Where Be The Line?
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11-09-2011, 12:44 PM
Where Be The Line?
So I'm just curious where everyone stands on the line. We all know the line, on both sides of the fence.

Religion: Preaching, proselytizing, indoctrination, forced objectives, political dominance, spreading fear and panic, outright lying, and you know beatings, rape, murder, mass murder, torture etc.

So where do we feel they should legally be forced to draw a line, one they cannot cross for fear of legal retribution?

And of course,

Atheists/Agnostics/Freethinkers in general: Preaching, proselytizing, forced objectives, attempted political dominance, spreading love and tolerance, rejection of belief, violence, picketing, I don't know a lot of negative things actually associated with Atheism so... you get the idea though.

Where should atheists be legally obligated to draw the line and where do you people personally draw the line? Both sides feet they are right of course which makes it hard to pull yourself out of the argument.

My line is constantly being challenged and I don't know where it will be when all is said and done. Right now due to my situation my line is a close one, meaning I don't do or even say a lot in public places. I would but I can't. My personal line I would have at the moment if everything was different would be much broader and further from where it currently is. I would be handing out pamphlets and fighting the corner preachers with my own brand. I would have a voice. I would be a non violent offender. I believe religion to be a massive problem with the world. It isn't the actual problem so to speak, that would be a people issue, but what I think religion does is give breathing room to ideas that should never gain ground, to actions that shouldn't be permitted. So it needs to go. I would never hurt anyone though, not unless forced.

As far as the religious are concerned I think they legally should not be allowed to carry on with indoctrinating their young-uns. Obviously any violent offenses are out. And I think street preaching and door to door should be punishable by being buried aliv... arrest. They should in short, be held accountable. Like everyone else.

So let me know, where is your line, and where do you think too far is too far?

For both sides.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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11-09-2011, 12:52 PM
 
RE: Where Be The Line?
(11-09-2011 12:44 PM)lucradis Wrote:  So let me know, where is your line, and where do you think too far is too far?

For both sides.

My line is a very simple one.

Religion is a non-issue for me (other than being sad over some people hurt by it ) because I find the entire concept totally undefined.

If anybody brings it up to me, personally, my usual response is: "what are you talking about?"

And it ALWAYS stays there because I do not get involved in debates discussing undefined concepts.

And nobody could ever define it for me in a sensible epistemological way.

I know this does not help your question legal-wise, but you asked -- this is my own personal line.
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11-09-2011, 12:59 PM
RE: Where Be The Line?
Argh Zatamon Argh.

I forgive you. It's probably wise to not get involved in reality anyways. My only problem with that is eventually any problem left unsolved will eventually become yours or someone's you care about.

When I was but a young lad I had a whole religion is bunk but it ain't my problem Imma be dead soon anyways. See I was very self destructive, so it was as safe assumption. But then I started smartening up, and I had my lovely little daughter and my brain started to explode. I can see all sorts of ways things religious could affect her in life. It terrifies me honestly. I wouldn't feel right if I didn't at least try to do something about it, because I made her, she never asked to be made.

I see where you're coming from, and I accept your answer. Smile

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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11-09-2011, 01:05 PM
 
RE: Where Be The Line?
(11-09-2011 12:59 PM)lucradis Wrote:  I see where you're coming from, and I accept your answer. Smile

The best way to defeat religion is not by arguing the fine points -- but by repeating, till the cows come home, what a crazy topic it truly is!
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11-09-2011, 04:28 PM
RE: Where Be The Line?
(11-09-2011 12:44 PM)lucradis Wrote:  So let me know, where is your line, and where do you think too far is too far?

When I was in the Navy we had a saying, "All the big guns are in the Navy." We called the biggest guns "Christian-Makers." That's where you just pulled your Destroyer up to the edge of some pagan island, fired a few shells onto their shores and waited for the pagans to come out of the jungle asking where they could sign up to be Christians. That's where I draw the line. I don't give a shit what anyone else believes, but I do give a shit when someone tries to force their beliefs on me or mine. I think, for example, teaching "Intelligent Design" or "Irreducible Complexity" alongside the theory of evolution in a Science class as a potentially tenable alternative crosses the line.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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11-09-2011, 04:48 PM
RE: Where Be The Line?
I struggle with this too, lucradis. Living in the USA, I feel like the constitution already draws a nice line that keeps religion out of our laws while keeping the practice of religion free, and I wouldn't change that.

That doesn't mean I'm happy with the status quo, though. Do I think that "In God We Trust" should remain on our currency? Not as long as Christians keeping using it as evidence that we live in a Christian nation. Should Christmas and Easter remain as national holidays? Not at the exclusion of other religions' holidays. Do I think churches should remain tax-free? Fuck no.

There are Muslims, Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, Amish and plenty of other religions in this country that respect our laws and don't try to force them to bend for their religions. The Christians think they have a special privilege just because of their large representation in our population. If they didn't, I don't think we'd even need to have a conversation about where to draw the line.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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11-09-2011, 06:33 PM
RE: Where Be The Line?
I agree Star. Matter of fact I think I could leave well enough alone, even knowing that the poor children of the already religious would have to suffer, if they would just leave well enough alone too. It's been so long that they have almost bullied their way into every corner of life that I feel the need to push back. Almost like a bear that has been forced to do tricks it's whole life. Stop poking me you know.

It's like the more time passes the more they push, the stronger a foot hold they have and the farther we actually get from reality. We always seem so close to having at least equal grounds as far as rights are concerned but in actuality we are so far away from that it isn't funny.

I don't know where the atheist/ft/agn line should be. I don't even know if we should have one really. Not that I personally condone violent behavior, but fuck me, doesn't something have to be done somehow? We've all had arguments with strong theists and we all know how it goes, the wall of bullshit springs up almost immediately and there is no getting through. If that's the way they think then how do we get anywhere?

I rant a lot.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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11-09-2011, 06:40 PM
 
RE: Where Be The Line?
(11-09-2011 06:33 PM)lucradis Wrote:  I don't know where the atheist/ft/agn line should be.

Draw a line in the sand: "You don't know what you are talking about!!"

(drawing a line in the sand became fashionable after the first Gulf Massacre, whether sand was involved or not!)
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11-09-2011, 08:06 PM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2011 08:12 PM by Peterkin.)
RE: Where Be The Line?
Legally, this shouldn't be a problem. A country has a charter or constitution or some kind of founding document that sets out the authorities and roles of state and church. A nation with a single official state religion will, of course, base all of its laws on the tenets of that religion - no conflict, no argument. A country that separates church and state defines the rights and limits on the power of each to interfere with the other's business. Criminal, fiscal and military law are always the jurisdiction of the state. There will be some difference in the bases of those laws in uni- bi- and multi-cultural societies.

In the western democracies, the state is secular, multiple churches are recognized and freedom of religion - among other freedoms - is guaranteed in the founding documents.
This makes the legal position (relatively) simple. Whatever limits are set on the actions of a citizen also apply to non-government groups, corporations and organizations, including churches. The law applies equally, regardless of whether the motivation is personal, financial, ethical, occupational, political or religious.
You can yell at someone who insults you, but you're not allowed to punch him. You can send finally-final notices and threats of prosecution to a debtor, but you're not allowed to kneecap him. You can throw green paint on baby seals, but not movie stars' coats. You can strike and picket a bad employer, but you can't run him over with one of his trucks. You can petition, march and protest a government decision, but you're not allowed to throw bricks through the ministry windows. You can distribute leaflets and publish articles, but you can't blockade the church door - nor the family planning clinic door.

"Decency" laws are far more problematic. Matters like prostitution, drug use, pornography, blood sports; what is allowed and disallowed in art, dress, entertainment... These are decisions based on the overall moral sentiments of the society. In a diverse society, there are strong opinions and controversies; it takes time, diplomacy, persuasion and much negotiation to get a majority of votes on any law on these matters. And they tend to keep coming back, because the defeated faction doesn't give up.

But, because of the cultural heritage of the founding fathers, christian values did creep into early law-making, just as an unjustified respect for organized religion and its ordained practitioners crept into the popular culture. That's why priests and ministers get away with ... the kinds of things they get away with. And why their testimony, writing and opinion, is always taken more seriously, more easily believed, more uncritically reported and repeated, than a florist's or engineers.

There is childish awe of religious authority in our culture. And a subsequently childish rebellion in challenging it. They tend to pontificate; we tend to jeer, mock, stick our tongues out. I'm not saying it's everyone all the time; just describing an overview of the dynamic.

And some religious groups believe they have a monopoly on morality - that they, and they alone, set the standard of decency. They set themselves above civil law and intimidate legislators and law-enforcement agencies to let them get away with actions that would be criminal if done by any other individual.
Compared to that enshrined privilege, atheists and anti-religionists have very little going for them. Easy to become frustrated, angry, ressentful. As far as i know, though, no atheist has slandered and libeled and threatened a religionist in anywhere near the extreme terms religionists use against us.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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12-09-2011, 01:59 AM
RE: Where Be The Line?
I think this is a very important topic. Here is where I stand on this issue.

As Christianity is not built on a foundation of truth, compromises international relations, promotes immoral prejudices, has given license to churches to brutalise mankind and divide society, damages the psychological health of individuals, and has no proven benefit in improving the health of society at large, it is quite clearly a serious obstacle to peace, happiness, and health. It is very obvious to me that the world would be a much better and safer place if Christianity somehow disappeared. There would be some people who would temporarily experience a deep-seated feeling of loss, yet ultimately they would be happier and healthier, particularly if they could give up the habit of praying and embraced their fellow humans instead. I think the only people who would suffer any long-term consequences would be the bean counters in churches who would lose their income.

Christian practice and influence has faded over the last four centuries in most of the better-educated parts of the world. This is in part due to the efforts of brave humanists and scientists who have refused to be silent when ordered to by churches, often putting their lives in danger by doing so. If it hadn’t been for ethical people opposing churches the Western world might still be living in the squalor and filth of the dark ages. Why might that be so? Churches have traditionally opposed scientific progress and secular learning because science and education inevitably undermined the mythical nonsense they promoted. Modern men should realize churches still haven’t quite got out of the habit.

The struggle to free humanity from Christianity is far from over. People all over the world have had their heads filled with Christian beliefs and prejudices. Children are still singing hymns and being taught creationism in school. Pentecostal churches run by businessmen and Catholic churches ruled over by an out-of-touch hierarchy are still milking the market. Large numbers of people are still paying lip service to the existence of the Christian God and are passively accepting some biblical ethics. As a result wars which have their roots in religious intolerance are still being waged, homosexuals are still regarded as second rate citizens, women are denied the same voice and opportunities as men and scientific advances such as stem cell research and genetic engineering are being fought against. People are still turning to prayer rather than to each other, and are still feeling guilt about their own sexuality and other imaginary sins. The Catholic Church is trying to fill their pews with more little Catholics by denying people the use of oral contraception and even condoms, despite the fact some countries are ravaged with Aids. Priests don’t have to change diapers, nurse slowly dying relatives, or pay for expensive medicines. These are powerful reasons why people who care about the state of the world should not be apathetic about the power of churches.

We can all do a little to make the world a better place. All people of reason, education and intelligence should openly discuss the lies and immorality in the Bible so more people no longer believe the myth that it is a good book that contains the word of God. We might consider stopping going to church and giving them money. Christians deserve genuine respect, yet, just like everybody else, they should be challenged if their prejudices are promoted as the truth.

The large numbers of innocent children still being indoctrinated with Christian beliefs is an unfortunate reality. There is not much a concerned person can or should directly do about this. We cannot change the world overnight and children are not pawns to be played with by filling their heads with our opinions. We should educate our own children about religion in an unbiased fashion and in secular schools. Most children in our modern world are no longer isolated so will, in the fullness of time, be exposed to secular humanist opinions.

We might strive to genuinely respect all people regardless of their gender, their religious beliefs or their sexual inclination. We should make a stand against racism. Let’s make genuine unprejudiced empathy the driving force behind our care and respect for each other. Let’s use science and rational thought, not faith, to help every person live a happy and meaningful life. This means opposing Christian dogma that compromises these ideals.

Surely, as the decades roll by, all societies will become better informed and Christianity will become a dirty word. It will no longer be thought of as a doctrine that promotes admirable ideals, but as an unhealthy and immoral delusion promoted by greedy churches in their own interests. The sooner this happens, the better. Christian prejudice should become socially unacceptable in the same way smoking, homophobia and sexism has become unacceptable in most modern communities today. The number of people churches influence will decrease. That is already happening in many countries in Europe, as well as in Canada and Australia. Let’s hope something similar happens in the Muslim world so that Islam loses its power too, but we should set an example by sweeping out our own front porch first.
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