Critique of ‘Voltaires Revolution…..’ presentation
Posted: 06 August 2015 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Last night I attended the presentation re above topic in Grand Rapids and think I’ld like to write/share a few thoughts/observation, etc.:

Evidently this was the first presentation given by the speaker and so i’m going to divide my note into 1-delivery & 2-content.

Delivery: considering this was the ‘trial run’ by speaker I’m going to give her a passing grade - first time jitters, lack of experience etc all things considered I think she did better than ‘OK’ - not great mind you and I am a ‘tough crowd’ but she did OK. At times she lost her train of thought - expected for first time ‘trial run’ jitters and she generally was able to pik the ball up and start to run again in short order - B+ haha for recovery time regarding such ‘technical’ difficulties. I’ll leave it at that as Experience for us secularists is ALWAYS the best teacher not ‘God’s ’ revelation re moral behavior nor ‘Science & Reason’ for a data driven mathematical oriented answer to apply - lol ; but gettin in the mud and dealin’ with it - thats what Life’s about. again Haha…. With experience she’ll gain confidence, ETc….....

Content: This is where I’m going to get with it. Especially the subtitle ‘.....The Campaign to Free Laws from Religion.’
This is where this presentation really disappointed and maybe it was because I expected some kind of a Modern Update regarding voltaire’s ‘revolution’ of a couple hundred+ years ago with What LAWS would Voltaire find today that needed to be separated from Religion?

Instead, the speaker rambled into a ‘historical lesson’ with all manner of supporting rote data that anyone could have googled on their own should they desire. I, however demand more from a ‘live’ speaker than a simple history lesson. .......and I would like some integration with todays living regarding the topic…......

Voltaire is hardly a boring writer. Nietzsche who doesn’t have much respect for ANY writer or philosopher absolutely loved Voltaire and so do I. Voltaires poison, his sarcasm, his wit toward the religious and moral hypocrisy of the day is there to enjoy for anyone with half a brain and half a sense of humor’ )
But given this is a ‘critique’ and the speaker failed miserably to modernize the topic; what Laws would Voltaire (given also his desire for a realistic humanistic ‘tolerance’) think needed to be separated from religion???? This is where I was hoping the speaker would take me and frankly she never did - not even close.

So I’‘m asking this question to all of you who read this- What LAWS need to be separated from Religion??!! today here in America ?! or for that matter throughout & across the planet Earth?!

I look forward to much response and hope something of substance and depth can come of this.
Thank you…..........INTJohn (aka John Doornbos)

[ Edited: 06 August 2015 11:49 AM by INTJohn ]
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Posted: 10 August 2015 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi INjohn,

Thank you for all your very kind indulgence regarding my first talk on the book, indeed!  Lots of good points in it, and indeed, I lost my thread so many times due to the jitters
that I didn’t get in as many great citations from Voltaire as I intended - nor leave enough for the Q & A part, always the most useful, especially for me!

I’m certain Voltaire’s answer to your question would be that ALL LAWS should separated from religion, if there still are any. The only law pertaining to it should be roughly the one that Jefferson wrote - saying in short that religious beliefs, or lack of them, is none of the government’s business or concern, as long as the laws are respected. And the laws should allow the greatest freedom to all. They only prevent people abusing each other, and encroaching on each other’s freedom. In the texts the book contains, all that may be best spelled in the text called “Republican Ideas”, but the basic premise crops up all over…

As to its topicality today, the only point I meant to make, both in the book and in the talk, is that the burying of Voltaire, the Enlightenment and the true story of how we got our
freedoms is very very different from the religious Great Awakening version being touted in American schoolbooks today, and that the long gradual process of burying it has given far too much credence already to the right-wing program of convincing Americans that our founders wanted “a Christian nation”, etc., etc.  So has our apathy in allowing all these lies to be taught. Like Jefferson said in a quote in the book, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was, and never will be.” Voltaire had said something similar earlier: “Tyrants always think that an ignorant people is easier to enslave, but their ignorance always enslaves us in the end.”

So sorry if the talk didn’t convey that well enough!  I hope the book does though.  And I hope to hear back about that from someone!

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Posted: 10 August 2015 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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John,
No separation should take place until the ground work is complete.  And I don’t think the ground work will ever be completed because Religion is a belief in the making.
 
What are there, 313 laws in religion?
Who’s religion, the religion of Paul or John, or Mathew?
This whole religious structure is unraveling.

Now there is the ten commandment. Most likely started out as the curse of the Pharaoh Moses, then rewritten and merged with laws from Mesopotamian by the Religion of the Children of Abraham.
And is the laws the words of God? How many people talked to God today? Did God give them new laws? I guess, this could just be a Catholic thing and you could limit it to only the Pope talking to God, wait do I have that right, or is it God talks to us through the Pope?
Sorry, I don’t know the answers.

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Posted: 10 August 2015 07:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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gknoyer - 10 August 2015 10:28 AM

Hi INjohn,

Thank you for all your very kind indulgence regarding my first talk on the book, indeed!  Lots of good points in it, and indeed, I lost my thread so many times due to the jitters
that I didn’t get in as many great citations from Voltaire as I intended - nor leave enough for the Q & A part, always the most useful, especially for me!

I’m certain Voltaire’s answer to your question would be that ALL LAWS should separated from religion, if there still are any. The only law pertaining to it should be roughly the one that Jefferson wrote - saying in short that religious beliefs, or lack of them, is none of the government’s business or concern, as long as the laws are respected. And the laws should allow the greatest freedom to all. They only prevent people abusing each other, and encroaching on each other’s freedom. In the texts the book contains, all that may be best spelled in the text called “Republican Ideas”, but the basic premise crops up all over…

As to its topicality today, the only point I meant to make, both in the book and in the talk, is that the burying of Voltaire, the Enlightenment and the true story of how we got our
freedoms is very very different from the religious Great Awakening version being touted in American schoolbooks today, and that the long gradual process of burying it has given far too much credence already to the right-wing program of convincing Americans that our founders wanted “a Christian nation”, etc., etc.  So has our apathy in allowing all these lies to be taught. Like Jefferson said in a quote in the book, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was, and never will be.” Voltaire had said something similar earlier: “Tyrants always think that an ignorant people is easier to enslave, but their ignorance always enslaves us in the end.”

So sorry if the talk didn’t convey that well enough!  I hope the book does though.  And I hope to hear back about that from someone!

Thanx for your response. I will respond in depth after your presentation of 12 August so as not to prejudice your presentation anymore than perhaps I already have. )
Thanx…....INTJohn

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Posted: 23 August 2015 06:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks for your kind consideration, John, but I wasn’t overly worried about your revealing the fact that I am new to this game!  And in fact, the audiences both August 9 and 12 were not “tough” that I noticed, so no harm done. The second group was, quite rightly, more interested in the Antisemitism Voltaire has been accused of, so indeed, everyone’s expectations and interests can vary, and do - so it’s always a bit of a fly-by-the-seat of-your pants venture going in. I’d still be interested in your response, if you have time for it, and especially if you’ve had time to read some of the book in the meanwhile!

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