In light of the Niqab debate/Muslims and Western Culture thread, I'm curious to ask but I'm not really sure if it should be asked in the relative threads, or if it should be in it's own thread itself. I apologize to the mods beforehand though, and my apologies for any inconvience caused.
I'm curious as to know why we allow or think it's more reasonable to allow religious people certain rights to do or say things that we normally wouldn't appreciate from others who aren't. For example, as I mentioned before in the Niqab thread, a motorcyclist must remove his helmet before entering a shop as it poses a inconvenience to facial recognition. Yet, it's deemed perfectly acceptable for a muslim woman to completely cover up and enter that same shop, even though she's doing the exact same thing as the motorcyclist by covering her face up. The only reason for such exemption is simply on the grounds for religious purposes only, but personally, I find this unacceptable, as if a law is passed by the Government, then everybody should follow it, religious or not and no special cases allowed.
Is that really so repulsive and unacceptable to ask? I'm sure most people would agree it's unacceptable to allow somebody to be let off from paying taxes if it was considered 'against a person's religious rights' to pay taxes, so why are other situations thought upon so differently? This is only one example I've used for one question, and I'm happy to discuss with anyone for any debate, but this is my personal opinion so please don't attack me for it.
My only question is this:
If a country passes a law that may conflict with a person's religion, should they be exempt from the law simply on the grounds of religion only?
In my opinion, the government should only make a law in the first place if it is designed to protect a large number of people, and not for any sort of frivolous reasons.
For example, I know a lot of Native American tribes are allowed to use drugs that are otherwise illegal in many sorts of religious ceremonies. The only thing you can do with a drug is affect your own perception of things, so I think the government shouldn't have any sort of involvement in that sort of affair at all.
But in other cases that affect other people, the safety of other people should always win out. If some church in the middle of a huge crowded city says that the can only make their building out of wood soaked in lighter fluid, they should either be forced to build out of some sort of rock or tossed out into the middle of the woods.
For example, some religious groups insist upon not allowing modern medical techniques to be used on their children and so won't allow their children to receive critical shots for deadly diseases that are mandated by the government. In that case, there's a serious risk of them spreading any horrible diseases they get to other people who are both citizens of the US or someplace else, so they should be forced to get the shot or not be allowed to leave the country.
And any religious member that says "lol, I have the full religious right to drink and drive all I want!" or something equally retarded should just be punched in the face. :/
I think that relegion is a farce, so the case where the children are killed because of the views of the parents makes me angry. However, I am a bit of an anarchist, so I don't think that the government should be able to tell us what to do anyways. So now I've just confused myself.
The government shouldn't play God. Though God shouldn't stop a reasonable law.
Normally when religion gets in the way of a law and/ or government. The government or law is bad anyway. For example, if Cult X said that going to school will send you to hell. They should not be allowed to ditch school by those means alone. But, If the Methodists thought that alcohol was horrible (as they traditionally did), but the government passed a law which made it so that you had to have a certain amount of alcohol in you. That's just stupid (though it'd be ****ing awesome).
Well to a modern day aplication. Germany's ban of niqabs in schools is understandable. Though, a bit prejudice. Britain's ban on Catholic Monarchs is discrimination (though, they should have a ban on Monarchs all together).
Religion should never justify the removal of inalienable rights such as the right to life, property, and liberty (of behavior), as well as the freedom to believe as one chooses. The institution of "religious morality" and "sin" exist as a behavior code, and no one need be forced to accept them. Their judgment after death is their responsibility alone.
Law should not restrict religion except in such cases described above.
Well, obviously, in those cases, I'd restrict its use unless a person does it in complete isolation, since then it becomes a public health risk and not just a risk for the drug user.
But for things like peyote and marijuana, there's no reason why they should be restricted unless such a public health risk can be proven without a doubt.
So you're saying that some people aren't part of the public? There are actually reasons why drug use is illegal in the first place, and most of those involve it being dangerous to the one who uses it. That's right, the government tries to protect people, even if it is from themselves. I don't think that Native Americans should be able to cause harm to themselves because of their culture for another reason, though: if it is their religion, and they have kids, then they would carry on their rituals through their kids, forcing harm on them, too. If the practiced is stopped at any point, no one else would be hurt.
No religion should have special rights from the law. That would just be silly: anyone could make a religion where not only do they get followers to do drugs, but to disrespect countless other laws as well.
Of course, there shouldn't be laws that restrict religion in general, just religious practices that are against former laws put up to protect the public in the first place.
If somebody wants to harm themselves, they're more than welcome to, in my opinion. The body is somebody's own private property, not some sort of temple that it's everyone's duty to keep in tip-top shape.
I think drug laws that aren't made for the wellbeing of other people besides the drug users are utterly retarded. People have the right to do whatever they want with their own bodies, and if they want to do something that I personally consider stupid with it, so be it.
A child is more than free to engage in whatever activities it wants to, and if a child ever felt coerced into doing anything reasonably harmful that it didn't want to, then social services should step in and handle the matter civilly. :O
If somebody wants to harm themselves, they're more than welcome to, in my opinion.
Every living human being is an asset to someone else. Whether that person has rights or not, a person's health is a liability to everyone he or she has any responsibility towards. When I own a company, my workers don't get to engage in certain activities if they may have a negative impact on their ability to work (i.e., self-harm, drug/alcohol abuse, etc.). Can a government not say the same for its citizens?
Not every human being is an asset to someone else, and even if they are it's impossible to properly judge the economics of life on such a large scale. Is a person worth the tonnes and tonnes of food they will eat in their life? Are they worth the education that the state pays for for them? Are they worth the cost of providing them with welfare money? What chance does a person have of becoming a new Hitler? If that chance is high, should the government not protect them because they will ultimately detract from society?
The state doesn't play phrenology and economics with its members, as well it shouldn't. If a person feels that they will be better off dead or feel that their life will be more valuable if they take all of their remaining money and blow it on heroin, so be it. It's their property, it's their life, and they should be able to do with it as they please. After all, government exists to protect the *people*, but if a person doesn't want to be protected they should be simply be left alone.
The day that the state starts enforcing this sort of behavior on a large scale is the day when we'll all have government-assigned jobs and get a career chip installed into our hand at the age of three. :/
Andi- do you do drugs? I am asking this as a serious question, because it seems that most people who oppose drug laws use them themselves.
But this is getting off-topic. Someone should make another post on whether drug laws are good or bad. I'm not even going to argue with your last post, because I find it so utterly ridiculous that I would end up rambling on and on about it.
This topic is about whether religion should get special privileges from law, though. The thing is, children's opinions form young and greatly depend on those of the ones who raise them, so the chances are that if the parents do something harmful, such as doing drugs, as a result of their religion, then so will the kids, thus causing harm outside of the individual. No one should be "above the law", and if a law doesn't make sense and restricts religion, people should deal with that law to make it not a law. It seems to be of no question, though, that religion shouldn't allow illegal actions that could cause harm to others. So there's no need for argument there.
I bought a pack of cigarettes two weeks ago, and have about half of it left after one of the most hectic periods in my life.
I had about 1/3 a bottle of my family's best merlot during that same two-week period. :/ Bah, stress sucks.
I haven't had any medication, except for some Claritin and aspirin I took when I started getting a really bad sinus infection about a month ago...
I last had pot about 3 months ago, but only because I was staying at someone's house and I'd feel bad if I didn't take it when they offered it repeatedly. Inhaled twice, and then just continued passing it around. Personally, I find the stuff to be utterly boring and a good solid waste of both time and money. Before that, I had it four times to figure out what the stuff was like - the first time I was at a party and didn't get high, the second time was when I was out with one of my friends trolloping around the city of Boston. He had most of it, though, because I was in charge of navigation and was afraid that if I got high I wouldn't be able to navigate. My third time was actually fairly isolated and when I figured out that I probably wouldn't enjoy getting high again, and the fourth time was confirmation of that fact.
About... eight months ago, I tried hallucinogenic mushrooms for the first time. And honestly, those were pretty cool. They completely affected my perception and made for a pretty darn cool time. They didn't create the awkward silence and inane giggling effect of pot, but still made you perceive things differently. I'd try them again, but I'd need a day to recover from the trip so they're not really worth the hassle and effort to get.
I had 2C-I once, but was also drunk at the time so I can't really confirm what I thought of it on its own. Haven't been enamored with the idea of trying it again, though.
I got Oxycodone when I got all four of my wisdom teeth out, but the pain that I experienced after the operation was minimal, so I just held onto them. But when the liquid stitches I had put in started poking into my newly-healing gums, I popped a few Oxy, waited for the high to kick in, and just used my tongue to rip the stitches out. I've got the rest in my house, in case someone in my family randomly breaks their leg or something and needs something to dull the pain. Found the high to be more of a "numbing" process, and it did nothing but make me selfish and horny. :/
All in all, I'd say that I'm open to drugs, but don't really do any of them on a recreational or regular basis. I tend to do them as more of an academic experience than anything else, just to see what the big fuss is all about.
And honestly, I don't think this is getting off-topic. Lex asked if the state was under an obligation to protect a person from an activity that they voluntary chose to engage in and which couldn't possibly harm another human being. One could definitely look and see that a lot of religious ceremonies fall into this category. Exorcisms, religious drug use, and self-mutilation/suicide are all encouraged by some religions, and many governments have rules against two, if not all three, of these things. :O
I understand where you're coming from, andi, I just wanted to add one thing: People who become Hitlers suffer from and exercise a lack of regard for human wellbeing regardless of the law. Whether the law protects these people or not is highly irrelevant; if we were to punish people for the choices they 'could' make, then none of us would have any rights or protection.
. Yes, that is my definition of a "drug user". The amount of people you know that do drugs is way more than me, so this "Fitchburg, MA" area must no be too...drugless. Heck, I haven't even heard of some of the drugs you mentioned. But, don't you already see what one single person doing drugs can do? It leads to everyone they know being pressured into it, like you. Just because (as far as I know) you haven't seen the negative effects of drugs yet doesn't mean you won't. Religious drug use takes a new extreme- it makes people have to do drugs, making them almost certainly see the negative effects- addiction, impaired organs, memory loss, destruction of the brain, etc.
On a side note, did your school even have a drug-education program like I thought all did? What I'm asking is, do you not know what drugs can do to you, do you not care, or do you not believe it?
Yes, my school *did* have a drug education program. In fact, I was the valedictorian of my D.A.R.E. class and got a $50 savings bond for writing an essay about how much recreational drug use detracts from a person's life.
Second of all, you have no clue how many people I know who use/have used drugs, and unless you're a very sheltered 12 year old boy odds are that a lot of people YOU know have tried/currently use drugs and you simply aren't aware of it. I mean, come on, you haven't heard of Oxy or Shrooms? I learned about those when I was 13, and most other drugs by the time I was 11.
I was never pressured into drugs - I used pot by choice, and always had. As part of a guest/host relationship, I decided to use pot as a sign of acceptance of my host's hospitality. I didn't get high from it - I took a very small amount as a sign of good will and then let others continue as they please.
I know perfectly well what drugs can do to me, and in fact probably know their effects far better than *you* do. With a complete lack of first-hand experience with any drug and a reaction at the mere mention of drugs to a degree that I've only seen before in a crowd of angry M.A.D.D. members, it wouldn't surprise me at all if you thought that pot filled you with an insatiable urge to drink the blood of Christian babies.
Honestly, your apparent horror at something that you don't seem to understand seems entirely unjustified and simply juvenile to me. Please get some *facts* before you start throwing around accusations and assuming that any person in any sort of setting only do drugs simply because they feel they "have" to.
Noscreenname, andi, this isn't the thread to be discussing recreational drug use. Feel free to start a new one, though, since this could very well be an interesting discussion and, while similar to another thread, is different enough to warrant it's own.
Getting back on topic, the American Constitution stresses strongly its separation of church and state, I believe, which draws itself away from religious practices being an annoyance to its people. I strongly agree with the philosophy of separation of church and state, but in some instances it does draw the government away from some issues that they do not wish to touch, like the example given in the first post.