Religius freedom or minority "dictatorship"?

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Foinikas, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. random

    random Member

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    1st - it is good, Religious is like brainwashing , the less people have it, more good.

    I do agree that religious, had done great thing in past. After the reforms ( done in the begging of so called "new times" ) have done some wonderful things, probably even saved man kind.

    But in nowadays , it is same as in middle age - Religious is used to control masses, to control people.
    So i have to agree, that icons and etc object of religious , has to be banned from public space.
     
  2. Warlock Lord

    Warlock Lord I am a Fashion Statement

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    Although I agree with alot of what you said, I dont agree that it is a plausible reason to ban religious symbols from schools. I dont think that just because you hold the belief that religion is a form of brainwashing, that a government should in turn side with your belief and disregard that of others. In this case, I think a government needs to be extremely neutral, and the only plausible way to do this is to remain totaly secular. Regardless of the country's history, tradition, the beliefs of the majority or that of the minority.

    Also Foin, just so your absolutely clear, it was in fact an italian mother who brought this issue to the courts not because she believed in a different religion but because she wanted her daughter to have a completely secular education.


    I dont think this is some form of contest between an indivuals right from religion and that of a schools right to religion or for that matter another individuals right to religion. You must also realise that the ruling was in favour of taking down religious symbols from all public buildings, not just schools. I think the real issue here, is whether or not the structural embodyment of our society chooses to define themselves in support of a particular belief and therefore fundamentally 'excommunicating' for lack of a better word, many of its own people.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  3. random

    random Member

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    I think it is .. Why? because we can use religious as excuse.
    AS example : Do homework - no it is against my Religious?

    but fro mother hand - It is good to keep icons and ect religious simbols - because most of the religious people dont do crime and etc bad think in from of them.
     
  4. Trueface

    Trueface New Member

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    From the outset, schools should be places where there is no bias to any wide cultural or religious view, even though this can often not be avoided. This is not a restriction on expression, but the provision that places of learning should typically be unbias, or as unbias as it is possible to be. At least, this is how I see it. I see striving for an unbias system as beneficial to the majority, and in respect of diversity.

    However, I would also ideally enjoy the concept of frank and open discussion of religion, and other subjects of the like which consistently aren't spoken of, out of a desire 'not to offend'. Ideally in my mind a school should be both secular and open; open to the free discussion of religious ideas and more importantly, open to questioning. Back when I was in high school, I remember an amazing teacher who could get students forming their own, productive debates. And no subject was really off limits for discussion, either.
     
  5. Lexy

    Lexy New Member

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    I'm going to slightly skew this, because I didn't get the impression that the initial post was specifically asking the debate to be about that particular ruling.

    So. Religion in schools. Schools run/paid for by the government: NO NO NO NO NO. Inappropriate, for the reasons of secular government, etc. However, I see no problem in the school offering world religions courses, as those are both informative and open to all belief systems. It would be completely unreasonable for a public school (not sure what it would be called exactly in the EU, I'm in the cold cold north of a different seizmic plate) to have prayer in classes, or church services of one particular kind, even if they do allow the people not of that religion to be excused from it.

    There are, however, schools (at least, where i'm from) that are specifically Catholic (i think there might even be a few muslim elementary schools, but i'm not 100% on that. They're not saying, "you have to be catholic to be here" (though they used to, and i think they'd like to), but they are saying, "if you choose to attend this school, you will be required to take Catholic religion courses, and there will be a cross in all the rooms, and there will be religious services here. Some of the schools offer the non-catholics the chance to not participate in those services, others dont. But you make a conscious decision as a non-catholic, to attend that school - I did... but that was more because the other schools i had the option of were either full of gangs or uber far away.

    I'm going to side with 'the ruling was right'. I'm not saying get rid of religion, i'm just saying, let people decide how to put religion in their own children's lives, rather than forcing it on the children (and on the parents) through schooling.

    But hey, what do i know? i'm just a hethen, so my view of religion as a whole is skewed
     
  6. Emphyrio

    Emphyrio New Member

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    State-run schools should have no religious symbolism in the interest of equality. Schools which are specifically run in a certain faith should be allowed to have their relevant icons in their classrooms, to hold services etc. Most schools here in Ireland are run by Catholic religious orders, and there's no legal ruling whihc prevents them from having icons in classrooms. People of other faiths often enter these schools by choice. They are not exempt from classes or services, they simply dont have to believe in what their participating in.
     
  7. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    On the topic of banning religious symbols...

    What the hell am I to make of this? :(
     
  8. Warlock Lord

    Warlock Lord I am a Fashion Statement

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    We are talking about banning religious symbols in government funded buildings. That article isnt really relevant to that.

    However, it does seem to be a classic case of majority dictatorship.
     
  9. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Well, not every news item deserves a new thread, realistically ;)

    But it has to be said that the gouvernment facilitates public space to build in. And, even worse then forcing a neutral stance, this is discrimination on religion; a business the gouvernment needs to keep its nose out of to begin with.

    Noticably, the gouvernment was against the ban. But voters decided differently in a referendum. It's all very weird - and unconstitutional in most countries I know of. And they get away with it; simply because they are still outside the EU zone.
     
  10. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    It's not majority dictatorship,it's pure logic.I can't go to a muslim state and complain about the religious items or prayer on their public buildings or schools.Just like they can't come to a Christian country like Greece,Russia,Italy,Serbia,Romania....Spain too maybe....and demand crosses and icons to be taken off the walls.

    That is not logical,rude and it definetely is a kind of "minority dictatorship".

    All these new "instructions of how to live united" from EU are kind of suspicious....
     
  11. Rob Darken

    Rob Darken New Member

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    The Swiss dont like minarets on their skylines?

    I like this quote
    "It's a message that you are not welcome here as true citizens of this society."
    It is not like their religious beliefs are being supressed, just a feature on their buildings.
    I always thought faith survived without the trappings of granduer such large pointless buildings like Churches, Synagogues, Temples etc provided. Better to build shelter for the homeless or Hospital and let people worship at home in my eyes.
    I can understand the Swiss point of view that they want to retain their way of life, and not cater for others. If you move to another country you should be willing to integrate into their way of life, not try to change their way of life to suit yours.
    I am sure that if I wanted to build a Synagogue in a country governed by Sharia law, I probably would be stoned or similar.
    At the end of the day, the people of Switzerland have spoken and democracy has prevailed.
    There always will be a minority that misses out somewhat however as the democratic system is not perfect, but until a magical spaceship takes us all away to Utopia, thats the way it will be.
     
  12. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    *hugs*

    Honey, I think you missed the article I posted :) It's linked where it says "this" in my last post ;)

    Evidently :p

    I think it's unfair to say that all people are to be expected to worship at home. Usually, these things are funded with private money - and people get to do whatever they want to do with private money. Even if there's a Saudi Sheikh donating a mosque. It's his money regardless.

    As to the message; it's beyond me how people cannot be accepted as "true citizens" in an open society. If religious choice brands people as denizens, then there's bound to be something wrong with your consitution.

    Minarets have very little to do with forcing a way of life upon anyone. It's just standing there - actually using it (to raise for priars) is not allowed in Switzerland, as far as I am aware. And I fully agree that an immigrant should comply to the laws of their new home nation. But every single person should be given the liberty to install their lives within these boundries. If this is not the case, one should conclude that this is an unfree nation. Beyond that, limiting the lives and choices of people of different persuasions counts as discrimination, at least on a semantic level. I cannot stand for that.

    Well, one is fully able to open a synagogue in at least one Sha'ria nation that I am aware of. You are talking about dictatorships which wouldn't stand for that. There's a difference...

    Yes. I agree. The will of the people has prevailed. But the liberal democracy was sacrificed. I am, of course, to trust the beneficial ways of the Democratic Experiment, as outlined by Berlin - but still, a democratic gouvernment has the duty to protect minorities from the majority. And, in this instance, the Swiss gouvernment failed in that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  13. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    I wanted to make a small comment now that I read this part :p

    There was big talk here a few years ago about building a big and i assume majestic perhaps mosque and center of islamic studies in Athens.The area where they(don't know who's they actually but the ones who wanted to build it maybe?)was right opposite a big airport somewhere in Attica and Saudi Arabia was willing or was going to,fund everything.They were planning to build a 50 meters-high minaret.And people argued that if it was build after all,the first thing the tourists who came to Greece would see,would be a big mosque with a tall minaret.So that caused some negative feelings.

    That's not the only thing I wanted to say,the other thing is that Saudi Arabia was paying for everything and if you do some research you'll see that Saudi Arabia gives lots of money to fund mosques and islamic buildings in various parts of the world,for example Bosnia.

    However,in Saudi Arabia proper........no church,temple and synagogue...no non-muslim religious building is allowed to exist and practicing religion(non-muslim)outside one's house is forbidden.

    Of course someone like Warlock Lord(who mentioned it earlier)or someone else would tell me "We are not like them,we are Europeans etc." but since when should we always play "super-civilized" when others just ignore our "good manners" and "open-mindnessness" (lol on that word :p)???

    And to whine a bit more on this to make you understand the difference on way of thinking in Eastern Europe and most specifically southeastern europe,my city was freed from the Turks in 1912.If you see an old card-postale photo of it,it was full of minarets.What do I mean,people in the Balkans(and Russia,Armenia)fought bloody wars even until the late
    1920s to get the muslim(turkish muslim mostly)oppression off them and now through "civilized laws" have to get back to a way of "re-islamization" of their cities and countries?

    It might sound weird or racist to the West,but it makes sense in Eastern Europe.

    I mean,bloody wars were fought to raise the Cross again and now some laws forbid a nation that fought for centuries to keep that Cross raised,from keeping it in that place,as a symbol of that nation?

    Things for Western Europeans to ponder..... :rolleyes:
     
  14. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    lol. Why was this heritage destroyed? ;)

    Sorry, we won't agree on this subject, will we :)

    Apparently, the Turks did not leave you the freedom to maintain (open?) Christianity. And this should be viewed as a form of oppression. And, while I am to understand that causes wounds and grudge, returning the favour is the least civilized way to repay. In stead, the Grudge will now be transferred to those muslims who undoubtably still live in the area.

    It seems that you are of the opinion that barbarians are to be repayed with barbarian measures. This is, of course, the way to perpetuate conflict. At long last, either of the party should start acting responsible. And the people who do are often favoured and honoured by history.

    The only way to ascend barbarianism is to treat all people equal. This is the true essence of the Liberal Democracy.
     
  15. ScreenXSurfer

    ScreenXSurfer Better Than You

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    I don't see what's wrong with banning religious symbols from public buildings. It does not deny people's rights.
     
  16. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Well to reply to your post:

    1.Most of the minarets were taken down because they were part of churches converted to mosques(don't know how many were converted though)and probably to de-islamize Thessaloniki finally.One tall minaret remains,which is next to the Rotonda,the church of Saint George.And is of course preserved as a historical monument.
    2.Most of the muslims who are NOT immigrants,consist of the minority of Thrace(geographically Western Thrace,since Eastern Thrace is in Turkey)where they make up the muslim minority of Greece.Pomaks and muslims of Turkish decent or simply greek muslims or gypsy muslims,they have many mosques up there and they live normally.
    3.Well...no it's not a matter of barbarism.Let's forget Saudi Arabia and and other muslim countries and take Turkey as an example on this matter,ok?

    They talk about Greece not respecting the muslim minority(or Turkish minority as they call it although many of the muslims of Thrace recognize themselves as greek muslims)however they still do absolutely nothing in return.They still have Agia-Sofia,a very important orthodox christian landmark and a symbol of Byzantium,in a museum status,they even provoke by having fashion events and orchestra performances in Saint Irini's church next to Agia Sofia,they still have many churches closed or converted into mosques,they have the Theological School of Halki closed as well.

    I mean,it's all ask ask ask and nothing in return.

    Being civilized doesn't mean that you also have to be a "sucker".Right?
     
  17. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Sorry, Foin. Saudi Arabia as a nation can't be taken serious. It's a dictatorship. You can't expect it to compare to Greece. At least, I hope you can't compare it to Greece...

    Turkey, on the other hand, is closer to reason when it comes to that. Until very shortly, religious symbols in school were forbidden in Turkey. (Did you agree with the AK for turning over that law btw?) They WANT to abide by the Western rules - but are torn between that and the east.

    In the mean time, I haven't seen Greece seeking out diplomatic approach to Turkey to try and solve the matters in a satisfactory way. Open debate is almost always the best solution, or so I believe. Now, I know that there is an age-old grudge between the two. But Greece and Turkey will remain each others neighbors for ages to come. They might as well make the best of it, no?

    I did hear you say "they" a lot in the post above. What about "we", though?
     
  18. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Yes well the "we" comes when we as the government(set the people aside for a second)do everything to approach Turkey in a much more friendly,a much more co-european friend way.Our governments have been supporting the entrance of Turkey in the European Union strongly,we have been trying to resolve serious national matters with them such as the Cyprus matter,the grey zones in the Aegean,various problems in Constantinople and other stuff diplomatically of course,however there is very little will from behalf of Turkey to resolve these effectively.It's as if they try to "stall" everything.To.... constantly ignore or postpone all that.

    We have even changed our history school books so much(in order not to be called racists or militarist or something)at the point of them reaching "traitorous" status and causing an outrage throughout the country,while Turkey does little on that matter.

    Turkey on the other hand is torn between probably 3-4 different views.The first one is the islamic one and as you know people of eastern Turkey are mostly of that view,they would like Turkey to become more of muslim country like it used to be during the Ottoman times.Then there is the strong secular side with the army and generals being the protectors of Ataturks secular country,the pro-Europeans if we can actually call them this way...lol.And there is of course a part of the Pan-Turkist nationalists who go all the way back to the "big Turan" view who see Turkey as the leader of a united "Big Turan" from modern Turkey up to the Uyghur area of China.

    Recently there is also a new side of the "neo-Ottomanism" which is about Turkey assuming the role of a "heritage" protector and "helper" of the Balkan countries who used to have strong Ottoman presence and are willing to cooperate with Turkey more,like Bosnia,Albania,Skopje(FYROM)and other countries to the East too.


    Now concerning Saudi Arabia,considering it a dictatorship I don't know,I personally don't like it but I've heard from moderate muslims that it's an ok muslim country.So it's a question of how much the muslims themselves consider it a dictatorship too.

    And then again,we should not do more and more for muslim(or other)minorities in our countries if we don't see the other countries do something for our minorities as well.I think that's logical too.

    Because they can't demand things from us while they do nothing for us.

    And I think if Turkey wants to return religious symbols to their schools,they have the right to do it,because it's a muslim country(no matter if it's a secular state or not)and whether we like it or not,it's their decision to have religious symbols or prayer at their schools or public buildings.But they can't do that in private schools of other religions,right?
     
  19. Window Bar

    Window Bar "We Read for Light"

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    This is a tough one, and it goes to very heart of what we mean by freedom. To allow massive immigration of those who would introduce totalitarian religious regimes if ever they achieved power here .... whoa!

    And yet most immigrant Muslims come here because they are fleeing such regimes. Arghh! Try to formulate national policy around that! The Swiss vote is not bigotry, it is conservatism in the old sense: where one stands by what one has, rather than taking a chance with the new.

    As a kind of non-institutional Taoist, I would treasure freedom FROM religion.
     
  20. A Soul So Dark

    A Soul So Dark Advocatus Diaboli

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    Superstition has no place in education. Nor 'beliefs'. I believed lots of things when I was growing up, but that doesn't make those beliefs credible or worthy of study. Most of the problems we face in this world stem from the uneducated and credulous. Teach children facts in school. When they leave they're entitled to take up with whatever blood-cults take their fancy. The state shouldn't support or give credence to every fantasy a parent wishes to imprint on their child.
     
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