The Constitution
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03-02-2012, 07:41 AM
RE: The Constitution
Hey, Erxomai.

I'm not going so far as to say that we simply must change the Constitution for the times they are a changin. I'm just looking at the similarities in devotion. I see a similar phenomenon at work and I find that interesting and significant.

Hey, Chaz.

People don't view the Constitution as holy, it's not a religious document, but I am suggesting that there is an analogous reverence and sense of it being untouchable. That's different than saying it can be changed. It can. But once changed, it is to be defended with blood.

Also, I think we can dispense with this Disney Corp. idea about the people being able to change the Constitution. Jimmy Bucktooth from Alabama can't change it. Neither can a single person on this site. I have a bright shiny penny for anyone on this site that could even change the punctuation on a single line of it. There are only a select few that can change it and it takes an ENORMOUS amount of consensus. That, and regular ol' folks aren't deemed worthy enough to interpret that. The judges in robes on high are the only ones. It's analogous enough to priests being the only ones deemed worthy of interpreting "the word" that it seems significant to me.

And the authors of the Constitution are unimpeachable historical figures whose mythologies far outstrip their realties. They aren't worshiped as deities but they are worshipped as heroes. That's another significant analogue.

Hey, Tarzan.

Oh Jeez, thanks eh!

You didn't put words in my mouth. You actually offered more insight into what I was thinking than I ever could. That was really impressive and somewhat shocking.

Good catch on the comparison between the Canadian and American constitutions. And you're thinking of the nothwithstanding clause.

You make a good point. American patriotism is shocking to non-Americans. It's viewed as a sort of fundamentalism. Attacking the Constitution is viewed as a kind blasphemy. I suppose to Americans it's not as visible, but to the people living next door, it's kinda scary.

I don't so much have a problem with the second amendment being outdated. Bear away. I'm not suggesting that either the Bible or the Constitution need to be overhauled or done away with. I'm, generally speaking, only ever interested in mechanisms. I'm curious about what the mechanism is that causes us to be devoted enough to kill and die for a set or precepts that are hundreds if not thousands of years old. What some people view as Christian madness, I'm seeing as a possible universal phenomenon with wider implications. That fascinates me and alarms me and tingles my Spider Sense. Danger, Will Robinson!

The Founding Fathers are absolutely deified. The fact that they're referred to as The Founding Fathers is proof that they are mythologised.

Quote:So What me and Ghost see is two documents that are both written well before our time that are vehemently revered and the act of questioning them is blasphemy and is treated to the same degree of severity.
Of course its bad enough when the fundies do this but the distressing thing is that we sometimes see atheists who having expunged the bible for being old and fallible treat the constitution as a religious document. That is the dilemma.

Yup.

Although I wouldn't say Atheists. This isn't an "Aha! Caught you, maudite gang de hypocrites!" kind of thing. I'd say Americans of all stripes.

Quote:Now Ghost is not suggesting that we should get rid of the american constitution ( at least I hope not) What he is saying is that perhaps an overhaul would be a good idea, to make it match up with today's standards.

Again, I'm not prescribing an overhaul. I'm just interested in the why does this happen aspect.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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03-02-2012, 07:56 AM
RE: The Constitution
(03-02-2012 07:41 AM)Ghost Wrote:  People don't view the Constitution as holy, it's not a religious document, but I am suggesting that there is an analogous reverence and sense of it being untouchable. That's different than saying it can be changed. It can. But once changed, it is to be defended with blood.

No, the country is defended with blood, the Constitution is defended in court.

Quote:Also, I think we can dispense with this Disney Corp. idea about the people being able to change the Constitution. Jimmy Bucktooth from Alabama can't change it. Neither can a single person on this site. I have a bright shiny penny for anyone on this site that could even change the punctuation on a single line of it. There are only a select few that can change it and it takes an ENORMOUS amount of consensus. That, and regular ol' folks aren't deemed worthy enough to interpret that. The judges in robes on high are the only ones. It's analogous enough to priests being the only ones deemed worthy of interpreting "the word" that it seems significant to me.

No single person can change the Constitution, no one ever said so, and it would be chaos if it were so. It is the legislatures of the states, or the members of a Constitutional Convention who propose, write, and ratify amendments - not judges.
And of course it takes consensus - it's a big deal.

Quote:And the authors of the Constitution are unimpeachable historical figures whose mythologies far outstrip their realties. They aren't worshiped as deities but they are worshipped as heroes. That's another significant analogue.

The authors of the Constitution are argued about, their motives questioned, their words dissected and analyzed. They are not, by and large, worshiped as heroes but admired as intelligent and far-seeing men.

I suspect there are some who have the attitudes you describe, but they are a tiny fraction of the citizenry.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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03-02-2012, 05:31 PM
RE: The Constitution
(31-01-2012 11:20 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, BnW.

Long time no see. I hope all is well with you.

All be good. I've been really, really busy and have not had a lot of internet time. I check in from time to time but have not been posting. This thread, however, obviously caught my eye.

Anyway.... moving on to points.

(31-01-2012 11:20 PM)Ghost Wrote:  
Quote:The Constitution does not tell us how to live our lives... There is no "thou shalt not" anywhere within the document.

Really?

Quote:The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand...
Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office...
...for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
...shall not be prohibited by the Congress...
The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended...
...shall not lie an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves.

------------------------THEN WE GET TO THE AMENDMENTS-----------------------

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

You were saying? And there's more than that. I just pulled some out at random. And I didn't even include the "shall" stuff, of which there's plenty.

The Constitution is the rule of man. The Bible is the rule of God. They're both documents filled with rules about how to live your life.

First, my comments about "thou shall not" was more metaphorical in the sense that the document does not attempt to regulate personal behavior and morality the way the bible does. Sorry, but there is just nothing in there about how to live your life. There are (in theory) limitations, however, on how the government can influence how you live your life but the US Constitution does not tell individuals to do or not do something. You have the right, but not the obligation, to speak, to assemble, to bear arms, etc. You can do or not do these things as you choose but the government shall not interfere.

As for the document being the rule of man: yes, I agree that it is the rule of man. All laws are the rules of man. Men write them, debate them, vote on them (in countries that allow voting).

I'm sorry but I'm still not sure what point you are trying to make here.

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03-02-2012, 10:31 PM (This post was last modified: 03-02-2012 10:58 PM by Ghost.)
RE: The Constitution
Hey, Chaz.

Quote:I suspect there are some who have the attitudes you describe, but they are a tiny fraction of the citizenry.

That's the core of our disagreement. That and the widespread interpretation of the Founding Fathers. Such is life.

Hey, BnW.

I see it as a framing issues. Both of them tell us how to live our lives, but they frame it differently.

ON EDIT:

Hey, Chaz.

Quote:No, the country is defended with blood, the Constitution is defended in court.

Do the members of the US Armed Forces not take an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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