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Old 02-09-2009, 10:33 PM   #1
GarfieldJL
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The Danger of Secularism

I know some of you don't believe in God, and fine, but here is an interesting ethical argument.


If God doesn't exist, and/or we remove God from public life. Who gives us our human rights?


Here is the thing in the Declaration of Independence it states that God gives us our rights.

If you remove God, then who gives us our rights, the Government?

If government gives us our rights then how can we guarentee government can't take those rights away?

It's an argument I heard about that's quite scary if you look at the left-wing agenda.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:16 PM   #2
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So you think that somehow acknowledging a creator is going to prevent a government from taking away the rights of its citizens?

At no point in the history of civilization has a god or gods stepped in to prevent a corrupt government from infringing on the rights of the people, even if those people believed that their rights were god-given.

And if what you say is true and our rights come straight from god(s) then why is it that the rights of people vary so dramatically from government to government?

I think it is safe to assume that our rights as citizens of a nation are given to us by the government in control, and we have no guarantee that they won't be taken away. A lesser man might make a Patriot Act reference here...



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Old 02-09-2009, 11:26 PM   #3
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If God doesn't exist, and/or we remove God from public life. Who gives us our human rights?
If God does exist, who gives us our human rights? If you set aside time to crack open and read through a Bible some day, I think you'd end up agreeing with me that if anything is the source of democracy and human rights, it's certainly not God.

Let me give you an example from Deuteronomy 21:10:
When you go to war against your enemies, and you take prisoners, put the entire male population to death. If among the prisoners you see a beautiful woman, and you are attracted to her, you may take her as a wife. Bring her into your home, shave her head, cut her nails, and take off her prisoner's garb. She must stay inside your house and mourn for her father and mother for a full month. After that, you may have sex with her. Should she not please you, you will let her go where she wishes. Do not sell her for money or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.

You'll be hard-pressed to find the freedoms of the US Constitution and various international treaties in the Bible. On the contrary, God's made it quite clear that He wants you to live in a dictatorship where people have no god but Him and follow His rules strictly, facing death sentence when they don't.

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Old 02-09-2009, 11:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
I know some of you don't believe in God, and fine, but here is an interesting ethical argument.


If God doesn't exist, and/or we remove God from public life. Who gives us our human rights?


Here is the thing in the Declaration of Independence it states that God gives us our rights.

If you remove God, then who gives us our rights, the Government?

If government gives us our rights then how can we guarentee government can't take those rights away?

It's an argument I heard about that's quite scary if you look at the left-wing agenda.
Counterpoint: some people don't have rights even if they are innocent and have supposedly been granted rights by their government and/or deity. People have to recognize that atheism and morality are not mutually exclusive and that people have to stand up for their own rights.



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Old 02-09-2009, 11:40 PM   #5
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If you remove God, then who gives us our rights, the Government?
If government gives us our rights then how can we guarentee government can't take those rights away?
You make it sound as if the US has never taken anyone's rights away and that God is to thank for this.

Slaves want a word.

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Old 02-09-2009, 11:44 PM   #6
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Well if you think about it, look at the Vatican. You probably won't find more of God anywhere on this world. But, in the Vatican, it is the Pope who is caling the shots.




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Old 02-09-2009, 11:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
If God doesn't exist, and/or we remove God from public life. Who gives us our human rights?

Here is the thing in the Declaration of Independence it states that God gives us our rights.
I believe the reason they're considered rights is because no one "gives" them to anyone.

Second, the government's job is illustrated nicely right after the bit about nature's god:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Declaration of Independence
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...
Governments are just ways people have to protect those rights. They have no ability to grant them since rights by nature can't be granted.

So yeah, it's a "Who watches the watchers?" kinda thing. Last I heard, it was supposed to be the public who watched each other... fallible, sure, but what human endeavor isn't.


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Old 02-10-2009, 09:18 AM   #8
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The idea here is if government tries to supplement God as the giver of rights, then what governments giveth, governments can take away.


That's the danger I'm referring to.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:41 AM   #9
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Tell me what prevents government from taking away rights given by a god? Government can take away anything we let it do, god givven or not.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:53 AM   #10
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The Declaration of Independence does not define the policy of the US government; the constitution and it's amendments do. In the way they were written, they intentionally supplanted God as the provider of rights from the very beginning, because the founding fathers had the wisdom and the foresight to realize that not everyone is a believer and to put God into the constitution would be to violate their rights.

The constitution is by its very nature a secular document, and was intended as such.


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Old 02-10-2009, 10:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
The idea here is if government tries to supplement God as the giver of rights, then what governments giveth, governments can take away.
In a democratic state such as the United States, the government is comprised of the will of the people, and if it fails to be such, will cause a revolution.

Rational self-interest is what creates rights in a non-believer world, and the will of the masses enforces it, which ultimately shows that there is no such thing as a 'right' in nature, it is a purely human invention to facilitate government and equality (or at least, some measure of socio-economic position).



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Old 02-10-2009, 10:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
The idea here is if government tries to supplement God as the giver of rights, then what governments giveth, governments can take away.


That's the danger I'm referring to.
You're right, we should let God start giving rights again, not the government. Then gay people can get married again instead of having their rights taken away.

Oh wait.




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Old 02-10-2009, 11:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
The idea here is if government tries to supplement God as the giver of rights, then what governments giveth, governments can take away.


That's the danger I'm referring to.
Unless you take the view that the citizenry grants itself the rights it feels are owed to everyone, which is the view the founding fathers had, evidence of which can be found in Sam's post.

I wish you'd stop separating the government from its people, you refer to it and act as if they've been put into power by anyone but the people who elected it. Sure there are lobbyists and such, but ultimately it's the responsibility of the people to wade through the bull**** they get put out there and organize so that they can guide the government to their ideals.



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Old 02-10-2009, 11:37 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Qliveur View Post
The Declaration of Independence does not define the policy of the US government; the constitution and it's amendments do. In the way they were written, they intentionally supplanted God as the provider of rights from the very beginning, because the founding fathers had the wisdom and the foresight to realize that not everyone is a believer and to put God into the constitution would be to violate their rights.

The constitution is by its very nature a secular document, and was intended as such.
The writers of the Constitution were also highly religious people, while you can argue the Constitution is a secular document, you cannot argue that the writers were atheists.

The Declaration of Independence laid out that we all have basic rights given to us by God, and the reason the Constitution exists is due to the Revolutionary War.

If Government completely surplants God as what determines whether or not people have rights or not, i.e. they are the highest authority over everything you run the risk of a Totalitarian regime. While I'll agree having priests running government is about as bad as a Totalitarian Regime, there is problems with the extremes of both sides.

The idea is not so much just what government has the ability to do from a physical standpoint, it's also a question of belief in whether or not government has the right to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Nine View Post
You're right, we should let God start giving rights again, not the government. Then gay people can get married again instead of having their rights taken away.

Oh wait.
You're in the wrong thread for that topic.
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
The writers of the Constitution were also highly religious people, while you can argue the Constitution is a secular document, you cannot argue that the writers were atheists.

The Declaration of Independence laid out that we all have basic rights given to us by God, and the reason the Constitution exists is due to the Revolutionary War.

If Government completely surplants God as what determines whether or not people have rights or not, i.e. they are the highest authority over everything you run the risk of a Totalitarian regime. While I'll agree having priests running government is about as bad as a Totalitarian Regime, there is problems with the extremes of both sides.

The idea is not so much just what government has the ability to do from a physical standpoint, it's also a question of belief in whether or not government has the right to do so.



You're in the wrong thread for that topic.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundin...tates#Religion

It may be Wikipedia, but it gets my point across, the issue of the Founding Fathers being religious isn't as black and white as you make it out to be, and a fair number of them were against organized religion and believed that the people were granted rights based on their own power.



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Old 02-10-2009, 11:56 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
The writers of the Constitution were also highly religious people, while you can argue the Constitution is a secular document, you cannot argue that the writers were atheists.
They weren't atheists, but they weren't too ultra-Christian as well. They wanted to separate church and state, to allow people to freely practice their own religion, without being persecuted by the state or by others. That hasn't always been enforced throughout history, but the founding fathers were a bit more tolerant than others. Except for slavery.
Quote:
The Declaration of Independence laid out that we all have basic rights given to us by God, and the reason the Constitution exists is due to the Revolutionary War.
The DoI was simply a statement, with no legal binding whatsoever. And the reason the Constitution exists is because the Articles of Confederation didn't do ****.
Quote:
If Government completely surplants God as what determines whether or not people have rights or not, i.e. they are the highest authority over everything you run the risk of a Totalitarian regime. While I'll agree having priests running government is about as bad as a Totalitarian Regime, there is problems with the extremes of both sides.
Agreed.
Quote:
The idea is not so much just what government has the ability to do from a physical standpoint, it's also a question of belief in whether or not government has the right to do so.
Well, they shouldn't. If they enforced people to take an oath to a certain deity, then that would be a violation of civil rights, as spelled out in the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Quote:
Originally Posted by First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
The writers of the Constitution were also highly religious people, while you can argue the Constitution is a secular document, you cannot argue that the writers were atheists.
My favorite George Washington quote goes like this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GDub
The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institutions may be abused by human depravity; and that they may even, in some instances, be made subservient to the vilest of purposes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
The Declaration of Independence laid out that we all have basic rights given to us by God,
No, the Declaration of Independence told England that we weren't gonna take their **** anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
and the reason the Constitution exists is due to the Revolutionary War.
No, it exists cuz the Articles of Confederation sucked, as PastramiX said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
If Government completely surplants God as what determines whether or not people have rights or not, i.e. they are the highest authority over everything you run the risk of a Totalitarian regime.
Uh, news flash for you Garfield. The government already determines whether or not people have rights. It's been this way for about... 233 years, give or take. So you're a little behind the times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
You're in the wrong thread for that topic.
I miss you in that topic, Garfy. Come back to us.




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Old 02-10-2009, 03:52 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
If God doesn't exist, and/or we remove God from public life. Who gives us our human rights?
Humans. This is where, apparently, all rights, morality, laws and rules are derived from. There is no evidence that a god (and you haven't stated which god) gives rights, laws, or morals to humans). There is ample evidence that people come to a consensus on how they wish to live, what moralities they wish to uphold, and what laws they wish to follow.

Quote:
Here is the thing in the Declaration of Independence it states that God gives us our rights.
This is a legal document using the language of the day, indeed one could argue that the Declaration's authors used a deistic language -one that is vague on what a god is, referring to it most specifically as a Creator, which is just as implicative of the Universe as it is a deity.

Regardless, the Declaration isn't an evidence that there existed a creator nor a god, nor is it evidence that if such a god exists that morality is dictated by it. There is, as I said, ample evidence that morality, laws, etc. are derived from human society.

Quote:
If you remove God, then who gives us our rights, the Government?
Yes. And the people to whom our government is accountable. Which is why, as our great nation has evolved, more and more rights and morals are becoming truly inalienable. If a god provided these rights, would it not seem curious that since 1776 more and more disenfranchised and marginalized or excluded groups have gained ground in equality? The rights of people of color, gender-rights, age-related rights (i.e. child labor, senior citizens, etc.) and the rights of homosexuals is example. If we, as a nation, got it right the first time with a god's intended rights, why the need for an evolution of ideas? Clearly, this is indication that rights are derived from the current consensus of society.

Quote:
Quote:
If government gives us our rights then how can we guarentee government can't take those rights away?
By maintaining consensual oversight of government. Beyond that, there is no guarantee. Governments have long been known to succumb to the pressures of majorities and even minorities which results in the oppression of other groups. Hegemony is possibly inevitable -only access to government by the common class and the exclusion of theocratic superstition from government will prevent it or curtail it.

Quote:
It's an argument I heard about that's quite scary if you look at the left-wing agenda.
One thing I notice about religious adherents who actually have an agenda (which is the indoctrination of their particular notion of god on everyone else) is that they accuse anyone who questions or is skeptical of them of having "an agenda." Complete and utter ideological bollocks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
The idea here is if government tries to supplement God as the giver of rights, then what governments giveth, governments can take away.
To which god do you refer? Lets be clear. Because if its that evil nut Yahweh, then I want no part of that mythical being's alleged "morality."
That's the danger I'm referring to.[/QUOTE]


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Old 02-10-2009, 04:01 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
The writers of the Constitution were also highly religious people, while you can argue the Constitution is a secular document, you cannot argue that the writers were atheists.
You're wrong. Many, if not most were not "highly" religious. Highly religious people have deluded themselves into thinking this, but even a cursory glance at the biographies, autobiographies and letters of these people reveals a quite different story. In short: you're wrong.

A few were devout, but many were deists. A few were agnostic or atheist. The rest were marginally religious -more of a cultural adherence only.

Quote:
The Declaration of Independence laid out that we all have basic rights given to us by God, and the reason the Constitution exists is due to the Revolutionary War.
What are you suggesting this is evidence of? That religious language common to the 18th century implies that a god actually exists?


Quote:
If Government completely surplants God as what determines whether or not people have rights or not, i.e. they are the highest authority over everything you run the risk of a Totalitarian regime.
That logic doesn't appear to hold. Could you please define "surplant" so I can be sure? I'm not sure if you meant supplant or surpass. I'm not one to needle people on grammar and spelling, but this is a case where a spellchecker is your friend and makes discourse easier.

Regardless, if gods are anthropomorphic creations of humanity, then all governments and societies have established their own moralities regardless of whether or not they invoke superstition. There is no need for superstition in order to be moral -society does a far better job of establishing morals when the common citizen has access to government.

Quote:
While I'll agree having priests running government is about as bad as a Totalitarian Regime, there is problems with the extremes of both sides.
When you allow the superstitions of a religion to determine which morals and laws are to be followed, established or adhered to, you begin the slippery slope of determining which religion and, more specifically, which cult of that religion?

Quote:
The idea is not so much just what government has the ability to do from a physical standpoint, it's also a question of belief in whether or not government has the right to do so.
Government not only has the right, it as the responsibility to do so as long as the common citizen has a voice in government.


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Old 02-11-2009, 05:56 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
If God doesn't exist, and/or we remove God from public life. Who gives us our human rights?
The voting booth. You imaginary friend has nothing to do with it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
Here is the thing in the Declaration of Independence it states that God gives us our rights.
DoI is secular. Get your facts right.

It may say "god" in it, but it also states separation of church and state. Stop forgetting that fact.

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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
If you remove God, then who gives us our rights, the Government?
You and your vote does.

Stop separating people from government. They are the same thing. You are government as much as a senator is. Your vote determines if some people get rights while others don't.

Gay marriage for example.

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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
If government gives us our rights then how can we guarentee government can't take those rights away?
Vote them out of office.

This is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ironic coming from someone who thinks I shouldn't have the right to marry. It just makes you a hypocrite once again.

"God" isn't taking it from me. People with a religious "agenda" take it away.

Technically, yes, you imaginary friend does come into play. But only because the religious believe their friend exists and is telling them to vote that way.

I do not have an imaginary friend, neither do I have yours. So, until you conclusively prove the existence of a god and the proof that your religion is right...

Keep your god out of my politics.

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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
It's an argument I heard about that's quite scary if you look at the left-wing agenda.
Your religious ideals are an agenda as much as the so called "left-wing" agenda.

I always find it amusing that the religious people with an agenda are the first people to call another group on an agenda

Stop being a hypocrite. This country does not work on your misguided fairy tales.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
The writers of the Constitution were also highly religious people, while you can argue the Constitution is a secular document, you cannot argue that the writers were atheists.
They were not. They tried their hardest to get away from a country that was religious controlled. Why in the world would they set up a brand new country in which the religious ruled?

They may have believed in god, but they believed in a secular government. Thus why the papers exist.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:28 PM   #21
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You're wrong. Many, if not most were not "highly" religious. Highly religious people have deluded themselves into thinking this, but even a cursory glance at the biographies, autobiographies and letters of these people reveals a quite different story. In short: you're wrong.

A few were devout, but many were deists. A few were agnostic or atheist. The rest were marginally religious -more of a cultural adherence only.
Unless you met them, which you haven't, or they wrote somewhere that they didn't believe in God, which they probably didn't do that either, quit trying to make it sound like they were atheists when they probably weren't.

If you'd study how kings supposedly had rulership of a country, it was "divine right" and they were rejecting that, saying that it was easy for someone to say that it was something God wanted because they wanted it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinWalker
What are you suggesting this is evidence of? That religious language common to the 18th century implies that a god actually exists?
Actually there is no evidence out there that disproves the existence of God. The point is that if you put government in as the ultimate Sovereign you end up with a toltalitarian regime, because there is in people's mind no higher authority.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinWalker
That logic doesn't appear to hold. Could you please define "surplant" so I can be sure? I'm not sure if you meant supplant or surpass. I'm not one to needle people on grammar and spelling, but this is a case where a spellchecker is your friend and makes discourse easier.
It's more likely to be supplant basically the idea was replace.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinWalker
Regardless, if gods are anthropomorphic creations of humanity, then all governments and societies have established their own moralities regardless of whether or not they invoke superstition. There is no need for superstition in order to be moral -society does a far better job of establishing morals when the common citizen has access to government.
You have 2 problems with that argument. The first is there is the possiblity that God does exist, there is no way to disprove his existence. The second is that power corrupts people and those whom have power wish more power and tend to be afraid of losing power.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinWalker
When you allow the superstitions of a religion to determine which morals and laws are to be followed, established or adhered to, you begin the slippery slope of determining which religion and, more specifically, which cult of that religion?
And I would define atheism as a cult as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinWalker
Government not only has the right, it as the responsibility to do so as long as the common citizen has a voice in government.
But here is the thing, if you don't have a check as to who determines what rights people has, then Government is Sovereign. If you look at Star Wars Episode III, you can see the danger that can sometimes happen, a real life example would be Germany when it put the Nazi party into power.


One trick of a dictatorship is manipulating the vote, such as through intimidation, tampering with ballots, dead people voting etc.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:53 PM   #22
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The point is that if you put government in as the ultimate Sovereign you end up with a toltalitarian regime, because there is in people's mind no higher authority.
Authority which government is granted by the people. If government no longer folows the will of the people it looses its authority.

Quote:
But here is the thing, if you don't have a check as to who determines what rights people has, then Government is Sovereign.
Tell me, how is a god a check? So far all the checks on government power, as far as I'm aware are secular. If the people in power are able to destroy those checks, I don't see how a god is suposed to make a diference.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:58 PM   #23
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Authority which government is granted by the people. If government no longer folows the will of the people it looses its authority.
If that is the case, then how are governments like the one in China, Iran, North Korea, etc. in existence.


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Originally Posted by mur'phon
Tell me, how is a god a check? So far all the checks on government power, as far as I'm aware are secular. If the people in power are able to destroy those checks, I don't see how a god is suposed to make a diference.
The check is more psychological, if you deem God as the ultimate Sovereign, and he gives you certain rights then if government goes to take those rights away for no real reason, people recognize that government has over-reached it's authority.

If people perceive government as the ultimate authority, then people will believe it's okay for Government to do so, because Government is the Sovereign.
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Old 02-11-2009, 01:10 PM   #24
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If that is the case, then how are governments like the one in China, Iran, North Korea, etc. in existence.
And there are countless instances throughout history of very religious governments that were more totalitarian than those you listed. What's your point?

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If people perceive government as the ultimate authority, then people will believe it's okay for Government to do so, because Government is the Sovereign.
Your argument is entirely fallacious and based on nothing more than personal conjecture. I don't believe in a god or gods, I don't believe in any higher powers, and yet I have vehemently opposed things like the Patriot Act and illegal wiretapping and other instances of the government overstepping it's bounds.

So belief in a deity is completely unnecessary to recognize when a government is no longer acting in the best interests of its people.



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Old 02-11-2009, 01:17 PM   #25
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And there are countless instances throughout history of very religious governments that were more totalitarian than those you listed. What's your point?
Yes, people have used religion as a justification for totalitarian regimes, particularly Iran, but China on the flipside discourages religion.

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Originally Posted by ET Warrior
Your argument is entirely fallacious and based on nothing more than personal conjecture. I don't believe in a god or gods, I don't believe in any higher powers, and yet I have vehemently opposed things like the Patriot Act and illegal wiretapping and other instances of the government overstepping it's bounds.
Isn't the wiretapping accusation the same one that there is no evidence and some of the accusers ended up having to apologize? Seriously, there is more evidence to prove God's existence that you don't believe in, than there is evidence of them illegally wiretapping US citizens in the United States.


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So belief in a deity is completely unnecessary to recognize when a government is no longer acting in the best interests of its people.
For some people it might, otherwise why is the government of China and North Korea still in existence. Seriously, survival of the fittest, the strong dominate the weak.
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Old 02-11-2009, 02:45 PM   #26
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Seriously, there is more evidence to prove God's existence that you don't believe in, than there is evidence of them illegally wiretapping US citizens in the United States.
Oh, come on.

I propose that a new thread discussing the dangers of legislating from the pulpit be started.


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Old 02-11-2009, 03:09 PM   #27
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Your religious ideals are an agenda as much as the so called "left-wing" agenda.

I always find it amusing that the religious people with an agenda are the first people to call another group on an agenda

Stop being a hypocrite. This country does not work on your misguided fairy tales.

.

I'm going to have to say that I strongly disagree with you. Now, while this country does have separation of Church and State, it is not nearly as recognized as it should be. So, yes this country has and does work on misguided fairy tales(Prop 8, Stem Cells). I don't believe that it is right, it is just the way some things have come to be. And it seems that until people can recognize when to separate their own personal beliefs and its effects others, then things won't be changing very soon. A large number of the United States population is unfortunately hypocritical.

Many are very quick to shout out that the founding fathers where religious, while they also seem to conveniently forget the separation of Church and State.




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Old 02-11-2009, 04:47 PM   #28
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Isn't the wiretapping accusation the same one that there is no evidence and some of the accusers ended up having to apologize? Seriously, there is more evidence to prove God's existence that you don't believe in, than there is evidence of them illegally wiretapping US citizens in the United States.
Oh please.

There is no proof of the existence of god. Don't try to pull that on us.

And yes, there is proof of wiretapping.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,170940,00.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,37203,00.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,179215,00.html

"Parts of the Patriot Act, including a section on "roving wiretaps," expire in December. Such wiretaps allow the FBI to get permission from a secret federal court to listen in on any phone line or monitor any Internet account that a terrorism suspect may be using, whether or not others who are not suspects also regularly use it."

Your turn. Give me conclusive proof of the existence of a god, as you've just admitted that there is such proof.

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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
Unless you met them, which you haven't, or they wrote somewhere that they didn't believe in God, which they probably didn't do that either, quit trying to make it sound like they were atheists when they probably weren't.
Have you met them?

You haven't

Stop projecting your beleifs onto people you've never met before. Take a leaf out of your own argument and stop being a blatant hypocrite.

Separation of church and state proves your argument false.

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Actually there is no evidence out there that disproves the existence of God. The point is that if you put government in as the ultimate Sovereign you end up with a toltalitarian regime, because there is in people's mind no higher authority.
So, god isn't a dictator at all then?

You are trading one dictator for another. Except now, one is real and the other is an imaginary friend.

And because there is nothing that disproves to mean it exists?

There is an invisible pink unicorn standing right behind you Garfield. Prove me wrong. You can't? Then it must exist by your logic.

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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
And I would define atheism as a cult as well.
Then re-read the definition of atheism before you make such a blatantly ignorant statement.


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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
One trick of a dictatorship is manipulating the vote, such as through intimidation, tampering with ballots, dead people voting etc.
Like manipulating it by bringing religion into politics?

You are pushing your religious agenda as much as any government is. Stop being a hypocrite and making yourself the exception.

You are trying to force your beliefs on people as much as the "government" is.

Also, nice dodges on ignoring my posts.

Last edited by True_Avery; 02-11-2009 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:49 PM   #29
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Unless you met them, which you haven't, or they wrote somewhere that they didn't believe in God, which they probably didn't do that either, quit trying to make it sound like they were atheists when they probably weren't.
I'm only citing their writings. If you want direct citations, I'm happy to provide them. I just have one question: how many citations would be necessary for you to revise your opinion and agree that, in general, the Founding Fathers were not "highly religious" as you so fallaciously assert? I ask only that to prevent the goal post from constantly moving on me.

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Actually there is no evidence out there that disproves the existence of God.
Why would this even be necessary? There is no evidence to disprove the purple dragon in my garage or the celestial teapot orbiting the other side of the sun, yet I doubt you'd consider either has good reason for belief. By your flawed (very, very flawed) logic, you must, therefore believe in my dragon and the teapot simply because I claim them true.

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The point is that if you put government in as the ultimate Sovereign you end up with a toltalitarian regime, because there is in people's mind no higher authority.
Again, your logic is flawed to the point of being undereducated. I would recommend picking up a first year college textbook (any good public library will have one) on U.S. Government and perhaps you'd understand that government in the United States isn't given "ultimate" control and that it answers to the people.

Then I might suggest you also recommend a world history book (again, the library can be your friend) where you'll notice that nations in which the religious had significant influence nearly always resulted in instability and, often, utter failure. Therefore, the rights and morality provided by religion are flawed.

You might also care to look at World Health Organization data which correlate modern religious nations and states to violence and moral depravity. Secular nations are correlated to moral success and decreased violence (I have the citations to these findings and summaries of their figures if you would like them). Therefore, religious moral standards are ineffective. Therefore, religion is unsuccessful or, in many cases, a failure in establishing or providing moral guidelines or standards for society.


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You have 2 problems with that argument. The first is there is the possiblity that God does exist, there is no way to disprove his existence.
I have no burden of proof. If you're making the supernatural and superstitious claim, then the burden of proof is on you. Your first "problem" is refuted. QED.

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The second is that power corrupts people and those whom have power wish more power and tend to be afraid of losing power.
Historically, this has afflicted religious leaders and the superstitious more significantly than those with secular leanings. In addition, I've already pointed out that the success in our great nation is a result of the secular intent of our (mostly) secular Founding Fathers. They created the framework for a nation that exists with checks and balances that answer to the people -This is what provides our nation with success. Not religious superstition.

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And I would define atheism as a cult as well.
Then clearly you're ignorant. I'm sorry, and I realize that your first inclination is to accept that statement as an ad hominem attack only, but it is, in fact, very descriptive. For, the only alternative is that you're being willfully obstinate in the face of logic and reason. Atheism as a philosophy is merely the absence of a belief in gods. As a physical state, it is existing in the absence of gods. I hold an atheistic philosophy, necessarily, out of logical and reasoned thought, but I contend that you and I are both atheists in that we both exist in the absence of any god. I acknowledge the unlikelihood of a god (no Zeus, no Ptah, no Atun-Ra, no Quetzacoatl, no Yahweh...); you, however, superstitiously and irrationally hold to the belief of a single god that has not a single good reason to be believed. At least I acknowledge my atheism. You're just in denial.

But the "cult" accusation isn't new. I'm well acquainted with it. It usually gets invoked when a theist is faced with the grim reality of the irrationality of his/her position -that defending his/her superstition from rational arguments is futile. It then becomes easier to acknowledge the irrationality of belonging to a religion or a cult within a religion and to, thus, accuse the atheist of belonging to the "religion of atheism" or the "cult" of atheism."

Yet, the description doesn't hold beyond some minor tropic or metaphorical devices which can be applied to baseball and concert goers. This is because there is a distinct lack of one element present in the superstitious adherence to religious cult doctrines: the perceived appeasement of a supernatural deity.

Quote:
But here is the thing, if you don't have a check as to who determines what rights people has, then Government is Sovereign.
It is a good thing, then, that our Secular Founders established a system of checks and balances. See the Government textbook above.

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If you look at Star Wars Episode III, you can see the danger that can sometimes happen, a real life example would be Germany when it put the Nazi party into power.
Look, I like Star Wars. Its why I'm here. But I'm not going to start drawing analogies of SW to real life in a serious discussion. I would also point out that Germany's Nazi party was success was due largely to the fact that they were able to take advantage of the superstitions of religious followers. Have you ever seen a Nazi or SS belt buckle worn on the dress uniform? The face reads "Gott Mit Uns." Therefore, religion and ideology are the dangers -not secularism. There is no evidence that Secular Thought is a danger and considerable evidence to the contrary.

Quote:
One trick of a dictatorship is manipulating the vote, such as through intimidation, tampering with ballots, dead people voting etc.
How is this impossible or even less likely within a society that embraces religious superstition (hint: look at the religious nations of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Indonesia -compare and contrast with secular nations like Norway, Denmark and Japan)?

In short, you've made a very good case of why religious thought and superstition should be battled at every turn in a nation founded on secular ideals like the United States. It has renewed my interest in defending our nation from the superstitious and those that would impose their particular brand of 'god' on the rest of us.

For that I thank you.


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Old 02-12-2009, 12:05 AM   #30
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For some people it might, otherwise why is the government of China and North Korea still in existence. Seriously, survival of the fittest, the strong dominate the weak.
The Republic of China and the DPRK exist because of a series of events which had a lot to do with guns and armies and very little if any to do with religion or the lack thereof.

Lots of people love to bring up the atheist Communists when faced with the brutality of their religions, but what they consistently fail at is providing some sort of causation - ie. demonstrate how Stalin's brutality was caused by his atheism, more than, say, his white skin, mustache or tendency to write with his right hand.

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Old 02-25-2009, 08:24 AM   #31
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A friend of mine suggested that I read Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man and get back with him when dealing with this subject. May I suggest the same thing?

Before accusing Mr. Paine of liberal bias, again may I suggest looking at his Biography?

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