US Political Discussion: Biden/Harris Edition (Rules in OP)

TedEH

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A fetus has no soul,
A lot of conversations get much easier when you don't believe in the concept of a "soul". I actually find it weird that nobody ever debates that specific bit. We'll fight and yell and scream over Gods and the what is or isn't "alive", but nobody ever questions the "soul". I think we should.

The "moral law" that dictates right from wrong in our legal system is based on judeo-christian values. Where do you guys want to draw the line?
I agree that law is (or should be) in some way based on some sort of morality system, but I strongly disagree that it is (or should be) based on "judea-christian" values. There are other perfectly valid sources of moral judgement. Alternatively, you could argue that the purpose of law is not to maintain morality, but to maintain the health of society. Religion need not have anything to do with it.
 

ArtDecade

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Our entire justice system is based on the US Constitution, which expressly separates church and state. Your whole understanding of our criminal justice system is flawed.
It also disregards that all legal systems punish thieves, killers, and rapists even if they can't find a Jew or a Christian within a thousand miles to help them write the law.
 

narad

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Our entire justice system is based around a "moral law". It is morally wrong to steal so we punish thieves, it is morally wrong to kill therefore we punish killers, it is morally wrong to rape so we punish rapists, etc. The "moral law" that dictates right from wrong in our legal system is based on judeo-christian values. Where do you guys want to draw the line? Should we not punish murderers, thieves and rapists because this is christians trying to shove their values down your throat?

Lol. Christianity doesn't have the exclusive rights to "rape is bad" / "murder is bad"
 

Drew

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It also disregards that all legal systems punish thieves, killers, and rapists even if they can't find a Jew or a Christian within a thousand miles to help them write the law.
It also amuses me how many right-wing Americans think it's "only natural" for the law to be based on "judeo-christian morals," but decry "sharia law" in a country that doesn't recognize any single religion. :lol:
 

bostjan

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Our entire justice system is based around a "moral law". It is morally wrong to steal so we punish thieves, it is morally wrong to kill therefore we punish killers, it is morally wrong to rape so we punish rapists, etc. The "moral law" that dictates right from wrong in our legal system is based on judeo-christian values. Where do you guys want to draw the line? Should we not punish murderers, thieves and rapists because this is christians trying to shove their values down your throat?
Not really. I mean, I think I see where you are going with that, but the justice system is not based on morality directly. It's based on written laws. Those written laws are based on our legislative system. Often times, the legislative system makes laws that have shaky moral ground. Many times the legislative system has changed its mind on laws. Our justice system is therefore not closely related to moral code.

I think it should be fairly universal that hurting other people is immoral, but there are tons of more nuanced examples. That's why different states have different laws. A lot of our local laws are even weirder. For example, in Fairbanks, it's illegal for a moose to be on the sidewalk. I'm not sure if a moose ever showed up in court to pay the ticket, but, obviously, not all laws are based on a universal moral code, so let's not try to pretend that they are.

I guess I didn't address your questions, though-

I do think that there should be a universal moral code that dictates what should be done when there are allegations of murder, rape, kidnapping, assault, and other violent crimes. I think that there ought to be another code for what to do about allegations of theft, vandalism, and other property-related crimes. And then there should be a third set of codes to deal with people otherwise infringing each other's rights. But we need to start from a place where it is assumed that everyone has equal rights as everyone else and then we need to be philosophical about where those rights necessarily end in order to not cause a situation where anyone can do something that harms someone else. It might seem very simple at coarse focus, but the details get really sticky. That's why there are so many different forms of government in the world, even amongst the different states in the US, or different cities/towns in the same state.

And that, precisely, is why I'm against the broadened ban on abortions. I don't think abortion should be blanket legal nor blanket illegal. It's going to have to be a subtler approach than that, because it's one of those pesky nuanced subjects.
 
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nightflameauto

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Yeah, this is why I can't get along long-term with indoctrinated "big church" Christians. The idea that morality *HAS* to be tied up with religion is just batshit to me.

I am as non-religious as a person can be, and I still believe it's wrong to do something that would hurt somebody else. That right there should be the basis of law. Does something happening cause harm to people? If the answer is yes, or sometimes even maybe, then there's a discussion to be had. If the answer is no? Then *SHRUG*.

Now, the real horrible arguments happen when me doing something that causes no real harm to anyone somehow offends a Christian's sensibilities and they start claiming we should have no right to do things they don't like because reasons. Well, give me something other than "because rulers hundreds or thousands of years ago that decided what goes into the bible didn't want you to."

DISCLAIMER: I have a very religious neighbor that's not a big church supporter. He and I can converse and even debate things for hours without issue because we can both respect each other. The people that buy the whole package hook, line, and sinker from the big churches are impossible to reason with. Having been raised in a church environment I get why. "My way or the highway" is literally all they've been taught. There is no argument to be made because faith. End. Period.
 

Mathemagician

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Our entire justice system is based around a "moral law". It is morally wrong to steal so we punish thieves, it is morally wrong to kill therefore we punish killers, it is morally wrong to rape so we punish rapists, etc. The "moral law" that dictates right from wrong in our legal system is based on judeo-christian values. Where do you guys want to draw the line? Should we not punish murderers, thieves and rapists because this is christians trying to shove their values down your throat?

Uh, atheists don’t rape or kill either. Why? Because rape is objectively wrong. It’s bad. And normal people don’t do bad things.

Without insults or name calling, again I don’t understand how you don’t question the idea the “Judeo-Christian values” guide literally nothing for a significant portion of the population. Not just in one country but globally.

Nice people don’t do bad things. And they make laws outlawing bad things, to punish those that are bad regardless of religion.
 

StevenC

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Uh, atheists don’t rape or kill either. Why? Because rape is objectively wrong. It’s bad. And normal people don’t do bad things.

Without insults or name calling, again I don’t understand how you don’t question the idea the “Judeo-Christian values” guide literally nothing for a significant portion of the population. Not just in one country but globally.

Nice people don’t do bad things. And they make laws outlawing bad things, to punish those that are bad regardless of religion.
Inb4 Glades hits you with nobody is born an atheist
 

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Drew

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Not really. I mean, I think I see where you are going with that, but the justice system is not based on morality directly. It's based on written laws. Those written laws are based on our legislative system. Often times, the legislative system makes laws that have shaky moral ground. Many times the legislative system has changed its mind on laws. Our justice system is therefore not closely related to moral code.
Might be a good time to point out that "liberal," before it was a smear term for the right, was the belief in a written code of law, where laws, crimes, and punishments were codified and defied in advance, rather than determined by whim of a king or queen, and the Magna Carta, the document that our Constitution was ultimately based upon, was the ultimate achievement of the liberal movement, when rebels forced King John of England to sign it to at least give them some formal rights and protections in the eyes of the law.
 

Xaios

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Speaking as a Christian, the argument that irreligious people can't possibly have a strong moral foundation without the imposition of an explicitly religious or culturally religious framework is heinous bullshit. All you have to do is look at all the so-called Christian causes throughout history to establish that the proclamation of a person or body being Christian alone does not make one moral.
No matter what you're told, we have to clean the mold
Well, these people don't want me to say what I'll do. They want me to do what I'll say.
 

bostjan

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A lot of conversations get much easier when you don't believe in the concept of a "soul". I actually find it weird that nobody ever debates that specific bit. We'll fight and yell and scream over Gods and the what is or isn't "alive", but nobody ever questions the "soul". I think we should.
Soul is a weasel word used to define something that cannot actually be defined, which is why the topic never comes up in polite conversation.

Yeah, this is why I can't get along long-term with indoctrinated "big church" Christians. The idea that morality *HAS* to be tied up with religion is just batshit to me.

I am as non-religious as a person can be, and I still believe it's wrong to do something that would hurt somebody else. That right there should be the basis of law. Does something happening cause harm to people? If the answer is yes, or sometimes even maybe, then there's a discussion to be had. If the answer is no? Then *SHRUG*.

Now, the real horrible arguments happen when me doing something that causes no real harm to anyone somehow offends a Christian's sensibilities and they start claiming we should have no right to do things they don't like because reasons. Well, give me something other than "because rulers hundreds or thousands of years ago that decided what goes into the bible didn't want you to."

DISCLAIMER: I have a very religious neighbor that's not a big church supporter. He and I can converse and even debate things for hours without issue because we can both respect each other. The people that buy the whole package hook, line, and sinker from the big churches are impossible to reason with. Having been raised in a church environment I get why. "My way or the highway" is literally all they've been taught. There is no argument to be made because faith. End. Period.

It's a tough subject to discuss. But everyone out there disbelieves at least one religion. Therefore, the whole faith in what God says through His mouthpiece, who happens to be a human being, it necessarily has to have a limit. If you believe what one prophet says, you necessarily have to disbelieve every prophet who contradicts what the prophet of your choice says.

But my earlier point was that evangelicals don't even have this codified, except maybe Mormons, who have a special book. But there's no Book of Baptist nor Book of Wesley nor Book of Methodists or whatever. It's all stuff passed on through tradition going back to the Puritans.

As for your neighbour, I know a lot of people who I'd describe as being "not a big church supporter" yet "very religious," and even those people, in my experience, have beliefs that fit the same idiom of being passed down from the Puritans through the Quakers/Methodists/whatever-group down through more "modern" groups... And there's one reason why, and that's because every document, no matter how "infallible," cannot be a comprehensive moral code.

As for abortion, no sane person is arguing that the Bible says abortion should be illegal. Because the Bible doesn't ever even come close to saying that. They are arguing that abortion should be illegal because it is wrong. Thus my question earlier about whence that even comes. It's essentially the evangelical equivalent of an Islamic fatwa. Some religious leader at some point decided that was how it was going to be, and that's the way it's been ever since, and no one seems to know who made the decision even. During the Great Depression, abortion went on the rise, because families who had been financially successful were suddenly finding it difficult to cover the expenses of raising children. It doesn't appear that any evangelical Christians got involved at that time in the moral panic, though (surely many were against it). It wasn't until sometime in the 50's, maybe about 25-30 years after abortion found itself on the political radar, and about 15-20 years before Roe that it started to really ruffle their feathers and evangelicals started getting overly vocal. Why, though? The Catholics had always been anti-abortion and anti-birth control even (up to that point). So it seems kind of weird now that the Catholic church is generally pretty quiet about the issue compared to other Christian denominations.
 

Glades

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I despise proselytizers, because their mindset about faith and works is basically the same as an MLM company. "Once you've signed up enough people for Christianity Inc and have them working under you, then you move up to the next tier, which opens up the Eternal Life perk and access to the Heaven timeshare!"

Speaking as a Christian, the argument that irreligious people can't possibly have a strong moral foundation without the imposition of an explicitly religious or culturally religious framework is heinous bullshit. All you have to do is look at all the so-called Christian causes throughout history to establish that the proclamation of a person or body being Christian alone does not make one moral.

Well, these people don't want me to say what I'll do. They want me to do what I'll say.

Please don't pretend to be a Christian when you clearly are not. The definition of a Christian is that who is saved. You cannot be saved and say these things.
#1 Christians are called to share the gospel with all nations (as you say proselitize). It is not the point to forcefully convert people, but to share the good news of the Gospel to those that are willing to hear it. The news that there is eternal salvation in Christ. We are commanded directly by Jesus to do so. Some examples:

- Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
- Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"
- Acts 13:47 "For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”


#2 You cannot buy your salvation through good deeds, according to the Bible. It is only attained by believing and loving Christ. Salvation is in faith alone, not good works. Good works are a result of salvation, not the causal reason for it. So the signing up people argument is not a Christian argument. Some examples:

- Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
- Galatians 2:15 Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
 

bostjan

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Might be a good time to point out that "liberal," before it was a smear term for the right, was the belief in a written code of law, where laws, crimes, and punishments were codified and defied in advance, rather than determined by whim of a king or queen, and the Magna Carta, the document that our Constitution was ultimately based upon, was the ultimate achievement of the liberal movement, when rebels forced King John of England to sign it to at least give them some formal rights and protections in the eyes of the law.
:lol: I didn't think you were that much older than me! I think the general sense of the term has come to mean any political desire for things to change to something new, as opposed to "conservatives" who desire to go back to something old. Of course, it's politics, so no one is ever happy with the way things are at the moment in question. :)

We're lucky enough to live in an era where we have some small say in how the government conducts itself. For the majority of geopolitical history, governance was (sort of still is) just something that happens to people. Maybe it's easy to forget that a number of nations are still ruled by a monarch. And I'm not talking about the UK, where the Queen holds something akin to de facto ceremonial power, but places like UAE, where the economy is booming and things appear modern, but to be president you have to be a prince. And I think we could basically call North Korea a monarchy at this point. I feel like that could easily be taken away from us, and there'd be honestly nothing the common people could do about it. If there's anything I've learned by watching US elections, it's that elections are frighteningly easy to manipulate. There was definitely an effort to hijack 2020 in favour of Trump, and almost just as certainly an effort to hijack 2016 for him as well. I'm no longer convinced that the 2016 attempt wasn't fruitful. Maybe HRC would have won had it not been for interfering factors, who knows anymore? And who knows, maybe there was an effort by someone on behalf of Biden that made a difference in 2020. There's no evidence of it, but no one will ever be able to disprove a vaguely-enough worded accusation of such.

Fair enough, although so are a lot of the other words used in these kinds of discussions.

Oh, for sure. I bet we could have a discussion about religion or politics that was only weasel words and filler with no actual content, and it probably wouldn't even require much effort.

But the validity of concepts pointed to by words like "God" or "soul" will always be nearly impossible to discuss, primarily because they are neither uniquely nor specifically defined. Try this as a philosophical thought experiment: try to define what is a soul. Then ask someone else to do the same, then compare and contrast the concepts. People from different religious or cultural backgrounds will undoubtedly stress different things, probably things that don't even overlap each other's definitions. And without a definition of what something is, there can be little productive discussion about how to respect it or whatever.

Maybe a soul is just a pattern of thought processes that generally describe how a person tends to behave. Maybe it's some sort of concept of some metaphysical entity that essentially cannot be less loosely defined. Maybe, to some people, it's something that has a physical mass of 24 grams and has been proven to exist by non-repeatable experiments that were totally done by actual competent scientists and not just by some quack physician who went around poisoning dogs for no good reason. :eek:
 

bostjan

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Please don't pretend to be a Christian when you clearly are not. The definition of a Christian is that who is saved. You cannot be saved and say these things.
#1 Christians are called to share the gospel with all nations (as you say proselitize). It is not the point to forcefully convert people, but to share the good news of the Gospel to those that are willing to hear it. The news that there is eternal salvation in Christ. We are commanded directly by Jesus to do so. Some examples:

- Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
- Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"
- Acts 13:47 "For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”


#2 You cannot buy your salvation through good deeds, according to the Bible. It is only attained by believing and loving Christ. Salvation is in faith alone, not good works. Good works are a result of salvation, not the causal reason for it. So the signing up people argument is not a Christian argument. Some examples:

- Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
- Galatians 2:15 Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
The definition of Christian is a person who is a follower of Christ.

James 4:12 "There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?"
 

StevenC

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I went to a very Catholic school in a part of the world where religion is pretty much the main identifier. I was the only atheist in my year of 150. My friends would all say things like "I don't believe in organised religion but I still believe in God". They're all atheists now.
 


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