15
   

Did something happen to the "atheism" thread?

 
 
layman
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2015 03:34 pm
Since this thread is kinda about atheism, and since we've been discussing the First Amendment, and since I'm kinda bored, let me bring up a related point.

The First Amendment has more than one "clause," including (1) a "free speech" clause and a (2) "no state religion" clause. Sometimes the two are seen as conflicting. (Further conflict can enter via the "free exercise of religion" clause, but I'm just going to ignore that for now--to me it's just a sub-category of free speech).

Hence atheists are constantly filing lawsuits alleging that some person or institution which is somehow related to government (perhaps by receiving financial assistance from the government) is violating the "establishment" clause (the "no state relgion" aspect). A prayer on schools grounds, a Christmas decoration, and such, are claimed to be prohibited because they allegedly attempt to "establish a state religion."

One criticism that Michael Ruse, the atheistic philosopher of science who I quoted in the last thread, had against Richard Dawkins, et al, was that his view could be seen as an attempt to establish "atheism" as the state's religion.

His reasoning is along these lines, as I read him: Dawkins claims that religion and science are mutually exclusive. You cannot accept both, per Dawkins (as Ruse reads him). Dawkins also claims, basically, that "science" proves theistic beliefs to be wrong. Yet Dawkins, et al, insist that science be taught in schools.

But if science teaches that all other theistic beliefs are wrong, then, in effect, a state religion is being established by such a policy.

In this regard, Ruse makes as much sense to me as do some of the atheist claims about how "non-atheistic" beliefs being displayed in schools is tantamount to establishing a "state religion."
argome321
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2015 04:03 pm
@layman,
Quote:
Since this thread is kinda about atheism, and since we've been discussing the First Amendment, and since I'm kinda bored, let me bring up a related point.

The First Amendment has more than one "clause," including (1) a "free speech" clause and a (2) "no state religion" clause. Sometimes the two are seen as conflicting. (Further conflict can enter via the "free exercise of religion" clause, but I'm just going to ignore that for now--to me it's just a sub-category of free speech).

Hence atheists are constantly filing lawsuits alleging that some person or institution which is somehow related to government (perhaps by receiving financial assistance from the government) is violating the "establishment" clause (the "no state relgion" aspect). A prayer on schools grounds, a Christmas decoration, and such, are claimed to be prohibited because they allegedly attempt to "establish a state religion."

One criticism that Michael Ruse, the atheistic philosopher of science who I quoted in the last thread, had against Richard Dawkins, et al, was that his view could be seen as an attempt to establish "atheism" as the state's religion.

His reasoning is along these lines, as I read him: Dawkins claims that religion and science are mutually exclusive. You cannot accept both, per Dawkins (as Ruse reads him). Dawkins also claims, basically, that "science" proves theistic beliefs to be wrong. Yet Dawkins, et al, insist that science be taught in schools.

But if science teaches that all other theistic beliefs are wrong, then, in effect, a state religion is being established by such a policy.

In this regard, Ruse makes as much sense to me as do some of the atheist claims about how "non-atheistic" beliefs being displayed in schools is tantamount to establishing a "state religion."


I don't think it really matters what Dawkins thinks if we are talking about the American constitution. Dawkins isn't a US citizen.

I think most of the organized Atheist groups just want to keep church and state separate. I think most of their fight is limiting and or eliminating the influence of religion on US government policies.
layman
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2015 04:08 pm
@argome321,
Quote:
I think most of the organized Atheist groups just want to keep church and state separate. I think most of their fight is limiting and or eliminating the influence of religion on US government policies.


Sure, Arg, and that's fair enough--and, whether "fair" or not, it is basically a constitutional requirement. But it's not always easy to decide what's what. There is ALSO a constitutional right to the "free exercise of religion." I don't follow politics much, but I think that conflict arose in a recently decided case involving the issue of an employer's obligation to provide medical insurance which paid for abortions.
ossobuco
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2015 04:15 pm
@layman,
Urrg.

I was raised catholic, long story, but there were good parts to all that. One was that in my time, as opposed to back in the days of Giordano Bruno, science was appreciated (well, mostly). I was taught evolution with a caveat that god started it, and as far as I know, catholics still think that way.

I've never read Dawkins (why would I do that, I think what I think, I'd rather read some literature/ordinary books) and from what you write I don't agree with him at all.

Palisades Park in Santa Monica is interesting. First of all, there used to be a quite beautiful statue of St. Monica there, at the Pacific end of Wilshire Boulevard. I liked it. Even as an atheist, I entered some design contest re the statue and the park. Meanwhile, I think there were creches in the park in recent years and followup atheist constructions. I don't remember how that turned out, but there was sturm and drang for a while.
0 Replies
 
argome321
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2015 04:21 pm
@layman,
Quote:
Sure, Arg, and that's fair enough--and, whether "fair" or not, it is basically a constitutional requirement. But it's not always easy to decide what's what. There is ALSO a constitutional right to the "free exercise of religion." I don't follow politics much, but I think that conflict arose in a recently decided case involving the issue of an employer's obligation to provide medical insurance which paid for abortions.


The abortion issue becomes tricky. What happens if the case is that the abortion for medical reasons becomes a necessity?

Aren't medical procedures determined by HMOS and health care providers?

Similarly my taxes go to pay for public school. I don't have any kids.
I think there seems to be an unwritten contract between us and our government to take care of certain things.

The one thing that I have discovered about the Supreme court that through history when deciding issues that it seldom makes definitive pronouncements.

To me they seem to throw the issue back to the states so country wise there seems to be less uniformity in our laws.


Quote:
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is also the first section of the Bill of Rights. It is arguably the most important part of the U.S. Constitution, as it guarantees freedoms of religion, speech, writing and publishing, peaceful assembly, and the freedom to raise grievances with the Government. In addition, it requires that a wall of separation be maintained between church and state. It reads:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."


My interpretation is that the government will stay out of the business of religion altogether...neither for or against.

Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2015 04:33 pm
You don't give your source. There is nothing in the constitution about a "wall of separation." Thomas Jefferson coined that phrase in a letter to the Danbury, Connecticut Baptist congregation, which had written to him to complain of their treatment by the Congregationalist establishment of Connecticut. Before the concept of incorporation, resulting from interpretation of the fourteenth amendment, the provisions of the constitution were not held to bind the states. Congress could make no law respecting an establishment of religion, but the states could. Both Massachusetts and Connecticut had Congregationalist establishments. (The congregationalists were the religious descendants of the Puritans. That old phony Thoreau was not jailed for refusing to pay taxes to support the Mexican War, a favorite historical myth of the United States. He owed no taxes which could have been used by the Federal government, because he was basically a leach on Emerson, with no visible means of support of his own. He was threatened with being jailed for not paying his church tax in Massachusetts. However, it was paid for him by a well-wisher.)

Your source is peddling BS. It's a shame, but it's understandable in a culture which believes that if it says so on the interwebs, it must be true.
layman
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2015 05:06 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
You don't give your source. There is nothing in the constitution about a "wall of separation"


I don't agree with the tone of your post, but I do agree with the substance (above).
layman
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2015 05:15 pm
@argome321,
Quote:
To me they seem to throw the issue back to the states so country wise there seems to be less uniformity in our laws


They do that, and sometimes it's really just a cop-out, an evasion of an issue they'd rather not deal with. But the US Supreme Court also has very limited jurisdiction over states on many issues. The constitution ultimately purports to leave to the states any powers not expressly granted by the constitution (10th amendment, I believe).

It's not for them to establish the "law of the land." They decide constitutional issues and "federal issues" such as the import and intent of laws passed by congress. Beyond that, they have no real power to do anything.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2015 05:18 pm
@layman,
Find a phone and call someone who give's a rat's ass with what you will or won't agree with.
layman
 
  0  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2015 05:20 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
Find a phone and call someone who give's a rat's ass with what you will or won't agree with.


Feel bigger and better now?
You're really pathetic, ya know?
edgarblythe
 
  5  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2015 07:22 pm
I had collapsed the Atheist thread on my computer for good anyhow. Never intended to go back, if it ran another ten years.
ehBeth
 
  6  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2015 07:32 pm
@edgarblythe,
I recently collapsed a pile of cranky-pants threads. Put a few posters on temp ignore. The increasing level of sniping here doesn't add anything to my joy quotient.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2015 09:08 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
Find a phone and call someone who give's a rat's ass with what you will or won't agree with.
This is an example of a post that is entirely rubbish and could be deleted . So why dont the moderators delete such posts and leave others ?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 02:24 am
@layman,
You're the poster boy for pathetic. You only came here in the hope of starting a brawl. I consider you and your buddy (see just above) responsible for the demise of Lil Kay's atheism thread. You make snotty and insulting remarks, and then complain about the response you get. Whiner.
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 02:53 am
@Setanta,
Another post of purile rubbish . Are you trying to trash this thread too ? Do you ever post sense ?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 03:07 am
You misspelled puerile, Einstein . . .
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 04:31 am
@Setanta,
From an USAian whose country used to be like the french and decided to change the spelling of the english language to prove their independence, you can not tell anyone how to spell . When you adopt the standard spelling of english words perhaps I will accept your ability to spell .
farmerman
 
  4  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 04:40 am
@Ionus,
The word comes from latin -(puer') , so youre saying there's an alternative spelling or are you just trying to bluff your way through something again?
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 04:42 am
@farmerman,
My misspelling of the word was an accident, but it is a common misspelling . Given some more years, it may be the mainstream way of spelling it . But you knew that, didnt you ?
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 05:05 am
@farmerman,
He would be very busy if he followed you around correcting your spelling .
 

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