Jump to content

What is "secular"?


Bryan
 Share

Recommended Posts

Bryan:

(1) In an age in which virtually everyone was a theist, what would you label as the "secular" worldview?

Paul LaClair:

(1) Most of the Framers were Deists, not theists. Their view prevailed.

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=51612

If Paul thinks that Deism is a secular worldview, then does he favor the reference to "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins?

Or did he perhaps just offer me a whopper of a red herring in response to my question?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Guest
Bryan:

(1) In an age in which virtually everyone was a theist, what would you label as the "secular" worldview?

Paul LaClair:

(1) Most of the Framers were Deists, not theists. Their view prevailed.

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=51612

If Paul thinks that Deism is a secular worldview, then does he favor the reference to "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins?

Or did he perhaps just offer me a whopper of a red herring in response to my question?

I think that Paul LaClair contradicts himself all the time!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bryan:

(1) In an age in which virtually everyone was a theist, what would you label as the "secular" worldview?

Paul LaClair:

(1) Most of the Framers were Deists, not theists. Their view prevailed.

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=51612

If Paul thinks that Deism is a secular worldview, then does he favor the reference to "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins?

Or did he perhaps just offer me a whopper of a red herring in response to my question?

I didn't say deism is a secular world view. I merely corrected a comment about the religious beliefs of our Constitution's framers.

There was, however, a divide at the time of the Constitutional Convention between those who wanted to adopt an explicitly religious (theistic) Constitution and those who believed it best to separate church and state. The separatist view prevailed. That much is history. Slowly over time, incursions were made. "In God We Trust" on money, "under God" in the pledge, etc. However, the fact remains that under our laws the First Amendment coupled with the Fourteenth require religious neutrality by government.

Now what does that mean? Bryan isn't really asking that question, but I will. Where does a society committed to religious freedom and "liberty and justice for all" draw the line?

The law is given shape by cases, so consider this case. Assume a child becomes ill and requires medication to survive. The parents opposes all medical intervention on religious grounds, and therefore would deny their child medication, relying instead on prayer to save their child's life. The law says that the parents are not allowed to do this. They would be endangering the child, and that's absolutely right --- they would be. On secular grounds, every interest is in favor of medicating the child. But wait a minute, what about the parents' right to bring up the child in their religion? What about their religious freedom? The law is clear that the state will intervene to protect the child's life (a secular concern) even at the expense of not honoring the parents' religious beliefs. Is the law right or wrong, and why?

Take another case. A religious fundamentalist believes his daughter has disgraced the family, so acting on his religious beliefs, which come directly from his scripture he kills his daughter. Here again, the secular concern is in protecting the daughter's life, but that interferes with the father's religious freedom. Is it appropriate for the law to charge and convict the father for murdering his daughter? Why or why not?

Now take the present case. A non-Christian, non-theistic public school student attends his history class, wherein his history teacher states that if one does not accept Jesus, then "you belong in hell." The law prohibits the teacher from making this statement, as it serves no secular purpose. But this is what the teacher truly believes, so the state has to suppress his expression of his religious belief in this instance. Is that the right result? Why or why not?

Or how about these cases:

1. A non-theist student in a US public school declines to stand for the pledge of allegiance becaues he objects to the words "under God." Is he within his rights? Why or why not?

2. The same student declines to stand for the pledge because he does not believe in ceremonial displays of forced patriotism. Is he within his rights? Why or why not?

3. A Jehovah's Witness student declines to stand for the pledge because announcing allegiance to a flag in that manner violates her religious beliefs. Is she within her rights? Why or why not?

4. A student who is a Nazi sympathizer refuses to stand for the pledge because he only recognizes the Swastika. Is he within his rights? Why or why not?

5. A Communist student refuses to stand for the pledge because he thinks the USA is a country of capitalist pigs. Is he within his rights? Why or why not?

6. A Communist student refuses to stand for the pledge because he thinks the words are loaded with hypocrisy, given the USA's history of slavery and its decimation of the Native American peoples.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bryan:

(1) In an age in which virtually everyone was a theist, what would you label as the "secular" worldview?

Paul LaClair:

(1) Most of the Framers were Deists, not theists. Their view prevailed.

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=51612

If Paul thinks that Deism is a secular worldview,

He doesn't, you idiot (or you think we're idiots and wouldn't notice your usual semantic games). "Most of the Framers were Deists, not theists" was stated to refute your assertion that "virtually everyone was a theist" around that time. "Their view prevailed," and that view isn't Deism. Paul was talking about their view of what the Constitution should be and how it should be set up, and that was in a secular way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Guest
I didn't say deism is a secular world view. I merely corrected a comment about the religious beliefs of our Constitution's framers.

There was, however, a divide at the time of the Constitutional Convention between those who wanted to adopt an explicitly religious (theistic) Constitution and those who believed it best to separate church and state. The separatist view prevailed. That much is history. Slowly over time, incursions were made. "In God We Trust" on money, "under God" in the pledge, etc. However, the fact remains that under our laws the First Amendment coupled with the Fourteenth require religious neutrality by government.

Now what does that mean? Bryan isn't really asking that question, but I will. Where does a society committed to religious freedom and "liberty and justice for all" draw the line?

The law is given shape by cases, so consider this case. Assume a child becomes ill and requires medication to survive. The parents opposes all medical intervention on religious grounds, and therefore would deny their child medication, relying instead on prayer to save their child's life. The law says that the parents are not allowed to do this. They would be endangering the child, and that's absolutely right --- they would be. On secular grounds, every interest is in favor of medicating the child. But wait a minute, what about the parents' right to bring up the child in their religion? What about their religious freedom? The law is clear that the state will intervene to protect the child's life (a secular concern) even at the expense of not honoring the parents' religious beliefs. Is the law right or wrong, and why?

Take another case. A religious fundamentalist believes his daughter has disgraced the family, so acting on his religious beliefs, which come directly from his scripture he kills his daughter. Here again, the secular concern is in protecting the daughter's life, but that interferes with the father's religious freedom. Is it appropriate for the law to charge and convict the father for murdering his daughter? Why or why not?

Now take the present case. A non-Christian, non-theistic public school student attends his history class, wherein his history teacher states that if one does not accept Jesus, then "you belong in hell." The law prohibits the teacher from making this statement, as it serves no secular purpose. But this is what the teacher truly believes, so the state has to suppress his expression of his religious belief in this instance. Is that the right result? Why or why not?

Or how about these cases:

1. A non-theist student in a US public school declines to stand for the pledge of allegiance becaues he objects to the words "under God." Is he within his rights? Why or why not?

2. The same student declines to stand for the pledge because he does not believe in ceremonial displays of forced patriotism. Is he within his rights? Why or why not?

3. A Jehovah's Witness student declines to stand for the pledge because announcing allegiance to a flag in that manner violates her religious beliefs. Is she within her rights? Why or why not?

4. A student who is a Nazi sympathizer refuses to stand for the pledge because he only recognizes the Swastika. Is he within his rights? Why or why not?

5. A Communist student refuses to stand for the pledge because he thinks the USA is a country of capitalist pigs. Is he within his rights? Why or why not?

6. A Communist student refuses to stand for the pledge because he thinks the words are loaded with hypocrisy, given the USA's history of slavery and its decimation of the Native American peoples.

Hey Paul, how was the meeting last night? lol!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't say deism is a secular world view. I merely corrected a comment about the religious beliefs of our Constitution's framers.

But your supposed correction was incorrect. As I've pointed out to you, Deism is a form of theism.

So, it looks like you dodged the question about what a secular world view would have been during the Framers' time, during which virtually everyone was a theist.

There was, however, a divide at the time of the Constitutional Convention between those who wanted to adopt an explicitly religious (theistic) Constitution and those who believed it best to separate church and state.

You say that as though you think it applied to state and local governments.

The separatist view prevailed. That much is history. Slowly over time, incursions were made. "In God We Trust" on money, "under God" in the pledge, etc. However, the fact remains that under our laws the First Amendment coupled with the Fourteenth require religious neutrality by government.

Figures you'd try to dance around your problem.

You've admitted that the DoI reflects the views of Deists, that is, a belief in god and a foundation for law and morality in said god--yet for some reason it is an "incursion" for coins and the pledge to underscore the principles from the DoI.

Indeed, for Mr. LaClair it seems that the only way to fulfill the outworkings of the Deist world view is to throw it over in favor of secular humanism.

Something like circles being the ultimate expression of triangularity, I suppose.

As for "religious neutrality" it isn't in the Constitution. It's all in court interpretations and those can drift to and fro (review Plessy v. Ferguson, among others).

The Constitution makes an explicit restriction on the Congress. It was the genius of the courts that determined that state and local governments were bound in the same manner as Congress rather than finding that Congress was similarly bound with respect to every state.

Nobody voted for it, nobody legislated it. It was decreed by judges sitting in the place of legislators, where the Framers never intended for them to sit.

Now what does that mean? Bryan isn't really asking that question, but I will. Where does a society committed to religious freedom and "liberty and justice for all" draw the line?

The law is given shape by cases, so consider this case. Assume a child becomes ill and requires medication to survive. The parents opposes all medical intervention on religious grounds, and therefore would deny their child medication, relying instead on prayer to save their child's life. The law says that the parents are not allowed to do this. They would be endangering the child, and that's absolutely right --- they would be. On secular grounds, every interest is in favor of medicating the child. But wait a minute, what about the parents' right to bring up the child in their religion? What about their religious freedom? The law is clear that the state will intervene to protect the child's life (a secular concern) even at the expense of not honoring the parents' religious beliefs. Is the law right or wrong, and why?

LaClair appears to ask this question in order to avoid one of mine, but I'll endeavor to steer him right back into it.

If there is an objective morality based on a Creator, then the law can be either right or wrong on that basis. If the parents' beliefs do not accord with the objective moral law in that particular situation (weighing one absolute against another hierarchically), then the parents are wrong. On similar grounds, the law could be either right or wrong (and, in principle, the answer could be expected to be the same every time an equivalent situation arose featuring the same tension between moral precepts).

Basing morality on humans themselves leaves a number of options. The parents are humans, we presume, so they may have a legitimate claim to a sovereign decision. The government is made up of humans (we also presume) so they have similar leverage in establishing law. Those who find the basis for law in humanity need to decide how they decide these cases. Are governments (such as the former USSR's) sovereign? On what basis? Power? Numbers?

I doubt that Paul really wants to delve into the issue at any depth. More likely he wants to play to the emotional reactions of the audience (rather like a lawyer playing to a jury) instead of examining the principles involved.

And if experience is any indication, I can expect him to avoid the deeper conversation by dismissing it as "parsing" or some sort of game on my part.

Take another case. A religious fundamentalist believes his daughter has disgraced the family, so acting on his religious beliefs, which come directly from his scripture he kills his daughter. Here again, the secular concern is in protecting the daughter's life, but that interferes with the father's religious freedom. Is it appropriate for the law to charge and convict the father for murdering his daughter? Why or why not?

Why doesn't LaClair ever get around to answering the question?

In other threads, he seems to feel perfectly free to refer to morality based on reason, and he seems to allude to some "objective" basis for this process. Yet when he goes through the test cases that process seems to come up short.

Now take the present case. A non-Christian, non-theistic public school student attends his history class, wherein his history teacher states that if one does not accept Jesus, then "you belong in hell."

(once again taking Paszkiewicz out of context)

The law prohibits the teacher from making this statement, as it serves no secular purpose.

We've come full circle in short order. Have I got a reply from Paul yet concerning the legislative or judicial origin of "secular purpose"?

It's hard enough getting LaClair to specify the "secular world view" that was of any relevance during the time of the Framers.

Almost seems like that was the topic of the thread before Paul got to rambling.

But this is what the teacher truly believes, so the state has to suppress his expression of his religious belief in this instance. Is that the right result? Why or why not?

Not, in terms of the system of government intended by the Framers.

Of course it's the right result for secularists who have mostly completed a judicial coup overthrowing the old government in favor of a new one, intended to feature secular humanism as the default civil religion instead of a broad-based theism.

But will we ever hear the rationale from Paul's lips/keyboard in terms of the objective/rational morality that he extolled elsewhere?

I somehow doubt it, because I think he realizes that is would very probably be shot full of holes.

That leaves him with the option of changing the subject so he won't have to deal with the hard questions.

Or how about these cases:

1. A non-theist student in a US public school declines to stand for the pledge of allegiance becaues he objects to the words "under God." Is he within his rights? Why or why not?

2. The same student declines to stand for the pledge because he does not believe in ceremonial displays of forced patriotism. Is he within his rights? Why or why not?

3. A Jehovah's Witness student declines to stand for the pledge because announcing allegiance to a flag in that manner violates her religious beliefs. Is she within her rights? Why or why not?

4. A student who is a Nazi sympathizer refuses to stand for the pledge because he only recognizes the Swastika. Is he within his rights? Why or why not?

5. A Communist student refuses to stand for the pledge because he thinks the USA is a country of capitalist pigs. Is he within his rights? Why or why not?

6. A Communist student refuses to stand for the pledge because he thinks the words are loaded with hypocrisy, given the USA's history of slavery and its decimation of the Native American peoples.

Got that, jury? You're supposed to react from your gut. Pay no attention to the fact that LaClair keeps his vaunted rational/objective morality firmly under wraps and hilariously dodges the question to which this thread was dedicated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He doesn't, you idiot (or you think we're idiots and wouldn't notice your usual semantic games).

You would recognize that Paul had dodged the question without my help?

Perhaps you think the question contained a contested premise? Paul contested a premise, and he was shot down (because a Deist is a theist, as I had pointed out prior to the appearance of Paul's reply).

Perhaps you think the question is irrelevant?

It was Paul who argued that the nation is properly founded on a "secular world view." Since, as I correctly pointed out, virtually everyone was a theist when the U.S. was founded, it seems patently false to suppose that the necessary "secular world view" Paul talks about was the same as the Framers adhered to.

I've invited Paul to clarify on the points where his description seems absurd on its face. It's not a word game at all, unless you somehow easily suppose that a "secular world view" is at the same time a theistic world view.

And perhaps that's the direction Paul will take when he tries to explain himself--but if that's the case it is he who is playing the word games by expressing himself in ambiguous terms.

Should we expect a lawyer to express himself in ambiguous terms?

"Most of the Framers were Deists, not theists" was stated to refute your assertion that "virtually everyone was a theist" around that time.

That's a rather ham-handed reply, given that Deism is a form of theism. If that weren't the case then we'd have atheist/adeist groups instead of atheist groups.

"Their view prevailed," and that view isn't Deism. Paul was talking about their view of what the Constitution should be and how it should be set up, and that was in a secular way.

If that's what he meant, then he continues to express himself inexpertly.

Why shouldn't a Deist, as much as anyone else, wish for his religion to be the state religion? Why can't an Episcopalian want the federal government to refrain from passing laws touching an establishment of religion?

It should be plain that Deists winning out over "theists" fails to approach any kind of explanation for the Constitutional feature of church/state separation, and moreover it brazenly dodges the issue of what constitutes a "secular world view" in an age of theists.

If Paul had been actually answering the question in terms of your interpretation, Strife, he could have simply said "A secular world view was the view that the government should have nothing to do with religion" or the like.

Of course, since Secularism itself has the features of religion, a philosophically secularist government is self-contradictory in principle (which Paul seems to find OK if the results are pleasant).

And it seems to me a stretch to call the Framers' notion of separation a "secular world view" given that it was one particular moral position that was shared by a heterogeneous group of theists. He'd have been more accurate to call it a "secular view" (a "world view" or "worldview" is more properly a set of beliefs about the nature of reality)--but even then the Framers stopped way short of institutionalizing secularism as a feature of the United States itself. Their collective position applied to the federal government, not to state and local governments.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Guest
Bryan:

(1) In an age in which virtually everyone was a theist, what would you label as the "secular" worldview?

Paul LaClair:

(1) Most of the Framers were Deists, not theists. Their view prevailed.

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=51612

If Paul thinks that Deism is a secular worldview, then does he favor the reference to "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins?

Or did he perhaps just offer me a whopper of a red herring in response to my question?

I would propose that most "Christians" who use their Bibles and crosses as little more than props are actually idol worshippers. Is that a third category?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bryan:

(1) In an age in which virtually everyone was a theist, what would you label as the "secular" worldview?

Paul LaClair:

(1) Most of the Framers were Deists, not theists. Their view prevailed.

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=51612

If Paul thinks that Deism is a secular worldview,

According to him, he doesn't (and why would he?).

then does he favor the reference to "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins?

This question makes no sense. Firstly, injecting mentions of "God" onto currency and into the Pledge of Allegiance were two 'movements' led primarily (solely?) by Christians, not Deists. Secondly, neither of those 'conditions' existed at the time the mostly Deist framers established the Constitution. You're drawing a parallel that doesn't exist.

Or did he perhaps just offer me a whopper of a red herring in response to my question?

You're projecting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Paul thinks that Deism is a secular worldview,

According to him, he doesn't (and why would he?).

Because he argued that Deism won out in the battle over the Constitution, and he also argued that the Framers had a "secular world view." That's why.

His former statement remained in your quotation of me. How did you not notice?

then does he favor the reference to "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins?

This question makes no sense.

Do tell.

Firstly, injecting mentions of "God" onto currency and into the Pledge of Allegiance were two 'movements' led primarily (solely?) by Christians, not Deists.

So what? Since Deists didn't push for it, therefore they opposed it?

Fallacy of appeal to silence.

Secondly, neither of those 'conditions' existed at the time the mostly Deist framers established the Constitution.

Again, so what? I haven't said otherwise. I'm merely noting that Paul says that the Deists won out in the battle over the Constitution, and assuming that the Deists represent the "secular world view" to which he referred (he hasn't offered any other option to this day, from what I can tell), I asked whether he would object to two policies that reflect the Deistic world view ("under God" and "In God We Trust").

You're drawing a parallel that doesn't exist.

I'm not drawing a parallel at all. I'm asking a question.

Or did he perhaps just offer me a whopper of a red herring in response to my question?

You're projecting.

Your posts would be so utterly boring if it weren't for the creative ways in which you express your incoherence.

Projecting a dilemma. Quite an achievement, that.

Can it be that Strife believes that LaClair answered my question? On what evidence, I wonder?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would propose that most "Christians" who use their Bibles and crosses as little more than props are actually idol worshippers.  Is that a third category?

This is really an excellent point, one too few people pay attention to. God is what is ultimately real, not the symbols and images people call God. I think you're absolutely correct, Guest. Much of what passes for religion is instead idolatry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is really an excellent point, one too few people pay attention to. God is what is ultimately real, not the symbols and images people call God. I think you're absolutely correct, Guest. Much of what passes for religion is instead idolatry.

In the midst of such great points, I suppose it's time to try this one again:

(1) In an age in which virtually everyone was a theist, what would you label as the "secular" worldview?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Guest
In the midst of such great points, I suppose it's time to try this one again:

(1) In an age in which virtually everyone was a theist, what would you label as the "secular" worldview?

Some people say there are no atheists in foxholes. It would be nearer the truth to observe that there are no theists (or very few) at funerals. After all, if the departed has gone on to a better place, why is everyone so sad?

Most theists divide their lives into categories of secular and religious concerns. Many of them claim to believe in theistic ideas, but when the chips are down they live according to secular realities. That is why so many people are criticized for acting piously in church on Sunday, but living in a completely different way the remainder of the week. It is also what makes theism possible, for if everyone who claimed to believe in the Bible (for example) actually confirmed to everything in it, life and society would be virtually impossible.

The beauty of a truly religious Humanism is that there is no separation between life and religion. That is one of the reasons I believe it to be true. For me, religion is what I do every moment of my life, and if I do it right it permeates me and lifts me up and makes me a better person.

Secularism and theism are categories, but no one I've ever met or heard of is a pure theist. So while theism has a long history of many adherents, those same people also compromised their theism in many ways, some more than others. I've never met anyone who didn't, and I've met some mighty strong believers.

So with that explanation, a secular worldview is one that recognizes that whatever one believes about a god, an afterlife, etc., the realities of the world are what govern how we behave in the world and among each other. There are gradations of this, all the way from a grudging acceptance of worldly realities to explicit non-theism.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest bewildered
In the midst of such great points, I suppose it's time to try this one again:

(1) In an age in which virtually everyone was a theist, what would you label as the "secular" worldview?

How about a worldview that wanted to keep church and state separate?

Maybe one that did not want their religion forced on anyone?

Bryan, you are a fundamentalist who believes his views are the only true ones and anyone who doesn't believe in them is wrong and and is going to burn in Hell for eternity. I wish you people would keep your religion out of my face.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about a worldview that wanted to keep church and state separate?

Maybe one that did not want their religion forced on anyone?

Bryan, you are a fundamentalist who believes his views are the only true ones and anyone who doesn't believe in them is wrong and and is going to burn in Hell for eternity.  I wish you people would keep your religion out of my face.

You neglected to mention that Bryan is an absolutist who does not truly listen to what others have to say. Instead, he cherry picks their words to his own convenience. There is no mutual growth in that, or any positive contribution to the body of knowledge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some people say there are no atheists in foxholes. It would be nearer the truth to observe that there are no theists (or very few) at funerals. After all, if the departed has gone on to a better place, why is everyone so sad?

That's an easy one.

From a Christian perspective, God created humans as a joining of flesh and spirit. Earthly death represents a sundering of the natural state.

Jesus wept when Lazarus died. He wasn't a theist?

Most theists divide their lives into categories of secular and religious concerns.

In the United States and Europe, perhaps. Probably not in Africa, and it certainly wasn't the view that Martin Luther promoted.

Many of them claim to believe in theistic ideas, but when the chips are down they live according to secular realities.

Is that statement not dependent on a self-serving definition of "secular realities"?

What is a "secular reality," taking care not to beg the question.

That is why so many people are criticized for acting piously in church on Sunday, but living in a completely different way the remainder of the week.

You mean like they did in Jesus' day (other than the whole Saturday thing)?

It is also what makes theism possible, for if everyone who claimed to believe in the Bible (for example) actually conf[o]rmed to everything in it, life and society would be virtually impossible.

Wouldn't that statement require a type of institutionalization of the Jewish laws that didn't even exist during the time to which it applied?

Otherwise, you can attempt to explain what you mean.

The beauty of a truly religious Humanism is that there is no separation between life and religion. That is one of the reasons I believe it to be true. For me, religion is what I do every moment of my life, and if I do it right it permeates me and lifts me up and makes me a better person.

Better compared to what? You have no philosophical foundation. You're creating an illusion for yourself from the sound of it, an illusion Joe Stalin or Jeffrey Daumer could construct just as easily.

Secularism and theism are categories, but no one I've ever met or heard of is a pure theist.

What is a "pure theist"?

So while theism has a long history of many adherents, those same people also compromised their theism in many ways, some more than others. I've never met anyone who didn't, and I've met some mighty strong believers.

In your own description of your humanism, you spoke of "if I do it right." Does that mean that you are not a pure humanist?

Would you know the difference between doing it right and not doing it right if you were a pure humanist?

Have you ever met a pure humanist?

So with that explanation, a secular worldview is one that recognizes that whatever one believes about a god, an afterlife, etc., the realities of the world are what govern how we behave in the world and among each other.

That description is empty minus a set of notions describing the realities of the world.

By that definition, all worldviews are "secular" in their own eyes.

There are gradations of this, all the way from a grudging acceptance of worldly realities to explicit non-theism.

So, apparently you have in mind your own perception of reality when you claim that all others are bound to the "realities of the world."

Consider that any adherent of any religion could have made your argument in the same fashion you made yours, and it should give you a sense of the strength of your argument.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about a worldview that wanted to keep church and state separate?

How about an answer from Paul LaClair?

I'll repeat to you what I've written elsewhere: Your suggestion can potentially explain what Paul meant, but it calls into question his choice of words since wanting to keep church and state separate is a view, not a "world view" in the ordinary sense of the term.

Paul ends up suggesting that a bunch of people with a theistic worldview have a "secular" world view at the same time and in the same sense--that's not clear communication.

That's not that big a deal except for Paul's odd unwillingness to clarify his intent.

Maybe one that did not want their religion forced on anyone?

That suggestion still leaves us with theists having a "secular world view," which tends to create a confusing impression minus clarification.

Bryan, you are a fundamentalist who believes his views are the only true ones and anyone who doesn't believe in them is wrong and and is going to burn in Hell for eternity.  I wish you people would keep your religion out of my face.

You seem to have gone to greater lengths to stand in judgment of me than I have done with you.

Note the confrontational style of evangelism at the end: "I wish you people would keep your religion out of my face."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jesus wept when Lazarus died.  He wasn't a theist?

If Jesus existed, and he was the son of God, then no, he wasn't a theist. Knowing of God's existence for a fact involves no faith, while theism is based on faith by definition.

I wouldn't nitpick like this if it was anyone but you, Bryan. Just giving you some of your own medicine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's an easy one.

1. From a Christian perspective, God created humans as a joining of flesh and spirit.  Earthly death represents a sundering of the natural state.

Jesus wept when Lazarus died.  He wasn't a theist?

2. In the United States and Europe, perhaps.  Probably not in Africa, and it certainly wasn't the view that Martin Luther promoted.

3. Is that statement not dependent on a self-serving definition of "secular realities"?

4. What is a "secular reality," taking care not to beg the question.

5. You mean like they did in Jesus' day (other than the whole Saturday thing)?

6. Wouldn't that statement require a type of institutionalization of the Jewish laws that didn't even exist during the time to which it applied?

Otherwise, you can attempt to explain what you mean.

7. Better compared to what?  You have no philosophical foundation.  You're creating an illusion for yourself from the sound of it, an illusion Joe Stalin or Jeffrey Daumer could construct just as easily.

8. What is a "pure theist"?

9. In your own description of your humanism, you spoke of "if I do it right."  Does that mean that you are not a pure humanist?

10. Would you know the difference between doing it right and not doing it right if you were a pure humanist?

11. Have you ever met a pure humanist?

12. That description is empty minus a set of notions describing the realities of the world.

13. By that definition, all worldviews are "secular" in their own eyes.

14. So, apparently you have in mind your own perception of reality when you claim that all others are bound to the "realities of the world."

Consider that any adherent of any religion could have made your argument in the same fashion you made yours, and it should give you a sense of the strength of your argument.

1. No doubt that is what a grieving mother is thinking as she buries her eight-year old cancer victim.

2. The point is not about what someone promoted, but about what people believe and how they actually think, regardless what they claim to believe.

3. No.

4. You're not begging the question (for a change). You're being obtuse (not a change).

5. Theists have always separated their lives from their religion (a contradiction in terms if ever there was one). That's one of the fundamental problems with theism. It isn't about anything people actually believe, and the way people live proves it. There are people who try very hard to believe it, but I've never met anyone who believed it to their core. There's always something that gives away their doubt.

6. No. My meaning is clear enough to anyone who isn't fighting not to understand it.

7. Better compared to the examples set by Stalin and Daumer, you moron. (Sorry, that doesn't set such a great example either, I'll try not to do that again.) You accept the same values, and can't even see that you do.

8. Someone who believes in the existence of a supreme being and all the tenets he or she associates therewith without exception.

9. No. It means I am an imperfect Humanist, which does not imply that I have moments or aspects of theistic belief.

10. How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

11. I've met many pure secularists, which is the issue at hand.

12. If you don't know what the realities of the world are, I'm afraid I can't help you.

13. Hardly.

14. Yes, we are all bound to the realities of the world.

15. I have never seen a theist argue in that fashion.

I'm flattered by your response to bewildered's post to know that you missed me. Don't get used to it. My first case mistried today and I start over on Monday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest KearnyKard
1. No doubt that is what a grieving mother is thinking as she buries her eight-year old cancer victim.

2. The point is not about what someone promoted, but about what people believe and how they actually think, regardless what they claim to believe.

3. No.

4. You're not begging the question (for a change). You're being obtuse (not a change).

5. Theists have always separated their lives from their religion (a contradiction in terms if ever there was one). That's one of the fundamental problems with theism. It isn't about anything people actually believe, and the way people live proves it. There are people who try very hard to believe it, but I've never met anyone who believed it to their core. There's always something that gives away their doubt.

6. No. My meaning is clear enough to anyone who isn't fighting not to understand it.

7. Better compared to the examples set by Stalin and Daumer, you moron. (Sorry, that doesn't set such a great example either, I'll try not to do that again.) You accept the same values, and can't even see that you do.

8. Someone who believes in the existence of a supreme being and all the tenets he or she associates therewith without exception.

9. No. It means I am an imperfect Humanist, which does not imply that I have moments or aspects of theistic belief.

10. How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

11. I've met many pure secularists, which is the issue at hand.

12. If you don't know what the realities of the world are, I'm afraid I can't help you.

13. Hardly.

14. Yes, we are all bound to the realities of the world.

15. I have never seen a theist argue in that fashion.

I'm flattered by your response to bewildered's post to know that you missed me. Don't get used to it. My first case mistried today and I start over on Monday.

I wish you would get a real job that would keep you busy and off the keyboard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. No doubt that is what a grieving mother is thinking as she buries her eight-year old cancer victim.

"After all, if the departed has gone on to a better place, why is everyone so sad?"

Looks like Paul forgot the question.

Why wouldn't the mother be happy that her child had gone to a better place, other than a selfish sense of loss?

2. The point is not about what someone promoted, but about what people believe and how they actually think, regardless what they claim to believe.

I don't think so.

"Most theists divide their lives into categories of secular and religious concerns."

Paul doesn't address my answer in any case.

3. No.

Quite the erudite argument, there.

And no bias involved, either.

4. You're not begging the question (for a change).

Again, the accusation minus so much as one example--a bit of a trend with Paul.

You're being obtuse (not a change).

"What is a "secular reality," taking care not to beg the question."

At least Paul dodged a question that wasn't asked of him directly this time.

(Correction: It looks like Paul was posting as "Guest" so he apparently did dodge the question)

5. Theists have always separated their lives from their religion (a contradiction in terms if ever there was one). That's one of the fundamental problems with theism. It isn't about anything people actually believe, and the way people live proves it. There are people who try very hard to believe it, but I've never met anyone who believed it to their core. There's always something that gives away their doubt.

We see the same thing with atheists, where they come up with incoherent (self-contradictory) systems to explain the world. Some go so far as to make the claim that nihilism is easily refuted from a non-theistic perspective. And then they're somehow satisfied with their incoherent solution.

6. No. My meaning is clear enough to anyone who isn't fighting not to understand it.

So Paul was posting as "Guest" again?

Here was the question:

"6. Wouldn't that statement require a type of institutionalization of the Jewish laws that didn't even exist during the time to which it applied?

Otherwise, you can attempt to explain what you mean."

Paul answers the first part without elaboration ("No."). So what could he be talking about apart from the Jewish law? Or is he denying the nature of the Jewish law by ignoring the system used to enact the law (in effect taking the law out of context)?

Again and again, LaClair hides his arguments in ambiguity. I imagine that he fears removing the veil of ambiguity, since that exposes his errors of fact and/or his logical fallacies. Should it be difficult to make clear one option as opposed to the other that I have mentioned? It doesn't seem like it should be difficult, to me.

7. Better compared to the examples set by Stalin and Daumer, you moron.

Yeah? What makes it better? Crossing the is/ought divide by divine humanistic fiat?

LaClair begs the question--he apparently knows of no philosophical foundation for his ethical axiom.

(Sorry, that doesn't set such a great example either, I'll try not to do that again.)

See, this is the problem you seem to ignore.

If a theist fails to act consistently with theism--as you see it, then the theist is inconsistent--to "Guest," (Paul LaClair?), this was evidence that his view is correct. Yet LaClair himself falls short of his recommended ethic and for some reason this does not count against his own view.

I can suppose only two explanations for this (and perhaps LaClair is availing himself of both).

1) LaClair is a hypocrite (if you act inconsistently with your view then this is evidence that your view is wrong; if I act inconsistently with my view, this is not evidence against my view).

2) LaClair sees acting against his moral system as consistent with his moral system, in effect admitting to the Nihilism that he claimed to refute earlier.

You accept the same values, and can't even see that you do.

I don't think that follows from anything I have written--but what's one more LaClair strawman among the growing army?

I'm focused on the philosophical basis for the values--exactly the issue that LaClair fails to address repeatedly.

8. Someone who believes in the existence of a supreme being and all the tenets he or she associates therewith without exception.

And what's a typical failure that makes theists fall short of "pure theism"?

9. No. It means I am an imperfect Humanist, which does not imply that I have moments or aspects of theistic belief.

Making your coming answer to the former question all the more interesting (assuming we don't experience the LaClair Dodge again).

10. How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

"10. Would you know the difference between doing it right and not doing it right if you were a pure humanist?"

There's the patented LaClair dodge now.

"So it was really an easy calculation," Schewe concluded. "The point is, say, an angstrom across, so you divide something that's 10 to the minus 10th power meters by something that's 10 to the minus 35th power, so the answer is 10 to the 25th power angels can fit on the point of a pin."

http://www.nytimes.com/learning/students/s...ive/971111.html

11. I've met many pure secularists, which is the issue at hand.

Oh, really? Didn't you already admit that some ideology (or religion) was required to undergird the basic system of law? Why doesn't that contaminate secularism?

I can find the post for you if your selective memory is giving you trouble.

12. If you don't know what the realities of the world are, I'm afraid I can't help you.

Likewise, I'm sure.

LaClair takes yet another opportunity to dodge the question. Is it that he too much a novice at philosophy to tackle the issue? Or is he an expert who knows that his argument is fatally flawed?

13. Hardly.

An argument that might come straight from the Monty Python "Looking for an argument" sketch.

14. Yes, we are all bound to the realities of the world.

"14. So, apparently you have in mind your own perception of reality when you claim that all others are bound to the "realities of the world."

Paul's reply is suitably vacuous.

15. I have never seen a theist argue in that fashion.

Doesn't that fail to address my point?

"Consider that any adherent of any religion could have made your argument in the same fashion you made yours, and it should give you a sense of the strength of your argument."

I'm flattered by your response to bewildered's post to know that you missed me. Don't get used to it. My first case mistried today and I start over on Monday.

I guess you can save some face by claiming that you avoid the key arguments because you are too busy. Not a bad idea. On the other hand, you've already put plenty of embarrassing stuff in print, like your ludicrous claim that the U.S. didn't exist until at least 1787.

Bryan:

"So the United States didn't exist until 1787?"

Paul:

The USA, which is a law-based entity, and our legal system did not exist until that time. That is correct.

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=51984

Don't worry, Paul. Your words will stay with us even if you avoid engaging the arguments from here on out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Jesus existed, and he was the son of God, then no, he wasn't a theist. Knowing of God's existence for a fact involves no faith, while theism is based on faith by definition.

Really? Which definition?

I wouldn't nitpick like this if it was anyone but you, Bryan. Just giving you some of your own medicine.

If it had been me, I'd have had a definition from a standard source linked to back me up.

Wikipedia appears unaware of the definition Strife has in mind.

Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more gods or deities.

There is also a narrower sense in which theism refers to the belief that one or more gods are immanent in the world, yet transcend it, along with the idea that God/(s) are omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theism

Likewise theism.info:

Theism is the belief in a god or gods.

http://www.theism.info/

Of course, they may be theists so they're probably biased against Strife. Let's throw that one out.

Bartleby also appears unaware of Strife's definition:

(th´zm) (KEY) , in theology and philosophy, the belief in a personal God.

http://www.bartleby.com/65/th/theism.html

Likewise Answers.com

http://www.answers.com/topic/theism

Likewise Merriam-Webster

http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/theism

Where is this definition of "theism" Strife is talking about?

http://Strife767.com/homepage/theism/definition.html

?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest bewildered
How about an answer from Paul LaClair?

I'll repeat to you what I've written elsewhere:  Your suggestion can potentially explain what Paul meant, but it calls into question his choice of words since wanting to keep church and state separate is a view, not a "world view" in the ordinary sense of the term.

Paul ends up suggesting that a bunch of people with a theistic worldview have a "secular" world view at the same time and in the same sense--that's not clear communication.

That's not that big a deal except for Paul's odd unwillingness to clarify his intent.

That suggestion still leaves us with theists having a "secular world view," which tends to create a confusing impression minus clarification.

You seem to have gone to greater lengths to stand in judgment of me than I have done with you.

Note the confrontational style of evangelism at the end:  "I wish you people would keep your religion out of my face."

A confrontational style of evangelism? And coming up to someone on the street and saying that he was going to hell if he did not accept Jesus or telling a captive audience of high school kids that Jesus died for their sins is not confrontational?.

What I am saying is that I want Xians like you to stop telling me that I had to live by their rules. It's really quite annoying. It is pissing me off.

Now go ahead and answer me by pulling things out of your ass.

You have not said anything negative about me only because you know nothing at all about me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...