Posts Tagged ‘Religion’
Bit of an old issue (2008) but I need to up my post count so I may as well comment on anything and everything as my blog byline says.
This is about Lillian Ladele who was a registrar in Islington and who refused to carry out a civil registration because it was against her religion/beliefs. She was subsequently sacked and then took the council to the employment tribunal and won on the basis that she was discriminated against.
Firstly, civil partnerships are not marriages. Civil partnerships are a legal creation to allow people to take advantage of tax benefits offered by the state. Marriages are a purely religious event which are recognised by the state. So to refuse to perform a legal act because of your religious beliefs shows you to be a bigoted and narrow minded person, especially when the legal act has no religious connotations.
Secondly, what about the beliefs of the gay people who want to have a civil partnership in Islington. They would be offended if they had to rearrange their ceremony if Ms Lillian Ladele refused to perform for them.
So which offence trumps the other. Do religious rights come first before sexual rights. Or do sexual rights come first.
Why don’t we just remove all such offending situations from the law. If you are offended then feel happy because it also means that you can say what you think even if offends someone else. If you felt that you could never say or do something because someone “might” be offended you would always be looking over your back and you would always err on the side of caution. Is that freedom? Nope.
The “!=” in the title means does not equal in computer speak.
A quicky stream of consciousness post here.
Homeopathy is the practise of using a diluted upon diluted upon diluted upon diluted chemical with the expectation that even though it has been diluted to the point of nothingness the original chemical has transferred its molecular properties to the water. The scientific principles behind it are pretty much non-existent. Well, not pretty much. None at all. Especially when you take into account placebo effects.
Therefore the people who think that homeopathy works must have some faith in the medicine that they are using.
Now faith is a belief that is not based on proof. Exactly what religion is. Therefore you can deduce that is a religion and should be treated as such. Shops such as Holland&Barrett are therefore their temples and should be excluded from business rates and other commercial considerations. They can also use laws against religious hatred to protect them from the ridicule that they get from scientific people.
But then this leads on to other thoughts.
Faith explains why Christians and Muslims and Jews (other religions do exist) believe in their god(s). They have a faith that is based on nothing much more than something which makes them feel good. Some religions use moral superiority as the feel good factor, others use peace and goodwill, whilst others use to explain away all the random acts that nature instills on the world. And because their faith is based on nothingness (just like homeopathy’s nothingness) there is no way you can argue with them to tell them that their belief is stupid and illogical. Nor can you tell them that their faith is wrong and some other faith is the one and true faith.
All that you can do is accept that they have these weird faiths. They should be protected from persecution since physical harm is not to be condoned in any form. Maybe they should be protected from ridicule too, but I don’t think so. If their belief in their faith is strong it will naturally resist all attempts of abuse. Therefore any religious person who demands legal protection by such forms like religious hatred laws is a person who is unsure of their faith. Such people should be helped by their group to better understand their faith. They should not force their religion on others who don’t belive in it. Because asking a person of another faith (or non-faith) to stop the ridicule is basically telling the other person that they have to recognise the faith as something tangible – when it isn’t – it’s based on nothingness. It also requires the other person to acknowledge that the faith of the first person which is pretty much forcing the religion on the other person.
Free speech allows people to speak their mind, which also means people can have weird beliefs. It does not allow people to force their beliefs on others (who might not have any faith or an opposing faith). They can argue and debate, but as part of this give and take, they have to accept that ridicule is part of the debating process.
Ridicule can take on many forms. It can be as simple as jokes. It can also be as complex as the destroying the faith’s principle articles of faith in various manners. So destroying pastilles of Rescue Remedy because you can prove that they don’t actually contain anything other than sugar is just as valid as destroying a book because you can prove that it doesn’t contain any facts. A person who believes in homeopathy shouldn’t care that their precious pills have been shown to contain nothing as that is what they believe in. A person who believes in a god shouldn’t care that a copy of their precious book has been shown to contain nothing of fact as that is what they believe in – non facts.
The world is such a complex place with all manners and forms of faiths being mixed up and forgotten about and created that it is impossible to allow faiths to have any form of protection. It’s not like the past where groups could keep to themselves because there weren’t any forms of easy transportation or communication. Not allowing demonstrations of non faith also means that it could be denying one religion their form of belief. When you have Christians believing that Jesus is the messiah and Jews believing that the messiah hasn’t arrived yet and Muslims believing that Jesus is just a normal person you can see that conflict with religious hatred laws will arise straight off the bat. A Muslim laughing and joking about Jesus not being special could be locked up for religious hatred. A Christian taking the piss out of a Muslim for thinking that Mohammed is special when it should be Jesus could be locked up for religious hatred. A scientist laughing and joking about the Jews belief in the Old Testament could be locked up for religious hatred. In return a scientist should expect to be made a laughing-stock by religious people for thinking that the universe created itself and is made up of strings.
This is what free speech means. The right to be made fun of, to be ridiculed.
So it what longer than a quicky post, but it was a stream of consciousness going from homeopathy to faith to religion to religious hatred to free speech.
What is marriage? Is is a legal form of partnership between two people where their property rights are legally recognised and in which they can take advantage of their tax situation? Or is it a religious ceremony undertaken by two people to show their commitment to each other in front of their peers?
In modern times the two have been mixed up and this is starting to cause friction as human rights are being encouraged to be expressed. Marriage was introduced as a legal concept to allow and man and his wife to share their property with each other and their family. It was also introduced so that the state could decide who were allowed to marry and who weren’t. Originally this was the concensus of the society at the time. Since religion was a key part of society at that time, marriage was defined by relgious concepts and so only a man and woman could marry and they had to be of certain ages. Some places even stipulated that the couple had to have the same skin colour. Some places even try and stop a married couple from having children. Initially there were no problems because the law coincided with society’s views.
As society changed the laws didn’t. So we now get to the situation where marriage laws are tied in with the Christian marriage even though there are many different faiths and concepts accepted by society. Christian marriage doesn’t allow homosexual partnerships but society has changed to accept it.
To understand how to change it we need to understand the purpose of the State and religion. The State’s role is to administer society’s laws. The key points understood by any society is the right to life, the concept of property ownership, the need of a society to defend itself from others, and that no one should harm others. These are the basic tenets under which laws should be created. No more no less. To be able to adminster the state needs some money and it does this through taxes.
The purpose of religion is to allow groups of people to be controlled by authority figures. This is a variation of the caveman principle of tribal leader. This is because the human being is naturally part of a group in which there needs to be a leader. The other purpose of religion is to allow people to understand their world around them in simple terms and to accept such things as unfortunate events as “acts of god”. The human brain is not very good at coming to terms with random events and uses religion as a form of understanding it. Finally religion allows groups of people to define the way they live where they can be with like minded people. Be it with black caps, white towels, shaven heads, long beards, or what ever. Religion needs some money to create the temples and it collects them in the form of taxes and voluntary donations.
Marriage as a legal concept should not be any more than recognising that the couple in the marriage have made a contract to share their property. So any problems arising from breaking these contracts, such as inheritence and the sharing of tax, can be sorted out through a legal system. Generally a country needs a single legal system to ensure that everyone is fairly treated, but that doesn’t presuppose the existence of other legal systems which can be used if both sides of the argument freely care to use it.
Marriage as a religious concept is the understanding that (generally) a man and woman have made a commitment to each other for the rest of their lives. As part of this the relgious group allow the couple to have sex and to procreate to create more adherents to their religion.
Therefore if a couple are not part of a religious group that forbids a particular practise, then the state should not get involved in the marriage. It should allow any form of partnership and ensure that the property laws are upheld. It could mean that legal marriages between siblings are allowed as they show that they wish to make a contract in which their property (usually the home they live in) will be shared. It also means that homosexuals can legally marry to show that they wish to make a contract to share their property.
In both cases, if there are any children in the union (biological, adopted, guardianships, relatives, etc.) their rights are upheld by the state just like any other person. They are also allowed to take advantage of any property rights.
In order for this split in different marriages to take place the best course of action would be for the State to remove itself from the control of marriage. In effect marriage would be privatised and allowed to be administered by which ever group the couple belong to, be that religious or other.