How do atheists propose filling in the gap

sugarfree
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How do atheists propose filling in the gap

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070503/LOCAL18/705030475/-1/ZONES04

Rather than focusing on removing that which atheists disagree with, why not focus on finding ways to "minister" (in a humanistic way) to the community? How about creating programs to promote morality in the workplace? How about working in cooporation with others who share your desire to make society better, even tho you may not agree with them on the subject of God?

Shouldn't our government be concerned with supporting and promoting the morality of its citizens, given that, societies with rampant immorality, in the long run, are incapable of sustaining themselves? Is not one of government's fundamental responsibilities to promote order in a non-obtrusive way so that you and I are free to live productive lives? Shouldn't government institutions be allowed at least some flexibility in determining how to do just that?

Given the situation we find ourselves in, where our society's moral decay is becoming more and more evident, how do YOU propose promoting sound moral behaviors? In my opinion, simply suing those with whom you disagree does not get to the heart of the matter. It just leeches funding from programs designed to help people, so you are in effect, inhibiting their ability to serve their community.

Which brings me to my last question. Ultimately, is your goal to help others, or are you simply trying to make a point. If your goal IS to help others, how is suing going to help anyone???


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sugarfree

sugarfree wrote:
Ultimately, is your goal to help others, or are you simply trying to make a point. If your goal IS to help others, how is suing going to help anyone???

The goal is to help others and live together as a community. A initiative that only supports "faith based" programs without supporting humanist programs is discrimination. We do not only "sue", there are many other facets of atheist activism.


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Rather than focusing on

Rather than focusing on removing that which atheists disagree with, why not focus on finding ways to "minister" (in a humanistic way) to the community?

I cannot speak for this. You Americans love your litigation. But I concur.

How about creating programs to promote morality in the workplace?

Carefully iterate to me what exactly this means?

How about working in cooporation with others who share your desire to make society better, even tho you may not agree with them on the subject of God?

I cannot, having never lived in America, your language is alien to me. In the socities in which I have lived (Hong Kong, Denmark, Canada, Vietnam, Japan), church and state are seperate, beliefs and lack of them are diverse, and we do not have these problems. It is only in ideologically polarized highly Christian America that people genuinely care. But if the situation is like that, I concur again.

Shouldn't our government be concerned with supporting and promoting the morality of its citizens, given that, societies with rampant immorality, in the long run, are incapable of sustaining themselves?

Trying very difficult to think of the worlds most barbaric modern socities. Try these names:

1. Saudi Arabia

2. Iran

3. Oman

4. Yemen

Hey kids...what do all these societies have in common.

Is not one of government's fundamental responsibilities to promote order in a non-obtrusive way so that you and I are free to live productive lives?

Is this not a philosophy to which the highly exclusivist nature of religion is the precise antithesis of?

Shouldn't government institutions be allowed at least some flexibility in determining how to do just that?

I couldnt really care less about this lawsuit, but it seems rather odd that this guy is paid 60k/year to sit on his ass. Do you know how much money is wasted because religions have tax-exempt status? How much money we (translation: you) spend on churches that could be spent on something of ever so slightly more value to society.

Given the situation we find ourselves in, where our society's moral decay is becoming more and more evident

Whoa, whoa, slow down there partner. How do we quantify morality? Statistically, can you provide evidence for "moral decay". You sound like a 50's politician! Should come as no suprise that the states with the worst education, IQ, violence are in the buckle of the Bible Belt.

how do YOU propose promoting sound moral behaviors?

Education. It always works. It also has a side effect of diluting the power of the institution of religion (which thrives on ignorance).

In my opinion, simply suing those with whom you disagree does not get to the heart of the matter

What's that thing in the Bible about the log in your eye?

It just leeches funding from programs designed to help people,

log in the eye...speck in your brothers...billion dollar megachurches?

so you are in effect, inhibiting their ability to serve their community.

I cannot speak for this.

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Welcome back! Believe it

Welcome back! Believe it or not, I missed you and I hope you are doing well.

sugarfree wrote:
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070503/LOCAL18/705030475/-1/ZONES04 Rather than focusing on removing that which atheists disagree with, why not focus on finding ways to "minister" (in a humanistic way) to the community? How about creating programs to promote morality in the workplace? How about working in cooporation with others who share your desire to make society better, even tho you may not agree with them on the subject of God? Shouldn't our government be concerned with supporting and promoting the morality of its citizens, given that, societies with rampant immorality, in the long run, are incapable of sustaining themselves? Is not one of government's fundamental responsibilities to promote order in a non-obtrusive way so that you and I are free to live productive lives?

Yes

sugarfree wrote:
Shouldn't government institutions be allowed at least some flexibility in determining how to do just that?

Yes and No

sugarfree wrote:
Given the situation we find ourselves in, where our society's moral decay is becoming more and more evident, how do YOU propose promoting sound moral behaviors?

Explain why you think moral decay is becoming more evident. Our current law is useful in promoting sound moral behavior...it just needs "god" removed. It is unnecessary to the process of morality.

sugarfree wrote:
In my opinion, simply suing those with whom you disagree does not get to the heart of the matter. It just leeches funding from programs designed to help people, so you are in effect, inhibiting their ability to serve their community. Which brings me to my last question. Ultimately, is your goal to help others, or are you simply trying to make a point. If your goal IS to help others, how is suing going to help anyone???

If they did not constantly push "god" into government, suing would not be necessary. Now, how do faith-based initiative programs help people if funding is being wasted promoting a message that is not essential to the cause?

 


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Secular councillors (which

Secular councillors (which isnt anti religion).

They can work with people and if neccessary send then to private religious chaplains.

 It's not like there is a shortage of them.

 

The point is if you promote one religion you should promote them all (councilling down the bar with fellow pastafarians)?

 


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sugarfree

sugarfree wrote:
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070503/LOCAL18/705030475/-1/ZONES04 Rather than focusing on removing that which atheists disagree with, why not focus on finding ways to "minister" (in a humanistic way) to the community? How about creating programs to promote morality in the workplace? How about working in cooporation with others who share your desire to make society better, even tho you may not agree with them on the subject of God? Shouldn't our government be concerned with supporting and promoting the morality of its citizens, given that, societies with rampant immorality, in the long run, are incapable of sustaining themselves? Is not one of government's fundamental responsibilities to promote order in a non-obtrusive way so that you and I are free to live productive lives? Shouldn't government institutions be allowed at least some flexibility in determining how to do just that? Given the situation we find ourselves in, where our society's moral decay is becoming more and more evident, how do YOU propose promoting sound moral behaviors? In my opinion, simply suing those with whom you disagree does not get to the heart of the matter. It just leeches funding from programs designed to help people, so you are in effect, inhibiting their ability to serve their community. Which brings me to my last question. Ultimately, is your goal to help others, or are you simply trying to make a point. If your goal IS to help others, how is suing going to help anyone???

 

Sugarfree,

I think you are absolutely right.  We should detach morality from theism and present evidence of a secular morality that holds no grudges against anyone based on race, gender etc..etc..etc... 

There are many humanists that actually philosophize on this and present morals stemming from secular standpoints.  I will write more on this topic soon.  I helped start a secular group at VCU and we have just picked up a faculty advisor who actually focuses on positve views of humanism as opped to just criticizing religion.

You have to understand however, that there are people in this country who are using our political and judicial system to slowly change the policies of this country into a theocratic type environment.  We have no choice but to sue this to stop this.  It's the only way because these people are not only voting but are being elected.  

Humanists/atheists/secularists//etc..etc.. are finally organizing and approaching the aspect of religion from a multi-faceted approach, from criticism to presenting alternatives.  I believe that with the pitbulls you have to present the doves.  I'm all for a positive viewpoint of secular morals being presented to society.  I think it's healthier and I think it would help people get away from the god delusion.  But I'm also for all out war.  Because in this day and age you have to fight fire with fire. 

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I don't think there is a gap

I don't think there is a gap to fill in. I live in Canada and religion doesn't fill in any of those so called 'gaps'.

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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I would say if there are

I would say if there are "gaps" don't fill them in at all unless there is a valid reason for whatever you choose to fill them with - not just that it's written in some book.

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I only wish to respond to

I only wish to respond to the idea that atheists have a gap to fill. I often hear this from other non-believers and I think it's bunk.

They say that religion obviously does something for the believer, satisfies some need, fulfills some desire or something. So if lack of religion is to make any progress, we non-religious need to provide some kind of replacement, something else that fills the needs that religion does.

A friend of mine once dreamed in great detail that he found a giant bag of money under his bed. When he woke up, he was genuinely disappointed that it was a dream. Should he or anyone think it necessary to replace his dream to stop him from feeling bad about the loss of something that he did not actually lose?

Looked at this way, the idea of replacing such beliefs is utterly ridiculous. What is the problem with pointing out that someone's belief in faith healing or psychic powers or god is simply wrong. There are lots of things that we are wrong about and if we are halfway adult we admit we made a mistake and get on with it.

So no, atheists do not need to fill the gap that would be left by the disappearance of religion. Religion is simply preposterous wishful thinking and you should stop doing it and get on with life. And if you feel sad that you have lost your magical benefactor (who never existed in the first place), too bad.


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Rather than focusing on

Rather than focusing on removing that which atheists disagree with, why not focus on finding ways to "minister" (in a humanistic way) to the community? How about creating programs to promote morality in the workplace? How about working in cooporation with others who share your desire to make society better, even tho you may not agree with them on the subject of God?

There is a difference between having a counselor counsel employees and having a minister counsel employees.  The minister is biased towards the faith he represents.  Would you like a Muslim Iman counseling you? Since you are a woman, I seriously doubt it. 

And anyway, it crosses the line between separation of church and state, which is what this country was founded on.

Shouldn't our government be concerned with supporting and promoting the morality of its citizens, given that, societies with rampant immorality, in the long run, are incapable of sustaining themselves? Is not one of government's fundamental responsibilities to promote order in a non-obtrusive way so that you and I are free to live productive lives? Shouldn't government institutions be allowed at least some flexibility in determining how to do just that?

Sadly, our government is more interested in promoting morality based on Christian ethics and it hasn't been working.  The abstinence only sex education has been statistically proven ineffectual, yet our government is still eager to pump money into it. 

 Given the situation we find ourselves in, where our society's moral decay is becoming more and more evident, how do YOU propose promoting sound moral behaviors?

People have said it before and I'll repeat it:  EDUCATION

If god takes life he's an indian giver


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There's no such gap in

There's no such gap in England or, as far as I'm aware, the rest of Europe. But then again, that might be because we're the continent of Godless infidels! Wink


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BGH wrote: sugarfree

BGH wrote:

sugarfree wrote:
Ultimately, is your goal to help others, or are you simply trying to make a point. If your goal IS to help others, how is suing going to help anyone???

The goal is to help others and live together as a community. A initiative that only supports "faith based" programs without supporting humanist programs is discrimination. We do not only "sue", there are many other facets of atheist activism.

If you read the article, there are also secular counseling services available to the employees.


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sugarfree wrote: If you

sugarfree wrote:
If you read the article, there are also secular counseling services available to the employees.

I re-read the article I saw the sentence you are referring to, I am a little unclear though. Does the FSSA offer the secular counseling directly like the faith based chaplain, or is it an outside agency more like psychiatric care? The article states the secular counseling is available through the Employee Assistance Program, this sounds like and outside agency where "faith" is not being directly funded by the goverment. If you can clarify this, I will appreciate it. I might be wrong. 


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deludedgod wrote: How about

deludedgod wrote:
How about creating programs to promote morality in the workplace?

Carefully iterate to me what exactly this means?

This is my question to you. What kinds of programs would you set up in a workplace to support strong moral values and accountability among coworkers?


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jce wrote: Welcome back!

jce wrote:
Welcome back! Believe it or not, I missed you and I hope you are doing well
Thanks. Yes, I am doing well.
jce wrote:
Explain why you think moral decay is becoming more evident. Our current law is useful in promoting sound moral behavior...it just needs "god" removed. It is unnecessary to the process of morality.
Increased drug addiction is a big one. For example, out of control meth use. Laws have not proven effective in curbing people's drug use. AA and NA have helped people. One of the first things they have to do in those programs is submit to a higher power, because it has proven essential to recovery.

jce wrote:
If they did not constantly push "god" into government, suing would not be necessary. Now, how do faith-based initiative programs help people if funding is being wasted promoting a message that is not essential to the cause?

 

Feeding people who are hungry, for instance, has nothing to do with the message. Hungry people need fed. What does it matter if it's a faith or secular group doing the feeding? So long as the people are getting fed. It so happens that faith groups are pretty good at getting that done, which, I believe is why the Pres. decided to support them in those type of endeavors.


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sugarfree

sugarfree wrote:
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070503/LOCAL18/705030475/-1/ZONES04

Rather than focusing on removing that which atheists disagree with, why not focus on finding ways to "minister" (in a humanistic way) to the community? How about creating programs to promote morality in the workplace? How about working in cooporation with others who share your desire to make society better, even tho you may not agree with them on the subject of God?

Most, if not all of us, wear several hats. I am an atheist, and I'm also a libertarian, an open source advocate, and several other things that aren't worth mentioning. I think it is only appropriate to keep these interests separate, as other people who share a particular interest may not share another. For instance, I participate with other atheists to advance the social good of ending theism. I wouldn't specifically ask atheists to join me in running open source software because there's no special reason that atheists would share this goal. I think the same applies to the other laudable goals that you list.

That being said, the existence of such a job bothers me as both a libertarian and an atheist, not to mention as one who simply values the rule of law. The position is clearly illegal, and for the good of society should be eliminated. Would you like your tax money going to support a "chaplain" who was a Muslim, or a Hindu, or even an atheist? Or would you feel that was unfair?

sugarfree wrote:
Shouldn't our government be concerned with supporting and promoting the morality of its citizens, given that, societies with rampant immorality, in the long run, are incapable of sustaining themselves?

No. Morality is natural, and should be left to nature. Well, that's my preference, anyway. Actually, I don't think you can really have a true morality imposed externally like that, and I certainly don't encourage anyone to take their moral from religious sources, which is clearly what this position is intended to do.

sugarfree wrote:
Is not one of government's fundamental responsibilities to promote order in a non-obtrusive way so that you and I are free to live productive lives?

I don't quite see how a chaplain will promote order.

sugarfree wrote:
Shouldn't government institutions be allowed at least some flexibility in determining how to do just that?

Some, yes, unlimited-and-in-direct-violation-of-higher-law, no.

sugarfree wrote:
Given the situation we find ourselves in, where our society's moral decay is becoming more and more evident, how do YOU propose promoting sound moral behaviors?

This is a common sentiment among many people, even people who aren't very religious. I don't really think there is particularly greater moral decay now than in the past. I think it is even common for people, especially those who feel strongly about (often outdated) morality, to get the sense that there is more moral decay in their time than before, largely due to a romanticized and highly selective view of history. I have read books from the 1920s that express similar ideas, and I'm sure specific literary references from much longer ago could be found to express the same idea. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Just look at the moral progress that has been made in the last decades and even centuries. Slavery is illegal almost everywhere in the world. Racial and gender equality is closer to reality now than ever. Homosexual and other alternative lifestyles are treated more humanely than ever before. And, I have to add although I know you will disagree on this point, fewer people think that morality comes from some outside authority. Moral progress has been made, and although more needs to happen, we shouldn't pretend that we are in a period of decay. There will always be amoral people and immoral people, but that's no reason to dispair.

sugarfree wrote:
In my opinion, simply suing those with whom you disagree does not get to the heart of the matter.It just leeches funding from programs designed to help people, so you are in effect, inhibiting their ability to serve their community.

Passing illegal laws isn't productive. It's the people who broke the law, those who approved this position, who are to blame, not the people trying to correct the injustice.

sugarfree wrote:
Which brings me to my last question. Ultimately, is your goal to help others, or are you simply trying to make a point. If your goal IS to help others, how is suing going to help anyone???

Once this job is eliminated, the money saved can be spent on helping people in legal ways that will not discriminate by religion.

It's only the fairy tales they believe.


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sugarfree wrote: jce

sugarfree wrote:
jce wrote:
Explain why you think moral decay is becoming more evident. Our current law is useful in promoting sound moral behavior...it just needs "god" removed. It is unnecessary to the process of morality.
Increased drug addiction is a big one. For example, out of control meth use. Laws have not proven effective in curbing people's drug use. AA and NA have helped people. One of the first things they have to do in those programs is submit to a higher power, because it has proven essential to recovery.

I beg differ, but I won't get into until you show me that the reason AA and NA works is because of submitting to a higher power.  I happen to know people who have gone through AA and their success was the strong support system it provides.  I also know people who were completely turned off by the religious aspect and found success in a more secular recovery system.  There are also other very successful recovery programs that are secular such as the S.M.A.R.T Recovery and the Secular Organizations for Sobriety.  AA is so popular because it is the most widespread, due to the fact that it is the oldest and, at one time, the only recovery system out there.

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LeftofLarry wrote: I helped

LeftofLarry wrote:
I helped start a secular group at VCU and we have just picked up a faculty advisor who actually focuses on positve views of humanism as opped to just criticizing religion.
Excellent.
LeftofLarry wrote:
You have to understand however, that there are people in this country who are using our political and judicial system to slowly change the policies of this country into a theocratic type environment.
I disagree of course. I believe what you are seeing is the theist response to the increasing secularization of the country, which gained powerful momentum in the sixties. What you are perceiving as an attempted take-over, is actually theists pushing back at the secularists. The more you push, the more we will push.
LeftofLarry wrote:
I'm all for a positive viewpoint of secular morals being presented to society.  I think it's healthier and I think it would help people get away from the god delusion.  But I'm also for all out war.  Because in this day and age you have to fight fire with fire. 

Yes, this is definitely a healthier approach. But you will never erase the god delusion because it is not a delusion. If you pick up your arms, I am prepared to fight. But I do not intend to pick mine up first.


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kmisho wrote: I only wish

kmisho wrote:

I only wish to respond to the idea that atheists have a gap to fill. I often hear this from other non-believers and I think it's bunk.


The gap I am referring to are situations in which people are in need, be it physically or emotionally. For instance, how about a kid who grew up with parents who were morally skewed, and thus he has no healthy base from which to determine what is right or wrong. If such a child entered into state care, what programs, services would you offer him to, in a sense, reprogram him so that he can function as a moral member of society?


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pariahjane wrote: There is

pariahjane wrote:
There is a difference between having a counselor counsel employees and having a minister counsel employees.  The minister is biased towards the faith he represents.  Would you like a Muslim Iman counseling you? Since you are a woman, I seriously doubt it. 
The article states that secular counseling services are available also. If I was not Muslim, I would not go to the Imam, I'd go to the secular person. Odds are, the majority of God believing employees, however, are Christian, given the demographics of the area, so chaplain makes much more since than an Imam.
pariahjane wrote:

Sadly, our government is more interested in promoting morality based on Christian ethics and it hasn't been working.  The abstinence only sex education has been statistically proven ineffectual, yet our government is still eager to pump money into it. 

 Given the situation we find ourselves in, where our society's moral decay is becoming more and more evident, how do YOU propose promoting sound moral behaviors?

People have said it before and I'll repeat it:  EDUCATION

Educating kids about condoms and birth control isn't lowering the teenage birth rate, or the rate of STDs. So, now what?


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BGH wrote: sugarfree

BGH wrote:

sugarfree wrote:
If you read the article, there are also secular counseling services available to the employees.

I re-read the article I saw the sentence you are referring to, I am a little unclear though. Does the FSSA offer the secular counseling directly like the faith based chaplain, or is it an outside agency more like psychiatric care? The article states the secular counseling is available through the Employee Assistance Program, this sounds like and outside agency where "faith" is not being directly funded by the goverment. If you can clarify this, I will appreciate it. I might be wrong. 

I can not answer that question, actually. However, assuming it is an EAP type thing, it is probably free. I have used those types of services in the past and they were free and quite simple to access. Whether the EAP progam is offsite or not, they would still be required to fund it either way.


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sugarfree wrote: The

sugarfree wrote:
The article states that secular counseling services are available also.

The problem is the secular counseling is offered through the Employee Assistance Program. This is an outside program where many times co-pays apply, and assists employees with many concerns. These services take place off site whereas, the chaplain is on site and directly paid for by the goverment with taxpayer money. You are comparing apples to oranges.


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sugarfree

sugarfree wrote:
pariahjane wrote:
There is a difference between having a counselor counsel employees and having a minister counsel employees.  The minister is biased towards the faith he represents.  Would you like a Muslim Iman counseling you? Since you are a woman, I seriously doubt it. 
The article states that secular counseling services are available also. If I was not Muslim, I would not go to the Imam, I'd go to the secular person. Odds are, the majority of God believing employees, however, are Christian, given the demographics of the area, so chaplain makes much more since than an Imam.

I got the impression from the article that the secular services were a separate thing.  I'll read it again.  It also makes no difference that the marjority of people were Christian, the position this minister had is in violation of the separation of church and state.  

pariahjane wrote:
Sadly, our government is more interested in promoting morality based on Christian ethics and it hasn't been working.  The abstinence only sex education has been statistically proven ineffectual, yet our government is still eager to pump money into it. 

 Given the situation we find ourselves in, where our society's moral decay is becoming more and more evident, how do YOU propose promoting sound moral behaviors?

People have said it before and I'll repeat it:  EDUCATION

Educating kids about condoms and birth control isn't lowering the teenage birth rate, or the rate of STDs. So, now what?

We're not educating kids about condoms or STDs, that's the problem.  Abstinence only sex education teaches just that - abstinence only. 

http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/interference/abstinenceonly-education.html

 

If god takes life he's an indian giver


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pariahjane wrote: I beg

pariahjane wrote:
I beg differ, but I won't get into until you show me that the reason AA and NA works is because of submitting to a higher power.  I happen to know people who have gone through AA and their success was the strong support system it provides.
Wanna swap stories? LOL.  I think they are pretty strict about adhering to the steps, the first one I'm pretty sure is the higher power one, which the rest of the program builds on.
pariahjane wrote:
I also know people who were completely turned off by the religious aspect and found success in a more secular recovery system.
Yes, I know of a completely secular approach that works also. However, what I have observed in people following this secular approach is that the deeper their healing becomes, the greater their sense of, acceptance of, and love for "the divine" becomes. I think full healing requires the knowledge of the higher power part, but obviously we are going to disagree on that point.


sugarfree
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BGH wrote: sugarfree

BGH wrote:

sugarfree wrote:
The article states that secular counseling services are available also.

The problem is the secular counseling is offered through the Employee Assistance Program. This is an outside program where many times co-pays apply, and assists employees with many concerns. These services take place off site whereas, the chaplain is on site and directly paid for by the goverment with taxpayer money. You are comparing apples to oranges.

I simply cannot speak to whether or not it is free because I do not work for them. A company I previously worked for, however, did have a free EAP program. So, that's all I got on that.


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"Seeking, without religion,

"Seeking, without religion, the best in and for human beings" is a definition of Humanism found in some pocket dictionary, forget which one.  I believe that an addition to this definition is going to be needed in the near future: "Seeking and fostering..."

Atheists as a whole do relatively little to actively foster the best in human beings when compared to theists.  While belief in god is a major flaw for theism, they frankly kick our asses when it comes to helping show people how to live happily.  Lets change that.

The Enlightenment wounded the beast, but the killing blow has yet to land...


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Tomcat wrote: "Seeking,

Tomcat wrote:

"Seeking, without religion, the best in and for human beings" is a definition of Humanism found in some pocket dictionary, forget which one.  I believe that an addition to this definition is going to be needed in the near future: "Seeking and fostering..."

Atheists as a whole do relatively little to actively foster the best in human beings when compared to theists.  While belief in god is a major flaw for theism, they frankly kick our asses when it comes to helping show people how to live happily.  Lets change that.

Yes do! Everyone would benefit.


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sugarfree wrote: I simply

sugarfree wrote:
I simply cannot speak to whether or not it is free because I do not work for them. A company I previously worked for, however, did have a free EAP program. So, that's all I got on that.

This did not address the issue of the lawsuit. The FSSA is using faith based monies to supply a chaplain for the theist employees while the secular employees have no representation on site. That is the basis of the lawsuit, a violation of the first and fourteenth amendments.


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sugarfree

sugarfree wrote:
pariahjane wrote:
I beg differ, but I won't get into until you show me that the reason AA and NA works is because of submitting to a higher power.  I happen to know people who have gone through AA and their success was the strong support system it provides.
Wanna swap stories? LOL.  I think they are pretty strict about adhering to the steps, the first one I'm pretty sure is the higher power one, which the rest of the program builds on.
pariahjane wrote:
I also know people who were completely turned off by the religious aspect and found success in a more secular recovery system.
Yes, I know of a completely secular approach that works also. However, what I have observed in people following this secular approach is that the deeper their healing becomes, the greater their sense of, acceptance of, and love for "the divine" becomes. I think full healing requires the knowledge of the higher power part, but obviously we are going to disagree on that point.

I've had both family members and friends attend recovery programs.  All those people were non-religious.  Some didn't care that AA was religious, some did.  Having spirituality is different than being religious.  I just don't think it's a fair assessment to state that the main reason AA is so successful is because of the appeal to the 'higher power'.  By giving credit to god, you're taking the credit away from the people who actually did the hard work in overcoming their addictions. 

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sugarfree wrote: How about

sugarfree wrote:
How about creating programs to promote morality in the workplace?

What sort of immorality is occurring in the workplace? Is there rampant drug use and sexual activity going on where you work? I apologize if this comes off as condescending, but this statement seems odd to me.

Quote:
How about working in cooporation with others who share your desire to make society better, even tho you may not agree with them on the subject of God?

Agreed, so long as theists can put aside the philosophical differences between us. In my experience it is the theist who has a more difficult time disregarding this.

Quote:
Shouldn't our government be concerned with supporting and promoting the morality of its citizens, given that, societies with rampant immorality, in the long run, are incapable of sustaining themselves?

Yes and no. Yes, the gov't should promote morality, if only because a moral society is more likely to succeed. However, in our current state, those morals tend to come from a christian viewpoint, which is not a morality that I align myself with, and there are many others who feel the same. I find no reason moral reason why two men or two women shouldn't get married,for example, but based on religious beliefs, the gov't does. To them, this is moral. To me, it is preposterous. Hence, the gov't should not interfere in matters of morality. It is not their sphere, and they should remain seperate from it.

Quote:
Is not one of government's fundamental responsibilities to promote order in a non-obtrusive way so that you and I are free to live productive lives? Shouldn't government institutions be allowed at least some flexibility in determining how to do just that?

Precisely. NON-OBTRUSIVE. Legislating morality is not non-obtrusive. And given this administration's use of any flexibility they are given, NO, I absolutely think they should not be given any flexibility.

Quote:
Given the situation we find ourselves in, where our society's moral decay is becoming more and more evident, how do YOU propose promoting sound moral behaviors?

I view the 'moral decay' issue much the same as the 'younger generation' issue. Every generation views the following generation as lazy and generally worthless. This has always been the case. I recall a quote from Socrates, I believe, denouncing the youth of his day in the same way the youths today are criticized. 'Rampant moral decay' is the same. It is a concern of every generation because they view the past through rose colored glasses.

Quote:
In my opinion, simply suing those with whom you disagree does not get to the heart of the matter. It just leeches funding from programs designed to help people, so you are in effect, inhibiting their ability to serve their community.

Their would be no need to sue if gov't agencies would simply abide by church/state seperation.

Quote:
Which brings me to my last question. Ultimately, is your goal to help others, or are you simply trying to make a point. If your goal IS to help others, how is suing going to help anyone???

Of course the goal is to help others. But in this case, that is not the point. In this case, suing serves the purpose of pointing out an illegal activity being perpetrated using state funds. Nothing more, nothing less. Explain to me how calling out gov't illegalities is not helping?


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rexlunae wrote: I'm also a

rexlunae wrote:
I'm also a libertarian
Sweet! Me too, actually. Government stay out of my business. But, they won’t. Libertarianism is my ideal, but I know we will never get there.
rexlunae wrote:
an open source advocate
You mean like software? I have recently delved into the world of frameworks frameworks frameworks
rexlunae wrote:
For instance, I participate with other atheists to advance the social good of ending theism.
You mean, social bad? Eye-wink
rexlunae wrote:
I wouldn't specifically ask atheists to join me in running open source software because there's no special reason that atheists would share this goal. I think the same applies to the other laudable goals that you list.
Hmm. But there is power in numbers, i.e., greater power to do good if we work together. (Kum ba yah)

rexlunae wrote:
That being said, the existence of such a job bothers me as both a libertarian and an atheist, not to mention as one who simply values the rule of law. The position is clearly illegal, and for the good of society should be eliminated. Would you like your tax money going to support a "chaplain" who was a Muslim, or a Hindu, or even an atheist? Or would you feel that was unfair?
As a libertarian, do you think the government should even be in the business of social services period? That weight should fall on individuals in the community. That is the ideal. But this is not the ideal. If my tax money is supporting secular counseling services, it could very well be going to an atheist and I am fine with that. Whether or not I would support the hiring of a Muslim or Hindu counselor would depend on the percentage of people employed who follow that religion. If it was a large number, yes I would support it, if it was just a handful, then I would support some kind of outsourced Hindu or Muslim based EAP instead.

rexlunae wrote:
I don't quite see how a chaplain will promote order.
Some people disagree with you on the whole God thing and find peace and solace in Christian counsel, which then allows them to be more productive human beings.

rexlunae wrote:
This is a common sentiment among many people, even people who aren't very religious. I don't really think there is particularly greater moral decay now than in the past. I think it is even common for people, especially those who feel strongly about (often outdated) morality, to get the sense that there is more moral decay in their time than before, largely due to a romanticized and highly selective view of history. I have read books from the 1920s that express similar ideas, and I'm sure specific literary references from much longer ago could be found to express the same idea. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Just look at the moral progress that has been made in the last decades and even centuries. Slavery is illegal almost everywhere in the world. Racial and gender equality is closer to reality now than ever. Homosexual and other alternative lifestyles are treated more humanely than ever before. And, I have to add although I know you will disagree on this point, fewer people think that morality comes from some outside authority. Moral progress has been made, and although more needs to happen, we shouldn't pretend that we are in a period of decay. There will always be amoral people and immoral people, but that's no reason to dispair.

I agree that progress has been made generally speaking, although, despite that, there are still barbaric horrible atrocities occuring in the world. However, when I look at our kids in the US, that is where I truly see evidence of moral damage. Two six graders at a school in my area got in trouble for having sex during school. Six graders… Kids know way too much about sex at far too early an age. (And protecting kids from from knowing too much about sex given their developmental ages does not make one a prude, it is simply the responsible thing to do to promote the healthy mental and social development of children.) Kids are being damaged by the media that the adult world keeps throwing at them. This to me, is extremely immoral on the part of those producing the media. It’s as tho they have no moral compass at all, and are driven only by money. Compare our TV to the TV of just 20 years ago, and the content is much worse. And what business do young kids have playing violent video games in which they are constantly killing people? When are people going to wake up and realize that we are severely damaging our kids? In this respect, we are getting worse, not better.

rexlunae wrote:
Passing illegal laws isn't productive. It's the people who broke the law, those who approved this position, who are to blame, not the people trying to correct the injustice.
Before filing a lawsuit, I would suggest those people considering filing it ask the employees if they think having a chaplain is an injustice. I do not think the term injustice is merited in this case. Injustice is exposing young developing minds to soft core porn on Sunday morning and every other day of the week.


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sugarfree

sugarfree wrote:
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070503/LOCAL18/705030475/-1/ZONES04 Rather than focusing on removing that which atheists disagree with, why not focus on finding ways to "minister" (in a humanistic way) to the community? 

Do you realy think that there aren't already secular forms of helping people?! 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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todangst wrote: sugarfree

todangst wrote:

sugarfree wrote:
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070503/LOCAL18/705030475/-1/ZONES04 Rather than focusing on removing that which atheists disagree with, why not focus on finding ways to "minister" (in a humanistic way) to the community? 

Do you realy think that there aren't already secular forms of helping people?! 


I would assume that is so, however, the thing I always hear about is the lawsuits. So, that's why I asked...what are you doing to help the community...or what would you suggest doing...what are your ideas...


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sugarfree wrote: todangst

sugarfree wrote:
todangst wrote:

sugarfree wrote:
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070503/LOCAL18/705030475/-1/ZONES04 Rather than focusing on removing that which atheists disagree with, why not focus on finding ways to "minister" (in a humanistic way) to the community? 

Do you realy think that there aren't already secular forms of helping people?! 

I would assume that is so, however, the thing I always hear about is the lawsuits. So, that's why I asked...what are you doing to help the community...or what would you suggest doing...what are your ideas...

 Out of curiosity -  Have you ever actively looked into whether or not there are secular communities or groups that help people?  After all, we often only see what we are looking for.

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pariahjane wrote:  Out of

pariahjane wrote:
 Out of curiosity -  Have you ever actively looked into whether or not there are secular communities or groups that help people?  After all, we often only see what we are looking for.

Just thinking...if I have to dig to find them, maybe there is not yet enough of them out there? Or, if there are many of them out there, perhaps they need to revamp their marketing strategies to let people know they are available?


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sugarfree

sugarfree wrote:
pariahjane wrote:
Out of curiosity - Have you ever actively looked into whether or not there are secular communities or groups that help people? After all, we often only see what we are looking for.

 

Just thinking...if I have to dig to find them, maybe there is not yet enough of them out there? Or, if there are many of them out there, perhaps they need to revamp their marketing strategies to let people know they are available?

It was simply a suggestion.  Pariahjane is correct - we usually only see those things with which we are surrounded.  If you haven't looked at them, then just say so instead of criticizing them. 


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jce wrote: sugarfree

jce wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
pariahjane wrote:
Out of curiosity - Have you ever actively looked into whether or not there are secular communities or groups that help people? After all, we often only see what we are looking for.

 

Just thinking...if I have to dig to find them, maybe there is not yet enough of them out there? Or, if there are many of them out there, perhaps they need to revamp their marketing strategies to let people know they are available?

It was simply a suggestion.  Pariahjane is correct - we usually only see those things with which we are surrounded.  If you haven't looked at them, then just say so instead of criticizing them. 

 

Thanks jce!

Sugarfree - Another thing as well.  You most likely won't find too many secular charities/fundraisers/communities that do good works because many of them don't gather under the banner of 'atheist' or 'secular'. They will probably be under some other 'title'.  You might have a church charity, but you'd be hard pressed to see someone holding an 'agnostic yard sale'.  Would you donate food to an 'atheist food drive'?  My guess is no.  Sadly, most people would think that way as well.  Non-theists generally don't run around with a sticker on them stating such.  I donate to charities, I give food to food banks, etc.  I don't do it because I'm atheist.  I do it because I care about my fellow human beings. 

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jce wrote: sugarfree

jce wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
pariahjane wrote:
Out of curiosity - Have you ever actively looked into whether or not there are secular communities or groups that help people? After all, we often only see what we are looking for.

 

Just thinking...if I have to dig to find them, maybe there is not yet enough of them out there? Or, if there are many of them out there, perhaps they need to revamp their marketing strategies to let people know they are available?

It was simply a suggestion.  Pariahjane is correct - we usually only see those things with which we are surrounded.  If you haven't looked at them, then just say so instead of criticizing them. 


It's not a criticism. Well, perhaps it is if there are truly alot out there that I have not heard of. But, I do not guess there are a lot, but a few. However, if you are in the business of helping people, I would think you would want to be easily accessible. That's all I'm sayin'....


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sugarfree wrote: Just

sugarfree wrote:
Just thinking...if I have to dig to find them, maybe there is not yet enough of them out there? Or, if there are many of them out there, perhaps they need to revamp their marketing strategies to let people know they are available?

As there are (at the moment) more religious people in the world, it should come as little surprise that a larger percentage of community workers will also be religious.  Likewise, a larger percentage of the prison population is religious.

You certainly don't have to "dig" to find examples of corruption in religious organizations, either.

There are no theists on operating tables.

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sugarfree wrote:

sugarfree wrote:
jce wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
pariahjane wrote:
Out of curiosity - Have you ever actively looked into whether or not there are secular communities or groups that help people? After all, we often only see what we are looking for.

 

Just thinking...if I have to dig to find them, maybe there is not yet enough of them out there? Or, if there are many of them out there, perhaps they need to revamp their marketing strategies to let people know they are available?

It was simply a suggestion. Pariahjane is correct - we usually only see those things with which we are surrounded. If you haven't looked at them, then just say so instead of criticizing them.

It's not a criticism. Well, perhaps it is if there are truly alot out there that I have not heard of. But, I do not guess there are a lot, but a few. However, if you are in the business of helping people, I would think you would want to be easily accessible. That's all I'm sayin'....

Try Habitat for Humanity or Unicef to start. Have you heard of these? They are fairly large and there are both theists and atheists involved in them. United Way is another that comes to mind but I am not very familiar with them. Doctors Without Borders is another.

Naturally, none of these is set up as atheist organizations per se because atheism is not a religion but they are humanitarian organizations.  Hope this helps! 


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pariahjane wrote: I donate

pariahjane wrote:
I donate to charities, I give food to food banks, etc.  I don't do it because I'm atheist.  I do it because I care about my fellow human beings. 


Which brings me to my original point. You have stated that your motivation is to help people. I question how suing government to remove something which is potentially helping people (in this case firing a chaplain) ends up helping anyone when all is said and done. To me, it just leeches funds from the organization and potentially stresses them out and forces them to spend their energy on something other than helping people...which is ultimately what they are there to do. Shouldn't we support those in the community who are well-intentioned and focused on helping others? As far as the faith-based iniative stuff goes, if you guys had a food bank and wanted to be categorized under the faith-based umbrella (even tho the title would be innappropriate), I would support that, because bottom line...you would be feeding people...


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sugarfree wrote: rexlunae

sugarfree wrote:
rexlunae wrote:
I'm also a libertarian
Sweet! Me too, actually. Government stay out of my business. But, they won’t. Libertarianism is my ideal, but I know we will never get there.

Heh, cool.

sugarfree wrote:
rexlunae wrote:
an open source advocate
You mean like software? I have recently delved into the world of frameworks frameworks frameworks

Yup, open source as in software.

sugarfree wrote:
rexlunae wrote:
For instance, I participate with other atheists to advance the social good of ending theism.
You mean, social bad? Eye-wink

Heh. No, but nice try.

sugarfree wrote:
rexlunae wrote:
I wouldn't specifically ask atheists to join me in running open source software because there's no special reason that atheists would share this goal. I think the same applies to the other laudable goals that you list.
Hmm. But there is power in numbers, i.e., greater power to do good if we work together. (Kum ba yah)

If I had a libertarian cause to advance, I'd try to rally a group of libertarians. If I had an open source cause to advance, I'd go to...well, slashdot. If I try to cross causes, I could just end up starting an argument rather than working together (which can be interesting, but probably won't accomplish much). I don't know if you saw the conversation on gun control that spawned here due to the VT shootings, but that got a little ugly at times. I'm not here to alienate other atheists.

sugarfree wrote:
As a libertarian, do you think the government should even be in the business of social services period? That weight should fall on individuals in the community. That is the ideal.

I'd prefer they didn't, but I'm not as dogmatic as some libertarians. I'd rather the government provide social services than allow people to suffer.

sugarfree wrote:
But this is not the ideal. If my tax money is supporting secular counseling services, it could very well be going to an atheist and I am fine with that.

The crucial point here is that in a secular service, the religion of the people working for the service would not matter. This service was specifically set up to assist faith-based efforts, which pretty much excludes a lot of people. Government programs should not be effectlively closed to certain people simply because of religion.

Besides, do you really trust the government to be a positive contribution to religion? Wouldn't you rather seek help from private faith-based services if that's the kind of help you think you need.

sugarfree wrote:
Whether or not I would support the hiring of a Muslim or Hindu counselor would depend on the percentage of people employed who follow that religion.

Would the Muslim or Hindu or atheist who cannot take advantage of these services be allowed to take a non-Christian tax credit so they don't end up paying for services not offered to them?

sugarfree wrote:
If it was a large number, yes I would support it, if it was just a handful, then I would support some kind of outsourced Hindu or Muslim based EAP instead.

Why can't the whole thing be outsourced? I think the actually falls into the same general category as Brown v. Board of Education. You can't segregate government services.

sugarfree wrote:
rexlunae wrote:
I don't quite see how a chaplain will promote order.
Some people disagree with you on the whole God thing and find peace and solace in Christian counsel, which then allows them to be more productive human beings.

Right, but, there are private churches for that.

sugarfree wrote:
I agree that progress has been made generally speaking, although, despite that, there are still barbaric horrible atrocities occuring in the world.

Indeed. I just get a little...put off...I guess, when someone starts lamenting the moral decay of 'our times', when really morals are getting better overall.

sugarfree wrote:
However, when I look at our kids in the US, that is where I truly see evidence of moral damage. Two six graders at a school in my area got in trouble for having sex during school. Six graders…

I never did anything that cool when I was in the sixth grade...

Uh, er, what I meant to say is...I don't expect these sorts of events to go away. Ever. And I don't think morality is even in play. The reasons for children, especially young ones, not to have sex are mostly practical, not moral. In fact, trying to tie sex to morality seems like it could have some bad side effects.

sugarfree wrote:
Kids know way too much about sex at far too early an age.

Many kids in the sixth grade know about sex naturally. I think they need to be informed as well as possible before they feel the need to experiment, ideally. But, then, I'm not an expert on the matter.

sugarfree wrote:
Kids are being damaged by the media that the adult world keeps throwing at them. This to me, is extremely immoral on the part of those producing the media.

It seems like the parents' jobs to screen content their children watch, and to provide the necessary explanation and context for such content as appropriate. I don't see it as immoral to produce content intended for adults.

sugarfree wrote:
And what business do young kids have playing violent video games in which they are constantly killing people? When are people going to wake up and realize that we are severely damaging our kids? In this respect, we are getting worse, not better.

The vast majority if people who play violent video games do not become violent themselves.

sugarfree wrote:
rexlunae wrote:
Passing illegal laws isn't productive. It's the people who broke the law, those who approved this position, who are to blame, not the people trying to correct the injustice.
Before filing a lawsuit, I would suggest those people considering filing it ask the employees if they think having a chaplain is an injustice. I do not think the term injustice is merited in this case. Injustice is exposing young developing minds to soft core porn on Sunday morning and every other day of the week.

The injustice isn't against just the employees, but rather the entirety of the state's taxpayers, whose money is being spent for them on religious causes which they may or may not agree with. One of the most fundamental rules in the United States is that you don't fund religion publically, even if it has a lot of support.

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sugarfree wrote: todangst

sugarfree wrote:
todangst wrote:

sugarfree wrote:
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070503/LOCAL18/705030475/-1/ZONES04 Rather than focusing on removing that which atheists disagree with, why not focus on finding ways to "minister" (in a humanistic way) to the community?

Do you realy think that there aren't already secular forms of helping people?!

I would assume that is so, however, the thing I always hear about is the lawsuits. So, that's why I asked...what are you doing to help the community.

 I'm about to be an interning therapist (doctoral work done), recently, I worked  with children with autisim, aspergers, ADD, ADHD, tourettes, depression... I will next be working (in my internship) with adults with disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, autism, MR, rage and impulse control disorder. I'll soon be working 60 hours a week, much of my time is basically pro bono...

 

Quote:
..or what would you suggest doing...what are your ideas...

  I believe that there already are secular systems that work, and that even where they falter, it is better to work based on understanding and improving what is knowable and falsifiable, and casting aside appeals to magic.

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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Morality in the

Morality in the workplace? 

So, whose "morality" is going to be the standard?

While I agree that wild drinking parties and sex in the janitor's closet is probably not the thing to do at the workplace, just what is meant by "promoting morailty in the workplace"?

If you're alluding to pro-lifers talking up their beliefs, keep 'em away from me.

If you're going to fuss about the occassional swear word, cover your ears.  Some grown-ups cuss.  

If you're going to fuss about some co-workers having an affair off company premises, get over it.  Unless it affects their performance on the job, it's really no one else's business. 

The workplace is not the place to hand out pamphlets or hang posters on morality. (Again, whose morals get to be advertised?)

I think if I heard that someone was "trying to improve the morality of the employees" of my company, I'd be more than offended.

 

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Susan wrote: Morality in

Susan wrote:

Morality in the workplace?

So, whose "morality" is going to be the standard?

While I agree that wild drinking parties and sex in the janitor's closet is probably not the thing to do at the workplace, just what is meant by "promoting morailty in the workplace"?

If you're alluding to pro-lifers talking up their beliefs, keep 'em away from me.

If you're going to fuss about the occassional swear word, cover your ears. Some grown-ups cuss.

If you're going to fuss about some co-workers having an affair off company premises, get over it. Unless it affects their performance on the job, it's really no one else's business.

The workplace is not the place to hand out pamphlets or hang posters on morality. (Again, whose morals get to be advertised?)

I think if I heard that someone was "trying to improve the morality of the employees" of my company, I'd be more than offended.

 

Precisely Susan. The only "morality" in the workplace should be the rules set up by the company. NOT a theistic morality. 


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jce wrote: Try Habitat for

jce wrote:

Try Habitat for Humanity or Unicef to start. Have you heard of these?

Yes, I've heard of these.

jce wrote:
Naturally, none of these is set up as atheist organizations per se because atheism is not a religion but they are humanitarian organizations. Hope this helps!
True.  You do have RSS, tho, Freedom From Religion Foundation, those type of orgs.


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todangst wrote: I'm about

todangst wrote:

I'm about to be an interning therapist (doctoral work done), recently, I worked with children with autisim, aspergers, ADD, ADHD, tourettes, depression... I will next be working (in my internship) with adults with disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, autism, MR, rage and impulse control disorder. I'll soon be working 60 hours a week, much of my time is basically pro bono...

Cool. That is admirable work. I wish you luck in your new endeavor.

 

todangst wrote:

it is better to work based on understanding and improving what is knowable and falsifiable, and casting aside appeals to magic.

uhh, no comment.


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BGH wrote: Precisely

BGH wrote:

Precisely Susan. The only "morality" in the workplace should be the rules set up by the company. NOT a theistic morality.

Do you think a company has the right to make rules on morality?  (e.g. not hire anyone that has had an abortion or believes in stell cell research)

Or do I misunderstand that you mean rules regarding work performance?

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Susan wrote: Or do I

Susan wrote:

Or do I misunderstand that you mean rules regarding work performance?

It was the latter, I don't think I phrased it very well.

That is why I put morality in quotes, because the rules at a company are not "morality" they are work and business related rules. There is not such thing as "morality" at work, just abiding or not-abiding by company regulations. Though I sure some theistic companies try to enforce their "morality", which is discrimination and illegal.


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Susan wrote: Morality in

Susan wrote:

Morality in the workplace?

So, whose "morality" is going to be the standard?

While I agree that wild drinking parties and sex in the janitor's closet is probably not the thing to do at the workplace, just what is meant by "promoting morailty in the workplace"?

If you're alluding to pro-lifers talking up their beliefs, keep 'em away from me.

If you're going to fuss about the occassional swear word, cover your ears. Some grown-ups cuss.

If you're going to fuss about some co-workers having an affair off company premises, get over it. Unless it affects their performance on the job, it's really no one else's business.

The workplace is not the place to hand out pamphlets or hang posters on morality. (Again, whose morals get to be advertised?)

I think if I heard that someone was "trying to improve the morality of the employees" of my company, I'd be more than offended.

Sugarfree, please respond. 

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Susan wrote: Morality in

Susan wrote:

Morality in the workplace?

So, whose "morality" is going to be the standard?

While I agree that wild drinking parties and sex in the janitor's closet is probably not the thing to do at the workplace, just what is meant by "promoting morailty in the workplace"?

If you're alluding to pro-lifers talking up their beliefs, keep 'em away from me.

If you're going to fuss about the occassional swear word, cover your ears. Some grown-ups cuss.

If you're going to fuss about some co-workers having an affair off company premises, get over it. Unless it affects their performance on the job, it's really no one else's business.

The workplace is not the place to hand out pamphlets or hang posters on morality. (Again, whose morals get to be advertised?)

I think if I heard that someone was "trying to improve the morality of the employees" of my company, I'd be more than offended.

 

In the workplace, I think it would have to do more with those things we agree with, like honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, reliability, respect, etc.  And I also think it is in a company's best interests to assure that it's employees have the tools they need to create happy productive homes lives.  No the company cannot say, don't get divorced, stop cheating on your husband, don't get an abortion, or what not, but they can foster an environment where upstanding moral behavior is supported and praised.