Freedom FROM or OF religion

Argue for and against Christianity

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nobspeople
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Freedom FROM or OF religion

Post #1

Post by nobspeople »

Thanks to TRANSPONDER for the suggestion of starting another thread.
:applaud:
'Freedom of religion does not mean freedom From religion'
Is this true? If true, should it be? If it's not, why isn't it true?
For discussion:
Should those that choose NOT to participate in religion be forced to live by the rules of one certain religion?
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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Re: Freedom FROM or OF religion

Post #11

Post by Athetotheist »

historia wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 7:25 pm
nobspeople wrote: Tue Dec 28, 2021 2:25 pm
Thanks to TRANSPONDER for the suggestion of starting another thread.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Tue Dec 28, 2021 2:11 pm
Freedom of religion does not mean freedom From religion
Athetotheist wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 8:54 am
The quote above is popular among Fundamentalist Christians.
So, one of my pet peevs is when participants here start a thread by briefly summarizing some idea that they disagree with and then inviting others to critique it. It seems to me the likelihood that we all just end up strawmanning the idea is quite high.

Instead, I think it's better to always quote someone who actually holds the idea -- and, better still, to link to an article where that person is arguing in favor of the idea -- so we can actually understand what, exactly, the idea entails.

Perhaps nobspeople, TRANSPONDER or Athetotheist can provide the rest of us such a link?
This isn't an example of an argument in favor, but it is an example about arguments in favor:

https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separa ... us-liberty

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Re: Freedom FROM or OF religion

Post #12

Post by Athetotheist »

historia wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 7:37 pm
Athetotheist wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 9:12 am
Scientism is the belief that science offers absolute irrefutable truths
TRANSPONDER wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 12:12 pm
Scientism is - as you say - a claim that science has a Dogma
This is neither here nor there in the thread, but I don't think that's quite what the word scientism entails.

The Wikipedia article on scientism is more in line with my understanding:
Wikipedia wrote:
Scientism is the view that science is the best or only objective means by which society should determine normative and epistemological values . . . [it is] an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of the methods of natural science applied to all areas of investigation (as in philosophy, the social sciences, and the humanities.)
In that way, it's not the belief that science offers "irrefutable truths," but the belief that (true) knowledge only consists of those things that can be verified through the scientific method, and in that way is closely tied to logical positivism.
Point taken. Still, the article does refer to "an exaggerated trust" which, I would say, moves in a similar direction.

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Re: Freedom FROM or OF religion

Post #13

Post by TRANSPONDER »

historia wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 7:25 pm
nobspeople wrote: Tue Dec 28, 2021 2:25 pm
Thanks to TRANSPONDER for the suggestion of starting another thread.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Tue Dec 28, 2021 2:11 pm
Freedom of religion does not mean freedom From religion
Athetotheist wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 8:54 am
The quote above is popular among Fundamentalist Christians.
So, one of my pet peevs is when participants here start a thread by briefly summarizing some idea that they disagree with and then inviting others to critique it. It seems to me the likelihood that we all just end up strawmanning the idea is quite high.

Instead, I think it's better to always quote someone who actually holds the idea -- and, better still, to link to an article where that person is arguing in favor of the idea -- so we can actually understand what, exactly, the idea entails.

Perhaps nobspeople, TRANSPONDER or Athetotheist can provide the rest of us such a link?

I looked but I can't. I have a memory of a president, I think saying this but I may be completely wrong. I couldn't find the quote or any reference to the term. If this idea is now not current I am only too glad to not use it. If to not do religion is considered as much a right as to do the religion one wants (within the Law) then I'm very happy to stop using the expression.

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Re: Freedom FROM or OF religion

Post #14

Post by historia »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:23 pm
If this idea is now not current I am only too glad to not use it.
But what is the idea being expressed in the statement "Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion"?

Clearly, this is some kind of pithy slogan -- like the slogan "defund the police" -- which is pointing to a more complex idea.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:23 pm
If to not do religion is considered as much a right as to do the religion one wants (within the Law) then I'm very happy to stop using the expression.
But that's just the thing. I suspect that the slogan "Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion" has never meant that you have no right to be irreligious, as you appear to assume.

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Re: Freedom FROM or OF religion

Post #15

Post by TRANSPONDER »

historia wrote: Fri Dec 31, 2021 12:22 pm
TRANSPONDER wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:23 pm
If this idea is now not current I am only too glad to not use it.
But what is the idea being expressed in the statement "Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion"?

Clearly, this is some kind of pithy slogan -- like the slogan "defund the police" -- which is pointing to a more complex idea.
There are a lot of pithy slogans. That has no bearing on what they mean and whether they mean anything at all.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:23 pm
If to not do religion is considered as much a right as to do the religion one wants (within the Law) then I'm very happy to stop using the expression.
But that's just the thing. I suspect that the slogan "Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion" has never meant that you have no right to be irreligious, as you appear to assume.
[/quote]

Then what in your view does it mean? I recall a few decades ago the meaning was pretty clear and wielded by Christian apologists and was said (as I recall) at presidential level. I am wrong -footed by any references having vanished so I have no argument. But supposing the terms was used some decades ago, what does it mean other than 'any religion, but not No religion' ?

Oh - happy new year to all by the way . It's just done 12 here and a few squibs have been let off. :)

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Re: Freedom FROM or OF religion

Post #16

Post by TRANSPONDER »

I had another look and there was one of those google answers (unattributed) and a jstor abstract, that referred to an idea (around 2004) that freedom of religion did not imply freedom From religion. Thus it was a known thing with a very specific meaning and I suspect that since atheism obtained equal rights in Law, that saying has vanished as it is really no longer acceptable in Law.

I suggest that others might search the term and any feedback would be welcome. O:)

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Re: Freedom FROM or OF religion

Post #17

Post by historia »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Fri Dec 31, 2021 7:22 pm
[W]hat does it mean other than 'any religion, but not No religion' ?
Let's look at some examples that have been offered up so far:
Athetotheist wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:01 pm
This isn't an example of an argument in favor, but it is an example about arguments in favor:

https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separa ... us-liberty
That article, in turn, quotes Rick Perry, the former Governor of Texas:
Boston wrote:
While signing legislation guaranteeing people’s right to say "Merry Christmas" (which is, in itself, an incredibly silly bill), Perry popped off, "I’m proud we are standing up for religious freedom in our state. Freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion."
This Youtube video captures the same speech, or at least part of it. But, frankly, there's not a lot to go on here, as Perry doesn't expound on what he means.

We might note, however, that the legislation Perry was signing into law simply reinforced the right of students and educators to say "Merry Christmas," and so was not about imposing religious adherence on atheists.

Another example:

Joe Hotchkiss, "Freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom from religion," from the Augusta Chronicle (2012).

This is a more substantial argument. He is basically saying that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not require that all religious expression be excluded from the public square so that the nonreligious don't have to be exposed to religion, which seems to be what he means by "freedom from religion."

We might note here, too, that Hotchkiss explicitly says that it doesn't bother him that some people choose to be nonreligious. Much like the Texas example, this is not an argument about imposing religious adherence on atheists.

Okay, last example:
TRANSPONDER wrote: Sat Jan 01, 2022 5:57 am
a jstor abstract, that referred to an idea (around 2004) that freedom of religion did not imply freedom From religion.
I suspect you mean this journal article: Gidon Sapir and Daniel Statman, "Why Freedom of Religion does not include Freedom from Religion," Law and Philosophy (2015) vol. 24 iss. 5, pgs. 467-508 (accessed from JSTOR).

At over 40 pages, this is an even more substantial argument. It's far more theoretical than the Hotchkiss editorial, and is written from an Israeli perspective, but is, I think, broadly applicable to all liberal democracies.

The authors make the basic point that constitutional protections for specific groups of people don't inherently provide protections for people not in that group. For that reason, an atheist does not derive his right to not practice any religion from the constitutional protections for religious expression. Instead, his right to be nonreligious is derived from a broader right of conscience.

The authors expressly say that no one should be forced to adhere to a religion.

It seems, then, that none of these people are saying anything like "any religion, but not no religion."
TRANSPONDER wrote: Fri Dec 31, 2021 7:22 pm
Oh - happy new year to all by the way
You too. Happy new year!

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Re: Freedom FROM or OF religion

Post #18

Post by historia »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Sat Jan 01, 2022 5:57 am
[T]hat referred to an idea (around 2004) that freedom of religion did not imply freedom From religion. Thus it was a known thing with a very specific meaning and I suspect that since atheism obtained equal rights in Law, that saying has vanished as it is really no longer acceptable in Law.
What legislation or court rulings between 2004 and today in the United States (or even elsewhere in the English-speaking world) allowed "atheism to obtain equal rights in Law."

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Re: Freedom FROM or OF religion

Post #19

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to historia in post #17]
He is basically saying that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not require that all religious expression be excluded from the public square
This is another expression used in denial of church-state separation. When there's talk of religious "expression" in "the public square", the real issue is often religious displays on government property, which implies government favor toward a particular belief.

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Re: Freedom FROM or OF religion

Post #20

Post by historia »

Athetotheist wrote: Sat Jan 01, 2022 7:02 pm [Replying to historia in post #17]
He is basically saying that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not require that all religious expression be excluded from the public square
This is another expression used in denial of church-state separation. When there's talk of religious "expression" in "the public square", the real issue is often religious displays on government property, which implies government favor toward a particular belief.
Did you read the article that I was summarizing there? None of the examples he gave were about religious displays.

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