they present their arguments, then perhaps. If they say "this is the right thing because the Bible/Quran/etc. says so", then I'll respond that public policy should not be based on the teachings of religious texts, but rather on evidence, logic, and data.
  #21  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:45 AM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 17,909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Then does religion have a place in public political debate among followers of the same religion?

~Max
Only in a Theocracy.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #22  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:47 AM
kanicbird is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 19,447
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
Because religion is not a basis on which to build a just society. If you disagree, I challenge you to cite one country governed by religious doctrine that you would call a just society.
I don't challenge, but object to the premise that there is such a thing as a 'country ... that you (one) would call a just society' and would ask what country you feel qualifies as this and on what bases.

If you look into it I don't believe you will find any.

Last edited by kanicbird; 05-29-2019 at 11:47 AM.
  #23  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:49 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
Don't you?
I have never thought hard enough to answer that question. I've tried, sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
If their religious convictions impinge on my human rights, you're damn right I will.
So pretend society is undecided on the issue affecting some human right. Someone comes forward with a moral argument based on religion. If you found the debater to argue in good faith, do you go into the weeds with them?

~Max
  #24  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:53 AM
you with the face is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 12,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Then does religion have a place in public political debate among followers of the same religion?

~Max
Sure, but the utility is highly dependent on the topic being debated.
  #25  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:54 AM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
Only in a Theocracy.
How so? Say the local Christian radio station airs a debate like this:

"All of you protestants out there, you should take position A because of religious reasons X and Y."
"No, Y is a misinterpretation of passage Z of the Bible, and you should take position B because..."

Or even an interfaith debate.

~Max
  #26  
Old 05-29-2019, 12:02 PM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 17,909
Quote:
Originally Posted by kanicbird View Post
I don't challenge, but object to the premise that there is such a thing as a 'country ... that you (one) would call a just society' and would ask what country you feel qualifies as this and on what bases.

If you look into it I don't believe you will find any.
If you're looking for Utopia, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed.

Here are 16 that by most standards are considered best of breed with respect to socially democratic ideals. Not one is a theocracy. I have a sneaking suspicion they made room for the US at the bottom of the list.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #27  
Old 05-29-2019, 12:06 PM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 17,909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
How so? Say the local Christian radio station airs a debate like this:

"All of you protestants out there, you should take position A because of religious reasons X and Y."
"No, Y is a misinterpretation of passage Z of the Bible, and you should take position B because..."

Or even an interfaith debate.

~Max
Not a political debate and doesn't impact social policy; Don't care. They can have at it all day long.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.

Last edited by QuickSilver; 05-29-2019 at 12:06 PM.
  #28  
Old 05-29-2019, 12:08 PM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
The purpose of debate is to persuade others to your view. If you're religious and you're trying to persuade non-believers, then it's unlikely they are going to be impressed by arguments that appeal to your religion.

...

Not very compelling is it? I'm trying to imagine an example of how a religious-based argument would ever be persuasive to someone who is not a follower, and I'm drawing a blank.
If the two people debating cannot agree on premises, your options are to go deeper into the weeds or walk away. I don't see why this should be any different if one premise is the authority of the Quran.

If a significant number of people believe in the authority of the Quran, and use this belief to inform their personal morals, and use their personal morals to inform their opinions on public policy, and if every person is entitled to express their opinion on public policy, and if the purpose of public debate is for society to establish a consensus on public policy, then would you admit that religious arguments have a central place in public debate?

I'm not convinced myself but nobody is representing this side of the argument. Perhaps that is not the purpose of public debate, and we would be better off stigmatizing religion and letting the public slowly shift to a more atheistic position as the religious adherents die out. Perhaps not every person is entitled to express their opinion on public policy, or perhaps public policy should not be decided by public debate.

~Max
  #29  
Old 05-29-2019, 12:08 PM
kayaker's Avatar
kayaker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 31,709
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Yes, I mean political debate about social policies.

ETA: Why not?

~Max
Religious freedom includes freedom from religion.

From Wikipedia:

Quote:
Surveys show that Americans without a religious affiliation (which include 'nothing particular', agnostic, and atheist) range around 23.8%[3], 22.8%[2], 24.8%[4], 31%[5], 36%[6] and 21%[7][8] of the population, with 'nothing in particulars' making up the majority of this demographic. Since the early 1990s, independent polls have shown the rapid growth of those without a religious affiliation.[9][10][2]
__________________
Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.

--Victor John Stenger
  #30  
Old 05-29-2019, 12:10 PM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
Not a political debate and doesn't impact social policy; Don't care. They can have at it all day long.
What if position A and position B are sides on the abortion debate, or the use of torture, or the death penalty, or contraceptives, or any other social policy? Or if the positions are whether to support a given candidate? Or whether to donate to a certain cause?

~Max
  #31  
Old 05-29-2019, 12:13 PM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 17,909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
So pretend society is undecided on the issue affecting some human right. Someone comes forward with a moral argument based on religion. If you found the debater to argue in good faith, do you go into the weeds with them?

~Max
Demonstrate for me by example a 'moral' religious position or argument for an undecided human right that I could not hold, support or put forward as an a-religious human rights advocate.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #32  
Old 05-29-2019, 12:14 PM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
Religious freedom includes freedom from religion.

From Wikipedia:
I don't understand what you mean. Does the freedom for an individual to be irreligious somehow imply that public political debate should be irreligious?

~Max
  #33  
Old 05-29-2019, 12:16 PM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
Demonstrate for me by example a 'moral' religious position or argument for an undecided human right that I could not hold, support or put forward as an a-religious human rights advocate.
That's not what I meant by 'moral'. I meant a moral argument, as in an argument about morals, opposed to a financial argument for example. I did not mean to imply that the argument is morally sound to anybody except the one presenting it, who ostensibly thinks the argument is morally sound and wants to debate it.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 05-29-2019 at 12:17 PM.
  #34  
Old 05-29-2019, 12:19 PM
octopus's Avatar
octopus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 8,321
Yes it should since itís part of human history. Humans canít and wonít argue purely from rational arguments based on objective observations.
  #35  
Old 05-29-2019, 12:21 PM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 17,909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
What if position A and position B are sides on the abortion debate, or the use of torture, or the death penalty, or contraceptives, or any other social policy? Or if the positions are whether to support a given candidate? Or whether to donate to a certain cause?

~Max
Again, I object to public policies made on the basis of religious convictions, if those policies are designed to restrict human rights. I hope your next question isn't going to be about protecting human rights of cannibals and pedophiles.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #36  
Old 05-29-2019, 12:31 PM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 17,909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
That's not what I meant by 'moral'. I meant a moral argument, as in an argument about morals, opposed to a financial argument for example. I did not mean to imply that the argument is morally sound to anybody except the one presenting it, who ostensibly thinks the argument is morally sound and wants to debate it.

~Max
Like abortion?... I'm happy to have that debate publicly. I object to having religious doctrine with no evidentiary basis dictate public policy, regardless of how 'moral' they believe their argument to be.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #37  
Old 05-29-2019, 12:38 PM
MichaelEmouse's Avatar
MichaelEmouse is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 7,154
John Rawls came up with the notion of public reason which is relevant here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_reason



Religious justifications for public policies tend to either fall flat or be attempts to exert power and control over others.

Muslims are as likely to be convinced by Jewish arguments that YHVH gave Jerusalem to the Jews as Jews are to be convinced by Muslim arguments that Allah gave Jerusalem to Muslims. In the same way, slavers and segregationists found religious justifications for slavery and segregation while abolitionists and anti-segregationists found religious justifications for the opposite. You recently saw the same thing with homosexuality. I doubt quoting Bible verses convinced many people even if they were of the same religion.

Religion makes it easy to make up whatever you want and then pretend to have absolute certainty and authority to carry out a deity's will; A deity who turns out to have the same opinion you started with, how blessed are you! I'm not sure how else to phrase it but the US has a large swath of gas-lighting bullies and religion is a useful banner and drum to them.

That doesn't mean religious people can't express opinions which are motivated by their faiths. But they'll have to find arguments which someone who doesn't share their faith could agree with. Plenty of religious people have no problem with that. The people who think they should be able to say: "My religion says this" and have it carried out into law are those with a ravenous need to control others and demonstrate power over them which is what you would expect from a slaver society.
  #38  
Old 05-29-2019, 12:47 PM
you with the face is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 12,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
If a significant number of people believe in the authority of the Quran, and use this belief to inform their personal morals, and use their personal morals to inform their opinions on public policy, and if every person is entitled to express their opinion on public policy, and if the purpose of public debate is for society to establish a consensus on public policy, then would you admit that religious arguments have a central place in public debate?
See how many "if's" you're stipulating? It makes the claim you are making not very generalizable. And what does "central place" really mean in this context?

Since abortion is what led to you start this thread, let's use this as an example. In this country, some segment of the population using the Bible to inform their personal morals. Others do not. Some people use their Bible-based moral system to inform their opinion on public policy. Others do not (even including some who believe in the Bible). Bible-believers who want public policy to reflect their moral beliefs want abortion banned. People who don't believe the Bible should dictate public policy don't want to ban abortion.

Is the Bible informing/influencing one side of the debate? Sure.

Does this mean anti-abortion side should make appeals to the Bible when debating the other side? No, not if they are trying to persuade. But sure they can do this if they just want to create hot air?
  #39  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:04 PM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
Does this mean anti-abortion side should make appeals to the Bible when debating the other side? No, not if they are trying to persuade. But sure they can do this if they just want to create hot air?
It means the debate between a pro-life Christian and a pro-choice atheist should be about the whether the Bible should inform public policy, not whether pro-life or pro-choice implies some sort of ulterior motive.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 05-29-2019 at 01:06 PM.
  #40  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:08 PM
Cheesesteak's Avatar
Cheesesteak is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Lovely Montclair, NJ
Posts: 13,346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
If the two people debating cannot agree on premises, your options are to go deeper into the weeds or walk away. I don't see why this should be any different if one premise is the authority of the Quran.
How do you debate religion?

It's the fucking word of God.

You want me to debate the merits of those requirements put forth upon us by Our Creator, the Omniscient and All Powerful Creator of the Universe?

Not interested, thanks.
  #41  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:13 PM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 26,814
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
If that's how they present their arguments, then perhaps. If they say "this is the right thing because the Bible/Quran/etc. says so", then I'll respond that public policy should not be based on the teachings of religious texts, but rather on evidence, logic, and data.
A religious person is no less logical than you just because they argue from different premises, or consider different kinds of things to be evidence.
  #42  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:16 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 60,819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
A religious person is no less logical than you just because they argue from different premises, or consider different kinds of things to be evidence.
"Logic" and "internal logic" are not the same.
  #43  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:18 PM
kayaker's Avatar
kayaker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 31,709
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
A religious person is no less logical than you just because they argue from different premises, or consider different kinds of things to be evidence.
(bolding mine)

Quote:
Evidence: the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.
So, your saying a religious person gets to pick their own facts?
  #44  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:18 PM
you with the face is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 12,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
It means the debate between a pro-life Christian and a pro-choice atheist should be about the whether the Bible should inform public policy, not whether pro-life or pro-choice implies some sort of ulterior motive.

~Max
People can debate all of these things. Since it's questionable whether the Bible is actually informing the pro-life viewpoint, it's perfectly within the bounds of fair and open discourse to argue a case for other motives. I mean, you will be hard pressed to find any scripture forbidding abortion.
  #45  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:19 PM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 26,814
Quote:
Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
Since abortion is what led to you start this thread, let's use this as an example. In this country, some segment of the population using the Bible to inform their personal morals. Others do not. Some people use their Bible-based moral system to inform their opinion on public policy. Others do not (even including some who believe in the Bible). Bible-believers who want public policy to reflect their moral beliefs want abortion banned. People who don't believe the Bible should dictate public policy don't want to ban abortion.
I find this example confusing and water-muddying, because, as we discussed in a recent thread, it's not at all clear that the Bible says anything about abortion. (ETA: Posted before I saw your post just above mine, which makes much the same point.)

Last edited by Thudlow Boink; 05-29-2019 at 01:20 PM.
  #46  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:26 PM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 26,814
nm

Last edited by Thudlow Boink; 05-29-2019 at 01:27 PM.
  #47  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:26 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 33,879
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
A religious person is no less logical than you just because they argue from different premises, or consider different kinds of things to be evidence.
Depends on the premises and the "different kinds of things" they consider evidence.
  #48  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:28 PM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 26,814
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
So, your saying a religious person gets to pick their own facts?
In a sense, everybody "gets to pick their own facts": everybody has to decide what sort of things they'll accept as evidence, and what axioms and premises they're starting from when they argue logically.
  #49  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:28 PM
Max S. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
How do you debate religion?

It's the fucking word of God.

You want me to debate the merits of those requirements put forth upon us by Our Creator, the Omniscient and All Powerful Creator of the Universe?

Not interested, thanks.
Why not? As far as I know, no form of epistemology is rooted in any religious text, cf. people who lived before the invention of writing or who died before coming in contact with said text. Theologians regularly debate the word of God, and even the authority and integrity of the so-called word of God. Even the Indian philosophers dedicate an entire school of thought (Nyaya) to the authority of religious texts.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 05-29-2019 at 01:30 PM.
  #50  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:35 PM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 26,814
My answer to the thread title's question is "YES," because to answer "NO" would mean that religion would be forbidden in public debate, which I don't like because (1) restriction on freedom of speech, and (2) how do you define what counts as "religion"?
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 10:09 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