Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[politics] Freedom of religion (a followup)

A followup of mine from a discussion in comments on this morning's evolution soapbox post (edited slightly for clarity):

I don't object in the slightest to religious belief...I see it as a powerful need in the human mind, and a powerful force in the human character. Secularism, and more to the point, frank atheism, seems to be far more the exception than the norm for people.

To my view, it takes a certain kind of courage to reject the comfort of a spiritual framework, but I'll be the first to admit that's a self-serving assertion since it casts me in a positive light.

My objection isn't to belief or the need for belief either one. If anything, I'm a borderline radical on defending First Amendment protections for freedom of religion.

The issue for me, profoundly, is how people project their beliefs onto others who stand outside their community of faith. Freedom
of religion must mean freedom from religion.

How can be it be otherwise? Else minor or unpopular faiths would be overwhelmed by whatever the majority in that time and place believe.

Likewise the social commons needs to be free of dogma. Some questions necessitate an ethical perspective, even from secularists like me. For persons of faith, that ethical perspective arises from the tenets of their faith. A relatively noncontroversial example of this is right-to-die and related end-of-life issues.

Teaching good basic science in the public schools isn't an ethical question. I suppose that's a rephrase of my core argument here.
Tags: personal, politics, religion

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