Is separation of Church and State necessary?

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Is separation of Church and State necessary?
HYZ
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Posted Nov 22, 2009 - 2:05 AM:
Subject: Is separation of Church and State necessary?
I'm not saying that we should go back to a Theocratic State. I'm asking if it's needed to keep some sort of moral value for us. So we don't go crazy with the abortions or divorcing non-stop or even bestiality.
keda
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Posted Nov 22, 2009 - 5:47 AM:

Funnily the bible doesn't say much specifically about abortions, but it does say "thou shalt not murder". Does separation of church and state imply that murder is legal? "Thou shalt not steal", theft is legal? "Thou shalt not lie" no contracts should be enforced? Etc.



baden511
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Posted Nov 22, 2009 - 6:01 AM:

hyz wrote:

I'm not saying that we should go back to a Theocratic State. I'm asking if it's needed to keep some sort of moral value for us. So we don't go crazy with the abortions or divorcing non-stop or even bestiality.


Of course we need religion for morality. Where would be morally without the inspirational killing, rape and child abuse carried out by God's footsoldier's in the Bible? Why, we might not even have got the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem Witch trials or Abu Ghraib without that, and we'd certainly miss out on torturing nonbelievers during the oncoming Apocalyspse. Not to mention the untold joys of watching them burn in hell.

So don't be shy, let's go the whole hog and have a theocracy. No more rogering sheep for me, let's kill some heretics instead.

Edited by baden511 on Nov 22, 2009 - 6:57 AM. Reason: ...it was the righteous thing to do
HYZ
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Posted Nov 22, 2009 - 7:54 AM:

keda says:
Funnily the bible doesn't say much specifically about abortions, but it does say "thou shalt not murder". Does separation of church and state imply that murder is legal? "Thou shalt not steal", theft is legal? "Thou shalt not lie" no contracts should be enforced? Etc.

Well, no but what I mean is it seems like in a full right wing democracy everything seems too liberal in a sense, almost anarchy like without any sense of morality from religion.

baden511 says:
Of course we need religion for morality. Where would be morally without the inspirational killing, rape and child abuse carried out by God's footsoldier's in the Bible? Why, we might not even have got the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem Witch trials or Abu Ghraib without that, and we'd certainly miss out on torturing nonbelievers during the oncoming Apocalyspse. Not to mention the untold joys of watching them burn in hell.

So don't be shy, let's go the whole hog and have a theocracy. No more rogering sheep for me, let's kill some heretics instead.

I take it you're not a fan of the church. But religion has done some good at least. It keeps our moral values in check in some ways. Like it prevents us from being too liberal about some aspects of life. Like the seven deadly sins warn us of what not to do. Also, the church did do some good things despite the Spanish Inquisition. In its day, it gave people a sense of unity through faith. People were less selfish in my opinion, because that was what the bible preached, selflessness.
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Posted Nov 22, 2009 - 8:48 AM:

There is a quote button, you know... But why should you believe me? After all, I am an atheist, and if I wasn't a bit distracted by all the bestiality I'm sure I would be lying all the time.

For pity's sake. First of all, why would one need religion in order to have morality? The most a religion can do is ossify a set of moral values, preventing any change and progress. Not only would any sane man find the moral values of the people who wrote the Old Testament abhorrent (I am of course rather boldly assuming you're not a fan of genocide), it was full of contradictions. The development of our moral values is, I would say, a process of resolving such contradictions; why would you have anything against it?
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Posted Nov 22, 2009 - 9:22 AM:

Whether we need religion for morality or not, it is pretty clear that mankind needs religion, or at the very least some form of skeptic idealism:

"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."

In my view, God will continue to exist on this planet as long as people keep doing things in his name. And as the state is a part of public life, as long as religion is around with any sort of following it will be impossible to keep the church and the state truly seperate. At the end of the day, the state's role even in our 'liberal' society is to preach morality by making and enforcing laws, so I don't think whether it does it on religious lines or not really matters. An atheist state would be just as dogmatic as a theocratic state, because of the very nature of the 'state' concept.
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Posted Nov 22, 2009 - 9:46 AM:

If you study the existing thriving democracies of the world it seems that seperation of church and state can lead to a more moral society.

Over half of the thriving democracies in the world today are moderate socialist states such as Sweden, the current poster child for moderate socialism. They also tend to have very small religious minorities, by religious I mean people associate themselves with a specific religion and regularly attend services. However, most of their citizens consider themselves to be spiritual and the few statistics available for such things indicate they have lower homocide rates, lower abortion rates, lower STD rates, etc.

One popular theory is that when people feel as though their community supports them they tend to return the favor and in general their behavior improves. If true, the popularity of religion could often be seen as a reaction to a state or community that does not provide enough support to its citizens. Anacdotal evidence in countries such as China also suggest that when people do not feel they can trust their community or state to instill morality in their children they turn to religion.
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Posted Nov 22, 2009 - 11:26 AM:

God's teeth. God's glittering golden teeth. I knew there was a reason for all this beastiality! It's that damn Constitution of ours.
baden511
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Posted Nov 22, 2009 - 11:38 AM:

sheps wrote:
An atheist state would be just as dogmatic as a theocratic state, because of the very nature of the 'state' concept.


Wouldn't that make Sweden and Japan as dogmatic as Iran? It seems like this is based on a misunderstanding of the concepts involved.

Not to mention the fact, already alluded to by ciceronianus, that the American Constitution specifically set up a wall between church and state to make sure it didn't become a theocracy.

Edited by baden511 on Nov 22, 2009 - 11:46 AM
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Posted Nov 22, 2009 - 12:07 PM:

sheps wrote:
Whether we need religion for morality or not, it is pretty clear that mankind needs religion, or at the very least some form of skeptic idealism:

"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."

In my view, God will continue to exist on this planet as long as people keep doing things in his name. And as the state is a part of public life, as long as religion is around with any sort of following it will be impossible to keep the church and the state truly seperate. At the end of the day, the state's role even in our 'liberal' society is to preach morality by making and enforcing laws, so I don't think whether it does it on religious lines or not really matters. An atheist state would be just as dogmatic as a theocratic state, because of the very nature of the 'state' concept.


I would say that if God did exist, it would be necessary to overthrow the bugger or worse.

In any case, while I would agree that every society needs 'religion' in the sense of cultus, we already have that (think of all the flags, memorials, ceremonial officals and so on) in spades. What I dispute is that we need religion as dogma. And the state doesn't 'preach' morality (well, with the exception of revolutionary states, I guess), its laws express the morality of society.
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