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Passions in Poetry

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Toad
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50 posted 09-30-2003 02:23 PM       View Profile for Toad   Email Toad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toad


quote:
As far as separation of Church and State goes, Britain has an official religion. It doesn't seem to bother them all that much.


Brad,

You can use Britain as an argument for an American movement in the opposite direction.

Especially when you realise that having an official religion in Britain only works largely due to the paradoxical fact that the majority of British people aren’t religious .

hush
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51 posted 10-01-2003 01:14 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Denise-

I'll make a concession. My wording was poor- the option is not compromised.

However... there is an assumption with the word God that really bugs me... that it encompasses all faiths. Not all gods are called "God." What about the Buddha? What about godesses? What about gods?

Would you accept "in Gods we trust" as a substitution on our money?

The point, beyond that, is that not all people believe in any deity... therefore, our government expressing that sentiment misrepresents a portion of the population, and also, in my opinion, violates the principle of separation of church and state.

'The majority in our nation do believe in the existence of God. If it is their will to express that belief in God, and it does not violate the Constitution, which it does not, no matter how tortured the interpretation, on what basis does the minority justify the imposition of their will on the overwhelming majority?'

Yeah, they can express their faith. They can go to church, wear crosses, pray in public (provided that it isn't government=sposored prayer) and basically do whatever they want... just as people who believe differently are free to worship differently, and just as those who don't believe at all are free to not worship at all.  

But our government shouldn't be free to do any of that, for any religion or faith, no matter how generic, because there is a constitutional separation there.

It's fine that people who aren't Christian are in the minority... demographically, that's pretty hard to avoid. But for our government to misrepresent those who don't believe in God, as such, shouldn't be tolerated.
Stephanos
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52 posted 10-01-2003 05:50 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Denise: "Well now that would be a violation of the Constitution, wouldn't it. Not to mention the fact that you'd be leaving out an awful lot of people in establishing Christianity as the official religion. Belief in the existence of God is not peculiar to Christianity."


But Denise, belief in the existence of a transcendent God is peculiar to only three of the major world religions ... Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  Humanism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Animism, Neo-paganism, Wicca, and countless others do not believe in a personal God at all, they are naturalistic religions.  All of these would object to the phrase "In God we trust".  Hush made a good point, but the phrase "In gods we trust" is perfectly meaningless, especially if "gods" is just a catch-all for the mass of mutually exclusive religious claims that exist.

A good question should be, should government strive to accurately reflect God's truth, or only exist to serve humanistic plurality?  If you choose the former, then the problem is with all those who disagree.  If you choose the latter, the problem is with ultimately no universals upon which to build society ... no moral restraints to check our excesses and tyrannical tendencies, no common goals, just the contant flux of our own (often degenerate) ideas, upon which to base the policies that govern millions.  But we've seen that any attempts at theocracy has led to the same thing... tyranny and error.  That's why the Christian ultimately believes that the Kingdom of God will not come through Government, but through cataclysmic eschatological events as described in the prophecies of scripture.  Christ will return, and until then we can only do our best to be salt and light ... working from the inside out, not necessarily from the top down, in the polictical sphere.  We should use charisma and influence that is more of a spiritual nature, than just power, money, and political maneuvering.  


Hush: "But our government shouldn't be free to do any of that, for any religion or faith, no matter how generic, because there is a constitutional separation there."


But this gets a bit sticky doesn't it? ...  This means that those who are government officials who make decisions cannot do so on the basis of their own worldview, if it is not naturalistic.  Any attempt to curb something or promote something based upon absolute moral principles for example, is targeted as "religiously biased".  What this does is shuts out relgious influence from the big decisions about public policy ... making faith a "personal" matter only ... innocuous, sterile, and caged in stain glassed buildings and bedrooms.  All that is left are those who base decisions upon arbitrary ideas and agendas of the moment.  You see, it's not that we reject Gods, we've just narrowed it down to the human gods.  I honestly believe that getting off of the Biblical base, in the making of public decisions, will lead us to ruin, from the inside out, just like Rome crumbled.  So what some call the "Separation of Church and State" actually ends up as State control.  Religion is forced to keep it's ideas out of public life (mainly through the courts) ... where the influence of ideas is really felt.  Seeing that our Forefathers hated the Tyranny of Big Government, I don't think they intended Government to oust the Church from public life.  Yeah there are a lot bad relgious ideas and methods out there, but history shows that when the true prophets are rejected, bad results are coming.

Stephen.          

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (10-01-2003 05:53 PM).]

Ron
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53 posted 10-01-2003 11:09 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
... the problem is with ultimately no universals upon which to build society


Right, Stephen. And non-Christians have absolutely no valid reason to avoid hitting those little kids walking along the road, either.
Denise
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54 posted 10-01-2003 11:57 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Hush:
quote:
However... there is an assumption with the word God that really bugs me... that it encompasses all faiths. Not all gods are called "God." What about the Buddha? What about godesses? What about gods?

The point is that the majority of the majority in this country who do believe in a higher power than themselves believe in one God. Majority is the operative word that establishes the inevitable status quo.
quote:
Would you accept "in Gods we trust" as a substitution on our money?

For all practical intents and purposes it wouldn’t bother me if our money declared  “In Bozo the Clown We Trust”. What it says or doesn’t say is a non-issue to me. The issue to me is the corruption and attempted corruption of Constitutional guarantees by the minority to impose their will on the majority.
quote:
But our government shouldn't be free to do any of that, for any religion or faith, no matter how generic, because there is a constitutional separation there.


Here’s the 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.

There’s nothing here that speaks to separation of church and state other than that Congress can make no law regarding an establishment of religion, i.e, they are forbidden to legislatively address the issue. That is the extent of the "separation" issue granted to them by the states. It is a guarantee of freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. What's more, limiting religious expression to non-government/public venues is abridging free speech. That justices and career political opportunists have adulterated the Constitution in this and in other matters to advance their own agenda does not change the original intent of the document.

The context of Thomas Jefferson’s words ‘separation of church and state’ were found in a letter to the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut, in 1804, who had solicited his aid, through Congress, to ‘disestablish’ the Congregationalists as the official church of the State of Connecticut. He told them that the First Amendment forbade the State (Federal Government/Congress) from interfering in making any laws regarding such matters and could also not overstep its Constitutional bounds by interfering in a sovereign state issue. (The individual states were truly sovereign prior to Abraham Lincoln and a few did have official state religions established, which was exclusively a matter of the individual state legislatures. The federal government had no authority in the matter.)
quote:
pray in public (provided that it isn't government=sponsored prayer)


The framers didn’t see this as a violation as they prayed in and even sponsored religious services in their government buildings all the time, perhaps a clue as to the actual intent of the actual words that were put to paper.


quote:
It's fine that people who aren't Christian are in the minority... demographically, that's pretty hard to avoid. But for our government to misrepresent those who don't believe in God, as such, shouldn't be tolerated.


Again you frame this as a non-Christian/Christian issue. It's not. It is a freedom of religion issue. People are free to believe whatever they want to believe and to express those beliefs, including atheists. The fact that the majority believe in God and have had those sentiments expressed in the Declaration of Independence, National Anthem, etc., is just the inevitable outcome of the freedom of expression of the belief of the majority, nothing more, nothing less.

That you would advocate intolerance toward the outworkings of the expression of Constitutionally protected rights of fellow citizens is troubling to me.

Stephen:
quote:
But Denise, belief in the existence of a transcendent God is peculiar to only three of the major world religions ... Judaism, Christianity and Islam.


Yes, that's true. It's also still true that, combined, they represent the religious majority in this country.

quote:
A good question should be, should government strive to accurately reflect God's truth, or only exist to serve humanistic plurality?


I don't think that it is the mandate of any government to attempt to reflect God's truth, nor to serve humanistic plurality. The best that any government can do to facilitate God's will is to allow religious freedom. I believe that it is the responsibility of individuals to do that in their personal lives and professional lives, be it in government service or private enterprise.
quote:
But this gets a bit sticky doesn't it? ...  This means that those who are government officials who make decisions cannot do so on the basis of their own worldview, if it is not naturalistic.  Any attempt to curb something or promote something based upon absolute moral principles for example, is targeted as "religiously biased".  What this does is shuts out relgious influence from the big decisions about public policy ... making faith a "personal" matter only ... innocuous, sterile, and caged in stain glassed buildings and bedrooms.  All that is left are those who base decisions upon arbitrary ideas and agendas of the moment.


And this is exactly what we see going on today. Under the guise of the fallacy of the 'separation of church and state' issue, there are some who are advancing that very agenda. They don't believe in absolutes of any kind, whether it be truth or morality, and hope to render powerless those who do by misinterpretation and misapplication of the Constitution, stating that it is Constitutional and thereby mandatory to separate God (and morality and religious values of any kind) from public affairs, thereby having free reign to advance agendas that are grounded only in what will serve their own political aims. They don't want a fair debate in the market place of ideas. They want to tie their opponents hands through a manufactured advantage. That's why we now hear that the Constitution is a "living" document, and that "we have to breathe life into it" subjecting its interpretation to ever changing standards dependent on the current political whim.

They would never have gained this foothold if the Constitution had been adhered to.
Brad
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55 posted 10-02-2003 12:48 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
This means that those who are government officials who make decisions cannot do so on the basis of their own worldview, if it is not naturalistic.


Well, yeah. Inspiration can come from whatever you want, the Bible, prayer, the inside of a fortune cookie, but the evaluation has to be naturalistic.

God told me to, just isn't much of a justification.

Denise,

Um, you mean religion has never been used for something so sinister as advancing your political agenda?

Other than that, I don't have a problem with "In Bozo we trust", the ten commandments, or the Gnomon codex on government grounds.

Everybody should read "The Masters of Atlantis" by Charles Portis. Definitely one of the funniest books I've read in a long time.

  
Ron
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56 posted 10-02-2003 01:37 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
The issue to me is the corruption and attempted corruption of Constitutional guarantees by the minority to impose their will on the majority.

You mean like they did with civil rights?


hush
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57 posted 10-02-2003 12:15 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Stephen-

You made a good point, but Brad basically said what I was going to. Religion and political ideaology aren't mutually exculsive- in the sense that because something's in the Bible doesn't mean it can't be in our society's laws as well. "Thou shalt not kill" makes sense any way you cut it... but I think someone made the point earlier... how do you legislate "Honor thy father and mother?" It's not something universally accepted to the point that we, as a nation, feel compelled to make it a law.

Denise-

'The point is that the majority of the majority in this country who do believe in a higher power than themselves believe in one God. Majority is the operative word that establishes the inevitable status quo.'

Yes, that's true. That's fine... it really doesn't upset me that the Christian churches in my city outnumber all other alternative churches... where there is a demand, there will be a supply. That's great! But our government is of the people, for the people, and by the people, right?

Does this mean all people, or just the majority? Does my government speak for me? If my government does, then I think I have the right to protest our pledge, our money, and other expressions of a decidedly Judeo-Christian belief if it doesn't accurately represent me.

And if the government doesn't speak for me, if it decides that the majority is enough to represent in all the aforementioned examples, then something's not right.

'For all practical intents and purposes it wouldn’t bother me if our money declared  “In Bozo the Clown We Trust”. What it says or doesn’t say is a non-issue to me. The issue to me is the corruption and attempted corruption of Constitutional guarantees by the minority to impose their will on the majority.'

If money could say "In Bozo we trust" for all you care... then why have God in there, period? Why the slogan, if it doesn't hold some signifigance? Does taking the slogan away remove your right to believe in God? What harm would it do? What right is the minority trying to take away? Is the right the minority wants to take away a right the majority, or, in this case, the government, should have?

'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion'

I don't know... putting a profession of faith to God on our legal tender sounds awfully darn close to that to me...

'What's more, limiting religious expression to non-government/public venues is abridging free speech.'

Who said that politicians can't express that they believe in God? Or that plaintiffs and defendents in the courthouse can't believe in God? That they can't express that belief? There's a difference between personal and official expression.

'The framers didn’t see this as a violation as they prayed in and even sponsored religious services in their government buildings all the time, perhaps a clue as to the actual intent of the actual words that were put to paper.'

Yeah, and the framers owned slaves. I don't know about you, but I don't want to regress to a time when the framer's literal intent is law... because you know what? In that world, you and I don't even have a say... I guess we should just let our menfolks decide for us while we keep house and tend babies, huh?

'That you would advocate intolerance toward the outworkings of the expression of Constitutionally protected rights of fellow citizens is troubling to me.'  

I don't really understand how you get this... I never said we should get rid of anything protecting the right of any religious person to practice, worship, or even to go door to door and hand out little fliers and preach to the masses on the street. All I said is I don't want my government sponsoring any one interpretation of a higher power... especially the loaded term of "God."
Denise
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58 posted 10-02-2003 09:43 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Brad,

There’s nothing sinister about a person’s beliefs informing their political agenda. What is sinister is the attempt to gain an agenda unlawfully by violating, ignoring or usurping the rule of law, which some have done in the past and some continue to do. That's what we have to be vigilant about.

Ron,

I’m not sure what you mean. Could you elaborate?

Hush,

Our form of government is not a democracy run by the will of the majority. In democracies there is always the danger of mob rule by the majority at one end of the spectrum and tyranny by the minority at the other. That’s why we have a representative republic based on the rule of law. Our Constitution is that law. It is the bedrock of the form of government that we have. It is sacrosanct and we must exercise utmost diligence in interpreting it in its purity and not play fast and loose with its interpretation. There are basic, standard rules that apply to the interpretation of anything, and this is no different.

There will always be a majority view and a minority view about issues. Regardless of one’s particular view about any issue, citizens are all equally represented by the government. The government doesn’t represent us in respect to particular issues, per se. The government represents us by giving us equal protections under the law, by giving all of us the same benefits of our representative form of government. We elect the people who will speak for us in the House. If we want to see change, we can let our voices be heard through those representatives to effectuate the change that we want to see.

My reference to majority/minority was in relation to your citing a status quo, not in relation to our form of government.  Every society has multiple issues, each producing its own status quo. The minority has no more right to impose its will on the majority than the majority has to impose its will on the minority. No one group has the right to demand that their view be held above the rule of law, but all views have to be filtered through the law. There is no reason or room for a demanding and intolerant stance when we have a system that we can work through to address our concerns.  And all of us could point to something that we don’t agree with, that we think should be different, and at any given time we are all outside the status quo regarding some issue; we’re the majority in some issues, the minority in others. That doesn’t give us the right to demand anything.

No, taking God off our currency or out of our Pledge does not deprive me of my right to believe. The harm in the minority taking it away is simply that they don’t have the Constitutional right to take it away. That’s the issue, not whether God is referenced or not.

This is the statement where you advocated intolerance because you feel misrepresented, to which I was referring:

quote:
But for our government to misrepresent those who don't believe in God, as such, shouldn't be tolerated.


Can you see now, based on our form of government, that you aren't being misrepresented, that regardless of differing views, we are all represented equally, and the extreme importance of careful interpretation of the Constitution? It is the only safeguard that we have that ensures the protection of any of our rights.
Brad
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59 posted 10-03-2003 11:16 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
nothing sinister about a person’s beliefs informing their political agenda. What is sinister is the attempt to gain an agenda unlawfully by violating, ignoring or usurping the rule of law, which some have done in the past and some continue to do. That's what we have to be vigilant about.


Wish I could understand this a bit better.

quote:
Ron,

I’m not sure what you mean. Could you elaborate?


You see, Ron's point makes sense to me. I don't really get what you're saying here (except the fact that the majority should controll things. I agree with that. I don't understand anything else you've said but that makes sense.)

quote:

Hush,

Our form of government is not a democracy run by the will of the majority. In democracies there is always the danger of mob rule by the majority at one end of the spectrum and tyranny by the minority at the other. That’s why we have a representative republic based on the rule of law. Our Constitution is that law. It is the bedrock of the form of government that we have. It is sacrosanct and we must exercise utmost diligence in interpreting it in its purity and not play fast and loose with its interpretation.


I really wish I understood this better. What does 'purity' or 'sancrosanct' have to do with living our lives? Are you saying that there is a final way to interpret? Gee, you've neglected to state the rules.


quote:
There are basic, standard rules that apply to the interpretation of anything, and this is no different.


Really? I wish I knew what they were. I was an English major, you know. I have studied the Critical Studies Movement. Why is it they don't or haven't told me these rules? Could it be that you, not others, have made a decision?

quote:
There will always be a majority view and a minority view about issues. Regardless of one’s particular view about any issue, citizens are all equally represented by the government. The government doesn’t represent us in respect to particular issues, per se



I just don't understand this point. Does it mean anything at all?


quote:
The government represents us by giving us equal protections under the law, by giving all of us the same benefits of our representative form of government. We elect the people who will speak for us in the House. If we want to see change, we can let our voices be heard through those representatives to effectuate the change that we want to see.


So, our whole form of protest is the vote? Lost again, sorry.

quote:
  
My reference to majority/minority was in relation to your citing a status quo, not in relation to our form of government.  Every society has multiple issues, each producing its own status quo. The minority has no more right to impose its will on the majority than the majority has to impose its will on the minority. No one group has the right to demand that their view be held above the rule of law, but all views have to be filtered through the law. There is no reason or room for a demanding and intolerant stance when we have a system that we can work through to address our concerns.  And all of us could point to something that we don’t agree with, that we think should be different, and at any given time we are all outside the status quo regarding some issue; we’re the majority in some issues, the minority in others. That doesn’t give us the right to demand anything.


Um, can someone tell me what this means?

quote:
No, taking God off our currency or out of our Pledge does not deprive me of my right to believe. The harm in the minority taking it away is simply that they don’t have the Constitutional right to take it away. That’s the issue, not whether God is referenced or not.


Um, what constitutional right are we talking about? For the record, I don't care if it's there or not.

quote:
This is the statement where you advocated intolerance because you feel misrepresented, to which I was referring:


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
But for our government to misrepresent those who don't believe in God, as such, shouldn't be tolerated.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Can you see now, based on our form of government, that you aren't being misrepresented, that regardless of differing views, we are all represented equally, and the extreme importance of careful interpretation of the Constitution? It is the only safeguard that we have that ensures the protection of any of our rights.


Well, I've never felt represented in my life. I make my life better or I don't. My wife feels the same way. Personally, it's not much better than anything else out there. Geez, given that attitude, you'd think I'm conservative.
Denise
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60 posted 10-03-2003 04:34 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

There I go being obtuse again!
Denise
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61 posted 10-04-2003 09:33 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Ron,

The light bulb just went on (sometimes it takes awhile). I stand corrected on that point.

Brad and Hush,

I'll try to clarify my thoughts a bit.

The Constitution is the foundation of our form of government. In that regard, it should be held sacrosanct, because without that foundation being considered inviolable, what security to our rights do we have? That does impact our lives because it safeguards our liberties.

Some basic rules for interpretation for anything would be the meaning of the written words, the context within which the words are found, the historical setting of the writing that may impact the meaning of any given word and lend a more pure or concise interpretation of it, and, of course, the intention of the writer, and any extraneous writings that can give us insight regarding the writer's intent. Is there another way to interpret something? If so, let's discuss it. I'm always open to learning something new and considering other viewpoints, I just haven't heard any yet regarding proper interpretation.

The framers did have blind spots in some areas, true, but they were also wise enough to develop a form of government that allowed for corrective measures in the form of Amendments. It is that very system that allowed us, as a society, to make the necessary corrections concerning civil rights. I don't think it's a valid point, therefore, to disallow intention of the writer in interpretation regarding the clearly defined points.

I also believe that a faulty interpretation by the judiciary of the First Amendment 'establishment' clause has led to the controversy that we have today, and does violence to the 'freedom of exercise' clause and the 'freedom of speech' clause, and some abuses of these rights can be found in recent incidences where children have been forbidden to say grace before lunch because they are in a public school cafeteria (and in one incident, the parents were reported to Child Protective Services for not forbidding their child in the continuation of such behavior), and a worker fired for wearing a cross necklace at her job in a public library who had to hire a lawyer to get her job back. It's absolutely insane. Freedom of exercise and freedom of speech don't truly exist if they are restricted in these ways.

No, our voice is not limited strictly to our vote. We all have the right of dissent and the right to make our grievances known, and we all have the right of due process.

No, I don't believe in majority rule.  Neither did most of the framers. They had first hand experience with that form of government, knew the pitfalls of it, and believed that a representative republic was the better way to go.

In our form of government, it doesn't matter if one is in the majority on an issue or in the minority, we are still all represented, in the sense that we all have a voice and can make our views known, and can avail ourselves of due process. We aren't 'misrepresented' because we hold a minority view on an issue any more than we can say that the President of the United States is not 'our' President because we don't agree with his policies.

Have I cleared things up a bit, or just added to the confusion?


Denise
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62 posted 10-04-2003 12:50 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Ron, rereading your statement again, I guess I'm still not sure of the point you were attempting to make. You'll have to help me out here, I guess.

It's not right for either side, the minority or the majority to force their will through corruption of the Constitution.
Brad
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63 posted 11-02-2003 05:13 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

It does indeed matter. Consider the Patriot Act. If you're going to use the constitution, no longer pretend you are scared.
Local Rebel
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64 posted 11-02-2003 01:18 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

two thoughts;

"To justify Christian morality because it provides a foundation of morality, instead of showing the necessity of Christian morality from the truth of Christianity, is a very dangerous inversion."
-- T.S. Eliot

"Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"
Denise
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65 posted 11-03-2003 03:42 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

You've lost me, Brad. Would you mind elaborating?

L.R., I don't personally agree with Emerson's viewpoint, and regarding T.S. Eliot's comment, who, if anyone, is doing that?

Stephanos
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66 posted 11-04-2003 01:12 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Stephen: "This means that those who are government officials who make decisions cannot do so on the basis of their own worldview, if it is not naturalistic."

Brad: "Well, yeah. Inspiration can come from whatever you want, the Bible, prayer, the inside of a fortune cookie, but the evaluation has to be naturalistic. God told me to, just isn't much of a justification."


It's just that saying "the evaluation has to be naturalistic" is merely a naturalistic axiom.  It's another way of establishing the precommitments of naturalism, in the imperative "has to be".  

Christians often believe that there are good reasons to follow, and good results to follow from, obedience to Biblical principles.  And it's certainly not wrong to implement policies based upon good research, and down-to-earth results.  But it's not always wrong to take something as authoritative either ... not only from God, but from the wisdom of former societies.  The idea that there can be no supernatural from which higher wisdom may flow is a precommitment of naturalist philosophy.  It is not somehow "neutral" as some would want us to think.  It is also accepting something tacitly ... that there is no realm from which anything universal can be percieved.  


The problem is, when this "naturalistic" standard of evaluation is in reality applied, it can often lead to elitism, where the few force their opinions on the many.  I think Francis Shaeffer called this "sociological law".  If it is felt by "experts" to be beneficial sociologically, it can be made into law.  This runs deep, because science alone cannot delve into areas where answers lie.  For example, science alone cannot plumb the question of "when" human life begins.  So in abandoning Biblical absolutes, we have to conclude it begins when lawmakers say it does ... at birth I guess (for now anyway).  

Then more and more questions come.  When does human life cease to be human life?  Things like Euthanasia can easily slip in under such sociological standards of law.  Espcially if this is seen as benefecial sociologically, particularly in the area of economics.  The traditional understanding of the sacredness of human individuals, will get pushed out more and more for a more "pragmatic" approach to things.  There's a problem here.  Would you be surprised that some have recommended government imposed birth control through the water supply as sociologically beneficial, should population problems continue?  Sounds unthinkable now.  But from a naturalistic evaluation that you just tacitly believe "has to be", how can such arbitary oppression be avoided?  What is unthinkable now, may not be in the near future.


I know I went a bit off the topic ... but I did want to point out that your assertion that legal evaluation has to be according to a certain philosophical view, is just as arbitrary as "God told me".


Stephen.            

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (11-04-2003 01:14 PM).]

jbouder
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67 posted 11-04-2003 02:22 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Brad:

If you don't like the USA Patriot Act for civil libertarian reasons, what do you think about Meghan's Law or Amber Alert laws?  By disseminating information that could be construed as encroachments into personal privacy, Meghan's Law and the Amber Alert laws seek to save lives.  Wouldn't you have to admit that all three, while infringing on privacy to some extent, stand to do more to protect our freedoms of law abiding citizens than to demolish them?

Jim
 
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