the Right to Vote

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Edward Wechner, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Ok. There's a whole variety of defects in your idea. Here are two of them:

    1. You assert that religious people shouldn't be allowed to vote. But you still haven't defined what the word 'religion' means to you, or clarified who you believe is and isn't included in this class of 'religious people'.

    2. You assert that 'religious people' are 'mentally impaired'. But you've made no attempt to explain, justify and defend that seemingly quite outlandish statement. Since your whole thesis seems to depend on the impairment claim, it's important that you present your case.

    At this point, all you've been doing here on Sciforums is making trollish noises. You've been trying to make the dogs bark, but you still haven't thrown them any intellectual meat.
     
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  3. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

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    yeah i pushed the button before i finished my post and it got all screwed up. the points i made are still there for you to answer.
    1 - You said you had no "intention to discriminate", but desire only to disallow the religious their right as citizens to vote. Don't you see that disallowing someone's voting right is discrimination?

    2 -Do you see nothing weird about the following self-contradicting idea? "i respect your opinion, but, because you are stupid/crazy enough to have that opinion, i think you are crazy, and you shouldn't be allowed to vote."
     
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  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I have little interest in his early life experiences. His assertions are still going to stand or fall on their own merits, whatever those experiences were.

    But it is a little ironic. If his early life experiences damaged him, then arguably he's 'impaired', he's damaged goods. That suggests that based on his own assertions, he arguably shouldn't be allowed to vote.

    He's free to do that, but he has to do it persuasively and well.

    There's a broader point to be made here, one that a few of the louder and more aggressive atheists really need to pay attention to: Just because your earlier experiences with some form of religion have left you embittered, doesn't mean that everything you subsequently say against religion is going to be true, intelligent, persuasive or justifiable, based on your bitterness alone.

    After all, countless people report extremely positive early experiences with religion. That doesn't automatically mean that all of their ideas in favor of religion are therefore going to be true and justifiable.
     
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  7. Edward Wechner Registered Member

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    1. I do not discriminate, it is our law that says you must be of "sound mind" to qualify to vote, that is discrimination.

    2. no I do not see a contradiction; as per 1.
     
  8. Edward Wechner Registered Member

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    1. Yes I have very clearly defined what "religion means", anyone that reads the bible or the quran and afterwards believes that this is the truth and lives by it's moral values, is religious.

    2. The "quite outlandish statement" is justified by 1.
     
  9. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    So the only traditions that truly are religions in your view are Judaism, Christianity and Islam? What justification can you provide for saying that? Where does this rather narrow and exclusive definition leave Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Jainism, Sikhism, Shinto, and no end of additional local, ancient and new religions from all around the world? What about modern quasi-religions such as Marxism and UFOlogy?

    And your phrase "believes that this is the truth and lives by its moral values" needs some additional expansion. People interpret religious texts in different ways and they draw many different kinds of inspiration from them. What's more, many religious people pay little or no attention to written texts.

    It is?

    You assert that "religious people" are "mentally impaired". Your whole thesis about restricting voting rights depends on that seemingly outlandish assumption. And as yet, you haven't even tried to provide any justification for it.

    Here's a difficulty (just one of several) that you need to address:

    The whole idea of mental impairment implies that some standard exists which defines normal functioning and against which the impairment is defined. So what standard of normal functioning are religious people failing to meet? It doesn't appear that the standard can possibly be how the statistically normal human population behaves in real life, since most of that population displays some sort of religiosity. So are you trying to define "impaired" against some personal vision of how you think humanity ideally should behave?
     
  10. Rhaedas Valued Senior Member

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    I think we should change the "sound mind" to "informed voter", as casting a vote when you do not even understand what the differences are is a waste. But I'm not sure how you can validate what informed means, as people will have different and influenced opinions on that. IE, I don't think you can or should have a voter test, but I do think that voters should try and seek out information before they vote.

    As for the OP, I do think religion can influence how someone votes on an issue or person, but I don't think that by itself is a disqualifier, as there are plenty of things that can do the same thing.
     
  11. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

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    1,999
    Wrong. Someone has to interpret that law. It can be done with or without discrimination. You are trying to redefine the categories, so don't blame the law. Your defense is exactly like a mormon saying, "we should arrest people drinking coffee at starbucks for public intoxication", and then saying they are just enforcing the law. Ridiculous. First they would have to redefine intoxicants. YOU would have to make a new law, or voting regulation, that determines religious people's mental health, and that law or regulation would be discriminatory. You can't even begin to pretend the existing laws and regulations fit your idea, because they clearly do not.

    impossible. You CAN say you respect crazy people's something or other (perhaps their right to live or whatever), but you cannot say you respect their opinion.
     
  12. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

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    How do you feel about freedom, liberty, and individualism?

    Hmm…a freethinker, who does not believe in free thought.

    The wall of separation between church and state does not keep the pious from being influential, or atheists for that matter. Atheists need to speak out and be heard, but if they don’t like you, they won’t hear you. You cannot be persuasive, if they cannot relate to you. Religion is propaganda but they don’t have exclusive rights to the human emotional experience. So, be influential, be engaging, and be compelling, but don’t tread on human rights.

    P.S. I’m not irrational during my luteal phase, just less tolerant.
     
  13. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    I took it he was targeting people impaired in judgement on account of superstition or something rather vaguely imputed to be psychopathic religiosity.
    That was the discomfort I had with his introductory paragraph. But it did occur to me that there could be objective measures, such as psychological testing, to create a standard for competency. If any of the "religiously impaired judgment" were present, it might be as detectable as, say, clinical psychosis, or even mild psychopathy that would impair the voter's sound mind.

    Just as a great many religious people didn't fall for the jingoism, misogyny, xenophobia, conspiracy theories, lies/denial, anger and deep-seated fears and hatred that Republicans were broadcasting. I think Edward is addressing the subset of voters who opposed Obama out of a sense of racial superiority and/or fear, and a whole set of thinking errors they exhibited that stem from religiosity, vulnerability to programming by Evangelicals, and susceptibility to extremes of superstition, from the Birthers to the Benghazi conspiracy theorists, to their fear of an educated professor launching a takeover by a new illuminati.

    All the well-adjusted folks who happen to harbor some deep superstition without the disordered thinking of the Right Wing Fundamentalists would pass any psychological screening with flying colors. I doubt that Edward wants to deny them their voter card.

    The bigger issue, almost diametrically opposed to the scenario you mention, is the huge number of messed up people who evidently need psychological treatment. Concerns over their right to vote, in my mind, pale in comparison to their need for intervention.

    My view is that the insults and the wacko reactions, like actually bothering to sign a petition to secede (except as a practical joke, without feeling bent) and, of course, the bizarre anger and hatred reflected in the things fundies are posting, is like a general sense of American mental illness on a massive scale. In the past this would be dismissed as politics, because, in the past, the ruling elite were 100% WASPs. Now we know better. The question is, what are we going to do about it? This is what appeals to me most about Edward's proposal. He's suggesting a theoretical plan of action. Although it's highly impractical, it opens a conversation that needs to be resolved in the US, which hangs around our necks like a millstone. This is what we are in actuality kicking down the road. Forget all those falling-sky worries about mounting debt. What's being left for the generations to come are the profits of insanity.

    Although voting is the linchpin of government by the people, it's inconceivable that we will ever begin to have a real democracy until we begin to address the problem of mental health as a matter of national interest. And nothing points to the scale and severity of widespread thinking errors and the need for corrective action as the Republican message this election, and the frenzy it stirred among religious psychopaths.
     
  14. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    I wonder how many people have been disqualified to vote on grounds of being unsound. I've never heard of such a thing although I've never put 2 and 2 together like this until Edward brought it up. Insanity is quite loosely defined in the law, so that a mental state that will keep you out of the military will not protect you from prosecution on a criminal charge. I would think there is little scrutiny over who gets election cards, esp. since the issue wouldn't normally come before a judge or case worker.

    I think that depends on whether you were singling out nuts of a particular flavor from the many that roam our streets, their pulses quickening to Adrenaline Rush (Limbaugh) and that whole asylum of psychos. If all people of unsound mind were being screened out, then wouldn't the religious nuts get caught in the sieve too?

    I wonder if he means he respects their thinking to the extent that it's rational, or the way they would be thinking if they were taking their pills, or the way they used to think before the stroke, or before the IED, or the genetic anomaly, or whatever the cause, that turned them into raging bulls. To the extent that they might able to be kind to animals rather than to abuse them, and might, for example, want to see the government take care of abandoned pets, would certainly be a respectable opinion, even if they think Obama is a Klingon. (This might apply to districts that would lose their animal shelters under Romney, for example.)
     
  15. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

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    an idea that crazies should be kept from voting is already in the law. The idea that all religious people are crazy, is what is being stated by the OP. Of course if there were a general sweep of all citizens that might be ok, however i think you would get the opposite effect, because there are studies that have shown people with faith are less likely to suffer diagnosable mental disorders.
    http://www.holistic-online.com/remedies/anxiety/anx_prayer.htm
    i had a better source before for that but i can't find it.

    my point is that you don't respect a particular belief if you think that belief can only be held by a crazy person. I am quite sure it is possible for someone to respect a crazy person's belief that animals should not be abused, without respecting whatever belief it is that causes you to label them crazy.
     
  16. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Let's be clear then:

    Denying "religious" people the right to vote, is one of the first steps to eliminate them.

    You don't want to stone them or burn them at the stakes, but you want to eliminate them in a way that is a bit slower and doesn't seem so egregious. But you do want to eliminate them.
     
  17. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    You call that heroism??
     
  18. Rhaedas Valued Senior Member

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    Not quite. Prayer doesn't eliminate the problem, just has similar benefits to non-religious coping methods. Your source says just as much. But is it better to pretend that God has cured you, than to realize that you do have a disorder, but know how to deal with it?
     
  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    How do you propose to know that it is pretense?
     
  20. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Where did you find anything about "similar benefits to non-religious coping methods"?
    Studies have shown that religious people are less likely to become depressed and anxious than their nonreligious counterparts. - http://www.holistic-online.com/remedies/anxiety/anx_prayer.htm

    For Christian men and women, and for Hindu women, frequent attendance at worship was correlated with fewer psychological problems. (This effect did not hold true for Hindu men.) - http://www.holistic-online.com/remedies/anxiety/anx_prayer.htm
    Or are you just making a hasty generalization from this bit?

    Studies among adults reveal fairly consistent relationships between levels of religiosity and depressive disorders that are significant and inverse.8,14 Religious factors become more potent as life stress increases.15 Koenig and colleagues8 highlight the fact that before 2000, more than 100 quantitative studies examined the relationships between religion and depression. Of 93 observational studies, two-thirds found lower rates of depressive disorder with fewer depressive symptoms in persons who were more religious. In 34 studies that did not find a similar relationship, only 4 found that being religious was associated with more depression. Of 22 longitudinal studies, 15 found that greater religiousness predicted mild symptoms and faster remission at follow-up.
    ...
    All religious beliefs and variables are not necessarily related to better mental health. Factors such as denomination, race, sex, and types of religious coping may affect the relationship between religion or spirituality and depression.20,21 Negative religious coping (being angry with God, feeling let down), endorsing negative support from the religious community, and loss of faith correlate with higher depression scores.
    - http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/display/article/10168/1508320
     
  21. Rhaedas Valued Senior Member

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    From same link.

     
  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Does anyone know of any studies done on people who deliberately take up a religion in order to feel better and to be better able to cope with life's challenges?
     
  23. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    So nowhere. There was no comparison whatsoever to "non-religious coping methods". It actually said that religious belief is more efficacious than the practices of the nonreligious.
     

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