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Swiss Minaret Ban
Posted: 06 December 2009 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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VYAZMA - 06 December 2009 08:57 AM

Do you want the impact of religion to diminish, or flourish?

Diminish, of course. But not on basis of betraying the values I, as a secular person, believe in. Oppressing minorities does not belong to these values. Oppression leads to rebellion. We should show that our values are better than theirs. We should start really believing in our secular values, instead of throwing them away on basis of a threat that in Switzerland itself does not even exist. Do not confuse my standpoint with relativity or weakness. But so to see the Swiss do not believe in the power of their own secular values. We should not allow Muslims in Switzerland actions that are against the law. We should oppose any call for relativity of our own secular values, of ‘parallel societies’ in which girls may be circumcised or women oppressed, and even the smallest call for sharia. Freedom if religion is one of those values, on good ethical and practical grounds.

Also be aware that the strongest support of the anti minaret referendum came from people who say Switzerland is a Christian country….

GdB

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Posted: 06 December 2009 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Neither you or I are Swiss. In Switzerland the muslims are a minority. In the whole world they are a majority. So for you or I to comment on the actions of the Swiss, we are doing so from a global, or at least a regional perspective. I know you live there, your stakes are raised a little more than mine. But I see it as a Global Issue, a small victory. I would feel the same way if it was a ban on the building of hindu temples, or synagogues, or churches.
GdB I must repeat myself. These things are spreading. While you take the “tolerance” stance, the goodwill towards Humans stance, other forces are in play. If the tables were somehow reversed, I doubt you would like the extension of tolerance meted out towards you.
These very same “ideals” you wish to protect, would not offer you the same “secular, humanist goodwill”. It’s not in the nature of it.
It can’t survive as such. These “ideals” though are very appreciative of your willingness to accept, and incorporate.

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Posted: 06 December 2009 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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GdB I can understand your point of view. The Dutch have a long history of tolerance and secularist society. It’s served you and your country well, as well as other nations.

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Posted: 06 December 2009 11:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Hawkfan - 06 December 2009 08:27 AM

I also do agree with the sentiment that it is incumbent upon the immigrant to adapt to his or her new region, not the other way round.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do, or so they say. Following this simple rule was probably the wisest thing to do, in which case there would be no need for a referendum.

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Posted: 06 December 2009 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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GdB - 06 December 2009 08:27 AM

We might get problems. You might get problems too, if you offend somebody. It is not so difficult to understand. Until now, the Swiss Muslims are disappointed, but they accept it. There is no organised opposition, or calls for violence. The screaming is coming from abroad, but until now, it seems to be screaming only, and business goes on as usual. I hope it stays that way.

For awhile I’ve been getting someones garbage on my front lawn for the next days pick-up. Not every week, but 2x a month or so.
I didn’t know who was doing it. I didn’t like it either. I don’t put my own garbage out the night before, I put it out the morning the guys come to pick it up. Plus I only put out garbage every 2 weeks- and then just 1/2 a bag usually. I live on a corner. Both streets have different pick-up days.
Last week I was standing in my doorway(by chance) and I saw my neighbor putting 2 bags and a garbage can on my front lawn for next days pick-up. I opened the door and said, “Hey, uhn uhn! No way! Take that back to your own house, my front lawn isn’t your garbage dump. Crows or dogs rip that open in the middle of the night then what? I gotta pick-up your mess? Plus the can the guys are going to throw back in front of my house, sitting there until you decide to pick it up?” I said you have your own garbage day, my property isn’t here for your convenience!
He looked at me weird. He wasn’t happy, but he knew I was right, so he skulked back to his house with his garbage.
He was insulted. Plain and simple. He didn’t like that. Tough! We always get along good too, and we will in the future. He’s a good neighbor. I do stuff for him, he does stuff for me…but not the garbage. Call it a pet peeve. I don’t want to be responsible for somebody else’s waste.
So now, I might get problems if I offended that guy? Why should I? Should I just let the guy do what he wants? Because I’m afraid to confront him? Next month he’ll be parking his car on my lawn. Or building a fence that encroaches onto my property.
You know, these are the sticky situations that you have to deal with. What if the guy would have said to me, “Ok, you’ll see, there’s gonna be problems for you!”
So because I don’t wanna confront this, 2 months later 4 more people are putting their garbage on my lawn.
This is the same issue with these minarets.

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Posted: 06 December 2009 09:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I’d be delighted if they banned minaretes in the U.S. as long as they banned all steeples, and other church and temple specific architecture as well as all billboard messages publicizing any theological OR non-theological beliefs, prohibited door to door solicitations, and religious TV and radio programs.  If all theistic and a-theistic beliefs were treated as private and only to be discussed if one asked, that would be wonderful.  [hmmm.  You say these cigarettes are made with oregano??]  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 07 December 2009 12:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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VYAZMA - 06 December 2009 12:11 PM

So now, I might get problems if I offended that guy?

No of course not, especially because you describe him as a good neighbour. And I expect that the Muslims in Switzerland are good neighbours too. But why even take the tiniest risk offending them, even if what they want isn’t even illegal, offending in itself, or obstructing? Why don’t give the world an example that the living together of Christians, Atheists and Muslims (and a few more) works very well, because everybody commits to the secular and democratic state that Switzerland in fact is? The forbidding of building of minarets solves no problem at all, and it at most creates one.

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Posted: 07 December 2009 12:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Occam - 06 December 2009 09:09 PM

I’d be delighted if they banned minaretes in the U.S. as long as they banned all steeples, and other church and temple specific architecture as well as all billboard messages publicizing any theological OR non-theological beliefs, prohibited door to door solicitations, and religious TV and radio programs.

That would at least be consistent and non-discriminative…

GdB

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Posted: 07 December 2009 07:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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GdB - 07 December 2009 12:10 AM

Why don’t give the world an example that the living together of Christians, Atheists and Muslims (and a few more) works very well, because everybody commits to the secular and democratic state that Switzerland in fact is?

Because it doesn’t work very well at all. That’s why they banned the minarets.

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Posted: 07 December 2009 09:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Occam - 06 December 2009 09:09 PM

I’d be delighted if they banned minaretes in the U.S. as long as they banned all steeples, and other church and temple specific architecture as well as all billboard messages publicizing any theological OR non-theological beliefs, prohibited door to door solicitations, and religious TV and radio programs.  If all theistic and a-theistic beliefs were treated as private and only to be discussed if one asked, that would be wonderful.  [hmmm.  You say these cigarettes are made with oregano??]  LOL

Occam

Well, it would require a constitutional amendment or two, but it would certainly make it easier to decide those damn free speech cases.  We’d have to get rid of RLUIPA as well, which may not be a bad thing.

Better, I think, simply to eliminate all advantages accorded religions under the law, e.g., tax exemptions.

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Posted: 07 December 2009 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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George - 07 December 2009 07:49 AM

Because it doesn’t work very well at all. That’s why they banned the minarets.

Because with the Swiss Muslims it worked quite well. Such ways of argumenting are the basis of discrimination: to condemn one group for the bad deeds of others. Why offend the Swiss Muslims for what is going wrong somewhere else? I must repeat it: in Switzerland there are no problems with foreigners because they are Muslims. They keep to the law as every other Swiss. We have no signs of radicalising or terrorist Muslims in Switzerland.

Why must I promote secular values in a forum of a group that promotes secular values? Should we be bad, because ‘they’ are? Is refusing moderate Muslims to build minarets defending secular values? Should we forbid socialist parties everywhere because there are marxist terrorists?

A real democracy looks for its minorities.

GdB

[ Edited: 07 December 2009 09:54 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 07 December 2009 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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It has as much to do with democracy as does sharing a toy between two babies in a sand box. Your ideological principals may sound admirable to some, GdB, but I personally find them quite naive. Perhaps if we could forget one day what we believe the world ought to be, we can then allow scientists (psychologists and biologists in this specific case) tell us what the world is, and what—if anything—can be done to make it a better place if not for everybody, then at least for the vast majority. I remember, for example, reading in Geoffrey Miller’s Spent that we may all be better off if we form communities based on our economic status, ethnic background, etc.

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Posted: 07 December 2009 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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While I agree that moving away from religion is a thing to celebrate, I don’t think this is what’s happening here. Since they aren’t banning any other religious buildings, this seems more like a “my religion is better than your religion” move. Which unfortunately doesn’t advance secularism at all.

[ Edited: 07 December 2009 10:43 AM by Gehnan ]
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Posted: 07 December 2009 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Quoting Ciceronianus:

Better, I think, simply to eliminate all advantages accorded religions under the law, e.g., tax exemptions.

  I agree, but how would that work with the separation of church and state, i.e., “the power to tax is the power to destroy”?

Occam

[ Edited: 07 December 2009 10:58 AM by Occam ]
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Posted: 07 December 2009 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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George - 07 December 2009 10:25 AM

Your ideological principals may sound admirable to some, GdB, but I personally find them quite naive. Perhaps if we could forget one day what we believe the world ought to be, we can then allow scientists (psychologists and biologists in this specific case) tell us what the world is, and what—if anything—can be done to make it a better place if not for everybody, then at least for the vast majority.

1. With the same argument we can defend the “dictatorship of the proletariat”.
2. Only somebody belonging to the majority can give such an argument .

It is not just ideological: people react on repression. That is a fact. Psychologists would tell you that. Sorry, you cannot ride the scientific horse here. Doing such things as forbidding minarets is short sighted politics. It was an emotial deciscion.

Do you really plead for putting some secular principles, in order to introduce them later when everybody has become a secular humanist? Isn’t that a very naive idea? You are making bad advertisement for secularity to the moderate Muslims in Switzerland.

GdB

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