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Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

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Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?
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VisakiUser avatarPosts: 758Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

Short answer: Yes.

(Waiting for theist screams to die out).

As I was weeding my carrots and listening Seth Andrews' (The Thinking Atheist, whatever he might say) podcast about punching Nazis an idea came to me; In a secular world view religion should have no special treatment. Freedom of religion is a special treatment since it elevates religion above other ideas and ideologies giving it a special privilege. In a world where we strive for equality Freedom of religion is not equal, but it discriminates against other ideologies. So instead of Freedom of religion we should have Freedom of ideology. My opinion that religions are a special case of ideologies should be self evident.

Can you imagine a World where religious people try to explain why they can wear a turban/ cross/ hijab etc but the Nazi can't wear his swastika armband?

P.S. Everyone should have a mandatory vegetable patch. That would be the first thing I would decree as The Ultimate Emperor of All of Mankind.
Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:42 am
SparhafocPosts: 1288Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

Freedom of religion necessarily includes freedom from religion. You can't have the latter without the former, not least because there's more of them than us, but also because freedom from religion would mean nothing if religions were outlawed.

To me, any society which would dictate what one is permitted to believe is not a society I'd aspire to.

Instead, I aspire to a society that would educate and inform its citizenry, and if they then choose to believe in bunk, all the worse for them dealing with a more educated and informed society.

I would never tolerate a society where a single ideology is allowed, even if the proponents of that ideology claim that it is anti-ideology, to me it's just age-old tyranny in a sparkling new package.

No, to me freedom of religion is a fundamental right - the fundamental right to have stupid ideas, the fundamental right to be wrong, and until we achieve perfect knowledge of everything and perfect synthesis of that knowledge, then I can't see who has the legitimacy or authority to decree the One True Acceptable Belief System.
Faith is not a desirable place to make claims from. It is belief in the absence or even contradiction of evidence. If you're going to do religion; learn how to do religion right.
Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:14 pm
australopithecusAdministratorUser avatarPosts: 4278Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

Short answer: Absolutely not.

In a secular world view religion should have no special treatment.


Agreed.

Freedom of religion is a special treatment since it elevates religion above other ideas and ideologies giving it a special privilege.


No it doesn't.

In a world where we strive for equality Freedom of religion is not equal, but it discriminates against other ideologies. So instead of Freedom of religion we should have Freedom of ideology. My opinion that religions are a special case of ideologies should be self evident.


The European Convention on Human Rights states:

Article 9 Freedom of religion
The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion includes:

the freedom to change religion or belief;
the freedom to exercise religion or belief publicly or privately, alone or with others;
the freedom to exercise religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance; and
the right to have no religion (e.g. to be atheist or agnostic) or to have non-religious beliefs protected (e.g. philosophical beliefs such as pacifism or veganism).


Non-religious beliefs are already covered. There's no special treatment for religious beliefs over secular ones.

You can argue that labeling all beliefs under the heading of freedom of religion is unnecessary, but that's just semantics.

Can you imagine a World where religious people try to explain why they can wear a turban/ cross/ hijab etc but the Nazi can't wear his swastika armband?


I don't think anyone should have to justify why they wear items of religious clothing, and frankly Nazis can go fuck themselves.
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Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:42 pm
leroyPosts: 1729Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

It is just a cost that you have to pay


If you what to live in a free society, you have to deal with the fact that some people will say/do things that you personally don't like.
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:25 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1288Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

leroy wrote:It is just a cost that you have to pay


If you what to live in a free society, you have to deal with the fact that some people will say/do things that you personally don't like.



Yep.

And if everyone already had a clue, us poor teachers would be out of a job.
Faith is not a desirable place to make claims from. It is belief in the absence or even contradiction of evidence. If you're going to do religion; learn how to do religion right.
Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:59 am
MarsCydoniaUser avatarPosts: 824Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:15 pm

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

Well, it depends on what "freedom of religion" is.
Is it the freedom of belief without government inference? Then yes.
Is it special privilieges and rights because you believe a certain something? Then absolutely not.

The problem that arises is often when the religious believe the first entitles them to the second.
"Slavery is morally ok" -
"I don't know how the burden of proof works in the mind of atheists but I don't have to prove my claims" -
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:34 pm
leroyPosts: 1729Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

MarsCydonia wrote:Well, it depends on what "freedom of religion" is.
Is it the freedom of belief without government inference? Then yes.
Is it special privilieges and rights because you believe a certain something? Then absolutely not.

The problem that arises is often when the religious believe the first entitles them to the second.


when I was In school Jews didn't come to class during Rosh Hashaná ...........would you say that it was unfair? would you consider that to be a special privilege?


Rosh Hashaná is some sort of Jewish "new year"
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:57 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1288Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

leroy wrote:when I was In school Jews didn't come to class during Rosh Hashaná ...........would you say that it was unfair? would you consider that to be a special privilege?


Rosh Hashaná is some sort of Jewish "new year"



Yes.

If they attend a state school then there is already a calendar of state school holidays. They and their parents need to learn to be flexible in a secular society.

Similarly, we used to have a Muslim girl in my year (actually, two, but the other wasn't batshit) who happily sat through other religious education lessons but shouted at the teacher and stormed out of the class when he dared continue the curriculum and talk about Islam.

Fair enough this was nigh on 30 years ago, but the very next lesson she was plonked on the seat by the headmaster who had told her parents in no uncertain terms that she doesn't get to pick the curriculum and that it's all or nothing. Don't want her to learn the same curriculum as all the other students in the school and in every state school across the entire country? Then pay for her to go to private school. Either that, or sit down, shut up and do what you're told, child - that's the real answer., it's real equality, and it's the real world. Simples, innit? No one can really be authentically offended by being treated exactly the same as everyone else.
Faith is not a desirable place to make claims from. It is belief in the absence or even contradiction of evidence. If you're going to do religion; learn how to do religion right.
Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:43 pm
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 758Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

Well this came out a longish one.

leroy wrote:It is just a cost that you have to pay

If you what to live in a free society, you have to deal with the fact that some people will say/do things that you personally don't like.

I hope, and I thought that, I was clear that my objection wasn't with people being free to believe in whatever ideology, including religion, they want. My objection was to using a separate label (usually with separate privileges) for religious freedom.

MarsCydonia wrote:Well, it depends on what "freedom of religion" is.

In this case the actual term "freedom of religion", and the special privileges it usually carries with it. I have no problem with people being free to follow whatever ideology, including religious, they want. My argument is that religion is given special treatment apart from other ideologies just by the official usage of the phrase "freedom of religion".

australopithecus wrote:
I wrote:Freedom of religion is a special treatment since it elevates religion above other ideas and ideologies giving it a special privilege.

No it doesn't.

So if we have "Human rights", and the stated separately "Human rights of white people", that doesn't elevate white people above the others nor gives whites a special status?

australopithecus wrote:I don't think anyone should have to justify why they wear items of religious clothing, and frankly Nazis can go fuck themselves.

Are you for special rights for religious clothing above those of other ideologies? Or are you for discriminating against Nazis right to wear ideological clothes the same as other ideologies? Though my general opinion about Nazis is about the same as yours I am using Nazis quite deliberately because they usually give a good idea if a person is for some rights universally or just for the people / ideologies he deems fit to have them. Yes that ties to the Seth Andrews podcast about punching Nazis I mentioned (that I highly recommend for everyone interested in the latest free speech controversy).

australopithecus wrote:The European Convention on Human Rights states:

Article 9 – Freedom of thought, conscience and religion wrote:1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Non-religious beliefs are already covered. There's no special treatment for religious beliefs over secular ones.

(I substituted the actual text of the Article there.)
Apart from not mentioning other ideologies (though I'd take that they are covered by the "though" and conscience parts), no. But then again the argument was that the phrasing "freedom of... religion" is in itself a special treatment. Then again that is hardly the only paper talking about religious freedom even in the EU. The Finnish constitution has a separate clause about the "freedom of religion and conscience" which is clearly just about religion, secular rights are covered elsewhere though there is no such phrasing as a "freedom of ideology" or something similar.

australopithecus wrote:You can argue that labeling all beliefs under the heading of freedom of religion is unnecessary, but that's just semantics.

I'd hardly call it "just" semantics. Labeling it specially "Freedom of religion" promotes the idea that religions are somehow special among ideologies and deserve a special treatment. The are not and they do not.

I suppose the question if the phrasing "freedom of religion" as an official policy or indeed an idea is special treatment or a privilege is matter of opinion and point of view. I'm not realistically advocating for changing the phrase "freedom of religion" to "freedom of ideology" in these documents because that just won't happen, though I do think it would make for a more completely secular society.
Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:59 am
MarsCydoniaUser avatarPosts: 824Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:15 pm

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

Visaki"[quote="MarsCydonia wrote:Well, it depends on what "freedom of religion" is.

In this case the actual term "freedom of religion", and the special privileges it usually carries with it. I have no problem with people being free to follow whatever ideology, including religious, they want. My argument is that religion is given special treatment apart from other ideologies just by the official usage of the phrase "freedom of religion".[/quote]
I agreed completley with this.

Discrimination against homosexuals or refusing to hold parents accountable for the death of their child because they choosed faith "healing" when current medicine would have saved his/her life are privileges not only completely undeserved but also irrational and immoral.
"Slavery is morally ok" -
"I don't know how the burden of proof works in the mind of atheists but I don't have to prove my claims" -
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Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:28 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1288Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

I hope, and I thought that, I was clear that my objection wasn't with people being free to believe in whatever ideology, including religion, they want. My objection was to using a separate label (usually with separate privileges) for religious freedom.


Well, it's historical, innit?

People were horrendously persecuted for their religion - for the most part by other religionists. The entire USA thing is one long escape from religious persecution where Protestants got the upper hand and started being obnoxiously prejudiced towards the Catholics, or vice-versa.

The vast horrifying number of dead in the centuries of religious warfare in Europe testify why we need special words to keep the special people in check.

Incidentally, there are lots of other labels in the universal declaration of human rights, such as freedom from persecution, freedom from slavery or servitude, freedom from torture, freedom of movement, freedom of residence... etc., etc..
Faith is not a desirable place to make claims from. It is belief in the absence or even contradiction of evidence. If you're going to do religion; learn how to do religion right.
Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:15 pm
thenexttodiePosts: 762Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:59 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

leroy wrote:when I was In school Jews didn't come to class during Rosh Hashaná ...........would you say that it was unfair? would you consider that to be a special privilege?



Sparhafoc wrote:Yes.


I agree. The problem is that people like you tend to force people to send their childern to secular or state run schools.
“..the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” Tolstoy
Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:21 pm
MarsCydoniaUser avatarPosts: 824Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:15 pm

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

thenexttodie wrote:I agree. The problem is that people like you tend to force people to send their childern to secular or state run schools.

You are confusing which group wants to force people to submit to their views when it comes to schools.
"Slavery is morally ok" -
"I don't know how the burden of proof works in the mind of atheists but I don't have to prove my claims" -
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Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:44 pm
thenexttodiePosts: 762Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:59 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

MarsCydonia wrote:You are confusing which group wants to force people to submit to their views when it comes to schools.


Do you think people should be forced to send their childeren to secular schools ran by the state?
“..the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” Tolstoy
Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:57 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1288Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

thenexttodie wrote:I agree. The problem is that people like you tend to force people to send their childern to secular or state run schools.


People like me, thenexttodie?

And what kind of people are they?

Have you been going through my dustbins? If not, if you don't have some special access to my inner thoughts, or a functional crystal ball... perhaps you might want to try asking me what I think rather than telling me. Unless, of course, you just enjoy rehearsing prejudice publicly.
Faith is not a desirable place to make claims from. It is belief in the absence or even contradiction of evidence. If you're going to do religion; learn how to do religion right.
Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:49 am
SparhafocPosts: 1288Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

thenexttodie wrote:Do you think people should be forced to send their childeren to secular schools ran by the state?


See? Look at that! It's a question formation! It demands an answer, rather than attempts to provide an answer on behalf of other people.

This, I would say, is the manner in which civil discussion proceeds.

Therefore, to show willing and encourage the right kind of discoursive etiquette, I will answer rather than mock your attempt to pigeonhole.

I think there has to be educational standards which apply to all children across the nation (or state, depending on the political make-up of the nation in question). Those children are just as much citizens of the state as anyone else and deserve the same access, same opportunities, and same platform.

If you are talking about home-schooling, then I think there's a serious danger there. I am not talking just about fundamentalist indoctrination operating so well in an informational void, but that very, very few parents have the resources, ability, or knowledge to provide a comprehensive education for their children. As such, this disadvantages them, lowers their opportunities to succeed in society, and places the right of the parents over the rights of the children. Not ideal, in my opinion, but if standards can be guaranteed, then so be it.

If you are talking about faith schools, then rather than me thinking that people need to go to secular schools, my concern here is about the nature of isolating children on ideological grounds. How can it be right today, for example, to have the children of Muslim immigrants in the UK - children who desperately need to become a full member of their adopted society - be segregated from their peers and be caged intellectually to a specific set of religious beliefs?

It's not that I want all children to go to secular schools, rather it's that the alternatives don't seem comparable. Obviously, not all secular schools are equal either, so I would have the same qualms about the super elite offspring of absurdly wealthy families attending schools only with the children of other super-wealthy families. I can't see why this would be desirable for anyone - it just breeds factionalism and segregation.
Faith is not a desirable place to make claims from. It is belief in the absence or even contradiction of evidence. If you're going to do religion; learn how to do religion right.
Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:58 am
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 758Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

thenexttodie wrote:
MarsCydonia wrote:You are confusing which group wants to force people to submit to their views when it comes to schools.


Do you think people should be forced to send their childeren to secular schools ran by the state?

Yes.

I think that having an education is a basic right of children and by far the most fair and effective way this right can be secured is mandatory secular school run by the state. This will give the child the basic toolset to succeed in any line of life and occupation they choose. Freedom of ideology of the parents can not override the childs right to an education (or any other of the childs basic rights).

If you want to discuss this subject more I suggest to open a new topic on it as this is getting a bit offtopic for this thread.
Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:10 am
MarsCydoniaUser avatarPosts: 824Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:15 pm

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

Visaki wrote:Yes.

I think that having an education is a basic right of children and by far the most fair and effective way this right can be secured is mandatory secular school run by the state. This will give the child the basic toolset to succeed in any line of life and occupation they choose. Freedom of ideology of the parents can not override the childs right to an education (or any other of the childs basic rights).

If you want to discuss this subject more I suggest to open a new topic on it as this is getting a bit offtopic for this thread

Just to clarify in the case that you misunderstood the question. He was not asking if children should attend school but they should attend secular school. See my answer.
"Slavery is morally ok" -
"I don't know how the burden of proof works in the mind of atheists but I don't have to prove my claims" -
Public information messages from the League of Reason's christians
Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:34 pm
MarsCydoniaUser avatarPosts: 824Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:15 pm

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

thenexttodie wrote:
MarsCydonia wrote:You are confusing which group wants to force people to submit to their views when it comes to schools.

Do you think people should be forced to send their childeren to secular schools ran by the state?

As long as the religious schools follow the educational guidelines, why should I care?

And more importantly, why should you?

I think it is rather telling that you and fundagelical christians see secular schools as a threat, as if the children indoctrinated into christianity cannot spend away a school day away from the group-think puts them at risk of breaking free from the indoctrination.

Which is why the fundagelical want to force creationism, end sexual education classes and impose prayers in secular schools.
"Slavery is morally ok" -
"I don't know how the burden of proof works in the mind of atheists but I don't have to prove my claims" -
Public information messages from the League of Reason's christians
Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:36 pm
thenexttodiePosts: 762Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:59 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Should we get rid of "freedom of religion"?

MarsCydonia wrote:You are confusing which group wants to force people to submit to their views when it comes to schools.

thenexttodie wrote:Do you think people should be forced to send their childeren to secular schools ran by the state?

MarsCydonia wrote:As long as the religious schools follow the educational guidelines, why should I care?.


How would you force schools to submit to your views concerning educational guidelines?
“..the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” Tolstoy
Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:07 pm
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