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kristus

Blasphemy is now illegal. (in Ireland)

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I'd have to see the law itself in print, but it does seem like a pretty nasty piece of legislation. In fact, most religion with any public relevance seems blasphemous in the sense that it tries to portray or represent ultimate and holy things we mortals may be in little position to judge.

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Aliotroph? said:

They could feel their faith is under threat by logic and/or humour.

Or common sense for that matter. What's the difference between Muslims threatening to murder a group of cartoon artists and this? Maybe not as drastic but you're still threatening people liberty. Social Commentary is essential to make an un-biased society.

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"The new law defines blasphemy as publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted."

Seems like another off-shoot of the hate crimes crapflood, except this one's actually in favor of the "sacred."

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Lüt said:

"The new law defines blasphemy as publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted."

I think it would be delightfully ironic if it meant that every holy text had to be banned because it's blasphemous to all the other religions. It might be okay to preach tolerance and understanding if all religions weren't based on pure fucking hipocrisy.

Also, blasphemy in general is just a double standard that zealots enjoy abusing. It's fine for some fanatic to preach that we're all going to burn in hell, writhing in agony and suffering for the duration of time, but as soon as we use a religious word or phrase out of context, that's overstepping the mark?

LOL, religion.

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I feel like living dangerously...

There's probably no Doomguy.
Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

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Lies. Doomguy is the son of gud that is really gud who was sent to hell to kill for our sins. D:

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So is every nutbar cultist by law to be free of ridicule? Or only the big institutions?

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When I read the thread title, the first thought that came to my mind was "oh no, they banned the FreeHeretic project in Ireland?". But then it occurred to me that maybe this would be great for the project in terms of getting it's name out there.

Then I stopped being retarded and read through the thread :P. Still, this is a particularly asinine law and I'm shocked to see it.

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No problem, just another notch on the helmet:

http://www.dumblaws.com/

Ninja edit with RUP:

If this little gem is true:

Dumb laws in Ireland:
Any person who shall pretend or exercise to use any type of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, or pretend knowledge in any occult or or craft or science shall for any such offense suffer imprisonment at the time of one whole year and also shall be obliged to obscursion for his/her good behavior.


...then I'd like to see who draws the line between "legitimate religious beliefs" to protect and "illegitimate mumbo jumbo" to persecute.

Hint: in Greece, the Orthodox Church is the one calling the shots in such matters, but OTOH we don't have an official state-church split, and nobody pretends that there is. And not even during the grimmest Junta years did the Church officially promote such a bill. Sure, talking bad about the Orthodox Church before pretty much anyone would get you reported and dealt with, but what they are doing in Ireland is ridiculous.

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Man, FYL, Maes. Separation of church and state is the sweetest, even though even here in America, many people tend to ignore/dismiss it, and/or fail to understand its significance. At the end of the day, though, whatever else is going on, I can always point to it as something that I am truly grateful to have here in the US, as it seems to be almost unheard of outside of this country.

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geekmarine said:

[Separation of church and state] I can always point to it as something that I am truly grateful to have here in the US, as it seems to be almost unheard of outside of this country.


Geekmarine, I hope you appreciate the irony of that comment coming from someone coming from a country that has the phrase "IN GOD WE TRUST" stamped over all of its coins, notes, and has passed it as its national motto via a Congress act.

The funny thing is that almost all EU member states do have an official state-church separation, although in practice many still have laws that unilaterally favor some variant of Christianity (which one precisely depends on historical and cultural reasons), including economic and secular power benefits that go way beyond some simple "think about our rights" lobbying.

Ireland in particular should be a "church-free" state on paper (while the cosmopolitan and worldly England still has a state church), but it's very obvious that this isn't so.

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Maes said:

Ireland in particular should be a "church-free" state on paper

No. God is in their Constitution, contrarily to that of the US "In God We Trust" of A.

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Maes said:

Hint: in Greece, the Orthodox Church is the one calling the shots in such matters, but OTOH we don't have an official state-church split, and nobody pretends that there is. And not even during the grimmest Junta years did the Church officially promote such a bill. Sure, talking bad about the Orthodox Church before pretty much anyone would get you reported and dealt with, but what they are doing in Ireland is ridiculous.


Its not like that doesn't happen in America as well; I live in a city (Jacksonville, FL) that is essentially dominated by the First Baptist Church in downtown Jacksonville. If anyone in a position of power speaks ill of the church, bad shit happens to them.

Example: A while ago there was a big scandal about the church trying to shut down a blog criticizing the church. They even managed to have a city-employed detective (who went to the church) get a warrant for the blog's closure.

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Maes said:

Ireland in particular should be a "church-free" state on paper

Really? Many people would consider Ireland one of the EU countries most heavily indoctrinated with religion. I can't say I'm at all surprised that it's there of all places that such an inane law would be passed.

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Maes said:

Ireland in particular should be a "church-free" state on paper

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Gez said:

Paper. Not exactly church-free. More like church-full. Basically, the way it's worded, you're free to believe anything you want, as long as Almighty God is part of the picture. Christian? Jew? Muslim? Welcome! Atheist? Buddhist? Fuck off!


Yeah yeah, with the catch that somewhere it will also say "If your religion's name doesn't begin with 'Chri' and doesn't end with 'stian Catholic' then it sucks". Then their constitution clashes horribly with their being a "secular" state (which is the 'paper' I was referring to). If they slipped-in non-secularity in fine print, that's another matter.

Even Italy, that's also "secular" on paper has pretty explicit laws recognizing the Catholic Church a "special status" and certain privileges. The only self-proclaimed atheist state even was Socialist Albania, and even that was short lived.

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Maes said:
The only self-proclaimed atheist state even was Socialist Albania, and even that was short lived.

According to the Encyclopedia Maesica, perhaps, as the Wikipedia article linked, and its references, seem to contradict that.

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myk said:

According to the Encyclopedia Maesica, perhaps, as the Wikipedia article linked, and its references, seem to contradict that.


I read the historical precedents, but the French revolutionaries never actually implemented it, while Albanian regime propaganda trumpeted its "achievement". For comparison, even in the USSR the Orthodox Church was allowed some limited existence because they helped with keeping order.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia said:

From year 1967 to the end of the totalitarian regime, religious practices were banned and the country was proclaimed officially atheist, marking an event that happened for the first time in world history. Albanians born during the regime were never indoctrinated into, nor taught about religion, so they grew up to become atheists.


And no, I didn't put this in myself :-p

So, Albania it is. Enver Hoxha tungjatjeta!

What the article doesn't say however is how quickly religion (and in particular Islam) creeped into the minds and lives of those born in the last years of the regime (the current 30 yos), and got a stronghold in them because of the lack of reference points.

I remember speaking to a lot of Albanians when I was a student, that told me they often attended mosques or Islamic preaching just because there was nowhere else to go/nothing else to do, after the fall of the regime left a massive hole in pretty much every aspect of life in Albania.

Just to "concede the lame's right" however, the article later on mentions Communist China as being "officially atheist" since 1949, thus preceding Communist Albania. However only Albania actually practiced a total ban among all the other Communist states, even though it was relatively short lived (one generation) and had no lasting effects (Islam slithered everywhere literally overnight).

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On one hand, it's saying first and not only, as you said above. On the other, it seems to be referring to the combination of the declaration plus the bans on religious institutions that they considered to be from other cultures and nations. Not the first atheist state, as communists declared official atheism before that. China was atheist from its communist inception in 1949, for example, so Albania declaring itself atheist in 1967 did not make a first in that respect.

Originally, Albania, being more nationalist, rejected religion for reasons similar but different from those of communists. They rejected institutions for being invasive to their cultural heritage, although it states in the article that they've historically accepted their own pagan rites, which they felt were their own.

Edit: I see you managed to read a bit more of the article :p

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Maes said:

Just to "concede the lame's right" however, the article later on mentions Communist China as being "officially atheist" since 1949, thus preceding Communist Albania. However only Albania actually practiced a total ban among all the other Communist states, even though it was relatively short lived (one generation) and had no lasting effects (Islam slithered everywhere literally overnight).

The Communist Chinese are going about weaning people off religion in a slightly more pragmatic way, allowing believers who acknowledge the state's primacy to worship in state-approved churches while persecuting faiths that have gone underground.

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So why, according to TIME, do some states have a law forbidding atheists from adopting?


...I would have to say it promotes a "moral" society, but Atheists like myself are perfectly capable of legally holding their own in America. I deleted what I originally said to try and word my answer a little better than "they're arrogant dickheads".

I know life is rarely fair, but I just feel that Christianity has evolved into a hypocritical religion.

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Kagemaru_H said:

I know life is rarely fair, but I just feel that Christianity has evolved into a hypocritical religion.


So wait, are there any religions that do NOT deliberately lie/beautify/bend reality to their best interests and to appease their followers? And before you call it an "act of faith", that is the very epitome of the preceding traits: an outright fabrication/legend (lie) is presented as something that has to be believed and can't be disproved or proved (lie/bending) because it's so awesome that you just can't even conceive it (lie/beautifying/bending).

Oh well, except maybe for the few ones that don't give a shit, like the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

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Maes said:

So wait, are there any religions that do NOT deliberately lie/beautify/bend reality to their best interests and to appease their followers? And before you call it an "act of faith", that is the very epitome of the preceding traits: an outright fabrication/legend (lie) is presented as something that has to be believed and can't be disproved or proved (lie/bending) because it's so awesome that you just can't even conceive it (lie/beautifying/bending).

Oh well, except maybe for the few ones that don't give a shit, like the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.


There's also Satanism, which from what I can tell, has far more respect for "outsiders" than Christianity. Christians try to force their religion on people; Satanism is underground and doesn't give a fuck about what people do as long as it's not hurting the religion. I know of far worse religious dogmatists than Christians - Muslims for one.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudud

EDIT: Judaism is usually inherited by family rather than pressed on people, so Jews generally leave people alone about their religious beliefs.

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Kagemaru_H said:
There's also Satanism, which from what I can tell, has far more respect for "outsiders" than Christianity.

From what I can tell, they're mostly eccentric weirdos engrossed with themselves, or a result of commercial mores. Since their religion hardly exists, it's not like they need to worry about the administration of the faithful, so they have no need for strictness. Since they don't have a creed that deals with the "serious business" of life and society at large, they have neither need nor means to expand.

Muslims for one

Easier said by people sitting comfortably among the privileges of the west. Islam has spread into many impoverished or strife-stricken areas, so you can't necessarily blame the religion for suiting such unfortunate people. It may be playing (necessary?) roles other religions or institutions can't or don't bother to play. Often ugly? Perhaps, but living in nasty or unstable situations is not pretty, to begin with.

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Kagemaru_H said:

EDIT: Judaism is usually inherited by family rather than pressed on people, so Jews generally leave people alone about their religious beliefs.

I understand what you think you're saying, and throughout most of the world, you would be correct. However, I think the Palestinians would have something to say to you about that.

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myk said:

Islam has spread into many impoverished or strife-stricken areas, so you can't necessarily blame the religion for suiting such unfortunate people. It may be playing (necessary?) roles other religions or institutions can't or don't bother to play. Often ugly? Perhaps, but living in nasty or unstable situations is not pretty, to begin with.


Bingo. Exactly the situation I described above about post-communist Albania: a couple of years of methodical Islamic proselytism pretty much blew their "Atheist state" castle of cards in the air, at least for the younger generations. Of course it didn't happen by itself, it was heavily promoted by imams etc.

About what makes Islam so appealing to unfortunate/impoverished people, I'd say it's its being so simple and clear-cut in what it requests from its followers (pray 5 times a day etc.) and, at least the leading confessions of Islam, endorse if not praise quaintness, plainness and overall mediocrity (personal and societal).

There was an interesting article written by some German professor, that argued how Islam in its dominant form is inherently opposed to literacy, scientific research, learning and progress, and that the ruling theocratic elite was/is more concerned with maintaining a low-level status quo for what regards the above.

Among others, the professor mentioned how e.g. Israel had filed over 20000 patents between 1980 and 2000, while all of the Arabic-speaking nations combined had less than 6000 (or even lower) in the same time period, and in general how typography, literacy and access to western bibliography all came too late and were actively opposed by the theocratic eiites throughout the middle east (e.g. typography only came in the late 19th century). He even criticized the Arabic language for being tailored and shaped through the centuries to better express Koranic concepts while making it clumsy, awkward and inherently unsuitable for anything remotely "advanced".

Perhaps that's going a bit too far (claiming that there are natural languages inherently superior to others in certain fields is something only a qualified linguist could answer) but I can see the guy's point.

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