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Author Topic: Atheism: A religion?  (Read 15666 times)
Koimichra
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« Reply #75: January 13, 2009, 05:59:49 pm »

middle schooler, remember -- very socially difficult time

Oh, yeah, that's awkward. For some reason I keep deciding she's a high schooler every time I read the post. Cheesy
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« Reply #76: January 13, 2009, 06:00:59 pm »

What do you mean by "beliefs" though?

A religion is often defined as: a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny. Atheism, as far as I have seen lacks any belief is the supernatural and/or anything beyond themselves that controls human destiny. Therefore I do consider it to be a religion.
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« Reply #77: January 13, 2009, 06:04:53 pm »

A religion is often defined as: a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny. Atheism, as far as I have seen lacks any belief is the supernatural and/or anything beyond themselves that controls human destiny. Therefore I do consider it to be a religion.

Did you mean that you *don't* consider it to be a religion?  That's how I was reading your post, but I wanted to check.
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« Reply #78: January 13, 2009, 07:23:32 pm »

Did you mean that you *don't* consider it to be a religion?  That's how I was reading your post, but I wanted to check.

Yeah, I mean don't. That's what I get for typing to fast and proof reading what I wrote,
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« Reply #79: January 13, 2009, 07:46:31 pm »

I have trouble finding a sound intellectual basis for a State not to implement a racist policy that is clearly wanted by most of its citizens given that the citizens are well informed and are cognisant of the consequential impacts of the policy. I want there to be a reason, but I'm having a lot of trouble finding one that isn't just pandering to my biases.

how about tyranny of the majority is evil, just as tyranny of the minority is evil.

Not to mention the fact that definition of "citizen" can make the entire question VERY ugly.
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« Reply #80: January 13, 2009, 08:47:40 pm »

I want there to be a reason, but I'm having a lot of trouble finding one that isn't just pandering to my biases.

I know that feeling! Although in this case, I tend to lean towards thinking that it is justifiable for the state to resist a majoritarian demand. Assuming that the state is legitimated and empowered by the people (and sometimes I wonder whether that's just a bias too), then...

1. What exactly is the ontological difference between the belief that the state is empowered by the people, and the belief that people have fundamental rights? I don't believe that fundamental rights really do have some strange existence floating around somewhere, but then neither do I think the idea of the state deriving legitimacy and power from the people has any realer existence. Especially given that in practice, not everyone votes and the UK, for example, doesn't even have proportional representation, so that the government is in fact endorsed only by a minority of the total population. It seems perfectly consistent to posit both ideas as the foundations of the modern state, rather than just one.

Alternatively...

2. As you said, the state is empowered through a social contract with the citizenry. I tend to agree, and I see the basis of that contract as being reciprocity: citizens give up some autonomy in return for the protection and caretaking of the state. Unless for some reason you want to limit reciprocity solely to the relationship between citizen and state, you could say that it also governs relationships between citizens. Thus the entire nation is bound by a reciprocal ethic, interpretable as the Golden Rule and Silver Rule in ethics. So the majority would be acting wrongly in attempting to unfairly prejudice the interests of minorities.

Well, maybe.  Grin

P.S. Will come back to your other, longer post another time; stuck studying for exams in a few days. Gah.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #81: January 13, 2009, 10:16:07 pm »

how about tyranny of the majority is evil, just as tyranny of the minority is evil.

Not to mention the fact that definition of "citizen" can make the entire question VERY ugly.

I don't believe in evil. It's not a word that has a practical definition for me.
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« Reply #82: January 14, 2009, 07:27:39 am »

I don't believe in evil. It's not a word that has a practical definition for me.

how about wrong?  Ugly?  Misguided?

Tyranny is tyranny.  And citizen is a loaded word.  when the States was founded, citizen meant white, landholding male.  And they were all about not expanding that definition.  (or at least that was a voting citizen, which is all that matters for running a government).

I feel like you're taking refuge in semantics while ignoring my point.
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« Reply #83: January 17, 2009, 02:03:29 am »

how about wrong?  Ugly?  Misguided?

Tyranny is tyranny.  And citizen is a loaded word.  when the States was founded, citizen meant white, landholding male.  And they were all about not expanding that definition.  (or at least that was a voting citizen, which is all that matters for running a government).

I feel like you're taking refuge in semantics while ignoring my point.

Sorry it's taken a while to respond. I've been a bit busy with meat life Smiley I'm sorry that you felt I was ignoring your point. That was really not my intention. I'll have another go at in the morning (having reviewed the last couple of posts in question).
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« Reply #84: January 17, 2009, 07:52:42 am »


Babbling now, so I'll stop. Hope it helps/clarifies/is worth the read Smiley


Just finished exams, yay! Shouldn't have delayed reading your post actually, it practically counts as revision for constitutional law.  Tongue

Broadly I agree with you, except for the points I made in my previous post in trying to reconcile state legitimacy with human rights. Two things in your post struck me though:

Quote
I believe that if the State identifies that having 'congregations' within the community is an effective way of building the community that that citizenry has relinquished its 'right' to self-determination in order to achieve, then it should have policy and funding programs that reduce the barriers to citizens forming 'congregations' and should promote the benefits to the individual and the community of citizens choosing to participate in the congregation of their choice.

So congregations, i.e. groups of any sort that aid the government in building a desirable ethico-moral framework are to be encouraged. Fair enough, but what about individuals who may have even better ethico-moral frameworks than these groups? If members of groups get, to use one of your examples, time off to attend some group event, what about those individuals who have even worthier moral standards but don't belong to any such group? There seems to be the underlying assumption that groups are better than individuals in some sense.


Quote
Finally, on the rationalist front, my point is that not all people are rationalists. When, as rationalists, we say that the state should be set up along rationalist lines, we are stating an inherantly biased position. Of course we think that; however, I am not so arrogant in my rationalism as to discount other ways of prioritising and valuing things in the group endeavours that I participate in (such as society).

Understood, but I disagree. I'm assuming you mean rationalism as in reason being the source of justification and guidance for government endeavours. The state is legitimated by all citizens rather than some, so it should seek to wherever possible, please as many citizens as possible. Rationalism should thus be its ordering principle, because reason is comparatively objective compared to other methods of ordering society, and being objective it's a neutral meeting point for all citizens.
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