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Old 08-05-2004, 03:15 PM   #1
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Can We Govern Without God

The Death penalty thread has me thinking.

With America's current move towards becoming a "secular" country, are we undermining our ability to govern and legislate?
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Old 08-05-2004, 03:22 PM   #2
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Are we?

Do we need God to keep us in line or is it common decency among men and women?
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Old 08-05-2004, 03:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ballbustah


Do we need God to keep us in line or is it common decency among men and women?
Exactly. Such a harsh issue with a simple, basic answer.
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Old 08-05-2004, 03:37 PM   #4
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I am a huge advocate of separation of church and state.

I'm for taking "in god we trust" off currency. How hypocrytical was it of the founding fathers to want the separation, but then put that statement on money??

Oh, wait, that's because back when the country was founded Christianity was just about the ONLY religion. So, they had no problem throwing the word God all over the place. Plus, the only reason they wanted a separation of church and state was so that the US government wouldn't be subjected to church law, like the English thrown had been throughout the centuries. They wanted to make their own laws.

But I for one think there should be definite separation. Take that off the money, no commandments or prayer in Public schools, no Government endorsed mention of God, such as before every session in Congress. Perhaps the definition of "separation" should be shown to some of these people.

You don't need God to have values and morals and respect for your fellow humans.

Keep God in the Church and out of the Government. The US Government involves every American, not just those who believe in God.
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Old 08-05-2004, 03:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by mgoblue101415
I am a huge advocate of separation of church and state.

I'm for taking "in god we trust" off currency. How hypocrytical was it of the founding fathers to want the separation, but then put that statement on money??

Oh, wait, that's because back when the country was founded Christianity was just about the ONLY religion. So, they had no problem throwing the word God all over the place. Plus, the only reason they wanted a separation of church and state was so that the US government wouldn't be subjected to church law, like the English thrown had been throughout the centuries. They wanted to make their own laws.

But I for one think there should be definite separation. Take that off the money, no commandments or prayer in Public schools, no Government endorsed mention of God, such as before every session in Congress. Perhaps the definition of "separation" should be shown to some of these people.

You don't need God to have values and morals and respect for your fellow humans.

Keep God in the Church and out of the Government. The US Government involves every American, not just those who believe in God.
So whatever WE as a people decide goes?
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Old 08-05-2004, 04:12 PM   #6
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I guess what I'm trying to say is if we don't need God for morals and values, then where do they come from, and how to we keep from losing them?

I think the Founding Father's saw the error in this logic and that is why, despite wanting to separate church and state, and wanting to avoid becoming another England, they saw the need to submit to a higher being.

God's laws cannot be changed.

Man's laws can.
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Old 08-05-2004, 04:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by spiderman
So whatever WE as a people decide goes?

Yes, that's how it should be.

And yeah, I know you're probably going to bring up the death penalty thing... My response... If "We" the people make it legal, then that's law. BUT that doesn't mean I have to agree with it. One great thing about this country is that we have the right to speak out against the government, without fear of repercussion.
"We" the people elected Bush into the White House and I DEFINITELY don't agree with that.

Oh, wait, "we" the people didn't vote him in. That was the archaic, outdated, electorial college.

Anyway, yes, I agree with "a government for the people, by the people."
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Old 08-05-2004, 04:22 PM   #8
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Sorry, Mgoblue I made a comment above your post that sort of responds to what you said.

I offer this quote:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

I think it is important that the Founding Father's note that our "unalienable rights" are endowed by their creator. Meaning that MAN can never change them.
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Old 08-05-2004, 04:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by spiderman
Sorry, Mgoblue I made a comment above your post that sort of responds to what you said.

I offer this quote:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

I think it is important that the Founding Father's note that our "unalienable rights" are endowed by their creator. Meaning that MAN can never change them.

Yes, but remember...

The same people who stated, "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Are the people who owned slaves.

The founding fathers spoke of their times. When religion was Christianity. When "all men" included just white men and definitely not women. Dang it, I have to get out of work and head home, but you get my general gist.

The founding fathers had the right idea, it just needs to be tweeked, which is another option they gave us down the road to be able to do. And I'm rushing and that may not make any sense, so I'll have to clarify later.
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Old 08-05-2004, 04:58 PM   #10
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America and Europe was very religious at the time the Constitution was written. Every aspect of their lives revolved around their faith. Leaving God out of the equation when drawing up this document (and the Declaration) was unthinkable.

Of course, it had to be the protestant version of christianity. No Jews, Muslims or Catholics need apply.

Little trivia...have you ever noticed that most old Catholic churches in New England are on side streets? That's because they weren't allowed to build in the center of towns. They were relegated to the outer portions of the townships.

Anyways, there's no denying that religion plays a part in our society morals. But I do believe that humans are basically good. Government can function without it and in fact it has. I don't consider miscelaneous religous symbols to mean our government has endorsed any religion.

We really didn't start moving towards a secular society until the 20th century, when science was starting to disprove many misconceptions held by religious doctrine. People started questioning the things they had been told since childhood.

In the interest of disclosure, I'm an atheist, although I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools. I started questioning the existence of a higher being at a young age. I respect everyone's right to worship and believe as they choose. But I get very angry when their beliefs are forced upon me either through law, policy or evangelism.
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Old 08-05-2004, 08:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by spiderman
I guess what I'm trying to say is if we don't need God for morals and values, then where do they come from, and how to we keep from losing them?

I think the Founding Father's saw the error in this logic and that is why, despite wanting to separate church and state, and wanting to avoid becoming another England, they saw the need to submit to a higher being.

God's laws cannot be changed.

Man's laws can.
Just a thought -- our Founding Fathers choose to put "In God We Trust" on our currency while they legislated slavery as being legal and wrote into the Constitution that blacks counted as 3/5 of a human being and that only property holding white men could vote. Thomas Jefferson wrote statutes into the Virginia Commonwealth Constitution that allowed the punishment of death for a white woman who gave birth to a black child.

My point is, the laws of God are interpreted and applied by men, and throughout the last 3,000 years, those that proclaimed to be ruling in the name of our Bible have applied those laws very differently. The laws of God have arguably been misinterpreted and misapplied by men as often as not.

The Bill of Rights and the laws and statutes of the United States are clearly defined -- they don't need people's subjective belief in God for validity.
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Old 08-06-2004, 09:12 AM   #12
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It is difficult for me to try and formulate this argument while at work, so please bear with me.

First, the comments about the founding fathers, and religion are all valid, but that's not exactly where I was going with this.

Let's look at it this way. You have 2 places. Society A states that stealing money from others is wrong. Society B states that stealing money is okay, as long as the person you steal it from is rich.

Are both places equally just? Afterall, each took a vote and their people approved each law.

Or is one place right and the other wrong? Is a law valid simply because we as a people decide it is?

I'm not even sure how I feel about this which is why I started this thread, but I'm just trying to keep this on a philosophical level, that way we can avoid any superfluous issues that may accompany this discussion.
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:21 AM   #13
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Every human being has his own values.
Think of it on a sliding scale.
The different aspects launched into the equation define what each person will do.
It is not a black or white answer.

Religeon has caused more wars then any other human condition.
My forefathers were forced to leave the country of thier choice, Nova Scotia, because they were Acadians. Acadians were either protestants or catholics, I forget which, and were on the other side of the ruling governments religeon.

Even today in the Middle East conflicts it is largely thought of as a holy war. We may not think of it as that. We think of it as the good guys against terrorism but the other side has a completely diferent opinion. They see us as a threat to thier religeon.

Religeon can be a very good thing but it can also be a very bad thing.
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Old 08-06-2004, 02:15 PM   #14
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Separation of church and state was created to support religion, not discourage it. State sponsorship of a specific religion creates an environment that stymies the growth of alternate religions.


Al Quaeda is 100% in favor of state sponsored religion.
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Old 08-06-2004, 06:57 PM   #15
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Re: Can We Govern Without God

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderman
The Death penalty thread has me thinking.

With America's current move towards becoming a "secular" country, are we undermining our ability to govern and legislate?

America has always been a secular nation, it's the Bush Administration who is trying to move it away from secularism and towards state sponsored religion.Ironically, what the "religious" right doesn't understand, is that they are trying to stifle faith, not promote it. The promotion of faith is what led the founders of this country to come here and create a system that honored the RIGHT of every individual to observe their own faith, without any government sanction or interference.
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