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Israfil
 
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Quote Israfil Replybullet Topic: Secularism
    Posted: 26 December 2007 at 9:28pm

I'm curious to know what is wrong with secularlism. Many times I've seen members speak out against secularlism as if secularlism is "anti-God" but I'm curious to know the opinions on why some members here believe secularlism is "anti-God." If in fact we live in a diverse world and if we are to be fair to other members of other faiths shouldn't we not include religion in major affairs of society? The openness of prayer may be acceptable, but for those in power isn't it possible that the excessive beliefs of religious figures may lead political, and religious figures to make bad decisions? i'm curious to know why secularlism is ot a good thing.

Remember secularlism is the separation of religion and state this does not say keep God out of society but to divide sectors where actions which are made to be objective are free from religious influences and sectors where communities of people of various religious can practice their faiths without external interference.



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Whisper
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Quote Whisper Replybullet Posted: 29 December 2007 at 1:47am

Brother a great point. Shall we start with what Secularism, the art of keeping divine morality out of Statecraft, has gifted us since the birth of this concept?

If we study these past couple of centuries, we may find that Secularism has been used more as s tool for silencing voices of deeper concern and let the vested interests machinery carry one with its tricks.

Sasha Khanzadeh
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Israfil
 
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Quote Israfil Replybullet Posted: 31 December 2007 at 12:47am

Secularism in all my studies is a political philosophy aimed at separating religious influence from governmental rule. How has Secularism helped? Instead of discussing any historical facts I'll list the pros and cons:

Secularism pros:

1) More objective.

2) Universal and based on established rules of the state and federal levels

3) local citizens regardless of gender, race, or religion  have a say in a ruling.

4) Established religions cannot interfere in public sectors

Cons:

1) lack of spiritual insight on sensitive issues that secular courts cannot measure in rulings.

2) Possible confounds in cases in which acts are motivated by religious beliefs than any other cause.

3) Secularism rulings may exclude religious figures.

I'll continue later as I'm tired.

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Angela
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Quote Angela Replybullet Posted: 31 December 2007 at 1:55am
Secularism...

Well, secularism has its place, but with is comes another thing...minority rule. 

If 90% of the population want a momument with the 10 commandments at the courthouse, 9% don't care, and 1% oppose it.  The 1% can force the removal under secularism.

This is happening all over the US.

There is a case here in Utah where the Utah Highway Patrol has markers for those killed in the line of duty.  They are white crosses with the state beehive in the middle.  They were not meant as a religious symbol.  Most of the UHP that have died are Mormon and we don't use the cross as a symbol.  They were meant as a universal symbol for death and sacredness.  However, an Athiest group from TEXAS is suing to have them removed.  Thank you secularism. 

Secularism leads too much to forcing people away from symbols and practicing publically.  You have schools banning religious symbols and thus the Islamic headscarf and Sikh turbans.  You have monuments that have stood for centuries or decades being challenged in the name of separation of Church and state.

Minority rule is bad, secularism is bad.  Freedom of religion can come without secularism.  Secularism inhibits freedom of religion, it doesn't promote it.  Secularism forces people to keep their faith private and makes it taboo to declare your conscious based on belief.

Secularism forces the Pharmacist to go against his faith instead of the abortion pill seeking patient to find another Pharmacist.  Secularism requires a candidate be apologetic for believing in something, anything that might offend others and promise it won't affect their decisions.  Secularism means not respecting the religious traditions of others when considering laws or policies. 

No, I do not like secularism.  I used to be very secularist and very liberal.  That was circa 1996.  Now, I'm very much against anything that restricts the expression of my beliefs and the common beliefs of the majority. 

The world is big enough that people can find a place that fits their beliefs...  Of course, if you study how "Secularism" has been to my Church, then you'd probably understand.

As the founder of Overstock.com said, there are only two acceptable forms of bigotry in the US right now Mormons and Arabs (I think he meant Muslims).  Secularism is an excuse used all too often to oppress groups, even large groups.
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Israfil
 
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Quote Israfil Replybullet Posted: 31 December 2007 at 8:22am

Well minority rule yes is indeed another one of those setbacks but there are reasons why minority rule would also be an attractive quality to a "free" country. Angela, I'm mainly focusing on separating religion from state and federal rule such as politics, courts etc. Why should have religion have a say over the most sensitive areas?



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Angela
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Quote Angela Replybullet Posted: 01 January 2008 at 2:17am
Why should religion have say?  Well, for one, religion is where we get our morals and values from.

Without morals and values, how can one evaluate the most sensitive of issues. 

Take abortion for example, when do you believe life starts?  If you believe life begins at conception, how could you possibly in good conscious believe that abortion can be permissible.  How can you stand by and let it happen? 

Murder, Domestic Violence, even property rights can all be a product of your religious convictions.  Why shouldn't they play a part in your decision making? 

If you are a person of true faith and not someone who just is because they want to fit in, then you believe that certain things are divinely mandated and/or regulated.  I would never expect the Israeli government to subsidize pig farms, no more than  I would expect the Vatican to recognize Gay Marriage.  I think this secularist attitude that many Americans have is ludicrous.  Pennyslvania, my home state was founded by Quakers who wanted a place to live as they wanted in accordance with their faith.  Utah was founded by Mormons who wanted to be able to live in the manner.  Yet, secularism has given to Utah being assailed since before it gained statehood. 

Living in Utah gives me a look at secularism I never had living back East.  It was just the way things were there.  Yet, I come here and see newcomers complaining and actively working against the state founders in the name of secularism.  Liquor Laws challenged, Lawsuits for the rights to protest on the steps of our most Sacred of buildings.  Its okay to be anti-Mormon.  Its okay to restrict the practice of the groups faith because the secular mindset says that not only are these people wrong, but because its their religion they can't force it on the rest of us.  Yet they moved here.  They came knowing the people here were this way.  Its wrong.  I don't believe you can move into the Bible Belt and stop the local church yardsale at the town's park just because its being held by a religious organization.

Secularism gives troublemakers fuel.  Its not worth it.  I would rather people just move if they don't like the moral values of the majority rule.  If you think women in skimpy clothes is offensive, don't live in Miami Beach, move.  If you think that its a hardship to live in a state where smoking is banned in all public places including parks...move somewhere else. 

I don't think the majority should have to suffer and that's exactly what secularism gives you.  I don't think you can separate secularism and minority rule they are one in the same in most places.
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Israfil
 
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Quote Israfil Replybullet Posted: 01 January 2008 at 9:49am

Why should religion have say?  Well, for one, religion is where we get our morals and values from.

I disagree. I would even say I'd disagree even if you were Muslim by the way. I don't think religion byitself is the causation of morality. I believe religion is one of the variables that influence the development of decision making and ethical values but I its not the cause of morality in itself. Put a child in an areligious family that just believe in good will towards others the child would possibly come out with the same ethical standards just as the child in a religious family. Ethical values are developed on several levels and cannot be attributed to one specific factor.

Without morals and values, how can one evaluate the most sensitive of issues. 

In addition, we have to consider that morals and values are subjective so our perspective on right and wrong are not always compatible even for evaluating the most sensitive of issues.

Take abortion for example, when do you believe life starts?  If you believe life begins at conception, how could you possibly in good conscious believe that abortion can be permissible.  How can you stand by and let it happen? 

I have my opinion about abortion and frankly, no human knows when life starts except God. Even in doctrinal faiths we still can be for certain that we know scientifically speaking unless we simply take this issue on blind faith. But even if a woman chooses to abort her "soon-to-be-human" child that is her choice conscious or not. But again, abortion is a iffy situation I don't know if you want to use that example as theree are extraneous variables to consider.

Murder, Domestic Violence, even property rights can all be a product of your religious convictions.  Why shouldn't they play a part in your decision making?

A decision in what?

If you are a person of true faith and not someone who just is because they want to fit in, then you believe that certain things are divinely mandated and/or regulated.

Well to Muslims here, I'm not a person of true faith. And to others, because of my nationality and non-support of the opinions of other Muslims, I'm a so-called Muslim so of course the remark above would NOT apply to me so I would probably say things are not divinely mandated (sarcasm used here).

Even if things are divinely mandated does not give policy makers the right to implant their religious values in their decisions especially in a court of law. The founders of the United States did not make laws and policies on the basis of their faith (The Church of England) nor was that something they wanted to consider but rather, policies and laws that can be universally applicable to all beings regardless of nationality and ethnicity of course this thought is in theory. How can we have laws and policies that are derivatives of religion especially the Abrahamic religion when others may not share the same ethical and moral standards? A Buddhist may want to have an abortion so who is anyone of any other religion going to tell this person they cannot have one because its immoral? So again, possibly all of us may believe things are divinely mandated but every single individual on this planet may not always agree on this.

Secularism gives troublemakers fuel.

I don't see how you have yet proven your aqrgument Angela. Secularism is telling religions to be in their sector and telling the government to not interfere with religion, but when you brought up abortion you are bringing up a controversial issue. It's funny, the government doesn't force the many Hispanics who come to the United States to not come here illegally to have their children just to become citizens however I have spent many times arresting moralist relgious nuts who believe in life because they threw molotov cocktails in family clinics. So who is moral here? I don't want religious values in my courts, or businesses where objectivity should flourish. I am 25 years old much younger than many of the geezers here ( no offense but I make it a point to call people geezers since many of you make it a point to point out my age instead of my maturity) but frankly, I believe religion much like my connection with God should be private. I don't think a Moromon judge in a Mormon court (or any other religious court) is capable of making objective decisions.

I think you know that Angela. This goes for any court that uses religion.

 





 

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Quote minuteman Replybullet Posted: 01 January 2008 at 12:03pm

 

 I felt that Angela was right all along, from the first post till now. Secularism means separation of state and religion. It means that religion has no say in the matter of state. But that is impossible. All or most people have some belief, some religion, some beliefs they value. Does it mean that they should say good-bye to those beliefs.

 When it comes to law making, shall we become atheists? We have to make good laws. Not just laws. I feel that Secularism needs to be defined in much better words, not just the separation of state and religion.

 If scularism means the religion has no say in the matters of state. Then may I say that the state should also have no say in the matters of religion. Or is the religion just an orphan left at the mercy of secularism? I could write more but I feel that secularism may be defined in a better and more accurate way please.

 WE are looking for benefits and feel that we get them in seculaism. That may not be true. If there was a religious state with full liberty to all faiths for belief and practice and no interference / oppression in the religious affairs of other faiths then it could be as good or even better than a so called secular state.



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