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Old 03-01-2009, 12:55 PM   #106
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In part because Stoicism played a key role in its formation and spread, Roman law similarly allowed for the existence of a natural law and with it—pursuant to the jus gentium (“law of nations”)—certain universal rights that extended beyond the rights of citizenship. According to the Roman jurist Ulpian, for example, natural law was that which nature, not the state, assures to all human beings, Roman citizens or not.
Freedom from slavery apparently not being one of them as its practice was not only acceptable in both Greece and the Roman Empire it was common.

Given your arguments that hey, things have changed over the ages and rights have developed, having a few rights that were recongized as belonging to all humans seems pretty progressive. Annnnd, it seems they beat the Christians to it.
Were these the same Christians the Romans feed to lions for their amusement?

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Old 03-01-2009, 05:42 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post
I'm not arguing this except secular government did not develop in a religious vacuum. The ethos that produced it and has sustained it has as a basic ingredient the teachings of the Bible which have been reinforced and passed on in the law, literature, art, churches et cetera. I recognize the need for a secular government but not a secular populace. The new paradigm which you must defend, however, states "religion poisons everything" (Hitchens), "religion is dangerous" (Dawkins) or that "religion is ridiculous" (Maher).
Since I don't argue for a theocracy in any form I dare say I'm much more accepting of secularism than the new wave of atheists are of religion.
A decent ammount of secularism emerged in opposition to the religious tests that were enforced within society,

I have no obligation to confuse the separation of Church and state and insist that defending secularism equates to banning religious belief. I've never stated that society should be remade in an atheistical mold, I don't think it can happen without changing the way human brains work or substituting it with a ideology that has the hallmarks of a religion, a free society should protect everybodies freedom of belief and freedom of speech, it also shouldn't be building a legal system from the supernatural beliefs of one particular segment of the population. Not having the state favour or persecute any particular religion is a good check on that.

I may agree to various degrees with what Dawkins, Hitchens, and Maher say (although I find Daniel Dennett and Pascal Boyer more fleshed out), but I don't see them arguing that anybody should go about making a population (I presume this means turning people not society) more "secular".

You are arguing against animal rights on the basis of a religious belief, that is your prerogative, but those arguments mustn't be the foundation of public policy. One can argue for and against animal rights to any number of degrees in a non-religious fashion.

As far as not favouring theocracy the areas which I think of would be the obvious abortion and gay rights, followed by the lesser issues of God in the pledge of allegiance and reframing the first amendment as a prohibition against a state church but not church influencing state. Not on par with bringing back biblical law, or instituting systematic religious discrimination, but issues where I think religious groups overstep a boundary at the expense of other peoples freedoms.

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Old 03-03-2009, 12:13 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post

Freedom from slavery apparently not being one of them as its practice was not only acceptable in both Greece and the Roman Empire it was common.

Were these the same Christians the Romans feed to lions for their amusement?
Ok, dude, you totally missed my point. Slavery was also a practice viewed as completely acceptable by Christians as well - hence my reference to the American South. You cannot argue that Christianity didn't condone slavery. Afterall, the black man was simply another "animal" for us to shepherd, to tame and care for.

If you believe I am fundamentally wrong on this point, please provide more concrete examples, don't simply provide colourful imagery of poor Christians being fed to lions.

If anything, you further my point regarding equality in the Roman empire. Equality reigned there - anyone could be fed to lions! All were equal when it came to being eaten!
Lions aren't choosy.

All beings are equal in the eyes of the lion, you all have the right to be tasty!

And the thread has come full circle, animals are moral beings with a keen sense of equality.

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