Imposing beliefs on others.




 
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Boots
 
October 28th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 

Topic: Imposing beliefs on others.


I was thinking back to the Presidential debates and one of John Kerry's responses to a question about abortion. He explained that he was a devout Catholic and personally against abortion. (His faith is very strongly against it obviously). And yet his reason for supporting Pro Choice and Abortion Rights, completely contrary to his own convictions, is that "I cannot impose those beliefs on another person who may not share my beliefs."

On the whole, I thought it was a pretty confusing approach to the whole matter, but it did get me thinking about the larger picture: How much should a President's (or any other elected official) decisions be influenced by their own beliefs and convictions??

On the one extreme end of the spectrum, we have the undesireable situation where a President of the United States constantly pushes his own religion's agenda. He preaches the dogmas of his faith and does his best to convert all of America.

On the other extreme end of things, we have a Congress that outlaws all discrimination against mass-murderers, drug addicts and/or dealers, rapists and pedofiles because they decide these are "valid lifestyle choices" They make the statement that such Biblical nonsense as "Thou Shalt Not Kill" violates the separation of Church and State and has no business being written into law.

Obviously there is a certain level of morals that we want to keep, but at the same time we don't want it to get out of hand. So what are everyone's thoughts? Where do we draw the line?
October 29th, 2004  
egoz
 
Well I've always tried not to force my ideals onto others. But most of my ideals don't have nothing to do with religion. I'm not a very religous person to begin with.

As an elected official that's a different matter. They need to maintain a moral balance in the country. Making laws to protect a moral code in the country doesn't have to do with religion at all. Just because in the Bible it says, "Thou Shalt Not Murder" doesn't mean we can't have laws preventing murder. It is a separation of church and state because murder is a violation of the social mores we have in this country. There are laws that just abide by social conduct that coincidentally are similar to religious beliefs. Perhaps not coincidentally, but they represent social deviance that can't be accepted.
October 29th, 2004  
Lupos
 
 
Our country has just gone insane when it comes to the whole belief thing. The slightest mention of being something different from another person seems to be FORCING your beliefs on another person. Just my oppinion.
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Boots
October 30th, 2004  
A Can of Man
 
 
I agree. Americans seem to be too sensitive about the whole thing and if you say anything and someone disagrees, a law suit could be flying your way.

Don't agree? Then just say, "no thanks," and move on.
October 30th, 2004  
egoz
 
It's funny how we are saying that Americans have become too sensative about forcing our beliefs on others; yet when Americans travel abroad they're known for being very arrogant and not respecting other people's cultures.
October 30th, 2004  
Darkmb101
 
Draw a line and it will be crossed.
October 31st, 2004  
Missileer
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by egoz
It's funny how we are saying that Americans have become too sensative about forcing our beliefs on others; yet when Americans travel abroad they're known for being very arrogant and not respecting other people's cultures.
But we haven't gone to any other Country and blew up a building full of innocents, not without being at war with them. I think a lot of the "ugly American" is Hollywood hype.
October 31st, 2004  
larsrq
 
I have a couple of comments on this.

Godofthunder said "How much should a President's (or any other elected official) decisions be influenced by their own beliefs and convictions??"

Isn't that what you vote them for? You share what they belief and son on?

Then I have to defend americans abroad. they are usually very polite and doesn't do that much harm at all. many are rather navie because they don't know that much about the world. There are people from other countries that are much worse. Anyone that have been on a Danish beach inthe summer knows what I am talking about and it's not the Danes. I do hope I don't offend anyone now.
October 31st, 2004  
A Can of Man
 
 
Well you're not going to get sued in another country so...
But in that case it is biased. Often whenever someone visits another country their impressions and stuff first on their cultures and customs aren't very positive anyways. Just Americans, since they travel more than others, get the bad rep.
Australians also fall in this category.
The thing is both Americans and Australians are very forward people by nature and this makes cross-cultural interaction trickier.
October 31st, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by larsrq
I have a couple of comments on this.

Godofthunder said "How much should a President's (or any other elected official) decisions be influenced by their own beliefs and convictions??"

Isn't that what you vote them for? You share what they belief and son on?
True but consider that example of John Kerry. From what Kerry is saying, he is not going along with his true convictions. The moral stance he has, as a member of the Catholic Church, should logically be to opposed the practice. He makes the statement that he is personally against the practice, but turns right around and says that he isn't going to let his own moral views be imposed on anyone else. So does he actually believe that Abortion is wrong? Strong conviction from a very Catholic perspective would equate Abortion to being the next worst thing to murder. He doesn't believe in it to that degree apparently. As a President (if he is elected), you can expect him to push a Pro Choice agenda which goes a bit beyond the idea of "not imposing my beliefs" and is boldfacedly contradicting his supposed moral convictions. So he believes but he doesn't. See why that one instance is so confusing to me?? I'm not trying to open the Abortion debate here BTW

The most important point of the thread is that morals DOES enter into being a leader of a nation. There is such a thing as right and wrong, with endless debate of exactly what they are.