Should Freedom of Religion include Freedom from Religion?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Goldtop, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Sort of like atheists do for the Constitution (and indeed a large chunk of the knowledge base that makes up our culture and our science.) Yep, it's all good.
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  3. Michael 345 In Aust : found it :) Valued Senior Member

    Do we???? Are you sure????

    I thought the only thing atheist did to earn the label was not believe in gods

    Its best, and only, redeeming feature requirement. No ceremonies, no meetings, no membership fees, no rules regulations

    Don't know which group your thinking about

    If you do find out which group you are thinking about can you please post a correction

    The bunch you have in mind sound like a lowbrow mob. Not a bit like atheist I know

    If we WERE a meetings association we would kick out such a bunch

    Update. Just had a thought bubble. Perhaps you are thinking about Religious Creationist. They both end in so I can see where the confusion might have crept in

    No harm done but publish that correction please when you have time

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    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
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  5. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Regarding that much vaunted constitution. They really should have put in some kind of amending formula, so that it could change with the times; so that people of good conscience could take the oath of office, and work for improvements, like the right to carry loaded weapons into concerts and abolishing slavery .
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  7. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    they are organized now - even though it's somewhat akin to herding cats - with lobbies and periodicals and not only meetings but annual conventions - the next one in Vegas, if you please!

    And they do care about constitutional issues. I don't belong to any organization, so I don't know to what extent they cherry-pick its clauses, though I imagine they recognize amendments past the second one, and maybe even defend more than half a sentence.

  8. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Ah, but with you're actually referring to the small subset of atheists who happen to belong to the American Atheists organisation.
    That is certainly not atheists in general.
    With you're referring to the small subset of atheists who happen to belong to the American Humanist Association.
    Surprisingly, that also isn't atheists in general.

    Do some atheists form themselves into groups?
    Sure - some do.
    But the only thing necessary to be an actual bona fide atheist is to not hold the belief that God (or gods) exist (or for Jan's benefit, Is).
    If one wishes to refer to a certain subset that is absolutely fine, but one should surely not generalise to the whole in doing so?
  9. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Obviously. Christians also have many organized subsets; theists are divided into many more organized and disorganized groups; nothing prevents one being Christian-at-large, or an unaffiliated theist, or any kind of spiritual freelancer; people who believe in the supernatural can even have a foot on two camps at any given time. And, of course, people can identify as Christian, Buddhist, Muslim or Jewish without actually attending the ceremonies, practicing the rites or believing in the tenets of their professed faith.

    However, the last eight pages contain exchanges regarding several related (and one unrelated, if interesting) subjects and a great many generalizations. Most of those posts are in response to someone else's question or statement. I didn't deem it necessary to reiterate the standard disclaimer every time.
    This last remark to which you object was in the context of long and somewhat redundant discussion of whether it's possible to hold sincere convictions in two opposing philosophies, such as Democracy and Christianity, or the Bible and the US constitution, without highly selective reading of one or both.
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member


    Being an atheist is like being an a-unicornist. They don't have any reason to give themselves a label, or even speak about unicorns - never mind organize themselves.

    That is, until a bunch of pro-unicornists start dividing the world into unicorn-believers and non-unicorn-believers and demanding special treatment. Then we got a problem.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
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  11. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    And that's how atheism got labelled in the first place. Before the triumph of the madly proselytizing RCC, nobody seemed to mind or designate unbelievers in whatever the religion was in any region. We've had a problem ever since.
  12. Goldtop Registered Member

    None of those are my words, I simple asked for some evidence.
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Yes. Almost everyone sane does nowadays. You know the section in the Constitution that says an escaped slave has to be returned to their owner? We ignore that part now (which is a good thing IMO.) To use someone else's expression, we "pick out the bits we like to go apeshit over and ignore the rest."
    Hmm. I know a few atheists at the Unitarian church we attend. They seem to do the ceremony/fee/rule thing like everyone else.
    They're not that bad. They bring cookies sometimes!
    Not after you've had their cookies.
  14. Michael 345 In Aust : found it :) Valued Senior Member

    Got me
    Kick them out THEN eat the cookies
    Get us mob name on the back of leather jackets
    Cookie Atheist Monsters

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  15. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Do we have to rumble with the Flying Spaghetti Monster fundies in full pirate attire?

    Yes, you can have organizations, clubs and even football teams without reference to a god; you can have religions with lots of gods, or no gods but some other supernatural entity; you can worship a bull, a rock, nature or the universe.
    And if you've taken an oath to obey any of those entities/concepts, and then take an oath that contradicts those tenets, then you are a hypocrite and a liar. If you really believe that your supernatural entity sees you when you're sleeping, knows when you're awake, knows when you've been bad or good, then you would fear retribution on the order of eternal hellfire -
    which ought to prevent you taking that second oath, even more than you'd be prevented from doing so by fear the AMA finding out and revoking your license to practice medicine.
    If, on the other hand, you believe in no such things, all that prevents you misbehaving is your own conscience - not what's written in a book or on a parchment or on a dollar bill.

    Somebody really should clue billvon in to all those amendments, with particular attention to 13th and 14th. (Not that I should know anything about the US constitution or the bible, mind you. I just hear rumours seeping over the border.)
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017

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