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DLP Religion Survey 2017

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Taure, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I mean, if we want to be endlessly reductive, we can go back to their origins before Christianity even existed to the Roman Code and the Twelve Tables.

    They're secular now, and have been for centuries, which is the point I'm driving at. I don't see any priests meting out justice in the courts.

    And when you bring up the US, you cite the Declaration of Independence only, which is not the basis for our laws. The Constitution explicitly states that Justice is established by the People, not God, and forbids the government from endorsing religion or enacting religiously-minded law.
     
  2. Invictus

    Invictus Heir

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    You use common law. Your law system have so little in common with Roman Law it's not even a good example. Common law is based on customs and precedent and thus relies heavily on societal norms.

    I mean. If you mean there's a political separation between Church and state, than yes, it has happened for a few centuries. If you mean morally. Well. Come on dude. People swear over a Bible. You can do better than that.
     
  3. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    You're thinking of Roman Law after its 'rediscovery' in the 1500s, i.e. what morphed into continental European civil law. I'm talking about before that. The basic principles of English law find their origin in the Roman Codes back from when Britannia was a province of the Empire; equality under law, juries of our peers, etc.

    Hell, we could go even further, and say all Western justice is based on the principles of Athens.
     
  4. Hopper

    Hopper Second Year

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    Yes, that Roman law introduced by the Angles and Saxons that were Romanized (Or weren't, y'know, because the Romans never reached Denmark).

    They (Anglo-Saxons) used Germanic customary law, very, very heavily influenced by the Christianization of the polity. Which morphed into the common law. After which, the Roman concepts rediscovered in the Renaissance were grafted on to it.

    Also.

    "equality under law"

    Slavery, Roman citizenship, Latin rights.

    Choose one as your Roman legal principle.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
  5. Invictus

    Invictus Heir

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    Jesus fucking Christ man. What? Adding to what Hopper just said, consuetudinary Anglo law started in 12th Century under Henry II. Equality under law was never a thing in Roman Law, being a society built into castes do that to your law system.
     
  6. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    Yeah, let's just skip the 1500 years of influence Christianity had on European culture. The point I'm driving at is that you wouldn't have the European systems of law you have now if it weren't for the 1500 years of Christian influence because the culture was (and still is to a certain point) steeped in the moral codes deriving straight from Christianity.

    And the Dec. of Indep. provides the context for how the founders understood the rights of the citizen. They were not given by the state. The constitution followed the same concept, which is why there was such a debate on the Bill of Rights. The argument wasn't that the rights outlined there shouldn't be given to the people. Rather, it was that the rights are already inherently given to the people. It is exactly in line with the Dec. of Indep. which, again, clearly articulates the inherent rights come from a creator and therefore, cannot be removed by a government without due process.

    In other words, the founding fathers understood there was an outside standard of right and wrong based on an absolute founded in a deity (the creator). Thus, the basis of our justice system was constructed out of a worldview based on the existence of a deity.
     
  7. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    I think the point worth making here, that, since society evolves, we've developed complex legal systems that don't require divine authority anymore to police society. Religion played a huge role in spreading the rule of law, the modern Western civilization is based on Christianity and no one in their right mind could deny that. However, in my view, religion has always served to fill gaps in knowledge. Abrahamic religions have incredible staying power, but there is no more proof of their veracity than there is of Greek mythology. If you took religion out of the West now, the legal framework in place and secular moral philosophy are both sturdy enough to support the rule of law.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
  8. Eilyfe

    Eilyfe Death Eater

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    Joe's_Nemesis

    By no means do I want to imply that we as a species did a stellar job at policing ourselves – as you said, history is replete with examples that say otherwise – but that takes nothing away from the premise that we are capable of it, and that it is indeed our responsibility to do so.

    Does religion provide a moral code (regardless of whether you perceive it to be a good one or not) and has the codification of religion served as a basis for laws? I won’t deny that, simply because I’m not versed enough in legal and religious history to say otherwise – given how widespread religion is though, it appears plausible.

    What I do argue for, however, is that religion is just one iteration of humanity finding ways to govern itself, that it is in parts a codification of common sense principles (e.g. don’t murder your neighbor) that, by virtue of our species having survived, must have existed before within communities. Without those human principles we would have never even made it to the point of religion.

    As I see it, there are basically two ways to argue:

    One – Morality only came to be once religion codified it – in that case, the prior point applies. I find that unlikely on the basis of us even having gotten to that point. There was always plenty of tribalism, but even before religion there must have been rules to govern community-intern matters and relationships.

    Two – Morality has been given to us by a deity from the very beginnings of the human species, and codified morality through religion simply came into play once we could write. I assume this is your position, please correct me if I misrepresent your view here. In any case, at this point we’re back to the issue of evidence and probability – and in all likelihood also to the circles that believers and non-believers talk themselves into. I cannot disprove the existence of deities. In a well-worn, clichéd phrase that I’ll trot out regardless: neither can I disprove the existence of other mythical beings.

    That I cannot disprove them does not mean they exist however. The point is, I simply see no evidence for either. And I do not believe you can give me sufficient evidence or any evidence to prove the opposite (granting you the courtsey of assuming you won’t cite a book like the bible or the koran as evidence).

    I know Revan cites Occam’s Razor frequently. When it comes to probablity, it is far more likely that we exist as we exist without any causative relation to a deity – be it a theistic or a deistic god.

    Bottom line, I doubt we’ll make any headway on this matter.

    What might be more interesting to discuss (but likely opens a completely different can of worms) are other questions. To which degree should codified religion still inform our decision making in matters of morality? How should we handle specific ideas that appear detrimental? Which ideas are detrimental in the first place?

    If you’re not interpreting religious texts in an extremly literal way (i.e. you are open for kicking out passages that don’t jive with overall human well-being) that discussion doesn’t necessitate a conclusive proof/disproof of deities.

    If that’s the case, we’re good. My fear, and also the driving force behind my arguing this case, is that ideas (in every instance – whether religious or not) must be attackable. And I worry that linking morality to being handed down by God makes it appear invulnerable to inquiry.

    In other words, the moment it concerns more than one person, no idea – ever – gets a shield that’s self-referential.
     
  9. calutron

    calutron Unspeakable

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    That's a rather a-historic interpretation of Christian influence on Europe. It is in fact by running farther and farther away from the Bible and the Church that the modern value system was created. The fact that some of the principles of modernity can be traced back to the Christian tradition does not support your argument; that so much of the bible is ignored in modern society casts serious doubts on your argument.

    That people have natural rights that exist outside of the state, is a recognition and articulation of what the founders felt were important characteristics of a human life, which they might have attributed to a god. But is no way dependent on such. There have many many theories about the nature of man and his privileges within and without Christian traditions. The other problem with your argument, the malleability of what constitutes a Christian political society ranging from kings with divine rights to Catholic church to American Rebellion indicate a theory so flexible that it could practically be used to posit any possible outcome.

    There is no straight or even curvy line to be drawn from the idea that Christian ideas give direct rise to the modern philosophies that govern us and our societies. Let me rephrase that, your argument is so loose that in an alternate setting could be used to show the "Christian influence" of everything from Puritanism to Mormonism to a society resembling the modern Saudi Arabia.

    If any Christian influences are found they are only in part and heavily selected from the broader cohort, to suit our political and economic purposes.
     
  10. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    Let me clarify.
    My argument is not that religion creates morality better because it is religion, or because one system of belief is "the truth" and therefore creates a better society.
    My argument is that a human being, or corporate humanity, will respond to a standard set of moral codes without changing them to suit their purposes if there is a greater outside force that a human believes will enforce that code.
    That's it. Yes, even if it is the spaghetti monster or aliens. That's all I'm saying.
     
  11. coolname95

    coolname95 First Year

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    Interestingly, this point was noted by many socialists and anarchists in the 19th century, and they considered it a negative thing. It's a bit of a double edged sword: on the other hand, it can create stability over a long period of time. On the other, you can entice people to commit atrocities as long as you manage to convince them an external force will reward them. Or, as the anarchists and socialists though, you can make people accept poor conditions by with promises of afterlife.

    In fact, Bakunin used this line of thought in his argument against the existence of a god (God and the State):

     
  12. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    I'd actually argue the same about your statement, because the foundation of societal development and thus, societal thought came through Christendom. There is simply no way to disassociate current western law with the basic Judeo-Christian ethic.

    And yes, that is very broad, but it's broad because the argument is simply that our western worldview, despite all its permutations and evolution in several different directions—and underlying all the permutations of Christianity, is a basic concept of right and wrong that remains. Even when spirituality was stripped from it, the basic morality still remained.

    (and, I'm either arguing in circles or creating a circular argument. If so, I apologize as it's late and I'm pretty tired, so I'm going to end it here.)
     
  13. Eilyfe

    Eilyfe Death Eater

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    I admit that I seem to have misinterpreted your general stance over the years, then. I always assumed you found religion (specifically Christianity) to be the cornerstone for our morality, in an ontological sense as well as whether we should adhere to it today.

    To your point: that a powerful outside force can enforce morality strikes me as entirely obvious. With that definition, that force can be anything though, from your parents to the government. Since we’re in a religion thread I presume you mean a deity (or another supernatural being). In that case, if a deity were to exist and had the necessary powers, then yes, that deity could enforce its version of morality if it felt so inclined.

    Honestly I don’t quite see the point in arguing that a potential deity has the capability to do potential deity-activities. This says nothing about whether a deity exists, whether – if it exists – it actually meddles in human affairs, and if its meddling is beneficial to us or should be avoided.

    The interesting question to me right now is not how morality is enforced (the answer to this varies, of course, depending on your stance on religion), but rather what our morality actually is/should be – and what informs that decision.
     
  14. calutron

    calutron Unspeakable

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    I think I understand your argument, it's as if a tree were growing in ground filled with dye, and therefore all of it's branches will show some of the some of the dye. I don't think that's a profound statement, it's basically saying that a strong cultural influence over many years influenced the culture.

    As your second argument about enforcement of rules, well yeah you kind have to get people to follow the rules one way or another, where even 50% enforcement by humans themselves is unrealistic. So the idea of an omnipresent actor that is recording everything seems to be quite useful in creating a lawful society.

    That isn't to say, that's the only solution or people can't be otherwise motivated without using the punishment concept. Or that we can't create sufficiently good systems that allow both flexibility of action and a high degree of justice by other humans rather than an external omnipresence.
     
  15. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    The next step in that argument is that when the powerful outside force is considered unchanging, then morality can't change at the whims of the person or society. it's a constant. The problem with humanity is that it continues to redefine morality according to whatever humanity wants it to be. Thus, we move from an absolute to relativity, and history is replete with the horrors of relative morality. Even within Christianity. It wasn't until the misnamed constantinization of Christianity that we started seeing redefinitions of morality within the faith, and that's because the state had taken control of it (Theodosius with the Edict of Thessalonica in 386CE making Christianity the state religion, which was the worse thing ever for Christianity).

    ---------- Post automerged at 01:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:57 PM ----------


    That's an excellent way to put it. Thanks for helping define my argument better.
     
  16. Azotez

    Azotez Seventh Year

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    What religion is trying to do and has always tried to do, is to make morality an absolute and constant thing. This is one of the reasons why it is so hard to reform religions, as it loses some of its genuinity in the process of changing the beliefs and morals.

    I guess you could argue that somewhere out there, there exists the pinnacle of morale values, and when we reach this point it would be an advantage for us to stick with it. But I do not believe we are anywhere near of reaching those higher morales yet. As such it is a much more advantageous position for humanity to keep morales a relative thing, as i makes us better suited for surviving conflict. Since our morales are not supreme and at the pinnacle yet, trying to keep them constant will only cause strife and suffering. We need to look at and measure each morale value we have when the situation requires it or forces our hand, discard those that are old and outdated and replace them with something better.

    To assume that our morale beliefs are at a point where they should be kept constant is the height of folly. If morales had never been subject to change we would never have reached the point we are at today. We would not have been able to progress further and beyond and will be unable to do so in the future as well.
     
  17. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    Doubtlessly that's why a lot of religious reform movements try to present themselves as restoring the faith to it's original form after it's been corrupted.
     
  18. Eilyfe

    Eilyfe Death Eater

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    I admit I find the idea of an outside force applying an unchanging morality to be oppressive. Even more so if it is one that can’t be reasoned with – that is, after all, what the word absolute means. In a way, absolute is what I oppose when I say no idea gets a shield by being self-referential. The moment something is absolute, discussion is pointless on account of it being absolute. When someone says “this is the morality everyone should adhere to” and I ask “Why?”, then that someone disqualifies himself by saying “because God said so, and it’s absolute because of that.”

    But even leaving that terrifying proposition aside, there are other questions. How would we even know or learn of this code of conduct? And if this code indeed exists, what happens if it is not beneficial to us? And if it is a good and divine code, the best in fact, why could it even be perverted, or why was it so hard to communicate the right ideas to us?

    It feels infantilizing, to be honest. The idea of being ruled by a set of laws that I (or my species) have no say in at all – and with no possibility of revision – is deeply disturbing. In fact, the more I think about the word absolute, the more I despise it. Every idea, especially one that concerns itself with how existence is structured, must defend itself on the merit of reason.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
  19. wolf550e

    wolf550e High Inquisitor DLP Supporter

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  20. Imariel

    Imariel Order Member DLP Supporter

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    tldr

    I don't know why people keep trying to force actual arguments/proper discussion on twitter. It's a shitty medium for anything but short, snarky wit. I can't be the only one that gets eye aids from trying to read that?

    Also, if you're trying to dive deeper into the complex relations between morals and religion I'd recommend the WLC & Sam Harris debate in particular, but any atheist vs WLC in general. However much I may disagree with WLC he does well in constructing logical arguments.