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"It is not, what a lawyer tells me I may do, but what humanity, reason, and justice, tell me I ought to do."
Edmund Burke makes great sense once again. As you probably know, I have a quote by him up on my blog header, so I was attracted to your post immediately. The quote you posted is true. Just because something is allowed, doesn't make it right. People need to heed that one.
They don't make them like that any more.
But this is also why issues should be approached from a position of logic and reason, and discussed impartially.Morality without reason, is merely another form of tyranny.
TCL,I love your Edmund Burke quote. Have a blessed Sunday.
Odie,Yep. Or very few. Happy Father's Day!
Constitutional Insurgent,"discussed impartially." We all come with baggage of some form or another, have opinions, and believe in certain things that make discussing issues impartially nearly impossible. Morality and reason go hand in hand. Or faith and reason go hand and hand. St. Thomas Aquinas and his writings is a perfect example of using morality and reason. What do you consider "tyranny" where morality is concerned?
If one professes an allegiance to a particular moral code, they will always believe that reason and logic are on their side. This is true of Christians and Muslims for example, though I'm sure you can agree that the two moral codes are vastly different.We slip from liberty to tyranny when legislation is imposed that has no secular value. When we have a society that is guided by founding principles of religious liberty [which also includes none whatsoever], the inclusion of morality in law making must be weighed carefully and thoughtfully. Whatever does not harm another, steal from another or restrict another's liberty [respective of the previous], should usually not be codified, barring public safety exigencies.
Are you saying that secularists, atheists, and libertarians don't profess allegiance to a particular moral code or code of conduct? And believe what they perceive to be reason and logic as correct? As well as have preconceived inhibitions of what they consider to be tyranny?
"Are you saying that secularists, atheists, and libertarians don't profess allegiance to a particular moral code or code of conduct?"Of course not, many have a code they follow. I didn't state anything of the sort. However, secularists typically do not advocate for legislation that suppresses individual liberty on favor of unprovable belief systems, and only for the benefit of those belief systems.We still have an enormous amount of standing law that has been codified over the generations, that were implemented solely to make non-conformance to a religious code, criminal.I can argue the merits of such legislation from a position of impartiality, why can't our lawmakers?
Let me ask, if you think that legislation should be tempered by a moral code, who's do you utilize? And what do you use to ensure that said moral code is balanced with liberty?
hey Teres!!!HAPPY DADS DAY TO ALL THE AMAZING FATHERS OUT THERE!! XOXOX
This country's laws as well as most others are based on one moral code - the Ten Commandments. Examples are do not steal and do not murder. " Christians and Muslims for example, though I'm sure you can agree that the two moral codes are vastly different." There is one moral law that Christian and Muslim laws and ethics are based on. It is the same one that Hindu, Buddhist, secular and pagan beliefs about right and wrong are based on. Any sane person knows the difference between right and wrong. That is the moral code I am talking about. Asking "Whose moral code" is like asking "Whose color spectrum will you use to decorate your house."
Hey WHT! Have a blessed day!
" That is the moral code I am talking about."Here it sounds like you would agree with me that our laws should reflect the tenets I stated previously: Whatever does not harm another, steal from another or restrict another's liberty [respective of the previous], should usually not be codified, barring public safety exigencies.Am I correct that this is also your position?"This country's laws as well as most others are based on one moral code - the Ten Commandments."In generic sense...some of our laws reflect some of the Commandments, but other Commandments are not codified because they unnecessarily restrict liberty.There are however, a myriad of laws which are not found in the Ten Commandments, but nonetheless are inspired from a purely religious position....that also unnecessarily restrict individual liberty.
"Whatever does not harm another, steal from another or restrict another's liberty [respective of the previous], should usually not be codified, barring public safety exigencies."I agree with this in it's wording but we probably don't agree on it's application. One example may be abortion. Abortion harms the unborn child, murdering the baby in the womb, and violates the Constitution by taking away a human person's right to live just because that life is dependent on another. An abortion doesn't ONLY affect the woman it kills the unborn human being inside of her. The Founders didn't specifically add "no abortion" to the Constitution because "right to life" should have been enough to suffice but the moral decline of this country has pitted life versus life making one more important than another. You'd think people would have learned from slavery. George Washington and the other Founders understood the important connection between morality and freedom. The importance of knowing right from wrong. This is from Washington's last address: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity." Could you give an example of a law that you believe comes from a purely religious position?
John Adams -- "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."Benjamin Rush -- "[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind."
Let me begin by clarifying a point I should have made early on, in that general morality and religion are not always forged from the same fire....but they are also not always incompatible. Social morality can come from a variety values, some of which being religious. I also have no issue where legislation has it's genesis in morality where it is also a religious tenet....as long as there is secular value to it.I'm a bit more ambivalent on abortion, though not being a proponent of it.....but I think a clearer case can be made that at least after a certain time, harm may indeed occur to another living being. Some of our more fundamentalist politicos would go to the extreme however, by punishing women who engage in certain activities without even knowing that they were pregnant. Then there's the abhorrent attempts to force women to undergo a trans-vaginal ultrasound prior to a possible abortion. 'Personhood laws' likewise are fraught with problems.Regarding laws that are based solely on religion; I'll point out that in many ways we've evolved from a majority of laws of this nature, but many still reside with us, to some degree or another. I'll leave the low hanging fruit of biblical defense of slavery, since we've moved past that as a nation. As to some examples:Sodomy laws have no secular value.Prohibitions against homosexuals enjoying in the same rights as heterosexuals have always been completely rooted in religion; which is ironic given the rife polygamy found in the Bible.The North Carolina Constitution technically disqualifies a citizen from holding office "any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God...." There's at least eight other states who have similar clauses in their Constitutions of Bills of Rights.Then there are the slew of local laws such as barring the sale of alcohol on Sunday, and restricting the operating hours of private businesses on the Sabbath. State and locals laws have more impact on the daily life of the citizen, than national laws to. Unfortunately, the tabloid nature of national news, typically doesn't bring these to light.I can quite easily provide quotes from the Founding Fathers to counter those you provided, if you wish.But I'm more interested in where you believe a religious morality should be codified in our legislation, and is not currently?
"Prohibitions against homosexuals enjoying in the same rights as heterosexuals have always been completely rooted in religion; which is ironic given the rife polygamy found in the Bible."There were many sins in the Bible which God condemned. Just because sins may be mentioned in the Bible doesn't make them good or acceptable. Reading this may help - http://www.letusreason.org/Biblexp75.htmSocieties have recognized marriage as being between a man and a woman for centuries. The basis may be biblical but everyone (meaning generally; may be rare exceptions) of various beliefs believed this until very recently. It is more than a contract. Marriage is a covenant. It is also biologically procreative. With saying that I have no problem with homosexual couples having the same benefits as heterosexuals but in the form of civil unions. You know how there have been initiatives to remove crosses, memorials of wars, that are on government lands? I don't see a problem with having these memorials on government land. I think these memorials need to be protected.
"It is more than a contract. Marriage is a covenant."I find an intriguing dichotomy with this issue. On the one hand, the those who would argue this position would agree that government should have no role in dictating religious affairs.....yet on the other, these same people turn to government to enforce a religious framework, and deny it to others based on that belief system.Personally, I think civil liberties is a feasible compromise, as long as the legal protections and privileges are identical to that of marriage. At present, they are not. I would much rather all marital unions be recognized by the State as purely contractual....and those who wish a religious affirmation of that contract, can easily do so."I don't see a problem with having these memorials on government land."I don't either, personally. I think valid, historical reasons exist for some of these. But we also have people pretending that one cannot pray in public school...or more laughably, the public square. If belief is a personal connection with God, why does government endorsement of symbology mean so much?
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