Which comes first: Freedom of Religion or Civil Rights?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Bowser, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Balerion Banned Banned

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    The problem here is that you only measure harm by their ability to find another store. By that logic, there's nothing wrong with making minorities sit in the back of the bus. After all, there are seats back there, so no harm done...right?

    So then you disagree with a law that makes murder illegal. That's the natural progression of your comment. You must also be opposed to the Civil Rights Act, correct?

    But why not? Why don't you regard this as a reasonable limit? (Hint: "People should be allowed the freedom of religious expression" isn't the right answer)

    No, this is another false claim. No one is being penalized for having personal beliefs. There is no law against being a bigot. The bakery will be penalized for discriminating against a couple because of their sexual orientation. There is a difference.
     
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  3. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Still a poor analogy, as this is about discrimination, not segregation.

    Same difference as a blood diamond.

    Exactly. The situation associated with the item lends it a moral implication. What is not on the menu are cakes with that particular moral association. It is akin to selling a cartoon adorned birthday cake to a known pedophile, except there is actually more reasonable doubt of the pedophile's intent for the cake.
     
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  5. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Segregation is a form of discrimination. Separate But Equal was never really equal.

    I understand that. Except it isn't illegal to not buy blood diamonds.

    Yes, I agree.

    No, this is where you get lost. The cake itself has no moral implications, so morality isn't a menu item. What has moral implications is the act of providing that cake. And the law states that this is not a valid reason to refuse service. In other words, you can't say "We make wedding cakes for straight couples only." Can't do it.

    Yes, exactly. And in that case, the bakery would not be refusing because the pedophile ordered something not on the menu, they would be refusing because of the moral implications of the act of providing the cake. And, so far as I know, they would be within their rights in doing so.

    However, refusing that service to a gay couple because they'd use the cake to get gay married is not something they have a right to do.

    As an aside, how nice is it that we're having this debate without resorting to flaming? I'm kind of enjoying it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
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  7. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    So, according to Balerion, moral objection has no substance when it involves gay marriage. And the state law is the ground on which he stands.
     
  8. Balerion Banned Banned

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    That's correct. I have heard no good argument as to why gays should be subject to discrimination simply because of their sexual orientation. The fact that a religion disapproves of their behavior doesn't cut it for me.

    Wrong. I believe in the principles upon which the law was based. I believe people have a right to live in a society that doesn't discriminate against them because of incidental qualities.
     
  9. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    Here's another for ya...

    If the people of Oregon have a moral objection to gay marriage, isn't probable that a business owner might feel the same?
     
  10. Balerion Banned Banned

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    What point are you trying to make here? And if that law is overturned, would you then say that it's not likely that you'd find a bigoted business owner?

    Logic is not your strong suit.
     
  11. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I'm simply stating that the law does not always reflect what others consider moral, depending on which side of the line you stand. I suppose we have a bit of a conflict here: on one side there is the the law that protects sexual orientation, on the other we have a law that bans gay marriage. There might be an argument that since the state doesn't recognize gay marriage, why should a business owner?

    As for overturning the law, that's yet to be seen. There is an initiative in the works, but I'm not certain which way the vote will go. Certainly it has support in Portland and a few other Urban areas, but the rural communities will trounce it. We'll see.
     
  12. Balerion Banned Banned

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    In effect you're saying nothing, because nobody here has argued that there aren't opposing viewpoints on this issue. Congrats.

    It's a conflict in terms of philosophy, since the lack of support of gay marriage rights is a form of discrimination in and of itself. But it's not a legal conflict, since the law regarding service discrimination has nothing to do with the recognition of marriage.

    That's not an argument, since the law specifies that business owners can't discriminate based on sexual orientation. Nor is that any sort of philosophical argument; it's lazy thinking.

    I wasn't asking you for your uninformed opinion on the matter. I was exposing the flaw in your thinking.
     
  13. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    I must say that while it is not a necessary dicotomy, for the sake of argument if I had to choose I would go with Freedom of Religion [including freedom from religion] because it encapsulates the kind of thinking that leads to better and fairer civil rights based on more developed morality. I think Orwell said it well in 1984 : "Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2 is 4. If that is granted, ALL ELSE follows. But while freedom of religion is IMO more important, care must to taken to focus on the fact that its the underlying thought that matters : that reality is the judge and one is not free to push their beliefs onto others. Unless that is tended to, its entirely possible to have a religiously free state with massive oppression alongside.
     
  14. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    I must say that while it is not a necessary dicotomy, for the sake of argument if I had to choose I would go with Freedom of Religion [including freedom from religion] because it encapsulates the kind of thinking that leads to better and fairer civil rights based on more developed morality. I think Orwell said it well in 1984 : "Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2 is 4. If that is granted, ALL ELSE follows. But while freedom of religion is IMO more important, care must to taken to focus on the fact that its the underlying thought that matters : that reality is the judge and one is not free to push their beliefs onto others. Unless that is tended to, its entirely possible to have a religiously free state with massive oppression alongside.

    PS. Sorry for double reply - F*cking IE! Gotta switch to FF pronto.
     
  15. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    Clearly not, religion leads to discrimination at the very least
     
  16. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    Ok. But if we are not to choose freedom of religion, what shall be the religious character of the society? Will all be forced into one religion and anyone who leaves be killed or likewise for no religion? Either way, while the society will be free of discrimination by religion, it doesnt guarantee the lack of discrimination at all. In fact, given the necessarily oppressive nature of such a society, its all the more likely as an outlet for negativity. Even if civil rights are violated and therefore strictly punished, the fact will still remain that the society will be dissatisfied and morally stagnant [maybe not as much in a non-religious society but surely in any religious one]. If the choice is to be one of desirability, it ought to be the one that has a greater and better capacity for change. In a religiously free society, civil liberties may be harder to find a basis for, so it is a two sided coin.
     
  17. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    23,049
    HA HA HA

    Love the false premise that underlies your "theory" how about you start by proving that the non religious are amoral. Lets see, I work in the health and disability sector and in my free time I volunteer for St John Ambulance Service. So how EXACTLY am I immoral?

    You peddle this crap the way Michael peddles his anti government idocy and its just as wrong
     
  18. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I was with you up until the last sentence. Secular society drives the kind of moral change we see in society today. "All men are created equal" was the basis for much of the progress made in civil rights over the last century, and while the phrasing is quasi-religious, it isn't rooted in actual religious doctrine, and is therefore a secular ideal. My goodness, religious freedom itself is a secular concept; where does it exist without secular influence?

    I agree that religious freedom is a key element of such a society, but I don't agree that it's an either-or proposition. The right to practice your religion in a way that oppresses or discriminates against another is not part of the deal, precisely because freedom of religion includes--and is largely founded on--the right to not be subjected to injustice by another religious institution. So the idea that one should be allowed to refuse service to someone based on religious reasons is fundamentally flawed, it goes against the very spirit of the concept of religious freedom.
     
  19. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Not the form under discussion (even if it were discrimination), hence poor analogy.

    It is not illegal to not sell gay wedding cakes.

    It has a moral implication, just as a blood diamond does. The Oregon law states people cannot be discriminated against solely on the basis of sexual orientation. As I said before, no doubt this bakery would have served this lesbian anything else she wanted, other than a cake for a gay wedding. So it is the specific item ordered, and its associated moral implications, that was denied, not serving the gay person in general. Hence, not discrimination.

    And your earlier argument about serving a Muslim couple was a red herring for this same fact. It was not the person being denied. It was the moral implication. Even though a Christian may not agree with a Muslim, there is no service this bakery could have provided a Muslim that would knowingly contribute to a perceived immoral act.

    These two arguments are contradictory. How can they both be right and wrong to refuse service on moral grounds? Sounds like special pleading. It is not about the people themselves, so it is not discrimination. It is simply about moral grounds, which you just said they would be within their rights to do.

    Yes, only because I made it a point to ignore your ad hominems.
     
  20. Imperfectionist Pope Humanzee the First Registered Senior Member

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    I will take it... I will take it...

    The answer to the OP's question is that civil rights come first. After that, your religion can do all it wants.
     
  21. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Of course it's the same form. Service is being refused in both cases, hence apt analogy. The only differences are the basis for the discrimination (race rather than sexual orientation) and who is doing it (the local government rather than the local bakery).

    Unless you sell wedding cakes, in which case it very much is.

    When you abandoned your misguided attempt to defend the right to refuse service as inalienable, I wondered how long it would take you to retreat behind your infamous Wall of Semantics. I guess we're here now. (Though not before a rather arduous stop in "Menu Item" land)

    First of all, the law does not say discrimination is only illegal if done solely on the basis of sexual orientation. Secondly, you're fooling no one. Sexual orientation is not incidental to the issue gay marriage, as the basis for the moral argument against it is the participants' sexual orientation.

    The moral implication argument is fine, but the law has already decided that it isn't a legally valid reason to refuse service. Just as it isn't legal for a restaurant to refuse a table to a gay couple who are celebrating their wedding anniversary, even though that would fall under your extremely broad definitions of "participation" and "acceptance" regarding the immoral event in question.

    And it's a logical fallacy to argue that it isn't based on their sexual orientation because they might offer some services. Blacks were allowed access to some public bathrooms, just not all of them. They were allowed access to public transportation, just not certain seats. By your logic, that they were allowed a seat on the bus means that their refusal of certain seats has to do with something other than their skin color. (Incidentally, morality was at the forefront of the segregation argument, on both sides)

    Again with the semantics. A moral implication cannot be refused service, because a moral implication cannot request service. A human being was denied service, and the basis of that denial was the sexual orientation of the customer.

    Of course there are. A wedding cake for a polygamous Muslim couple comes to mind.

    They're not both right and wrong. Where did you get that idea? I said the person refusing a cartoon cake to a known pedophile is within their rights, whereas a person refusing a wedding cake to a gay couple is not. Pedophiles are not protected by any anti-discrimination laws that I am aware of.

    That's not true on any level. For one, of course it's about the people. Their sexual orientation is what the bible condemns, not their ability to marry or cohabitate, and is therefore the basis of any moral objection. Secondly, stop twisting my words; I never said all moral stances are legal, I said a moral stance against a pedophile was.

    There was no ad hominem. Anything I said about you was incidental, and entirely warranted. You're defending bigotry. Well, excuse me, you were defending bigotry. Now you're pretending it didn't happen.
     
  22. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    How exactly do you figure this a case of segregation? It is not, hence poor analogy.

    Ah, your usual "semantics" accusation in an attempt to poison the well.

    You yourself have agreed that businesses have the right to refuse service for reasons other than discrimination. Granted, you think this is discrimination, but I have shown that to be fallacious by the fact that any other service would not have been denied this lesbian. Hence the specific request, not the person in general, was denied.

    And apparently you only made the "semantics" accusation in an attempt to obfuscate your own. Either you are being intentionally obtuse by assuming I meant the Oregon law only covered sexual orientation, or you have once again forgotten the context of this thread. That law is, here, only applicable to sexual orientation. Since the person was not refused general service (i.e. solely for the reason of being gay), it was not a discrimination of the person.

    I agree that sexual orientation is not incidental to gay marriage, but the gay individual is incidental to denying a service with moral implications. A straight customer (like a wedding planner) would have been equally denied the service of a cake for a gay wedding. Or would you claim that discrimination by proxy?

    The courts have not decided the issue yet, unless you can cite specific language in a law. So no, "the law has [not] already decided that it isn't a legally valid reason to refuse service". A gay wedding anniversary is a red herring, as no service can contribute to the morally questionable marriage after the fact. And it is only your straw man that seeks to broaden the definitions of "participation" and "acceptance" to such an extent.

    Ah, I see. You are arguing segregation by conflating access with service, which is fallacious. Seats or facilities are proffered for public accommodation, while the service in question was not.

    Again, you accuse me of semantics immediately before losing yourself in those of your own making, and sounding idiotic to boot. Who said "a moral implication [could] request service"? Seems only a straw man appeal to ridicule, compounding fallacies. A human being was denied a specific service, not discriminated in general. Please cite any precedent for a service that would be denied any customer, regardless of sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. being legal grounds for a discrimination charge.

    Great example, as a cake for any polygamous wedding would be denied, regardless of religion, whether Muslim, Mormon, or even secular. Again, specific service is denied to everyone equally, and it is incidental who happens to be affected by a lack of such services. The fact that the service is denied equally, regardless of any possible minority criteria for discrimination, means that it is not discriminatory.
     
  23. Balerion Banned Banned

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    It doesn't have to be segregation, it has to be a refusal of service based on incidental qualities. And it is.

    And I have shown that this argument is fallacious because 1) a person is still being denied service, and 2) they are still being denied a service based on their sexual orientation; it doesn't matter that they are allowed access to some services regardless of their sexual orientation, because they are denied access to another precisely because of it. Just like a black person in the 1960s deep south had access to the bus, just not some of the seats. The argument you present here suggests that the southern black man was not being discriminated against because not all services were refused. I sincerely doubt you'd agree with that, so I suggest rethinking your position.

    Again, you aren't fooling anyone. The point of saying the law was "solely on the basis of sexual orientation" was obviously an ill-considered attempt to argue that it doesn't apply to something like refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding. But even if that isn't what you're saying, the claim that because they were allowed one service but not another means they weren't discriminated against for their orientation is blatantly fallacious. Imagine a woman being allowed to eat at a particular restaurant, but being told she couldn't eat at the counter with the male patrons. Your argument is that because she is allowed in the restaurant, her denial of a seat at the counter necessarily has nothing to do with her gender. But this, as I've explained several times, a fallacy. This argument has no more merit than the idea that freedom of oppression is an inalienable right or gay wedding cakes are a menu item. Three big swings and misses there, Syne.

    No it isn't, because the moral implication is directly tied to their sexuality. Denying a gay couple a cake because they're going to use it to smother puppies is fine, but refusing them service because they're going to have a gay wedding isn't. That's the law.

    The wedding planner works for the couple, and the money used to purchase the cake is the couple's. This would be no different than if the couple sent their adopted son to purchase the cake with their money. Now, if it were the father buying the cake, I don't know how that would legally shake out. But it's important to remember (and you keep dismissing it) that a human being was refused service. You can dance around it all you like, but that's what happened.

    Well, I suppose you never know which way a judge is going to go, but the idea that this is somehow different than other examples of discrimination is a false distinction, and one I've debunked repeatedly. So no, I don't need to cite court precedent, I simply need to cite the law. But if you want to cite some decisions to support this distinction, feel free.

    Now you're contradicting yourself. You said earlier that purchasing of a blood diamond is a tacit acceptance of the practice. But buying a blood diamond doesn't contribute to the extraction of that particular diamond anymore than allowing a gay wedding anniversary celebration at your restaurant contributes to the wedding that already happened. Clearly your point was that purchasing a blood diamond shows acceptance of the practice in general, and the example of a wedding anniversary fits perfectly.

    Another false distinction. Both public transport and businesses like a bakery are considered in the law to be public accommodations. In fact, Title II of the federal Civil Rights Act is entitled "INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AGAINST DISCRIMINATION IN PLACES OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION"

    I can understand why you think what I said absurd and idiotic. After all, I'm repeating your own words back to you. For example:

    I'll wait for your apology.

    Based on their sexuality. You're creating false distinctions here with no basis in law.

    Why would I do that? That's not what happened here. The refusal of service was not regardless of sex, race, sexual orientation, etc.. It was specifically because of the sexual orientation of the customer.

    You're swimming in logical fallacies. By your logic, the bakery could argue that because prayer is not specific to any particular religion, it is a legally sound reason to refuse service. Obviously, the key here is that polygamy is a part of the couple's faith, and therefore not a valid reason to refuse service. Just because a particular practice is shared by multiple faiths doesn't mean the refusal of service based on that practice is any less religious discrimination.
     

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