FRIHOSTFORUMSSEARCHFAQTOSBLOGSCOMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


Religious state





truespeed
Hypothetical question.

Would you rather,live in an Islamic country,a Christian country or an Atheist country?

Which one would better respect your world/religious view?

(Please don't answer for the one you are,as in,don't say atheist if you're an athiest,likewise,Christian & Islam)
codegeek
Well, I live in Nepal, which was the only Hindu kingdom in the world until a few years ago. After the people's revolution, we are now a secular nation. I think I like it better this way. For one thing, people of other religions don't have to feel alienated anymore. Yes, it's true that there have not been any religious conflicts in Nepal, and we live in a society of religious harmony. However, a person of another religion can't help but feel a bit out of place in a nation that identifies itself as Hindu; that recognizes only Hindu festivals; that follows Hindu traditions in public offices, etc. Now, Nepal recognizes the festivals of all religions here, and we get holidays for Christmas, etc. I personally was brought up a Hindu, but have since lost my faith. One thing I am sure of is that I want to live in a secular state, one where the government is neutral as to the religion of the actual state, and people are free to practice any religion they like.
Bluedoll
Seriously, I would go with Christian. They might bother me if every time there was an issue with a law or social trend they brought up their religion as the reason for having it but I do think it would have the best social system in this imaginary country. The next choice would be atheist as it would be all about the business of running a country. The only problem I would have with an atheist country would be in the religious department because I think it would dominate and prevent religious freedom from taking place. The worst would be an Islamic state for me maybe because I don’t understand it and I do seem to think of it as trying to be controlling though that could be my own personal idea and not actually true.
Ankhanu
An atheist, or secular, state would likely offer the greatest freedoms of belief. The nice thing about having a state that holds no religion is that (generally*) it does not seek to impose religious belief upon its populace, while every religious state that I know of makes use of governmental power to enforce its religious views. The majority of atheist states (church/state separation) allow their populations to believe or not as they see fit, as religious/deity belief is a private matter, not a public one.


* Yes, I'm aware of the enforced "atheist" states involved in the Communist regimes, but, they're exceptions and hardly the rule.
SpaceInvader75
Quote:
The only problem I would have with an atheist country would be in the religious department because I think it would dominate and prevent religious freedom from taking place.


Why do you think an atheist (or secular) state would prevent religious freedom?
loremar
Bluedoll wrote:
The only problem I would have with an atheist country would be in the religious department because I think it would dominate and prevent religious freedom from taking place.

As if that never happen to christian countries. Rolling Eyes Inquisition? Never heard of it?

Anyways, a religious state could just support its chosen religion but need not have to be intolerant with other religions. Also why no non-abrahamic religious state? I'd really like some Hindu, Tao, Shinto, just for the cultural experience besides my atheism being respected.

EDIT:Sentence deleted. Title got me confused.
Bluedoll
@ SpaceInvader75
I think atheism is intolerant because of it tends to want to kill off opposing religious ideas by its nature.

This may be more a political question than a philosophical one? A country that would have no religious or spiritual basis involved in its constitution would be void of morality? This is only true if you assume that all morality started out by having its route in religion. Morality however can still be adopted with any another label must be kept in mind.

States tend to dominate, some more than others do. I am wondering if there is any close real life example in existence today to compare to. In this I have to admit I have very limited knowledge. Is China for insistence evolving into an atheist state?
Klaw 2
@ bluedoll one the other hand a christian nation would be 100% tolerant of people with other beliefs ... like in history where the spanish inquisition didn't hapen ever... at all...

@ OP but how do you suppose a atheist country would look like do you expect that on coins and other money it would say: "There is no god"
truespeed
Klaw 2 wrote:


@ OP but how do you suppose a atheist country would look like do you expect that on coins and other money it would say: "There is no god"


I expect it to look like a country where religion has no influence in a constitutional sense,whether that be real or ceremonial,where there are no religious schools,but,where religion is allowed,without the tax breaks though. Wink

As for coins,why do they need to reference God or religion at all?

I am surprised Bluedoll chose Atheism over Islam considering its links to satan.

Bluedoll wrote:
@ SpaceInvader75
I think atheism is intolerant because of it tends to want to kill off opposing religious ideas by its nature.



Do you really think that would happen? Indi and Bikerman have both said that they would never want to remove anyones right to faith and worship. I have never read any atheist suggest otherwise,freedom of thought and the right to believe what ever you want seems to be at the heart of everything I have ever read coming from atheists.

Religion on the other hand does the opposite,look at the reaction to the Denmark drawings of Mohammed,it may be the extremists talking,but it is clear that a very vocal part of Islam wants to stop everyones elses freedom of expression.

The same happens on here in a smaller way,I have lost count of the amount of times you have tried to stop anyone from insulting your God or religion,now imagine if your religion had the power of state and influence it used to have,do you think it would behave any differently?
Ankhanu
Klaw 2 wrote:
@ OP but how do you suppose a atheist country would look like do you expect that on coins and other money it would say: "There is no god"

Most nations have no mention of God on their currency at all... I know mine doesn't.
Heck look at your own ntion's currency before the anti-communist reactionary movement had "In God We Trust" added to the pledge of alliegance and your currency... this is a new thing in your history too.
Bluedoll
I was making reference to countries like America where Christianity is built right into the constitution “In God we trust” - “God bless the Queen”. If a group institutes the same rights into the governing of its people then it is simply emulating what has been already established from history. As long as people in general who ever they are maintain them then it is really same thing. What I meant by atheism’s opposition is that since its early beginnings till present atheism is opposed to believing in God so by character it is not tolerating any religious belief.

I won’t say any more in this thread because of the request in the op. Most of time I find when the thread is taken off topic, I am blamed but not always the person that started it going off topic to begin with. Actually atheists that I have talked to seem very interested in social and political concerns, so I think an atheist state I might prefer over an Islamic state if I was forced to choose because I simply don’t know a lot about Islamic culture to qualify it. Sorry, watersoul but indi and bikerman I don’t think have power over any countries?
truespeed
Bluedoll wrote:
I was making reference to countries like America where Christianity is built right into the constitution “In God we trust” - “God bless the Queen”. If a group institutes the same rights into the governing of its people then it is simply emulating what has been already established from history. As long as people in general who ever they are maintain them then it is really same thing. What I meant by atheism’s opposition is that since its early beginnings till present atheism is opposed to believing in God so by character it is not tolerating any religious belief.


Active atheists aren't vocal against God,they are vocal against religion,would you as a Christian be vocal if you lived in a muslim country under Sharia law? If you did would that mean you're not tolerating religious belief?

Bluedoll wrote:

I don’t think have power over any countries?


I know you don't specifically,but they way you react to criticism of your religion/god is a good reason why no religion should have control of a state and laws.

I am not saying you personally would ban criticism.
Ankhanu
truespeed wrote:
Active atheists aren't vocal against God,they are vocal against religion,would you as a Christian be vocal if you lived in a muslim country under Sharia law? If you did would that mean you're not tolerating religious belief?

I'd argue that most aren't even vocal against religion, exactly, so much as vocal against religion as an element of government or policy making. Most atheists are fine with people holding religions, but are less ok with it as something public or enforced.

Bluedoll wrote:
I was making reference to countries like America where Christianity is built right into the constitution “In God we trust”
That's not in the Constitution, it's a motto, and wasn't adopted until 1956. The prior national motto, E pluribus unum was a much better motto, IMO; it actually reflected something that the United States had going for it.

As written, the US Constitution is explicitly secular.

England, however, you're right, that's not an explicitly secular nation, and the CoE still holds some (symbolic) power. God Save the King/Queen, however, isn't constitutional, it's again, just a saying; the national anthem. Ditto with our national anthem "God keep our land"... yes there is historic mention of God, but the nations are secular.
loremar
Just to clear my confusion. Atheist state as in NOT a religious state, right? like Vietnam?
watersoul
Bluedoll wrote:
Sorry, watersoul but indi and bikerman I don’t think have power over any countries?
Why are you mentioning me personally in this topic? I haven't commented here.
I was happy being a spectator, just enjoying the entertainment of your particular style of reasoning, while remaining someone who is not involved.
If you wish to bait me in future, please also offer the courtesy of sending a message when making public remarks about/toward me in a topic I'm not involved in.

...troll much?
nickfyoung
Been thinking about this question the last couple of days and I think I would go for the Atheist run country over any religious one. That may sound surprising but we border on it here already and just had an Atheist Prime Minister. An Atheist run country would be more tolerant of religious belief than many religious ones. I weakness of the Christian run country is it's equality attitude which does get it into a lot of trouble with minority groups who are tolerated but cause problems. I think the Atheist run system would be a stricter system and intolerant to these minority groups making noise.
Bikerman
Whilst I appreciate the sentiment, I am confused by this. I agree with your starting position - the record shows that secular countries are generally more tolerant of diverse religious beliefs. This is obvious when you think about it - any theocracy is inevitably going to discriminate in favour of the particular religion. You then seem to reverse this and say that Christian theocracies are more tolerant of minority viewpoints which can be problematic whereas secular countries would be more likely to stamp-down on them (my paraphrase but, I think, fair).
(If I have misrepresented your posting here then please say so.)
I completely disagree. We have plenty of examples of secular systems - the US being probably the most obvious and well known - and I see no support for the notion that such systems are more likely to be intolerant. On the other hand we have examples of theocracy in action and such states are particularly known for their LACK of tolerance of minorities - particularly any minority views which challenge the orthodoxy. For example, do you seriously think that a Christian theocracy would grant gay rights?
watersoul
I wasn't going to get involved in this topic because I thought the OP restrictions excluded my position, but as Bluedoll brought my 'name' into the discussion I am now drawn to declaring it.

I would like to live in a world where faith in unverifiable things is of course allowed, but can never infringe on anyone else who does not share such faith, completely secular, an absolute and clear separation of spiritual belief, legislation and government.

I support letting people believe in whatever thing floats their boat, if it harms no-one else and isn't given any tax breaks by a government which requires me to contribute towards it.
I think we would have more chance of achieving that in a country where the majority of people do not have any faith in gods - no axe to grind there, just keeping unverifiable faith out of general day to day societal administration & governance.
nickfyoung
Bikerman
Quote:
You then seem to reverse this and say that Christian theocracies are more tolerant of minority viewpoints which can be problematic whereas secular countries would be more likely to stamp-down on them (my paraphrase but, I think, fair).


I was thinking more along the lines of overly politically correctness. There can't be any decision made here now without some group jumping up and down, greens, conservationists, civil rights, Muslim opposition to Christmas or something, guy rights, asylum seekers etc etc. While most of these have legitimate concerns they seem to push so hard to be heard that our society seems to be run by minority groups. I was thinking that an Atheist run system would be able to take the excesses out of the system.
watersoul
nickfyoung wrote:
I was thinking that an Atheist run system would be able to take the excesses out of the system.
A society which is not influenced by faith but instead concerned with reasoned argument could perhaps be less troubled with bigotry and anger towards non-believers than often found in societies dominated by faith.
Bikerman
nickfyoung wrote:
Bikerman
Quote:
You then seem to reverse this and say that Christian theocracies are more tolerant of minority viewpoints which can be problematic whereas secular countries would be more likely to stamp-down on them (my paraphrase but, I think, fair).


I was thinking more along the lines of overly politically correctness. There can't be any decision made here now without some group jumping up and down, greens, conservationists, civil rights, Muslim opposition to Christmas or something, guy rights, asylum seekers etc etc. While most of these have legitimate concerns they seem to push so hard to be heard that our society seems to be run by minority groups. I was thinking that an Atheist run system would be able to take the excesses out of the system.
I don't think a secular system would mitigate against such single-issue politics and I would hope that it did not. 'People jumping up and down' is politics in action. Western democracies have dangerously low levels of public involvement in the process. Even in your country, where voting is a legal obligation, there is a high level of public disengagement from mainstream politics. This leaves the way open for extremist groups to gain a political foothold. Single-issue politics is not a solution but it does, at least, get people involved.
Indi
truespeed wrote:
Hypothetical question.

Would you rather,live in an Islamic country,a Christian country or an Atheist country?

Which one would better respect your world/religious view?

(Please don't answer for the one you are,as in,don't say atheist if you're an athiest,likewise,Christian & Islam)

A Christian state. That's the only realistic option right now. Any other options are just fantasies.

First: i have to point out that "atheist state" ≠ "secular state". Those are two ENTIRELY different things. Confusing the two only leads to misunderstanding. Ideally, of course, i would want to live in a secular state - i think everyone whose head isn't up their ass would want to live in a secular state. However, that wasn't an option.

An atheist state is a state that officially endorses atheism - just like a Christian state is a state that officially endorses Christianity, etc.. If you're confusing that with a secular state, you really don't understand secularism. A secular state endorses NO religious beliefs... or the lack thereof. It does not say "Christianity is right", but it also - and this is the important part here - does not say "Christianity is wrong" (as atheism does, necessarily). A secular state can APPEAR atheist, if you squint (or if you view it with a certain type of persecution complex so common in religious people used to privilege), but it ain't - not even close. In an atheist state, an atheist is the default citizen and a Christian is a second-class citizen. In a secular state, there is no difference between an atheist citizen and a Christian one.

So with the difference between "atheist state" and "secular state" clear, and with the "secular state" option off the table, why would i choose a Christian state over an atheist one (or Muslim one, for that matter)?

Well, any of the three options is going to be an unfair government, by definition - any non-secular government is automatically unfair; secularism is the only fair possibility. Unfairness is a given, so the only question is what flavour of unfairness we're talking about: will it be passive privileging, or brutal repression?

All three options are theoretically equally capable of both. We have had plenty of examples of Christian states that were fairly passive in their biases, and we have had plenty of examples of Christian states that were brutally repressive of other beliefs. We have had a few examples of Muslim states that were fairly passive in their biases, but we have had plenty that were brutally repressive. And we haven't really had any real atheist states that are passive in their biases (at least in recent history), but we have had a couple that were brutally repressive.

So any of the three options has the potential to be relatively benign, or nastily brutal. The logical option, then, is to pick the one whose ideology is closest to your own, right? That way even if it is brutally repressive, you'll be fine, because you won't be one of the ones being repressed right? Wrong.

Even a Christian in a brutally repressive Christian regime has a shitty time. Likewise for a Muslim in a brutally repressive Muslim regime, or an atheist in a brutally repressive atheist regime (like North Korea, for example). In a brutally repressive X regime, everyone has to be as loudly, clearly, and noisily X as possible - no matter what "X" is. For example, if X is "nationalistic", then everyone has to be as loudly and noisily patriotic as possible - you can see this effect in many states throughout history, where people were terrified of being accused of being (for example) "unamerican" and desperately shouted over each other to declare that they were more patriotic than anyone else. So even as an atheist, i would not have an easy life in a brutally repressive atheist regime. It would be hell. (Just as it would be for a Christian in a brutally repressive Christian regime, or a Muslim in a brutally repressive Muslim regime.)

And there's another factor that is even more important for me. If i were an atheist in an atheist state - especially a brutally repressive one, but even if it were a relatively benign one - then i would be part of the oppressive regime. I could not accept that, morally. I would have to leave, or at least publicly renounce my atheism and adopt a religion in protest (yes, i can't change what i believe, but i can sure as hell put on a show of pretending to believe). I cannot allow myself to become part of oppression, no matter how passively, so i could not be an atheist in an atheist state.

But there's a pragmatic argument, too. The most dangerous beasts are the ones who have been cornered. The least dangerous beasts are the ones who are fat from feasting on plenty, with no predators to fear. In a way, religions are the same. The least dangerous religion is the one that has nothing to fear from anything - the one with the power. The most dangerous religion is the one that is under the greatest threat. Right now, in the world we live in, Christianity has the VAST majority of the economic, technological, social, cultural, and military power in the world. And, as a result of that, most Christian states are relatively uninterested in "defending" Christianity - there's nothing, really, to "defend" it from; there are no other plausible contenders at the moment, never mind what the scaremongers say. By contrast, Islam is the underdog, under constant cultural and - more often than not - military threat from much more powerful Christian countries. Unsurprisingly, Muslim countries can be testy and defensive about their Muslim identity, and manifest that as repression against other religions to "protect" Islam. Just look around and the evidence is manifold: on average, Christian countries are MUCH more peaceful and free than Muslim countries. None of that difference comes from the doctrines of Christianity or Islam - it all comes from the fact that Christianity has enough power that it can chillax while Islam has to struggle.

And the same logic applies to atheism, and particularly to atheism. Atheism is - and this was recently proven beyond a shadow of a doubt - the most oppressed religious ideology in the world... BY FAR. In 2013, only 15 of 192 countries did not discriminate against atheists - but don't be impressed because that 15 includes such illustrious gems as Kiribati and Nauru, both of which may not even exist in two generations thanks to climate change and rising ocean levels. Christianity and Islam may not be the best of buds, but when atheism walks in the room they will actually both join forces solely for the purpose of ganging up on atheism. And then there's the fact that since atheism has nothing to claim and nothing to enforce, there is no reason to create a "benign atheist state" - you might as well just create a secular state. The only reason to create an explicitly atheist state is if you intend to be militant about it. That's why every atheist state that has existed - and, for the time being, any new atheist state that will be created - will have to be a repressive state. It can't be anything else, because if you're going to make an explicitly atheist state, you have to know your state is going to be treated like crap by virtually every other state - the only reason someone would go ahead and do it anyway is if they're looking for a fight. Otherwise, they'd just create a secular state.

So there you are. I'm an atheist - out and proud - but i would not choose to live in an atheist state, for 3 reasons:
  1. Even if my ideology happens to match the state's, it will become a chore to have to keep declaring it loudly over and over.
  2. I cannot be part of any kind of repression or discrimination - if atheists are stepping on the rights of others, then i'll damn well turn my back on atheists.
  3. The reality is that atheism is the most hated and most discriminated against "religion" in the world today, so any state that wants to wear its atheism on its sleeve would have to be a nasty, combative place just to continue existing.
A Christian state is the obvious choice because:
  1. I'd have to keep quiet about being an atheist, but that's what i'd prefer to do anyway.
  2. I wouldn't be one of the discriminators, i would be one of the discriminatees - which is not pleasant, but easier for me to stomach, morally.
  3. The reality is that Christianity is the most powerful religion in the world today, so there is only a small likelihood that a Christian country will be repressive (and, you can see that effect in reality). Even if i'm going to be a second-class citizen, it won't be so bad if they just leave me in peace - which, since Christianity doesn't have a chip on its shoulder, they probably will.
redhakaw
atheist country.

I love an environment that conflicts with my beliefs.

if I am proven wrong, it's not a big thing since I'm only 1

but if I prove everyone wrong, well, it becomes a big thing.



I feel useless and bored if I can't tick someone off.
Related topics
Federal 'Hate Crimes' Bill Threatens Religious Freedoms
Bush’s Openly Religious Language
irony: Liberal Church May Lose Funds Over Sermon
Muslims Should be Thanking US for Iraq Invasion
Verbod op boerka. Wat is jouwn mening?
Should SUICIDE be ilegal?
Religious leaders, US congressmen gather at iftar
Islam: Cruelty
The State of Palestine
Religious "moderation" the optimal weapon...?
Separation of church and state: my ideal solution.
What is considered to be a religious post?
Is El Qaeda still a force to be reckoned with?
Are you afraid of Iran shoud we start to care about them?
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> Lifestyle and News -> Philosophy and Religion

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.