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Freedom of religion.

  1. May 30, 2003 #1
    Freedom of religion is interesting and to some degree contradicting issue.

    On one hand, anyone shall be free to do whatever he/she wants (as long as nobody hurts) - to believe in flat earth, in science, in Santa or in Allah, to be an altruist, or to commit suicide, etc...

    On the other hand progress of society as we see it today (both in civil areas and in defense) is largely due to progress of science and a religion plays rather negative role in this progress (see Kanzas creationism, mormon fundamentalism, see suicidal bombing, see jihad for infidels, see collisions/tensions between countries believing in different Gods, etc).

    So, shall society be neutral in attitude to freedom of religion, or it is better for progress and safety of society to limit religion freedom (and to improve science education/awareness instead)?

    What do you think?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 30, 2003 #2
    When considering this is the very principle the Unites States was founded upon, which allowed it to prosper and flourish, I wouldn't be so quick to discount it. And yet when you look at the church of today, it's hard to imagine it's the same entity it was 200 years ago. In fact a lot has changed, and it doesn't play the same role that it did. While it's quite possible that we've explored all the avenues of God that we can, and maybe it's time for a change or, some sort of reform.

    "Do unto others as you you would have them do unto you." This is a religious ideal.

    Science by itself is not the answer, because it's amoral and doesn't teach any values. I think religion is still necessary as it provides a basis for ethics and instilling a sense of values. And yet perhaps something as basic as the ten commandments (i.e., sudy of) will do?

    I think freedom of religion should be allowed in some form, so long as we maintain a democracy and everyone has a right to vote on those things which are most basic. It might be nice if they could reduce the number of denominations though, to try and standardize things (don't change the Bible) or, at least focus on its mind control aspect, to try and curtail that? Perhaps they could restrict tele-evangelism which, is obviously a big scam.
  4. May 31, 2003 #3


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    i don't think that a true realization of something that has negative effects on a society will come about by restrictions, such as prohibition for example...just as you preach here Alex, knowledge and education are the real way to know the truth, and forcing that down people's throats will not get positive results...
  5. Jun 1, 2003 #4
    There is a subject "Ethics and values" in colleges curricular. It can be extended to elementary schools (with proper adjustment to audience level).
  6. Jun 1, 2003 #5

    Exactly. But the quality of science education by teachers who believe in God is way less than of those who don't. I know one biologist who teaches evolution as "just one hypothesis among others". His student told me that evolution is obvious fiction.

    Look what is the quality of Kansas board governed education. It is poor - because of creationists.
  7. Jun 1, 2003 #6


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    i get what you are saying alex, and most educational systems are free of any sort of religious reference...but there will always be those exceptional few...can you go into more detail regarding the kansas education you were referring to?
  8. Jun 1, 2003 #7
    True...and turning things into an atheistic witchhunt for deviant religious types isn't such a great idea.
  9. Jun 1, 2003 #8
    All of these post, IMO, is why the Supreme Court is so insistant that the seperation between church and state be maintaind at every level no matter how seemingly insignificant. I agree with this completely and enthusiastically. Way back in the stone age when I was atheistic or agnostic (take your pick), I used to say that freedom of religion also included freedom from religion. Believe it or not I still feel the same way.
  10. Jun 2, 2003 #9
    but there is no total freedom of religion
    and under our modern values there never will be

    I see noway the aztec's will ever find state support for flower wars to gain victoms for the sun god

    how could the state allow BAAL's to burn babys as their cults belifes thought were required

    thats just two major examples of major religions of the past now banned. by our current laws

    freedom from religion is also impossable in the USA today, as the christian rightwing has control of most lawmaking bodys, from the local to the national level

    minor set backs like the ten comandmants banns are seen as major disassters to these holy warrors who think anyone not in their camp is their foe

    freedom of religion for nonmajor religions is a joke, and getting worse now every day.

    HIPPY belifes are a good example of how laws are use againts people in nonmajor religions by the christians
    they cannot openly pratice any form of their belifes, all are outlawed, by christian controled goverments
  11. Jun 2, 2003 #10
    I agree. Freedom of religion in an unrealized ideal. That is one of the shortcomings of a democratic republic. The majority is not always right and often dictates and trys to force their beliefs onto others. I have often said that the majority of the people of this country, the United States, do not understand nor believe in their Constitution, nor do they deserve it.
    Still, having said that, I would rather live here than in any other country where they could and do throw people in jail or worse for not believing in or practicing the state religion or dogma. This may not be the best of all possible worlds but it is the best of what we do have.IMO
  12. Jun 3, 2003 #11
    We are talking of ways of rising quality of US science education, so it is not so far behind others. Atheism, logic and matherialism are very important in education because they are based on observed facts, and they reduce natural tendency of human to fill gaps in personal knowledge with various suprtstitions.
  13. Jun 5, 2003 #12
    I personally hate when someone is going to preach my children's brains off. So I'm for freedom from it.

    But, this is deeply political matter. And not just because to realise it you'd need political support, but because it has huge implications on behaviour of uneducated masses. Its much wider issue than just 'freedom from religion'. Religion has always been about control of masses, and this is serious thing in avoiding chaos.
  14. Jun 5, 2003 #13
    I agree and this is one of the main reasons that I am against organized relions. Because so many of them intentionally seek to control the masses much less their own congregations. This is also why I am such a supporter of seperation of church and state. All to often in our history have despots gained control of the church and thus it's masses and used and manipluted them to their own personal ends. It's not just religion that does this however. Any widely accepted dogma will do.
  15. Jun 5, 2003 #14


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    separation of church and state????

    What a joke that is. I'm not sure how many of you have been to an american court lately, but the first thing you do is swear on the christian bible. I understand that you can wave this and swear on something else, but this instantly makes you look like a bad person.

    Even in my workplace, I'd probably be fired for some odd reason if I revealed my beliefs to them.

    See, religion dominates the US. It does so because churches are state funded, and then we have leaders who say things like fighting gods war and stuff that is absolutly rediculous for a leader of one of the strongest nations on earth to be saying.

    The only true way we could have freedom of/from religion would be if was made a completly personal matter.

    You could still have your church/social gathering point, but it should not extend any further then people who want to go. It should not be practiced outside of a persons home/church, and not pushed upon any single person.

    I mean, let us not forget the atrocitys commited in the name of the christian god alone, crusades, witchhunts, native american abuse, support for slavery (its still in the bible). Not to mention the distortion of reality it creates with its believers.

    And then, these people, with there distorted view of reality, are the ones running our governments.

    Like I've said before, I have my beliefs on what I think may be beyond this life. I do not let these beliefs, which are unprovable, get in the way of me living my life. This, imo, is the way things should be considered.

    Can I prove it? No. Then it is not important to my day to day life.

    Can I prove it? Yes. Then I will see how I can use this information to improve my life and that of others.

    And while I agree %100 with Alex that science ed on the high school level is craptacular, I really believe the problem is that people let there personal beliefs interfer with facts. Then they distort the facts, due to there distorted perception of reality, and it simply runs the line to the point where everyone suffers from it, and they don't know why.

    People don't like, and still deny it, but I remember reading an article on newscientist.com that said evolution had been proven. Something about a new species of a flower in paris or something. Anyhow, while it may not be %100 proof positive, its still more then any religion has offered as proof for an explanation.

    Basically, we will never be free from religion, even if we found away to create a mini universe and life and everything just like ours, people would still believe in there brand of god, and it would still get pushed down our throats, like it or not.
  16. Jun 5, 2003 #15


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    Just curious what evidence there is to accuse religous beliefs with the state of US education?
  17. Jun 5, 2003 #16
    Re: separation of church and state????

    That is EXACTLY what religion is in Europe (with small exceptions like Belfast, etc).

    And everyone is happy. No brain wash/damage. No force to accept anything. Education does not suffer. Yet multiple churches and religions are there - go if you want.

    Real freedom.
  18. Jun 5, 2003 #17


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    Just curious, what evidence is there that religious beliefs constitute brain damage?
  19. Jun 6, 2003 #18
    results of religion in action, produce the following evidence
    christian terrorests
    kill a commie for christ???
    the KKK a all christian movement
    abortion clinic bombers/doctor shooters
    jim jones and david K
    hitler and the SS another all christian group
    christian civil wars rwanda and N I now tooo many others in the past

    others belifes are about the same results

    moslem terrorests
    jewish terrorests
    hindie terrorests
    skih terrorests
    and many others

    the ideal of gods laws from any book
    can be used as civil laws NEVER HAS OR WILL BE FAIR OR JUST esp to noncult members
  20. Jun 6, 2003 #19


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    Since you're taking the violence angle, where is your evidence for:

    (a) Religious people are more violent than nonreligious people
    (b) Religious beliefs are a causal factor and not simply correlative
    (c) Religious beliefs are the root cause and not merely a catalyst

    Or any sort of comparison to anything at all?
  21. Jun 6, 2003 #20
    Without freedom of religion, that is communism, socialism. Freedom of religion is a right that everyone deserves. May i ask you this: Why did you start this topic when you have no religion of your own?

    Everyone should be allowed to have their own religion and beliefs I would like to add that if people were disallowed their beliefs and religion that is controlling them and forcing them to do things they do not want to by disallowing them TO do what they want to. In some ways that could be viewed as communism in other ways dictatorship. It depends on how you look at it I suppose.

    That is incorrect. They were not an "all christian" movement because catholicism is a christian religion and they KKK wasnt just racist they persecuted catholics along with several other religions.

    First off please spell Muslim right. It is not to criticize you but I felt if you continue posting here you should spell that right. Second, many muslim terrorists were forced into training camps by osama bin laden and his men and they were brain washed or forced into it. On the matter of Palastine, that is not exactly their religion. I do not study islam and I will not pretend to understand it, but their religion does NOT promote violence. I believe that it is most likely governments (not necesarily palestinian) that use propoganda or laws to promote violence such as that.
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