'don't Impose Your Values' Argument Is Bigotry In Disguise

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Said1, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. Said1
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    Said1 VIP Member

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    'DON'T IMPOSE YOUR VALUES' ARGUMENT IS BIGOTRY IN DISGUISE

    By John Leo


    I am struggling to understand the "don't impose your values" argument. According to this popular belief, it is wrong, and perhaps dangerous, to vote your moral convictions unless everybody else already shares them. Of course if everybody already shares them, no imposition would be necessary.



    Nobody ever explains exactly what constitutes an offense in voting one's values, but the complaints appear to be aimed almost solely at conservative Christians, who are viewed as divisive when they try to "force their religious opinions on us." But as UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh writes, "That's what most lawmaking is -- trying to turn one's opinions on moral or pragmatic subjects into law."

    Those who think Christians should keep their moral views to themselves, it seems to me, are logically bound to deplore many praiseworthy causes, including the abolition movement, which was mostly the work of the evangelical churches courageously applying Christian ideas of equality to the entrenched institution of s
    lavery. The slaveowners, by the way, frequently used "don't impose your values" arguments, contending that whether they owned blacks or not was a personal and private decision and therefore nobody else's business. The civil rights movement, though an alliance of Christians, Jews and nonbelievers, was primarily the work of the black churches arguing from explicitly Christian principles.

    The "don't impose" people make little effort to be consistent, deploring, for example, Catholics who act on their church's beliefs on abortion and stem cells, but not Catholics who follow the pope's insistence that rich nations share their wealth with poor nations, or his opposition to the death penalty and the invasion of Iraq (news - web sites).

    If the "don't impose" people wish to mount a serious argument, they will have to attack "imposers" on both sides of the issues they discuss, not just their opponents. They will also have to explain why arguments that come from religious beliefs are less worthy than similar arguments that come from secular principles or simply from hunches or personal feelings. Nat Hentoff, a passionate opponent of abortion, isn't accused of imposing his opinions because he is an atheist. The same arguments and activity by a Christian activist would likely be seen as a violation of some sort.

    Consistency would also require the "don't impose" supporters to speak up about coercive schemes intended to force believers to violate their own principles: anti-abortion doctors and nurses who are required in some jurisdictions to study abortion techniques; Catholic agencies forced to carry contraceptive coverage in health plans; evangelical college groups who believe homosexuality is a sin defunded or disbanded for not allowing gays to become officers in their groups; the pressure from the ACLU and others to force the Boy Scouts to admit gays, despite a Supreme Court ruling that the Scouts are entitled to go their own way.

    Then there is the current case of Rocco Buttiglione, an Italian Christian Democrat who was named to be justice and home affairs commissioner of the European Union (news - web sites), then rejected for having an opinion that secular liberals find repugnant: He believes homosexuality is a sin. The Times of London attacked the hounding of Buttiglione "for holding personal beliefs that are at odds with the prevailing social orthodoxy ... despite a categorical statement that he would not let those beliefs intrude upon policy decisions." The Times said this is a clear attempt by Buttiglione's opponents to impose their views. No word of protest yet from "don't impose" proponents.

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  2. KarlMarx
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    KarlMarx Senior Member

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    True....

    When someone says that you can't legislate morality they are wrong.

    We legislate morality all the time and we call that "The Law"

    If you still don't think we can't legislate morality, try this on for size....

    1. Lie under oath and watch what happens to you if you're caught (unless of course you happen to be Bill or Hillary Clinton)

    2. Kill someone and see if the police don't launch a homicide investigation.

    3. Sexually harrass a co-worker ......

    4. Drive while you're drunk

    5. Beat your wife or girlfriend

    All of these things are illegal... and why? Because at some time in the past, people felt that they were immoral enough that there should be laws to prohibit them.....
     
  3. ajwps
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    ajwps Active Member

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    WRONG...

    You are confusing the American justice system with moral laws as stated in Judeo-Christian bibles.

    At some time in the past SOME PEOPLE FELT IMMORALITY and made laws to prohibit them?

    How did 'some people feel' immorality and make laws?

    Individual moral choices that do not harm others or oneself cannot be successfully legislated so that they can be enforced.
     
  4. KarlMarx
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    KarlMarx Senior Member

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    Where did the American and British Justice System come from? They were based on the Laws of Moses....

    On the Supreme Court Building there is a line of figures representing the great law givers of history and the one in the center is Moses.....
     
  5. ajwps
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    ajwps Active Member

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    At last, one atheist who openly admits that humanity did not simply FEEL morality. Thank G-d.

    Got-ya
     
  6. KarlMarx
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    KarlMarx Senior Member

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    Who is the atheist? Me?
     
  7. sagegirl
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    sagegirl Member

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    The best way to demonstrate your values and convince someone that they have validity is by example. I have to say I really dont see much of the "christian ethic" put into practice. I would like to see the self sacrifice and brotherly love that is so preached about, put into action without so much self aggrandizement. I have seen it and I have great respect for those who use persuasion rather than force. "Imposing one's values" on someone else is a pointless and arrogant behavior that seldom, if ever, brings about change.
     
  8. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Actually, you won't see about 95% of it. Many Christians and/or churches are volunteering time and resources to give to the needy without anyone knowing about it.
     
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  9. TheEnemyWithin
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    Blah blah blah...if you're going to say that to christians then say it also to the FRICKIN MUSLIMS who get to indoctrinate our kids in public school...sep. of church and state my ARSE....
     
  10. sagegirl
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    sagegirl Member

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    I have seen this charity.....a friend was in a small neighborhood that got flooded, I was there to help with the clean up when a group of people from a small local church showed up....prepared to mop up mud, buckets in hand, and do some really dirty work. We were able to take care of own mess but they did help other neighbors....in addition they had brought in an rv and offered hot soup and sandwiches to everybody working to clean up. I can tell you that after working out in the cold, cleaning up the mess after a flood...and being offered a hot meal was truly a most generous and loving gesture. I will never forget those people, their kindness was really exceptional. My friend told me a couple of weeks later they came thru with bags of groceries and gifts...it was 2 weeks til christmas. I just cant imagine any more giving folks than these. To know that this loving act came from their hearts out of their dedication to their beliefs is a very powerful message.
     

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