[quote="z0wb13, post:3, topic:234504"]
i think you can legislate morality in a lot of ways. that's what taxes are for. you could tax gasoline $6 a gallon, and people would start driving more electric cars, for example. you could tax alcohol $6 a bottle, and people would drink less.
but my question wasn't about morality, it was about religious views. morality changes, it gets updated to reflect popular opinions. like slavery or colonialism, these things used to be considered moral. some people even thought cannibalism was not only moral, but required to ensure the welfare of their general population.
religions, on the other hand, don't change. they are, by their very nature, already possessing some ultimate truth, so to change it would be a step backwards.
but to take the example of gay marriage and abortion: there is a difference between the moral viewpoint and the religious viewpoint. is there not? 13 year-olds buying alcohol or not is a moral position, not a religious prohibition. the same thing with adults having sex with children. religious people likely do oppose this, but more on moral grounds than religious grounds. and then you have some small denominations (if you can even call it that) like the branch davidians that did practice pedophilia.
i can see how the subjects of morality and religion are interwoven for many people, but on the other hand somebody who is not religious may also be very moral. so i guess what i want to know is where people draw the line between their religion and their morality, maybe.
also, i can't figure out what the bork quote is supposed to mean. really, i'm stumped.
It's a tough question because, for one thing, religion is supposedly based on morality; the two, as you mention, are so interwoven in people's minds as well as in societal practice, that I'm not sure they can effectively be separated. I understand your trying to separate purely moral issues and specific religious beliefs--which you state should not be imposed on the the whole population--by saying that moral beliefs are subject to change according to the social norms, while religious beliefs and practices do not change. However, that is not entirely true since religious views do change, even if gradually and not dramatically. True, there is resistance to these changes by traditional believers of the faith, but that does not nullify the changes that take place within the religion. Hence we have all the branches within a particular religion expressing diverse opinions. They may not all be accepted as legitimate, some of them may be considered heretical; still they regard themselves as legitimate and sometimes even the true expression of the faith. When a government is founded on the basis of religious liberty for all--as the United States was--in theory, no one religion should impose its views on the whole populace. And that is the case in the private worship of one's faith. However, the moral and social perspective of the government often incorporates the views of the religious groups that founded it and the laws themselves are grounded in those views.