Religion or Law? Which holds more authority to you? - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-24-2005, 07:29 AM   #1
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Religion or Law? Which holds more authority to you?

Ok, take a deep breath. No, take 2. We know where this is going to end up, but I am asking Christians perhaps moreso than others which is more of an authority to you, and why?

Now, someone sooner or later is going to comment that our laws are based on some religious principles anyway, and there might not be that much of a difference. But is there? I know we here, for example, have strict (but difficult to enforce) equality laws which do not allow the legal exclusion of anyone under any circumstances unless it falls into one or two exceptions where it can be argued if it is actually discrimination. But anyway. Is this the same in other places? Here is one area where religion and law clash, and I wonder why we let it go on. A conservative Christian asked me recently why the gay and lesbian community haven't taken the clergy to court, and it got me wondering. I've got no idea why. And before anyone says those in charge wont allow it to happen because their own beliefs are perhaps conservative as well, tell me why it is so often ignored if it is already written in law?
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Old 09-24-2005, 08:57 PM   #2
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law holds much more authority over me.

however, when it comes to how i live my life and how i treat other people, i do so according to the morals and ethics that i have acquired over my lifetime -- there are none that come from religion that haven't been extensively mediated and qualified by experience (i trust experience more than i trust any words written on any page), and if i were to find a law that were ethically and morally objectionable, then i would not follow that law or work to have it changed.

basically, the law is more authoritative, but because it requires the consent of the governed, it is more elastic and malleable. religion -- for lack of a better word -- might ultimately be from a higher authority, but it cannot have practical authority on due to its subjective nature, yet it might hold higher "moral authority" on the individual.

convoluded, i know ...
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Old 09-25-2005, 12:23 AM   #3
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Hmm, I;d like to see more responses in this thread, honestly.....



As for myself, I am my judge of write and wrong. OUtside influences, my exposure to religions, some I agree partially with, some I don't, and my exposure to the laws I see. Ultimately, it comes down to me, and me being honest with myself. In a way, I think I follow my own religion, so to say, so I'd say that "religion" over an outside law. But then again, and outside religion would be no different. And you could substitute, in my case "laws" or "religion" - as in, ""i have my own laws/religion that I follow"". So really, I guess it's sort of not applicable when it comes to me.


But......

"A conservative Christian asked me recently why the gay and lesbian community haven't taken the clergy to court, and it got me wondering"

- that's an interesting idea
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Old 09-25-2005, 12:30 AM   #4
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law.

while the thought of eternal damnation is slightly unsettling, god won't throw me in jail for urinating in public.
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Old 09-25-2005, 06:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Se7en
law.

while the thought of eternal damnation is slightly unsettling, god won't throw me in jail for urinating in public.



Law holds more authority for me because we have the ability, if we use it, to change unjust law. We have a checks and balances system. We know who made the laws, if not all the lobbyists and other outside interests that influence them. We can defend ourselves. We elect the people who make the laws. We have given them authority and we can take it away from them.

Do I obey every law? No. Would my conscience require me to disobey some laws? Yes. I am increasingly doubtful about the lawmakers and the courts. But I accept their authority and would accept the consequences for any civil (or other) disobedience on my part.

But I could see a day possibly coming when I could have so little respect for my leaders, my lawmakers and my courts that I would cede them no moral authority over me although I would probably obey most of their laws so as not to inconvenience myself over matters that did not affect my conscience.

I could lightly say that religion holds no authority over me, but that would be wrong. I'm not afraid of a concept of hell; I'm not holding out for reward in a concept of heaven. But I give some teachings moral authority, a good deal of moral authority for somebody who does not practice a religion or consider myself spiritual.

But as I think Irvine implied, I give my own ethical compass (based on what I've learned, experienced, observed and felt)
the most authority.
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Old 09-25-2005, 11:16 PM   #6
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Interesting replies. I like yours, B's S.
Interesting lack of replies, as well.
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Old 09-26-2005, 04:34 AM   #7
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yes........... very interesting......
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Old 09-26-2005, 04:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Interesting replies. I like yours, B's S.
Interesting lack of replies, as well.

Thank you. It was an interesting question I couldn't answer immediately. I had to go and think about it. You do make me think, Angela Harlem. I'm sorry you didn't get more responses.
I don't think FYM does philosophical well for the most part.
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Old 09-26-2005, 05:07 AM   #9
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Without sounding like this is sour grapes, I reckon people either generally dont really give a shit (and I reckon in the US you have different laws anyway, which I based a fair portion of my musing on) or perhaps that people are expecting me to argue irrationally again, as I er..tend to do with organised religions.
The conservative Christian I mentioned was the guy I had a huge discussion with on this, and I want to hear more perspectives. We got to an impasse, and he said he needed more time to think, like I need to go and find out why in relation to his question to me. My problem here is gay rights bug me (lack of rights, at least) more than anything a religious viewpoint could put forward.

Ah well. Thank you, though. I really enjoy reading your thoughts so it tickles me pink that you said you got to some thinking! It reminds of the time we started venturing onto thought vs language and which came first, lol. I'd still like to have that out with FYM one day.
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Old 09-26-2005, 05:15 AM   #10
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thought v language........ yeah, I;d like to ssee things like that myself.....

let me know if such ever comes around.....
or where I can find such

heh..
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Old 09-26-2005, 05:38 AM   #11
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We tried, For Honor. We really tried. But now that we have a triad interested here. Maybe. Maybe we ought to start a philosophical/theoretic forum. But I don't think they want to add another one.
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Old 09-26-2005, 05:41 AM   #12
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oh... okay. Well, if something ever does come up, count me in.


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Old 09-26-2005, 05:45 AM   #13
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How about it, Angela Harlem? Worth another shot?
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Old 09-26-2005, 11:25 AM   #14
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Both.

I am to follow and respect the authority placed over me.

Ultimately, all authority comes from God.
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Old 09-26-2005, 03:02 PM   #15
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My religion holds more authority over my personal conduct. It's much more demanding and strict than law, with more serious consequences, both good and bad.

I uphold the laws of my country, however. As a teacher, I'm sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, which I personally view as a Divinely inspired, incredible elastic document.

As a postscript, let me add that I would never ever in a million long years assume that others were bound to follow the rules of my religion just because I hold them to higher authority than law. I do, however, expect the citizens of, and visitors to, my country to follow the laws of my country, even if their religion conflicts with the law.
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