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Old 02-13-2019, 10:23 AM
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Should discrimination of atheists and agnostics be made illegal?


I bring this up because of a proposed ordinance here in Portland, Oregon., which reads in part
Quote:
The City of Portland ordains:
Section I. The Council finds that:
I. Discrimination on the basis of non-religion such as atheism, agnosticism, and non-belief
exists in the City of Portland and the state law does not explicitly prohibit such
discrimination against these groups. This change is necessary to clarify that disbelief, or
lack of belief should be included in the protected class of "Religion" in order to provide
every individual an equal opportunity to participate fully in the life of the City.
2. Providing protections for non-religion such as atheism, agnosticism, and non-belief
promotes the intent of the Council to remove discriminatory barriers to equal participation
in employment, housing and public accommodations in the City of Portland. Other cities,
such as Madison, Wisconsin, have taken similar measures.
3. It is necessary to update citations to the Oregon Revised Statutes as cited in Chapter 23 .01
to the most current version in order to maintain accuracy.
4. Updates to make language used in Chapter 23.01 more inclusive are also needed.
I think this is definitely a step in the right direction-what say you?
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:42 AM
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I thought it was already illegal to discriminate on the basis of religion?
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I bring this up because of a proposed ordinance here in Portland, Oregon., which reads in part

I think this is definitely a step in the right direction-what say you?
I guess. It's already protected by the Civil Rights Act though. Religious discrimination laws already protect atheists and agnostics, they just don't like that they are legally classed the same as a religion. I guess if the semantics make them happier that's cool, but as for the ordinance changing anything- it's merely lip service for votes. The language in the ordinance really doesn't do anything.

Last edited by senoy; 02-13-2019 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:15 AM
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Being that I think any prejudicial discrimination (as opposed to the idea of simply distinguishing between and understanding different things) should be illegal when practiced by governments, yes!
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:25 AM
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Meh. A bit like Oklahoma changing their Constitution to prohibit the adoption of Sharia Law. A bit overkill for no immediately useful purpose.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:00 PM
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2. Providing protections for non-religion such as atheism, agnosticism, and non-belief
promotes the intent of the Council to remove discriminatory barriers to equal participation
in employment, housing and public accommodations in the City of Portland.
Such as?

Otherwise they are passing a law to make something illegal that is already illegal, and to remove barriers that don't exist.

This is the moral equivalent of National Artichoke Week. Harmless, time-wasting, and virtue signalling, but depending on the hope of nobody asking "don't you have anything better to do with your time?"

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:17 PM
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If I might hijack ever so slightly, and Czarcasm please shut this down immediately and I'll understand, what about the question apart from the context of the proposed ordinance? That is, should discrimination against atheists and agnostics be illegal across the board? Because it seems to me to think about this only in terms of Portland, Oregon is a convenient way to side-step the question.
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:29 PM
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If I might hijack ever so slightly, and Czarcasm please shut this down immediately and I'll understand, what about the question apart from the context of the proposed ordinance?
It's already illegal everywhere in the US. It isn't therefore possible to discuss this only in terms of Portland.
Quote:
That is, should discrimination against atheists and agnostics be illegal across the board?
It already is.

This is rather like Portland saying that women should be given the vote.

Put it this way - I assume an ordinance saying that Christians should not be discriminated against would equally be a step in the right direction. Maybe the Portland city council can do that next. Or, if they are reluctant to do that, to consider what the differences are, if any.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:57 PM
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If I might hijack ever so slightly, and Czarcasm please shut this down immediately and I'll understand, what about the question apart from the context of the proposed ordinance? That is, should discrimination against atheists and agnostics be illegal across the board? Because it seems to me to think about this only in terms of Portland, Oregon is a convenient way to side-step the question.
This is already covered in the US. If you're talking about other places where such protections don't exist, of course it would be better if those protections existed.

(Admittedly I'm biased on the subject.)
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:00 PM
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This is already covered in the US. If you're talking about other places where such protections don't exist, of course it would be better if those protections existed.

(Admittedly I'm biased on the subject.)
Although, again, that discussion would be equally pointless unless we first of all establish whether any such places exist.

Obviously, there will be places that have no anti-discrimination laws of any kind. And, probably, there are places that have antidiscrimination laws that cover, e.g., gender but don't address discrimiation on the basis of religion at all.

But is there anywhere in the word that has antidiscrimination laws that forbid discrimination between people of different religious beliefs, but don't forbid discrimination as between people of religious beliefs and people without religious beliefs?
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:54 PM
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That depends, if it is officially recognized as a religion.

Is it legally recognized?

Afaik only employment protections have been ruled as inclusive of a lack of religious beliefs.

Though I can't think of any instances where people are apt to say you can have any religious beliefs you want and live here, even believing in a lack of dieties, you just can't not care.

So it may be more like a non-issue

Last edited by Littleman; 02-16-2019 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:28 PM
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Being that I think any prejudicial discrimination (as opposed to the idea of simply distinguishing between and understanding different things) should be illegal when practiced by governments, yes!
Should a government be able to say that people with a history of child abuse convictions can't be foster parents? That's definitely discrimination, and prejudicial to those with such convictions; I don't really have an objection to it, however.

Discrimination based on factors that don't matter to your job performance or residence or shopping (factors such as race and religious belief) should always be illegal, but some factors about you may matter. Gamblers aren't always safe around money, and anti-vaxxers might not be good choices to work in some kinds of health care settings, to give a few other examples.
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Old 02-17-2019, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I bring this up because of a proposed ordinance here in Portland, Oregon., which reads in part

I think this is definitely a step in the right direction-what say you?
The link is now broken - dem atheists must have done it.
So, has the discussion on this included any instances of discrimination against atheists? I tend to think that any such discrimination would already be prohibited, and the various atheist programs I've been watching haven't brought it up.
It would be interesting to see if this proposal would bring the wackos out of the woodwork.
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:19 AM
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Though I can't think of any instances where people are apt to say you can have any religious beliefs you want and live here, even believing in a lack of dieties, you just can't not care.
I have met a few people who are VERY upset about atheists and would rather someone believe in a "wrong" or "bad" religion (basically, any religion other than theirs) than none at all. Usually also the same people who think atheists are atheists because they're mad at God, they just can't comprehend that someone has no religious belief at all. Yes, these folks think atheists are bad people, with comments like not wanting them to be at the same business, or not being willing to rent a home to atheists, and so forth.

So... not a common problem by any stretch, but bias against non-believers most certainly does exist in the US and could, potentially, be a problem.

If there are people out there who can't comprehend that religious freedom extends to being free of religion then yes, let's make it explicit in law that you should not discriminate based on a lack of belief.

Last edited by Broomstick; 02-17-2019 at 03:20 AM.
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:07 AM
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Wasn't able to get link to work either. Most are familiar with this: Atheists are still excluded from public office in certain states. That would be a good start doing away with such laws as that, but are in no hurry to do so.

Certain Christians are often in the news encouraging you to patronize only businesses with Christian values, and stay away from others, big or small that are not. Many such lists exist on the intenet, one such list I chose at random.

Not sure how effective it is for them, most Christians don't seem to be on board, Amazon as well as others on that particular list have done more than okay for themselves.
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by proposed ordinance
the state law does not explicitly prohibit such
discrimination against these groups
What does the state law explicitly prohibit?

If it's just that the law doesn't specifically mention discrimination against atheists, well, it probably doesn't specifically mention discrimination against Presbyterians either. What's the problem?

But if the law says something like "No one shall be discriminated against on the basis of what religion they hold/practice/belong to," I can see the problem, since atheists don't belong to any religion per se.
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:37 PM
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I have met a few people who are VERY upset about atheists and would rather someone believe in a "wrong" or "bad" religion (basically, any religion other than theirs) than none at all. Usually also the same people who think atheists are atheists because they're mad at God, they just can't comprehend that someone has no religious belief at all. Yes, these folks think atheists are bad people, with comments like not wanting them to be at the same business, or not being willing to rent a home to atheists, and so forth.
I think atheists scare them because of a fear that they will convert. A different religion is not as scary, as they have to be convinced that someone else's sky fairy is real, and their one true god is not. It happens, but not all that often. People typically stick to their religions.

OTOH, atheism isn't switching one supernatural divine being for another, it is actually different. It is removing the need for that supernatural divine being all together.

People have faith in religion. They have "beliefs" that lead them to one religious sect or another. Atheist have science and logic.

I can see why parents would be terrified of their kids having their faith replaced with logic.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:14 PM
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I think atheists scare them because of a fear that they will convert. A different religion is not as scary, as they have to be convinced that someone else's sky fairy is real, and their one true god is not. It happens, but not all that often. People typically stick to their religions.

OTOH, atheism isn't switching one supernatural divine being for another, it is actually different. It is removing the need for that supernatural divine being all together.

People have faith in religion. They have "beliefs" that lead them to one religious sect or another. Atheist have science and logic.

I can see why parents would be terrified of their kids having their faith replaced with logic.
Nice combo of straw man and ad hominem. Since the Straight Dope is about fighting ignorance, here’s a good place to start for science- https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...and_technology

Then on to logic, which is studied the most deeply in philosophy:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cate...n_philosophers

How about tying them together in someone with a PhD in Philosophy of Science: https://www.reasonablefaith.org

Et. Al.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:55 PM
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I have met a few people who are VERY upset about atheists and would rather someone believe in a "wrong" or "bad" religion (basically, any religion other than theirs) than none at all. Usually also the same people who think atheists are atheists because they're mad at God, they just can't comprehend that someone has no religious belief at all. Yes, these folks think atheists are bad people, with comments like not wanting them to be at the same business, or not being willing to rent a home to atheists, and so forth.

So... not a common problem by any stretch, but bias against non-believers most certainly does exist in the US and could, potentially, be a problem.

If there are people out there who can't comprehend that religious freedom extends to being free of religion then yes, let's make it explicit in law that you should not discriminate based on a lack of belief.
I can see that, I was thinking more along the lines that atheism Is a religious belief , whereas agnosticism is not.

Though I think more believers ( though maybe not many) are more threatened by atheism than agnostics ...an agnostic I think is often seen as a target for conversion.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:27 PM
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Nice combo of straw man and ad hominem. Since the Straight Dope is about fighting ignorance, here’s a good place to start for science- https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...and_technology

Then on to logic, which is studied the most deeply in philosophy:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cate...n_philosophers

How about tying them together in someone with a PhD in Philosophy of Science: https://www.reasonablefaith.org

Et. Al.
Ummm, nice hostility out of nowhere. I did not straw man, nor ad hominem anything. I gave an explanation as to why *I* think that they are threatened by atheists. You are free to disagree with it, but coming out of the gate like that with the unjustified assumptions that you made is not really an argument against what I said, but an argument against me being able to say it.

I was responding to Broomsticks comment about people "who are VERY upset about atheists", not christians in general. If you assumed that I was talking about christians in general, then you are not very good at reading for context.

Are you upset by the existence of atheists? No, then I am not talking about you, so your decision to personalize this and become hostile was entirely one of your own making.

If you *are* upset by the existence of atheists, then you are not a christian in science and technology, you are not a logistician, and you are not a candidate for a PhD in science.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:39 PM
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I can see that, I was thinking more along the lines that atheism Is a religious belief , whereas agnosticism is not.

Though I think more believers ( though maybe not many) are more threatened by atheism than agnostics ...an agnostic I think is often seen as a target for conversion.
I've never met any two people who could mutually agree on the definitions and differences between atheists and agnostics.

Simply put, my definition is that an atheist believes there is no god, and an agnostic believes there is no need for a god.

I can see the argument that atheism is a religious belief in that it believes in something that cannot be proven nor falsified, but I think that is stretching the definition of a religion, as a religion is "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods", and atheism does not fit that definition.

IMHO, to be religious, one has to believe in superhuman controlling powers.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:30 PM
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I've never met any two people who could mutually agree on the definitions and differences between atheists and agnostics.

Simply put, my definition is that an atheist believes there is no god, and an agnostic believes there is no need for a god.

I can see the argument that atheism is a religious belief in that it believes in something that cannot be proven nor falsified, but I think that is stretching the definition of a religion, as a religion is "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods", and atheism does not fit that definition.

IMHO, to be religious, one has to believe in superhuman controlling powers.
Atheism is postively beleiving there is no God, or lacking a belief in a god.
Some Buddhists, Hindus, and confucionists would fall into this category.
If their beliefs aren't religious than they would be afforded no protection since they would simply be philosophy.

Agnostic is not believing either way and not claiming to know or claiming there is no way of knowing.

Which is why I'd say that atheism, while not a religion, Is a religious belief.

The wording of some anti descrimimation laws could easily be interpreted to include atheism and indeed have been in some cases.

AFAIK no protection is offered to those who don't claim beliefs.

Could be wrong there. My guess is it hasn't come up often enough to be an issue that's really been addressed.

Last edited by Littleman; 02-17-2019 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:49 PM
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AFAIK no protection is offered to those who don't claim beliefs.
But the application of protected beliefs are generally things like not providing birth control, not fighting in an army, not having a church taxed. Atheists can certainly have beliefs about those without believing in a god. That's where the laws get tricky.

In my day, for example, (Viet Nam war era) it was extremely difficult to get conscientious objector status unless you professed it came from a religion.
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:17 PM
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But the application of protected beliefs are generally things like not providing birth control, not fighting in an army, not having a church taxed. Atheists can certainly have beliefs about those without believing in a god. That's where the laws get tricky.

In my day, for example, (Viet Nam war era) it was extremely difficult to get conscientious objector status unless you professed it came from a religion.
That's a great example.
Like with Buddhism ,an atheist religion that would likely qualify you as a concientious objector.

Yet agnostics who held that belief would not qualify, since their beliefs would be considered philosophical rather than religious.
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:36 PM
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Atheism is postively beleiving there is no God, or lacking a belief in a god.
Some Buddhists, Hindus, and confucionists would fall into this category.
If their beliefs aren't religious than they would be afforded no protection since they would simply be philosophy.

Agnostic is not believing either way and not claiming to know or claiming there is no way of knowing.

Which is why I'd say that atheism, while not a religion, Is a religious belief.
You correctly say that atheism is the lack of belief in any god. Actively believing there is no god falls under this also, but is not required to be an atheist. Now, if atheism is lack of belief in a god, and theism is belief in a god, how can anything lie between these?
Consider another set of beliefs. Say I ask you if you believe I am not 5 feet tall, then ask you if I am not 5' 1", 5' 2" etc. out to 7 feet. A reasonable person would not believe any of these things, since they all are more or less equally likely and I must be some height in this range. However if you say you lack any of these beliefs without evidence of my height, you'd be exactly correct.
Agnosticism, as its name implies, is about knowledge. It is not being wishy washy about the existence of god.
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:49 PM
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You correctly say that atheism is the lack of belief in any god. Actively believing there is no god falls under this also, but is not required to be an atheist. Now, if atheism is lack of belief in a god, and theism is belief in a god, how can anything lie between these?
Consider another set of beliefs. Say I ask you if you believe I am not 5 feet tall, then ask you if I am not 5' 1", 5' 2" etc. out to 7 feet. A reasonable person would not believe any of these things, since they all are more or less equally likely and I must be some height in this range. However if you say you lack any of these beliefs without evidence of my height, you'd be exactly correct.
Agnosticism, as its name implies, is about knowledge. It is not being wishy washy about the existence of god.
Right, so technically in the way it's most often used an agnostic would be an agnostic atheist.

IME the perception with many Christian Faith's is atheists actively believe there is no God, while an agnostic is just waiting for proof and possibly readily converted.
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:41 AM
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As was said, it's already illegal. The problem with this sort of thing has always been law enforcement's reluctance to enforce the law. This is largely due, not to point out the obvious, to the nature of the locale and its law enforcement agency's tendency to go along to get along. During the Memphis garbage workers' strike (during which the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated) the strikers wore signs that read "I AM A MAN." The laws were already on the books, and in the Constitution about "all men are...equal...under the law...." The south enforced segregation by trying to claim black people were not men. In a sense, the Civil Rights Act is redundant, as a result.

Now, that being said, if you look at Portland's population...

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Old 02-18-2019, 05:17 PM
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Right, so technically in the way it's most often used an agnostic would be an agnostic atheist.

IME the perception with many Christian Faith's is atheists actively believe there is no God, while an agnostic is just waiting for proof and possibly readily converted.
And there also can be agnostic theists, who have faith but who believe knowledge of god is impossible. Probably not as many as agnostic atheists. Personally while I think you can't know that no gods exist, you can know that a god exists if that all powerful god wants you to know. So I don't consider myself an agnostic.

Your experience is my experience also, since some of the religious like to say that atheism is a faith also. But we atheist get to define what we believe or don't believe.
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:34 PM
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Your experience is my experience also, since some of the religious like to say that atheism is a faith also. But we atheist get to define what we believe or don't believe.
I would take issue with this assertion. One can only believe what is within one's scope of experience.

My experience specifically is not widely shared. If this experience sharply defines my knowledge of the existence of a divine entity, but I do not participate in a doctrinal structure devised by humans attempting to codify a relationship with what they imagine is a divine entity, my experience has nothing to do with religion though a divine entity is central to said experience.

As an aside: A-theism is anti-theism. Theism is this human attempt to codify a relationship with what they imagine is a divine entity. Atheism as a term does not encompass a lack of belief in the existence of a divine entity.

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Old 02-19-2019, 08:44 AM
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My experience specifically is not widely shared. If this experience sharply defines my knowledge of the existence of a divine entity, but I do not participate in a doctrinal structure devised by humans attempting to codify a relationship with what they imagine is a divine entity, my experience has nothing to do with religion though a divine entity is central to said experience.
If you're referring to a personal revelation, I've only talked and read from others about theirs, including religions that put a lot of emphasis on it. Other than a feeling, is there anything useful that it did for you?

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Since the Straight Dope is about fighting ignorance, here’s a good place to start for science- https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...and_technology
Since Nature started doing its polling with leading scientists wouldn't you say the trend has been going more towards rejecting a personal god by a wider margin than at any other time in history, among NAS (National Academy of Sciences) it is 93%, among Britains leading scientists the numbers are slightly higher (95%).


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Then on to logic, which is studied the most deeply in philosophy:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cate...n_philosophers
Not so much, theology, eh? Logic can also be applied quite heavily in the science of mathematics. See Bertrand Russell's contribution to this.


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How about tying them together in someone with a PhD in Philosophy of Science: https://www.reasonablefaith.org

His degree failed him: William Lane Craig

Last edited by Razncain; 02-19-2019 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 02-19-2019, 02:12 PM
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I would take issue with this assertion. One can only believe what is within one's scope of experience.
I can believe that there is a teapot orbiting Jupiter. It may be a stupid unfounded belief, but I can certainly believe it. However, those believing there is no god may do so because of lack of experiences with one (in the scope of one's experience) or history, also in the scope of one's experience.
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My experience specifically is not widely shared. If this experience sharply defines my knowledge of the existence of a divine entity, but I do not participate in a doctrinal structure devised by humans attempting to codify a relationship with what they imagine is a divine entity, my experience has nothing to do with religion though a divine entity is central to said experience.
This could get into a discussion of the definition of religion, but who wants to do that? And we can accept that you had an experience while rejecting that this experience is in any way indicative of the existence of a divine being, unless there was external evidence.
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As an aside: A-theism is anti-theism. Theism is this human attempt to codify a relationship with what they imagine is a divine entity. Atheism as a term does not encompass a lack of belief in the existence of a divine entity.
That's not the way the rest of the world uses that term. While many, if not most, atheists might be anti-theist in the sense that we find religion harmful, I've never heard of any who are atheists because of this. It might trigger a re-examination of the god concept, but not lack of belief.
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:24 PM
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Are we discussing the definitions of terms again? Cool!

Atheism does indeed include people who simply lack belief.

Agnostics, on the other hand, are atheists who just don't like the term and want to call themselves something different.
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:29 PM
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You correctly say that atheism is the lack of belief in any god. Actively believing there is no god falls under this also, but is not required to be an atheist. Now, if atheism is lack of belief in a god, and theism is belief in a god, how can anything lie between these?....
Being unsure. Agnositism .



Atheism can go beyond simple lack of belief however, into proselytizing. I personally believe that our OP here does proselytize, in fact is sorta doing so now. When you believe something so strongly that you are absolutely SURE (not just, well I refuse to believe because there's no good evidence) and you go around trying to convert others to your belief, than that hinges on being a religion. It's certainly similar, like some types of Buddhists are religious without believing in a diety.

Buddhism is a religion, despite not always having a god. So a religion that has no belief in a deity is possible.

And I have never seen nor heard of atheists being discriminated against, here. The Op presents with a non-issue. Certainly, that would be prohibited by the 1st Ad in any case.
  #34  
Old 02-19-2019, 06:34 PM
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I would take issue with this assertion. One can only believe what is within one's scope of experience.
.
Nonsense. I believe in Blue whales, despite never having seen them. I believe there really is a Russia, despite never having been there. Many many things can be believed that are outside ones personal scope of experience. In fact there a mental disorder , I think that is due to not believing anything you have not personally experienced?



Now- Delaware- well, that one strains belief.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:03 PM
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Being unsure. Agnositism.
Being unsure doesn't disqualify you from being a theist - crisises of faith don't boot one from their religion. And if being uncertain disqualified one from being an atheist there would be no atheists - there are other gods (and "gods") out there besides the easily-disproven Christian one, and it's trivially easy to invent a god that can't be proven not to exist, which means we can never be truly sure. Russell the Divine Teapot could be quietly orbiting the sun and otherwise minding it's own business, and we would never know.

Fortunately, atheism/theism isn't about certainty - it's about belief. And by all appearances belief is a yes/no thing. You can be unsure, but you still believe - or you don't.

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Atheism can go beyond simple lack of belief however, into proselytizing. I personally believe that our OP here does proselytize, in fact is sorta doing so now. When you believe something so strongly that you are absolutely SURE (not just, well I refuse to believe because there's no good evidence) and you go around trying to convert others to your belief, than that hinges on being a religion. It's certainly similar, like some types of Buddhists are religious without believing in a diety.

Buddhism is a religion, despite not always having a god. So a religion that has no belief in a deity is possible.
Strident, loud belief in something doesn't make it a religion - otherwise political affiliation and fondness for the oxford comma would be religions.

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And I have never seen nor heard of atheists being discriminated against, here. The Op presents with a non-issue. Certainly, that would be prohibited by the 1st Ad in any case.
My experience with discrimination against atheism is that it tends to be of the type that laws tend not to protect against. What people do in their homes and personal lives, that sort of thing.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:12 PM
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And I have never seen nor heard of atheists being discriminated against, here. The Op presents with a non-issue. Certainly, that would be prohibited by the 1st Ad in any case.
As I mentioned earlier, during the Viet Nam War, it was difficult if not impossible to get Conscientious Objector status without claiming in via religion, and the religion cold not have been recently adopted.

According to Barnes and Noble, in Florida, Missouri, Massachusetts, and Texas Bibles are exempt from sales tax. Philosophy books are not. In some states that had similar laws (e.g. Georgia) the laws have been found to Unconstitutional.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:30 PM
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fondness for the oxford comma would be religions.
The One True Religion!
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:32 PM
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Being unsure. Agnositism .
Even rabid theists often say they are unsure, and have doubts. I think it is supposed to mean that their positions are thoughtful. Are they agnostic also?
Yes, because of distrust of atheists some call themselves as agnostics as a cover. But that is just playing on the lack of understanding of the position so common among theists.


Quote:
Atheism can go beyond simple lack of belief however, into proselytizing. I personally believe that our OP here does proselytize, in fact is sorta doing so now. When you believe something so strongly that you are absolutely SURE (not just, well I refuse to believe because there's no good evidence) and you go around trying to convert others to your belief, than that hinges on being a religion. It's certainly similar, like some types of Buddhists are religious without believing in a diety.
Some atheists write songs, paint pictures, write poems. Lots write science fiction. I've never been asked for one dollar to go out and convert anyone to atheism. I wonder if any theist can say the same about being asked for money to convert the heathen. Baptists if you are a Catholic, Catholics if you are a Baptist.
But even if someone does proselytize it doesn't mean that he or she is sure that no gods exist. I've been watching the Atheist Experience channel out of Austin and the main guy, who I'm sure you would say is proselytizing, makes it very clear that he only lacks belief due to the lack of convincing evidence for any god.
Quote:
Buddhism is a religion, despite not always having a god. So a religion that has no belief in a deity is possible.
But they have a set of beliefs - which atheism does not have. So irrelevant.
Quote:
And I have never seen nor heard of atheists being discriminated against, here. The Op presents with a non-issue. Certainly, that would be prohibited by the 1st Ad in any case.
You are aware of the polls showing how many would never vote for an atheist. As far as I know, the only openly atheist congressman ever was my old one. Whatever number you'll accept for the number of atheists in the US, there is less representation in Congress for us than that. (As in zero.) Of course we are helped by it being hard to tell the difference between an atheist and a believer who likes to sleep late on Sundays.
And I definitely admit there is no lack of atheists in the National Academy of Science.
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:05 PM
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Atheism is to Buddhism as theism is to protestantism.

Afaict unless atheism is a recognized religion in general 1A doesn't currently offer protection.

You could be Buddhist a recgnized atheist religion and be protected but can anyone cite anything supporting atheism as protected?

I did find one reference to it being ruled as protected by EO employment laws even though the wording was not originally clear, otherwise nothing.


Regardless, should it be , is the question.

I think it could be argued that anti descrimimation laws could be clarified to mean they encompass any religious status, or that a lack of religious beliefs itself constitutes religious belief and therefore religion. Thereby including general atheists and agnostics in all the different laws.

Maybe a lazy way to do it ... But it would take a supreme Court ruling indicating it.

Btw, not voting for someone for any reason can't be protected. We are free to descriminate for any reason we like when voting.

Last edited by Littleman; 02-19-2019 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:29 PM
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As I mentioned earlier, during the Viet Nam War, it was difficult if not impossible to get Conscientious Objector status without claiming in via religion, and the religion cold not have been recently adopted.

According to Barnes and Noble, in Florida, Missouri, Massachusetts, and Texas Bibles are exempt from sales tax. Philosophy books are not. In some states that had similar laws (e.g. Georgia) the laws have been found to Unconstitutional.
That War was some time ago.


So? That's not discrimination. After all, Non-profits are exempt.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:24 AM
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Being that I think any prejudicial discrimination (as opposed to the idea of simply distinguishing between and understanding different things) should be illegal when practiced by governments, yes!
I even think that in situations in which it causes economic or physical harm it should be illegal when practiced by private individuals...
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  #42  
Old 02-20-2019, 12:29 AM
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If nothing else, it heads off any future issues with people who want to claim that they can freely discriminate against Atheists and the like under the claim that "They don't have a religion, so this isn't about Religion."
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:54 AM
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If you're referring to a personal revelation, I've only talked and read from others about theirs,..
I am aware of the sort you have in mind. This is not one of those. It is a level of experience obtainable by anyone but rarely attempted for various not very complicated reasons. Depth of experience informs proportionately.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:30 AM
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No. All types of discrimination should be legal. 99.9% of types of discrimination are legal. Outlawing discrimination against Christians is even sillier than outlawing discrimination based on physical characteristics, why double down on silliness?

Last edited by WillFarnaby; 02-20-2019 at 05:31 AM.
  #45  
Old 02-20-2019, 12:01 PM
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Atheism is to Buddhism as theism is to protestantism.

Afaict unless atheism is a recognized religion in general 1A doesn't currently offer protection.
1A says no establishment of religion, or prohibition of religion. That first part protects atheists, as it prevents an establishment of religion.

the rest of it, freedom of assembly, speech, press, and redress of grievances apply to everyone.
Quote:
You could be Buddhist a recognized atheist religion and be protected but can anyone cite anything supporting atheism as protected?
Are you claiming that Buddhists do not believe in the supernatural or afterlife? 1A doesn't say anything about theism vs atheism, but about religion.
Quote:
I did find one reference to it being ruled as protected by EO employment laws even though the wording was not originally clear, otherwise nothing.


Regardless, should it be , is the question.

I think it could be argued that anti descrimimation laws could be clarified to mean they encompass any religious status, or that a lack of religious beliefs itself constitutes religious belief and therefore religion. Thereby including general atheists and agnostics in all the different laws.
They could be, but they shouldn't have to be.the point of 1a was not really to protect religion, it was specifically to protect people from religion. You could not impose your religion on me. That applies whether or not I have a religion of my own.
Quote:
Maybe a lazy way to do it ... But it would take a supreme Court ruling indicating it.

Btw, not voting for someone for any reason can't be protected. We are free to descriminate for any reason we like when voting.
That has nothing to do with it. the point was that there is quite a bit of public interest in discriminating against people for being atheist, not that they are not allowed to do so.

Last edited by k9bfriender; 02-20-2019 at 12:01 PM.
  #46  
Old 02-20-2019, 12:52 PM
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Believing in a supernatural or afterlife doesn't make you theist, if your beliefs include no God's you are atheist.


The word is athiest not aspritualis

Last edited by Littleman; 02-20-2019 at 12:53 PM.
  #47  
Old 02-20-2019, 01:31 PM
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Believing in a supernatural or afterlife doesn't make you theist, if your beliefs include no God's you are atheist.
Hey look, we are in agreement. I did not say that believing in supernatural or the afterlife makes you a theist, I said it makes you religious.

Why does it sound like you were trying to argue with me there? Did you misunderstand something?
Quote:

The word is athiest not aspritualis
the word is religious, not areligious.


AND, my bold: nitpick, the word is atheist, not athiest.
  #48  
Old 02-20-2019, 05:26 PM
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Hey look, we are in agreement. I did not say that believing in supernatural or the afterlife makes you a theist, I said it makes you religious.

Why does it sound like you were trying to argue with me there? Did you misunderstand something?


the word is religious, not areligious.


AND, my bold: nitpick, the word is atheist, not athiest.
I know.
The point of that was that many anti- descrimimation laws refer to religion, In a manner that isn't really clear on lack of religion, so while a religious atheist like a Buddhist might be protected, I'm not so sure that atheists lacking a religion are necessarily protected.

I know several people have said they are but it seems to me like it's actually a little ambiguous in some cases.

While there is definitely potential for descrimimation against atheists, I don't know of any legal cases, I imagine if it were currently prevalent enough we would see cases.

Nothing wrong with being proactive though.
I certainly think the laws should apply, I see no reason to classify beliefs and lack of beliefs as different, and saying it is okay to descrimimate against non religious atheists would be tanamount to endorsing religion.
  #49  
Old 02-20-2019, 05:30 PM
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Damn, does your spellcheck not work? The word is “discrimination”, not “descrimimation”. It is annoying.
  #50  
Old 02-20-2019, 05:35 PM
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Damn, does your spellcheck not work? The word is “discrimination”, not “descrimimation”. It is annoying.
I think it's actually decided after enough typos that the "m" Is correct.
Fat fingers and phones....
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