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The simple crime of assault... can be
thrown (in book form) a lot of
ways. There are, of course, several
degrees of assault (ie, 1st, 2nd,
There's aggravated assault, assault with
a deadly weapon, assault &
battery, etc. I call each of these add-ons
a charge multiplier. No clue
the technical term for them is.
Anywho... I think religious zeal/religious
fervor ought to be tossed in
there, as well, to discourage acts of
religious extremism. These acts
would include things like hacking the
beards off your fellow Amish
folks, involuntary exorcisms, beating
your wife or daughter because
you believe they aren't pious enough,
killing same for the same
So, let's say a Southern Baptist pops a
Catholic (or vice versa) in the
mouth for saying saying something he
considers blasphemous. In
addition to a charge of assault in the nth
degree, the charge
of 'with religious zeal' would be added to
make the charge read
with religious zeal in the nth degree' (or
perhaps 'assault in the nth
degree with religious zeal'), and would
carry a somewhat
stiffer penalty than simple assault.
I think this might possibly be redundant
with existing hate crime
but I dislike the word 'hate' in a legal
context, and don't think it's
the right word to describe a person's
emotional state at the time the
crime was committed. For instance, if
you strike a blasphemer
you feel it is a religious imperative that
you do so, you aren't doing it
because you hate that person or
anything about that person. You
you're following orders (Holy orders).
But those orders (wrongly
perceived though they may be), and
your willingness to obey them,
need to be dealt with in a manner
different than simply losing one's
temper as in the case of a simple
assault charge. The idea that a
warrant entitles one to disregard the law
of the land, that religious
authority trumps legislative authority,
needs to be dealt with...
differently. Perhaps one possible
penalty imposed could include
mandatory counseling sessions with a
chaplain of your religious
denomination, or perhaps even
mandatory counseling sessions with
chaplains of different denominations or
even atheist therapists.
Perhaps group therapy in 'zeal
management classes' ('righteousness
Different things could be tried in a study
to assess the feasibility of
reducing religious extremism in our
*zeal or fervor... not sure which would
be more correct in this
Militant atheist attacks pastor after sermon
[RayfordSteele, Feb 06 2014]
||What you're describing is a "hate crime" in the same sense that reverse-racism is racism.
||Are you quite sure that this idea itself is neither zealous nor fervent? Or does meta-zeal not count?
||... wait, was that paragraph there before ? and how did I get to be first anno ? I need coffee. Yes, "hate" is a dumb word to use... but "extreme dislike" doesn't sound any better though it's more accurate. "Holy Orders" is a reserved word in RC'ism.
||Can we use the name "zealot" for a new class of criminals? Convict, felon, ex-con, zealot, ex-zealot...
||could call it the "Just Following Orders" crime... or "That's Not a Real Excuse"... then you're into territory that, if there isn't a real religious reason (and there never really is), it's an insanity clause.
||I do like the idea of rebranding the law and its application so that it is more like a game of Dungeons & Dragons. So, if an aggravating factor is a force multiplier, mitigating circumstances could be a force dissipator or a cloak of -2 harm, or a special defence plea could be a "Shield of Exculpatory Incrimination" for example. I think we should hire 21Q to overhaul the form (but not the content) of our respective legal systems.
||Haven't read the idea but disappointed by the lack of high voltage. Something along the lines of an ultra-orthodox congregation screaming into a Leyden jar?
||//if an aggravating factor is a force multiplier,
mitigating circumstances could be a force dissipator
or a cloak of -2 harm//
|| This would work best with a logarithmic legal
||Hate Crime is not the right word, agreed.
|| Meaning, you hated the victim because of biases you
had before you knew anything about them.
|| Then, the religious pre-hate can fall into the same
category as traditional hate crimes.
||So, a Marxist, a Randroid and a Catholic walk into a bar. They begin a calm and civilized discussion about the state of the world, but a few beers later they have arrived at irreconcilable differences of opinion on any number of points of profound principle. No-one can quite remember who started it, but a faintly comical three-sided fist fight breaks out.
|| The landlady of the Kippers and Croissants can't be doing with this sort of thing, and summons the constable. Charges are laid.
|| Now here's the thing; is it right to penalize the Catholic more heavily than the other two, because the principles he was "defending" were in some sense religious, whereas theirs were not?
||Absolutely not. As you said, nobody can remember who started
it, therefor nobody can say with absolute certainty why they
were hitting each other or, indeed, if the Catholic was defending
his religion against blasmphemy or himself against assault. if he
threw the first punch, and someone caught it on video, then yes.
If the Marxist or Randroid struck the Catholic first, they can get
brought up on existing hate crime charges. All this supposes, of
course, that the parties involved actually wish to press charges. I
would like to see a secular version of my proposition, but I'm not
sure it's necessary. One thing can be assured of from an atheist:
they do not do anything because they feel they have a divine
warrant which supercedes the law. They can't blame any 'higher
power' for their actions.
||So would this mean that militant atheists like this
guy get off scott-free?
||Charged with thinking, assault and battery or
|| Charged with emotion, assault and battery or
|| Charged with ???????, assault and battery.
||Next time the local corner street preacher is about, I'm going to dig out my van der graaf generator and test this idea.
||^ aaand we have the 897th amusing use for a corpse: "Soapbox Van Der Graaff Preacher"
||// would this mean that militant atheists like this guy get off scott-
|| Well no. If the atheist throws the first punch, he still gets charged with
assault in the nth degree in addition to any other applicable charge
multipliers/aggravating factors which may apply.
|| FT, the 'Holy Orders' bit was a deliberate pun. Regarding your
terminology, the 'just following orders' crime, I really like that option
for dealing with folks such as soldiers or Mafia hitmen. I'm undecided
whether that would be considered a mitigating factor or an
aggravating one. There's a good argument to be made either way. I
don't like it for religious zealotry because they usually aren't following
any actual orders. They're interpreting the text in a book in such a way
that they think they're supposed to follow an order that is implied in
the text. To find someone guilty of following orders, you have to find
someone else guilty for giving the order. Can't really have one without
the other, and I don't think our legal system is sufficiently advanced to
call God to the stand. Mind you, I support the classification of such
zealots as criminally insane, but try declaring in a courtroom that
belief in a deity constitutes a cognitive defect, and you'll start a holy
war in short order.
||Still seeking my pedants pendant of punditry please allow me to explain, punching is not assault. It is battery. Assault does not involve physical contact, just a credible threat.
||You're talking logic. Here in my neck of the woods, punches get you
assault charges. Occasionally you'll see 'assault and battery', but you
never see the 'battery' without the 'assault'.
||// they do not do anything because they feel they have a divine warrant which supercedes the law//
|| Bear in mind that both the Marxist and the Randroid do have warrants which supercede the law. The Marxist, as we know, regards the law as an unjust artefact of bourgeois capitalism, and one of the things that a Randroid "Atlas" shrugs off is the obligation to obey laws which are economically "irrational" (i.e., most of them). One of the heroes of "Atlas Shrugged" is a pirate.
|| Granted, neither of these warrants is "divine"; but, from a criminal justice point of view, that doesn't really help, (as I think you'd agree, [Quest], given your contemplation of a secular version of the proposition).
||It's issues like these that make me glad I'm a heathen.