Atheism Faith Church State and Education; Instalment #1

Atheism Faith Church State and Education

On Q’s Blog Ragged Glory (love that name) there has been a very heated debate over the issue of the separation of church and state. It has drawn in a number of related issues such as the world views of Atheists and theists as they relate to the State and its role as educator.

I have noticed that there are many diverging opinions, that are not entirely held within each camp so to speak. It has been pointed out that most, but not all, would accept some degree of separation of Church and state, however the level of such separation needs to be considered carefully.

Should we say that religion should be entirely removed from political discourse or simply that no one belief structure be endorsed. (That is including atheism as a belief structure).

Now I do not mean to steal Q’s thread (so feel free to decline this proposal) but I would like to propose a small exercise to see where the all participants stand. I would like everyone to outline their position on the issues by answering a set of straight forward questions, much like the ones that Q began with on his blog but more of them. From the responses I, with Q if he likes(as he is very good at logical analysis) will analyse them from a purely logical stand point, using only such means as Vene diagrams truth tables and comparisons with logical fallacies (drawn from a standard university text ) no opinions. Believe it or not this is possible.

If the argument can be equated with a fallacy this will be noted but not labelled as such unless there is a definite fault in logic (which will be sent back to the originator not as a criticism but to simply ask for clarity, a fault in logic will be left in if the originator is convinced it is not a fault).

The deliverable as we call it in Government, will be a report that outlines what everyone thinks and will thus put us on the same page. I will prepare the report and email it out to each participant for their input (to be added as redline text). The end product will be a position statement for each person and defensible argument that you can agree with. Since I do not have a lot of free time to devote for this it may take some time to produce however it may make an interesting article which with you permission I could publish somewhere (and you thought I was doing this out of the goodness of my heart ha ha ha )

What will this accomplish? Well, it will help us to know what we believe better, and how it relates to the totality of our beliefs. And I hate to sound immodest but I suspect we will come to the conclusion that we all have valid arguments but we simply need to understand our own positions first. I suspect some of us don’t (Including myself).

The beautiful thing about this proposal is that no one will end up in disagreement because we are simply looking at our own argument and not responding to the others positions (as Yet). I will simply act as a facilitator. This way rather than pieces of our arguments coming out as a response to each comment, the whole position will be laid out on the table so to speak for everyone to see.

Step #1 So folks here is my final requests. Do you want to participate? Are you willing to accept the proposals methodology, if not what changes should I make? Do you think that this proposition will produce something useful?

If there is not enough response I will let everyone know and this will be as far as it goes. However I think this might be a very good exercise for all concerned.

Step #2 would be to define questions and common terms.

Questions should be broad and simply, such as: Do you believe that there should exist a separation between church and state, and why? Do you believe that this separation should be extended to all aspects of government including education, and why? Do you believe that creationism should be taught in school? Do you believe it should be taught in a science class and why?
What does the term church and state mean to you, and why? Etc…

I would like to keep the questions related to the overarching issue of Church and state so any way these questions could be linked so the answers reflect that relationship would be good.

I have sent invitations to those involved in Q’s debate. Why? Because they seem to care.

That said, I think this should be open to anyone concerned. Because of this I will never use the statistical preference of those participating as representative of any one position simply because this blog tends to draw in liberals and Q’s draws in the theologically concern, and the results would be biassed. So do not worry this will not be used against your point of view it will simply present a series of informed arguments.

So people what do you say shall we do this or not?


7 thoughts on “Atheism Faith Church State and Education; Instalment #1

  1. I forgot to mention for those that have not been involved in Q’s thread on this it might be a good idea to read ALL the comments there first.

  2. And I hate to sound immodest but I suspect we will come to the conclusion that we all have valid arguments but we simply need to understand our own positions first. I suspect some of us don’t (Including myself).

    That sounds useful. 🙂

  3. Sadie I hope you aren’t being sarcastic (I suspect not) but just in case, an argument can be logically valid even if it is not true.

    Once we get down to valid arguments we can sweep away the fallacious positions, here are two examples.

    – All atheists do not believe in God and all Satanists do not believe in God therefore all Atheist must be Satanists.

    – Conversely would be the position that All Believers hate atheists and all religious fanatics hate atheists therefore all believers must be religious fanatics.

    Even if you believed one of these arguments the logic of the argument does not hold up. A Vene diagram would show this and I will be posting one of these later but for reference the argument breaks down into the following equation;

    All A are B and all C are B therefore all A are C.

    A valid argument would be;

    All A are B and all C are B Therefore some A are C.

    To revert that back to my examples;

    Valid arguments would be – All atheists (A) do not believe in God (B) and all Satanists (C) do not believe in God (B) therefore some Atheists(A) must be Satanists (B). Conversely would be the position that All Believers(A) hate atheists(B) and all religious fanatics(C) hate atheists(B) therefore some believers(A) must be religious fanatics.(C)

    Whether we accept the arguments or not depends on the facts presented to support the arguments not the logic of them as these arguments fulfill the criteria of valid.

    What I am saying is an argument can be false but logically valid.

    The next step would be to place these in truth tables but that is another posting.

  4. Oh, geeze–I should have been more clear. I was agreeing with you, fully.
    I want to better understand my position as well as read other opinions in a non-argumentitive environment.

  5. Mrs.Aginoth – Sure !

    I am just waiting for a few more to join in but if not I think there enough people who have either sent me emails or responded to this posting, to begin.

    I will keep you posted.

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