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Altai

Secularism = Political Atheism

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15 hours ago, kimmy said:

In Canada (and the US, and many other countries) laws are only valid if they don't break the rules set out in the Constitution.  Many laws created by Christian politicians have been overturned over the years because they were found to violate the rights of non-Christians.

For example, in many parts of Canada there used to be laws that said that stores and shops have to be closed on Sunday. These laws were struck down because they were found to impose Christian practice on non-Christian Canadians.

 

Religious people have the same right to participate in politics as everyone else. And if they get elected to office they can certainly try to promote their values, whatever those might be.  However, the process of getting a law passed in the first place requires a lot of consensus.  And, once a law is passed, it can be overturned if it is against the rules of the Constitution.

If somebody wrote a law that required everyone to pray to Blalalo the Chicken God, it is very unlikely that this law would ever get approved in Parliament. If it somehow did get approved in Parliament, the Senate would reject it because they know it would never survive a court challenge. If it did somehow get approved in the Senate, no Crown Prosecutor would ever attempt to seek a conviction under that law, because they would know their case would be challenged and overturned by a higher court. If this law did somehow make it to a court of law, the law would be challenged and struck down because it violates the defendant's Constitutional right to freedom of religion.

Even if a politician wanted to, they couldn't make a law requiring everyone to pray, or requiring women to dress a certain way, or so on.

 -k



LoL you are really a tiring person, even reading your answers is really soo tiring. I feel zero desire in myself to reply your posts. You first need to get rid of the idea that religion only means praying at something. Then you need to read my questions again and you need to reply again. Good luck ;)

Edited by Altai

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9 minutes ago, Altai said:



LoL you are really a tiring person, even reading your answers is really soo tiring. I feel zero desire in myself to reply your posts. You first need to get rid of the idea that religion only means praying at something. Then you need to read my questions again and you need to reply again. Good luck ;)

You need to get rid of the idea that your religion means anything to anyone but yourself.  It doesn't.  So keep it totally to yourself and you'll be fine.

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23 minutes ago, Altai said:


LoL you are really a tiring person, even reading your answers is really soo tiring. I feel zero desire in myself to reply your posts. You first need to get rid of the idea that religion only means praying at something. Then you need to read my questions again and you need to reply again. Good luck ;)

You keep asking how secular government works but you can't be bothered to put any effort into understanding it.  That's you're problem, not mine.

You ask if a religious person could get elected and make laws to force everybody tto follow religious rules:  the short answer is no.  For the long answer, read my previous post.

I have no further time to waste on someone who clearly isn't even trying to understand the responses they get.

 -k

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44 minutes ago, Altai said:



LoL you are really a tiring person, even reading your answers is really soo tiring. I feel zero desire in myself to reply your posts. You first need to get rid of the idea that religion only means praying at something.  

You need to get rid of the idea that religious people are more deserving of accommodation than non-religious people.   I should not have to live under religious laws from a religion I do not want to be part of, based on a god I do not believe in.   

 

Edited by dialamah

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2 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

We have had this discussion here umpteen times.  "lacks a belief in god" vs "believes in no god".  And does "no god" mean no spirit world, no polytheism etc. ?

I would be able to buy your definition if it weren't indistinguishable from agnosticism to me.

This is exactly why I try to avoid using labels like atheist, agnostic, etc. They have slightly different meaning to everyone, and regardless if you think your meaning is the right one the fact is they are useless for communicating.

Generally there is a bit more congruence around theism, meaning the belief in God (or possibly gods).

I am not a theist, I follow science. Notice very clearly that I didn't say I was a scientist or that I believe in science. Science is a process, not an absolute. Science is about building/expanding knowledge about the universe (reality) of which we are part. What separates science from theism is that the explanations and predictions from science are testable.

I don't have any beliefs for or against a God (or many gods), I have a foundation of acquired knowledge.

1 hour ago, drummindiver said:

Demonstrably untrue. Ask any FN person or English entrepreneur in Quebec. In fact,  ask any person in Quebec.

Agreed, perhaps I should have put "representative" in quotes because we all know that it is far from perfect. Let's leave it at that, or start a new thread or continue an existing one on democracy so we don't derail this one.

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15 minutes ago, cybercoma said:

Religions define people's identities, but more importantly the identity of their sub-culture and communities. It's not at all correct to say it "means nothing to anyone but yourself."

Applies to no-one but yourself?

What is the best way to say one's religion should have absolutely zero effect on anyone else on the planet?

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32 minutes ago, cybercoma said:

I disagree with you. The short answer is yes. Religious people can be elected and laws can be based on religious morality. A lot of our current laws are based on natural law theory. Even our statutory holidays are based off Christian religions. Sunday shopping hours are still shortened in many places. It used to be illegal to be gay. There's all kinds of stuff based on religious morality in our legal codes.

If the question is whether the government can force people to belong to a particular religion, then the answer is no. But there's literally noting to stop people from passing religious laws or using their religious morality to guide them in their decision making and vote casting in parliament or legislatures.

There's no law saying Sunday shopping hours are short. Some of our statutory holidays might have started as religious observations, but they exist now as traditions in our culture, same as Victoria Day or Canada Day.

Many of our laws are based, of course, on Judeo-Christian morality, but the laws we have retained are laws that have demonstrable value and appeal beyond the Christian community. "Thou Shalt Not Kill" has analogs in every functioning culture that ever existed. Our concept of marriage has analogs in almost every culture. Not every culture has ever defined marriage in the traditional one man one woman sense, but I believe almost every culture has defined family units in some sense. I recent years our own culture has expanded its definition of marriage beyond the traditional Judeo-Christian definition.

Many laws or values rooted in religion have demonstrable benefits to society. And just because we reject the premise that they must be law because someone's religious beliefs say so, we can still accept that these laws have demonstrable value.

If some puritan politician were to campaign for the prohibition of alcohol because his holy scripture says alcohol is evil, that would fall flat.  However, he could build a very compelling argument about the benefits of prohibition based on the demonstrable damage alcohol does in terms of health, crime, violence, drunk driving, and so on.  We might reject "my holy book says so!" as a rationale, but we could still examine the merits of his idea independent of the religious reasoning behind it. I'd suggest that any law with a historical basis in religion would either pass the merit test or be ripe for repeal.

 -k

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35 minutes ago, cybercoma said:

Yeah, I mean, I guess. It applies to no one but herself and others who follow her religion. I think the important point she is missing is that there needs to be a universal standard for everyone in the country and that no one else gets to force her into a religion that she doesn't choose. That's the idea behind freedom that she's missing. More importantly, I can't think of many laws being prescriptive, saying that people "must" do things against their will. Usually laws are prohibitive, saying you can't do certain things that normally cause harm to others or yourself.

 

5 minutes ago, cybercoma said:

So religious morality can and does play a role in legislative decision making. There were laws mandating stores be closed on Sunday. In NB those laws existed until less than a decade ago. I'm just making the point that religion obviously plays a role in our societal values. You can say that's morphed into "cultural" ideals, but that doesn't change the fact that they began as religious traditions. Hell, Quebec literally had religious institutions running things like education and healthcare until 50 some odd years ago.

Granted, and it's an ongoing struggle.  It's not often one gets the chance to argue against someone who actually believes that religion should form some sort of basis for the law.

It's difficult to get them to understand how mindmeltingly wrong that opinion is.  Especially when one is on their ignore list.

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Just now, cybercoma said:

It's even more difficult to get others to see how it may not necessarily be wrong at all.

I imagine that would be impossible, not just difficult.

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In recent decades Canada's demographic makeup has changed. This isn't a mostly-Christian country anymore. And the advent of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 expressly protects people from having religious ideology imposed on them by the law. Things may have once been as you say, but that's not the case anymore.

What our Turkish friend has been asking is whether a religious politician could get elected and pass religious laws.  The example she proposed earlier was:

"For example secular people would like to jail thieves. Religious people would like to cut their hands. What we will do ?"

Cutting people, or dismembering them if that's what she meant, is not an acceptable punishment under Section 12 of the Charter of Rights. No politician can say otherwise.

 -k

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2 minutes ago, cybercoma said:

Like I already said, a lot of our laws come from religious traditions. They're not necessarily wrong just because they're rooted in religion. 

No, of course not.  But one has to be convinced that religion is not the reason they are in place.  I don't mind not killing, but it's not because of the Commandments.

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6 minutes ago, kimmy said:

In recent decades Canada's demographic makeup has changed. This isn't a mostly-Christian country anymore. And the advent of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 expressly protects people from having religious ideology imposed on them by the law. Things may have once been as you say, but that's not the case anymore.

What our Turkish friend has been asking is whether a religious politician could get elected and pass religious laws.  The example she proposed earlier was:

"For example secular people would like to jail thieves. Religious people would like to cut their hands. What we will do ?"

Cutting people, or dismembering them if that's what she meant, is not an acceptable punishment under Section 12 of the Charter of Rights. No politician can say otherwise.

 -k

One thing to note, the charter isn't set in stone, it's on ink.  Parliament can if there is enough public will amend or change the charter, granted it would be very difficult, it still can be done which is a good thing as it still enshrines parliamentary supremacy.

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40 minutes ago, cybercoma said:

It does no such thing. Religious ideology doesn't necessarily violate the charter of rights and freedoms. Yes, cutting people, dismembering them, etc. is not acceptable under the Charter. But ideas just by virtue of being religious are not necessarily opposed to the Charter. The kinds of things she's asking for of course are. But legislators can make laws based on their religious values if they want, so long as they agree with the Charter and Constitution.

The Lord's Day Act was struck down explicitly because it imposed a Christian observance on non-Christians:

"To the extent that it binds all to a sectarian Christian ideal, the Lord's Day Act works a form of coercion inimical to the spirit of the Charter and the dignity of all non-Christians. It takes religious values rooted in Christian morality and, using the force of the state, translates them into a positive law binding on believers and non-believers alike."

I'm going to speculate that when you say "religious values" you're referring to ideas that are actually widely shared among many cultures and religions.

 -k

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52 minutes ago, cybercoma said:

Like I already said, a lot of our laws come from religious traditions. They're not necessarily wrong just because they're rooted in religion. 

Many religious traditions are rooted in even earlier traditions.

The "Golden Rule" for example was expressed thousands of years before Christ. It is generically known as the Ethic of Reciprocity, and any examples are found in early cultures as diverse as ancient Egypt, China, and India.

Modern law only recognizes 2 of the 10 commandments, those against killing and stealing. TheSumerian Code of Ur-Nammu addresses murder, and it predates the time of Moses by around 5-7 centuries.

It is hard to separate religion from governance and recording of history, as the Christian Church was certainly powerful and monopolized those fields for many centuries.

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