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What does freedom of religion mean to you?

Engage in conversations about worldwide religions, cults, philosophy, atheism, freethought, critical thinking, and skepticism in this forum.
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Lyric
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What does freedom of religion mean to you?

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I know a lot of people on here are atheist, or at least indifferent about God or Religion, but is religion something that you respect of other people? Do you think that everyone should have your/the same viewpoint? Religious people are wrong? What are your thoughts on different kinds of religions? Most people think of Christianity when they think of religion, but what about the religions of different indigenous cultures? Should people be free to choose and practice any religion? Do you think atheism is a religion?
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Robert Tulip

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Re: What does freedom of religion mean to you?

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Lyric wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 4:03 pm I know a lot of people on here are atheist, or at least indifferent about God or Religion, but is religion something that you respect of other people?
I do generally respect religion, as I observe that religious belief creates a focus on moral improvement. I think though that it is important for religious people to be humble, and not to insist that claims that conflict with scientific knowledge are literally true.
Lyric wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 4:03 pmDo you think that everyone should have your/the same viewpoint?
No. Diversity of cultural heritage is of immense value. It is often difficult to tell whether a specific belief or practice is helpful or harmful. There has been so much destruction of human cultural heritage that we need to conserve different traditions, and promote respectful dialogue between them. Some atheists do not appreciate the cultural value of religion, and promote a dogmatic hostility that cuts them off from much valuable learning.
Lyric wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 4:03 pmReligious people are wrong?
When politics intrudes into religion there is massive potential for error. I look at this quite broadly, but primarily with the problem that fundamentalists make a political argument that their false beliefs should be taken literally by others. It is perfectly okay to read a book like Genesis as a beautiful poetic story, but it is a dangerous evil to use the pretense that the creation story is literally true to influence the broader society.
Lyric wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 4:03 pmWhat are your thoughts on different kinds of religions?
All kinds of religion have value, including creationism, when they give people a sense of meaning and purpose and identity. The big challenge is to get different religious perspectives into dialogue with each other on a respectful basis.
Lyric wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 4:03 pmMost people think of Christianity when they think of religion, but what about the religions of different indigenous cultures?
Indigenous religion tends to have more respect for than sanctity of the natural world than traditional Christianity. The Bible does have these teachings, but they have not been very well understood or interpreted. So it is possible to reconcile Indigenous mythologies with Christian mythology.
Lyric wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 4:03 pmShould people be free to choose and practice any religion?
Within the limits of the law, yes. You can’t use religion to allow you to break the laws of the state.
Lyric wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 4:03 pmDo you think atheism is a religion?
That is a really complex question. The recent liberal atheism in the USA has an aggressive argument that atheism is only non-belief, and therefore is not a religion. I see atheism more broadly, looking at its philosophical origins and its worldwide history. Communism is an example of an atheist religion that has had massive and mostly negative impact. A religion is a positive worldview. When atheism functions as a positive worldview, a claim to present a coherent explanation of reality, it performs many of the same tasks as religion. But religion as generally understood involves ritual, which is not part of atheism.
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Re: What does freedom of religion mean to you?

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In the States freedom of religion has a constitutional obligation/right. It’s clearly written that any person can be a member of any religious cult that they choose to be a part of, that, their religious freedom is a protected right but…. No governmental entity can or will finance said religion/church.
That’s the separation of church and state. The lines of separation have been blurred for decades if not longer. We now see the States/State using public funds being used in particular towards education, school choice is a melding of the public, private sector.
But that’s just one glaring example.
The separation exists because the Constitution was ratified to be a Republic, not a theocracy. Part of the gaslighting argument is that the Constitution is founded on Judaic/ Christian values while in fact the ratifiers were deists.
The evolving issue is more than the OP question.
The real question should be whether or not there is freedom “from” religion.
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Taylor

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Re: What does freedom of religion mean to you?

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It appears to me that I have posed two different questions.
Are we free because of religion?.
Can we be free of religion?.
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Robert Tulip

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Re: What does freedom of religion mean to you?

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Taylor wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2024 9:43 am It appears to me that I have posed two different questions.
Are we free because of religion?.
Can we be free of religion?.
My view is that we can only be truly free within a religious framework. If religion connects us to the inner connectivity of nature, then our own freedom expresses the freedom of nature. People today are not really free, but are in bondage to all manner of idols. When our highest value is anything other than eternal truth we lose the intrinsic freedom that is our providence from God. Science holds to eternal truths such as the laws of gravity and relativity and thermodynamics and evolution. If we try to defy these laws we are delusional, and our perceived freedom is bondage. Similarly there are eternal truths within mathematics and ethics that provide a basis for authentic freedom.

At the moment, religion is mostly not much of a force for freedom, since so many delusional beliefs just snare us in suffering and control. But religion has the potential to become a force for liberation from oppression. Here is a sermon I preached last Sunday that touches on these themes.
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Re: What does freedom of religion mean to you?

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Robert Tulip wrote: Sat Mar 23, 2024 10:03 pm I do generally respect religion, as I observe that religious belief creates a focus on moral improvement. I think though that it is important for religious people to be humble, and not to insist that claims that conflict with scientific knowledge are literally true.
That is true, that religion should be a humble thing, and even in Christianity humility is very important. I know that a lot of religious people, even leaders, and especially in the past, have been quite oppressive and have given religion a bad rap. But there is no part in the Bible that claims that you need to push your beliefs on others or you should blindly have faith, and anyone who teaches that has obviously not read the Bible.
Robert Tulip wrote: Sat Mar 23, 2024 10:03 pm When politics intrudes into religion there is massive potential for error. I look at this quite broadly, but primarily with the problem that fundamentalists make a political argument that their false beliefs should be taken literally by others. It is perfectly okay to read a book like Genesis as a beautiful poetic story, but it is a dangerous evil to use the pretense that the creation story is literally true to influence the broader society.
I believe that secular politics and religion should be very seperate. As a Christian, I have the belief that human life is sacred from conception. But do I believe that no one should have the right to do what they want with their body and their life? Of course not. Free will is a God-given thing, and laws against something that people will do anyways will result in people resorting to methods that are even more unsafe. Do Christians forcefully stop people from sinning in any other way? No, so actual laws should not prohibit it either.

And even as a Christian, I believe that the Bible and Science are in harmony. I do not believe the earth was created in 6 days, but that it was very thoughtfully and intricately designed. I enjoy learning about science and biology, but learning about it usually only strengthens my faith and my appreciation for the natural world.

I respect atheists and understand their beliefs, so one that is open to talk about their beliefs and hear about others is always welcome. :-D
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Re: What does freedom of religion mean to you?

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It's just another useless construct nowadays that serves mainly to create conflict where none existed before.

In times long gone, at the very least it was useful in bringing together a community.

The "freedoms" we should respect no longer include: just because someone does not agree with your views does not pose a threat to your perspective.

No, it's more based on "agree with us and you're free to do, think, believe whatever you want.. Oh and everyone else is wrong. " nowadays... At least, that's what I see, all these people eagerly choosing "teams" for the sole purpose of feeling themselves superior and perhaps to gain excuses for picking fights with people.
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Re: What does freedom of religion mean to you?

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Dennis Wolf wrote: Fri Apr 05, 2024 9:21 pm The "freedoms" we should respect no longer include: just because someone does not agree with your views does not pose a threat to your perspective.
Yeah, that's exactly what me and my Dad were talking about just earlier. Even the Catholic Church is wildly corrupt, along with lots of other Churches. And people are not open to any agreement, as it said in 2 Timothy 3:3. Almost everything is wrong with the world, but I find myself happier when I stay away from the news, social media, and anything that will promote slated viewpoints.
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Re: What does freedom of religion mean to you?

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Lyric wrote: Sat Apr 06, 2024 3:42 pm
Dennis Wolf wrote: Fri Apr 05, 2024 9:21 pm The "freedoms" we should respect no longer include: just because someone does not agree with your views does not pose a threat to your perspective.
Yeah, that's exactly what me and my Dad were talking about just earlier. Even the Catholic Church is wildly corrupt, along with lots of other Churches. And people are not open to any agreement, as it said in 2 Timothy 3:3. Almost everything is wrong with the world, but I find myself happier when I stay away from the news, social media, and anything that will promote slated viewpoints.
Yes, if the crusades weren't enough, then seeing the child abuse, the pope and various other figures of significance in the church meeting with regular politicians should rip the veil clean off of them.

People act high and mighty, but the level of stupidity evident on a global scale, (that they fall for cheap tricks used since the days of the Roman empire, perhaps since before) indicates that we are nearing the point where a hard reset on the world will be the only thing that can bring about change... Meaningful change.

I'm not religious and don't want to be, because religion is only man made constructs designed to control even our souls and spiritual practice.
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Re: What does freedom of religion mean to you?

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Mr. Tulip wrote:At the moment, religion is mostly not much of a force for freedom, since so many delusional beliefs just snare us in suffering and control. But religion has the potential to become a force for liberation from oppression.
Consider Christianity and the Bible were deployed to both justify and attack slavery. We should reject all religions that are ambivalent on that issue.

Consider Christian Nationalists who dispute the wall of separation in the 1st Amendment and demand that a specific brand of Christianity control everything are also terrified that Sharia Law or the Roman Catholic Church will take over. That inconsistency does not create cognitive dissonance for them. :x :lol:
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