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Should Governments regulate fraudulent religions? 
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Post Re: Should Governments regulate fraudulent religions?
Harry Marks wrote:
[
Quote:
quote="Gnostic Bishop"]Every law is thought control, a demand and compulsion for us to discriminate, on pain of punishment, against certain actions and people ideas.
No, obviously not. You can be put in jail for burglary or drunk driving because we want to protect citizens from those who take certain actions. You cannot be put in jail for thinking burglary is a good idea, or drunk driving. In the U.S., not for advocating them either. The point of thought control is to punish thoughts we don't like, explicitly distinct from behavior we don't like.


I will give you half mark on this because of my foolish inclusion of thoughts.

Otherwise, what I said was exact.

Quote:
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
You should want the good religions to dominate. You do want good religions to dominate. Right?
Not if by governmental power. If a religion cannot persuade on its own, it should be left to die. That is the American contribution to church/state relations, and I must say it has been good for both church and state to do things that way.


Really?
Even though our mainstream religions promote homophobia and misogyny?

Quote:
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Or do you enjoy a sprinkling of evil religions?
Like something to gawk at on the internet? Well, it might have a good effect on people to be aware that there are snake-handlers and total chastity types out there. Help to keep people focused on the need for critical thinking, if you see what I mean.

[/quote]

Indeed. The more the loony religions are in our minds, the less growth will happen to religions.

Note how they are shrinking as we speak. That or are getting more moral as secular laws force them to think better.

Regards
DL



Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:50 pm
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Post Re: Should Governments regulate fraudulent religions?
The Skeptic's Guide to the Galaxy had a similar discussion a few years back. In that case, they were discussing a law in Philadelphia that makes the practice of fortunetelling illegal. I argued (by email) that such a law overreaches. People get their fortunes told for a variety of reasons. But more importantly if people want to believe in mumbo jumbo it's their right. In the case of fortune-telling, some people willingly suspend disbelief and in that sense it's a form of entertainment they are willing to pay for. You're getting into very dodgy territory when you invite the state to say what is and what isn't okay to believe.

My other point was along the lines of Harry Marks' caveat emptor. We live in a free country and people are free to make choices. Religions offer spiritual comfort to those who want spiritual comfort. Obviously it's a service with a hell of a lot of demand.

Obviously there are exceptions, as in the case of making promises that are clearly of a fraudulent nature, such as an attempt to bilk money from a gullible person. That crosses a line to be sure. But religion means different things to different people. I don't think it's very productive or fair to make a blanket statement that all religions are fraudulent.


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Post Re: Should Governments regulate fraudulent religions?
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
I will give you half mark on this because of my foolish inclusion of thoughts.
Well, except that my point, to which you responded, was that your proposal smacks of thought control. I included thoughts, and you seemed, at first, to think it was a good idea.
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
That is the American contribution to church/state relations, and I must say it has been good for both church and state to do things that way.
Really?
Even though our mainstream religions promote homophobia and misogyny?
Umm, it sounds like you would compel them to stop taking the positions they do on issues. I do have trouble with that. Yes, I think it is good for the state to hold off on punishing people for unpopular views. Most views start out unpopular. And if we compelled society to agree with every thought that claimed the mantle of "progressive" our views would be bouncing around like the squirrel on caffeine in "Over the Hedge". Persuasion takes time, and attention, and engagement. And that's a good thing.

Do I think religion being out from under the state has been good for religion? Yes, of course. My wife and I have long been part of a denomination that rejected homophobia at least 35 years ago. Long before most of society. Ruled by the state, we would have been compelled to agree with the crowd or leave.

I'm not saying there is something to be proud of about conservative religion dragging its feet on social change. If not for evangelical Christianity, there would be no question of teaching anything but evolution in schools. What I am saying is that it warps religion horribly to take the instruments of violence in hand, as many Muslim sects do.



Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:02 am
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Post Re: Should Governments regulate fraudulent religions?
Maybe I am just a little soft, but from time to time I get warm fuzzy feeling about religion and think about it being a part of my life again. The other day I passed by a church that appeared to be one of the "Bible-fearing" ones. The sign announcing the sermon read, "What Is Your Impact on Others?" I could not think of any other public venue at which people come together to hear about such an important topic. No doubt the preacher would illustrate his talk with Bible parables and quotations, but I don't imagine that an atheist would find them objectionable.

That is off-topic. I agree with geo and Harry that religion should be left alone. Under our Constitution it is speech that is protected.



Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:23 am
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Post Re: Should Governments regulate fraudulent religions?
geo wrote:
The Skeptic's Guide to the Galaxy had a similar discussion a few years back. In that case, they were discussing a law in Philadelphia that makes the practice of fortunetelling illegal. I argued (by email) that such a law overreaches. People get their fortunes told for a variety of reasons. But more importantly if people want to believe in mumbo jumbo it's their right. In the case of fortune-telling, some people willingly suspend disbelief and in that sense it's a form of entertainment they are willing to pay for. You're getting into very dodgy territory when you invite the state to say what is and what isn't okay to believe.

My other point was along the lines of Harry Marks' caveat emptor. We live in a free country and people are free to make choices. Religions offer spiritual comfort to those who want spiritual comfort. Obviously it's a service with a hell of a lot of demand.

Obviously there are exceptions, as in the case of making promises that are clearly of a fraudulent nature, such as an attempt to bilk money from a gullible person. That crosses a line to be sure. But religion means different things to different people. I don't think it's very productive or fair to make a blanket statement that all religions are fraudulent.


I did not state that all religions were fraudulent. Those that focus on knowledge and wisdom would likely get a pass as they do not need to lie to their adherents.

Basically, only those religions that are supernatural and fantasy based, with demonstrably immoral Gods would likely be asked to change their immoral dogma.

Yahweh, a genocidal son murdering God, would likely get a fail.

Regards
DL



Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:53 am
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Post Re: Should Governments regulate fraudulent religions?
Harry Marks wrote:
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
I will give you half mark on this because of my foolish inclusion of thoughts.
Well, except that my point, to which you responded, was that your proposal smacks of thought control. I included thoughts, and you seemed, at first, to think it was a good idea.
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
That is the American contribution to church/state relations, and I must say it has been good for both church and state to do things that way.
Really?
Even though our mainstream religions promote homophobia and misogyny?
Umm, it sounds like you would compel them to stop taking the positions they do on issues. I do have trouble with that. Yes, I think it is good for the state to hold off on punishing people for unpopular views. Most views start out unpopular. And if we compelled society to agree with every thought that claimed the mantle of "progressive" our views would be bouncing around like the squirrel on caffeine in "Over the Hedge". Persuasion takes time, and attention, and engagement. And that's a good thing.

Do I think religion being out from under the state has been good for religion? Yes, of course. My wife and I have long been part of a denomination that rejected homophobia at least 35 years ago. Long before most of society. Ruled by the state, we would have been compelled to agree with the crowd or leave.

I'm not saying there is something to be proud of about conservative religion dragging its feet on social change. If not for evangelical Christianity, there would be no question of teaching anything but evolution in schools. What I am saying is that it warps religion horribly to take the instruments of violence in hand, as many Muslim sects do.


Yet, in your own case, you seem to have forgiven Christianity for it's many Inquisitions and Holy Wars.

I have to wonder how you would feel if German's were as quick to forgive Hitler and maintain his policy thinking in a new and populous S.S. party.

If you forgive God's genocide, then you should not have a problem with Germans doing the same and venerating Hitler.

Thoughts?

Regards
DL



Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:06 pm
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Post Re: Should Governments regulate fraudulent religions?
DWill wrote:
Maybe I am just a little soft, but from time to time I get warm fuzzy feeling about religion and think about it being a part of my life again. The other day I passed by a church that appeared to be one of the "Bible-fearing" ones. The sign announcing the sermon read, "What Is Your Impact on Others?" I could not think of any other public venue at which people come together to hear about such an important topic. No doubt the preacher would illustrate his talk with Bible parables and quotations, but I don't imagine that an atheist would find them objectionable.

That is off-topic. I agree with geo and Harry that religion should be left alone. Under our Constitution it is speech that is protected.


Yes but hate speech directed towards gays and women who will not take their second class citizenship quietly is wrong and way too many of the mainstream religions do just that.

If women and gays cannot get hate speech out of churches then those churches should be closed for preaching unfounded hate.

I do not mind hate speech when there is a just cause for the hate, but that is not the case with gays and women.

Regards
DL



Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:12 pm
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Post Re: Should Governments regulate fraudulent religions?
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Under_Taker wrote:
All religion is dangerous be it fraud or not....


Since they have gifted us with 3,000 years of war, I agree.


Right, because we all know that wars need religion to happen. No one ever went to war to grab land, or oil, or slaves. Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun were such fanatics - without religion they would have been meek as a lamb.

And the way Catholic France intervened in the quintessential war of religion, the Thirty Years' War, shows how big religion is in warfare. Oh, yeah, they came in on the Protestant side. Well, there are always exceptions, I guess.



Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:59 am
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Post Re: Should Governments regulate fraudulent religions?
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
I did not state that all religions were fraudulent. Those that focus on knowledge and wisdom would likely get a pass as they do not need to lie to their adherents.
Yeah, like the people explaining that quantum mechanics now demonstrates that all is part of one big consciousness. Or the ones who will, for a few million, freeze your body til science figures out how to make you immortal and then will unfreeze it. Knowledge and wisdom - that's the ticket!

Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Basically, only those religions that are supernatural and fantasy based, with demonstrably immoral Gods would likely be asked to change their immoral dogma.

I almost picked up on "supernatural", as if you know how to demonstrate that dogma is supernatural or fantasy-based, and then I did a double take on "demonstrably immoral". Pray tell, how you demonstrate the immorality of Jesus dying for atonement of sins?



Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:10 am
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Post Re: Should Governments regulate fraudulent religions?
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
What I am saying is that it warps religion horribly to take the instruments of violence in hand, as many Muslim sects do.
Yet, in your own case, you seem to have forgiven Christianity for it's many Inquisitions and Holy Wars.
Right. And you have forgiven Europe for the slave trade.

Where do you get these accusations? I just finished stating that the combination of religion and violence is toxic. I used an obvious current example, and you accuse me of not using the right example.



Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:15 am
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Post Re: Should Governments regulate fraudulent religions?
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Yes but hate speech directed towards gays and women who will not take their second class citizenship quietly is wrong and way too many of the mainstream religions do just that.
If women and gays cannot get hate speech out of churches then those churches should be closed for preaching unfounded hate.
I do not mind hate speech when there is a just cause for the hate, but that is not the case with gays and women.
I'm guessing you are a Millennial, with a liberal arts education. Somebody who can't remember back to when "hate speech" was the law of the land, and people often lost their jobs for not toeing the segregationist or misogynist line.

Look, there are good reasons why we don't go there. I am okay with prosecuting hate crimes, when someone does something violent just to make a political point, like the church shooting in South Carolina or the shooting of a Republican congressman. But speech is protected because a society is better off when we are allowed to say unpopular things, whether or not those things would have negative consequences for groups of people.

Do you ever say unpopular things?

Maybe you should consider what is protecting your right to do that?



Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:22 am
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Post Re: Should Governments regulate fraudulent religions?
Harry Marks wrote:
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Under_Taker wrote:
All religion is dangerous be it fraud or not....


Since they have gifted us with 3,000 years of war, I agree.


Right, because we all know that wars need religion to happen. No one ever went to war to grab land, or oil, or slaves. Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun were such fanatics - without religion they would have been meek as a lamb.

And the way Catholic France intervened in the quintessential war of religion, the Thirty Years' War, shows how big religion is in warfare. Oh, yeah, they came in on the Protestant side. Well, there are always exceptions, I guess.


Land grabs were frequent but you seem to think that a small minority of non-believers somehow manipulated the vast majority of believers to do their land grabbing for them.

Rather counter intuitive that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxoxPapPxXk

Regards
DL



Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:25 am
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Post Re: Should Governments regulate fraudulent religions?
Harry Marks wrote:
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
I did not state that all religions were fraudulent. Those that focus on knowledge and wisdom would likely get a pass as they do not need to lie to their adherents.
Yeah, like the people explaining that quantum mechanics now demonstrates that all is part of one big consciousness. Or the ones who will, for a few million, freeze your body til science figures out how to make you immortal and then will unfreeze it. Knowledge and wisdom - that's the ticket!

Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Basically, only those religions that are supernatural and fantasy based, with demonstrably immoral Gods would likely be asked to change their immoral dogma.

I almost picked up on "supernatural", as if you know how to demonstrate that dogma is supernatural or fantasy-based, and then I did a double take on "demonstrably immoral". Pray tell, how you demonstrate the immorality of Jesus dying for atonement of sins?


Simply by looking at scriptures that show it as immoral, as well as using common sense.

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

Deuteronomy 24:16 (ESV) "Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin.

The declaration which says that God visits the sins of the fathers upon the children is contrary to every principle of moral justice. [Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason]

--------

Having another innocent person suffer for the wrongs you have done, --- so that you might escape responsibility for having done them, --- is immoral. To abdicate personal responsibility or use a scapegoat is immoral.

Do you agree?

If not, please show how it is morally and legally good to punish the innocent instead of the guilty, bearing in mind that all legal systems think that punishing the guilty is what is justice.

Also, Christians are to emulate their God.

We are all sons of God according to Jesus. Would you punish your innocent son while letting your guilty one off the hook?

Regards
DL



Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:31 am
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Post Re: Should Governments regulate fraudulent religions?
Harry Marks wrote:
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
What I am saying is that it warps religion horribly to take the instruments of violence in hand, as many Muslim sects do.
Yet, in your own case, you seem to have forgiven Christianity for it's many Inquisitions and Holy Wars.
Right. And you have forgiven Europe for the slave trade.

Where do you get these accusations? I just finished stating that the combination of religion and violence is toxic. I used an obvious current example, and you accuse me of not using the right example.


I forgive the dead for what they did. I do not forgive the living for their continuing homophobia and misogyny and slave holding ideologies nor do I forgiver the immoral people who support those religions.

Regards
DL



Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:35 am
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Post Re: Should Governments regulate fraudulent religions?
Harry Marks wrote:
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Yes but hate speech directed towards gays and women who will not take their second class citizenship quietly is wrong and way too many of the mainstream religions do just that.
If women and gays cannot get hate speech out of churches then those churches should be closed for preaching unfounded hate.
I do not mind hate speech when there is a just cause for the hate, but that is not the case with gays and women.
I'm guessing you are a Millennial, with a liberal arts education. Somebody who can't remember back to when "hate speech" was the law of the land, and people often lost their jobs for not toeing the segregationist or misogynist line.

Look, there are good reasons why we don't go there. I am okay with prosecuting hate crimes, when someone does something violent just to make a political point, like the church shooting in South Carolina or the shooting of a Republican congressman. But speech is protected because a society is better off when we are allowed to say unpopular things, whether or not those things would have negative consequences for groups of people.

Do you ever say unpopular things?

Maybe you should consider what is protecting your right to do that?


And you should consider that speech must be judged on the results.

Yell fire in a theatre and see how your freedom to say what you like gets you thrown in jail due to the harm you might cause.

The religions have their right to speak as well, but if their homophobic and misogynous preaching creates a lot of harm and you do not seem to care about that.

Then again, you seem to think it ok to punish the innocent instead of the guilty and take advantage of that so I question your moral vies on every issue but will maintain some wiggle room till I see what you put to the Jesus sacrifice issue, even though a God cannot die.

Regards
DL



Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:43 am
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