The US 1st Amendment and Baby-Eating

Two hot topics for the price of one

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 2117
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 671 times
Been thanked: 407 times

The US 1st Amendment and Baby-Eating

Post #1

Post by Purple Knight »

Does the First Amendment allow baby-eating? Because I don't see a clause that it allows religious freedom as long as it doesn't hurt anybody else or break any other laws. I see a blanket statement about the government leaving the religious alone to do entirely whatever they like. If the law prohibits freedom of religion, they can't make it. On the other hand, the bit that outlines the right to freedom of assembly does indicate it has to be peaceful. I see nothing like that in the bit about freedom of religion.

User avatar
historia
Guru
Posts: 2041
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 6:41 pm
Has thanked: 107 times
Been thanked: 150 times

Re: The US 1st Amendment and Baby-Eating

Post #2

Post by historia »

Purple Knight wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:34 am
Does the First Amendment allow baby-eating?
No, because that would violate the rights of the baby.

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 2117
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 671 times
Been thanked: 407 times

Re: The US 1st Amendment and Baby-Eating

Post #3

Post by Purple Knight »

historia wrote: Tue Jun 29, 2021 10:38 am
Purple Knight wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:34 am
Does the First Amendment allow baby-eating?
No, because that would violate the rights of the baby.
This, I find to be a circular argument. The Bill of Rights enumerates rights. Religious liberty is also a right. One might as well say that standing up for the baby's right to life and preventing the religious strawman (which I admit this is) from eating it violates the rights of the religious strawman.

If you can never have a right that violates another right, there's still no reason to discard the rights of the religious strawman to eat it before simply discarding the rights of the baby.

This is the libertarian argument. They'll go into a little more detail and say negative rights that prevent the actions of others come first and that positive rights that allow actions either come later or don't exist at all, but it's easy to see that in the defence of a right, it is necessary for every right to be positive and allow actions. The baby (or its guardians) must have the right to push the religious strawman away when he tries to eat the baby. And now, plainly, which of these rights allow actions and which one prevents actions falls back on which you think is the superior right to begin with: Person, or religious liberty.

Anything you say in this vein can be rephrased to simply defend the opposite right.

No, the baby doesn't have the right to stay alive, because that would violate the rights of the religious strawman.

My reason for constructing this strawman is not to malign the religious but to show that being reasonable, as the vast majority of them are, is their choice. If they choose not to be, the law must shield them. In fact, I'm not sure why religious terrorists who take lives don't try to use the First Amendment as a defence.

The general wisdom of the limitations of the First Amendment seem to be, in practice, that you can break other laws but you can't directly harm or kill anyone else. I'm really not sure why. Again, when the right to protest is outlined, it specifies it has to be peaceful. If other rights really stand naturally in the way of the First Amendment rights without specification, this caveat wouldn't need to be added. The right to protest would naturally be limited by the rights of others.

User avatar
historia
Guru
Posts: 2041
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 6:41 pm
Has thanked: 107 times
Been thanked: 150 times

Re: The US 1st Amendment and Baby-Eating

Post #4

Post by historia »

Purple Knight wrote: Wed Jun 30, 2021 3:14 pm
historia wrote: Tue Jun 29, 2021 10:38 am
Purple Knight wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:34 am
Does the First Amendment allow baby-eating?
No, because that would violate the rights of the baby.
This, I find to be a circular argument.
Whatever you make of my argument, it's clearly not circular.

Look, this really isn't that complicated. The Courts have consistently ruled that, while the Constitution supports the absolute right for Americans to hold whatever religious beliefs they like, the government has the authority to proscribe religious conduct when it has a compelling interest to do so.

And there is no question it would have a compelling interest to do so in the example you've given. So one's right to religious liberty under the First Amendment simply does not grant you the freedom to kill and eat a baby.

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 2117
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 671 times
Been thanked: 407 times

Re: The US 1st Amendment and Baby-Eating

Post #5

Post by Purple Knight »

historia wrote: Wed Jun 30, 2021 4:12 pmLook, this really isn't that complicated. The Courts have consistently ruled that, while the Constitution supports the absolute right for Americans to hold whatever religious beliefs they like, the government has the authority to proscribe religious conduct when it has a compelling interest to do so.
During Prohibition, Catholics were allowed to have their little sips of communion wine. Reference: https://www.prohibitiontours.com/religious-exemptions/

Jews may kill chickens in the street during kaporos whatever the health codes are. Reference: https://theirturn.net/2017/10/06/kaporo ... -massacre/

Clearly, religious people may break the other laws. That is how the First Amendment is interpreted. I just don't see why it should fall short of baby-eating except for applying common sense exceptions to the First Amendment.

User avatar
historia
Guru
Posts: 2041
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 6:41 pm
Has thanked: 107 times
Been thanked: 150 times

Re: The US 1st Amendment and Baby-Eating

Post #6

Post by historia »

Purple Knight wrote: Thu Jul 01, 2021 4:10 pm
historia wrote: Wed Jun 30, 2021 4:12 pm
Look, this really isn't that complicated. The Courts have consistently ruled that, while the Constitution supports the absolute right for Americans to hold whatever religious beliefs they like, the government has the authority to proscribe religious conduct when it has a compelling interest to do so.
During Prohibition, Catholics were allowed to have their little sips of communion wine. Reference: https://www.prohibitiontours.com/religious-exemptions/

Jews may kill chickens in the street during kaporos whatever the health codes are. Reference: https://theirturn.net/2017/10/06/kaporo ... -massacre/

Clearly, religious people may break the other laws. That is how the First Amendment is interpreted.
Yes, but, as I said, if the government has a compelling reason to proscribe a religious practice, it can do so.

The government has a compelling reason to prevent the killing of babies, while it has no compelling reason to stop these other practices.
Purple Knight wrote: Thu Jul 01, 2021 4:10 pm
I just don't see why it should fall short of baby-eating except for applying common sense exceptions to the First Amendment.
I'm not sure why you find this perplexing. The First Amendment has never been understood as allowing any and all conduct.

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 2117
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 671 times
Been thanked: 407 times

Re: The US 1st Amendment and Baby-Eating

Post #7

Post by Purple Knight »

historia wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 1:36 pmYes, but, as I said, if the government has a compelling reason to proscribe a religious practice, it can do so.

The government has a compelling reason to prevent the killing of babies, while it has no compelling reason to stop these other practices.
Then it had no reason to make the health codes preventing slaughtering of chickens in the street in the first place.

User avatar
historia
Guru
Posts: 2041
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 6:41 pm
Has thanked: 107 times
Been thanked: 150 times

Re: The US 1st Amendment and Baby-Eating

Post #8

Post by historia »

Purple Knight wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 3:15 pm
historia wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 1:36 pm
Yes, but, as I said, if the government has a compelling reason to proscribe a religious practice, it can do so.

The government has a compelling reason to prevent the killing of babies, while it has no compelling reason to stop these other practices.
Then it had no reason to make the health codes preventing slaughtering of chickens in the street in the first place.
No, clearly the government has a compelling reason to implement health codes for public health. But the government also has the right to accommodate reasonable exceptions to those codes for religious liberty. And it's up to the courts to adjudicate which exceptions are reasonable and which are not.

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 2117
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 671 times
Been thanked: 407 times

Re: The US 1st Amendment and Baby-Eating

Post #9

Post by Purple Knight »

historia wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 3:41 pm
Purple Knight wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 3:15 pm
historia wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 1:36 pm
Yes, but, as I said, if the government has a compelling reason to proscribe a religious practice, it can do so.

The government has a compelling reason to prevent the killing of babies, while it has no compelling reason to stop these other practices.
Then it had no reason to make the health codes preventing slaughtering of chickens in the street in the first place.
No, clearly the government has a compelling reason to implement health codes for public health. But the government also has the right to accommodate reasonable exceptions to those codes for religious liberty. And it's up to the courts to adjudicate which exceptions are reasonable and which are not.
So this was my point. Even when the government does have a compelling reason, they can choose the First Amendment instead. The First Amendment has been chosen over a compelling reason for the law to exist. In light of that, the government can choose to allow religious baby eating. That defeats the point of any and all constitutional protections of rights. They may also choose not to do so, but that's just something we need to be grateful for.

User avatar
historia
Guru
Posts: 2041
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 6:41 pm
Has thanked: 107 times
Been thanked: 150 times

Re: The US 1st Amendment and Baby-Eating

Post #10

Post by historia »

Purple Knight wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 10:49 pm
That defeats the point of any and all constitutional protections of rights.
It seems to me this rather hasty conclusion is predicated on the assumption that rights are absolute.

But, historically, the courts have recognized that the rights enumerated in the Constitution can, and sometimes do, come into conflict with each other, and so cannot be absolute. In those cases, it's up to the courts to find reasonable accommodations and exceptions.

Post Reply