Outlawing atheism

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Black Irish, Aug 9, 2021.

  1. Black Irish

    Black Irish Banned

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    So assuming the state decided to outlaw atheism, but not require that people join any specific religion - just that they not be atheist or profess atheism anywhere in the public sphere, wouldn't this be Constitutional? Since the 1st Amendment only disallowed prohibiting the free exercise of religion - not prohibiting atheism.

    Discuss.
     
  2. Greenleft

    Greenleft Well-Known Member

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    Outlawing ideas instead of fighting them with evidence, logic and good arguments only makes martyrs of the holders of those Ideas. As much as I would like to see white supremacists lose their teeth, doing that would only create martyrs which would attract more followers to a cause.

    Better holders of bad ideas like the flat earth be social outcasts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
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  3. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    I seem to recall that the US supreme court etc. have several times recognised that for the purposes of the first amendment, atheism should be treated as a religion. This means that the "free exercise" of atheism is protected, and congress shall make no law respecting atheism, etc.

    If you were able to change that interpretation, or the constitution itself, then sure, you could make anything legal or illegal.
     
  4. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

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    The government cannot regulate thought, or belief. It would be an easy thing to say that by prohibiting an idea, the government was simultaneously restricting free SPEECH, because one cannot speak about something that they have been prohibited from believing, or from PROFESSING (though, in truth, censoring thought is a far more egregious affront to individual liberty, even than prohibiting speech). In fact, speech has been broadened, over the years, to more accurately be thought of as freedom of expression, and for the state to outlaw any particular philosophy, strikes at the heart of self-expression.

    This law could also contradict a citizen's most fundamental, "inalienable," right, of the pursuit of happiness, if being an atheist is what makes someone happy.

    Though it is the argument that I anticipate would (& will, here) get the most blow-back, from the religious, I believe the Court would be apt to rule that a-theism constitutes a non deity-based religion, at least in the eyes of the law.

    What is funny, to me, about this thread, is its ideological counterpoint to another thread called, What Good Is God?, in which the thread creator, @gabmux, who portrays himself as open-minded, with a liberal spirituality, renders a judgement of condemnation on all traditional religion. He blames organized religion for all the horrors people have perpetrated, in the name of religion, & does not personally recognize any of the value of institutional religion, so says that people should let go of, & "bury" them. When I tried to point out to him that this was infringing on others' right to choose their own path, and that it would be folly to believe that all others could experience spirituality in the manner that works for him, he claimed I was "off-topic."

    The irony, of course, was that he was being just as prejudicial, & assuming for himself the same right to exercise authority over others, which is the closed-minded, grasping hallmark of the most despotically intolerant religions-- which he, in the same breath, had rated as worse than worthless.
     
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  5. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    There CANNOT be any Freedom OF Religion WITHOUT Freedom FROM Religion.

    The PURPOSE of the PROHIBITION on the endorsement/exercise of religion was INTENDED to erect a WALL between Church and State.

    The Founding Fathers did this because they KNEW all too well the ATROCITIES that had been (and still are) committed under the UNHOLY ALLIANCE between Church and State.

    PERVERTING the intention of the 1st Amendment in order to DEMONIZE a subset of the population would be a VIOLATION of the Constitution.

    The above is just the FACTUAL REALITY that exists.

    Now let's examine the OP's MOTIVATION for attempting to OUTLAW Atheism.

    The DECLINE of organized religion and the growth of Atheism are well documented.

    Religion has fallen into ill repute largely because it has been used as a POLITICAL weapon by the extremist Evangelicals in order to further their nefarious AGENDA. The TOPIC of this thread is a classic example.

    With FEWER theists that POLITICAL agenda is now threatened so the OP is postulating a means to CENSOR and SILENCE those who do not embrace religion. (See bolded red above.)

    This CENSORSHIP violates the Freedom of EXPRESSION clause of the 1st Amendment.

    So having established that the OP is promoting a VIOLATION of the Individual RIGHTS of citizens on TWO counts and doing so with a disingenuous motive it is safe to say that there is NOTHING further to discuss. No American is going to uphold the DENIAL of individual rights of their fellow citizens.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
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  6. Distraff

    Distraff Well-Known Member

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    Thats a bit like saying that since a bunch of old laws only refer to male pronouns or heterosexual relationships, they don't apply to women or gay relationships. There were virtually no atheists at the time of the constitution, and our founders kept it short and sweet and didn't feel the need to mention every little detail. I find it fairly obvious that the same reasons we shouldn't ban other religions also apply to not banning having no religion at all.

    One way you get around the constitution, is arguing that it only protects your right to religion, but not your right not to be in a religion. So a Muslim can't be persecuted, but he can be persecuted for not being Christian. I hope you will agree this approach is overly literal and trying to interpret the first amendment through grammatical loopholes.

    So then we can agree the constitution protects your right not to be in a religion. "Respecting an establishment of religion" includes this. Respecting just means about, so any law that involves a religion, even banning not having it is unconstitutional.

    Atheism is simply not being Christian, not being Muslim, not being Buddhist, not being spiritual, not being deist etc, etc, and all these are constitutionally protected. The lack of all these beliefs is one who doesn't believe in God, an atheist. Therefore atheism is protected.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
  7. Bowerbird

    Bowerbird Well-Known Member

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    Meh! I would jus declare myself a member of the Solipsistic Society of Puritanical Perfunctory Pantheists
     
  8. VotreAltesse

    VotreAltesse Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Parodic religion such Flying Spaghetti Monster would be just more popular, you would just get atheism with a layer of irony beyond that.
     
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  9. Bowerbird

    Bowerbird Well-Known Member

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  10. VotreAltesse

    VotreAltesse Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    To be fair, it's a dutch court, and the OP mention the american constitution. The american constitution isn't limited by a dutch decision, so even if a dutch court declared it's not a religion from the point of view of dutch law. I searched on the internet, apparently a Nebraska court took a similar decision :
    https://journalstar.com/news/local/...cle_88202368-0930-5335-8921-6542e8d4bb04.html
    At the opposite, in Massachussets a woman won : https://www.huffpost.com/entry/pastafarian-colander-license-photo_n_56498e42e4b08cda34897b27

    Without speaking of parody, Buddhism doesn't have any god, at least not in the western way of speaking of it. You can then be technically be both religious and atheist in the same time.
     
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  11. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

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    I am sorry, oh Perfect One, who never is wrong-- it was a mistake, on my part: an INNOCENT ONE. Look at the time of my post; it was late, my last of the day. I did not purposely change Religion to God to in some way slur you (as you do me, every time you accuse me of lying, & making things up)-- and then I write "@gabmux' in the post, to make sure you see it? Use your brain, for a minute, before you make your foolish accusations. If I wanted to make up, "lies," about your thread, in another thread, would I give you a notice of it? The answer, if you're having any trouble with that one, is No, of course not!
     
  12. CKW

    CKW Well-Known Member

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    Freedom of thought and conscience is ingrained in our constition. It would be vastly unconstitutional to outlaw atheism.

    However local and state governments are twisting the meaning of the constitution so that they can target for persecution those people and business owners who might believe in traditional marriage or who are of, donate towards and votes for conservative values. This hugely infringes on freedom of speech and freedom of religion. If that sort of twisting is affirmed by the Supreme Court then anything....including outlawing atheism and religious thought and political thought is possible.
     
  13. wgabrie

    wgabrie Well-Known Member Donor

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    Outlawing atheism is like treating a symptom rather than curing the disease. If the state is making atheism illegal because it bothers them, then they lost the argument already. They couldn't beat the atheists with facts so the state has to hit them over the head with a hammer.
     
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  14. gabmux

    gabmux Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Of course you would. You crave the attention.
    Why not stick to the topic for a change...
    and leave your petty grievances for private conversations.

    As for this topic....

    Has someplace actually suggested outlawing atheism?
    I've never heard of that idea before.
    I don't see how outlawing atheism, or even religion for that matter,
    would make any difference.
    Like prohibition for example...not much success there.
    I don't understand how atheism would be a threat to anyone.
    Does anyone have a link to info on this topic
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
  15. gabmux

    gabmux Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You are still off topic....
     
  16. gabmux

    gabmux Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Here is the quote you are referring to.....
    I don't mind side conversations in my own thread.
    But why are you hijacking someone else's thread?
     
  17. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

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    This, fyi, is called a "reply:"

    gabmux said
    What I claimed to be "off-topic" are the lies
    and personal attacks that you seem to enjoy so much.

    <End Snip>
    DEFinning said: ↑
    Again, no example to back up your slanderous accusation, as usual-- because you are full of $hit.

    How did I misrepresent your thread (other than accidentally changing one word of its title)?


    DEFinning said: ↑
    say that people should let go of, & "bury" them.

    gabmux said
    It's time to bury your religions.
    They are worthless and died long ago.
    gabmux said
    But it does no good...that's the point of the thread
    It's totally worthless
    gabmux said
    It is nothing less than a poison....the world was BETTER OFF before religion took it's toll.

    DEFinning said
    does not personally recognize any of the value of institutional religion
    DEFinning said
    which he, in the same breath, had rated as worse than worthless.

    DEFinning said
    renders a judgement of condemnation on all traditional religion.
    gabmux said
    Look around...what has religion done for humanity?
    People still killing each other off...still greedy, selfish,
    egotistical bast**ds.

    DEFinning said
    He blames organized religion for all the horrors people have perpetrated, in the name of religion,
    gabmux said
    In any case religions have not made any measurable
    difference IMO...unless you count religious wars.
    <End gabmux Snip>

    Excuse me, for pointing out that my comments have directly corresponding quotes, from you, to back them up. Therefore, it seems that it is you, who so enjoys his lies & personal attacks.


    If you are not going to back up your accusations with supporting quotes, you may as well save your breath, as I have shown, yet again, how false are your accusations; that you are a liar, and a hypocrite.
    <End Snip>

    And what is your response, to my direct reply to your charges against me, which I proved false?

    I am sick of your disingenuousness. IMO, you have no integrity whatsoever.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
  18. gabmux

    gabmux Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You've proved nothing....except that you are out of control.
    You've brought another topic into this thread.
    Why not go back to the topic you are quoting from and discuss it there?
     
  19. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

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    Would you like to demonstrate the correct way, for us, gabmux?

    Clearly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
  20. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    well they can't do that in the murka because atheism is a religion. the supreme Court didn't look at popular usage when they examined the issue, they looked at the 'substance' of 'what is religion' not how lay people popularly use the word from their pocket dictionaries as seen in your typical dictionary. furthermore laws in murka, with regard to religion, are all done stealthily using metaphors and analogies, ie bigamy is substituted for polyamory that way they're making a law based on bigamy and prosecuting you under bigamy which just by strange coincidence happens to mean the same identical thing as polyamory then they are challenged they point out that they do not use the religious word polyamory therefore its not a ruling against their religion because bigamy magically gave it a secular status even though it's not.......it's actually a state established religion in violation of the constitution and your freedom of religion, that's how it's done in the big leagues playing legal games with murka and how they get around the Constitution and most people have absolutely no clue what so ever that's the scam they are pulling off right under their ignorant noses. Thats how murka establishes a religion with 'easily' plausible deniability.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
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  21. gabmux

    gabmux Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I would be honored!
    Here is an example.....
    You simply offer your opinion on the topic and if
    you're not sure that you are on the right track,
    you ask questions.

    Now here is an example of what not to do....

    Notice how the above response starts out very insightful and aligned with the topic....
    but then in the second paragraph the response veers off topic
    by making false claims aimed at another participant that have nothing what-so-ever to do with the topic.

    Any questions? Okay... Now it's your turn.
     
  22. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

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    Notice, yourself, how the paragraph that you see as veering off topic, actually draws a parallel between this thread, and your own:
    "What is funny, to me, about this thread, is its ideological counterpoint to another thread called, What Good Is (Religion)?, in which the thread creator...renders a judgement of condemnation on all traditional religion."

    This thread, of course, is something of a mirrored inverse of that. It speculates a ban on non-religion, i.e., atheism. That's what makes the two threads comparable. What makes you unable to appreciate this obvious fact, IMO, are your pre-judged thoughts, & your personal emotions, which your own thread takes pains to claim are meaningless, and no part of the "real" you. So I can only suggest you take your own advice, and let those things go. My post is not specifically about you, per se, but about the perspective you take, in your thread. There is a difference-- whether or not you can see that, by accessing the impartially-judging, inner self, that you profess as the goal, all should strive to attain, in lieu of religion.

    IOW, here is your chance to give an example of what you preach, rather than manifesting the angry, petty, ego-centeredness which characterizes all those "worthless," religions that you condemn.

    Don't be a hypocrite.
     
  23. gabmux

    gabmux Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Amazing reply!!
    That is the DEFinning that I have learned to appreciate!
    I completely agree with your statement below.
    The comparison you describe is obvious.
    Below is where the problem begins.....you even underlined it yourself....
    I don't really see my topic below....
    ...as a "condemnation on all traditional religion".
    If I suggest to someone that because their dog is dead, it might be a good time to bury it...
    am I condemning anyone or anything?
    By changing the title of my thread from "What good is religion?" to....
    you have changed it's meaning entirely.
    You don't like the word lie...so lets call it misinformation.
    Isn't there enough misinformation already? Do you need to create more?
    And after re-wording my topic you write this....
    I am not in any way...."infringing on others' right to choose their own path".
    I am observing the fact that humans are nearing extinction, due to their own insanity'
    and that "religion" is not going to save them.
    You are in fact restating my original topic to satisfy the argument you wish to make.....
    and then essentially arguing with yourself.
    Yes good advice indeed.
     
  24. Patricio Da Silva

    Patricio Da Silva Well-Known Member Donor

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    Why discuss a hypothetical that is so implausible that to even suggest it is hyperbole?

    Atheism is protected by the 1st Amendment in two ways, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Let's take a look:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech

    Freedom of speech, by default, includes freedom to not speak. Does anyone doubt this?

    Therefore, and similarily;

    The freedom of religion, by default, includes the freedom to not practice religion, by the same measure.


    You can't have the freedom to do something, without the freedom not to do it, otherwise it would not be a free endeavor, I mean, use your head, mon.








    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
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  25. Patricio Da Silva

    Patricio Da Silva Well-Known Member Donor

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    You don't even have to call 'atheism' a religion.

    You can't claim freedom to do something without including the freedom not to do it. It wouldn't be a freedom issue, otherwise.

    I mean, if you said, you are free to go up, any time you want, that wouldn't be meaningful at all if you weren't free to go down.

    "freedom to...." by default, includes 'freedom not to....".

    It's really that simple.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
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