Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The dangers of religious devotion.


I'm guessing you won't find atheists being quite this boneheaded. Call it a hunch.

14 comments:

Gene Rayburn said...

Doug Christie will take any case apparently though I don't see how cutting off another's foreskin constitutes religious freedom. How did Christie become a lawyer again? Typo?

Niles said...

I bet it boils down to the right of 'unmitigated control of parent over child in matters of personal beliefs'.

See "children taken away from parents for (among other things) white power neonazi indoctrination after coming to school with swastikas drawn on their body"

vw: Unial. sorta like denial, but pretty much inside someone's unique mental landscape. Like the dad who went after his kid's genitals.

CC said...

There is a fundamental inconsistency here that many people don't recognize but that I have blogged about before.

Why should normally unacceptable acts be suddenly acceptable because of "religious freedom?" Why should a religious belief give anyone more leeway than a regular citizen? When was religion allowed to have special privileges that aren't granted for any other reason?

It would seem that religion is getting a real sweetheart deal here. "You can't do that! Oh, you're religious? Carry on, then, sorry to interrupt."

And yet they whine relentlessly about being "persecuted." Go figure.

liberal supporter said...

The fright wingers only see the bogosity of religious freedom arguments when they rant about Mooslims.

Religious freedom is supposed to mean a jew can wear the kipa in public and not be subject to harassment or worse. It is supposed to mean you are not forced to be involved in any particular religion, or any religion at all. It is supposed to mean you can follow dietary rules without being forced to eat the forbidden foods, and you don't have to feel bad asking what is in food offered to you.

I was told that the original purpose of the "Lord's Day Act" was to ensure everyone got one day off a week; the religious purpose was mainly an excuse to force employers to give at least one day a week off, back in the bad old Dickensian style days.

mikmik said...

"When was religion allowed to have special privileges that aren't granted for any other reason?"
Yeah, are we ruled by democratic laws or religion? There should be no doubt when the two are in conflict - the law has jurisdiction.

The Seer said...

“[A]fter a bad motorcycle accident in 2002 left both the man and his wife with brain injuries, he began the religious quest that eventually led him to believe that both he and son needed to be circumcised to celebrate Passover.”

I can't make this thing do italics. Note that the two began their religious quest after the brain injuries.

The defense that leaps out at you in this case is mental disorder. The Supreme Court of Canada has held, to make a long, complicated story short, that “[t]he accused must possess the intellectual ability to know right from wrong in an abstract sense. But he or she must also possess the ability to apply that knowledge in a rational way to the alleged criminal act.” R. v. Oommen, [1994] 2 S.C.R. 507, at p. 516.

If, indeed, defense counsel overlooked that defense, then it seems to me that defense counsel chose to overlook an obvious defense to pursue some interest other than his client’s. I take the court’s wishy-washy ruling in this matter to be an attempt to reduce the level of error to the point of de minimus in hopes of avoiding reversal on appeal.

CC said...

An interesting point, seer, but that might open an awkward can of worms in that anyone charged with a crime that has religious overtones might try the same defense -- mental incompetence.

I'm not being facetious -- even if it was a reasonable and successful defense, it might set a weird precedent that others could take advantage of.

Ti-Guy said...

I'm guessing you won't find atheists being quite this boneheaded.

Except Bill Maher. Who I really like, but he needs to shut up about science. He's making the Catholics look...good.

sooey said...

Aren't lawyers supposed to take "any case"?

Mark said...

I'm guessing you won't find atheists being quite this boneheaded.

Yeah, like Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong -- no poor behavior there...

Ti-Guy said...

Yeah, like Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong -- no poor behavior there...

Stale.

CC said...

Wow, Mark, that was ... boring. What Jack Chick tract did you get that one from?

Mark said...

In other words, you have no logical response, so you fall back on a lame slam? Lazy atheists pull out the "look what the crazy religious person did" arguments all the time, but deny that the crazy actions of atheists are at all informed by THEIR belief system. It's just not honest reasoning, plain and simple.

liberal supporter said...

In other words, you have no logical response, so you fall back on a lame slam?
No, the problem is that you trotted out a lame canard, and so predictably you received ridicule. Not everyone feels like dealing with the same nonsense such as yours this early in the day.

At least Mark has received the talking point update. It used to be that Hitler was included in the list of "bad atheists".

Your sneer about atheists also being boneheaded is trying to claim the "bad atheists" acted out of their atheism. The reality is different, and your comparison makes as much sense as noting Stalin Pol Pot and Mao Zedong were also black haired males.

The main common point between these leaders is that they were rigid ideologues, who considered strict adherence to the words in a book (in this case "The Communist Manifesto") as being more important than the lives of millions of people. Kind of like theocrats, who consider strict adherence to the words in a book as more important than the people affected.

So your example is not a counter example at all, but simply agreeing and widening "boneheaded" to include all fanatical ideologues, not just the religious ones.