Woolf Institute - Religion and Belief in British Public Life
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08-12-2015, 04:33 AM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2015 04:59 AM by Silly Deity.)
Woolf Institute - Religion and Belief in British Public Life
The Woolf Institute is an academic institute in Cambridge, England, dedicated to the study of relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Yesterday it published a report entitled - "LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE
community, diversity and the common good". The report calls for politicians to overhaul UK public policy on religion and belief, to take account of the increasing impact of religion around the world and the more diverse nature of society in Britain, which is also less religious in many ways.

Its claims its aim is to suggest practical ways for government and citizens to respond to social change in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, to ensure a shared understanding of the fundamental values underlying public life that guarantee religious freedom while protecting the liberties and values of non-believers.

But it's all rather at odds with the reality of life in modern Britain where a recent survey indicated that 62% of the population said they were not religious, compared to just 36% who said they were, while 68% said that religion was "not important" to their own life. Despite over a third of Britons claiming they were religious, only 29% said that religion was "important" to them.

So we have a self-appointed bunch of academics and religious scholars, telling us that our public institutions in our increasingly secular society should be reshaped to embrace the religious preferences of a minority.

The UK's National Secular Society summed it up nicely saying that the report was "completely at odds with the religious indifference that permeates British society."

"What we have at the moment is a secularised country – one of the most secular in outlook in the world – but one still dominated by a disproportionate level of religious influence. This report would see that interference strengthened at all levels of society."

Needless to say the report was widely reported on in the media and it was evident from the pre-recorded interviews with the chair of the panel that produced the report that a fair amount of pre-publication PR had gone on prior to the launch. Of course it was picked up by lazy reporters and news organisations.

All rather depressing.
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08-12-2015, 04:56 AM
RE: Woolf Institute - Religion and Belief in British Public Life
Is it a transitional fossil...

... dismissed as a museum piece by those who have moved beyond religion but useful for encouraging harmony amongst the potentially radicalised sections / sects of the community?

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08-12-2015, 05:06 AM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2015 05:10 AM by Silly Deity.)
RE: Woolf Institute - Religion and Belief in British Public Life
(08-12-2015 04:56 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Is it a transitional fossil...

... dismissed as a museum piece by those who have moved beyond religion but useful for encouraging harmony amongst the potentially radicalised sections / sects of the community?

You may well be right. The problem is that self-appointed groups of "the establishment great and good" - and the chair of the panel is a High Court judge - often have a disproportionate influence on public policy.

I've experienced this myself through my own involvement in an entirely different field, where because you are perceived as someone who is influential or who has some proficiency in the matter at hand, policy makers defer to your opinions. Before you know it, your opinions are hard wired into legislation/regulation/government policy without anyone realising it.

Such reports may well be perceived as being useful for encouraging harmony but surely all it might do is irritate/alienate the population who believe religious influence to be unhealthy no matter what flavour it comes in.

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Excreta Tauri Sapientam Fulgeat (The excrement of the bull causes wisdom to flee)
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08-12-2015, 05:10 AM
RE: Woolf Institute - Religion and Belief in British Public Life
(08-12-2015 05:06 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  ...
where because you are perceived as someone who is influential or who has some proficiency in the matter at hand, policy makers defer to your opinions. Before you know it, your opinions are hard wired into legislation/regulation/government policy without anyone realising it.

Yeah, I've made a pretty good living out of that.

Big Grin

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08-12-2015, 07:10 AM
RE: Woolf Institute - Religion and Belief in British Public Life
The theists are like ISIS -- they're motivated.

"Just don't give a fuck" doesn't stand up to a wanker with an agenda.....

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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08-12-2015, 07:26 AM
RE: Woolf Institute - Religion and Belief in British Public Life
First thing we do, let's kill all the institutes. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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08-12-2015, 11:40 AM
RE: Woolf Institute - Religion and Belief in British Public Life
The UK is on the whole a very very liberal place and I think it has gotten this way by the protection of freedom of expression.

Like the report states the amount of people who see religion as important here is declining. In my social circles if you stated you had found religion or were attending church of some sort, you would certainly raise some questioning eyebrows, but you would pretty much be left alone to do your own thing and it only becomes a problem if you start to interfere or infringe upon other peoples rights. That's how I feel it should be and would want to protect this principle, however on the flip side I do believe ultimately that some conflicting beliefs may not be able to be compromised in such an easy way and are incompatible, which is a big problem. Woman's rights being a large one for me.

Religious are a minority here still and as much as I disagree with them, as long as they are doing nobody any harm, like any other factor of society I would want them protected and wouldn't enjoy seeing any unnecessary harm or abuse in any form brought to them.

Religions should be heard and represented, however it should be their policies that change to come in line with the majority here.

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08-12-2015, 05:22 PM
RE: Woolf Institute - Religion and Belief in British Public Life
(08-12-2015 11:40 AM)bemore Wrote:  Religions should be heard and represented, however it should be their policies that change to come in line with the majority here.

Should be heard and represented? Why?

Should astrology be heard and represented? Homeopathy? Reiki? Consider

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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08-12-2015, 05:37 PM
RE: Woolf Institute - Religion and Belief in British Public Life
(08-12-2015 05:22 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(08-12-2015 11:40 AM)bemore Wrote:  Religions should be heard and represented, however it should be their policies that change to come in line with the majority here.

Should be heard and represented? Why?

Should astrology be heard and represented? Homeopathy? Reiki? Consider

Yes.

The more openly they are heard, the easier to define, clarify and shoot down.

Wink

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