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Philosophy
3 August 2019
4.23pm
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Leppo
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Very wise words Ron and very much sum up my own views on religion and Christianity in particular...except I couldn't have expressed it quite as well as you have. 

So essentially what you are saying is that the early founders of the church and the old testament are more popular than Jesus.....and now it's all this.  ahdn_john_08_gif

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3 August 2019
5.46pm
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Beatlebug
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@Dark Overlord, I like to think I'm not particularly partisan, I'm more or less a libertarian-ish centrist, classical liberal maybe. I believe in balance, and the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights *waves star-spangled banner obnoxiously patriotically*. It's a difficult task when you have such a diverse, increasingly globalized population with differing, often opposing ideas and ideals, but I believe in finding the balance that protects those central ideals as much as possible, since they tend to give the greatest opportunity to people in a way that makes sense according to the laws of man and nature. Sometimes, protecting those ideals for all people (including minorities) involves writing protections into law, and sometimes it involves writing exceptions into those laws. Oftentimes it involves people in real life making compromises. We try to make it as fair as we can, but sometimes, when you have freedom, life just isn't fair. I don't agree with discriminating against anyone for innate characteristics that they can't change, for any reason, but I also believe that it's not my or anyone else's place to tell you what you can or can't do, as long as you're not actually hurting anyone but yourself. ahdn_john_08_gif

Religion is just like anything else: it can be used as a tool for good, appealing to people's higher nature and translating lofty ideas into something the average person can comprehend, or it can be used as an excuse/weapon for ill intent; but, because of its power, I don't think the government should be meddling with it. And last but not least, it is in the hearts and minds of the people to change, rather than the laws of the land to mandate that they should change their hearts or minds. Government protections must only be just that, and take care that they don't trespass into the latter territory. When can you be sure they are going too far or aren't enough? It is complicated, man. mccartney-shrug_01_gif

I wonder what @William Shears Campbell would have to say on this topic. ahdn_george_01

Also, I feel like this thread should be called 'Ethics' rather than 'Philosophy', just a small nit to pick. ahdn_george_06

Also also, one could argue that asexuality isn't a sexual orientation so much as it is a lack of sexual orientation (I honestly don't give a crap but for the sake of debate, ya know). mccartney-shrug_01_gif

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4 August 2019
2.41am
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William Shears Campbell
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@Beatlebug Goodness, 2 years out of politics, and the first thing I'm brought into is a political thing.paul-mccartney-facepalm_gif  I guess it relates to religion as well though.mccartney-shrug_01_gif

So I just skimmed the above posts to see what the whole bit was about, and it sounds like its about LGBT rights and religion.  I hate discussing this topic, or rather hearing others discuss it because there tends to be a lot of fallacitical arguments and misunderstandings.

I can't speak for other denominations of christianity or other religions that I'm not a part of, but here's the way I understand it.  We as Latter-day Saints believe that marriage is ordained of God and is to be between a man and a woman, that's why we don't perform same sex marriages in the Temple, and our Bishops will not perform same sex legal marriages.

Now I feel the biggest misunderstanding lies in the difference between having same sex attraction and acting on that attraction.  People tend to combine the two, which creates an incorrect understanding of the issue.  We recognize having those feelings and attractions is not a choice, although acting on them is.  We believe that those attractions fall under the category of temptation which is not a sin unless we give into it, because it is not something we choose.  Jesus who was the perfect person was tempted many times throughout his life, but he never fell and sinned(Matthew 4:1-11).  So just because you have those attractions, it doesn't mean you're not any less qualified for eternal life than anybody else who was ever tempted to sin(which is everyone).  Although, if you act on that temptation, it's just like committing any other sin.

I hope that makes sense.  Also I saw something above that talked about religions being used as tools to control people or something.  Ill quote the Prophet Russel M Nelson:

You don’t have to wonder about what is true. You do not have to wonder whom you can safely trust. Through personal revelation, you can receive your own witness that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that this is the Lord’s Church. Regardless of what others may say or do, no one can ever take away a witness borne to your heart and mind about what is true.

I urge you to stretch beyond your current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation, for the Lord has promised that “if thou shalt [seek], thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.”

We as a church always stress that people if they have concerns about the truthfulness or authenticity of the church and anything attached to it, to go pray to God and ask him.  The answer you receive from your Heavenly Father is not something that any religion or person can alter, manipulate or fake unless they control the air you breathe or something.  It's something that you, and you alone feel.

 

I hope that covers everything, and I hope I didn't offend anyone.  Although if it does offend someone, you did ask.mccartney-shrug_01_gif

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4 August 2019
7.12am
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Dark Overlord
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@William Shears Campbell What a post to come back on. I agree about how homosexuality is overall a choice since behavior is what should make someone gay as opposed to attraction and i think it would be a shame if your church was forced to perform such acts they deem unholy, even though i fully support gay rights otherwise.

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4 August 2019
12.07pm
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Beatlebug
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Sorry and thank you @William Shears Campbell. I have to say, you are one of the coolest religious individuals I've had the privilege of knowing. Don't worry about offending anyone, that was an extremely civil post as far as I'm concerned. john-lennon-salute_gif

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5 August 2019
10.06am
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Tony Japanese
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Of course nobody can help who they fall in love with, so I fail to see why a % of the world's population should be denied the happiness that comes with consensual sex between two adults, marriage, having children etc just because it doesn't fit with somebody's interpretation of a religious text.

We have a long way to go before those who identify themselves as LGBT+ have even the same basic rights as Hetrosexuals, despite the progress made since the Stonewall Riots or the Sexual Offences Act 1967 (UK). Why is it that religions are allowed to discriminate against somebody based on their sexual orientation and what makes it acceptable to those who follow that religion?

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5 August 2019
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Dark Overlord
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I see no problem with homosexuality, nor does anyone else on this forum AFAIK and i think it's awful that people use religious scriptures to deny these people basic rights. However, i also believe freedom works both ways and that if you have a right to be gay, then you also have the right to religious freedom, as long as you don't use that religious freedom to physically hurt others.

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5 August 2019
11.15am
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Tony Japanese
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Dark Overlord said
I see no problem with homosexuality, nor does anyone else on this forum AFAIK and i think it's awful that people use religious scriptures to deny these people basic rights. However, i also believe freedom works both ways and that if you have a right to be gay, then you also have the right to religious freedom, as long as you don't use that religious freedom to physically hurt others.

  

1. I should hope not.

2. Hurt doesn't always have to be physical.

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5 August 2019
11.41am
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Dark Overlord
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I guess harassment and violent threats would also count but i wouldn't consider someone saying "I'm sorry but we don't perform same sex marriages at this church" to be a form of hurt.

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5 August 2019
12.08pm
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Kaniffee
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There's a big difference from the church not performing same-sex marriages and someone refusing to sell a wedding cake when they have a business open to the public.

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5 August 2019
12.22pm
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Tony Japanese
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Dark Overlord said
I guess harassment and violent threats would also count but i wouldn't consider someone saying "I'm sorry but we don't perform same sex marriages at this church" to be a form of hurt.

  

I think anything that can be construed to mean 'people like you aren't welcome here' has the potential to cause offence/hurt the persons being targeted. 

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5 August 2019
12.39pm
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50yearslate
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Dark Overlord said
I guess harassment and violent threats would also count but i wouldn't consider someone saying "I'm sorry but we don't perform same sex marriages at this church" to be a form of hurt.

  

It all sort of goes back to the rights thing, doesn’t it? Because what that really is is the denial of a service to somebody based on their sexual orientation, which is discrimination.

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5 August 2019
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Ron Nasty
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We differ a little there, @50yearslate. I consider churches (and I use churches here to refer a set of beliefs claimed by a group of people, rather than a building), to a degree, to be the actions of a private club. After all, seems anyone can set up something in the US and call it a church.

I don't object to them saying they will not carry out same-sex marriages; I object to the sign outside that says, "Queers burn in hell."

This conversation at the beginning was about how far should religious organisations be exempt from equality laws.

We do not say a religion can murder and be exempt from the law of the land, or commit sexual abuse on children or adults and be exempt from the law of the land (though it has been proved time and again that they got away with that because of the power* of the Church in those places), so while they should be allowed certain club benefits available to members, anything they say or do outside is fair game.

* Law, in general, @Beatlebug, is a set of protections set up to defend the weak against those who have power, so it is disturbing you suggested that religions have so much power that the laws should not apply to them, and that they should be allowed to discriminate however they want to. Doesn't that defeat the idea that law is there to protect the weak against those who have power?

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5 August 2019
1.43pm
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Dark Overlord
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Good point @Ron Nasty I agree that those sort of signs and comments made by groups like the Westboro Baptist Church would constitute as a form of harassment and i think we should pass the Equality act so these people can be dealt with accordingly and LGBT people can feel safe.

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5 August 2019
1.49pm
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sir walter raleigh
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I’m a methodist, and the United Methodist church is facing a schism of historic proportions over the issue of marrying LGBT members of the congregation and allowing them to become clergy. Most people at my church have been fighting really hard to change the doctrines from within, but with so many conferences from all over the world, it unfortunately seems that those wanting more  religious freedom are still outnumbered, and therefore the Methodist church may break apart. 

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5 August 2019
1.52pm
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sir walter raleigh
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My point is that religion is not the enemy. As i’m sure many will agree there are countless interpretations of religious doctrines that are welcoming and inclusive. It just seems that the exclusive interpretations have been making more noise in recent times. I’m optimistic that things will soon shift in a great way. 

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5 August 2019
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Dark Overlord
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I wish more Christians/Jews/Muslims would take the Dalai Lama's approach of "homosexuality's a sin for Buddhists but not for society", then this wouldn't even be a problem.

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5 August 2019
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William Shears Campbell
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One problem is that some christians tend judge people and decide whos going to heaven and whos not.  The only person who has the right to eternal judgement is the one and only man upstairs and no one else.  We all struggle with different things, and commit our own sins because of those struggles.  Because of this, we are judged on the intents of our hearts.  God knows perfectly those intents and will be able to make a perfect judgement.  It's not anybody else's place to condemn or exalt someone.  God will decide that, when the time comes, and his decision will be perfect.

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5 August 2019
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William Shears Campbell said
One problem is that some christians tend judge people and decide whos going to heaven and whos not.  The only person who has the right to eternal judgement is the one and only man upstairs and no one else.  We all struggle with different things, and commit our own sins because of those struggles.  Because of this, we are judged on the intents of our hearts.  God knows perfectly those intents and will be able to make a perfect judgement.  It's not anybody else's place to condemn or exalt someone.  God will decide that, when the time comes, and his decision will be perfect.

  

In my opinion another problem (exampled above) is that there are people who talk as though they know the mind of god. No one from any religion knows anything of the sort. None of the Popes, none of the Arch Bishops.......Rabbis or Grand Muftis. 

Philosophically beliefs are a subjective truth .......knowledge is an objective testable truth.

 

The problem with my argument is that it is my opinion....I willingly concede that opinion isn't knowledge either.

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7 August 2019
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Dark Overlord
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@Wigwam I will be moving the conversation here since i think it's better suited for this thread:

A contradiction here in what you say you will do....... and what you go on to say to stir the pot.......

TBH i was split between carrying on the discussion and getting the thread back on topic so i did both. However, the 3 points i stated were based on fact. It's a fact that there's no legal definition for hate speech in the US, it's a fact that Trump said and did those things listed in the article i linked to, and it's a fact that Trump's vice president is strongly against homosexuality.

Looking at Trump's actions as President I don't agree he's racist......

I don't think it matters whether he did these things as president or not but there's a few things that stand out to me:

1. When 5 teens of color (4 blacks and a Hispanic) were accused of raping a woman, Trump suggested we reinstate the death penalty and when it was proven via a confession and DNA evidence that they didn't do it, Trump still thinks they're guilty and said so as recently as this June. However, when Brock Turner only got 6 months in jail for raping an unconscious girl, Trump had nothing to say.

2. The Muslim ban, which temporarily banned anyone living in 7 countries (most notably Syria) from entering the United States.

3. Trump wants to spend billions of dollars on a wall with Mexico that will have a negligible effect on illegal immigration, even going to the point of shutting down the government just because he can't build it. However, Trump doesn't want such a wall with Canada and is in fact trying to loosen immigration laws there in order to import drugs from Canada to the US.

Bonus: Trump suggested anyone taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality (specifically towards blacks) should be fired. At first glance, it may seem like there's a racist motive behind this but while i was doing research, i noticed that Trump also thinks that people who protest at his rallies should be arrested, confirming this wasn't said out of racism. However, this is some real anti-free speech bullshit that looks just as awful on his track record IMO.

As for homophobia?......What has Trump or Pence done in office that confirms your opinion?

Again, i don't think it should matter whether or not it happened as president but:

1. He opposes the equality act. Now if he suggested we amend it to allow religious exceptions, then i wouldn't consider it homophobic. However, he flat out opposes it, stating reasons of parental and conscience rights.

2. He rolled back Obama-era laws that protect LGBT people.

3. Pence is still against same sex marriage.

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