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Canon vs Sharia vs Secular debate

Haven't seen this anywhere
  [vote for,

I'd like to see a 3-panel debate between Christian lawmakers, Islamic lawmakers, and secular lawmakers where each explains why their brand of law is more legitimate than the others. Specifically, I'd like to hear the Christians from the U.S.A. explain why they feel their religion is exempt from the mandated separation of church and state.
21 Quest, Aug 31 2012


       The second sentence in this idea is a non sequitur.
ytk, Aug 31 2012

       Well the main thrust of the debate I'd like to see encompasses all nations, not just the USA. However, since most members of one of the two major political parties in this country claim that their decisions are based on Christian religious views, and the author of our nation's Constitution wrote that there should be a separation of church and state, I think that issue has a place in a debate on the legitimacy of their views.
21 Quest, Aug 31 2012

       bit of a speedbump: Western society is based on Judao-Christian traditions, ie: from the time when church influenced state.

       However, much as I would personally like to see a bunch of idiots ranting at each other (TV, not live)[+], the proscription might be that the organized religion not be in charge of the state, not that individuals who believe in their religion shouldn't hold office.
FlyingToaster, Aug 31 2012

       I don't feel that folks of religious persuasion shouldn't hold office. I would, however, like them to be required to take an oath of policy secularism, to promise that they will make all decisions based on logic and fairness rather than dubious moral codes dictated by a religious leader.
21 Quest, Aug 31 2012

       I have a deja vu feeling saying this but, would having the politicos say "I believe..." mollify you, as opposed to "The Bible says that..."

       On the other hand you could take it as a warning that whoever starts a sentence "God says..." has no real grounding in reality per the subject matter.

       I actually agree with your point btw. If you could link to your previous post, as well as whatever news-story brought on this resurgence, it may help.
FlyingToaster, Aug 31 2012

       It wasn't brought about by a particular news story. I've simply noticed an awful lot of religious influence in the stated views of Republican politicians. I've also seen several debates between atheists and Catholics, and between atheists and other religious leaders, arguing whether or not we'd be better off without religion. I've seen debates where Republicans claim that Islam is dominated by radicals and that Islam is not a religion of peace.

       I have never heard a 3 panel debate between atheists, Christians, and Islamists.
21 Quest, Aug 31 2012

       Since my own religion has historically tended to go off in blatantly self-centered directions on occasion, far be it from me to posit that "Islam wants peace" is used in the sense that "Islam wants other people to be peaceful".

       Your 3-way debate would end with the Christian glassy-eyed and smiling rictusfully, the Muslim red-faced and yelling, and the atheist head-down on the table hands over his/her ears, mumbling "oh god...".
FlyingToaster, Sep 01 2012

       Sorry for abandoning this argument with you in the exams for politicians idea, but I didn't want to pollute that idea with a pointless debate.

       // ...oath of policy secularism, to promise that they will make all decisions based on logic and fairness //

       Please define logic and fairness. If you don't define it fully than the oath is meaningless. It is perfectly logical to take instruction from the God of the universe as communicated by his prophet, son, spokesperson, etc. What better way to ensure the well being of the people than to take instructions from the benevolent creator who knows all? If you do fully define what logic and fairness are, then you have created a belief system and are demanding that everyone make laws based on it, therefore establishing a religion, even if you won't call it a religion.

       All laws are based on what people believe is right (for whatever reason). Most laws are tempered by the understanding that some people disagree about the principle behind the law, so is it designed to harm the disagreeing party no more than people would be willing to be harmed themselves if they were on the minority side of a different disagreement.

       Clearly the world isn't perfect, so there are many laws you could argue go to far one way or the other. Those are valid arguments and worth having. Trying to say that one position is somehow fundamentally correct and other opinions on the issue shouldn't be considered is asking for trouble when you are on the other side.
scad mientist, Sep 01 2012

       Well fairness is pretty simple. Here's a prime example of the difference between fairness and morality: gay marriage. Religious groups oppose it because they feel it is immoral, but who is it actually unfair to? Nobody. If it's not unfair to anyone who can actually speak on his/her own behalf (thus, God's opinion doesn't count) then how can it be considered immoral, and how can you justify banning it? The way I define 'logic and fairness' is, does it make sense in any context outside that of religion? Things like murder, theft, and perjury have been illegal in just about every system of laws since the Code of Hammurabi, which was written over a thousand years BC. There are certain things we simply don't need a deity to tell us, and that sort of thing is what should be allowed.
21 Quest, Sep 01 2012

       Marriage has nothing to do with fairness. It is inherently UNFAIR to give some people (those who are married) a different legal status for tax and other purposes.

       There are many laws that are not fair, but are arguably good, or less bad than the alternative. For example, a progressive tax system is not fair, but I think it is probably better than a flat tax system. Child tax credits are not fair, but either we are encouraging people to raise children or feel sorry for them.

       Why in the world did the government get involved with marriages in the first place? Maybe people thought it was a good idea to encourage a single man to stay with a single woman, by creating an unfair legal status for those pairs of people. Naturally it would be called marriage because that's what society has called it. Why does fairness require that the definition be changed to include something that people don't wish to encourage? If you BELIEVE that a homosexual relationship is the exact moral and practical equivalent to a heterosexual relationship, then of course it seems only fair to call it a marriage. If you don't believe that, then it isn't.

       Regarding logic, here is one simplified yet possibly common line of reasoning based on someone's beliefs. Homosexual relationships are unhealthy. More people will become homosexual if it is viewed as normal and endorsed by the government in the form of laws. Therefore the government should not pass laws that encourage homosexuality.

       Now you can certainly argue that those beliefs are false, but for someone who believes those statements are true, I'd say the conclusion is logical.

       If you want to change the law, change what people believe. That has definitely shifted some over the years. And if you think that repeatedly saying "that's not fair" will change people's beliefs, by all means keep it up.
scad mientist, Sep 02 2012

       However did a Japanese digital imaging company get mixed up in all this?
not_morrison_rm, Sep 02 2012

       Undisguised rant stuck on the end of a marginal idea. [-]
Voice, Sep 02 2012

       //Undisguised rant stuck on the end of a marginal idea

       Me, or him?
not_morrison_rm, Sep 02 2012

       //Regarding logic, here is one simplified yet possibly common line of reasoning based on someone's beliefs. Homosexual relationships are unhealthy. More people will become homosexual if it is viewed as normal and endorsed by the government in the form of laws.//

       That's not logic though. To say that homosexual relationships are not healthy is illogical because there are no empirical facts to support that claim. To say that more people will become homosexual if encouraged is, again, illogical. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that homosexuality is a choice, and there have been countless studies and experiments which suggest that it is not.

       Where evidence is available, the legal argument has got to go to the side that is supported by it.

       By the way, this is not a rant. The idea is for a debate where each side can present their evidence.
21 Quest, Sep 02 2012

       //The idea is for a debate where each side can present their evidence.// But that is grossly unfair when you know that only one of the three sides has any evidence.
pocmloc, Sep 02 2012

       //However did a Japanese digital imaging company get mixed up in all this//
They paid more for the advertising rights than Sony or Nikon.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Sep 03 2012

       'Christian law' seems like a pretty sketchy term to me, and I'd bet you'd end up with at least 14,000 varieties and interpretations, which I don't doubt was one of the reasons the West secularized.
RayfordSteele, Sep 03 2012

       "Separation of Church and State" is nonsense. Read the 1st amendment and then read the letter to the Danbury Baptist association from whence that phrase hails and tell me any honest interpretation of the writings take you to the place we are today. Empirically, our society has had a hard time of it since we decided that the government should kick religion out of everything it touches.

       Quest, you are making a LOT of baseless/ill-defined claims. I could counter them all one at a time, but for the sake of brevity let me just say this. The USA was founded upon principles derived from the Bible and, in 200 years the USA accomplished what the rest of the world could not in 5,000 years. Technological, societal and educational advancement spread over most of the world because of those principles. History is pretty clear on which path we, as a nation, should choose – as only one has taken us to a place we want to be.

       I do find it sad that we have fallen to the point where the things I have just said are not common knowledge, and that, in our collective arrogance, we think we know better than does the collective memory and experience of all who have come before.
andybetterideas, Sep 03 2012

       //The USA was founded upon principles derived from the Bible and, in 200 years the USA accomplished what the rest of the world could not in 5,000 years.// ha! - funny. Mind you, just think how much further the USA would have progressed if it hadn't been held back by those "principles derived from the Bible".
hippo, Sep 03 2012

       @Hippo France tried that. It didn't turn out well. ;)
andybetterideas, Sep 03 2012

       I looked up the correspondence Andy mentions and it appears Thomas Jefferson is being asked to keep a separate Christian group from taking over. There is also a letter of Thomas Jefferson to Adams, angrily denouncing religious people in the same state (enlightenment?). How many Christians on the end of the pen?
4and20, Sep 03 2012

       // France tried that. It didn't turn out well.//
Oh, I don't know - given the choice of living in Paris or DC, I know which I'd choose.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Sep 03 2012

       @rcarty 1. Same principles, huh? That is not what Washington said.(one would think that he, of all people, would know.) And the results, I believe, speak for themselves. Read the actual writings from the two revolutions and THEN tell me the principles were the same. 2. It is a lot of actual data, but is pretty easy to come by if you look at it. Look at the US criminal justice stats and tell me what happened when we kicked God out of school – it isn’t exactly the kind of trend a civilized people would rationally put up with. 3. LOL You are funny given that the French revolution was in 1789 and the Constitution was signed in 1787. Maybe some Frenchmen went back in time… 4. There is a rather large difference between calling yourself a Christian nation and actually following the principles of the Bible… They used to teach that stuff in school.

       @4and20 Indeed. I am as stalwart a Christian as you are likely to find and I am happy to fight against “Christians” who violate Christian principles. (Jim Wallace and Jeremiah Wright come to mind) Jefferson would have been intellectually dishonest to do any differently. (Frankly, the targets of his ire deserved it. )

       @ AbsintheWithoutLeave Lol! Touche’ (Though, as bad as DC is, we haven’t beheaded people en-mass there yet…)
andybetterideas, Sep 03 2012

       You've gone insane. Have fun living forever in magic land, idiot.
rcarty, Sep 03 2012

       //Though, as bad as DC is, we haven’t beheaded people en-mass there yet//
But the beheadings were part of the enlightenment of the era - a scientific approach to execution without undue suffering.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Sep 03 2012

       Am in no way religious, but it's possible countries were addressing capricious power of various churches. Religion itself may be as old as human nature. It's also human nature to simplify belief -- i.e. to use gravity as a universal fundamental when its measure and nature are still under intense debate. Above all, you can't detroy people's hope, which sometimes includes religious belief.
4and20, Sep 03 2012

       It amuses me when idiots say our nation was founded on Christian principles. Our founders FLED persecution from a Christian church. Do you suppose the fact that some of our laws happen to echo some of the 10 Commandments means they are BASED on the Commandments? That's just ignorant. Hammurabi's Code, which predates Christ by over a thousand years, banned murder, theft, and perjury. Even Islamic nations ban those things. Ever notice over half the Commandments were left OUT of our legal system? Honoring your parents, keeping the Sabbath day holy, banning graven images, banning adultery, banning covetousness... our nation was founded on Christian principles but we left all those things out? Please. Our founding fathers may have been Christians, but they did their damndest to draft a secular legal framework.

       Upon doing some research, it appears the myth of being founded as a Christian nation is based on lots of non-Constitution documents drafted a hundred years or more before we declared our independence. The Mayflower Compact? Really??? A few state charters? These are not nation- founding documents.
21 Quest, Sep 03 2012

       //Even Islamic nations ban those things.

       As tedious as this may be to everyone else, when I could be bothered to try and learn something about Islam ( I was living in Egypt), in their own scholars' writings it says the Koran is book three, with the Talmud as book one, and the Bible as book two.

       There are connections between all three of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, so don't be at all surprised if they cover the same stuff.
not_morrison_rm, Sep 03 2012

       It doesn't surprise me at all. There are certain things that are universally recognized as bad, even by atheists.
21 Quest, Sep 03 2012

       (yawn) when do the devotees of Isis and Osiris get a look in please?
pocmloc, Sep 03 2012

       Hmm, let's talk about jihad, the violence spike and tourism.

       Moslems seem to have given up converting the world roughly when the Ottoman empire gave up trying to incorporate east Europe, which would be about 1699. Christian jihad never really finished until the end of the the 19th century, bringing civilisation to Africa and Asia, let's not forget the conquistadors in South America. In fact you still find Christian missionaries in all kinds of improbable places, like Birmingham (truly a lost cause).

       The violence spike, yes all religions go through a violence spike period until they seem to reach a limit, the violence spike for Christianity seems to have lasted about 1800 years, seeing as Islam really only started in about 610 AD, it had a much shorter violence spike, about 1100 years.

       Tourism, ok let's imagine a city built on religious tourism. Crowds come to see the statues of the many gods, eat something etc. Then some bugger turns up and says "No, there is only one god, and you can't see him anyway". At this point burghers of said city get a bit antsy and decide to spend a lot of time and effort to knock off annoying person and his followers..at this point the religion espoused by the guy takes a radical turn, stops being happy-clappy smiley and becomes a lot less liberal and more cellular in structure.. absolutely no prizes for guessing the name of the city, or it's main industry these days..
not_morrison_rm, Sep 03 2012

       I've listened to some interesting debates on the subject of religion. One was put on by Intelligence Squared, in the UK, and the motion being debated was 'The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world' The 2 people arguing against the motion were Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry, and they roundly defeated the motion something like 1,800 votes to 200. Another was titled 'The world would be better off without religion', put on by Intelligence Squared U.S. This time, the motion (arguing against religion) was strongly upheld by A.C. Grayling and the grandson of Charles Darwin. There have been other debates with similarly titled motions featuring A.C. Grayling and Richard Dawkins, and in every one, the atheists win over the voting audience.

       You can say what you want about the history of religion, but the future of it is quite predictable: religion is on the decline in 1st world nations because education is on the rise, and educated, intelligent people don't subscribe to superstition.
21 Quest, Sep 03 2012

       // intelligent people don't subscribe to superstition// but Stevie Wonder had such a great hit with it.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Sep 03 2012

       // educated, intelligent people don't subscribe to superstition //

       How does that play out when the bulk of the population are educated, but unintelligent?
8th of 7, Sep 03 2012

       Or intelligent, educated and uninspired? (o,i,e,a,u and sometimes y)
4and20, Sep 03 2012

       Sounds like an application for an IF-ELSE clause…

       Any suggestions as to the truth table for that function?
8th of 7, Sep 03 2012

       The problem with binary logic is: you're either right or you are. But, missed the "bulk" in your sentence, turning the table completely on me.
4and20, Sep 03 2012

       Is there something in the halfbakery water lately?
RayfordSteele, Sep 04 2012

       There will now be a short pause while we take a collection. Please give generously.
Lesser Spotted Kiwi, Sep 05 2012


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