If you think we don't need religion consider that our legal system is religious in origin

May 27, 2014, 7:46 am

Agree40 Disagree62

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The debate "If you think we don't need religion consider that our legal system is religious in origin" was started by tkershaw3 on May 27, 2014, 7:46 am. 40 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 62 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most people are against to this statement.

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I agree that most laws are based on setting reasonable limits to actions, protecting people and their property, and maintaining order. While religion has played a role in the development of the laws (just as it has played a role in the development of the nations) it is not the root of all laws.
There are examples of laws that are religiously based, and typically these are the laws that are the most divisive, controversial, and often the most harmful.

In Canada, we recently had a provincial government propose legislation banning "religious symbols" for anyone working a public job. According to that proposed legislation, wearing a cross was alright, but wearing a symbol of another faith (Jewish, Muslim, etc) was not an anyone who did would no be fired. It was proposed as a way to United everyone by getting rid of divisive symbols of faith, but they made it clear which faith's symbols were "divisive."

With regard to creationism being a board issue and not a legal one, here in Canada the province sets the curriculum, so whenever creationists try to push it into our public schools, it is a government issue. I can't speak to the US or other nation's processes, so I based my argument on my own frame of reference.

4 years, 8 months ago

@psychdave
I would argue that the creationism being taught is policy not law. The two are different in that one is a board decision, I.e. The school board and one is legislative.

The gay marriage thing is an interesting one. I would agree that it's a good exception to the rule. Perhaps the better way of phrasing my initial challenge is to say: show me the constitutional framework that is based on religion rather than secular thought.

Being in a democracy makes things a bit muggy when it comes to individuals laws, so perhaps framework is better. As people can use religious arguments to pass laws, however, I would still contend that the basis of our laws are secular since the framework is secular.

4 years, 8 months ago

I also disagreed with the topic due to its implication that laws based on religion are evidence that religion is needed, rather than a need to do a better job separating church and state (I live in Canada, so we don't even have that written into our Constitution).

4 years, 8 months ago

@Socrates You asked for laws that were based solely on religious beliefs, what about the ban on gay marriage or the legal battle to teach creationism in public schools (which has won in some places). I don't think the entire legal system is built on a religious foundation, but many of the people running the show have expressed strong religious beliefs that are bound to influence their decisions.

4 years, 8 months ago

Legal systems and religions are both imagined realities. Both have the same effect in the end, they make people do things in real life.

4 years, 8 months ago

Religion and philosophy were mankinds first two strolls into morality, and thus law would emerge from it. Early law is like a collection of best practices from religions. But, as with nature, it has evolved. Primarily due to non-religious philosophies. And it will continue to evolve so long as humans discuss what is right and wrong, what is allowable and forbidden.

Consider that every good law was well reasoned. Good law do not require faith. Arbitrary laws require faith, they are arbitrary and are forgotten over time and become unenforced. Much like western blasphemy laws ;D

I disagreed because the question is poorly presented. I agree law has roots in religion, but not that this is good or necessary.

4 years, 9 months ago

Show me which law is directly based on religion, which law is based on principles that could only have come from religion and not through rational thought. Then you have an argument, until then you're clinging to a nice story you tell yourself to keep religion relevant.

4 years, 9 months ago

Tue founding fathers were not Christians. they were deist.

4 years, 9 months ago

Laws are usually based on general social principles societies require to thrive. e.g a society where murder is permitted probably wouldn't survive past a few generations. In western societies you would find barely any with actual religious origin. These principles pre-date religion and are barely divinely inspired. No western country has legal systems calling for gays, unruly children, or unmarried non-virgins to be killed. Just to name a few...

4 years, 10 months ago

Not if you're in the United States. This country was founded upon freedom of religion. All the religious stuff on our money and in our pledge didn't show up until later. The Constitution says nothing about religion except for the freedom of it.

4 years, 10 months ago

Not in America.

4 years, 10 months ago
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