1998-09-16 - RE: Democracy…

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From: Matthew James Gering <mgering@ecosystems.net>
To: “Cypherpunks (E-mail)” <cypherpunks@cyberpass.net>
Message Hash: 4bf2e0109b4f7df802aa33340ed18637d7e22667461284c8fd192885bf2555be
Message ID: <33CCFE438B9DD01192E800A024C84A1928467E@mossbay.chaffeyhomes.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1998-09-16 05:04:39 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 13:04:39 +0800

Raw message

From: Matthew James Gering <mgering@ecosystems.net>
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 13:04:39 +0800
To: "Cypherpunks (E-mail)" <cypherpunks@cyberpass.net>
Subject: RE: Democracy...
Message-ID: <33CCFE438B9DD01192E800A024C84A1928467E@mossbay.chaffeyhomes.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Someone wrote:
>Religion has nothing to do with 'faith' or 'Churches'

What definition of "religion" are you using. I am very hard pressed to
find single definition that does not involve *faith*, although I have
yet to find a good etymological dictionary on the Internet (anyone know
of one?). You are correct that religion need not have anything to do
with church.

>A man may be an atheist and be religious.

Greek: a- (without) + [theos (god) + ismos (practice or doctrine)]

Unless you can show me a religion that does not involve a god or gods,
and although etymologically unjustified I would claim one that does not
involve *faith*, then I would say you could NOT be both an atheist and
religious. Agnostic perhaps, but not an atheist. You can be
contradictory and hypocritical and claim you are many things, but we are
talking about a coherent philosophy.

You can be both spiritual and an atheist. Spirituality does not require
faith in any external mystical element or being.

Jaeger wrote:
> notice the wording in the first amendment...it only restricts gov't
> restrictions on religion.

What part of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion" didn't you understand?

As with most the constitution, however, this is theory, not practice. In
practice there are many laws and case precedence establishing and
preferring certain religious practices, particularly the institution of

Jim wrote:
> The 1st prevents the government from regulating religion, even to the 
> point of having the authority to define what a religion is.

I agree, but clearly they have. Particularly all the IRS code involving
certain exemptions for religious organizations and individuals. Like I
said above, theory versus practice, we are essentially no longer living
under the constitution.