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Author Topic:   Atheism and freedom of speech
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5663
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 31 of 108 (341727)
08-20-2006 11:33 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by CK
08-20-2006 11:04 AM


Re: Why not?
The embarrassment comes because culturally it's one of the subjects that we don't bring up in polite conversation - that, sex and what people earn. It's none of our business. You just have to accept that socially things are different here.

Don't get me wrong, its taboo to speak about religion in a polite conversation in America as well, its just not as pronounced, I would say, than in England. I'm saying, perhaps it shouldn't be a source of embarrassment. How did it ever get that way to begin with? That's really what I'm getting at. But, you don't know that because you weren't alive when it started happening.

But again what's it got to do with me?, it's none of my business.

Asking somebody what brand of toothpaste they use could probably be construed as none of anyone else's buisness either, but I wouldn't imagine it being a source of embarrassment.

However in some respects, if you ask someone that's consider better than telling people about your beliefs unsolicited, that's likely to get you labeled as a kook. If I was at a party and someone started talking about how they were a christian/Mulsim/Jew and expounding on their belief in a creator - I'd smile politely and then slowly slide away

LOL! I'd probably do the same. There is a time and a place for eveerything. I'd be concerned if someone walked in to a room and randomly started talking about their religious convition. But I've noticed that in very close settings, particularly when gratuitous amounts alcohol is present, the whole God/no Go thing comes up. I've lived all over the US and that seemed to be a topic that would come up after every other topic had been exhausted. Mind you, this is in a close setting, not at a party or in the pub.

Anyway, I was just giving my take on it. Does this mean C.S. Lewis was considered a kook?


“It is in vain, O' man, that you seek within yourselves the cure for all your miseries. All your insight has led you to the knowledge that it is not in yourselves that you will discover the true and the good.” -Blaise Pascal
This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by CK, posted 08-20-2006 11:04 AM CK has responded

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CK
Member (Idle past 2293 days)
Posts: 3221
Joined: 07-04-2004


Message 32 of 108 (341728)
08-20-2006 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by Hyroglyphx
08-20-2006 11:33 AM


Re: Why not?
quote:
Does this mean C.S. Lewis was considered a kook?

different time period.

quote:
I'm saying, perhaps it shouldn't be a source of embarrassment.

Why? I think most of us prefer it like this - anyone can believe what they like and they leave the rest of us alone!

I'm not sure how it started but it's interesting when you consider we don't have separation of church and state like you guys do. (for example we have a requirement in schools, that there must be daily collective worship).

Edited by CK, : No reason given.

Edited by CK, : added addition detail.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Hyroglyphx, posted 08-20-2006 11:33 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5663
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 33 of 108 (341739)
08-20-2006 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by CK
08-20-2006 11:38 AM


Re: Why not?
Why? I think most of us prefer it like this - anyone can believe what they like and they leave the rest of us alone!

Then why wouldn't that rule apply everywhere, including online? Must we lose our cordialness simply because we don't really know one another? And then at the same time, according to your testimony, I know aspects about you more deeply than your best friends and family. I think that odd. But I don't think this affinity applies only to Great Brittain. This is whole counter-culture can be found many places and it seems to have began after the 1960's, as far as my understanding goes.

I'm not sure how it started but it's interesting when you consider we don't have separation of church and state like you guys do. (for example we have a requirement in schools, that there must be daily collective worship).

I think it is wrong to make people pray to something they don't believe in for several reasons. One, training a child to say some mindless prayer only ensures that he/she is going to resent it. They will recognize it as being plastic, as being fake, as being pointless because there is no stirring in their soul. At the same time, what is happening in America with the slow and methodical criminilization of things like prayer is equally egregious. Both unwittingly set up partitions that don't need to exist. That's my take on it.


“It is in vain, O' man, that you seek within yourselves the cure for all your miseries. All your insight has led you to the knowledge that it is not in yourselves that you will discover the true and the good.” -Blaise Pascal
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ringo
Member
Posts: 16633
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 34 of 108 (341741)
08-20-2006 1:25 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Hyroglyphx
08-20-2006 1:04 PM


Re: Why not?
nemesis_juggernaut writes:

... what is happening in America with the slow and methodical criminilization of things like prayer is equally egregious. Both unwittingly set up partitions that don't need to exist.

Did I miss the news again? I wasn't aware that prayer had been criminalized in the US.

Removing prayer from the schools - if that's what you mean - was done to remove partitions between those who believe "the right thing" and those who don't.

Freedom of speech is not just the freedom to say what you believe. It's also the freedom from being forced to say something you don't believe.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Hyroglyphx, posted 08-20-2006 1:04 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6622
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 35 of 108 (341743)
08-20-2006 1:35 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by ringo
08-20-2006 1:25 PM


Re: Why not?
quote:
Removing prayer from the schools - if that's what you mean - was done to remove partitions between those who believe "the right thing" and those who don't.

Actually, prayer was never removed from schools in the US. What was removed was mandatory recitement and official endorsement.

It is a matter of religious freedom here in the US that prayer/Bible/Christian meetings can be held on school grounds on the students' own time, as with any other extracurricular activity.

Added by edit:

On a related note, sometimes schools have been over-zealous in their pursuit of seperation of church and state. Here is an article where the ACLU defended a grade school's student to sing a religious based song in a voluntary school event.

Edited by Chiroptera, : No reason given.


"These monkeys are at once the ugliest and the most beautiful creatures on the planet./ And the monkeys don't want to be monkeys; they want to be something else./ But they're not."
-- Ernie Cline
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Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 16633
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 36 of 108 (341748)
08-20-2006 2:25 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Chiroptera
08-20-2006 1:35 PM


Re: Why not?
Chiroptera writes:

What was removed was mandatory recitement and official endorsement.

On a somewhat related note: I presume that there is still "official endorsement" of the Pledge of Allegiance, but what if a student wanted to opt out of reciting it?

Once, when I working for the federal government, a co-worker solemnly informed me that I must have taken an oath of allegiance to the quuen to get the job. I have no recollection of ever having done so - and it doesn't seem like anything I would do.

("Save the mad cow, but get her picture off our money.") :D

Nationality is (often) an accident of birth. Does freedom of speech extend to the right to not pledge allegiance to something you don't believe in?


Help scientific research in your spare time. No cost. No obligation.
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC
This message is a reply to:
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6622
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 37 of 108 (341749)
08-20-2006 2:42 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by ringo
08-20-2006 2:25 PM


Re: Why not?
To answer your question:

Unless the Supreme Court revisits the issue, it is any student's right to remain seated and not recite the pledge with the rest of the class. However, the state may require the teacher to lead the class in reciting the pledge.

Added by edit:

In recognition that children don't know what they are doing (except when they commit a capital crime), I believe that some states might require written notification from a parent to allow a student to refrain from the recitation.

Edited by Chiroptera, : No reason given.


"These monkeys are at once the ugliest and the most beautiful creatures on the planet./ And the monkeys don't want to be monkeys; they want to be something else./ But they're not."
-- Ernie Cline
This message is a reply to:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5663
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 38 of 108 (341757)
08-20-2006 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by ringo
08-20-2006 1:25 PM


Re: Why not?
Did I miss the news again? I wasn't aware that prayer had been criminalized in the US.

As I already shared, I believe that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment demonstrated a tremendous insight of the Founding Fathers. I do believe that no nation should establish a national religion, I believe that all people should have the freedom to worship freely, and that this freedom should not impeded. However, there is a manipulation of what the Establishment Clause actually means. First of all, the terms: Separation, Church, or State, is essentially a mantra and not one of those words is found within the Amendment. This coined catch phrase comes to us by Thomas Jefferson in a personal letter he wrote to the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut. The Baptists had heard a rumor that the US gov't was going to adopt a national religion that was not compatible with Baptist doctrine. Jefferson wrote to them assuring them that this was not the case. Because much of the exodus from England to America was to escape religious persecution, the last thing the fledgling nation wanted was a national religion. Jefferson was actually writing out of concern for all religions.

Now, this motto has come to mean something it never intended, which is the expulsion of ANY religion within public places. This is NOT what it means. It means that the US gov't should not show preferential treatment towards any specific religion. This does not mean that we must forget our Christian heritage, it does not mean that we cannot pray wherever we feel like, it does not mean that you can try to use this phrase against me. All it means is that the government will not enter into your personal religious beliefs.

What is happening is this slow inculcation of just the opposite. Now I'm apparently commiting a crime for mentioning God. I can metion God whenever, wherever, and however I want according to the Constitution. Somehow it has come to mean that I'm not allowed to speak about my faith in a public building. This is completely false.


“It is in vain, O' man, that you seek within yourselves the cure for all your miseries. All your insight has led you to the knowledge that it is not in yourselves that you will discover the true and the good.” -Blaise Pascal
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Replies to this message:
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 Message 42 by ringo, posted 08-20-2006 6:19 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded
 Message 46 by Discreet Label, posted 08-20-2006 9:44 PM Hyroglyphx has responded
 Message 47 by obvious Child, posted 08-20-2006 10:11 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

    
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 39 of 108 (341758)
08-20-2006 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by Hyroglyphx
08-20-2006 3:13 PM


Re: Why not?
However, there is a manipulation of what the Establishment Clause actually means.

Quite right. The religious right have been manipulating it, and have been shameless in their dishonesty over this.

Now I'm apparently commiting a crime for mentioning God.

That's similar to the dishonest (and false) statements we hear coming from the religious right.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Hyroglyphx, posted 08-20-2006 3:13 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Hyroglyphx, posted 08-20-2006 3:43 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5663
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 40 of 108 (341760)
08-20-2006 3:43 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by nwr
08-20-2006 3:23 PM


Re: Why not?
Quite right. The religious right have been manipulating it, and have been shameless in their dishonesty over this.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Its pretty straight forward. The gubment will not establish for itself a national religion, sanctioned to be respected, nor will it intrude upon the rights of those who seek to worship. In other words, we won't give you a rebirth of Constantine's theocracy and we won't give you a rebirth of Stalin's irreligious Communism.


“It is in vain, O' man, that you seek within yourselves the cure for all your miseries. All your insight has led you to the knowledge that it is not in yourselves that you will discover the true and the good.” -Blaise Pascal
This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by nwr, posted 08-20-2006 3:23 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 41 of 108 (341762)
08-20-2006 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by Hyroglyphx
08-20-2006 3:43 PM


Re: Why not?
Its pretty straight forward. The gubment will not establish for itself a national religion, sanctioned to be respected, nor will it intrude upon the rights of those who seek to worship.

Sounds good to me. Where do you feel that's being violated?


This message is a reply to:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 16633
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 42 of 108 (341779)
08-20-2006 6:19 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by Hyroglyphx
08-20-2006 3:13 PM


Re: Why not?
Hmm.... You quoted me saying,

quote:
I wasn't aware that prayer had been criminalized in the US.

and yet nothing in your post addresses that point. Exactly when was prayer criminalized?

As for all the US constitutional mumbo-jumbo, who cares?

nemesis_juggernaut writes:

Because much of the exodus from England to America was to escape religious persecution....

First off, "exodus" seems like a bit of an exaggeration. :)

Second, hundreds of years later, Britain does have freedom of religion even though they don't have "separation of church and state". Some would argue that their brand of freedom is better than yours.


Help scientific research in your spare time. No cost. No obligation.
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC
This message is a reply to:
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nator
Member (Idle past 335 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 43 of 108 (341788)
08-20-2006 7:32 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Chiroptera
08-20-2006 2:42 PM


Re: Why not?
quote:
Unless the Supreme Court revisits the issue, it is any student's right to remain seated and not recite the pledge with the rest of the class. However, the state may require the teacher to lead the class in reciting the pledge.

Yeah, another way to get a kid ostracized or beat up.


This message is a reply to:
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MangyTiger
Member (Idle past 4519 days)
Posts: 989
From: Leicester, UK
Joined: 07-30-2004


Message 44 of 108 (341800)
08-20-2006 9:13 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by CK
08-20-2006 6:43 AM


Re: Why not?
Are you like me Mangy? Do you cringe when you see people on TV telling all and sundry their private business?

Yup - well for as long as it takes to change the channel :)

I just don't understand why people want to go on shows like Springer, Trisha and the rest. I understand even less why people want to watch them.

The other thing that baffles me is the recent phenomena of public outpourings of grief when people you don't even know die.

The obvious examples were Princess Diana and the two Soham schoolgirls. I have sympathy for their family and friends but no more than I would for anybody else who have a loved one die, but that's as far as it goes. Why people feel the need to leave flowers or whatever for people who are, in reality, total strangers is completely beyond me.


Oops! Wrong Planet
This message is a reply to:
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MangyTiger
Member (Idle past 4519 days)
Posts: 989
From: Leicester, UK
Joined: 07-30-2004


Message 45 of 108 (341801)
08-20-2006 9:23 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by CK
08-20-2006 11:38 AM


Re: Why not?
I'm not sure how it (the English not talking about religion) started

I've heard people advance the argument that it is because of the history of Catholic/Protestant religous rule in this country and the bitter rivalry, persecution and intolerance that both sides displayed towards the other.

Given that for a century or two being the 'wrong' faith could get you executed you can understand why a reluctance to talk about it could develop.


Oops! Wrong Planet
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