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The Secularism thread.


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Secularism

 

Secularists oppose religion or the religious being afforded privileges, which - put another way - means others are disadvantaged.

 

They believe that the reduced numbers attending church show that people have chosen to give up faith. They say this underlines the unfairness of giving any special privileges or rights to faiths.

 

Secularists are particularly concerned about education. They think that religious schools are divisive, and damage the prospects of a harmonious and diverse society.

 

Secularists are not against the right of individuals to have a religious faith. What they oppose is special treatment for religious beliefs and organisations.

 

They think that the protection already given by the law, including human rights legislation, should be sufficient to protect believers from assault or discrimination.

 

You may be surprised to know that while most secularists are atheists, some secularists are actually believers in a faith. While they believe, they don't think that belief is a reason for special treatment.

 

 

 

Charles Bradlaugh was one of the founders of Britain's National Secular Society.

His political activism kept the atheist point of view in the limelight during Victorian times.

 

Strong Secularism

Some secularists go further; they want religion to be regarded as a private matter for the home and place of worship - and that the state should be blind to religion.

 

They also seek to separate those bits of our present-day culture that originated in religion from the religions that inspired them.

 

Secularists support:

The complete separation of church and state.

The disestablishment of the Church of England.

The repeal of the Act of Settlement.

No official representation of religions in Parliament. (Britain is the only Western democracy with such representation.) This would mean no bishops in the House of Lords.

The banning of prayers from Parliament, Council chambers, etc.

The ending of religious oaths as a condition of holding public sector jobs.

Money given to religious organisations from public funds should not be usable for missionary work.

The abolition of any special privileges granted to religious organisations.

The abolition of any special protection granted to faith groups.

The conversion of faith schools to community schools open to all pupils regardless of faith or lack of it.

 

 

Religious education should be non-denominational and multi-faith.

 

No religion should be taught as fact and no religion described as superior to another.

Education should also cover non-religious ways of looking at the world

Some secularists would prefer RE to be replaced by citizenship lessons including only brief coverage of the basic tenets of world religions.

 

This would not exclude religious references in other subjects such as history, art etc.

The abolition of "blasphemy" laws.

 

Secularists support the protection of individual believers, but not the protection of their beliefs.

 

 

Secularist groups are entirely opposed to discrimination against people because of their religious beliefs.

 

 

Secularists believe that the law should not restrict reasonable and vigorous criticism of religion.

 

Secularists believe that the law should not prevent criticism that hurts religious feelings.

 

Secularists do believe that the law should not permit incitement to religious hatred.

Secularists support legislation to outlaw discrimination in employment on the grounds of religion (or lack of it).

 

They oppose exemptions which religious organisations are seeking to enable them still to discriminate.

 

 

Abolition of the special treatment given to religious broadcasting.

 

(seemed kind of silly posting something this long in the religion thread even though its' sort of related).

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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Does Britain still seriously have blasphemy laws and all that other stuff? Man. You guys are just nuts.

 

Come over to this side of the pond, where three or four of us liberal pinko commies have managed to subjugate millions of Christians to our will. Our latest coup? We made them think there's a nationwide campaign to replace "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays."

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Britain has a lot of archaic laws mostly 'cause no one can be bothered to change them.

 

Most of the time they are just ignored as common sense dictates. Although there have been a few blasphemy cases this century.

 

I always say happy holidays anyway. I think i'm going to start glaring at people who wish me a merry christmas.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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Britain has a lot of archaic laws mostly 'cause no one can be bothered to change them.

 

Most of the time they are just ignored as common sense dictates. Although there have been a few blasphemy cases this century.

 

I always say happy holidays anyway. I think i'm going to start glaring at people who wish me a merry christmas.

Mmm. Sort of like our sodomy laws, then.

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We have those archaic laws so we can hit people with ceremonial maces. Like the one in the house of Commons.

 

I actually think JFK discussed this best in a speech I read of his recently:

 

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/j...rialspeech.html

 

One part in particular seems relevant:

 

"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the President -- should he be Catholic -- how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference, and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him, or the people who might elect him."

 

But I also think it is nonsense to talk about a complete rejection of religion. Many people derive their morality from their religion. Many of those have very workable and easy to get along with moralities as a consequence. Should we somehow screen for that when they vote? I don't think so.

 

But I do feel that prosletyisation, and any notion of trying to save people by conversion should be frowned upon*, and that secular lawmaking should make no reference whatever to religious 'law'.

 

*Like this *demonstrates by hoiking face into a terrifying rictus*

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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This would describe me quite well.

 

Strong Secularism

Some secularists go further; they want religion to be regarded as a private matter for the home and place of worship - and that the state should be blind to religion.

 

 

I believe it is essential for an enlightened society to reject ideas and morals that are based on religious dogma. Religion should be nothing more than a personal 'hobby' of sorts and never be allowed to form powerstructures in society(churches or sects) by which they can spread their influence or manipulate people and politics.

 

 

Ive also thought about if the separation between religion and state should not mean that any party associated with religion(christian democrats f.ex. ) should be banned and any voter who would base his decision on religious ideas instead of reason shouldnt be allowed to vote.

 

You might say that is unfair and undemocratic, but Id say that religion is inherently antidemocratic and should be kept outside of all political matters.

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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They believe that the reduced numbers attending church show that people have chosen to give up faith. They say this underlines the unfairness of giving any special privileges or rights to faiths.

 

Unfortunately, this really doesn't measure faith. My wife was raised Catholic, but she hasn't been to a Catholic church for 15 years. Yet she still consideres herself Catholic. I think this is odd, but I also know quite a few people who are the exact same way. Myself, I don't attend church, but I have faith.

 

I would say that in many parts of the world, organized religion has lost some of its power.

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In principle, I'm a Strong Secularist. However, as long as the situation in the UK remains like it is, I think there are far bigger problems that should be fixed first. Religion in the UK has much bigger official influence on government than it does in the US, but the actual power of the aspects of religion that most of us wouldn't want are much smaller than in the States. The Church of England might get Bishops into the House of Lords, but I'm personally more comfortable with a religion that is in our country leaning towards greater freedom and equality (in the case of, for example, gay marriage and women in the clergy) having official influence than I am with a religion which wants to deprive it (constitutional amendments banning gay marriage?!) having a huge unofficial influence on government.

 

Given the choice between a CoE bishop in the House of Lords or a member of the laiety of a reactionary protestant sect, I'd have to go with the Bishop. In fact, I'd trust the Bishop to be more independent-minded than the layman.

 

I just think that there are other governmental issues (like the pretty damn-near dictatorial powers of a Prime Minister with a large majority in Parliament) that are a bigger concern in the UK.

 

 

I'm also strongly, strongly opposed to removing Religious Education from schools. RE is pretty much the only subject where critical thinking and an independent mind are encouraged in school. At least when I was taught the subject, we were encouraged even to question our own faiths. And at more advanced levels, it does deal with issues like non-religious thought. In terms of value to the child (rather than the child's CV), a well-taught RE course can potentially be one of the most valuable aspects of their Education, by teaching them not to believe everything someone claiming to be an authority tells them.

 

Is this definition old, by the way, shadow? Most faith-based schools do allow people of different faiths into their schools, as far as I know. My little sister is at a Catholic Primary school, and has Sikh, Muslim, non-religious and Greek Orthodox classmates.

Hawk! Eggplant! AWAKEN!

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I'm also strongly, strongly opposed to removing Religious Education from schools.  RE is pretty much the only subject where critical thinking and an independent mind are encouraged in school.  At least when I was taught the subject, we were encouraged even to question our own faiths. And at more advanced levels, it does deal with issues like non-religious thought.  In terms of value to the child (rather than the child's CV), a well-taught RE course can potentially be one of the most valuable aspects of their Education, by teaching them not to believe everything someone claiming to be an authority tells them.

 

Is this definition old, by the way, shadow? Most faith-based schools do allow people of different faiths into their schools, as far as I know.  My little sister is at a Catholic Primary school, and has Sikh, Muslim, non-religious and Greek Orthodox classmates.

 

I chose to leave mine. Half of a the class followed :D

 

No idea, some do but I think they are talking about it as an absolute. Some schools, probably the more fundamental ones dont allow it. And they are much more likely to cause problems than the more moderate ones.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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I'm also strongly, strongly opposed to removing Religious Education from schools.  RE is pretty much the only subject where critical thinking and an independent mind are encouraged in school.  At least when I was taught the subject, we were encouraged even to question our own faiths. And at more advanced levels, it does deal with issues like non-religious thought.  In terms of value to the child (rather than the child's CV), a well-taught RE course can potentially be one of the most valuable aspects of their Education, by teaching them not to believe everything someone claiming to be an authority tells them.

 

Is this definition old, by the way, shadow? Most faith-based schools do allow people of different faiths into their schools, as far as I know.  My little sister is at a Catholic Primary school, and has Sikh, Muslim, non-religious and Greek Orthodox classmates.

 

I chose to leave mine. Half of a the class followed :D

 

No idea, some do but I think they are talking about it as an absolute. Some schools, probably the more fundamental ones dont allow it. And they are much more likely to cause problems than the more moderate ones.

 

Must've been a poor teacher. Pretty much everyone in my Higher Class agreed it was one of the best subjects they'd ever done. One of the most interesting things about that class was that most who'd gone in religious came out significantly less so (one of my friends, who'd always been pretty strongly Christian, came out as one of the most vehement fundamentalist atheists you're ever likely to meet), while most of us who were atheists came out agnostics or deists (myself, a Discordian).

Hawk! Eggplant! AWAKEN!

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Must've been a poor teacher.  Pretty much everyone in my Higher Class agreed it was one of the  best subjects they'd ever done.  One of the most interesting things about that class was that most who'd gone in religious came out significantly less so (one of my friends, who'd always been pretty strongly Christian, came out as one of the most vehement fundamentalist atheists you're ever likely to meet), while most of us who were atheists came out agnostics or deists (myself, a Discordian).

 

Not really, we just prefered to go play soccer or hang out in the student lounge.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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They believe that the reduced numbers attending church show that people have chosen to give up faith. They say this underlines the unfairness of giving any special privileges or rights to faiths.

This would be the only part I take issue with. Giving special privileges to any faith, even if the majority practice it, discriminates against the minority who do not. Otherwise, if church attendance starts to increase, church leaders could start demanding that their privileges increase to match.

Does Britain still seriously have blasphemy laws and all that other stuff?  Man.  You guys are just nuts.

Not only do we have them, we're updating and expanding them with new 'incitement to religious hatred' laws. Soon it may be a crime to tell jokes about religious belief, if Rowan Atkinson is right. :)

I'm also strongly, strongly opposed to removing Religious Education from schools.  RE is pretty much the only subject where critical thinking and an independent mind are encouraged in school. 

Religious Education is much improved from my school days, when the (Conservative) Education Minister was saying that schools should 'Teach Christianity and teach about other religions'. They've even included humanism as one of the belief systems to be studied.

"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

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Secularism

They believe that the reduced numbers attending church show that people have chosen to give up faith. They say this underlines the unfairness of giving any special privileges or rights to faiths.

 

 

And i suppose Mosques and Synagogues aren't worthy enough of mentioning? The drop in number of people attending church just goes to show how many holes there are in the 'holie' bible (i made a funny! (w00t)).

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Ive also thought about if the separation between religion and state should not mean that any party associated with religion(christian democrats f.ex. ) should be banned and any voter who would base his decision on religious ideas instead of reason shouldnt be allowed to vote.

but now you're discriminating against religion, which is tyranny in and of itself. just because there is a belief that you, or everyone but one for that matter, don't agree with does not give you the right to supress it.

 

freedom works both ways. you're free to have or not have any opinion, regardless of how insane, or inane, it is. to tell people they can't have religion in their lives without forfeiting their right to vote is the antithesis of the very enlightenment you support.

 

taks

Edited by taks

comrade taks... just because.

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Casting your vote is something to be taken very seriously because the outcome of that vote will affect everyone in society. To vote, you must make an informed and intelligent decision. My question is: can a person under the influence of religion truly be considered to be "informed and intelligent"?

 

 

We dont let people under 18 vote, is that tyranny? No, it is because children are generally(there are many brilliant exceptions) incapable of making informed and intelligent decisions.

 

 

Here comes the example of religious voting and the consequences of it: two countries have been fighting over a piece of land for 50years. There has been a suggestion to split that piece between these countries so everyone can finally have peace. Problem is, religion X states that that land is sacred and belong to country Y because "the prophet/god/pamphlet/whatever of X says so". Thus, the people belonging to religon X will vote against the suggestion, allowing the fighting to continue indefinently along with the death and suffering.

 

 

So, the believers of religion X acted in accordance with their faith but contrary to reason, logic and just basic common sense. Their religion rendered them incapable of making an informed and intelligent decision.

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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George Bush doesn't like secular people :("

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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In the true name of secularism, how could I possibly find a more incongruous place to say this (since the other thread was disabled by the almighty and self-appointed authorities): The essay shall be composed! It shall be the truth if short! I do not much like the abuse of power or the I'm-so-right-it-turns-me-on attitude presented by people in charge on this very board. If this means I'm going down I'm just a martyr finding ultimate proof of the indisputable fact that I'm better off in another, more open-minded place. I will not let things slide. I'll pick up the torch. Await the truth.

^Asinus asinorum in saecula saeculorum

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So, the believers of religion X acted in accordance with their faith but contrary to reason, logic and just basic common sense. Their religion rendered them incapable of making an informed and intelligent decision.

Many followers of a religion opt out of certain rules or practices that they don't like. Few follow slavishly to the point of being incapable to think. So long as people are free to leave their religion should they choose, which in a free society they are, you can't really interfere in their decision-making process.

George Bush doesn't like secular people

I find that rather comforting.

 

Does anyone know what Scmarth is talking about?

"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

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