I’d suggest Rep. Akin is entitled to display his dangerous belief that the wombs of virtuous women can magically repel rapist semen to the same extent as any other moronic fuckwit, but I remain unconvinced it deserves some higher degree of protection simply because he’s mouth-farting in the context of a Senate campaign.
Yep. And I also wonder exactly what is meant by 'political speech'. If it basically means something like speech criticising established politicians then I guess I could see a case for it being given some greater degree of protection. But that wouldn't cover Akin's comments.
That said, I'm happy for people like Akin to be free to demonstrate what fools they are.
Do you believe that the principles of natural justice also guarantee a right to an appeal?
Not in themselves, perhaps. But the principles of natural justice include “fairness of the procedure”, which these days seems to be considered to include: "offer right of appeal or review".
Okay, those points are the State Services Commission’s guidelines, but still, I’d expect that there’s a case that fairness can’t be achieved if one party has access to an appeal option but the other party doesn’t.
I guess I’m strange, because I have no idea what that is, so I won’t choose whether I think it exists.
Ben, now that would be a use of ‘agnostic’ that I get. Anyway, if you haven’t looked him up yet… Mister Myxzptlk. He's much like Q from Star Trek The Next Generation.
Same thing, I suppose – there’s no positive evidence for either fairies in my garden or Mr Mxyzptlk nor is there an experiment that could prove their existence or nonexistent, so the hypothesis that they might exist is unfalsifiable and therefore unscientific. Therefore I don’t keep myself awake at night worrying about them.
Sure, but in your previous answer you seemed to be shying away from calling yourself “agnostic” on all such notions – be it garden fairies or magical Imps from the 5th dimension. But as someone who therefore does not believe in such things, how are you any different from the atheist who does not believe in God?
I guess I agree with what Ben calls ‘weak atheism’, except that I don’t consider that the same as ‘agnosticism’, and also, as Amy suggested, I’d say that would apply to just about all atheists. Atheists, for the most part, aren’t fussed about proving that God doesn’t exist.
…if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods.
None of us would seriously consider the possibility that all the gods of homer really exist, and yet if you were to set to work to give a logical demonstration that Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, and the rest of them did not exist you would find it an awful job. You could not get such proof.
Therefore, in regard to the Olympic gods, speaking to a purely philosophical audience, I would say that I am an Agnostic. But speaking popularly, I think that all of us would say in regard to those gods that we were Atheists. In regard to the Christian God, I should, I think, take exactly the same line.
Still, Mr Mxyzptlk, I think falls below the threshold of reasonable belief. There is a probability that he might exist, but it’s so vanishingly small that Pascal would probably say, Soprano-style, fuggedaboutit.
What happened to the "event horizon" that was "the limit of falsifiability"?
The ‘event horizon’ I referred to was the limit of falsifiability. There may or may not be fairies at the bottom of my garden and if I don’t find them, then they may be very good at hiding… but really their existence would be inconsistent with everything else I can prove, I have no reason to believe that there are and so I don’t believe in them despite having no proof of their nonexistence
Exactly, you don’t believe in them. If fairies were deities, you’d be a non-believer in those deities, i.e. an atheist.
Etymology is interesting and all, but it doesn’t govern how we use words today, and it seems to me that ‘agnostic’ is used mostly to indicate an ‘undecided’, roughly 50/50 position; a political agnostic, for example.
There are literally an infinite number of things that might be true, in the sense that you imply with the garden fairy example (many of them probably contradictory). The Judeo-Christian God, Ahura Mazda, the Norse gods, the tooth fairy, Osiris, Vishnu, Hine-nui-te-pō, Zeus, leprechauns, Nyame, Mister Mxyzptlk, an invisible garage-dwelling dragon, Cthulhu, Vampire Slayers….. all could possibly exist. You can’t prove with absolute ontological certainty that these, or an endless number of other fanciful beings, don’t exist.
To me, it seems strange to insist on being “agnostic” on the existence of Mr Mxyzptlk.
Yes, At the nitty-gritty level I think that atheism is “illogical” or rather that its logic breaks down at a certain event horizon.
To hold an atheist view does not require faith in the same sense that believing in a deity does. I think you're confusing atheists in general with particular atheists who consider that God has been proven to not exist. At an educated guess, I'd say this is a small subset of atheists. (And even there, I'm not sure that their position is 'illogical', just wrong.)
I, like most people these days, don't believe in the Norse gods. As a non-believer in these deities, I hold an atheist position on their existence. Why would it be different for the Judeo-Christian God? To equate that to having faith that they don't exist is as nonsensical as saying I have faith that the tooth fairy doesn't exist.
I can't recall where I read/heard this, but it's been put this way: saying atheism is a faith is like saying abstinence is a sexual position.
... there is little prospect of any NZ court compelling Catholic clergy to solemnise marriages that are contrary to Catholic belief, because of s29 of the Marriage Act and the religious freedom parts of the BORA, Re Same Sex Marriage is quite convincing, in my opinion.
It's s29 of the Marriage Act that's the key. The BORA's religious freedom parts that I noticed (s13 and 15) wouldn't make much difference in themselves, I don't think. In as much as solemnising a marriage is a civil function then - were it not for s29 of the MA - a duly appointed civil agent would have to perform that function without discrimination.
If you are refused a social welfare benefit, for whatever reason, this is recorded and will be a hurdle to gaining that benefit. If you are refused a marriage licence by a church, this is not a hurdle in any way whatsoever to gaining a marriage licence ever.
By your reasoning would a comment deleted from a website be a violation of free speech rights?
I only suggested a civil servant personally refusing to grant a benefit (on genuine, deeply held religious grounds). They would, of course, helpfully direct the applicant to the next case manager, who would grant it instead. This personal refusal is not a hurdle in any way whatsoever to gaining a benefit ever. By your reasoning, why can they not do this?
You might find that the ability of the NZ state to compel people to act against their religious faith is (thankfully) significantly less than I/S presumes. If a Catholic or a Salafist have a religious belief that they cannot perform a marriage that means they can not perform a marriage.
I think you’re giving more power to s15 of the BORA than is intended. A civil servant such as a Work and Income officer (for example) could not refuse to grant a benefit to a person just because they have a genuine religious belief that that type of person shouldn’t receive state support.
So a priest or minister could not refuse to act on the civil aspect of their role. So it’s exactly as Emma described in the quote you pulled: a priest or minister can refuse to perform the non-civil aspect of their role in marriage (i.e. they won’t bless the union with their sacrament etc). However, in their capacity as a civil celebrant surely they have to do their job?
as people seem obsessed with finding out if people are against change due to religious reasons,
So you want to, what ... achieve some sort of karmic balance by obsessing over Louisa Wall’s possible religious motivation?
Michael Stevens, once again, sums up perfectly how I feel.
Who says: "But don't assume it's what every single queer is desperate for, because it's not."
And is anyone here assuming that? No? Good.