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SA's Morality debate....

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Teleological
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« Reply #60 on: July 05, 2010, 08:08:19 AM »

A secular state does not support theism or atheism nor does it discriminate against theism or atheism. And like I said, a secular state does not depart from the stance that there are no such things as gods so it it not in line with an atheistic view. If anything, it is more in line with an agnostic line of departure.
My point was not whether it "supports" theism or atheism nor whether it "discriminates" against it, but which would rather give rise to one.   In afact, a bill of rights has very much to do with humanism, which has a very strong link to atheism.
I am sorry, but you are grasping at straws here. Humanism has about as much to do with atheism as it has with theism.

  However, let's accept your view that it is more in line with an agnostic line of departure.   How do you then justify your claim that only theism can bring anything meaningful to the table in a moral debate?
I claimed that? What straw... I am claiming that atheism won't bring anything to the table unless it is propped up with some other ideology. Atheism on its own is pretty useless since it is just a negative proposition towards theism. Nothing more, nothing less..
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #61 on: July 05, 2010, 21:08:15 PM »

Quote
Atheism on its own is pretty useless since it is just a negative proposition towards theism.


In the same way that health is the negative proposition towards illness, and peace against warfare?


Mintaka
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« Reply #62 on: July 08, 2010, 13:57:04 PM »

I am sorry, but you are grasping at straws here. Humanism has about as much to do with atheism as it has with theism.
Really?   Wikipedia gives various definitions, the most relevant one of which is:
Quote
4) a secular ideology which espouses reason, ethics, and justice, whilst specifically rejecting supernatural and religious dogma as a basis of morality and decision-making.

The latter interpretation may be attributed to Secular Humanism as a specific humanistic life stance.[1] Modern meanings of the word have therefore come to be associated with a rejection of appeals to the supernatural or to some higher authority.
Before accusing people of clutching at straws, you should perhaps acquaint yourself with the most rudimentary facts.
I claimed that? What straw... I am claiming that atheism won't bring anything to the table unless it is propped up with some other ideology. Atheism on its own is pretty useless since it is just a negative proposition towards theism. Nothing more, nothing less..
But the same applies to theism.   We've been there.   However, each is a departure point that gives rise to a different moral ethic.  (Or are you one of those maliciously deceitful people who go around spreading the lie that atheists cannot possibly have morals - a god is needed for that?)   Now what is the consequential difference between saying that a person with an atheistic point of departure can bring nothing to the table and saying that only a person with a theistic point of departure can bring something to the table?    Where is the straw you are referring to?      What is happening is that certain interest groups now have the ear of the presidency on this matter and others don't.   This can undermine the secularity of the state, leading to oppression.   Is that what you want?   
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Brian
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« Reply #63 on: July 08, 2010, 15:17:36 PM »

As you say Hermes we've been here before...round and round we go. Lest we be distracted from the original question (again), are we comfortable to allow xtians and woo woos to debate the moral structures (sic) on our behalf...of course not! So what do we do about it? Here's a thought, regardless of Teleo's pseudo-question about what we bring to the table; a well constructed letter/petition from an interest group (the atheists), which wishes to be heard with many signatures, can be presented to the President at a suitable venue and occasion. A luminary atheist could do so on our behalf (nominations???). If we agree on that, the next step can be considered.
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« Reply #64 on: July 08, 2010, 16:00:44 PM »

You seem to be in contact with George Claassen.   Is his organization formally structured and significant enough for something like this?
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« Reply #65 on: July 08, 2010, 18:07:47 PM »

I'm not sure but I'll ask him.
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« Reply #66 on: July 16, 2010, 09:57:06 AM »

e-mailed George Claassen and here's his reply: Brian, dink jy regtig die president, wat vandag 'n nasionale biddag uitgeroep het om dankie te sê vir die sukses van die sokkerbeker, sal na ons spul ateïste luister? Ek sal gaan kyk na die skeptic-debat. Lande waar ateïsme en agnostisisme die sterkste staan, het die laagste misdaadsyfer. Jy hoef nie in 'n god te glo om moreel te wees nie!
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« Reply #67 on: July 16, 2010, 11:48:52 AM »

I don't really know how this moral rejuvenation thing is supposed to work.   Is there a committee making recommendations?   If so, we should aim to get representation on it from within government.   There are probably many atheists in Parliament.
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« Reply #68 on: July 23, 2010, 08:24:34 AM »

Somewhat dated but here's an article on the US atheists:
Quote
Atheists Hail Historic Meeting with Obama Administration
Opinion by American Atheists
(February 26, 2010) in Religion / Religion in Society
Led by the Secular Coalition for America, representatives from leading Atheist, Freethought, Humanist and other non-believer organizations met earlier today with White House officials in an historic gathering.
Dr. Ed Buckner, President of American Atheists, praised the Obama Administration for "giving us our rightful seat at the table in the discussion over public policy."
"Over 13% of the population is considered 'non-religious,' and this includes millions of Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists, Rationalists, and other citizens," said Buckner. "We are committed to the separation of church and state and to equality for non-believers in the political arena. Religious speakers must not continue to be given special privileges."Representatives from American Atheists included: Dr. Buckner; AA Vice President and National Spokesperson Dave Silverman; Vice President and Military Director Kathleen Johnson; Indra Zuno, AA general member, translator, and writer; Ellen Birch, Chair of the American Atheists Life Membership Committee and systems engineer; and Camille A. Brewer, AA general member, political/freethought activist and art expert.
As part of the official briefing, American Atheists Vice President and Military Director Kathleen Johnson told White House representatives: "I have witnessed firsthand how service members who are openly non-theist have been harassed by their commanders, leaders, and peers, and have been disrespected by their subordinates for failing to hold certain religious beliefs."
Johnson called for the Obama Administration to "demonstrate its commitment to improving the climate for non-theists by ensuring nominees to key senior leadership positions answer hard questions intended to identify if they hold views detrimental to non-theists and if so, that such views be considered a disqualification for that officer.
Johnson also called for those holding non-theist convictions to enjoy the status of "a protected class throughout the Armed Services on par with the protections afforded to women, minorities, and those belonging to minority faith groups."
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« Reply #69 on: July 27, 2010, 08:46:17 AM »

If you want to see a video from Australia's Q&A program where Dawkins and various religious and political types debated secular/religious issues, visit the Q&A site (panel discussions) or search iTunes for Q&A (qanda) for a episode titled, God, Science & Sanity  http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s2831712.htm
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