The Constitution
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30-01-2012, 10:25 AM
RE: The Constitution
(29-01-2012 01:51 PM)Ghost Wrote:  What's the difference between the Bible and the Constitution?

They're both texts written hundreds of years ago that tell us how to live our lives.

I'm asking a serious question. I hope we can put aside the obvious "cuz the Bible is fake!" answers.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

I think the difference is to be found in their relevance to the lives of us atheists. We have to follow the Constitution, but we don't have to follow the Bible. But what if the Bible were also a necessary document to follow? I think we'd gain a respect for it, even if we disagreed with it - its words would take on a whole new importance.

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30-01-2012, 01:30 PM
RE: The Constitution
Compare the incorporation document of of IBM to the collected works of Shakespeare?

The Bible is a compilation of various works, in several languages, produced over some 1800 years. Which part of it would equate to the US constitution?
Possibly Leviticus, where the governance and laws are laid out for a freshly conquered land, about to become Judea. We may posit the ten commandments as the tenets upon which the law of this new nation will be elaborated.
We may carry this synopsis on into the new testament, appending the commands Jesus is supposed to have given as amendments, a thousand years later.
We may suppose, too, that the Council of Nicea made a few minor adjustments of their own, after another 3 centuries. (Plus, whatever popes and saints tampered with it for the RC's and Luther, Calvin et all, for the Protestants.)

The rest of the bible is entirely unlike a blueprint for governance.

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30-01-2012, 06:28 PM (This post was last modified: 31-01-2012 12:16 AM by Buddy Christ.)
RE: The Constitution
I was thinking the same thing as Peterkin. What are the similarities between the Constitution and the Bible that would prompt a post such as this? They're both currently written on paper?

One is a collection of stories about dragons, satyrs, giants, magic, witches, and talking donkeys, all under the guise of being authored by a deity.

The other is the suggested government structure written by brilliant men who were all too familiar with failed governments.

Again, where is the correlation between the two?

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30-01-2012, 08:36 PM
RE: The Constitution
No comparison?

There are penalties for disobeying the piece of paper that was drafted by sacred men, that is interpreted only by robed figures on high and is defended with the blood of men who give their lives to defend it. Really? NO comparison?

Personally, I follow neither. I'm an Agnostic Canadian. So I don't care which one is better than the other. I can't stress enough how little I care about content right now.

Two groups. Christians and Americans. Both of them fanatically follow a piece of paper from hundreds of years ago. That's remarkable. I'm trying to determine why that is. If the only answer people have is one of them is in vogue and the other isn't, then that doesn't actually answer any questions.

Hey, Starcrash.

Well according to some sects of Christianity, there are very real ramifications for not following the Bible. They just aren't earthly.

That makes contextual sense. The Bible is God's law therefore the penalties are God-made. The Constitution is man's law therefore the penalties are man-made.

But what you point out illustrates something. What the populace believes in determines which piece of paper they'll follow. But what I'm after is why do we follow old documents in the first place?

Hey, Six.

I think what's important is that both documents have gate keepers. I sure as shit can't change the constitution. Only the wise men in robes that sit on high truly understand the wonder of man's law well enough to make changes to or interpret man's law. Same with the Bible. Only the wise men in robes that sit on high truly understand the wonder of God's law well enough to tell us what changes God may have made (or that the Church might make) or interpret God's law.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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30-01-2012, 09:00 PM
RE: The Constitution
The Bible has more pages to wipe with... Alright! That was uncalled for - but I just couldn't help myself. I respect any document that lays down the ground rules for humans to be cool with each other. But even the Holy Bible falls well short of that task.

Who isn't scared when there's an unexpected knock at the door and you open it to find two Jehovah's Witnesses shaking the holy book at you, and screaming crap about eternal damnation?

Look! People! I left the United States because shit like this was getting to be way too much. And the fact that I can't stand rap music didn't help matters either.

What was the question again?

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Thanks for getting off my back!"
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30-01-2012, 10:30 PM
RE: The Constitution
(30-01-2012 08:36 PM)Ghost Wrote:  No comparison?

There are penalties for disobeying the piece of paper that was drafted by sacred men, that is interpreted only by robed figures on high and is defended with the blood of men who give their lives to defend it. Really? NO comparison?

Since you're comparing with the U.S. Constitution, then no, there are no penalties for disobeying the Bible. The Constitution was not drafted by sacred men.

Quote:Personally, I follow neither. I'm an Agnostic Canadian. So I don't care which one is better than the other. I can't stress enough how little I care about content right now.

One is not better than the other since they are not comparable in any substantive way.

Quote:Two groups. Christians and Americans. Both of them fanatically follow a piece of paper from hundreds of years ago. That's remarkable. I'm trying to determine why that is. If the only answer people have is one of them is in vogue and the other isn't, then that doesn't actually answer any questions.

Americans aren't "following a piece of paper from hundreds of years ago", they are living according to a body of civil law based on a set of rational precepts.

Quote:Well according to some sects of Christianity, there are very real ramifications for not following the Bible. They just aren't earthly.

That makes contextual sense. The Bible is God's law therefore the penalties are God-made. The Constitution is man's law therefore the penalties are man-made.

But what you point out illustrates something. What the populace believes in determines which piece of paper they'll follow. But what I'm after is why do we follow old documents in the first place?

Hey, Six.

I think what's important is that both documents have gate keepers. I sure as shit can't change the constitution. Only the wise men in robes that sit on high truly understand the wonder of man's law well enough to make changes to or interpret man's law. Same with the Bible. Only the wise men in robes that sit on high truly understand the wonder of God's law well enough to tell us what changes God may have made (or that the Church might make) or interpret God's law.

You can't change the Constitution, but the citizens of the U.S.A. can - it doesn't require wise men in robes.

No one can change the Bible, just the interpretation - and as KC has shown, anyone can do that, as well - no wisdom required.Big Grin

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31-01-2012, 12:03 AM
RE: The Constitution
1st Protects the freedom of religion, speech, and the press, as well as the right to assemble and petition the government
2nd Protects the right to bear arms
3rd Prohibits the forced quartering of soldiers out of war time
4th Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for search warrants based on probable cause
5th Sets out rules for indictment by grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process, and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy
6th Protects the right to a fair and speedy public trial by jury, including the rights to be notified of the accusations, to confront the accuser, to obtain witnesses and to retain counsel
7th Provides for the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases, according to common law
8th Prohibits excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment
9th Asserts the existence of unenumerated rights retained by the people
10th Limits the powers of the federal government to those delegated to it by the Constitution
11th Immunity of states from suits from out-of-state citizens and foreigners not living within the state borders. Lays the foundation for sovereign immunity
12th Revises presidential election procedures
13th Abolishes slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime
14th Defines citizenship, contains the Privileges or Immunities Clause, the Due Process Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and deals with post-Civil War issues
15th Prohibits the denial of suffrage based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude
16th Allows the federal government to collect income tax
17th Establishes the direct election of United States Senators by popular vote
18th Establishes Prohibition of alcohol (Repealed by Twenty-first Amendment)
19th Establishes women's suffrage
20th Fixes the dates of term commencements for Congress (January 3) and the President (January 20); known as the "lame duck amendment"
21st Repeals the Eighteenth Amendment
22nd Limits the president to two terms, or a maximum of 10 years (i.e., if a Vice President serves not more than one half of a President's term, he or she can be elected to a further two terms)
23rd Provides for representation of Washington, D.C. in the Electoral College
24th Prohibits the revocation of voting rights due to the non-payment of poll taxes
25th Codifies the Tyler Precedent; defines the process of presidential succession
26th Establishes the official voting age to be 18 years old.
27th Prevents laws affecting Congressional salary from taking effect until the beginning of the next session of Congress

The Constitution provides legal protections for it's citizens, helps to define rules of law and governmental procedures, creates limits, abolishes slavery, defines citizenship and in general defines how we legally can treat one another and more importantly how the government can treat it's citizens in a civil society.

The bible is an immoral book of fairy tales.

For anyone who says that this is a christian country, I dare you to start following the rules in your little story book and see how long it takes for the followers of the Constitution to put your ass in jail.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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31-01-2012, 08:37 AM
RE: The Constitution
Magna Carta

Decleration des droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Suomen perustuslaki

Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland

and my keyboard can't do Sanskrit, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew or Cyrillic

Okay if you want to take out that bit of the bible which may be presumed to be the constitution of ancient Judea and compare it with modern constitutions, or take the detailed rules set out in Leviticus to compare with modern bodies of law. And yes, judges have worn robes, as have priests. Yes, there are penalties for breaking the law of all countries of all times. Yes, people have died, do die and will die for the sovereignty of their nations.
What's that got to do with xtian or Jewish mythology?

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31-01-2012, 10:28 AM
RE: The Constitution
Hey, Chas and Pete.

I was trying to figure out how to respond. I wrote a bunch of stuff then I deleted it. While I respect you both, neither of you are engaging with the actual question and if I speak to what you wrote, I'll get mired in the conversation I don't want to have.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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31-01-2012, 11:32 AM
RE: The Constitution
(29-01-2012 01:51 PM)Ghost Wrote:  What's the difference between the Bible and the Constitution?

They're both texts written hundreds of years ago that tell us how to live our lives.

I'm asking a serious question. I hope we can put aside the obvious "cuz the Bible is fake!" answers.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
The Constitution is written on a paper made of cannabis sativa. Hence, it is more laid-back and freedom-loving.
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