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Thread: The Tangent Topic (Currently: Homosexuality and Religion)

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zevn View Post
    Intense fear of death kindling severe irrationality, coupled with a lifetime of indoctrination.
    How rude. At least TFP isn't passing judgment on your entire existence within a single sentence. I wish you guys would stop rambling; this is a topic about Bible Interpretation currently, so TFP, JDavidC, and mattj have a legitimate place here to debate about the Bible, which is quite different from debating whether it is true or not...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyC View Post
    How rude. At least TFP isn't passing judgment on your entire existence within a single sentence.
    View on religion is one's entire existence? That summary is fairly insulting.

    I wish you guys would stop rambling; this is a topic about Bible Interpretation currently, so TFP, JDavidC, and mattj have a legitimate place here to debate about the Bible, which is quite different from debating whether it is true or not...
    I was answering mario's question about the denial of scientific evidence, in favor of belief in the supernatural. Being concise is something I value. I was not attempting to be rude, but clear. Here you are:

    Why are you shutting off your brain by denying so many things just to make your theory work?
    This might seem like a loaded question to you, but it is a legitimate thing to wonder. If you missed them, here are some posts that deal more specifically with what you consider the debate's focus to be: I & II
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    I don't claim to know if there is a God or not, simply that if God exists, they must also follow the fundamental laws of the Universe. It is my interpretation of the Bible, that: The Bible is mostly a collection of artful metaphors used to explain some of mankind's burning questions at a time when science was unable.
    Last edited by Zevn; 28th March 2012 at 5:55 PM.
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    It is a completely subjective thing to wonder, regardless of whether it is 'legitimate'. Not all people have the same train of thought; anything that doesn't run congruent to your train of thought isn't necessarily 'shutting your brain off'. I keep hearing 'God has to follow the laws of the universe to exist' which actually shows a line of thought that is very narrow, not in terms of what you believe, but in terms of the beliefs you understand. In a subject like this, various supernatural and non-scientific events are the least of your priorities in terms of what you have to address, because the presense of belief is a God is what is central to what you're rejecting, and the events are just peripheral. If there is a God, then He doesn't follow the laws of the Universe - or the Universe would be God, rending the follower of the Universe's laws irrelevant. If you think God has to follow all of your known conventions, you've completely missed the point of what 'God' is.

    Even though you don't believe in something, it's extremely beneficial to respect a basic knowledge of how the other side's perspective is constructed, or you can't communicate with them at all. If you analyse the Bible already from the perspective that the universe is a certain way and this concept of God has to fit into it, you're just going to confirm your own knowledge, and that's just patting yourself on the back. Semantics aside, and whether you meant to be offensive, your armchair-psychoanalysis of why TFP embraces Creationism (pretty much why anybody makes an effort to suspend disbelief for religion), after marioguy and you steered it into questioning their beliefs in the first place is really quite demeaning and intrusive.
    Last edited by CSolarstorm; 28th March 2012 at 6:28 PM.

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    As a seemingly irreligious person, I can understand why you might not understand how a person's religion could be such an enormous part of anyone's life, but incase you didn't know, it really is for many people. My religion dictates what I eat, what I drink, where I go, who I'm friends with, what I wear, what I watch, what I listen to, even where I live. Not even every religious person is like me, but please do keep that in mind.

    And, concerning shutting your brain off, I do say this with the utmost respect, but you do realize that the same allegation could be leveled against you, right? I don't see how allegations like those further the conversation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marioguy View Post
    You believe the Earth is younger than 10,000 years, even though there's lots of evidence saying that it much older than that? Why are you shutting off your brain by denying so many things just to make your theory work? You remind of me of this guy I saw on GameFAQs that was hell bent on believing that Porky from Mother 3 eventually becomes Giygas from Earthbound, even though that makes absolutely no sense.
    That's the thing--I'm not denying the evidence. In fact, I have no problem saying that the evidence is in a much better state than most Genesis literalists give it credit for. It's almost like not having a working theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zevn View Post
    View on religion is one's entire existence? That summary is fairly insulting.
    It genuinely looks like you didn't pay attention to what I said, what SunnyC said, or even what you said. Take a look:

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyC View Post
    How rude. At least TFP isn't passing judgment on your entire existence within a single sentence. I wish you guys would stop rambling; this is a topic about Bible Interpretation currently, so TFP, JDavidC, and mattj have a legitimate place here to debate about the Bible, which is quite different from debating whether it is true or not...
    When SunnyC said this, he was not referring to someone's religious beliefs as someone's entire being. Consider your statement to which SunnyC was responding:

    Quote Originally Posted by Zevn View Post
    Intense fear of death kindling severe irrationality, coupled with a lifetime of indoctrination.
    When I'm saying that I don't know how to reconcile a difficulty, and pointing out that I refuse to perpetuate erroneous Creation-scientists arguments dismissing radiometric dating, that is the opposite of a lifetime of indoctrination making me irrationally closed-minded. Perhaps SunnyC could have used "entire psyche," but the point is the same. It is insulting to presume, especially with such extreme confidence, that someone's motivations for forming their opinions must be irrationalities like fear of death.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattj View Post
    As a seemingly irreligious person, I can understand why you might not understand how a person's religion could be such an enormous part of anyone's life, but incase you didn't know, it really is for many people. My religion dictates what I eat, what I drink, where I go, who I'm friends with, what I wear, what I watch, what I listen to, even where I live. Not even every religious person is like me, but please do keep that in mind.
    I do no deny spirituality, nor the validity of your belief in God. I believe the Bible to be flawed, and I find it's dictations very judgmental. My goal is not to insult you, but rather to get you to examine the logical fallacies that exist. I do not think you should forgo Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFightingPikachu View Post
    When I'm saying that I don't know how to reconcile a difficulty, and pointing out that I refuse to perpetuate erroneous Creation-scientists arguments dismissing radiometric dating, that is the opposite of a lifetime of indoctrination making me irrationally closed-minded. Perhaps SunnyC could have used "entire psyche," but the point is the same. It is insulting to presume, especially with such extreme confidence, that someone's motivations for forming their opinions must be irrationalities like fear of death.
    I could have worded it differently, but the intent is the same.

    Simply that it is my belief that some people can't live happily without answers to questions like:

    "What happens to me after I die?"
    "What is the meaning of life?"
    "How do I know what I'm doing, is the right thing to do?"

    I answered in the way I did, because it is my opinion that not delving into the possibilities, and finding these answers for yourself is the easy way out. Whether or not you end up deciding that Christianity, or any religion is the correct way to live your life, it often seems like if you deny proven science you are not thinking for yourself.
    Last edited by Zevn; 29th March 2012 at 9:51 PM.
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        Spoiler:- TFP:
    Last edited by JDavidC; 31st March 2012 at 12:20 PM.

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    Does this thread the answer this with yes?
    Jackpot!

    I have a theory that the Pokémon world and the Mother world are one in the same. I won't go into spoilers for Mother 3, but think of Black and White's story of the dragon and the twins. Also, chimeras are kind of like Pokémon.

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    ^ I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.

    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    The problem is, some people interpret the Bible by adding beliefs to it that may not necessarily be true. What is known is that the Bible was written by humans, not by God, regardless of whether Christianity is true. The only difference is, if Christianity is true, then the authors of the Bible were given inspiration by God, including, in some cases, prophetic visions of the future. That is as far as it goes, however. The human authors are still vulnerable to making mistakes, and the best way to read the Bible is as a historical account of events that took place in the past, or as predictions of what will happen in the future. Trying to add additional assumptions such as 'It's the word of God, therefore it must be true!', or 'God passed this law, therefore this thing is sinful, and always will be!', which happens a lot, is by far one of the most annoying things I see when people try to interpret the Bible. Some people would actually believe these assumptions, and others would use them maliciously as a tool to bash people they hate, while claiming they are Christians. If people were to try asking 'Does this teaching make sense today?', instead of just relying on assumptions, the world would be a much better place. Some teachings and laws obviously do apply very well, but you need to think about them, and in some cases teset them to actually reach those conclusions. The other thing is that the Bible may be changed incorrectly (whether accidentally, or maliciously), to have the effective meaning of words altered when translated, or re-interpreted, or both. This can lead to even more harmful assumptions. The most harmful one is the doctrine of eternal punishment, or destruction. Although I am a Christian, I have concluded that it is literally impossible for that doctrine to be the truth, as it is the one doctrine that is absolutely certain, without a shadow of a doubt, to contradict the omnibenevolence of God. With a massive amount of other things however, there are doubts, even if they are only tiny shadows. Also, there are plausible alternative interpretations of at least some of the verses that appear to condemn homosexuality, to the point where I cannot be sure that God EVER condemned homosexual people having homosexual relationships of any sort. There is too much doubt for me to accept that as the truth, and furthermore, it contradicts God's character once again. To condemn someone based on who they ARE (i.e. parts about themselves that are hard-wired and cannot change short of divine intervention) is nonsensical.

    Long story short, people who are trying to be Christians need to be a lot more careful, and I would strongly advise starting by looking up one of my favourite verses in the Bible (1 Thessalonians 5:21). That verse naturally includes anything you read in the Bible itself. Even if the verse I referred to is treated as a stand-alone verse with no context, it is extremely good advice.
    Respectfully, when the Bible plainly says "Thou shalt not" its not an instance of some random person today making up new rules. The Bible quite plainly condemns certain actions. Its not just a matter of personal interpretation.

    Concerning eternal punishment, I can't think of a single denomination anywhere that rejects the doctrine of eternal punishment. I mean, I can't imagine any other way to understand scriptures like Matthew 25:46:
    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew 25:46 (NASB)
    "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
    Concerning whether or not the Bible has been "changed incorrectly (whether accidentally or maliciously)"; again, I'd have to ask you to provide an example. Respectfully, you haven't been able to so far. In absence of an example of such an error, I'd have to believe that the Bible doesn't contain one.

    And finally concerning whether or not the Bible condemns the act of homosexuality; I've already addressed this, but there really are no other ways to interpret those various scriptures. You have to do hermeneutical backflips to make them mean anything else than what they plainly mean and have been interpreted to mean by millions of people throughout thousands of years.

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    First, I must sincerely apologize for waiting so long to get back on the forums. Indeed, I thought this tangent topic would surely be finished after my two-week absence! In any case, I think, JDavidC, hat your most recent response did a lot to simplify my response. So here I go:


    1. Regarding Homosexuality:
    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    I'm not going to be able to guarantee that I can find unbiased sources, so I'll try to find several:
    http://www.lionking.org/~kovu/bible/section05.html - mentions 'toevah' to mean ritually unclean, not 'abomination'.
    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    Be careful, the meaning of the word may change with context. If you want to quote passages as examples, you have to provide an analysis of the examples, and state how 'toevah' appears. I'm having trouble finding where 'toevah' appears in those passages you quoted (and in any case, technically, it is not my job to search for evidence to support your claim), so I'm afraid you will have to provide links to actual translations to back up your claims that those passages are good examples.
    First, just to clarify, I never said that homosexuals "are abominations." I believe the actions are the abominations, and some of your "brain bleach" comments tend to suggest you have some idea what I'm talking about. There is a big difference between hating actions and hating people, and I constantly seek to preserve that distinction.

    Also, before anything else, I'd like to return to an earlier discussion. That website with the Christopher Hitchens quote was dead wrong about the King James translators changing this word. I checked the Bishop's Bible of 1568 and in it Leviticus 18:22 says, "Thou shalt not lye with mankynde as with womankynde, for it is abhomination." Furthermore, even the late 1300s translation made by John Wycliffe and his followers renders this verse, "Thou schalt not be medlid with a man bi letcherie of womman, for it is abhomynacioun." Thus whoever put up that page was incorrect, they really didn't take their own advice about asserting things without evidence. Whoever wrote that knows that there are people who distrust monarchy and authority, so feels he or she can get away with such slander.

    Now, when I cite examples and don't happen to link to them, that's not me requiring you to search for evidence to support my claim. It would be if I said, "I know there are passages which refute that definition," but since I know you have enough resources right in front of you, my citations provide much more information than that. The real problem is that for my prime example I made a typographical error. I meant Proverbs 16:12, so for that I must apologize. Take a look:

    "It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, For a throne is established by righteousness."

    In this verse, the word "abomination" is used to translate the same Hebrew word used in Leviticus. Just try swapping the word out for the definitions in the links you've mentioned:

    "It is [ritual uncleanness] for kings to commit wickedness, For a throne is established by righteousness."

    "It is [a cultural taboo] for kings to commit wickedness, For a throne is established by righteousness."

    It doesn't work, because that's not how the word was used. The word means "abomination," and modern conspiracy theories don't provide anywhere near enough evidence to refute the definition known to be correct by linguistic scholars.

    That's just about the heart of the problem here. If you want to show that something has a different definition than most scholars believe, you still need to show scholarly sources. I have no idea of the qualifications of the person who runs that "Lion King" website, but they cited no sources on that page (unless you count their passing reference to Boswell, who, as I've said before, was not a linguistic scholar). Basically, I need to see some Hebrew or Greek linguistic source for these claims, not some person on the internet who says so.


    2. Regarding eternal punishment:
    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    There may very well be a 'Hell', if it is defined as a separate dimension with lots of fire (and it may not be of the destructive/torturous kind, there may well be a purifying nature in there), where Satan and his demonic angel buddies are holed up, yet it need not be a place of ETERNAL punishment/torture. I am not going to deny the possibility of Hell altogether. It may well be a prison for its current occupants, and it may well serve much the same purpose as human prisons are supposed to serve.
    Can you show me anywhere in the Bible where any statement is made about hell to the effect that it could be for purifying? I seriously don't see that, and even if a few did seem like that, using a few passages to contradict the many clear ones is an unsound interpretive method.

    Since you have several times allowed for the possibility of there being a place of temporary punishment, I need to point out something crucial. In objecting to the biblical teaching about hell, skeptics sometimes say things like, "I couldn't send anyone to hell for a minute!" Since you seem to be saying this, do you think God sending everybody to temporary hell gets you out of this difficulty?

    In fact, I'd say it puts you in a much worse difficulty regarding God's moral character. If hell exists as a place of temporary punishment, and people get out when they stop rebelling against God, isn't God still trying to get something out of them? What do we call it when a person inflicts pain on another until they give in to what that person wants?


    3. Finale:
    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    The literal interpretation of Jesus Christ dying to pay for sins just falls apart utterly, as that in no way absolves people of their sins. People who do so still have to be put through correcctive punishment and to pay for ALL of their sins. The thought of 'believing' in someone else to take your place for something that YOU deserve is nonsensical. My brain just can't understand the reason for Jesus Christ dying on the cross if it was a literal payment of sin debt, and that's because the reason is contradictory under that interpretation. This begs the question, what is the REAL reason Jesus Christ was crucified and killed? Was it 'troll logic' for people who would not work under proper logic? It's the only alternative that could make sense to me.
    First, the teaching that Jesus Christ died as a substitute does not fall apart utterly. Just think of someone paying the bail for someone in jail.

    Second...do you hear what you're saying? You really believe one of the fundamentals of the faith is "troll logic"? What would you have said if I'd defended the existence of an eternal hell as an instance of troll logic? I say this with no malice, but once you make a statement like that, your view hardly puts up a fight. It kicks its own butt.
    Last edited by TheFightingPikachu; 23rd April 2012 at 11:30 PM.

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    There is a big difference between hating actions and hating people.
    I'll beg to differ TFP the line you are walking is a very fine one. If for instance you hate the act of fishing, you thus hate the actions of fishermen. and it's a sneeze away from hating the person for the act they perform.

    Quote Originally Posted by something that I just saw
    To exist in our Universe, you must obey the laws of science. God(if he/she/it exists) must obey these laws as well. The laws that govern reality do not refute the existence of God, but they do bind the ability to interact in an omnipotent sense on this plane of existence.
    Isn't this kinda like saying because I created an Aquarium, and put fish in it, I must breath water? The laws of the of the "Universe" as seen by fish... before they forget to care!

    So true!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFightingPikachu View Post
    There is a big difference between hating actions and hating people.
    I have nothing against left-handed people, but I hate people who use their left land as their dominant hand.

    The Residential Director of our dorms showed as a great movie about Christianity and homosexuality called For the Bible tells me so.
    Jackpot!

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    Quote Originally Posted by marioguy View Post
    I have nothing against left-handed people, but I hate people who use their left land as their dominant hand.

    The Residential Director of our dorms showed as a great movie about Christianity and homosexuality called For the Bible tells me so.
    I have nothing against people who wear cloth made of two or more fibers, I find the act of wearing a cloth of 2 or more fibers a abomonation. LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by ebilly99 View Post
    I have nothing against people who wear cloth made of two or more fibers, I find the act of wearing a cloth of 2 or more fibers a abomonation. LOL
    But who should put them to death?
    Jackpot!

    I have a theory that the Pokémon world and the Mother world are one in the same. I won't go into spoilers for Mother 3, but think of Black and White's story of the dragon and the twins. Also, chimeras are kind of like Pokémon.

    Werster is without a doubt the Pokémon Master.

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    I've been away from this for far too long, my apologies.

    Quote Originally Posted by mattj View Post
    Respectfully, when the Bible plainly says "Thou shalt not" its not an instance of some random person today making up new rules. The Bible quite plainly condemns certain actions. Its not just a matter of personal interpretation.
    The problem is, figuring out precisely, down to the last detail, what the actions are, and, in some cases, to which people those actions are condemned. I view the Bible as one of two things. A. A historical document, and B. A prophetical document. It's the best way of viewing the book, without trying to go along with common assumptions about the Bible, beyond the basic one about it being written by prophets inspired by God. I have to take into account what is happening in the world when God applies his laws to people, and to the state of society/culture for those people.

    Concerning eternal punishment, I can't think of a single denomination anywhere that rejects the doctrine of eternal punishment.
    What I'm thinking of may not be a denomination, but it is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_universalism . The question is, which denomination, or group, is right? I could go into detail about Universalism if needed to (and an epic length post with my Theory of God if you're really not convinced).

    Concerning whether or not the Bible has been "changed incorrectly (whether accidentally or maliciously)"; again, I'd have to ask you to provide an example. Respectfully, you haven't been able to so far. In absence of an example of such an error, I'd have to believe that the Bible doesn't contain one.
    I'll provide a transciption error, and a fallacious error by the author of 1 Kings.

    First, the transcription error.
    2 Chronicles - 2:22 http://bible.cc/2_chronicles/22-2.htm - You will note, that in some cases, Ahaziah's age was listed as 22 (the correct age), yet for some reason, in some of the translations, you will see it listed as 42 (the transcription error I was talking about).
    In 2 Kings - 8:26 , this does not happen: http://bible.cc/2_kings/8-26.htm .

    Next, an equivocation fallacy. What do I mean by this sort of fallacy? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivocation
    I am going to show a part of the Bible where the term 'reign' is used in two senses, in the same verse.
        Spoiler:- 1 Kings:15-29 New International Version:
    OK, the first italic part is year 27 of Asa's reign, when Omri becomes (disputed) king.
    The emboldened part is when he becomes the undisputed king.
    The second italic part puts his death in the 38th year of Asa, whiich is close enough to 12 years (bear in mind that there would be rounding going on here, so being off by one is acceptable).

    Now, there are two problems. The first one is minor, but the author says Omri becomes king twice, but at least it is easy enough to see that the sense of the word is different each time. However, the author messes things up by doing this again with an equivocation fallacy, right here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 23 of the above
    In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned twelve years, six of them in Tirzah.
    This is an error. When he started his reign as undisputed king, it was 4 years into his actual reign as king, disputed or not; he lived only 8 more years after that, so he could not have reigned twelve years as undisputed king. However, if you take into account when he first became king, disputed or not, THEN the twelve years makes sense. The problem is, the author used reign in two ways, one starting with the reign, and the other with the undisputed reign, leading to apparent contradictions, when the actual problem is equivocation, the word reign being used in multiple senses in one sentence. When Omri became king of Israel, his reign would start at THAT time, not 4 years before, yet that is what seems to have happened, because there was a disputed section, it would have been correct to say his UNDISPUTED reign started in the 31st year of Asa being king, and he reigned for EIGHT years after that. His TOTAL time reigning as king was indeed 12 years, but that verse I pointed out was poorly written, and made it seem like a contradiction was in the Bible.

    The point of this is to show that the prophets that wrote the Bible are NOT perfect, they make mistakes. The ONE time that they should be expected to be perfect in every way, is when they are prophesying. There, the slightest mistake will see them swiftly branded as a false prophet. i.e. God's prophets may have written the Bible, but they were fallible human beings nonetheless, outside of prophesies from God. I want to dispel the myth that everything in the Bible is supposed to be 100% perfect. A lot of history would be rather difficult to record. e.g. There's a 'contradiction' where 2 different prophets view a census at 2 different times, and the 2nd prophet there is viewing an updated census, even though this does not seem to be explicitly mentioned.

    And finally concerning whether or not the Bible condemns the act of homosexuality; I've already addressed this, but there really are no other ways to interpret those various scriptures. You have to do hermeneutical backflips to make them mean anything else than what they plainly mean and have been interpreted to mean by millions of people throughout thousands of years.
    I would argue that in many cases, it does condemn it, but between heterosexual people. However, some people have a different nature, or programming, in their brain, that they can't explain (I know about this first hand, but I don't want to talk about it). I don't see why someone would actually WANT to choose homosexuality over heterosexuality if they were given a choice. Furthermore, just because millions of people interpreted things in a specific way, it does not mean they're right. However, that very same argument can also be applied to me.

    I'll get to TFP's post later.

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    A recent mini-tangent in the Homosexuality debate piqued my interest.



    The point suggested was that Christian organizations who lobby and vote for laws that will criminalize homosexuality can't be said to be forcing their religious values on the rest of the US citizenry, since they're not writing or enforcing the laws - just voting for what they think is best, which is a guaranteed right we all have. Now, that certainly strikes me partly as an innocuous point (it is after all a feature of our democracy, and it is also true, if only in a technical sense), but also as a transgression against the actual purposes of our Constitution (not to mention sound ethics).

    But I'm not interested in the specific case, especially since the specific case is one about Christianity and homosexuality and we've all had enough of that dizzying carousel. I'm interested in how we would argue the general case of whether the ability of a large portion of our society to vote for policies that would harm and/or discriminate against a rather smaller portion of our society is enough to make it ethically or legally okay for them to actually get those policies enacted. Say our society had a bunch of hat-wearers in it, and they wanted to vote into place a policy that made not wearing a hat illegal. Say also that our Constitution contained a passage strictly separating haberdashery and state: no haberdashery can tell the state what laws it can or cannot pass - but the many individual patrons of haberdashers can still vote for haberdasher-inspired policies.

    How do we think of such a situation? Is being able to vote freely according to our personal preferences, even if those preferences would cause harm to others, just a hard fact of our Constitution, and one we'll have to accept forever into the future? Does the separation of state and haberdashery (or other similar features of the Constitution) have the priority to restrict what kinds of votes we can and can't cast? Can either of those features of the Constitution be changed (possibly by vote)?
    Last edited by Profesco; 22nd August 2012 at 9:15 AM.

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    I was just thinking abut this topic this morning! Thanks for giving me an opportunity to put forth something that is so fresh in my mind!

    (1) While I wouldn't use the term "forcing," especially since we are describing a case where the votes have not yet been tallied, yes, without question they are pushing their religious values on the nation.

    (2) Yes, we'll have to put up with this. No, this feature of the Constitution absolutely cannot be changed without enacting some kind of "thought police." People's votes (and, by extension, other forms of political speech) are allowed and the reasons for those votes are never brought up. Even completely wrong reasons are not brought up. Even the right of, say, the Communist Party to vote for the abolition of Constitutional democratic/republic government (which contains the added irony of essentially voting to overthrow voting), is unhindered. In our day and age, the tactics to get votes are sometimes centered on these lines, and there's not much that can be done. "If you vote for this, it will hurt minorities!!!" "Voting for this will destroy America!!!" Political campaigns at times gain from misinformation. People on the internet got the idea that SOPA and PIPA were about freedom of speech, even though they were really directed against piracy. That's just one recent example. But as far as the vote itself is concerned, we can't tell the difference between people who vote motivated by a logical and politically-responsible reason, a logical and self-interested-unconcerned-with-politics reason, an illogical reason, a racist reason, or even no reason. There is not even in place any kind of framework to monitor "the reason for your vote," nor is it reasonable. If it is even hinted that this could be a reason for discounting votes, the large potential for lying about such reasons becomes immense.



    I really hate to put it in terms that disfavor the secular so much, but the media already subjects religious lobbying, and even some prominent religious people, to that exact sort of motive witch-hunting. And it's not pretty. If something like this were enacted by the government, I don't see how it could avoid resulting in a state of enforced secularism in which the religious must leave their religion elsewhere in order to participate in the politics of the nation.
    Last edited by TheFightingPikachu; 22nd August 2012 at 9:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestial Moth View Post
    Bill Summary & Status, 112th Congress (2011 -- 2012) | S.1867 | Latest Title: National Defense Authorization Act for.

    LOOK up this bill if your American do something before its to late. Good luck America...
    This soon to past bill ultimately ellipses all American freedoms.
    America has no rights as soon as this bill is past, LOOK IT UP NOW!!!!
    Why don't you point out rationally where your problems are in the bill. Instead of acting like a lunatic and spamming it everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Profesco View Post
    how we would argue the general case of whether the ability of a large portion of our society to vote for policies that would harm and/or discriminate against a rather smaller portion of our society is enough to make it ethically or legally okay for them to actually get those policies enacted.
    Jim Crow laws, Black codes, school discrimination against Asians on the west coast in the late 1800's and early 1900s, and even more recently in California's prop. 8 Amendment. All of those are examples of voter initiatives that have discriminated against one or more groups based on various factors (usually race). Whether we like it or not, our democracy is affected by "majority rule." The reasons for these policies, and the effects of these policies are inconsequential and irrelevant to the voting process.

    That being said, our democracy is better described as "majority rule, minority right." This means that the majority will have its way, however, the majority cannot do so at the expense of the minority. After all, today's majority is tomorrow's minority, and making enemies is always a bad idea. Naturally there needs to be an enforcement mechanism for this idea, and that is the federal judiciary. Now, granted, the courts do not get everything right (De Jure segregation in Plessy V. Ferguson, Japanese internment camps in Korematsu v. United States, declaring an entire race of people "not people" in Dred Scott, etc) but they often do reverse themselves (epitomized in one of my favorites quotes "Just because we were unconsciously wrong yesterday does not mean we need to be consciously wrong today." That is a paraphras from a quote I could have sworn was from Brown V. Board of Education over turning Plessy, but I cannot find the original in the opinion.) Herein lies the people's first hope of correcting bad laws. There is nothing stopping people from establishing a religion by majority vote, but there are things to overrule that vote. However, the courts are not always the best place to correct a wrong and sometimes congress or the president needs to act. If that does not work and there is a true affront to the country as a whole, the last resort would be a constitutional amendment, such as the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

    How do we think of such a situation?
    It is healthy and good for the county and should not be changed. If we start taking away the right to vote because people are irresponsible with it, the situation will spiral out of control rapidly. Our right to vote is what keeps the politicians in line, and is the main vehicle for the transmission of our ideas and desires. Yes, the vote has been used to hurt people before, but the right to vote has spawned a Revolutionary War and a Civil War in this country (okay, so there were other factors involved in both, but voting was a primary issue in the American Revolution, and a hard fought battle after the Civil War). Granted, people have enacted bad laws, but without the enactment of these bad laws, the situation would never change. This is a part of progress, a messy and dirty part that would be nice to skip if at all possible, but a part nonetheless. By enacting Jim Crow laws, the country was able to see the situation facing blacks in the south and make changes accordingly. By trying to ban gay marriage the country can debate about the issue and put forth legal and political battles to decide the outcome. If we lose the vote, we must accept whatever is handed to us. Further still, just because bad laws are put forth, voted on, and even passed, does not mean the matter is settled. There is an on going process that takes years to run its full course and many opportunities for corrections and development.

    Is being able to vote freely according to our personal preferences, even if those preferences would cause harm to others, just a hard fact of our Constitution, and one we'll have to accept forever into the future?
    Yup, and if it ever changes, the country and the constitution as we know it is at an end.

    Does the separation of state and haberdashery (or other similar features of the Constitution) have the priority to restrict what kinds of votes we can and can't cast?
    I must admit, this part confuses me. There is a separation of powers in the federal government (check and balances), a separation of powers between the federal and state government (federalism), and a separation of Church and state (the Free Exercise clause and the Establishment clause of the First Amendment), and the only one that restricts laws and voting is the separation of church and state (Check and balances and federalism are more regulatory schemes that limit the actions of the governments). Even so, this clause has no bearing on what we can and cannot vote for. If the people of state X wish to establish religion Y as the official and only religion allowed there, they can do so through voting with no problems. They will have one hell of a time in court, but they can still vote to pass the law first.

    Can either of those features of the Constitution be changed (possibly by vote)?
    A great aspect of our constitution is the amendment process, so yes, it can be changed. In fact, the voting aspects we have been discussing here have even been the focus of a constitutional amendment, twice! The 15th and 19th Amendment both address the issue of voting and expand the franchise further than it was before. To limit the vote however, that is something I don't see ever happening nor do I see it as wise. It is of interest to note that this argument is as old as the constitution itself. When the constitution was established, many of the fathers though the average person to stupid and disconnected to actually vote. At first, only representatives were directly voted in by the people. The senators were elected by state legislators (or governors perhaps, I forget who exactly), and the president was chosen by the electoral college, and still is. The vote was originally limited to white men who owned property, but was soon expanded to cover all white men, then black men, then women, and now everybody (who isn't a convicted felon). If anything I see the right to vote expanding in the future, perhaps the electoral college will be disbanded or felons will be re-enfranchised.
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    due to my religion, i am politically neutral so i really dont care that much.
    but it seems like if people want to vote on something then they should be able to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Profesco View Post
    The point suggested was that Christian organizations who lobby and vote for laws that will criminalize homosexuality can't be said to be forcing their religious values on the rest of the US citizenry, since they're not writing or enforcing the laws - just voting for what they think is best, which is a guaranteed right we all have.
    Of course they are acting to force their (religious) values on the rest of the US citizenry. That's the entire point, as a matter of fact.

    The only thing that's vaguely significant about that though is that the Constitution at least sort of implies that religious values cannot be legitimately forced on the citizenry (that's not really what it says, or even really what it implies as far as I'm concerned, but that's a separate debate). In point of fact, all that does is separate religious values and leave them at something of a disadvantage, since secular values do not have the same implied limitation, and are freely, enthusiastically and all too often sanctimoniously forced on everyone else.

    Now, that certainly strikes me partly as an innocuous point (it is after all a feature of our democracy, and it is also true, if only in a technical sense), but also as a transgression against the actual purposes of our Constitution (not to mention sound ethics).
    Well... it's sort of a transgression against the presumed purposes of the Constitution, but not in the sense that you seem to be implying. The government is constrained from legislating regarding religion - there's nothing to constrain them from legislating regarding things about which religious people hold opinions, or even from legislating in the manner in which those religious people desire. More broadly though, the real point of the Constitution is to make it as difficult as possible for power-hungry jackasses to seek to have their will imposed on everyone else, not simply in a religious context, but in any context, save the few things that were deemed necessary for the establishment and maintenance of a nation - borders, wars, international and interstate relations and the like. Of course, power-hungry jackasses started chipping away at those limitations from the very instant that they were conceived, but still...

    And yes - it's absolutely a transgression against sound ethics, but all government is, since all government is rooted in the imposition of the will of some upon all, which itself is a transgression against sound ethics.

    But I'm not interested in the specific case, especially since the specific case is one about Christianity and homosexuality and we've all had enough of that dizzying carousel. I'm interested in how we would argue the general case of whether the ability of a large portion of our society to vote for policies that would harm and/or discriminate against a rather smaller portion of our society is enough to make it ethically or legally okay for them to actually get those policies enacted.
    It's not, and the argument cannot legitimately be made. Well... legally it can, of course. Those empowered to do so could make any law they might desire and those empowered to do so could rule that that law is acceptable and there's your legal legitimacy right there. But ethical legitimacy is something else entirely. And in that, the imposition of the will of some upon others to the detriment of those others cannot be justified, ever. Such an act is axiomatically ethically unsound, and it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever how many people are lined up on either side.

    And this illustrates the fundamental flaw of democracy, and of government broadly. When liberty is denied, it makes absolutely no difference ethically if that denial is at the behest of 1 or of 1,000,000, and it's actually easier for the 1,000,000 to get away with it than for the 1, which, along with the illusion of legitimacy that this thread addresses, actually serves to generally make the 1,000,000 much more dangerous than the 1.


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    Last edited by Arlo; 17th December 2012 at 8:34 PM.

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    I figure since the Homosexuality thread would be better off without religion talk, but it's kind of hard to avoid putting it in there, so for the moment this will be used for it. All the same debate rules apply of course, but thinking it over it's really not a good enough topic for an entire thread.

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    Now that this topic is about religion and homosexuality, I have a question to ask.

    People can prove that the Bible isn't against homosexuality because Leviticus was written specifically for the ignorant Israelites, the Bible is only against forced homosexuality during pagan rituals, etc. But what about the Qu'ran? The Qu'ran makes it pretty clear that being gay is wrong. Can you guys rationalize that gay Muslims aren't contradictions?
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    Quote Originally Posted by marioguy View Post
    Now that this topic is about religion and homosexuality, I have a question to ask.

    People can prove that the Bible isn't against homosexuality because Leviticus was written specifically for the ignorant Israelites, the Bible is only against forced homosexuality during pagan rituals, etc. But what about the Qu'ran? The Qu'ran makes it pretty clear that being gay is wrong. Can you guys rationalize that gay Muslims aren't contradictions?
    Can you cite the Qu'ran passages in question? I think your claim is pretty believable as is, mind, so it's just as a matter of reference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Admiral View Post
    Can you cite the Qu'ran passages in question? I think your claim is pretty believable as is, mind, so it's just as a matter of reference.
    This Wikipedia page has the quotes.
    Jackpot!

    I have a theory that the Pokémon world and the Mother world are one in the same. I won't go into spoilers for Mother 3, but think of Black and White's story of the dragon and the twins. Also, chimeras are kind of like Pokémon.

    Werster is without a doubt the Pokémon Master.

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