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Featured "Only God can judge me!" Religious debates rerun

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by danieldemol, Aug 14, 2020.

  1. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    Hi,
    This was posted earlier this week I think in one of the DIRs;


    Didn't have the time to respond earlier and as it was in a DIR it wouldn't have been appropriate, so I thought I would re-run it here.

    Basically in the video the author completely strawmans secularism, appearing to claim it is about the prevention of enjoining good and forbidding evil.

    So let us look at what secularism actually means;

    Google defines secularism as follows;
    secularism

    noun
    1. the principle of separation of the state from religious institutions.
      "he believes that secularism means no discrimination against anybody in the name of religion"
    In other words, a secular state is one in which the state is neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion.

    This does not mean that individuals are prevented from championing whatever they believe will be conducive to the most just society.

    If you believe that telling people music is haram will prevent violent society of course I will laugh at you, but it is completely within the scope of secular society for you to say that.

    What is not within the scope of secular society is enshrining within law compulsion on people to follow your religion. So I have to wonder why such a foundational principle of justice (ie secularism) appears to be redefined to suit the self serving purposes of the religious whiner in the clip?
     
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  2. Piculet

    Piculet Active Member

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    Secularism is irreligious.
    o_O
     
  3. Piculet

    Piculet Active Member

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    It's worth noting that the "neutral" Secularism has begun banning some religious clothing.
     
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  4. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    It is only irreligious to a person whose religion supports compulsion in religion.

    For those whose religion does not support compulsion in matters of religion it can even be religious
     
  5. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    I think you are talking about France specifically, but they are possibly not the best example of "neutral secularism"

    ETA because they seem to have some authoritarian leanings in these matters
     
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  6. Piculet

    Piculet Active Member

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    I thought Secularism was supposed to be neutral in itself. Actually I was thinking about Quebec, but there are multiple such places so that is irrelevant to me.
    :confused:

    Secular is not religious — it is irreligious by definition. Problem is, you think that's a neutral stance, but it is all but neutral. Places like France are antireligious, but that does not contradict secularism as far as I know.
     
  7. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Could someone please clarify what is under debate?
     
  8. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Good.
     
  9. Piculet

    Piculet Active Member

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    I don't know either. I guess, you'd have to watch the video..
     
  10. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    FWIW - Wikipedia: Secularism:

    Secularism may refer to any worldview or principle which defines the secular at a given context, and prioritizes, justifies or promotes it over the non-secular. "Secularism" has a broad range of meaning. While its definition as the separation of religion from civic affairs and the state is the most common, it may connote anticlericalism, atheism, naturalism, banishment of religious symbols from the public sphere and much more.

    As a philosophy, secularism seeks to interpret life on principles taken solely from the material world, without recourse to religion. It shifts the focus from religion towards "temporal" and material concerns.

    In political terms, secularism is the principle of the separation of government institutions and persons mandated to represent the state from religious institutions and religious dignitaries (the attainment of such is termed secularity). There are distinct traditions of secularism in the West, like the French and Anglo-American models, and beyond, as in India, where the emphasis is more on tolerance for all religions rather than separation. The purposes and arguments in support of secularism vary widely, ranging from assertions that it is a crucial element of modernization, or that religion and traditional values are backward and divisive, to the claim that is the only guarantor of free religious exercise.​

    And, again, when it comes to 'secularism' (as with language in general) "the map is not the territory."
     
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  11. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Just finished. It struck me as an extremely well done appeal to orthodoxy.
     
  12. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    That's because secularism is never neutral. I'm pretty sure it is impossible to be culturally neutral, as what we label "religion" is inexorably bound up with culture. I once came across the interesting perspective that secularism, in reality, serves to establish what a culture believes "religion" looks like. Put another way, it is one of the things we use to create the artifice called "religion" as some distinct thing separate from ways of life as a whole. Things that fall outside of that artifice are subject to little or no scrutiny or regulation.


    I notice this a lot as someone whose expressions of religion fall outside of what secularism says religion looks like. While in many ways being a religious minority results in being non-privileged
    (my religious holidays, for example, aren't days off in the United States and I have to use vacation time) I also have some bizarre privileges. My religious practices and iconography fall outside of what secularism says "religion" looks like, so I get a free pass in instances where "religion" gets regulated in public spaces. There are plenty of oak trees on public grounds that stand unchallenged by activists, yet the moment a cross goes up? Oh boy, some folks throw a fit. It's kind of stupid, honestly, even though it is inevitable.
     
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  13. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Veiling the face is not a religious requirement. They are often worn out of compulsion of the husband or family
     
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  14. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but because they deemed it harmful, not specifically because it is religious. You (and I) can disagree with that reasoning but that doesn't mean it isn't a secular policy in principle. Things like human sacrifice, open funeral pyres and FGM are banned in a lot of places despite often being religious practices on a similar principle. Something deemed similarly harmful but not religious should (and generally will) be treated exactly the same under a secular system.
     
  15. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Secularism doesn't necessarily speak of cultural neutrality, though. As @Jayhawker Soule mentioned, there is some variety held under the umbrella of 'secularism'. And many of those could care less what people's cultural values are, beyond where they transgress particular legal boundaries. One can (and should) argue around those boundaries, but it's not about cultural suppression.


    Agreed, but that really shouldn't be surprising. Laws specifically aimed at providing freedom of religion are similarly informative in terms of what a dominant culture believes religion looks like. How else to explain the cognitive dissonance involved in having the First Amendment to the Constitution whilst simultaneously banning the Ghost Dance?


    It's not 'secularism' that says what religion looks like. Or at least, not only secularism. Dominant cultures in any society determine such things. And counter cultures exist in all societies that I'm aware of, challenging these 'norms'. The pre-eminent cultural carrier of what religion in a society should look like has traditionally been...overwhelmingly...religion.

    If a society is to replace a single dominant religion with (in theory at least) equal access to all religions, and a willingness to also accept non-religion, then there is a natural void created in terms of religious hegemony, and similarly in terms of cultural carriers. In short, the 'norm' becomes much harder to define. At it's worst, secularism becomes a parody of itself, and seeks to take the normalising role religion can play. That leads to a dogmatic type of secularism, in my opinion. But if it does not do this, and it holds truer to what I see as it's value, then it seems inevitable that a gap in terms of 'normalising' influences on religion remains.


    Are those oak trees only religious, though? Did the state erect them for religious purposes? Is anyone suggesting (for example) you can't pray on public land, or is it more tied up to how the state is using it's land and resources (provided via public taxation)?

    I'm not sure why society would have problems with an oak tree...or the sun...since neither is using public funds on public lands to support one religion to the exclusion of others.
    What you're suggesting secularism is here...to me at least...appears to be a small-minded form of it. Nothing more.

    I'm not for a moment saying that doesn't exist. It does. Only that it doesn't define the whole. Just as the behaviour of some theists don't define the whole. Or some atheists.
     
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  16. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Unfortunately, secularism very often becomes confused and conflated with amorality. To the degree that many "secularlists" think and espouse amorality as one of their highest ethical ideals. We see this here on RF often in discussions about pornography and prostitution, where ANY implication of immorality is seen as outrageously unethical religious fanaticism.
     
  17. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    Secularism sounds very positive, when defined this way.
    Even follows Jesus His "Thou shall not judge". Seems more religious/spiritual than some religious people
     
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  18. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    Music has the ability to touch the soul, so telling others that music is haram cannot be what Allah has meant IMO.
     
  19. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    Again, secularism is IMO very positive and trumps some religious ideas.
    IF God created "Religions" THEN I believe the same God created "Secularism" as a religious eye-opener.
     
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  20. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    I think the only reason why this happens, is because he interprets the Koran in this way
    (I did like, as in funny, the way of presentation, but I have quite a few question marks about it's content)
     
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