Jump to content

Non-religious thoughts


PaulS
 Share

Recommended Posts

I saw the below meme today and thought that maybe it was a fair cop.  But then I wondered about the bit of 'infiltrating government' and whilst I don't like religion and government mixing, if Democracy is truly representative of the people, and the majority of those people hold certain religious views (whether others find them agreeable or not), is that not democracy in action?  But then I had another thought - if a Democratic society voted to strongly uphold racism, or maybe even extinguish another race, or some other cause that many might not agree with, is it justified simply because it falls under the banner of 'Democracy'.  What makes democratic views 'right'?

May be an image of text that says 'Most Û-go people wouldn't have a problem with religion if it was something benign and privately practiced, instead of something weaponized to oppress people, justify harmful beliefs and rituals, proselytize and convert, and infiltrate government @GodlessLiz'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, PaulS said:

I saw the below meme today and thought that maybe it was a fair cop.  But then I wondered about the bit of 'infiltrating government' and whilst I don't like religion and government mixing, if Democracy is truly representative of the people, and the majority of those people hold certain religious views (whether others find them agreeable or not), is that not democracy in action?

Interesting question .... Take a look at some Islamic states where apostasy is a crime? And the punishments can be pretty horrendous.

The problem with government  is it has to represent all the people, not just the chosen (majority). In the US the separation of state and religion was put in place to protect religions. The idea was so that one particular flavour of Christianity would not inflict its brand of nonsense on all the other flavours. (or so I am led to believe).

I think in Christian terms it could be summarized as render unto Caesar. Of course some Christians want their cake and also want to eat it.

10 hours ago, PaulS said:

But then I had another thought - if a Democratic society voted to strongly uphold racism, or maybe even extinguish another race, or some other cause that many might not agree with, is it justified simply because it falls under the banner of 'Democracy'.  What makes democratic views 'right'?

I suggest, if you get chance, read Yuval Noah Harari's (I think) Homo Sapiens.  In it he describes the Peugeot motor car company as a fiction. Similarly concepts like ownership and perhaps human rights are fictions too.  And here we can add democracy and other forms of government. Of course they exist as concepts and these concepts are/were enacted.

Now a so called racist, cannot help but be as they are ... they too are part of the universe unfolding. As are each of us, nature, the planets orbiting the Sun, suns orbiting the centre of the galaxy and the galaxy doing it thing with all the other galaxies. 

I've said before, semantically religion comes from the Latin to reconnect. Reconnect to what? God, one another, society, nature? For me it is to reconnect to the universe, understand our place in an unfolding universe. 

Enough waxing lyrical.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, romansh said:

The problem with government  is it has to represent all the people, not just the chosen (majority). 

Every single person?  What if the majority elect a government that promises to ban abortion?  Clearly not everybody is going to be happy with that decision but if the majority by far want that to be a law in their society, isn't that democracy in action? (By the way, I support abortion and a woman's right to choose).  

6 hours ago, romansh said:

I suggest, if you get chance, read Yuval Noah Harari's (I think) Homo Sapiens.  In it he describes the Peugeot motor car company as a fiction. Similarly concepts like ownership and perhaps human rights are fictions too.  And here we can add democracy and other forms of government. Of course they exist as concepts and these concepts are/were enacted.

Great book and yes, Peugeot is a good example of how communal 'thinking' is what makes something exist.  If we don't 'play by the rules' then that 'thing' will no longer exist.

6 hours ago, romansh said:

Now a so called racist, cannot help but be as they are ... they too are part of the universe unfolding. As are each of us, nature, the planets orbiting the Sun, suns orbiting the centre of the galaxy and the galaxy doing it thing with all the other galaxies. 

And others fighting against racists, or anti-abortionists, is also part of the universe unfolding?  It seems to me that recognizing it is the universe unfolding doesn't really help with the matter, unless we are prepared to sit back and let whatever happen, happen, because that is the universe unfolding (but then is the sitting back part of the universe's unfolding also?).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Regressive-Traditionalist said:

Nothing makes the democratic view right. Democratic just means majority decides. 

Yes, indeed.  I guess that's another question - what is 'right'?  As we see from our experiences, what different people think is 'right' is often different.  Who is the final arbitrator?  To me, it seems there is no 'final word' and we just muddle through it best we can.  Of course some may say 'God', but that's really just another version of 'right'.

I'm reminded of Winston Churchill's quote: "No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried from time to time."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, PaulS said:

Yes, indeed.  I guess that's another question - what is 'right'?  As we see from our experiences, what different people think is 'right' is often different.  Who is the final arbitrator?  To me, it seems there is no 'final word' and we just muddle through it best we can.  Of course some may say 'God', but that's really just another version of 'right'.

I'm reminded of Winston Churchill's quote: "No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried from time to time."

Well if there is no final word then there is only nihilism. Also Churchill was wrong on Democracy. It is the worst form of government when compared to most of the others. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, PaulS said:

Every single person?

I  would argue yes ... That person might not be happy. But yes.

2 minutes ago, PaulS said:

What if the majority elect a government that promises to ban abortion?  Clearly not everybody is going to be happy with that decision but if the majority by far want that to be a law in their society, isn't that democracy in action? (By the way, I support abortion and a woman's right to choose).  

Abortion is an excellent example. A government ideally does not ride roughshod over peoples wants. So here we might compromise. Men can be banned from terminating any pregnancies they might have and women might choose for themselves. But if the government does ride roughshod over women's rights then that government and the people that support the law should be prepared for the backlash.

8 minutes ago, PaulS said:

And others fighting against racists, or anti-abortionists, is also part of the universe unfolding? 

Absolutely.

9 minutes ago, PaulS said:

It seems to me that recognizing it is the universe unfolding doesn't really help with the matter, unless we are prepared to sit back and let whatever happen, happen, because that is the universe unfolding (but then is the sitting back part of the universe's unfolding also?).

Yes and no. I can see why you don't. You have not yet really (it seems to me) fully explored the consequences of there being no free will. I completely expect you to carry on the good fight.  That is your dharma. It seems to me as you are still seeing yourself somehow separate from the unfolding. I must admit at times I do too. But that is OK. 

It's like when we cut down a maple that was slowly bringing down a neighbour's retaining wall. I did not think the tree was somehow evil or bad, it was something that needed to be done. In the same way, I see the Texan government needs to be reigned in regarding it abortion legislation.

So, who said anything about sitting back?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Regressive-Traditionalist said:

Well if there is no final word then there is only nihilism.

Better than some forms of Christianity?

11 minutes ago, Regressive-Traditionalist said:

Also Churchill was wrong on Democracy. It is the worst form of government when compared to most of the others. 

I am presuming you are from the US? If so, you should try it before you knock it.

What forms of government are you suggesting?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, romansh said:

Better than some forms of Christianity?

I am presuming you are from the US? If so, you should try it before you knock it.

What forms of government are you suggesting?

Nihilism is neither better or worse than any form of Christianity. It simply is. Nothing is truly good or truly bad.

I'm not suggesting any form of government. Only that Winston was wrong. 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Regressive-Traditionalist said:

Nihilism is neither better or worse than any form of Christianity. It simply is. Nothing is truly good or truly bad.

Here I might agree with you, but are you suggesting all our descriptions of reality like nihilism and Christianity are equally accurate?

3 minutes ago, Regressive-Traditionalist said:

Only that Winston was wrong. 

This does not make sense bearing in mind you  had just earlier said

27 minutes ago, Regressive-Traditionalist said:

It is the worst form of government when compared to most of the others. 

So what forms of government is democracy worse than?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, Regressive-Traditionalist said:

Well if there is no final word then there is only nihilism. 

Seems a bit dramatic.  I see nihilism defined as "the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy".

Now, I don't think because every single person cannot agree on every single point that they are nihilists.  Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree, precisely because there is no final word on the matter.  Both are right, and both are wrong, it's just perspective.  That doesn't mean one or the other won't fight to have their perspective recognized, but that's what I see as part and parcel of our evolution.  Will we ever overcome disagreements, our alternate views - who knows.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, romansh said:

Here I might agree with you, but are you suggesting all our descriptions of reality like nihilism and Christianity are equally accurate?

This does not make sense bearing in mind you  had just earlier said

So what forms of government is democracy worse than?

I would say my description of nihilism is accurate. As is my description of Historic Christianity and Progressive Christianity. 

Also not under the obligation to provide you a list. If you want to praise Democracy go ahead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, PaulS said:

Seems a bit dramatic.  I see nihilism defined as "the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy".

Now, I don't think because every single person cannot agree on every single point that they are nihilists.  Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree, precisely because there is no final word on the matter.  Both are right, and both are wrong, it's just perspective.  That doesn't mean one or the other won't fight to have their perspective recognized, but that's what I see as part and parcel of our evolution.  Will we ever overcome disagreements, our alternate views - who knows.

You're ascribing your own projection of nihilism on to the nihilist. There is nothing necessarily negative in Nihilism, only the abandoning of meaning and accepting the is. Not ascribing good or evil to it. 

 

In that way you don't seem so far off from Nihilism.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, romansh said:

I  would argue yes ... That person might not be happy. But yes.

I'm not sure that is very practical or even possible in a society.  I think somebody is always going to feel 'wronged' the the government of the day.  So we do the best we can, and rule in accordnace with the majority, hopefully mindful that just because the majority wants it doesn't mean it is the best thing overall.

24 minutes ago, romansh said:

Abortion is an excellent example. A government ideally does not ride roughshod over peoples wants. So here we might compromise. Men can be banned from terminating any pregnancies they might have and women might choose for themselves. But if the government does ride roughshod over women's rights then that government and the people that support the law should be prepared for the backlash.

But isn't 'roughshod' just an emotive way of saying we disagree?  In a democracy, shouldn't a government have the right to enact the majority of it's societies desires.  Surely that's what 'representative if the people' means?  But really, I guess that's just one of the limitations of an imperfect form of government (not that any other forms of government are any more perfect).

24 minutes ago, romansh said:

Yes and no. I can see why you don't. You have not yet really (it seems to me) fully explored the consequences of there being no free will. I completely expect you to carry on the good fight.  That is your dharma. It seems to me as you are still seeing yourself somehow separate from the unfolding. I must admit at times I do too. But that is OK. 

It's like when we cut down a maple that was slowly bringing down a neighbour's retaining wall. I did not think the tree was somehow evil or bad, it was something that needed to be done. In the same way, I see the Texan government needs to be reigned in regarding it abortion legislation.

So, who said anything about sitting back?

Yeah, I must admit, I do still struggle with the no free will concept.  Not because I don't agree that we have no free will (we are all entirely a product of our genetics and our experiences) but rather it's application and meaning to life.  But, I'll leave that to another thread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Regressive-Traditionalist said:

Also not under the obligation to provide ...

While I would agree this is true ... it does seem positively strange you would enter a dialogue and debate thread and say this.

But as you wish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, Regressive-Traditionalist said:

Well if there is no final word then there is only nihilism. Also Churchill was wrong on Democracy. It is the worst form of government when compared to most of the others. 

I am curious too - how do you see democracy as the 'worst form' of government when compared to most others.  There must be at least one form of government you consider 'better' than democracy if you think democracy is the 'worst'.  Can you share a better form of government, in your opinion?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, Regressive-Traditionalist said:

You're ascribing your own projection of nihilism on to the nihilist. There is nothing necessarily negative in Nihilism, only the abandoning of meaning and accepting the is. Not ascribing good or evil to it. 

I don't think it's me ascribing those properties, just the commonly agreed definition.  I recognize that human language has limitations but generally we try to agree on the meanings of words so that we can all come from the same place when discussing things.  The definition I provided was a psychology definition.

But I am happy to ascribe neither good nor evil to people's views as there is no final word.  Maybe 'adiaphorous' is a more appropriate term.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, PaulS said:

rule in accordance with the majority

Here I disagree with you ... having run for local office (unsuccessfully) ... Who do I represent? The majority, the people who voted for me, what actually makes sense to me (I might change my mind with new info), the people who did not vote for me, the whole community, my fellow council members, the employees of the community? Would I implement policies to the benefit of the community but to the detriment of neighbouring communities?

Edited by romansh
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, romansh said:

 Would I implement policies to the benefit of the community but to the detriment of neighbouring communities?

If 99% of your community wanted a certain law, but 1% didn't so you choose not to implement that law, are you really representing your community?  Isn't that what democracy is meant to be?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, PaulS said:

Isn't that what democracy is meant to be?

Certainly not for me.

1 minute ago, PaulS said:

If 99% of your community wanted a certain law, but 1% didn't so you choose not to implement that law, are you really representing your community? 

It has to make sense to me.  Otherwise we can do all laws by referendum. (Brexit) Take vaccine passports. If somebody does not want vaccinations, fair enough. But if places ie shops, stadiums, borders, etc want proof of vaccination ... good.

It depends what you mean by representing. When you go to a doctor, do you want her to do/recommend what you what her to do?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, romansh said:

It has to make sense to me.  Otherwise we can do all laws by referendum. (Brexit) Take vaccine passports. If somebody does not want vaccinations, fair enough. But if places ie shops, stadiums, borders, etc want proof of vaccination ... good.

It depends what you mean by representing. When you go to a doctor, do you want her to do/recommend what you what her to do?

I don't disagree with your take on doing what makes sense to you, but I don't see that model as truly fitting what we call 'representative democracy'.  If I voted for you believing you would represent how I wanted government to govern, and then you up and chose not to govern that way, you have betrayed my vote and you are not representative of me.  Now I know that gets tricky with lots of little bits and pieces (you can't please verybody 100% of the time), but essentially if you were elected by the majority on a platform of banning abortion, then to be true to democracy, I would expect you to ban abortion.  

When I go to a doctor, I pay for a service.  I expert a level of expertise.  When I vote for a politician, I vote for what they say they stand for and so before I vote, I determine whether they generally reflect my views or not.  If they don't I don't vote for them.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, PaulS said:

If I voted for you believing you would represent how I wanted government to govern, and then you up and chose not to govern that way, you have betrayed my vote and you are not representative of me. 

A quick question ... do you live in a first past the post jurisdiction? If you do then you are likely aware the majority of people did not vote for a particular candidate.  Let's say I promised  to vote for a certain position and when I get elected I realize people are being misled. What do I do?  

I remember the first time I voted for anything but conservative, I voted for the liberal candidate because I did not believe him/his platform.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, romansh said:

A quick question ... do you live in a first past the post jurisdiction? If you do then you are likely aware the majority of people did not vote for a particular candidate.  Let's say I promised  to vote for a certain position and when I get elected I realize people are being misled. What do I do?  

No, Australia dropped first past the post in 1917.  We use a mix of Preferential Voting and Proportional Representation, so the party with the most votes wins power but individual 'seats' can be manipulated by preferences.

Obviously the better thing to do if people are being misled, is to lead them correctly.  But I'm thinking that is just more opinion and doesn't get us any closer as to whether one is actually representing the people that elected them.  That said, I guess it hinges around what democracy is actually defined as, and I'm not sure it's described anywhere where one is or isn't following democratic principles if they decide to act contrary to how they said they were going to act when soliciting votes initially.

9 minutes ago, romansh said:

I remember the first time I voted for anything but conservative, I voted for the liberal candidate because I did not believe him/his platform.

Yes, tactics are also a part of the voting process, both for the elector and the candidate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service