What is Secularism?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by ScreamingEagle, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. ScreamingEagle
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    ScreamingEagle Gold Member

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    Liberals think that Secularism should replace Christianity as the basis for our society. What makes them think that secularism is any different than a religion when it comes to how a person believes in something?

    Isn't Secularism just another belief system?
    Secularists believe in materialism and in science. They limit their existence to the here and now. Secularism does not acknowledge God and does away with any accountability to God. In contrast, a Christian is concerned with the welfare of his soul: "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?" (Mark. 8:36) Christianity has a solid moral base whereas Secularism has none.

    Although many of today's secularists might believe in a God or gods, a true Secularist by any definition must be an Atheist. An atheist does not believe in God. Isn't Atheism a belief system just as Christianity is a belief system? Why should our government only reflect the belief system of Atheism/Secularism?

    If a child should be taught the sciences in school and be taught all about the world around him including history, shouldn't he also be taught about the belief of God? Why should he only be given an Atheistic training? Shouldn't he also be taught the existence of God for a well-rounded education? By eliminating any reference to God in our schools a child is being led to believe in the "religion" or belief system of Atheism. Isn't that the Government instituting a preference for one belief system over another? Isn't the omission of God basically a governmental statement? Isn't that essentially establishing Atheism/Secularism as a "government religion" to be pushed upon our children?
     
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  2. MissileMan
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    MissileMan Senior Member

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    I see where you are trying to go with this argument, but it fails utterly in this way. Atheism is the antithesis of religion. It is not a belief system. It is not organized into denominations. It does not have an ancient text that is used as its core document. An atheist simply believes that there is no god. Suggesting that math and science are atheist philosophies is absurd.

    But if you want to open Pandora's box, open it all the way, not just a crack. Lets make it the 4 "R"s...Reading, wRighting, aRithmetic, and Religion. Let's teach them about ALL of the religions, including Christianity, Bhuddism, Islam, Hunduism, Paganism, VooDoo, etc. Also include discussion of the dead religions like those of ancient Greek and Roman mythology. Then let the kids decide what religion is their bag on their own. What better way to foster an environment of tolerance?
     
  3. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    the school system ALREADY teaches everything that you suggest but now has decided that Christianity must go. WHY?
     
  4. MissileMan
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    MissileMan Senior Member

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    That's not true...I'm talking about full blown classes in ALL religions.
     
  5. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    What is the "self" or "soul" ? Is it some eternal, immutable entity...? Or is it a mere lump of matter? The former represents transcedentalist thought, the latter materialist. Throughout the centuries, these two views have been considered to be irreconcilable, with any attempt reconciliation labeled "nominalism" and doomed to failure.

    In his examination of both of these schools of thought, the Buddha found them both wanting. His examination led to his formulation of hte theory of dependent arising which, in turn, led to his examination of the human personality.

    As he went through this process, he found a number of different aspects of human experience. He called these aggregates, of which there are five. It is these aggregates which form the basis of both the physical self and the personality which gives that self its individuality.

    Body/form provides the physical identity, which is far from permanent and changes throughout its lifetime.

    Feeling/sensation is the basis for emotions in the context of human experience and are integral to the other four aggregates.. At a purely physical level, they can be painful, pleasant or neutral. On a subjective level, they lead to self-interest, but if overextended, they can lead to insatiable cravings.

    Perception is just that, the act of percieving. While each perception is related to the other aggregates, they are a mixture of concepts, memories, and physical entities.

    Dispositions, or discriminative awareness gives individuality to the individual and their perceptions. It is also why we cannot "see things as they truly are". Dispositions are unique to each individual as they are shaped by each individuals life experiences. They act to select items of interest from the stream of consciousness we are immersed in, and form our understanding of the world around us.

    Consciouness provides the continuity of personality which is given individuality by the dispositions. It is also deendent upon the other dispositions and <b>is not</b> some permanent or eternal entity. It is simply the act of being conscious.

    None of these five aggregates exist independently of the other...They depend upon each other for the existence of the whole. In the absence of one, the bonds between the rest begin to break down and dissipate. They are dependnetly arisen and both they, and the personality they give rise to are transitory and impermanent.

    This theory of personality avoids the extremes and absolutes imposed by transcendentalism and materialism and also avoids the flaws inherent in any attempt at a synthesis of the two. And while this view isn't absolute, and the Buddha granted that it might not even be correct, it remains consistent within the context of dependent arising and the empirical evidence which supports it.
     
  6. sagegirl
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    sagegirl Member

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    I really dont think its valid to consider the denial of one belief system affirms any belief of another persuasion. Each of us lives within some common set of values, or beliefs...... to get along in society we must. These are our laws.
    I dont think there is any need to further define a person living within these laws.
     
  7. ScreamingEagle
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    ScreamingEagle Gold Member

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    "environment of tolerance" is a liberal expression that only means doing things "the liberal way" and is totally insane.

    According to Webster, atheism is the BELIEF that there is no God. (ok, I can agree that it may not be a belief SYSTEM having an ancient text et al) However, Christianity has the BELIEF that there is a God. Two opposing basic beliefs...

    By NOT allowing the expression of God in the schools or any other public places, isn't the government is showing a preference for one belief over another belief?

    I was not suggesting that math and science were atheist philosophies. All I was suggesting is that the expression of God should be allowed in schools and public places just as the (now) enforced UNexpression of God is being enforced. Children are being taught all the things that an atheist believes in such as math or science without any mention of God, but they are not being taught anything that religious people believe in. I just think that they should have a well-rounded education, not a one-sided education.

    As far as teaching kids about religion in the public schools, I am all for it. Instead of the schools getting into a convoluted program of teaching kids about all religions, it would be more effective to offer one optional class for the religious studies of one's choice. Parents would have to give their written permission for these classes (just as they should give written permission for sex classes, etc.) upon being given a written syllabus of the class's content. There also could be school programs where those of different religions could share their beliefs with one another in a positive way for those wishing to attend. I am sure that most parents would be happy to have their children learning more about religion on a more frequent basis as long as they know what the kids are learning. I really don't see that including religion as an option in the schools as being offensive in any way, if handled properly. On the contrary, it would probably help with behavior problems and give children some meaning in their lives that would help them and help society as a whole.

    Optional religion classes should be up to each individual school district and should not be forced upon anybody. (except upon the kids by their parents) Stamping God entirely out of the schools and the public square is not something that the court system has any right to do as this is the enforcement of NO expression of God and the establishment of a belief - the belief that God does not exist.
     
  8. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    Actually, providing a solid background and understanding of the world's religions, and their genesis, would allow people to make sound and well informed choices as to which religion, if any, they might choose to follow. Religion is not a matter of necessity, no matter how much some wish it to be. It is a matter of choice, and the more information people have to base that choice upon, the better for them.
     
  9. MissileMan
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    MissileMan Senior Member

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    Fear of the unknown and different is the major cause of intolerance. If that could be dissipated in our kids through education, that would go a long way toward creating an "environment of tolerance".


    Other than the theory of intelligent design, which has absolutely zero evidence to back it up, what other biblical contributions are there to math and science that kids are being denied?

    But why not expose them to all religions if you are going to add it to the curriculum. To do otherwise would be to put one religion over another. Are you afraid to let your kids learn anything other than your chosen religion? A catholic school could reserve the right to teach only catholicism...a public school would have to teach the entire spectrum. Even though I am an atheist, I would have no objection to religion being taught in that manner in public schools. I'll wager there aren't too many on this board who would go along with that though.
     
  10. nakedemperor
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    nakedemperor Senior Member

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    One belief is a religion. The government cannot endorse a religion. Atheism is not a religion. In fact, who is to say that the government doesn't assume agnosticism?
     

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