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danconquer's Avatar Joined over 3 years ago
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Latest Discussions Started by danconquer

Secularists & Sundays - last commented 20 August 2012 11:12 PM

"Judge For Yourself!" - last commented 08 February 2012 07:16 PM

When religion goes adults-only - last commented 18 August 2011 01:44 AM

Welcome to the 21st century! - last commented 12 June 2011 12:15 AM

Manufacturing 'persecution' - last commented 02 May 2011 08:45 AM

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Go to: Secularists & Sundays

danconquer's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by danconquer

Perhaps one solution might be to abolish all the existing controls over trading hours on sundays... And replace it with a single, simple statutory rule: All non-essential work on sundays must be available on a strictly voluntary basis, with employers prohibited from making it a contractual condition of employment.

It seems that everyone (except perhaps Tesco shareholders) would win under such a system: People who don't want to work would not have to, people who do want to work all day long would be able to and command a truer market rate for their labour which is otherwise driven down when employers are able to compel staff to work involuntarily.

I'd elaborate more on what seems an eminently sensible idea, but I have to go to work in an hour. Yes, on Sunday.

Sun, 25 Mar 2012 10:42:37 UTC | #930348

Go to: Secularists & Sundays

danconquer's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by danconquer

Comment 17 by canadian_right :

There is a big difference between deciding to celebrate Christmas, and being FORCED to treat every Sunday as special.

You've changed two variable in that comparison: "deciding/FORCED" and "Christmas/Sunday". Intentional or not though, it does raise what I suspect is a potential inconsistency in some people's approach to this. People are very quick to breezily dismiss the idea that government should intervene in commercial/employment activity on Sunday... But I'm quite sure that a great many of those same people would actually be very uncomfortable with the notion that businesses providing non-essential services should be allowed to compel employees to work on Christmas Day. Yet there is no rational basis for making a distinction. If you regard it as an infringement of 'individual liberties' then it shouldn't matter whether it is one day in 7 or 365.

I notice that some have used terms like "forced" and "rammed down people's throats". The current arrangement allows small businesses (such as pubs and corner shops) to choose their own hours, meaning all involved - both customers and employees - can reasonably be assumed to be consenting. But Tesco's is now the biggest single private employer in Britain. In many towns and cities, retail is no longer a part of, but is the economy and is the only employment on offer. If you were suddenly informed that you were now compelled to work a limitless range of 24-hour shifts on sundays against your wishes then wouldn't you feel like the one having something 'rammed down your throat'? There are actually alot of private individuals who do rely on the current laws to keep some kind of semblance of 'special' to their sundays.

I should not be forced to be forced to limit my activities because of religion.

The question remains though just how much of this is actually down to religion? Does it not seem likely to you that the very earliest human civilisations would naturally have allocated a 'special' day, insofar as one that allowed for a unified, cohesive break for it's members? It seems far more plausible to me that religion - as is often the case - simply hijacked, rather than created, what was a pre-existing human phenomena.

Sun, 25 Mar 2012 10:36:41 UTC | #930347

Go to: Killing Bald Eagles in the name of religion

danconquer's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by danconquer

Many countries have designated certain species as 'protected', usually for reasons of biodiversity and protection of a species endangered as a result of human activity. Such regulations almost always allow an appropriate authority to make an exemption, but the reason for the exemption must be to satisfy real - not imaginary - requirements, such as preventing the spread of a disease.

Whether the catalyst in this case is supernaturalism or mere tradition makes no difference. Neither are sufficient reasons to override an enshrined regulation or law. This decision is morally wrong and, I suspect, quite possibly legally wrong. I hope it is challenged. If allowed to stand it creates an intolerable and absurd precedent. What if I or my made-up sect decided that it is the most sincere and inescapable requirement for us to sacrifice any number of other officially protected species? No exemption would be entertained, and thus it would be discriminatory.

Sat, 24 Mar 2012 11:40:47 UTC | #930139

Go to: Pakistan Blasphemy Law versus Asia Bibi (critical update)

danconquer's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by danconquer

Comment 12 by inquisador :

Why would that be I wonder?

Presumably for much the same reason that all of Europe spent most of the last thousand years tearing itself to pieces. The biggest atrocities, the most shamelessly organised and systematic genocides, took place in the western countries and had nothing to do with muslims.

Whenever people try to pinpoint a particular group within the global society who are principally responsible for conflict, the finger is pointed sometimes at certain racial groups, sometimes certain nationalities and sometimes, as you are doing, at a certain religious group. However, even if it were true for some given cases, you would be identifying a common factor for only a relatively small number (certainly less than 20%) of the total tally of antagonist-combatants in the world.

Why do people keep ignoring the one really, truly statistically undeniable constant factor? Namely gender. Some 99.9% of antagonist-combatants are, and have been, men. Wouldn't that statistic make them the real underlying problem? A blight on what would clearly be a vastly more peaceful and co-operative women's world?

It seems that when certain facts become sufficiently ubiquitous they also become invisible.

Thu, 22 Mar 2012 22:33:43 UTC | #929739

Go to: Pakistan Blasphemy Law versus Asia Bibi (critical update)

danconquer's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by danconquer

Comment 8 by inquisador :

GW Bush made the same mistake that many of us did, including myself, in thinking that democracy was the answer for oppressive Islamic dictatorships. It evidently makes little difference to a largely Muslim population whether the dictator is elected or not. The government will be brutal, corrupt and Islamic; generally speaking.

You're right; anyone who thinks that enabling a population to mark an 'X' on piece of paper once every five years or so will, by itself, enact a fundamental cultural and social shift is mistaken. There were rarely any immediate and dramatic shifts in the underlying cultures of European societies that arose merely from the introduction of universal suffrage, so there is no reason to expect a different outcome in other continents.

However, I don't know whether it was intentional but you make it sound as if whether democratic or not, all muslim-majority countries amount to pretty much the same thing. This is a patently absurd statement. The difference between Turkey and Saudi Arabia is vast. Perhaps you should go to Istanbul and sit at a table in the street drinking beer outside one of the rainbow-flag bedecked gay bars in the city, or visit a college where - in stark contrast to Saudi - women are banned from wearing the veil. Turkey still has lots of problems, but it is not helpful to effectively write off any muslim-majority country.

Which is one reason why I argue for resistance to Islamification in western countries.

Who here on RDF is arguing for 'Islamification'? It can't be a very interesting argument if you're having to conduct it entirely with yourself! What do you intend to do? Build a wall around Europe? There already are muslim-majority countries bang in the middle of continental Europe. If someone proposed dividing the UK up into neatly quarantined areas as a "solution" to any kind of conflict they would be thought rather mad; yet this is no different to what some people favour albeit at a global level. All that happens is that grievances are simply staged at the trans-national level (alá Pakistan & India) with all the raised stakes that brings with it.

Thu, 22 Mar 2012 11:07:21 UTC | #929578

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