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*Taken from CE* Atheists put up monument

#51mrplainswalkerPosted 7/3/2013 4:45:26 PM
kozlo100 posted...
I disagree. When you're plunking a hunk of stone down on public property, what's carved into the stone rather is the point. Let's also not overlook the fact that the current status quo is that any religious sect out there can place a monument on the grounds, and it's not creating an ugly clutter of egregious laws.


First off, yes what's said is important, which is why I don't like having half the text devoted to Yahweh's vanity. Honestly, if they only displayed commandments 5-10, there wouldn't be much of an issue. And second, it's not a problem yet, because Christianity has had a monopoly up to this time. And that point I grant you.

I also think it is a bad idea to try to sanitize our public spaces of historic content, nearly all of which is religious in some way or other, because it might seem unfair to those who don't feel a connection to history. These things ought be judged by their content with regard to the function of the space you're putting them in.


And I think that having a bunch of statements about God's vanity is inappropriate for a courthouse which should be secular. If this were a museum about religious history, then I could see the argument.

The obvious thing you're missing in your second paragraph is that allowing a monument to be displayed is a wholly different thing than creating a law.


There's a difference in degree, but not in rationale. If you're willing to overlook the constitution for something minor, then why not something major too? Like I said it was an extreme example, but both are centered around the law, and whether or not you're willing to ignore it.

So this means that the government is now endorsing atheism as well, right?


Absolutely they are, which is why both monuments should be removed.

Interestingly, both these monuments are placed in some kind of designated 'free speech zone', and not just on the courthouse lawn. To my mind, that takes the establishment clause right out of it.


If that's true, then I retract everything I've said. If there's an actual zone dedicated to expressing non-governmental views, then this whole issue is moot.
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#52kozlo100Posted 7/3/2013 7:25:41 PM
mrplainswalker posted...
There's a difference in degree, but not in rationale. If you're willing to overlook the constitution for something minor, then why not something major too? Like I said it was an extreme example, but both are centered around the law, and whether or not you're willing to ignore it


If you don't see why the two are fundamentally different, I'm not sure we can have productive conversation on the issue. I don't think the Constitution is being overlooked in this instance, but I might be wrong about that. SCOTUS has mixed rulings on the issue, so there's clearly room to discuss there. That said, a view which sees this situation as essentially the same as abortion law is one so far outside my world view that I don't know where to begin understanding it.

If that's true, then I retract everything I've said. If there's an actual zone dedicated to expressing non-governmental views, then this whole issue is moot.


Indeed, that's a complete game changer. Which is why I'd like to see the actual rulings at this point.
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#53Sir WillPosted 7/3/2013 8:46:21 PM
Heineken14 posted...
mercurydude posted...
I hope that this catches on, not only among atheists, but among neo-pagans, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. Maybe if these theocrats realize that their actions are only going to contribute to the front of their courthouses looking like a cemetery, they'll cease in their absurd behavior.


That. I look at this as all or nothing. If Christians get to put their objects on public property then EVERYONE should be able to... or obviously no one. I applaud the atheists for challenging the status quo* and I think anyone that doesn't want 1 religion given preferential treatment should as well.


*I will concede it could have been a bit more tactful, but I'm also a petty bastard sometimes so I find nothing wrong with how they went about it.


That, basically. Sometimes you gotta fight fire with fire. They originally wanted the commandments removed. But if you're not going to do that, then you put up something to 'balance' it. All or nothing (better if nothing).
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#54mrplainswalkerPosted 7/3/2013 9:16:51 PM
kozlo100 posted...
If you don't see why the two are fundamentally different, I'm not sure we can have productive conversation on the issue. I don't think the Constitution is being overlooked in this instance, but I might be wrong about that. SCOTUS has mixed rulings on the issue, so there's clearly room to discuss there. That said, a view which sees this situation as essentially the same as abortion law is one so far outside my world view that I don't know where to begin understanding it.


I was hoping you would have something more concrete for me than that. You generally seem to be fairly astute and able to point out things that I don't immediately see for myself. But in this case, I'm still just not seeing it. It's somewhat of a gray area to be sure. But I'm still stuck on this point. If it's OK to say that traditional trumps all here, then why not with abortion law as well? Like I said, the magnitude is monstrously different, but the rationale is exactly the same.
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Failure to at least give this show a chance gives anyone you see the right to punch you in the face.
- Spiritclaw on Battlestar Galactica
#55Imperator420Posted 7/3/2013 11:04:28 PM
kozlo100 posted...
mrplainswalker posted...
And you don't think that Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin are culturally or historically relevant in this situation? This just reeks of enabling confirmation bias.


The Jefferson and Franklin quotes aren't what I'm objecting to, if you'll notice.

And this IS the double standard. Why do they "look like jerks" while people who prominently showcase God's vanity in a secular courthouse don't?


They look like jerks because they're acting like jerks where the Christians, for all their faults, are not. A monument to the Ten Commandments isn't criticizing atheist beliefs, it's just, at worst, celebrating a set of religious legalistic beliefs. A plinth put up as an atheist monument where one full side is devoted to citing religious law in an attempt to discredit that law is a much different thing. Do you not see that?


Of course a monument to the Ten Commandments is criticizing atheist beliefs. Half of them are about the proper way to worship God; when you put that stuff up on a giant slab, it's an implicit criticism of those who fail to follow those rules.

Christians aren't merely 'celebrating a set of religious legalistic beliefs'. They're not saying, "hey, a few thousand years ago, a group of Jews came up with a set of laws, and they became really important. Isn't that a neat bit of history?" They are clearly making the point that these commandments are actually a good thing and should be followed. To not realize that would involve a good deal of willful ignorance. You're looking too much at the context and not the content. I don't care what the technical or stated reasons for the existence of such monuments are. If somebody says it's just a matter of celebrating history, they're being disingenuous.

If a group of radical Muslims put up a monument that said "When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads..." and claimed they were just celebrating their beliefs or heritage, would you be perfectly fine with it? If it were in front of a courthouse, should unbelievers be okay with seeing that stuff in a place that they look to for justice and law? Suppose that the group really doesn't hate unbelievers - they were just 'celebrating'. That's impossible, but let's suppose. Should we really allow that quote to remain there any more than we should allow confederate flags to remain in a public place that black people will have to visit, 'because it's history'?

This isn't a monument with song lyrics on it, where if you don't like the song, you can shrug and move on. This is a monument with a series of moral imperatives and commandments (commandments which prescribed punishments including death and torture for nonadherence; this is relevant no matter how much you try to sidestep it). These are the Ten Commandments. These are monuments that say, "You will worship God, and you will worship him thus." If somebody insists on having a giant sign that says "You will not eat pork" in front of government buildings, and claims that he's only celebrating non-pork-consumption, he's lying his ass off. He can celebrate in his own damn house if he wants; what he's actually doing is telling other people to not eat pork (hence the giant sign that says "Don't eat pork") and trying to make himself look credible by seeking the backing of a government that claims not to cater to his special interests.

Do you not see how plastering these religious laws, which are incompatible with the beliefs and lifestyles of a large part of the population, in front of an institution of secular law, is problematic?
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I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast ... for it repenteth me that I have made them. - Genesis 7
#56kozlo100Posted 7/5/2013 12:29:38 PM
mrplainswalker posted...
If it's OK to say that traditional trumps all here, then why not with abortion law as well? Like I said, the magnitude is monstrously different, but the rationale is exactly the same.


I'm not saying that tradition trumps all. I'm saying that historical significance, which is a very different thing from tradition, can be a factor in the decision in whether or not to display a particular monument.

Crafting legislation is also a very different thing from choosing decorations for a public building. Allowing a monument to be placed doesn't compel anyone to do anything, a new law does.

In a nutshell, it's the difference between judging what a thing is, and telling people what they must do. The same rational simply cannot be applied to such different notions.
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#57kozlo100Posted 7/5/2013 12:46:01 PM
Imperator420 posted...
If a group of radical Muslims put up a monument that said "When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads..." and claimed they were just celebrating their beliefs or heritage, would you be perfectly fine with it?


Whatever verse you're paraphrasing there isn't a historically significant example of lawgiving. You want to find something from the Koran that is, then yea, I'm fine putting it up in front of the courthouse. That's the whole point, everyone should be doing that if they have a mind to. Especially if this lawn really was designated as a 'free speech zone' like that article suggested. That's why I'm pissed at these atheists for putting up a monument that's half quotes from Leviticus when they could have done so much better.

This isn't a monument with song lyrics on it, where if you don't like the song, you can shrug and move on....These are the Ten Commandments. These are monuments that say, "You will worship God, and you will worship him thus."


And yet upon viewing the monument, I do not feel compelled to worship God thus. I shrugged and moved on. I was not tortured or punished in any way for my refusal. The monument has no power. It simply sits there as a testament to maybe the second most notable example of lawgiving in human history.
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#58hunter_gohanPosted 7/5/2013 2:47:34 PM
I for one can't wait for the inevitable Satanist monument. That'll get them all taken down right quick.
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The food that stands on his [Odin's] table he gives to two wolves of his called Geri and Freki. He himself needs no food; wine is for him both drink and meat.
#59mrplainswalkerPosted 7/5/2013 9:18:34 PM
kozlo100 posted...
I'm not saying that tradition trumps all. I'm saying that historical significance, which is a very different thing from tradition, can be a factor in the decision in whether or not to display a particular monument.

Crafting legislation is also a very different thing from choosing decorations for a public building. Allowing a monument to be placed doesn't compel anyone to do anything, a new law does.

In a nutshell, it's the difference between judging what a thing is, and telling people what they must do. The same rational simply cannot be applied to such different notions.


So you wouldn't see a problem with loading up all public spaces with crucifixes, bible quotations, nativity scenes, etc? Or if it said above the supreme court in engraved lettering "The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." It's all "historically significant."
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Failure to at least give this show a chance gives anyone you see the right to punch you in the face.
- Spiritclaw on Battlestar Galactica