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  #51  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:38 PM
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Anyone putting forth arguments in a public debate that are meant to affect all members of society (such as new laws or overturning of existing laws) should make make an effort to make those arguments from a secular viewpoint, even if their motivation for resisting or encouraging the change is religious. I say this because any broad changes are guaranteed to affect a large minority (or even a majority) of people who don't follow your religion.

Is this just another abortion debate? If so, then the pro-life people should be making non-religious arguments, and they often do. They say that abortion kills a living human organism, which it does. They want to define that as murder, which is arguable. What they don't usually say in public debates, and they shouldn't, is that abortion kills a human soul or it's a grievous sin. Those will be unconvincing to those who don't share their faith or have none.

Similarly, there were laws against contraception. One can make a secular argument that contraception should be illegal, since it may encourage promiscuity which may lead to the spread of disease and have negative effects on the concept of family. But, someone looking to keep contraception illegal would be ill-advised to say that the church says that using contraception is a sin or that God says that all intercourse should have the possibility of procreation, because those will be unconvincing. (To be clear, I don't think contraception should be illegal)

So, I guess I'm saying that religion doesn't really have a place in the public debate -- it may spur religious people to look for social changes, but those people should present their arguments for those in a secular context if they want to appeal to the public at large.
  #52  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:56 PM
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Why not?
Because the person on the other side of the debate believes his side represents the word of God.

I'm not a theologian or a philosopher, I have no interest in debating the relative merits of someone's religion. If I want to talk about public policy, let's talk about that without the implication that one argument is backed by the word of an omnipotent, benevolent deity. Let the argument stand on its own merits.
  #53  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:57 PM
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(2) how do you define what counts as "religion"?
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.

~Max
  #54  
Old 05-29-2019, 02:08 PM
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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.

~Max
If you insist on using the Max S. Thesaurus, you may find it difficult to communicate with other people.


Also, if I want to determine whether or not someone's philosophy is deep or sincere, how can I go about it? How can I differentiate between someone who is insincere and someone who is incoherent or dim?
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Old 05-29-2019, 02:25 PM
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If you insist on using the Max S. Thesaurus, you may find it difficult to communicate with other people.


Also, if I want to determine whether or not someone's philosophy is deep or sincere, how can I go about it? How can I differentiate between someone who is insincere and someone who is incoherent or dim?
I don't always insist on my own definitions, Thudlow Boink asked and I answered.

Differentiate between sincere and insincere religious beliefs at your own discretion. Ideally I would assume sincerity by default and insincerity if there is evidence of bad faith. Judging someone else's motivation will always be a little subjective.

~Max
  #56  
Old 05-29-2019, 02:35 PM
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Is argument from sincere religious conviction representing a large group of adherents morally more compelling/right/just than argument from equally sincere evidence based philosophically a-religious POV?
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  #57  
Old 05-29-2019, 03:04 PM
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Question one: what's meant by public debate?

If we're talking not about debates within a particular sect and/or religious debates among willing participants in religious debates whether or not they're part of the same sect: those can certainly be held in public in the sense that people doing this don't need to go hide behind locked doors but can keep on talking about it in a restaurant or in the street or whatever as long as they're not doing so in a fashion which forces others to pay attention to them.

If we're talking about debates about what laws, regulations, or even customs should be inflicted on the general public in ways that are also going to impact those who don't believe the particular religion, then what MichaelEmouse said:

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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.

I doubt you can get religion out of public debate entirely: both in the sense that religious people are going to be motivated by their religious beliefs, and in the sense that sometimes it's necessary to have public debate about what is and what isn't permitted religious behavior. Should we close government offices on Sundays? on Christmas? How much accommodation does a business that's open on Saturdays need to make for people who keep a Saturday Sabbath? Is it illegal to take peyote as part of a religious ceremony, if it's illegal to take it in a secular fashion? Et considerably cetera.

But if the public debate is about something that will affect the lives of those who aren't members of the religion, then it has to find grounds on which to argue that are actually reasons according to grounds that aren't religious. Partly because that's the way to do it unless you want a theocracy; and partly because that's the only way you're going to convince such people.

I think it would be helpful if people would state when they're holding a belief that affects public policy on religious grounds -- but I doubt that's enforceable, if only because many people hold beliefs based on religious grounds without even realizing that their grounds are religious. They just think everybody knows, or ought to know, that X is wrong.

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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.
There are "pro-choice" Christians and "pro-life" atheists. Framing your post in a way that appears to deny this gives it a highly slanted appearance.
  #58  
Old 05-29-2019, 03:18 PM
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Is argument from sincere religious conviction representing a large group of adherents morally more compelling/right/just than argument from equally sincere evidence based philosophically a-religious POV?
Not necessarily, and certainly not due to the size of the group or sincerity of the beliefs, unless the argument is in fact about the size of the group or sincerity of the beliefs. I reserve the right to decide which argument is more compelling on a case-by-case basis.

~Max
  #59  
Old 05-29-2019, 03:27 PM
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Huh, I missed this.

But, as I said in that thread, no, religion has no place in informing public policy.

How do I know this? Because God told me so.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:43 PM
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Question one: what's meant by public debate?

If we're talking not about debates within a particular sect and/or religious debates among willing participants in religious debates whether or not they're part of the same sect: those can certainly be held in public in the sense that people doing this don't need to go hide behind locked doors but can keep on talking about it in a restaurant or in the street or whatever as long as they're not doing so in a fashion which forces others to pay attention to them.

If we're talking about debates about what laws, regulations, or even customs should be inflicted on the general public in ways that are also going to impact those who don't believe the particular religion, then what MichaelEmouse said:
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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.
By public debate I meant both, and I think I agree with MichaelEmouse, except I would add "or argue for conversion to their faith". It doesn't actually have to be conversion, just an argument for whatever premises underly the religious argument.

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I doubt you can get religion out of public debate entirely...
But if the public debate is about something that will affect the lives of those who aren't members of the religion, then it has to find grounds on which to argue that are actually reasons according to grounds that aren't religious. Partly because that's the way to do it unless you want a theocracy; and partly because that's the only way you're going to convince such people.
I guess what I am saying is that I am uncomfortible discounting an argument for or against a public policy just because the argument rests on religious principles. If I disagree with the principle, I say so and we debate the principle, and so on until one of us changes our minds, we agree to disagree, somebody loses the will to debate, or one of us abandons good faith (and the other loses the will to debate).

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I think it would be helpful if people would state when they're holding a belief that affects public policy on religious grounds...
Again I am not religious, but if I were, I imagine that every position I hold on public policy would be based on religious beliefs; that my entire system of morals (therefore right v. wrong) would be rooted in religion.

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There are "pro-choice" Christians and "pro-life" atheists. Framing your post in a way that appears to deny this gives it a highly slanted appearance.
... exactly!

~Max
  #61  
Old 05-29-2019, 04:03 PM
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Again I am not religious, but if I were, I imagine that every position I hold on public policy would be based on religious beliefs; that my entire system of morals (therefore right v. wrong) would be rooted in religion.
Really? Every single one? Even those with respect to slavery, apostasy, genocide...

Or would you pick and choose only the ones you like and force them on those who don't pick the same ones as you? I mean, provided the numbers are in your favor.
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  #62  
Old 05-29-2019, 04:12 PM
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Of course it has a place. And I say this as an atheist opposed to dogmatic rule who wholeheartedly supports the separation of church and state.

Everyone has a moral basis for their political beliefs. I see no reason the teachings of Kant or Marx (or for that matter Mom and Dad) should be held as any more valid than the teachings of St. Paul or Confucius or your friendly neighborhood Priest. As a practical matter, arguing that "the Koran says so" isn't likely to be compelling to non-Muslims in a debate, but it's a perfectly valid source of morality, and Muslims and other religious practitioners should get a say in our government just as much as citizens who obtain their moral stances entirely from secular sources.

I don't see any reason to draw lines here. I mean, some people get their morals from Teletubbies. Some from the Satanic Bible. I may not agree with the Bhagavad Gita, but that doesn't mean I think people who follow it should be shut out of the political sphere.
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:18 PM
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Of course it has a place. And I say this as an atheist opposed to dogmatic rule who wholeheartedly supports the separation of church and state.

Everyone has a moral basis for their political beliefs. I see no reason the teachings of Kant or Marx (or for that matter Mom and Dad) should be held as any more valid than the teachings of St. Paul or Confucius or your friendly neighborhood Priest. As a practical matter, arguing that "the Koran says so" isn't likely to be compelling to non-Muslims in a debate, but it's a perfectly valid source of morality, and Muslims and other religious practitioners should get a say in our government just as much as citizens who obtain their moral stances entirely from secular sources.

I don't see any reason to draw lines here. I mean, some people get their morals from Teletubbies. Some from the Satanic Bible. I may not agree with the Bhagavad Gita, but that doesn't mean I think people who follow it should be shut out of the political sphere.
No one is saying that the religious should be shut out of the political sphere, just what they do not use their religion to justify their positions.

If you cannot make the secular case for a policy, then you cannot make the case for a policy. Throwing in "because god said so" just means that you are not willing to debate the merits of your proposals, and expect them to be accepted as though they were "the word of god".
  #64  
Old 05-29-2019, 04:21 PM
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I don't see any reason to draw lines here. I mean, some people get their morals from Teletubbies. Some from the Satanic Bible. I may not agree with the Bhagavad Gita, but that doesn't mean I think people who follow it should be shut out of the political sphere.
I don't think anyone is saying that being religious excludes you from the political process or public debate. Nor that religious beliefs don't inform people's politics. What some have said is that religious doctrine should be excluded from public policy.

ETA: What k9b said.
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  #65  
Old 05-29-2019, 04:25 PM
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Religious freedom is only possible under a secular government.

Unfortunately believers inject their dogma into the political/policy debate. Religious beliefs are often deeply held but ill informed. There is no religious argument against abortion. Exodus 21:22-25 leaves it to the judiciary.

Elimination of religion from the political/public policy debate would be a giant leap forward - for religious and non-religious alike.
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:29 PM
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But what does "excluded from public policy" mean, if not some form of shutting people out of debates or politics? If I don't like abortion for secular reasons, and my buddy doesn't like it because his priest said so, can we not team up to further our shared political goals? Can we not both vote for candidates who agree with us, and support legislation to that end? Should we not join the same political party if we both find our beliefs align with its platform? If we both think something is morally wrong, why does it matter where those morals ultimately come from?
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:29 PM
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Really? Every single one? Even those with respect to slavery, apostasy, genocide...

Or would you pick and choose only the ones you like and force them on those who don't pick the same ones as you? I mean, provided the numbers are in your favor.
Every single one. It is my understanding that mainstream religions cover all the bases and encompass all truths.

~Max
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:35 PM
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But what does "excluded from public policy" mean, if not some form of shutting people out of debates or politics? If I don't like abortion for secular reasons, and my buddy doesn't like it because his priest said so, can we not team up to further our shared political goals? Can we not both vote for candidates who agree with us, and support legislation to that end? Should we not join the same political party if we both find our beliefs align with its platform? If we both think something is morally wrong, why does it matter where those morals ultimately come from?
It means that you need to base your reasoning on secular arguments, not on religious.

If you can make your argument from a secular perspective, even if you are inspired by religion to do so, go for it.

If you have to fall back on "because that's what it says in the bible", or "that's what I believe" then it has no place.
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:35 PM
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Throwing in "because god said so" just means that you are not willing to debate the merits of your proposals, and expect them to be accepted as though they were "the word of god".
I do not follow. It sounds like you need to shift the debate to whether a particular argument is in fact "the word of god" and whether "the word of god" is infallible. Mind you that assuming the conclusion is always a fallacy.

~Max
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:36 PM
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Every single one. It is my understanding that mainstream religions cover all the bases and encompass all truths.

~Max
So, since the holy book that informs your religion says that you are to stone adulterers, is that actually a public policy taht you would impose?
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:37 PM
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All citizens should participate in the debate. What must be eliminated is religious bias in the resulting public policies.

So what is the major premise on which you base your abortion position? Your friends?

Mine is:

Clinical abortion is a safe medical procedure that is vital to the health of female citizens.
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:37 PM
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So, since the holy book that informs your religion says that you are to stone adulterers, is that actually a public policy taht you would impose?
I guess, if that was my religion.

~Max
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:43 PM
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I do not follow. It sounds like you need to shift the debate to whether a particular argument is in fact "the word of god" and whether "the word of god" is infallible. Mind you that assuming the conclusion is always a fallacy.

~Max
No, I do not believe that you do follow. No, I'm not shifting the debate at all, and it has nothing to do with the dichotomy that you propose, I am just saying that any valid argument about public policy needs to be rooted in secular reasoning.

If someone makes a secular argument, even if inspired by their religious beliefs, I will hear them out. As soon as they say, "because god said so, " then I know that their argument is worthless.

You can claim anything about what god has said and what you believe, and that should not be considered valid grounds for building an argument.

Let's try an example. "God said that there should be no religion in public policy debates". Now, refute that.
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:45 PM
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But what does "excluded from public policy" mean, if not some form of shutting people out of debates or politics? If I don't like abortion for secular reasons, and my buddy doesn't like it because his priest said so, can we not team up to further our shared political goals? Can we not both vote for candidates who agree with us, and support legislation to that end? Should we not join the same political party if we both find our beliefs align with its platform? If we both think something is morally wrong, why does it matter where those morals ultimately come from?

We are discussing the nature of public debate. What argument would you make against abortion? What argument would your friend make?
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:52 PM
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Let's try an example. "God said that there should be no religion in public policy debates". Now, refute that.
Logically you are missing a premise and conclusion. Let me fill those in for you.
  • What God says is that there should be no religion in public policy debates.
  • What God says must be so.
  • Therefore it must be so that there should be no religion in public policy debates.
I object to both premises. God did not say there should be no religion in public policy debates, and what God says need not be so.

~Max
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:55 PM
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"Let's try an example. "God said that there should be no religion in public policy debates". Now, refute that."


Matthew 7:6 - "Do not give dogs what is sacred"
  #77  
Old 05-29-2019, 04:56 PM
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I guess what I am saying is that I am uncomfortible discounting an argument for or against a public policy just because the argument rests on religious principles. If I disagree with the principle, I say so and we debate the principle, and so on until one of us changes our minds, we agree to disagree, somebody loses the will to debate, or one of us abandons good faith (and the other loses the will to debate).
I think you may be missing the extent to which arguments made on religious principles can be meaningless to the non-religious. The response you get may an unwillingness to debate a "principle" that comes across to the unbeliever as total nonsense.

I've got no way to debate a claim that non-procreative sex is "sinful", for instance, other than to say "sinful's a religious term and your idea of what's sinful shouldn't be imposed on others." I can't debate whether it's "sinful" or not because I don't, except metaphorically, believe in the concept.

I can discuss the possible meaning of a Bible verse, and may find it interesting to do so; but I don't think that what the verse means, even if that could be settled, is relevant to the debate. So we could debate a given verse all week and even if you convinced me as to the original meaning of the verse I still wouldn't think it had anything to say about how or if we should be writing laws on the subject.


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... exactly!

~Max
Why phrase it that way, then?
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:05 PM
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Logically you are missing a premise and conclusion. Let me fill those in for you.
  • What God says is that there should be no religion in public policy debates.
  • What God says must be so.
  • Therefore it must be so that there should be no religion in public policy debates.
I object to both premises. God did not say there should be no religion in public policy debates, and what God says need not be so.

~Max
  • God is something that does not exist
  • Something that does not exist can not say there should be no religion in public policy debates
  • Therefore God can not say there should be no religion in public policy debates
  • God is something that does not exist
  • Something that does not exist cannot say anything
  • Therefore God cannot say anything

~Max
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:06 PM
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Logically you are missing a premise and conclusion. Let me fill those in for you.
  • What God says is that there should be no religion in public policy debates.
  • What God says must be so.
  • Therefore it must be so that there should be no religion in public policy debates.
I object to both premises. God did not say there should be no religion in public policy debates, and what God says need not be so.

~Max
Objecting to those premises is a sin, and you will be tormented by fires for eternity for questioning the word of God.

(not really, just continuing on with the religionists side of the argument).

Point is, you can make up and justify anything "because God said so", therefore, it is pointless to use it as a basis for debate.
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:12 PM
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Objecting to those premises is a sin, and you will be tormented by fires for eternity for questioning the word of God.
What makes objecting to those premises a sin?

How can I question something which does not exist?

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Point is, you can make up and justify anything "because God said so", therefore, it is pointless to use it as a basis for debate.
It is not pointless as a basis for debate. Would you prefer to show your logic behind that statement?

~Max
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:32 PM
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All debates are won by knowledge
The word of God is omniscient
:. The word of God wins all debates
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:48 PM
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Every single one. It is my understanding that mainstream religions cover all the bases and encompass all truths.

~Max
It is true that they each make those claims. Yet, all religions are wrong in the same way and they frequently contradict one another. Which is why they must be disqualified from participation in making public policy.
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  #83  
Old 05-29-2019, 05:52 PM
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All debates are won by knowledge
The word of God is omniscient
:. The word of God wins all debates
But the word of God is not omniscient because it was written by man, and man is fallible.
  • The word of God is something written by man
  • Something written by man is something fallible
  • Therefore, the word of God is something fallible
  • The word of God is something fallible
  • Something fallible can not be omniscient
  • Therefore, the word of God can not be omniscient.

Proof by contradiction:
  • Omniscience is knowledge
  • All debates are won by knowledge
  • Therefore all debates are won by omniscience?
Which is clearly not the case.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 05-29-2019 at 05:57 PM.
  #84  
Old 05-29-2019, 05:54 PM
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It is true that they each make those claims. Yet, all religions are wrong in the same way and they frequently contradict one another. Which is why they must be disqualified from participation in making public policy.
You can't disqualify people because they have invalid beliefs, not without someone judging the validity of the beliefs. And public debate is supposed to be that judge, is it not?

~Max
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:59 PM
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But the word of God is not omniscient because it was written by man, and man is fallible.
  • The word of God is something written by man
  • Something written by man is something fallible
  • Therefore, the word of God is something fallible
  • The word of God is something fallible
  • Something fallible can not be omniscient
  • Therefore, the word of God can not be omniscient.

Proof by contradiction:
  • Omniscience is knowledge
  • All debates are won by knowledge
  • Therefore all debates are won by omniscience?
Which is clearly not the case.

~Max
Okay, so you answered your own question as to why you should not invoke religion in a public debate.

We are talking about when people say that homosexuals can't get married becuase homsoseuality is a sin. Or that a fetus has rights because it has a soul. Stuff like that. Stuff that is not falsifiable, but is insisted upon anyway, because god said so.


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You can't disqualify people because they have invalid beliefs, not without someone judging the validity of the beliefs. And public debate is supposed to be that judge, is it not?

~Max
Who said anything about disqualifying people? If that is something that you made up, then you shouldn't do that. It is only the logic behind a policy that I care about. Is it based in secular logic, or is based on bronze age writings?

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  #86  
Old 05-29-2019, 06:00 PM
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I guess, if that was my religion.

~Max
So inclusion of religion in a public debate is not really what you're after.

What you're really after is the right to enforce your religious custom and laws, punishing those who would break them or oppose them outright.
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  #87  
Old 05-29-2019, 06:00 PM
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But what does "excluded from public policy" mean, if not some form of shutting people out of debates or politics? If I don't like abortion for secular reasons, and my buddy doesn't like it because his priest said so, can we not team up to further our shared political goals? Can we not both vote for candidates who agree with us, and support legislation to that end? Should we not join the same political party if we both find our beliefs align with its platform? If we both think something is morally wrong, why does it matter where those morals ultimately come from?
Because one should make moral arguments for good reasons. The secular argument might or might not be what I consider valid, but it is not invalid by definition. Why is believing something because a priest said so any more valid than believing it because Darth Vader said so, or Harry Potter, or Frodo, or your dog? Well because the priest is transmitting the word of God. Then one must demonstrate both that God exists and that he said that. Once you hit belief from faith, the argument becomes unconvincing and invalid.
Arguing something from religious not secular reasons boils down to special pleading, because the person who does so can never demonstrate the validity of the source of their beliefs.
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Old 05-29-2019, 06:03 PM
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You can't disqualify people because they have invalid beliefs, not without someone judging the validity of the beliefs. And public debate is supposed to be that judge, is it not?

~Max
Ever heard God said it, I believe it? I don't care what a person does based on their beliefs that affect only themselves, but when they want to enforce those beliefs on other people they need to demonstrate their validity.

For example, if you want to fast on a religious holiday (generic you) that's fine. If you want to close down all restaurants on that holiday, not fine.
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Old 05-29-2019, 06:06 PM
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You can't disqualify people because they have invalid beliefs, not without someone judging the validity of the beliefs. And public debate is supposed to be that judge, is it not?

~Max
I'm not looking to disqualify people from debate. Say whatever thought pops into your head. I'm saying, "god said it - his will be done!", is not the right way to carry out public policy.
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Old 05-29-2019, 06:08 PM
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Who said anything about disqualifying people? If that is something that you made up, then you shouldn't do that. It is only the logic behind a policy that I care about. Is it based in secular logic, or is based on bronze age writings?
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I'm not looking to disqualify people from debate. Say whatever thought pops into your head. I'm saying, "god said it - his will be done!", is not the right way to carry out public policy.
Then should you answer the original question with a "yes, if only to be struck down as invalid"?

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 05-29-2019 at 06:10 PM.
  #91  
Old 05-29-2019, 06:13 PM
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Then should you answer the original question with a "yes"?

~Max
I believe he did. I know I did in my first response to you. As have others. You just won't accept "yes" for an answer because you're not after a simple "yes". You're after, "yes, because religious and secularist positions are of equal standing in deciding public policy." They're just not.
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Last edited by QuickSilver; 05-29-2019 at 06:14 PM.
  #92  
Old 05-29-2019, 06:16 PM
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Because one should make moral arguments for good reasons. The secular argument might or might not be what I consider valid, but it is not invalid by definition. Why is believing something because a priest said so any more valid than believing it because Darth Vader said so, or Harry Potter, or Frodo, or your dog? Well because the priest is transmitting the word of God. Then one must demonstrate both that God exists and that he said that. Once you hit belief from faith, the argument becomes unconvincing and invalid.
Arguing something from religious not secular reasons boils down to special pleading, because the person who does so can never demonstrate the validity of the source of their beliefs.
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.
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Old 05-29-2019, 06:29 PM
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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.
An excellent example of why honest and thoughtful religious debate should be welcome in public forum.

Thank you, TB.
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Old 05-29-2019, 06:30 PM
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I believe he did. I know I did in my first response to you. As have others. You just won't accept "yes" for an answer because you're not after a simple "yes". You're after, "yes, because religious and secularist positions are of equal standing in deciding public policy." They're just not.
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

Last edited by Max S.; 05-29-2019 at 06:30 PM. Reason: spelling
  #95  
Old 05-29-2019, 06:55 PM
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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
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.
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Last edited by QuickSilver; 05-29-2019 at 06:55 PM.
  #96  
Old 05-29-2019, 08:28 PM
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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.
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.
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  #97  
Old 05-29-2019, 09:10 PM
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Mind if I introduce an example of a religio-political policy argument? See What Those Who Seek Socialism Really Need Is A Church And Family
First, some framing:
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Many of its American advocates are unclear on whether they are promoting real “the state owns the means of production” socialism or something like Sweden before the Swedes made a lot of free-market reforms. This confusion stems from some genuine disagreements, but much of it results from people using socialism as a vague, aspirational ideal for something better than what we have now.

This confusion on the left is too often matched by sloppy thinking on the right that fails to understand socialism and its appeal.
America consists of the categories the socialist left, and the right. Everybody but magazine writers is dumb.

I'll let you read the whole thing for yourself. Here's the conclusion:
Quote:
Socialism Tries to Fill a God-Sized Void

Socialism does not seduce with spreadsheets, but with visions that appeal to the aches and voids in our souls. As various political philosophers have noted, Marxism functions as a secular religion. Many of those favorably inclined toward socialism know that something important is missing in modern liberal life—connections and care that are not contingent on the marketplace. And they are right. But the socialism we need is not a command economy; the socialism we need is that of family, church, and community.

Of course, families and congregations fail far too often, and even the good ones have their flaws and conflicts. But the Marxist ideal of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” is more consistently (albeit still imperfectly) realized in family and churches than anywhere else—including Marxist nations. The government cannot provide unconditional love in a community of universal brotherhood and transcendent meaning. Even Plato knew that his city of philosopher-kings would fail if it somehow came into being.

It is the church, not the state, that can extend the love and communion of family beyond the limits of family, tribe, and nation, ordered toward a transcendent good. The brotherhood of man is realized in prayer and communion, not political action.

Plato was unaware of the church. But both his philosophical triumphs and limitations direct us to a concern for our souls, not for socialism. He still has much to teach us, and conservatives who wish to address socialism should be learning from Plato, not trash-talking him.
I find the article to be manipulative propaganda. Does anyone think that it makes a good brick in the foundations of public policy?
  #98  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:09 PM
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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.

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.
  #99  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:31 PM
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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.
There are no paradoxes in reality. We use the idea of a paradox to highlight mistakes in our logic. All religions demand a mutually-exclusive version of reality; which is a paradox. Religious people are necessarily less logical because their false and conflicting interpretations of reality would create paradoxes.
  #100  
Old 05-30-2019, 01:08 AM
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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.
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.
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