• LD Saunders
    314
    In the USA, we have a secular form of government. At the federal level this was always the case, at least in theory, and at the state levels, this was made the law of the land sometime in the late 1940s when the US Supreme Court applied the First Amendment to the state and local governments through the 14th Amendment's Due Process Clause. So, we are officially a nation who laws are not supposed to be determined by a religion.

    There are, however, quite a few Americans who believe in a divine-command theory of morality --- that is, a God must exist for us to have morality, and morality is whatever this God says it is. It seems to me that people who gold such views are not capable of participating in our secular democracy in the USA. While we want a separation of church and state, we do not want a separation of morality and the state. However, in making our governments moral, we have to debate the issue as part of our democratic process, which means we need to come up with logical reasons for supporting our position on public policy matters. Those among us who simply state, "God tells us we should persecute gays," or some such thing, are offering no logical reason for us to harm homosexuals as a matter of public policy. They are not even bothering to engage in the discusson really.


    So, can't we then state that the far-religious right in America, otherwise known as the bombs-and-Jesus crowd, exists outside our current governmental framework, and to that extent, aren't they un-patriotic Americans?
  • SnoringKitten
    34
    Ethics = ground-level morality, a sort of secular morality.

    There are big differences that come to light in some situations e.g. when people say "sure it's ethical - but not moral!".

    So my points are:
    - Religiosity and secularism are not incompatible (in fact the Muslim Ibn Rushd is thought by some to be the father of modern secularism, though Wikipedia as usual dumbs it down.)
    - Organised religion and secularism are incompatible, but relax, it's organised religion that bows out - if only for the sake of tax credits.
    - I have religiosity and l am firmly secularist
    - Secular laws didn't appear ex nihilo, they came from religious laws, which are perfectly moral laws, or at least were, before the Weirdy Beardy clique added creepy introductions into the tampered texts. You know, all that O.T.T. stuff in the O.T.
    - If you want to feel outrage, maybe start with stuff that is ethical and thus legal under secular law, but l'm guessing contrary to your own morals, e.g. bedding an animal and its offspring at the same time, then eating one or both of them, which also counts as cheating on one's neice aka one's wife who hasn't actually reached puberty yet. I believe this scenario is actually legal in some states, but you may need to cross state lines to complete the bucket list challenge.
  • Ram
    105
    Yes I'm against secularism. It's not a secret.
  • Ram
    105
    (in fact the Muslim Ibn Rushd is thought by some to be the father of modern secularism, though Wikipedia as usual dumbs it down.)SnoringKitten

    woah.... I doubt Ibn Rushd was modern or a secularist.....

    He was a Muslim who into philosophy.... there's this preconceived notion that people have that faith and reason are at odds... that's just false.... look at Al-Ghazali, Ibn Rushd, Thomas Aquinas... even Kant, Socrates, Hegel, and others (although the last ones I think were unorthodox)
  • Ram
    105
    There are, however, quite a few Americans who believe in a divine-command theory of moralityLD Saunders

    yes... people who believe in religion... religion entails that view.... I don't see a push to silence Marxists, Aristotelians, Stoics, etc.... but if you believe in a religion- they want you silenced.....

    I think even the OP lays out a groundwork for such..... so basically from the OP's premises... the only people whose views are valid are those who are non-religious.... rather than an open discussion or anything like that.... you want to arrange the rules of the game to favor your side.... and then play
  • yazata
    41
    I support secularism and I don't personally like or feel comfortable with hard-core divine-command-theorists.

    But having said that, I think that many secular voices are just as dangerous (certainly obnoxious) with their own sense of moral righteousness.

    Our contemporary culture can only be described as "Neo-Puritan". It's non-stop perjorative moral judgments directed at anyone who dares to disagree: "Racist!", "Bigot!" "Fascist!" "Homophobe!" "Xenophobe!", "Misogynist!"... and on and on.

    Most of that doesn't seem to be any better supported or justified than the moral opinions of the worst religious types. In one case it's the Bible (or the Quran or whatever), on the other hand it's... what?... personal intuition? Gut feeling?

    While I'm a religious agnostic and most emphatically favor secularism, I don't think that tearing moral judgmentalism away from its historical religious roots and just leaving it floating in the middle of the air with no justification at all really moves us to a better place.
  • DingoJones
    781
    To the OP:
    It is possible for someone to believe in a god, and believe morality can only come from god, and still believe in secularism. Secularism is not the belief there is no god, it is the belief that ones god beliefs should not be used to determine the way our society should operate. This seperation of church and state is very wise even if you hold religious beliefs, becuase other people hold other, different religious beliefs and in order for everyone to be able to get along fairly and equally with a society or culture it makes sense to set aside personal religious beliefs for such governance. You dont get to force anyone to live by your religious beliefs, but neither can anyone force you to do so.
    This is a perfectly sensible thing to do, even if you think your own morality is divinely inspired/based.
    So I cannot help but disagree.
  • Ram
    105
    I support secularism and I don't personally like or feel comfortable with hard-core divine-command-theoristsyazata

    You might not like religious types but we're at least consistent with our premises. Our conclusions follow from our premises.

    on the other hand it's... what?... personal intuition? Gut feeling?yazata

    Furthermore, I respect your right to disagree with me. You are free to your beliefs and I don't expect you to believe what I believe. Furthermore, I don't believe "the end justifies the means".

    What annoys me is it's the leftist utopian SJW types..... those are the types who are out to terrorize whoever thinks differently than them. I'm conservative in a lot of ways and I might give a stern lecture but I'm not out to terrorize whoever doesn't think like me. The word "terrorism" actually originated with the French Revolution where the utopians decided they were going to create some sort of utopia and in order to do so they were going to terrorize the people into submission and use terror (hence the Reign of Terror) against whoever disagreed with them.

    The French Revolution, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot- those are the real danger. I just want to practice my religion in peace and co-exist. However, the leftists.... those are the threat. The leftists don't want to co-exist. They want you to conform with their ideology... or else. And I don't think it's realistic that people with my sort of view will take power in Western countries. Religious conservatives have lost the culture war. The left goes after us because we're an easy target. Religious conservatives in the West have been defeated. We're not running things. The left controls academia, the media, the institutions... the religious types don't even control the right. Even the right has basically given up on religion and now has become a vehicle for thinly-veiled white nationalism. It's basically a battle between leftist social engineers who want to build a utopia and think they just need to intimidate everyone else into submission... and white nationalists. Religious conservatism isn't even on the table.
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    In the USA, we have a secular form of government.LD Saunders

    Could have fooled me.
  • alan1000
    40
    I chuckle when people assume that morality is impossible outside of christianity. Did Socrates and The Buddha lack morality? Did Confucius?
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    1.3k
    who said that in this thread?
  • alan1000
    40
    Ram, has it occurred to you that your opinions are leftist?
  • alan1000
    40
    Mr Phil, my remarks were meant to be an endorsement of comments made by DingoJones.
  • Couchyam
    20
    "There are, however, quite a few Americans who believe in a divine-command theory of morality --- that is, a God must exist for us to have morality, and morality is whatever this God says it is."

    True, but I strongly doubt that any practitioner of an Abrahamic faith would claim anything but incomplete, infinitesimal knowledge of what one might call 'the way.' Morals are the advice you give your kids and dependents, and you can only hope that what they understand from you is truly good. Ethics on the other hand are what you hope they will learn in time. In the U.S. it's easy to take freedom of self-determination (and personhood at an even more basic level) for granted: it's the uniquely American source of legitimacy that (at the very least) seems to free humanity from what probably seemed at one point in time to be an inescapable eternal sentence in Hobbesian statehood. Not everyone outside the U.S. feels the same way about freedom though, and the sentiment of those who claim special knowledge of good and evil (and aren't Jesus or a tried and true prophet, say) is reflected to some degree or another across borders, depending on what opportunities are overlooked.
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    1.3k
    @DingoJones made no such remarks. Thats a straw man of what he actually said. Quote specifically what he said that motivated your response
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    1.3k
    sorry read again and noticed the word endorsement which changes the meaning I thought you were saying.
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