[FoRK] Re: clarifying / exploring Aaron's point

Aaron Swartz me at aaronsw.com
Fri Feb 13 13:29:30 PST 2004


> ...and that by implication either:

What I actually believe is:

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation 
of POLITICAL opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sometimes not 
sinful and tyrannical."

> You also brought up civil rights in your loose translation:
>> ...and because our civil rights do not depend on our religious 
>> opinions,

The full quote, from Jefferson, is: "our civil rights have no 
dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in 
physics or geometry". (I did not insert the word religious -- it was 
there in the original, I swea^Wpromise!)

> (1) I might believe that abortion is wrong because it is opposed to 
> the will of God.  (Religious opinion.)  OR
> (2) I might believe that abortion is wrong because it is the killing 
> of a human being.  (Secular opinion.)
>
> To the extent that we buy into the difference between (A) and (B | C), 
> then you would claim that Jefferson would say that using tax money 
> from someone who agrees with (1) to promote a pro-life agenda is 
> wrong, while using tax money from someone who agrees with (2) to 
> promote that same agenda is okay.

I suspect Jefferson would think both opinions are equally OK. By 
religious opinions, I suspect Jefferson meant more along the lines of 
the Church of England, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and 
requiring religious oathes for public office. The closest thing to your 
comment that might possibly be a religious opinion would be:

(1) God believes homosexuality is immoral. OR
(2) God believes homosexuality is fine.

-- 
Aaron Swartz: http://www.aaronsw.com/



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