[FoRK] reas. conv. 12/4: Beyond Faith
Jeff Bone <
jbone at place.org
> on >
Tue Dec 5 13:55:33 PST 2006
On Dec 5, 2006, at 3:24 PM, Jeff Bone wrote:
> On Dec 4, 2006, at 9:26 PM, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar wrote:
>> Put another way, would you favor government policy that officially
>> discouraged religion,
> I would favor a government policy that explicitly advocated
> separation of church and state...
It occurs to me that the previous is going to confuse some people, so
let me put it differently:
No, I don't advocate a government policy that "officially
discourages" religion, Ernie, but that's mostly because I don't
generally advocate government policy for anything, or government
policy in general. I would strongly encourage the development of a
culture of anti-theism which explicitly discourages religion. It's a
matter of memetic engineering, though --- not government.
OTOH, I don't think government should do *anything* to *encourage*
religion either. Such as tax breaks, free advertising space for all
the "branding" on public properties (dollar bills, court houses,
etc.) --- distribution of tax dollars ("faith-based initiatives"
anyone?) or indoctrination of children through the teaching of
religion, particularly on the tax-payer's dollar. None of that. No
encouragement, no discouragement --- total non-acknowledgment.
Children, though, are actually quite a thorny problem. I've come
around to the point of view that religious indoctrination of children
is child abuse. As such, there's a very valid discussion to be had
on whether the government should or should not have a role in
preventing this, even coercively if necessary. In general, I'm anti-
authoritarian and this sort of thing makes me queasy... but it's an
issue of grave importance, practically and morally.
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