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  #1  
Old Jan 1, '12, 1:16 pm
JChapel JChapel is offline
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Default What's the best way to approach the "religion is infringing on my rights" argument that is often brought up?

A lot of atheists I run into like to bring up the argument that religion is fine, so long as it's kept in churches and people's heads, basically. They seem to want religion to never touch politics or education, and want gays to be free to marry, abortions to be freely available, etc. While it is clear to me why this isn't right, let alone fair, what is the best way to approach explaining it to someone who holds these views?
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  #2  
Old Jan 1, '12, 2:33 pm
musicality musicality is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to approach the "religion is infringing on my rights" argument that is often brought up?

I'll be interested in hearing others replies to your question.

The first thing that comes to mind is to question whether or not the issue being disputed actually involves someones "rights."
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  #3  
Old Jan 1, '12, 2:44 pm
VeritasLuxMea VeritasLuxMea is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to approach the "religion is infringing on my rights" argument that is often brought up?

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Originally Posted by JChapel View Post
A lot of atheists I run into like to bring up the argument that religion is fine, so long as it's kept in churches and people's heads, basically. They seem to want religion to never touch politics or education, and want gays to be free to marry, abortions to be freely available, etc. While it is clear to me why this isn't right, let alone fair, what is the best way to approach explaining it to someone who holds these views?
I think that what some of these atheists are saying is that no one should have to live under laws that are solely informed by faith. I agree with that.

A good law should have explanations based on reality and reason, not pure faith.
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  #4  
Old Jan 1, '12, 2:50 pm
Nimzovik Nimzovik is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to approach the "religion is infringing on my rights" argument that is often brought up?

Indeed. The " Faith" of Atheism certainly denies the rights of Theists. Their faith demands that we not say Merry Christmas at schools or say in God We Trust on our money or place the Ten Commandents in court buildings. Their Faith demands we do not even mention Intelligent Design in Classrooms.
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  #5  
Old Jan 1, '12, 2:53 pm
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grasscutter grasscutter is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to approach the "religion is infringing on my rights" argument that is often brought up?

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Originally Posted by Nimzovik View Post
Indeed. The " Faith" of Atheism certainly denies the rights of Theists. Their faith demands that we not say Merry Christmas at schools or say in God We Trust on our money or place the Ten Commandents in court buildings. Their Faith demands we do not even mention Intelligent Design in Classrooms.

I agree. Atheists are allowed to insist that their world view (that is, religion) is the only one presented in the public arena. And the curious thing is that they don't see the hypocrisy of their position.
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  #6  
Old Jan 1, '12, 2:56 pm
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CatholicTrekkie CatholicTrekkie is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to approach the "religion is infringing on my rights" argument that is often brought up?

I read once that many modern atheists equate all of religion with Eastern religions (That is, ones such as Buddhism, Zen, Confucianism, etc.). That is to say, they believe that all religions should be handled the way that Eastern religions are.

Western religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, in particular) are, by their very nature, exoteric. This means that they are meant for external, public display. This doesn't mean you go out into the middle of the street and proclaim your faith in Christ. This means that you worship as a group, with other people, and as part of a community. Western religion has also been accessible to large groups of people, meaning that it is made for large groups of people (the scripture is accessible in colloquial language, the spirituality is very visual and tangible, and the worship is public).

This is in contrast with Eastern religions (I don't have complete knowledge of eastern religions, but I'll try my best), which, by their very nature, are very exoteric. They are made, and meant to be, one of private, solemn, and internal reflection. Traditionally, this means private meditation in the privacy of one's home. Yes, there are group gatherings, but they are not the center of the religion (in contrast to especially Christianity, where the Mass is our greatest prayer). In eastern religions, one meditates and reflects on the precepts of the religion in the privacy of one's own home, dwelling, etc.

The failing comes when you try to equate one with the other, which may be a reason that many atheists say what you posted about. They identify more with eastern religions (lack of strict dogma, variety of different paths, the lack of deities), and so they come to believe that all religions should be like that. This is simply false. You cannot ask a Christian or a Muslim or a Jew to exchange their group prayer and worship into private reflection and meditation. By the same token, you can't ask a Buddhist or a Confucian to do the opposite: turn their private reflection into communal praise and worship. To do so is to ask them to betray their religion.

In addition to the above, many atheists also believe that you shouldn't have religion in politics, etc. When they do this, they equate a particular moral teaching or moral point with religion. This does not follow. A specific moral teaching does not have to be equated with a particular religion, especially if said moral point can be proved or made through reason without reference to religion (this can be done for many things: Abortion, birth control as harmful, no-fault divorce as being harmful, etc.). So, just because a candidate is pro-life, doesn't mean that they are trying to force their religion on others. Morality does not wholly make up religion, so to say that a particular politician has a certain moral view does not mean that they are trying to force the religion (or irreligion) on another, just that they hold a certain moral view.
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  #7  
Old Jan 1, '12, 3:53 pm
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Contra Mundum Contra Mundum is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to approach the "religion is infringing on my rights" argument that is often brought up?

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Originally Posted by VeritasLuxMea View Post

A good law should have explanations based on reality and reason, not pure faith.
And that is exactly what the Catholic faith includes. We are not fundamentalist Christians you know
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  #8  
Old Jan 1, '12, 4:02 pm
surritter surritter is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to approach the "religion is infringing on my rights" argument that is often brought up?

It's fine to complain if a tenet of Christian theology, such as the Assumption of Mary, is forced upon someone. But what many atheists and others are lobbying for (abortion, so-called gay marriage, etc.) are not purely of the realm of religion. They can easily be discussed from the viewpoint of reason and natural law.

We must realize that those who want to engage in these actions use the cry against religion as justification for their unnatural and unreasonable behavior.
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  #9  
Old Jan 1, '12, 4:18 pm
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ivecomeback ivecomeback is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to approach the "religion is infringing on my rights" argument that is often brought up?

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Originally Posted by grasscutter View Post
I agree. Atheists are allowed to insist that their world view (that is, religion) is the only one presented in the public arena. And the curious thing is that they don't see the hypocrisy of their position.
And yet the basic question here is how to address such a claim that religion is infringing on human "rights". In my limited experience, this claim is not always espoused by the virulent atheist. I have found that engaging in dialog by asking "why" can help to understand objections. When most people are presented with an opportunity to talk, they do and then REAL conversation - and eventual conversions can happen. The trick is having the wisdom & humility to know when to walk away, when to challenge, when to keep asking etc.

St. Paul exhorted Timothy: "Donít have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lordís servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:23-26)
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  #10  
Old Jan 1, '12, 5:01 pm
Mungling Mungling is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to approach the "religion is infringing on my rights" argument that is often brought up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JChapel View Post
A lot of atheists I run into like to bring up the argument that religion is fine, so long as it's kept in churches and people's heads, basically. They seem to want religion to never touch politics or education, and want gays to be free to marry, abortions to be freely available, etc. While it is clear to me why this isn't right, let alone fair, what is the best way to approach explaining it to someone who holds these views?
The funny thing about this line of reasoning is that it creates the very situation that they are accusing Christians of perpetuating. After all, when it boils down the core of their message, aren't they saying that the only way we can participate in public life is if we are, or at the very least pretend to be, Atheists. This is not, I should add, secularism. While secularism seeks to create a government that holds no religious creed, it does NOT seek to stifle the voice of those who do, and it also does not presuppose that a certain creed (or lack thereof) is correct or incorrect. To suppose that religion is all wrong, and that any judgment based upon this must automatically be dismissed, is to violate these principles and create a sort of anti-theocracy.

Perhaps the issue is Atheists don't really understand the religious. I think some may have the idea that religion is like a hat. But the truth is I have yet to meet a person who holds sincere religious conviction who is not utterly transformed by his faith. All law is a moral judgment, and a to say that a person cannot and should not participate in the democratic process because a person think's he or she is wrong is just terribly flawed. I do not think that this is the society anyone envisions for the West.

I hope that kind-of, sort-of made sense.
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  #11  
Old Jan 1, '12, 5:58 pm
caliamo caliamo is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to approach the "religion is infringing on my rights" argument that is often brought up?

According to me, everyone is free to think what he wants. This is the mystery of human liberty. We can only expose our religious views. But we cannot realy convince atheists. We have only to testify from our faith. It reminds me Jesus and Pilate. Pilate asked to Jesus: "What is truth?"
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  #12  
Old Jan 1, '12, 8:04 pm
Sacred_Heart Sacred_Heart is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to approach the "religion is infringing on my rights" argument that is often brought up?

There is no good way. An Atheist's mind is already made up. We believe in Jesus. They believe in hating Jesus. You can't speak to ignorance.
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  #13  
Old Jan 1, '12, 8:22 pm
VeritasLuxMea VeritasLuxMea is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to approach the "religion is infringing on my rights" argument that is often brought up?

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There is no good way. An Atheist's mind is already made up. We believe in Jesus. They believe in hating Jesus. You can't speak to ignorance.


Atheists don't hate Jesus anymore than good Catholics hate Shiva.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Contra Mundum
And that is exactly what the Catholic faith includes. We are not fundamentalist Christians you know
Well, for example, the mystery of the trinity is pure faith. So for example, I would find a law prohibiting one from denying the trinity would be totally uncalled for.

Now many of these other issues are not strict matters of faith. Abortion, for example. One can make arguments against abortion that do not invoke the faith.

I never said otherwise, nor did I say that Catholic morality is based on faith alone.
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  #14  
Old Jan 1, '12, 9:49 pm
TowardTruth TowardTruth is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to approach the "religion is infringing on my rights" argument that is often brought up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JChapel View Post
A lot of atheists I run into like to bring up the argument that religion is fine, so long as it's kept in churches and people's heads, basically. They seem to want religion to never touch politics or education, and want gays to be free to marry, abortions to be freely available, etc. While it is clear to me why this isn't right, let alone fair, what is the best way to approach explaining it to someone who holds these views?
You might educate them in the religion of secularism or atheism. Tell them their religion should also be kept in their heads and not in your politics or education.

Their religion infringes on the rights of others too.
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  #15  
Old Jan 2, '12, 5:22 am
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ivecomeback ivecomeback is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to approach the "religion is infringing on my rights" argument that is often brought up?

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Originally Posted by Sacred_Heart View Post
There is no good way. An Atheist's mind is already made up. We believe in Jesus. They believe in hating Jesus. You can't speak to ignorance.
You can speak to ignorance. That is what Jesus did to the prostitutes, the tax collectors, and the "sinners". You speak through your life, and your words. I did not believe in God at one point, thinking myself too smart for all that superstition. Faith seeped in by the quiet witness of those unafraid to question me and challenge me to defend my point of view.
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