Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
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09-10-2016, 06:07 PM
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
No, my point is that a secular law, rooted in a non-religious viewpoint, is no more neutral than one rooted in a religious viewpoint. If, for example, we were to enact a law allowing abortion, on the grounds that there is no good reason not to allow it from a secular, non-religious point of view, this law would be based on assumptions contrary to those of various religions, such as Catholicism. From a Catholic point of view, the truth is that God, who is the ultimate moral authority of the universe, commands all societies to ban abortion, so the right and prudent thing to do is to ban abortion. The secular law allowing abortion is based, at least in effect, on the assumption either that this Catholic position is not true or at least that it is not known objectively to be true (an Agnostic position). Therefore, the secular law is no more religiously neutral than the Catholic one. A law based in non-religious assumptions is no more neutral than one based in religious assumptions, when those assumptions contradict each other.

Also, there seems to be a tendency in this thread to think that I am complaining about being persecuted or something like that. That is not my point. All I am doing is trying to express a very simple observation--that all laws reflect certain beliefs and values that are not the same as other people's beliefs and values, and that therefore no set of laws can be religiously neutral. I just think that this is a very interesting and important observation which has great implications for how we think of the meaning of a secular society in comparison to religion-based societies.
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09-10-2016, 06:18 PM
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
(09-10-2016 06:07 PM)mhausam Wrote:  No, my point is that a secular law, rooted in a non-religious viewpoint, is no more neutral than one rooted in a religious viewpoint. If, for example, we were to enact a law allowing abortion, on the grounds that there is no good reason not to allow it from a secular, non-religious point of view, this law would be based on assumptions contrary to those of various religions, such as Catholicism.

And it would be consistent with other religious viewpoints. Yours is not special.

Quote:From a Catholic point of view, the truth is that God, who is the ultimate moral authority of the universe, commands all societies to ban abortion, so the right and prudent thing to do is to ban abortion.

Your religious view is not a valid basis for law. No one's is.

Quote:The secular law allowing abortion is based, at least in effect, on the assumption either that this Catholic position is not true or at least that it is not known objectively to be true (an Agnostic position).

No, it is based on the determination that no religion is privileged over others.

Quote:Therefore, the secular law is no more religiously neutral than the Catholic one. A law based in non-religious assumptions is no more neutral than one based in religious assumptions, when those assumptions contradict each other.

It is perfectly neutral since it ignores all religions equally.

Quote:Also, there seems to be a tendency in this thread to think that I am complaining about being persecuted or something like that. That is not my point. All I am doing is trying to express a very simple observation--that all laws reflect certain beliefs and values that are not the same as other people's beliefs and values, and that therefore no set of laws can be religiously neutral.

It is perfectly neutral since it ignores all religions equally.

Quote:I just think that this is a very interesting and important observation which has great implications for how we think of the meaning of a secular society in comparison to religion-based societies.

I think it is misguided and incorrect.
Read the First Amendment.

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09-10-2016, 08:20 PM
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
(09-10-2016 06:07 PM)mhausam Wrote:  No, my point is that a secular law, rooted in a non-religious viewpoint, is no more neutral than one rooted in a religious viewpoint. If, for example, we were to enact a law allowing abortion, on the grounds that there is no good reason not to allow it from a secular, non-religious point of view, this law would be based on assumptions contrary to those of various religions, such as Catholicism. From a Catholic point of view, the truth is that God, who is the ultimate moral authority of the universe, commands all societies to ban abortion, so the right and prudent thing to do is to ban abortion. The secular law allowing abortion is based, at least in effect, on the assumption either that this Catholic position is not true or at least that it is not known objectively to be true (an Agnostic position). Therefore, the secular law is no more religiously neutral than the Catholic one. A law based in non-religious assumptions is no more neutral than one based in religious assumptions, when those assumptions contradict each other.

Also, there seems to be a tendency in this thread to think that I am complaining about being persecuted or something like that. That is not my point. All I am doing is trying to express a very simple observation--that all laws reflect certain beliefs and values that are not the same as other people's beliefs and values, and that therefore no set of laws can be religiously neutral. I just think that this is a very interesting and important observation which has great implications for how we think of the meaning of a secular society in comparison to religion-based societies.

Your viewpoint doesn't really state anything new or interesting. Laws created through religious principles have a tendency to be struck down because they contradict the constitution, in a free society you can vote people in that will reflect your point of view whether it be secular or religious.

We are moving to a more secular viewpoint in regards to these old laws that reflect religious values, in my state, it's illegal to have liquor stores open on Sundays, and you can only get low-point beer in convenience stores. At long last, we're about to change this antiquated prohibition-era nonsense. Would this be "anti-Catholic" or "anti-Baptist"?
I could care less and the voters are going to put these old laws to rest.

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Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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09-10-2016, 08:34 PM
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
(09-10-2016 08:20 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(09-10-2016 06:07 PM)mhausam Wrote:  No, my point is that a secular law, rooted in a non-religious viewpoint, is no more neutral than one rooted in a religious viewpoint. If, for example, we were to enact a law allowing abortion, on the grounds that there is no good reason not to allow it from a secular, non-religious point of view, this law would be based on assumptions contrary to those of various religions, such as Catholicism. From a Catholic point of view, the truth is that God, who is the ultimate moral authority of the universe, commands all societies to ban abortion, so the right and prudent thing to do is to ban abortion. The secular law allowing abortion is based, at least in effect, on the assumption either that this Catholic position is not true or at least that it is not known objectively to be true (an Agnostic position). Therefore, the secular law is no more religiously neutral than the Catholic one. A law based in non-religious assumptions is no more neutral than one based in religious assumptions, when those assumptions contradict each other.

Also, there seems to be a tendency in this thread to think that I am complaining about being persecuted or something like that. That is not my point. All I am doing is trying to express a very simple observation--that all laws reflect certain beliefs and values that are not the same as other people's beliefs and values, and that therefore no set of laws can be religiously neutral. I just think that this is a very interesting and important observation which has great implications for how we think of the meaning of a secular society in comparison to religion-based societies.

Your viewpoint doesn't really state anything new or interesting. Laws created through religious principles have a tendency to be struck down because they contradict the constitution, in a free society you can vote people in that will reflect your point of view whether it be secular or religious.

We are moving to a more secular viewpoint in regards to these old laws that reflect religious values, in my state, it's illegal to have liquor stores open on Sundays, and you can only get low-point beer in convenience stores. At long last, we're about to change this antiquated prohibition-era nonsense. Would this be "anti-Catholic" or "anti-Baptist"?
I could care less and the voters are going to put these old laws to rest.

I take it you live with me in Indiana?

I hate that fucking sunday law.
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09-10-2016, 08:46 PM
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
Secular laws are generally made based on some sort of logic and to benefit society (in theory, anyways). Religious laws are based on "My sky daddy told me so in this here fairy tale book, so it should be a law".
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09-10-2016, 08:58 PM
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
(09-10-2016 08:46 PM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  Secular laws are generally made based on some sort of logic and to benefit society (in theory, anyways). Religious laws are based on "My sky daddy told me so in this here fairy tale book, so it should be a law".

This. Using a secular basis laws can be based on demonstrable needs and amended as needed if they do not produce the desired result. Whether or not they coincide with any particular religious rule is irrelevant.

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09-10-2016, 09:10 PM (This post was last modified: 10-10-2016 08:52 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
(08-10-2016 07:04 AM)ErinRH2342 Wrote:  I've been debating with my father about how a secular government should be run. He says there can be no such thing as "religious freedom", because of things like abortion. He, as a Catholic, believes that abortion is murder and should never be allowed under any circumstances. Therefore he believes that he has a moral duty to prevent them from happening, and a society that impedes his ability to do so is upholding a belief contrary to his worldview. A society always has to hold a set of values(whether they be religious or naturalistic). He's written a blog post on the subject that can be found here: http://freethoughtforchrist.blogspot.com...ty-of.html
(Note: If any of you feel inclined to comment on that post, I would appreciate it if you neglected to mention that I sent you. I feel that information might somewhat upset the current household balance I've worked to maintain during my coming out period. Thanks!)

It's an interesting topic. My current answer to him would be that I see morality as personal and subjective, so all I can do is attempt to create a society that corresponds with that sense as it applies to my own life. Our sense of right and wrong grows and changes as humans, and that's reflected in society's choices.

Thoughts?

Your father does not understand how societies operate. Shocking for someone who claims to be educated. He has no absolute right to anything. He has a right to what is reasonable. He has set up a strawman in his ignorance. He's also a hypocrite. If a woman needs a late term abortion to save her life, then he is arbitrarily valuing the life of a fetus over her life, ("gods will" bullshit etc). Yet, if he needed surgery to repair a clogged coronary artery, THAT's not god's will ?

This same god he says commands societies to ban abortions CHANGED his mind apparently. It was OK in the OT. Abortion will never be "murder" until it's against the law. ONLY then will it be "murder" (a specific legal term). Why is it not man-slaughter, 2nd degree ?

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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09-10-2016, 09:20 PM
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
(09-10-2016 06:07 PM)mhausam Wrote:  From a Catholic point of view, the truth is that God, who is the ultimate moral authority of the universe, commands all societies to ban abortion, so the right and prudent thing to do is to ban abortion.

A bit of a derail, but where exactly does the Catholic god command all societies to ban abortion? It is permitted, and even ordered, in the OT and I don't recall any general NT injunctions.

Quote:The secular law allowing abortion is based, at least in effect, on the assumption either that this Catholic position is not true or at least that it is not known objectively to be true (an Agnostic position). Therefore, the secular law is no more religiously neutral than the Catholic one.

I might actually agree that "neutral" is a poor choice of words; orthogonal might be a better choice. Religious rules may be binding on adherents but have no place being enforced on non-adherents without a non-religious justification. It isn't so much that assumptions are being made as that there's no secular justification to consider them at all.

Having separation of church and state and requiring a secular basis for laws protects the religious as well as the non-religious. I doubt the Catholics would appreciate laws based on Jewish or Muslim or Hindu religious claims or even many Baptist, Lutheran, or other denominations. In that sense the word "neutral" is appropriate. Everybody gets the same base set of secular laws and they can further restrict themselves if they so desire.

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09-10-2016, 10:38 PM
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
(09-10-2016 06:07 PM)mhausam Wrote:  No, my point is that a secular law, rooted in a non-religious viewpoint, is no more neutral than one rooted in a religious viewpoint. If, for example, we were to enact a law allowing abortion, on the grounds that there is no good reason not to allow it from a secular, non-religious point of view, this law would be based on assumptions contrary to those of various religions, such as Catholicism. From a Catholic point of view, the truth is that God, who is the ultimate moral authority of the universe, commands all societies to ban abortion, so the right and prudent thing to do is to ban abortion. The secular law allowing abortion is based, at least in effect, on the assumption either that this Catholic position is not true or at least that it is not known objectively to be true (an Agnostic position). Therefore, the secular law is no more religiously neutral than the Catholic one. A law based in non-religious assumptions is no more neutral than one based in religious assumptions, when those assumptions contradict each other.

Also, there seems to be a tendency in this thread to think that I am complaining about being persecuted or something like that. That is not my point. All I am doing is trying to express a very simple observation--that all laws reflect certain beliefs and values that are not the same as other people's beliefs and values, and that therefore no set of laws can be religiously neutral. I just think that this is a very interesting and important observation which has great implications for how we think of the meaning of a secular society in comparison to religion-based societies.

For the record, the way laws are set up in this country, we don't enact laws allowing abortion. In the absence of laws, abortion is legal. The laws in question either illegalize abortion, or repeal those laws, or prevent various levels of government from enacting or enforcing those laws, or so on.

I'll repeat my question from before. Why is this particular notion of neutrality -- neutrality of outcome, rather than neutrality of process -- in any way desirable?

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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09-10-2016, 10:47 PM (This post was last modified: 09-10-2016 10:51 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Interesting argument on the impossibility of true neutrality
(09-10-2016 06:07 PM)mhausam Wrote:  No, my point is that a secular law, rooted in a non-religious viewpoint, is no more neutral than one rooted in a religious viewpoint. If, for example, we were to enact a law allowing abortion, on the grounds that there is no good reason not to allow it from a secular, non-religious point of view, this law would be based on assumptions contrary to those of various religions, such as Catholicism. From a Catholic point of view, the truth is that God, who is the ultimate moral authority of the universe, commands all societies to ban abortion, so the right and prudent thing to do is to ban abortion. The secular law allowing abortion is based, at least in effect, on the assumption either that this Catholic position is not true or at least that it is not known objectively to be true (an Agnostic position). Therefore, the secular law is no more religiously neutral than the Catholic one. A law based in non-religious assumptions is no more neutral than one based in religious assumptions, when those assumptions contradict each other.

Also, there seems to be a tendency in this thread to think that I am complaining about being persecuted or something like that. That is not my point. All I am doing is trying to express a very simple observation--that all laws reflect certain beliefs and values that are not the same as other people's beliefs and values, and that therefore no set of laws can be religiously neutral. I just think that this is a very interesting and important observation which has great implications for how we think of the meaning of a secular society in comparison to religion-based societies.

Totally false. The secular view could give a shit about Catholic views on anything. It could care less about the "truth" of anything Catholic. Only a Catholic would be so self-absorbed to think the question revolves around them and their idiot church's view on anything. You are MAKING it a religious question as you are incapable of thinking in any other terms, as you drank the Catholic Kool-Aide.

There is no "Catholic" position on anything. No one ever asked Catholics what they think. The majority of Catholic women of child-bearing age use birth control. The absolute "never" position on abortion may or may not, (likely is not) the view of the Mystical Body of Christ (no one ever asked them). There IS no absolute position anyway in Moral Theology. There are three requirements for Mortal Sin. ONLY a god can decide if they are all met. Your false notion is that Catholics are somehow united on this issue, AND that you can speak for them of the Church in general. You can't. You are a fraud.

Quote:I just think that this is a very interesting and important observation which has great implications for how we think of the meaning of a secular society in comparison to religion-based societies.

Of course you do. You want to cast the debate in your own false terms.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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