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  1. #61  
    Quote Originally Posted by carter437
    I was just pointing out that I don't see the previous argument as anyway logical, people say they don't want the Constitution and Laws to enforce morality, but that is their main purpose. Yes the amendment concerning prohibition was a moral judgement but so is the one concerning slavery. Therefore I don't think you agree the fact that the Constitution espouses a moral position is bad.
    Let me give you another issue. Then I will address your question more directly.

    When I was a boy, abortion was against the law. There was general agreement that that was the way things should be. People who performed abortions were punished. Quite candidly, I did not even know the word abortion. There may have been an underground abortion industry but, if so, I did not know about it.

    During my life time the consensus fell apart. Indeed, since we settled segregation, abortion has become the single most divisive issue in our society. The Supreme Court ruled that it is a matter of conscience and that the states should not intrude between a woman and her physician, at least in the first trimester. About a third feel very strongly that the states should not intrude. Indeed, they feel that the right to an abortion is so fundamental that, in equity, the states should pay for the procedure. These people are called "Pro-choice." About a third of us believe that abortion is a heinous crime and that the states should forbid it (they are not too clear about how the states should punish it); these people are called Pro-life. The other third are in the middle. While they believe that abortion is an evil and would not engage in it themselves, they do not believe that the coercive power of the state should be used to enforce their judgment on the first third. On the other hand, they do not believe that the taxing power of the state should be used to force others to cooperate in what they believe to be evil.

    However, when I was a boy, segregation, while evil, was legal. At least where I lived, there was a consensus in favor of it. A hundred years before, and for ten thousand years before that, slavery, while evil, was not only legal but the dominant form of economic organization.

    Where we can reach a political consensus on what is moral, I do not oppose using the law to enforce that agreement. We agree that stealing another's property is amoral. I have no problem with using the law to enforce that against the minority.

    When we had a consensus that abortion was so evil that the state should forbid it, I not only consented to it but I did not even notice that it was an issue. Now we can no longer agree. I am not ready to use the law against the million plus women and hundreds of thousands of physicians a year who choose differently than I do. Perhaps I am made a little cautious because as a young man I was all too ready to use the power of the state to divide the races, perhaps because I am a seventy year old white male who is not likely to need or sponsor an abortion. I am confident that abortion is so evil that no rational society would tolerate it. However, I am not ready to enforce my opinion by state violence on that one-third who are just as certain that it is necessary and which I am not able to convince by persuasion.

    I think that the consensus on the recreational use of drugs is falling apart and I look forward to doing away with the laws against it as we did the laws against alchohol, miscegenation, and sex between consenting adults. Note that there is still that third that believes all these things so evil that a state that does not prohibit them is not legitimate.

    Some things we all agree are evil for all time. However, there are some things that we used to believe were evil but now think are OK, and things where the question is still undecided.

    So, the net is that where there is a clear moral consensus, even though in a different time that consensus may dissolve, I believe that the use of the state to enforce it is OK. But I no longer trust my own moral judgement sufficiently to give you the right to use the state to enforce yours on me. Where there is substantial disagreement, let alone polarization, I want to be very cautious.
  2. #62  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    One of the greatest aspects of our Country is the deperation of religion and gov't. You advocate simply letting it be chipped away at. I can assure you the Founding Father's would be aghast.
    I believe you "assure" us of way too much. How do you know what the Founding Fathers' intentions were? To the contrary, my reading of the Federalist Papers, De Toqueville, and others indicate that religion was needed for good government. Religion teaches public virtue, which imposes a check upon self interest. Without public virtue, a successful society is impossible.

    Religion also helps perform many functions now being conducted by government, such as aid to the poor, help for the needy, education, etc.

    Nowhere in the Constitution is religion demeaned, or nowhere is any "separation" required. Only the establishment of a state religion, or the state's favoring of one religion over another, is prohibbited by the Establishment Clause. Religion should not only be tolerated by the state, it should be encouraged. The Establishment Clause is only that, an Establishment Clause. It isn't the "Separation Clause" or the "Anti-Religion Clause" or the "Religion is Bad Clause"

    Like it or not, this country and Constitution is based upon principles of morality derived from the founders' religious understandings.

    "I can assure you, that the Founding Father's would be aghast" at your anti-religion posts.
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  3. #63  
    Two problems I have with this:

    One implicit in his statement is that only a religous world view can impose on any other world view. In other words, a non-religous and/or athestic world view can not impose on a religious world view.
    Two, he has a profound prohibition about voting against abortion because his religious beliefs will impose on others personal beliefs (which all stem from some sort of religous or atheistic worldview anyway), but has no problem voting for abortion which forces a world view on just as many peoples personal beliefs. His statement and actions are contradictory and intellectually shallow.

    All I'm saying, which is evident from my last post, is that all politicians will impose some belief.
    Last edited by carter437; 10/11/2004 at 03:52 PM.
  4. #64  
    As for the first part, all I'm saying is politicians impose beliefs in the laws they make, to say a politician shouldn't impose a belief doesn't make sense thats what they do.

    As for morality, It seems the defintion of morality you gave just boils down to majority rules, which by defintion is really not morality because its not objective. There are/were civilizations where slavery was perfectlly legal but was it moral? Was it moral 200 years ago and immoral now. If Germany had taken over the world 50 yrs ago and killing people based on race was legal would it be right or moral? Is anything right or wrong, if so why?

    The only logical answer I've found is this:
    If something is right or wrong always, there must be an objective moral law.
    If there is an objective moral law, there must be a law giver.
    The law giver is up to you to chew on.
  5. #65  
    Very eloquent whmurray. While I don't agree that abortion should be used as a method of birth control from a moral point of view, when it was totally banned women went to get abortions in back street clinics which left them infertile or worse.
    It got to the point where it was better to regulate them than have dangerous underground operations going on. If the pro-life gang got their way then abortions wouldn't stop, they'd just go back underground and become more dangerous.
    Animo et Fide
  6. #66  
    Peter, I suppose you could relate your abortion argument to anti-drug regulation. Is it better to have the practice legal and with legal regulations, or illegal with a strong underground component. There are valid arguments both ways.
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  7. #67  
    Ahh, the consequentialists...

    Quote Originally Posted by heberman
    Peter, I suppose you could relate your abortion argument to anti-drug regulation. Is it better to have the practice legal and with legal regulations, or illegal with a strong underground component. There are valid arguments both ways.
  8. #68  
    or the state's favoring of one religion over another, is prohibbited by the Establishment Clause. Religion should not only be tolerated by the state, it should be encouraged. The Establishment Clause is only that, an Establishment Clause. It isn't the "Separation Clause" or the "Anti-Religion Clause" or the "Religion is Bad Clause"

    Like it or not, this country and Constitution is based upon principles of morality derived from the founders' religious understandings.

    "I can assure you, that the Founding Father's would be aghast" at your anti-religion posts.
    Using the word "god" promotes some religious beliefs over others. This has already been covered above.

    I'm not arguing against the application of morality or ethics to gov't policy and yes I know religions are all about morality. Doesn't mean you can't have an ethics discussion sans religion.

    And yes, I believe that given the melting pot of religious beliefs in this Country, they would disagree with the gov't throwing the word "god" around on our currency and particularly, "one Nation under god" being within the pledge.
  9. #69  
    Yeah, although obviously some drugs are more harmful than others and that makes the argument more complex.
    Animo et Fide
  10. #70  
    Quote Originally Posted by carter437
    The only logical answer I've found is this:
    If something is right or wrong always, there must be an objective moral law.
    If there is an objective moral law, there must be a law giver.
    The law giver is up to you to chew on.
    Yes, there is the rub. Even those who agree on who he is differ on what he says. In the absence of agreeing who it should be or what he intends, I argue that we should make the laws collectively and conservatively.
  11. #71  
    Quote Originally Posted by PeterBrown
    Yeah, although obviously some drugs are more harmful than others and that makes the argument more complex.
    You noticed that too. I was about to write to one of my nephews on drug use. After I had cataloged all those that I use and my rationale for them, I decided maybe he should get his advice from his brother.

    After observing me for a number of years a colleague gave me a calligraph of the following:

    "I drink champagne when I am happy and when I am sad. Sometimes I drink it when I am alone; in company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it when I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it unless I am thirsty."

    Until he gave it to me, I did not know how transparent I am.

    As I write this, I am having my daily rum martini. I also drink red and white wine. I have at least one coffee in the am, a triple espresso in the pm, and sometimes a night cap. These are just the recreational drugs. Then there are asprin, Lipator, acetominophen, codeine, ibuprofen, Midrin, and Decadron. I love Vicodin, Percodan, Demerol, morphine, and a number of other opiates whose names I do not even know. There was one that was prescribed for me when I had a broken leg and a few cracked ribs that was wonderful. I was rationing the last few doses when they were stolen.

    I can talk about migraines and arthritis. I can excuse myself for age. (I am already the oldest male ever in my family and creeping up on the matriarchs.) I can say all I want about prescriptions, professional and family supervision, labeled and trusted sources, tamper-evident packaging, and measured and reliable doses. However, at some point it is just no longer convincing. Even a loving and trusting child would have tuned me out before this.
  12. #72  
    I thought this continent was settled in search religous freedom and thought that our Constitution clearly seperates church and state....

    Unfortunately, a certain party in power believes that they can make laws and rules based on religous beliefs and doctrine from zealots.....

    It is starting to sound like the middle ages all over again
  13. #73  
    History can and will repeat itself.

    "Those who fail to learn from others mistakes are doomed to repeat them; those who fail to learn from others mistakes correctly - why they are simply doomed." - Unknown
    .
  14. #74  
    Quote Originally Posted by TrySpammingMe
    I thought this continent was settled in search religous freedom and thought that our Constitution clearly seperates church and state....
    You thought wrong. Where does the Constitution "clearly separate church and state"? Not in the Establishment Clause.

    Unfortunately, a certain party in power believes that they can make laws and rules based on religous beliefs and doctrine from zealots.....
    Zealots here? Cool. I had no idea that first century Jews who fought against Romans are telling the repubs how to make laws!
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  15. #75  
    Quote Originally Posted by TrySpammingMe
    .....It is starting to sound like the middle ages all over again....
    Indeed.

    While it is true that many of the colonists came here to achieve freedom for their own religious belief and practice, it is equally true that, having gotten here, they were quick to impose orthodoxy on one another. The purpose of the First Amendment was to prevent any one of these orthodoxies being imposed by the new Federal government on the other colonies.

    If the First Amendment has any meaning in the 21st Century, it is that the coercive power of the state cannot be used to impose any religious orthodoxy on citizens (in general, but children in particular.) It is hard to assert that "under God" is sectarian, it is easier to argue that it is using the power of the state to coerce conformity.
  16. #76  
    Quote Originally Posted by heberman
    You thought wrong. Where does the Constitution "clearly separate church and state"? Not in the Establishment Clause.
    The First Amendment to the Constitution, which states:

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    Now, depending on how you interpret this language (written in 1791) you could say yes it clearly does separate church and state. My choice, btw.

    In fact this clause is quite clear. It states NO LAW is allowed. It even goes further to say that no law RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION is permitted.

    In its Everson decision, the Court simply stated:

    "The establishment of religion clause means at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government may set up a church. Neither can pass laws that aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion... . Neither a state or the federal government may, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and state."

    Hope that helps ...
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  17. #77  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    "under god" and "in god we trust" (on currency) did not come into existence until the 1950's during our cold war against 'godless' communists.
    When you want to try and make a point, you will just make things up to support your viewpoint. IN GOD WE TRUST first appeared on coins in 1864. It has been used on various monies since then, and in 1956, by an act of Congress, became the national motto. While IN GOD WE TRUST was first used on paper money in 1957, it certainly had nothing to do with the cold war or communists.

    http://www.ustreas.gov/education/fac...-we-trust.html
    Well behaved women rarely make history
  18. #78  
    Quote Originally Posted by Chick-Dance
    (My choice too, BTW.)
    1. An Alabama judge regularly opens his court sessions with a Christian prayer. Further, he has refused to remove a plaque containing the Ten Commandments from his courtroom wall. Alabama Governor Fob James has threatened to call in the Alabama National Guard to prevent the plaque's removal.
    I thought I would help you out. The judge was suspended on August 23, 2003 and the 2.6 ton monument of the 10 commandments were removed November 14, 2003.
    Well behaved women rarely make history
  19. #79  
    He did not answer the question at all. He avoided it in a most eloquent manner. I take it you read the interview this weekend where he said something like he lived his values - well, that is completely opposite of what he stated below. What he states below is that he will tell you what he thinks you want to hear. I do not believe there is any mainstream faith that supports abortion.

    Ben

    --------

    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    Kerry impressed me with the statement, "But I can't take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn't share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever. I can't do that."

    He's not stating he won't apply morality to his decision making, he's telling you he's not going to apply the specific beliefs of His Faith to decisions which affect everyone. I thought he answered that question quite eloquently.
  20. #80  
    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger
    He did not answer the question at all. He avoided it in a most eloquent manner. I take it you read the interview this weekend where he said something like he lived his values - well, that is completely opposite of what he stated below. What he states below is that he will tell you what he thinks you want to hear. I do not believe there is any mainstream faith that supports abortion.

    Ben

    --------
    I think it is an answer, and I take it to mean that his values include not imposing his values on other people. His values include not approving of abortion, but also include not telling other people that they can't have it. I don't approve of Catholics praying to statues of Mary, but my values also include not telling them that they shouldn't.
    Animo et Fide
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