Separation Church & State in Office

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Only allow athiests to hold office?

  • Yes, enough with catering to the religious.

    Votes: 5 19.2%
  • No, it would be unconstitutional.

    Votes: 21 80.8%

  • Total voters
    26
  • #51
306
1


Better yet, that's like calling the statement "Santa Claus doesn't exist" a centralized dogma.

Does that mean we can get tax free status for spoiling children's beliefs at the mall at Christmas time? Awesome!
 
  • #54


Does that mean we can get tax free status for spoiling children's beliefs at the mall at Christmas time? Awesome!

I would let that legislation pass.
 
  • #55
OmCheeto
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It looks like satire to me. Either way if they were serious it's still not a centralized dogma that atheists adhere to. We've got no holy text to preach about!

I've only been engaged in one anti-theist argument. That was enough for me to realize that anti-theists love to preach as much as the theists. And they both reference the same book.

The anti-theists actually have an advantage here, as they can quote from multiple religious texts to show how bad and stupid and illogical religion is. The theists are stuck with which ever book their little sect is abiding by that year.
 
  • #56


I've only been engaged in one anti-theist argument. That was enough for me to realize that anti-theists love to preach as much as the theists. And they both reference the same book.

So you think atheists care about God and religion? The only reason we discuss it is because the religious want to pass it on as actual truth. Most atheists will tell you they don't give a **** what you believe in as long as you don't try passing it off as truth in society. If you're going to claim something, you have better provide evidence for it. Don't tell me I'm going to burn in hell for not accepting your claims without sufficient evidence, and don't tell me to go look at the trees as proof of God.

And that "church" turns out to be satire. Way to go guys. Did you just google "atheist church" and clicked on the first link that seemed sufficient enough to provide a case? Just give it up. Atheism will never be a religion. It's an asinine equivocation made up by the religious because they can't handle that someone doesn't follow dogma when it comes to questions on existence.
 
  • #57
Astronuc
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Please keep the discussion directed to "separation of church and state", not what theists and atheists 'believe'. The dicussion should political, not religious.
 
  • #58


Please keep the discussion directed to "separation of church and state", not what theists and atheists 'believe'. The dicussion should political, not religious.

Sorry about the diversion, but clearing up any misconceptions about this will help further the actual discussion.

The state is suppose to be neutral towards religion. Not for it or against it.
 
  • #59
OmCheeto
Gold Member
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Sorry about the diversion, but clearing up any misconceptions about this will help further the actual discussion.

The state is suppose to be neutral towards religion. Not for it or against it.

You should study http://www.iusb.edu/~journal/static/volumes/1999/Paper9.html".
Not an atheist in any sense of the word.
Yet, as far as I can tell, he was responsible for the http://www.usconstitution.net/jeffwall.html" [Broken] regarding America's separation of church and state.

What a shame if he had not been allowed to run for office because of his religious views.

It's hard to imagine what this country would be like if the clause had been left out.
 
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  • #60
Doc Al
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You should study http://www.iusb.edu/~journal/static/volumes/1999/Paper9.html".
Not an atheist in any sense of the word.
He was pretty darn close to being one, especially for his time. (He was often called an "infidel" for his views.) http://nobeliefs.com/jefferson.htm"
Yet, as far as I can tell, he was responsible for the http://www.usconstitution.net/jeffwall.html" [Broken] regarding America's separation of church and state.
Absolutely.
What a shame if he had not been allowed to run for office because of his religious views.
The idea of "only atheists being allowed in office", the premise of this thread/poll, is one of the silliest strawmen I've seen. I can't imagine any atheist supporting that proposal. (Whereas it requires no great imagination to imagine some--thankfully not all--religious folks wanting to limit office to those professing some sort of god belief.)
It's hard to imagine what this country would be like if the clause had been left out.
No argument here! Jefferson is a hero to freethinkers and supporters of the separation of church and state everywhere. Build up that wall!
 
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  • #61
29
3


Ha! Ha! Having started quite an argument, I guess I should chime in.

I believe the central dogma of atheists is:

"Belief only in material/testable things."

The word church is tricky since the Greek word it comes from (ekklasia) which can be either the totality of a people with a common belief or a local organized group. For example, there are many Christian Churches (as organized bodies), but only one Church (the common body of believers regardless of the organized body they attend -- if any).

In the sense of ekklasia meaning the totality of believers, then atheists certainly are an ekklasia. They have a well defined belief system. This is in contrast to agnostics which don't.

That said, I think this thread strays too far in religious lands and should be locked. Evo?
 
  • #62
3,042
15


That said, I think this thread strays too far in religious lands and should be locked. Evo?

No ones talking about religion so far, are they?

If you think its strayed too far, then just leave.
 
  • #63
Hurkyl
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No ones talking about religion so far, are they?
Atheism falls under PF's guidelines on religion, and there's been quite a bit of attempts to break off into a tangent discussing qualities of atheism that are irrelevant to the topic of the thread. e.g. who cares if calling "deities don't exist" centralized dogma is like calling "Barack Obama doesn't exist" centralized dogma? It certainly doesn't seem to have any bearing on the thread, or on any other interesting topic. (This is not a solicitation for interesting topics. :tongue:)
 
  • #64
Evo
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What they mean is that there is a large group of people who self-identify as atheists who have many ideological positions and who congregate on atheist web sites and in atheist clubs and hence form a culture with sufficiently similar beliefs that Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens and Bill Maher can market products to them as a group such as The God Delusion and God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything and Religulous.
I don't consider these people as the "norm' of atheists. This is a small group of people with a burr in their paw. I view them as a militant fringe, and nothing to do with people that really just don't care to be bothered with religion and don't think about it. I would say most "atheists" have no problem with people that are religious as long as those religious people are not trying to interefere with how they live their lives. I would say most religious people aren't.
 
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  • #65


I don't consider these people as the "norm' of atheists. This is a small group of people with a burr in their paw. I view them as a militant fringe, and nothing to do with people that really just don't care to be bothered with religion and don't think about it. I would say most "atheists" have no problem with people that are religious as long as those religious people are not trying to interefere with how they live their lives. I would say most religious people aren't.

Well, experiences certainly vary, but I would guesstimate that more than half of the other self-identifying atheists I have met in the United States appear to participate in some aspect of this culture or advance similar ideologies to the ones voiced in this sphere. Certainly more than half of the self-identifying atheists on PF seem to.

Both of the books I listed were bestsellers and Religulous is the 7th top-grossing documentary among all documentaries worldwide released since 1982, according to Wikipedia.

But even if it is only a tiny subset of American atheists who have these sorts of beliefs it would be germane to the question in this thread because the proposal to only allow atheists to hold office would allow any of these people to be elected while excluding anyone who voiced the wrong opinion by professing a religion.
 
  • #66


Ha! Ha! Having started quite an argument, I guess I should chime in.

I believe the central dogma of atheists is:

"Belief only in material/testable things."

*Sigh* That's materialism.
 
  • #67


Atheism falls under PF's guidelines on religion, and there's been quite a bit of attempts to break off into a tangent discussing qualities of atheism that are irrelevant to the topic of the thread. e.g. who cares if calling "deities don't exist" centralized dogma is like calling "Barack Obama doesn't exist" centralized dogma? It certainly doesn't seem to have any bearing on the thread, or on any other interesting topic. (This is not a solicitation for interesting topics. :tongue:)

Because it's an idiotic argument to make?
 
  • #68


I don't consider these people as the "norm' of atheists. This is a small group of people with a burr in their paw. I view them as a militant fringe, and nothing to do with people that really just don't care to be bothered with religion and don't think about it.

These people are certainly not fringe, rather more mainstream. And what's with the 'militant' tag? If you question too much does that make you 'militant'? Maybe scientists should now be called militant scientists.
 
  • #69
russ_watters
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Are you guys who are arguing over the definition of athiest familar with the concepts of "weak" and "strong" athiesm?
Strong atheism is a term generally used to describe atheists who accept as true the proposition, "gods do not exist". Weak atheism refers to any other type of non-theism. Historically, the terms positive and negative atheism have been used for this distinction, where "positive" atheism refers to the specific belief that gods do not exist, and "negative" atheism refers merely to an absence of belief in gods.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weak_and_strong_atheism

Several parts of the article are relevant to the thread:
The distinction between strong and weak atheism is one of several applied to beliefs about the existence or nonexistence of gods. It is similar in ways to the popularly held conception of "atheists" and "agnostics," in which atheism has generally been considered an active disbelief in gods, except by starting instead with the broader definition of atheism which includes any absence of belief in gods and thus encompasses some forms of agnosticism (see agnostic atheism). Accordingly, the division between "strong" and "weak" atheism functions to separate atheism as a disbelief in gods from forms of atheism that fall short of this, and which could simultaneously be characterized as agnosticism....
and regarding Dawkins:
The validity of this categorisation is disputed, however, and a few prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins avoid it. In The God Delusion Dawkins describes people for whom the probability of the existence of God is between "very high" and "very low" as "agnostic" and reserves the term "strong atheist" for "I know there is no god". He categorises himself as a "de facto atheist" but not a "strong atheist" under this definition.
 
  • #70


And that "church" turns out to be satire. Way to go guys. Did you just google "atheist church" and clicked on the first link that seemed sufficient enough to provide a case? Just give it up. Atheism will never be a religion. It's an asinine equivocation made up by the religious because they can't handle that someone doesn't follow dogma when it comes to questions on existence.
I read the site, or most of it anyway, and it appears genuine to me. Can you show me where you found that it is satire and not real? Because I've not found anything stating so.
By the way I am not religious and by your definition you might even consider me an atheist. I consider myself agnostic.
And the point of posting the link was to show that the government apparently gives the status of religion/belief system to atheist organizations if they seek it. Unless of course you are correct and this is purely satire, though I have seen at least one other "atheist church" while looking.

Please keep the discussion directed to "separation of church and state", not what theists and atheists 'believe'. The dicussion should political, not religious.
The point (to me) is that atheism, to some of us, is a belief system that is just as prone to the preference or prejudice found in other belief systems. So in my opinion electing only atheists is no different than electing only persons of other belief systems. Considering the wide spread insistence of atheists that theirs is not a belief system, if it were accepted as truth, this could allow a purely atheist government to hedge out other belief systems based on the predicate that they belong to and favour no belief system.
 
  • #72


I read the site, or most of it anyway, and it appears genuine to me. Can you show me where you found that it is satire and not real? Because I've not found anything stating so.

It's an internet church designed to hand out minister certificates. It's to show how easy it is to become a minister.

By the way I am not religious and by your definition you might even consider me an atheist. I consider myself agnostic.

Everyone is an atheist, but to varying degrees. The only difference between me and a Christian is that I don't believe in their God.


The point (to me) is that atheism, to some of us, is a belief system that is just as prone to the preference or prejudice found in other belief systems.

I'm still waiting to see this system I'm suppose to be following.
 
  • #73


It's an internet church designed to hand out minister certificates. It's to show how easy it is to become a minister.
I believe that if you read their "church's" mission statement they state that it is to allow atheists (or atheist organizations) the rights and options traditionally reserved for theists.
Again my point is that it is apparently an organization officially and legally recognized by the government as a "Church" and possesses the same rights. Posted in response to...
NeoDevin said:
Does that mean we can get tax free status for spoiling children's beliefs at the mall at Christmas time? Awesome!

Lightbulb said:
Everyone is an atheist, but to varying degrees. The only difference between me and a Christian is that I don't believe in their God.
This seems like rediculous semantic manuevering to me. "Christians are atheists because they don't believe in other people's gods"
But I'll agree to quit nit picking definitions.

Lightbulb said:
I'm still waiting to see this system I'm suppose to be following.
I'll continue with the ending of the endless arguement by returning to my point.
Atheists, due to their belief system (or lack there of), would most probably be more inclined to side with legislation and dispersal of funds with a preference towards non-religious organizations. Perhaps even decide with prejudice in matters regarding laws, regulations, and court decisions against religious establishments. In short, having only atheists in government does not adequately represent the interests of all citizens and may in some fashion work against those interests. Whether you consider atheism a belief system or not.
 
  • #74


This seems like rediculous semantic manuevering to me. "Christians are atheists because they don't believe in other people's gods"
But I'll agree to quit nit picking definitions.

Well that's what atheism means. It simply means "a lack of belief in a god or many gods." There are many gods that Christians have a lack of belief in, therefore making them atheists, but to a certain degree. The term becomes more lucid when you point this out to people.

I'll continue with the ending of the endless arguement by returning to my point.
Atheists, due to their belief system (or lack there of), would most probably be more inclined to side with legislation and dispersal of funds with a preference towards non-religious organizations. Perhaps even decide with prejudice in matters regarding laws, regulations, and court decisions against religious establishments. In short, having only atheists in government does not adequately represent the interests of all citizens and may in some fashion work against those interests. Whether you consider atheism a belief system or not.

I would agree that full blown atheists would be more inclined to side with legislation towards non-religious organizations since what would be the rationale behind them supporting a religious organization? That would be a perfect case of cognitive dissonance.
 
  • #75
mheslep
Gold Member
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He was pretty darn close to being one, especially for his time. (He was often called an "infidel" for his views.) http://nobeliefs.com/jefferson.htm"...
No, Jefferson was not an atheist, period. He was 'pretty darn' unique in his views, probably closest to a Deist.
From the quote list provided:
Jefferson to Adams said:
I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be
 
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