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Should governments be able to usurp someone's religious beliefs?

Debate Information

The question entails this issue, should the government be able to overrule religious scripture in the public setting. I am completely neutral in terms of this question so I leave it up to the community to persuade me to their point of view. So my main issue is if we don't allow the government to say that a Muslim man has to pick up the pig products in the grocery store he works in, then society as a whole would fall apart because everyone would have their own subjective criteria. However, if we do allow the government to do such a thing, western society would become dictatorial in the sense that the government is able to control and supersede your moral code.

Please help me this dilemma is giving me a headache!
  1. Live Poll

    Should governments be able to usurp someone's religious beliefs?

    6 votes
    1. Yes
    2. Maybe
    3. I don't know
    4. No
    5. No, but with certain limitations
This account is dead, my political opinions have changed significantly and I'm no longer active.
About Persuade Me

Persuaded Argument

  • AlwaysCorrectAlwaysCorrect 279 Pts   -   edited July 2017
    Yes, the government should be able to and it's just a case of what circumstances are allowable.

    There is no single right which takes precedence over all other rights. Often different rights can come into conflict and there will have to be a resolution as to which rights are truncated. Just take the example of shouting "Fire" in a theatre as the classic example, or the entire concept of prison where your right to freedom (amongst others) is taken away due to the effect not doing so would have on the right to happiness and safety of other people.

    That said, i don't think the example given is a great one. Firstly I don't think simply handling containers with pork is is against Islam. Secondly a right to practice his religion does not mean a right for someone to give that person a job which there religion stops them from doing properly.

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  • SnakesOfferingApplesSnakesOfferingApples 121 Pts   -   edited July 2017
    Of course, in terms of allowing Sharia law, that should not be allowed to happen, but let's say in terms of, or cases like the baker being forced to bake a gay couple a cake, should the gov be able to do that?
    This account is dead, my political opinions have changed significantly and I'm no longer active.
  • ImbsterImbster 149 Pts   -   edited July 2017
    The government should never overrule someone's religious beliefs in general. Everyone has biases. If the government were given much power to uphold their biases the destruction would be unfathomable. Unfathomable because knowing that I cannot assume the ratio of good government officials to bad officials is 50:1 or 1:50 I can assume they have personal biases despite modernistic beliefs. Also with no specific type of government but with your clue of western societies, there will be debates about overruling something presently in the constitution and there is no sure chance which side will win. I can only imagine how such would apply to dictatorial regions.

    If I were the government given right to overrule such I wouldn't have that as my first idea or main issue.

    Hey why hasn't the whole world fallen yet? Calculate. Because everyone has resorted to their subjective criteria at some point in their life aka support arguments with their own feelings, opinions and interpretations and not basing it on any factual material. You think Philosophy does not require subjective criteria? Compare Epicurus' beliefs on happiness with other Greek Philosophers.

    1. We should help children educate themselves because children have right to life and education.
    2. We don't have the complete budget to help every child in the country.

    Is the 2nd subjective? Objective as an adjective is only being unbiased and not influenced by personal feelings nor personal opinions nor personal interpretations. And I would assume objective criteria is basing it on something highly principled with a systemised set of ideals and ideologies, we would be diverted back to the Constitution((assuming America) which expresses freedom of religion) because it is a fact in that region that people have religious freedom or freedom to irreligion. Perhaps explain how it's possible to eliminate such when subjective criteria throws in the fact that personal experiences are a factor of that criteria. You got hurt before so you decided to avoid women. Objective?

    Why you can't you let everyone have their own subjective criteria? That's exactly what you're holding onto in this dilemma of yours. Let me ask you,

    Does the society you see today absolutely reject subjective criteria and does not use it for judging ANY, ANY particularity? If not then why is society still functioning?

    Name all the crimes that happens but despite that society functions because of preferabilities. If someone is PERSONALLY FEELING afraid of his surroundings, has this opinion and personal interpretation that current security isn't enough, that someone has fear of people barging in his house, will he not judge to build defences? Will he not earns perk of being careful, cautious and vigilant? Society has functioned and grown in incalculable ways because of subjective criteria but sometimes their own criteria leads to an unfortunate event.

    It's not an objective site but at least here the ideas of people with the objectivity

    But you seem to have specific theoretical situations wherein you see fit that the government should overrule like the baker and gay couple. Perhaps you are thinking of tackling specific situations you'd like to properly present. I would like to hear before furthering.

    It is not logical to unleash wrath on the whole world for its violent and corrupt ways when only a native tribe on a small island began a war amongst themselves. That statement itself was subjective.
  • ImbsterImbster 149 Pts   -   edited July 2017
    @AlwaysCorrect ;
    The circumstances must be clearly defined to not end up with a law similar to martial law.

    The last time that was defined and specified well, was after its 20 year abuse. Now it may last for only 60 days and the president must always give a report to the congress, the people also may file a complaint to the supreme court incase of military abuse. Compare that to "martial makes the president commander-in-chief for as long as he should".
    This steps on civil rights especially that suspending the writ to habeas corpus is the next action which makes arrest and imprisonment much easier without the right to due process.
    If such law stepping on many rights is deemed necessary during times of rebellion and terrorism, then what is to be deemed necessary to overrule freedom of religion?

    What are then, the circumstances allowable to suspend freedom of religion? I do not see them clearly in your examples.
  • AlwaysCorrectAlwaysCorrect 279 Pts   -  

    Whether the law is good or bad is not relevant to the point being made. The point is that in every country it is accepted that rights can be abridged, from the most authoritarian to the most democratic and lawful. Restricting rights is not inherently authoritarian (although it often can be) but rather pretty much guaranteed as necessary.

    If you want an example, just go with prisons. When someone has committed a crime they will have a whole host of their rights restricted or removed. Can a prisoner choose where to worship, go back to his regular hometown church every Sunday for mass? Can a prisoner go on the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca required of every Muslim?

    No, while they will almost always be allowed to worship in some way in democratic countries, prisoners have their ability to freely worship highly restricted as part of a broader set of restriction on their freedoms.
  • ImbsterImbster 149 Pts   -  
    @AlwaysCorrect ;
    Even though the government should not, they are already doing it despite the basic definition of the American Constitution concerning freedom of religion. But basics have complex continuations.

    For a citizen to properly hold the right, the citizen must have the religion as a "sincerely held belief" currently undefined by the court.

    By reading the constitutional interpretations, there are a lot of 'without's and 'unless' pointing out that the government recognises, upholds, and protects rights to religion, and may not interfere 'unless' the practice harms people. Civically responsible and knowledgeable citizens have full grasp of constitutional rights because they always satisfy the 'withouts'. Prisoners have a host of their rights restricted or removed but some prisons are to follow the decision of the court, providing them the religious diets they must sincerely follow or prohibiting them based on court decision.

    How are you going for a yes with such examples? Didn't the court decide to put them in prison and restrict their rights which the court is a part of the government? So you want the government to have more but alternative power to overrule religious beliefs?

    I know that rights are being abridged and not really upheld at all times but make up your mind with the circumstances I'm asking for.

    You want the government to take muslim prisoners out and send them to go on the Hajj? I don't think that's overruling religious beliefs but more like supporting it despite the possible level of threat. With the same logic if the government cannot overrule the freedom of religion prisoners can still go to Mecca. With government power or without government power, prisoners can bring themselves to Mecca.

    If they just had no complete interference with the Free Exercise Clause, any prisoner can go to Mecca.

    Yes, it's restricted exactly because of the government. The constitution is an objective basis but it takes the court to decide not the basis.

    And as for usurping it is defined as forcefully illegal therefore there is no need for such because the government has made taking positions on religious cases very obviously legal with the different cases in the link.

    Again, what do you want to clearly overrule and usurp?
  • AlwaysCorrectAlwaysCorrect 279 Pts   -  

    I'm struggling to parse your argument and it would help if you could clarify what you're trying to say.

    I also think you may have misunderstood mine, because at least some of your suggestions don't match the arguments.

    E.g. you ask "You want the government to take muslim prisoners out and send them to go on the Hajj?". However I am making no claims about what should be done there, I'm just talking about what is the norm. You asked for examples of the government over-riding people's rights, I gave them to you. With the example of prisoners, their religious beliefs are restricted as part and parcel of their other rights being restricted. That doesn't mean I think it's right or wrong, it's me providing the example you asked for.

    Similarly you state " So you want the government to have more but alternative power to overrule religious beliefs? " when this isn't part of my argument and I can't even guess what you're referring to here.

    The point I am trying to make is that the overruling of religious beliefs (and restrictions on other basic rights) is standard in literally every single country on earth. There will always be some restrictions on people's rights so the answer to the question posed in the topic is "yes" and the question moves on to how much and with what approach should it be done and controlled.
  • ImbsterImbster 149 Pts   -  

    I asked for circumstances last and I thought those were. My bad, but with this "If you want an example, just go with prisons..." and its continuation you are seemingly answering the last question.

    Anyway if this is still with rights

    Still putting this up because important reference

    It would be restricting rights in the case of prisoners but constitution provides grounds. Again, a lot of 'without' and 'unless' in the constitution which is why people have evolved into the idea that only law-abiding citizens have rights. It is always defined with the basic rights that you have this right to do such 'unless' or 'without' harming people or uprising possible threat.

    So no these people who become prisoners do not have their rights restricted but lose their civil rights and gain prisoner rights by abiding with ,well, prison rules though they have the right to protest and report to court as part of their freedom to express. These prisoners are also still protected under the Eight Amendment which is enough right and comfort to not get them killed or oddly punished while in prison.

    So now then small continuation and summary, The government has been actively participating with the masses' religious beliefs through the court deciding religious disputes and new modern laws concerning religion such as the Act signed by Obama concerning and fully recognising the rights of all non-religious. The government again should not make any law regarding religion promised in the constitution. They have caused an upset because of, favouring the christian religion with the current pledge of allegiance and then many propagandas they have set up against muslims, not just Trump. The government should not have succumbed to their biases but now that they had made unconstitutional mistakes they must make unconstitutional fixes.
    And now with a present administration with Trump against Islam convincing everyone they must "politically correct them". We are truly seeing a much more biased government clearly stepping on the First Amendment. It is stated that government will not take biased positions in religion and will only use full objectivity to deal with such cases.
  • @Imbster You are making assumptions, besides you haven't replied to our original debate/ argument, I would love to finish. :)

    This account is dead, my political opinions have changed significantly and I'm no longer active.
  • SnakesOfferingApplesSnakesOfferingApples 121 Pts   -   edited July 2017
    @AlwaysCorrect Everything you said makes sense, but it's happened before, you can't touch pork according to Islam, a man sued his company because he was fired after he refused to do as he was told when he was told to pack and catalog pork.

    EDIT - I am going to find the article but this happened years ago, so excuse me I humbly ask for your patience.
    This account is dead, my political opinions have changed significantly and I'm no longer active.
  • ImbsterImbster 149 Pts   -  
    @SnakesOfferingApples Is it not an assumption to think that usurping someone's religious beliefs will help fired men with the same case? Might I tell you an assumption is defined accepted as true but without proof

    Let also define usurp since you insist "original debate topic" which I know the context is the other one but if I may:

    Therefore you are 'assuming' that what the government does, has done, will do with religious cases, under your thoughts and perceptions, is taking positions of importance "illegally" or "by force". No they are completely legal which is why I have always stood on No this whole time because you inisist usurping or more specifically "being able to usurp"religious beliefs! No the government should not be able to do such because that is unconstitutional, unprincipled and a shame of an example to the people. Exactly why you cannot and have not defined a single circumstance where the government should take position illegally or by force. It is also legal for government to take action if one is harmed by any religious practice or belief but again the Supreme Court decides since I don't want to assume it's a 100% chance to win.

    Yes I will admit and have thought that prisoners don't lose civil rights or exchange it with prisoner's rights but everything else is supported with current government actions in the United States and proven with the several cases enlisted.

    You wanna point as something specific spit it, because you pluralised assumption, I can easily assume you're referring to many things or perhaps everything.

    If you're talking about people being under amendments as an assumption, I guess my freedom of speech is something I assume that I have then. You haven't even replied to what are the exact and defined circumstances for the grounds of your assumptions for the government to usurp religious beliefs. And I'm here trying to explain the government already does and does not uphold anymore the basic child understanding of the first amendment especially with the establishment clause act largely defined now with the lemon test.

    Santa Fe Independent School District vs. Doe

    I believe this is something similiar concerning faith

    It is not good enough to only read the amendments but to also know the further implications under them for if something so general is to be followed, no one can properly defend themselves with certain specifics.

     If reading off the constitution is an assumption might as well assume too Obama signed an act giving non-theists and non-believers recognition and protection of their beliefs under the First Amendment, freedom of religion.

    As for the 'unless' and 'without' go be a political expert if you're not theo expert then.

    As for personal pointing with the first argument, I will also assume again right now you don't think subjective criteria actually helps with other situations you won't even stop and think about.

    In the end it's the court that decides despite the many political ideologies written.

    "OK, it protects it sometimes — and sometimes it doesn’t.  For example, the Supreme Court ruled that  Westboro Baptists Church's hateful protests at military funerals are legal — while most “fighting words” are not.  A Jehovah's Witness went to prison for calling a police officer a “God damned racketeer”, a teenager was jailed for burning a cross, and Hustler paid damages to a preacher over a parody labelled as such in the magazine."

    Again the government should not usurp exactly and DIRECTLY anyone's religious beliefs because of the context usurp means.

    You're more of here to argue than actually to be persuaded in this case then case closed for me good luck to whoever wants to understand this debate or lead it somewhere.
  • AlwaysCorrectAlwaysCorrect 279 Pts   -  

    "Therefore you are 'assuming' that what the government does, has done, will do with religious cases, under your thoughts and perceptions, is taking positions of importance "illegally" or "by force". No they are completely legal which is why I have always stood on No this whole time because you inisist usurping or more specifically "being able to usurp"religious beliefs!"

    All government laws are backed up by force. Go commit a crime and try to refuse being arrested. See what happens.

    Your argument relies upon this crux and it is not only incorrect but also an issue of semantics.
  • @Imbster For one, I was talking about our debate on good and evil, I have no opinion on this topic, I just wanted to see your response to my last argument on that topic.

    And as for your assumptions, I'm talking about the passive aggression that you hold towards people you are arguing or debating against. One example out of the many, on our Good and Evil debate you insisted that I defend religious arguments even though I was not religious. 

    Another example, of you, blatantly putting words in mouth.
    "Why you can't you let everyone have their own subjective criteria? That's exactly what you're holding onto in this dilemma of yours"

    Context matters, in this case, this whole debate is not about "Subjective world views are bad" it's about the question of "Should people's subjective beliefs influence the public setting?"
    I will concede to the fact that maybe I shouldn't have called your accusations assumptions, but what they actually are strawman arguments. (And might I remind YOU that assuming things, and speaking in vague and general terms (which is what assumptions entail) is considered a bad thing and has a negative connotation?)

    BTW- Usurp at its core means to "take over" or "to supersede"  So this debate entails according to the context " Should the government supersede people's subjective worldviews in public settings?"

    As for the debating, I will leave it between you and @AlwaysCorrect or some other opposing party, as I am taking a neutral stance, which is clear because I categorised the debate under "Persuade me". But I will continue to debate you on the Good and Evil debate we had if you FINALLY want to respond.

    This account is dead, my political opinions have changed significantly and I'm no longer active.
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