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Sad commentary on the commitment to Freedom among the American people.
Posted: 14 July 2013 05:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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I’ll go so far as to make this really simple: There is NO SUCH THING as blasphemy. It’s a “crime” contrived out of absolutely nothing in defence of something the existence of which has NO support in any sort of evidence. It’s express purpose is to squelch any sort of questioning and inquiry.

If there IS such a thing as a “supreme being” it doesn’t need our veneration or the defense of any of our laws.

Hell, if omnipotence exists, it can take care of itself quite adequately. (If it can’t, it’s not omnipotent!)

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Posted: 14 July 2013 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 14 July 2013 05:40 AM

I’ll go so far as to make this really simple: There is NO SUCH THING as blasphemy. It’s a “crime” contrived out of absolutely nothing in defence of something the existence of which has NO support in any sort of evidence. It’s express purpose is to squelch any sort of questioning and inquiry.

If there IS such a thing as a “supreme being” it doesn’t need our veneration or the defense of any of our laws.

Hell, if omnipotence exists, it can take care of itself quite adequately. (If it can’t, it’s not omnipotent!)

I agree and that is what makes the concept of blasphemy so dangerous. a blasphemer has nothing to fear from a God, he has to fear people who believe in a god.

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Posted: 10 August 2013 09:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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I think I may have mistakenly not given reference to the first page.  My point could have been misunderstood.

The main point I was wondering is when should something be considered hate speech or not.

while all EU Member States have legislation outlawing hate speech, a majority of EU countries have long considered that the fundamental right to
freedom of expression inter alia precludes the criminalization of Holocaust denial per se.

http://centers.law.nyu.edu/jeanmonnet/papers/09/091001.pdf  page 2-3

Now these laws is to prevent any harm from befalling Jewish citizens (which seems to be quite reasonable)

 

As Thevillageatheist rightly puts it (in the first page of the link I gave)

Briefly, it meant that any speech that presents a clear and present danger to the public is illegal.


But what is hate speech may vary from place to place.  So what is the ultimate way of deciding which speech is allowed and which isn’t.

 

 

The case of the founding fathers was highlighted because are secular
(often non-christian   http://www.theology.edu/journal/volume2/ushistor.htm)
intellectuals who enacted blasphemy laws to prevent public harm.

Now this may not be the best decision in all cases, as what causes people to misbehave can vary from place to place.


In Canada for example there are no blasphemy laws, but there is this interesting (and funny) situation

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2012/11/20/kingston_police_arrest_man_who_told_kids_santa_isnt_real.html

i think the man may have been arrest for more than his “blasphemy” though

[ Edited: 10 August 2013 09:39 PM by I.J. Abdul Hakeem ]
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Posted: 10 August 2013 09:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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Write4U - 14 July 2013 02:33 AM

But I do express my Atheism in as clear terms as I can.  But the respect I received in return from a Theist was the personal ad hominem of “If you do not believe, then you are the Anti-Christ”.  I never blasphemed, disparaged, calumniated. I merely expressed disbelief in a scriptural God. There is the danger.


You are free to be entitled to such beliefs. In the link I gave, I gave reference to the Quranic Commentary by the Scholar Shafi Usmani which stated:

          according to a consensus of Muslim jurists, it [blasphemy] means vilification that is done to insult and belittle Islam and Muslims, openly and
        publicly. Honest intellectual criticism while conducting research into problem and rulings remain exempt from its perview.

http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/15888/P30/

There is nothing wrong if we discuss our ideas and beliefs intellectually and respectfully.

But I am starting a new thread, “Is God a person under law”

 

I look forward to continuing our discussion there   smile

[ Edited: 10 August 2013 09:50 PM by I.J. Abdul Hakeem ]
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Posted: 11 August 2013 04:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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There is nothing wrong if we discuss our ideas and beliefs intellectually and respectfully.

I’ll add a caveat to that statement I.J., so long as there is no attempt to proselytize any religious belief. That would be out of the realm of intellectual discussion. I do also want to point out that under our laws you have an absolute RIGHT to build your mosques, practice your belief, wear your particular brand of clothing and read your holy book without fear of government interference, as does every religious sect and cult in America. This, is as you know is a Constitutional guarantee. Unfortunately the government cannot guarantee how your neighbors feel about your belief. There are no thought police. Islam is still considered an exotic religion in many areas of the U.S. including our region. Educating the general public about Islam will certainly help;e.g.a colleague and I wanted to create a comparative religion course for our students but it wouldn’t fit in the class schedule so we incorporated it into other social studies classes. Educating the general public will dispell the myths perpetuated by xtian fundamentalists and conservative politicians who use fear to keep them in office. that and severe punishment for hate crimes. That being said, I do respect your right to believe as you wish and hope that you do the same. In most cases however, we’ll agree to disagree regarding your faith.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 11 August 2013 02:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 11 August 2013 04:56 AM

I do also want to point out that under our laws you have an absolute RIGHT to build your mosques, practice your belief, wear your particular brand of clothing and read your holy book without fear of government interference, as does every religious sect and cult in America. This, is as you know is a Constitutional guarantee. Unfortunately the government cannot guarantee how your neighbors feel about your belief. There are no thought police.
Cap’t Jack

As long as your beliefs follow our laws currently in place, for example, you cannot marry off your two year old daughter, no matter how fervently you believe she would otherwise rot in hell, and you cannot beat your children to rid them of the devil, or kill your first born because it is not a male, because we have child abuse and murder laws, and laws stating minimal marital age requirements.
I’m not directing these examples at your religion, just using them as examples.

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Posted: 11 August 2013 05:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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As long as your beliefs follow our laws currently in place, for example, you cannot marry off your two year old daughter, no matter how fervently you believe she would otherwise rot in hell, and you cannot beat your children to rid them of the devil, or kill your first born because it is not a male, because we have child abuse and murder laws, and laws stating minimal marital age requirements.
I’m not directing these examples at your religion, just using them as examples.

Absolutely. No religious edict may, or ever will supersede an INDIVIDUAL’S right to protection of his/her fundamental, human rights under the Constitution. my point was that a religion may exist here in the U.S. under the restrictions placed on it by egalitarian civil law. And while we’re on the subject, women have an inviolate right to control of their own bodies as it applies to section one of the fourteenth amendment. Sometimes we need to point the accusing finger here at home.

 

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 11 August 2013 05:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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I.J. Abdul Hakeem - 10 August 2013 09:45 PM
Write4U - 14 July 2013 02:33 AM

But I do express my Atheism in as clear terms as I can.  But the respect I received in return from a Theist was the personal ad hominem of “If you do not believe, then you are the Anti-Christ”.  I never blasphemed, disparaged, calumniated. I merely expressed disbelief in a scriptural God. There is the danger.


You are free to be entitled to such beliefs. In the link I gave, I gave reference to the Quranic Commentary by the Scholar Shafi Usmani which stated:

          according to a consensus of Muslim jurists, it [blasphemy] means vilification that is done to insult and belittle Islam and Muslims, openly and
        publicly. Honest intellectual criticism while conducting research into problem and rulings remain exempt from its perview.

http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/15888/P30/

There is nothing wrong if we discuss our ideas and beliefs intellectually and respectfully.

But I am starting a new thread, “Is God a person under law”

Well, corporations are, so maybe it isn’t such a big leap.  Maybe you should ask if ALL gods should be persons under the law.  Why discriminate?

Lois

 

I look forward to continuing our discussion there   smile

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Posted: 15 August 2013 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 11 August 2013 04:56 AM

There is nothing wrong if we discuss our ideas and beliefs intellectually and respectfully.

I’ll add a caveat to that statement I.J., so long as there is no attempt to proselytize any religious belief.

Depends on your definition of proseltyzing. Some evangelical scholars like Daniel Wallace discuss the bible in academic ways (some of the things he says
would not be comforting to inerrant Bible believers).

But the main point I am making is that we all have freedom of speech so long as it is not harmful to the public.

Islam is still considered an exotic religion in many areas of the U.S. including our region. Educating the general public about Islam will certainly help;e.g.a colleague and I wanted to create a comparative religion course for our students but it wouldn’t fit in the class schedule so we incorporated it into other social studies classes. Educating the general public will dispell the myths perpetuated by xtian fundamentalists and conservative politicians who use fear to keep them in office. that and severe punishment for hate crimes. That being said, I do respect your right to believe as you wish and hope that you do the same. In most cases however, we’ll agree to disagree regarding your faith.


That is fine
As you said, most people do not know anything about religion.
  But I think the worse reality is when people do not study and still think that they are correct in their understanding
of the world.
  This applies to all academic studies (religion, politics, sociollogy, history, etc.).
For a funny example, see

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cmvCkZxpb8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3w_v0aEX38

This is a problem I have encountered with people of all faith groups (Chrstian, Muslim, agnostic, atheist, etc.)
People should study academically (not watch the news), then respectfully address issues at hand.

asanta - 11 August 2013 02:15 PM

As long as your beliefs follow our laws currently in place, for example, you cannot marry off your two year old daughter, no matter how fervently you believe she would otherwise rot in hell, and you cannot beat your children to rid them of the devil, or kill your first born because it is not a male, because we have child abuse and murder laws, and laws stating minimal marital age requirements.
I’m not directing these examples at your religion, just using them as examples.

I’ve been living in Chicago for 3 years. I am quite happy to be a law abiding citizen, like most other Muslims.
http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/01/not-all-terrorists-are-muslims/

[ Edited: 15 August 2013 04:28 PM by I.J. Abdul Hakeem ]
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Posted: 15 August 2013 07:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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Depends on your definition of proseltyzing. Some evangelical scholars like Daniel Wallace discuss the bible in academic ways (some of the things he says
would not be comforting to inerrant Bible believers).

As far as I know I.J. It has only one definition, viz. encouraging or inducing others to adopt your belief system whatever it may be via various coercive methods. Simply discussing them as an academic would, e.g. to parse the bible or Koran wouldn’t IMO count as proselytizing. Evangelicals who consider the bible to be the inerrant word of god would not be remotely interested in taking an academic approach to xtianity.

 

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 17 August 2013 09:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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Though I started this discussion I dropped out of it a while back because the argument of those who disagreed with my position seemed to boil down to who you are more concerned about, the terrorists whomever they may be, or the unbridled power of our government to intrude upon our remaining privacy without restriction. We couldnt seem to make any progress on that front.

I have no doubt that our government poses the greater danger in the current situation, but no amount of logical argument was moving the chain for those who feel otherwise and are happy to sacrifice privacy ( and the liberty that depends upon it) for the perception of a safer world.

What made me come back to the discussion was the latest revelation from Snowdens stolen material which many of you have probably already seen in the news (See HERE). I doubt those who are ardent supporters of the NSA surveillance program are going to let this change their mind but for anyone who was on the fence this has to raise and eyebrow when the government says ” You have no need to worry about your privacy. We are abiding by the law and only looking at terrorist communications. trust us…blah blah blah.

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Posted: 17 August 2013 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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macgyver - 17 August 2013 09:24 AM

Though I started this discussion I dropped out of it a while back because the argument of those who disagreed with my position seemed to boil down to who you are more concerned about, the terrorists whomever they may be, or the unbridled power of our government to intrude upon our remaining privacy without restriction. We couldnt seem to make any progress on that front.

I have no doubt that our government poses the greater danger in the current situation, but no amount of logical argument was moving the chain for those who feel otherwise and are happy to sacrifice privacy ( and the liberty that depends upon it) for the perception of a safer world.

What made me come back to the discussion was the latest revelation from Snowdens stolen material which many of you have probably already seen in the news (See HERE). I doubt those who are ardent supporters of the NSA surveillance program are going to let this change their mind but for anyone who was on the fence this has to raise and eyebrow when the government says ” You have no need to worry about your privacy. We are abiding by the law and only looking at terrorist communications. trust us…blah blah blah.

The government should not be trusted. The Founding Fathers agreed. That’s why they put checks and balances in the Constitution (even though there are a large number of people who would have them rescinded.) it is one of the responsibilities of the American citizen to call out the government when he sees abuses of power.  Snowden did this. If a government can spy on other governments and its own people, there is no reason a citizen should not spy on the government and reveal illegal and immoral operations.  To do or say nothing is approving of the abuses. Too few people investigate and publicize what governments get up to and we know all too well the results of that kind of complacency.

Lois

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Posted: 17 August 2013 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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Capt Jack

Evangelicals who consider the bible to be the inerrant word of god would not be remotely interested in taking an academic approach to xtianity


Nor in the reality of how thier religion arose and evolved.

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Posted: 18 August 2013 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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I.J. Abdul Hakeem - 15 August 2013 04:24 PM
Thevillageatheist - 11 August 2013 04:56 AM

There is nothing wrong if we discuss our ideas and beliefs intellectually and respectfully.

I’ll add a caveat to that statement I.J., so long as there is no attempt to proselytize any religious belief.

Depends on your definition of proseltyzing. Some evangelical scholars like Daniel Wallace discuss the bible in academic ways (some of the things he says
would not be comforting to inerrant Bible believers).

But the main point I am making is that we all have freedom of speech so long as it is not harmful to the public.

Islam is still considered an exotic religion in many areas of the U.S. including our region. Educating the general public about Islam will certainly help;e.g.a colleague and I wanted to create a comparative religion course for our students but it wouldn’t fit in the class schedule so we incorporated it into other social studies classes. Educating the general public will dispell the myths perpetuated by xtian fundamentalists and conservative politicians who use fear to keep them in office. that and severe punishment for hate crimes. That being said, I do respect your right to believe as you wish and hope that you do the same. In most cases however, we’ll agree to disagree regarding your faith.


That is fine
As you said, most people do not know anything about religion.
  But I think the worse reality is when people do not study and still think that they are correct in their understanding
of the world.
  This applies to all academic studies (religion, politics, sociollogy, history, etc.).
For a funny example, see

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cmvCkZxpb8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3w_v0aEX38

This is a problem I have encountered with people of all faith groups (Chrstian, Muslim, agnostic, atheist, etc.)
People should study academically (not watch the news), then respectfully address issues at hand.

asanta - 11 August 2013 02:15 PM

As long as your beliefs follow our laws currently in place, for example, you cannot marry off your two year old daughter, no matter how fervently you believe she would otherwise rot in hell, and you cannot beat your children to rid them of the devil, or kill your first born because it is not a male, because we have child abuse and murder laws, and laws stating minimal marital age requirements.
I’m not directing these examples at your religion, just using them as examples.

I’ve been living in Chicago for 3 years. I am quite happy to be a law abiding citizen, like most other Muslims.
http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/01/not-all-terrorists-are-muslims/

Abdul Hakeem Wrote: But the main point I am making is that we all have freedom of speech so long as it is not harmful to the public.


What is harmful to the public is a relative term.  Speech should also not be harmful to any individual member or group of members of the religion itself, but,, alas, it often is. That, too, should be against freedom of speech.

Lois

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Posted: 18 August 2013 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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Capt Jack

Evangelicals who consider the bible to be the inerrant word of god would not be remotely interested in taking an academic approach to xtianity


Nor in the reality of how thier religion arose and evolved.


Believe me, that’s a topic they want to completely circumvent. Studying the history of the early church would cause many questions to arise. It’s faith shaking to say the least but it could lead to, dare I say it, the abandonment of their faith.


Cap’t Jack

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