[FoRK] Re: reas. conv. 12/4: Beyond Faith

Corinna < corinna.schultz at gmail.com > on > Thu Dec 7 06:47:20 PST 2006

Dr. Ernie Prabhakar wrote:
> Put another way, would you favor government policy that officially 
> discouraged religion, or do you think that it is best if religion and 
> non-religious people battle it out on a "level playing field" (whatever 
> that is)?

I'm not sure what the big deal is about government and religion. Why not 
treat religion/philosophy like we do any other idea in the marketplace 
of ideas?

Does the government have a policy on, say, the birthing controversy 
(Lamaze vs Bradley, midwife vs. ob-gyn, attachment parenting vs. 
cry-it-out, slings vs. strollers, breast vs. bottle). We argue til we're 
blue in the face and then everyone does what they think is best. In the 
process we make a few converts, and society is (generally) healthier for 
the discussion, and freedom to choose, and nobody gets killed for it.

Why should religious groups get special treatment? e.g., Why should some 
states have a religious exemption to vaccination requirements for 
school, but not a philosophical exemption? And even then, why must the 
religious exemption apply only to recognized religions?

There are only a limited number of things that the government has a 
legitimate interest in regulating. Everything else should be left to the 
"level playing field" of civility, rhetoric, facts, etc. And our schools 
should teach people how to be civil, speak clearly, evaluate evidence, etc.

May the best meme win...


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