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Reply with quote  #1 
This is very hot topic in the Caribbean, but not much people are interested in such topics  Most care about facebook, video games partying etc. 
Anyways when I say Secularism as an alternative to theocracy, I'm referring to a country devoid of any religious beliefs that *oppresses* the rights of people for the pursuit of happiness. Where as a theocracy meaning that a country has theistic beliefs that we are all created God. Then again history has shown that atrocities were committed in the name of God because religious became the ruling class.
What do you think?
Reply with quote  #2 
If secularism implies a strictly non-religious or anti-religious political climate, then I'd choose neither. If it simply implies a system of government which tolerates all religious beliefs and practices (within Constitutional boundaries) and doesn't endorse or enforce any belief or value system in particular, including godless ethical codes like secular humanism, then I'd choose secularism. State religion and especially state atheism have lousy track records.
Reply with quote  #3 
Secularism allows for freedom of and from religion. It would allow for a more cohesive society. 

Theocracy is about controlling the masses as per a specific dogma. It stifles freedom of though and expression and would not benefit a society. Look at any modern day theocracies or dictatorships for evidence of this. 
Reply with quote  #4 
It's tough to see what secularism evolves into after a few decades, but pure secularism inevitably leads to a totalitarian state with similar dysfunctional issues as theocracies. I think that a balance is needed. As Jesus said, give unto Caesar those things that are Caesars and unto God those things that are God's. This principle uttered by Jesus was at the root of many of the Western freedoms that we enjoy, and ultimately the reason why we have a separation of church and state.
Reply with quote  #5 
I suspect that the answer to the OP's question would revolve heavily on the definition of "benefit to society" in the title. Depending on what we see as the "highest good" (for example freedom of thought/speech vs fellowship with God), the answer to the question will be totally different. Your worldview will most certainly affect what you deem most appropriate.

I like harvey1's thoughts though.
Reply with quote  #6 
Well it depends on whether it can be also democratic and secular or theocratic

I think there is more "freedom to life" under a theocratic system.....but alot less equality. 

But with secularism alot more equality...and ultimately less freedom.   

Reply with quote  #7 
As posted above, if your definition of secularism is a state which is atheistic in nature and enforces a strict atheistic worldview then it is equally as abhorent and damaging as a state which is theistic in nature and enforces a strict theistic worldview.

In both circumstances freedom is oppressed and atrocities are committed. Also your claim that atrocities have been done in the name of religion is to ignore, again, the fact that atrocities have been done in the name of atheism. The spanish inquisition is a good example of religious people forcing theism, and Stalin is a good example of non-religious people forcing atheism. 

On both circumstances freedom is oppressed and society suffers. As stated above a "secular" government which allows for freedom of belief and expression, and which does not support any belief or non-belief, is much more preferable to either of these things.

Remember "secular" does not mean "atheist".
Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawlessone777
As posted above, if your definition of secularism is a state which is atheistic in nature and enforces a strict atheistic worldview then it is equally as abhorent and damaging as a state which is theistic in nature and enforces a strict theistic worldview.

In both circumstances freedom is oppressed and atrocities are committed. Also your claim that atrocities have been done in the name of religion is to ignore, again, the fact that atrocities have been done in the name of atheism. The spanish inquisition is a good example of religious people forcing theism, and Stalin is a good example of non-religious people forcing atheism. 

On both circumstances freedom is oppressed and society suffers. As stated above a "secular" government which allows for freedom of belief and expression, and which does not support any belief or non-belief, is much more preferable to either of these things.

Remember "secular" does not mean "atheist".


I agree.

A atheist state is something different to a secular state and in fact i think any position that only tolerates its own beliefs is a bad idea.

However most religions are by their nature intolerant of other religions so i would go for a secular society taking the best from every belief system while tolerating all as the preferable option.
Reply with quote  #9 

The idea of a theistic state repulses me as a Christian.

 

My ideal state would be one where free citizens choose Christ as a guide in their daily affairs.  Such a state will never exist but that would be the cats meow as far as I'm concerned.  All other systems, inevitably & eventually, will fail in my opinion (and as history has demonstrated).

Reply with quote  #10 
Actually if you really think about it, from a Christian perspective a theocratic state would be the worst case scenario. No one would freely accept the salvation of Christ, they would be forced, which would preclude them from the salvation of his sacrifice as it would not be a free will choice.
Reply with quote  #11 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawlessone777
Actually if you really think about it, from a Christian perspective a theocratic state would be the worst case scenario. No one would freely accept the salvation of Christ, they would be forced, which would preclude them from the salvation of his sacrifice as it would not be a free will choice.

 

Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawlessone777

In both circumstances freedom is oppressed and atrocities are committed. Also your claim that atrocities have been done in the name of religion is to ignore, again, the fact that atrocities have been done in the name of atheism. The spanish inquisition is a good example of religious people forcing theism, and Stalin is a good example of non-religious people forcing atheism. 



Seriously. Stalinism was a dogma. So the f*ck what if he didn't want religion?He wanted to create his own. 

Quit equating atheism with these monsters, there is nothing about atheism that logically entails oppression or genocide. 
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Seriously. Stalinism was a dogma. So the f*ck what if he didn't want religion?He wanted to create his own. 

Quit equating atheism with these monsters, there is nothing about atheism that logically entails oppression or genocide. 

There's nothing about Christianity, a religion that preaches passifism, tolerance, and self sacrifice, that logically entails oppression or genocide either. Nor is there any particular aspect of "religion" in it's broadest philosophical context which entails it.

If you're going to blame "religion" for actions done in the name of religion then you're going to have to blame "atheism" for actions done in the name of atheism. You can't have your cake and eat it to, both are people who are performing acts of evil in the name of an ideology which does not condone the behaviour.

In fact there's a much stronger argument in favour of Christianity not being held accountable for those evil actions considering it overtly and clearly states that those actions are evil and intolerable.
Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawlessone777


There's nothing about Christianity, a religion that preaches passifism, tolerance, and self sacrifice, that logically entails oppression or genocide either. 

If you think the crusaders hadn't read the sermon on the mount, you're mistaken, clearly they were able to read this holy book in such a way so as to justify their actions. I'm not commenting on a particular interpretation here, I'm merely pointing out the direct harm a dogma, be it religious or not can have on humanity. Christianity is at core a cult of human sacrifice with an idol to worship. Jesus said every jot and tittle of the law should be fulfilled, that he come not to bring peace but a SWORD, Paul said that homosexuals deserve to die etc etc etc 

The fact that you have an unquestionable text with this kind of language predisposes you to oppression and thought control. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawlessone777
Nor is there any particular aspect of "religion" in it's broadest philosophical context which entails it.

Sure there is. C'mon Religion is all about control. Look at history. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawlessone777
If you're going to blame "religion" for actions done in the name of religion then you're going to have to blame "atheism" for actions done in the name of atheism.

Except that atheism says nothing about whether a person will be a totalitarian or a humanist. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawlessone777
 You can't have your cake and eat it to, both are people who are performing acts of evil in the name of an ideology which does not condone the behaviour.

Atheism is not an ideology, it's just a single answer to a single question.... See where you're getting this all screwed up? 



Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawlessone777
Actually if you really think about it, from a Christian perspective a theocratic state would be the worst case scenario. No one would freely accept the salvation of Christ, they would be forced, which would preclude them from the salvation of his sacrifice as it would not be a free will choice.

A theocratic state dosnt have to force people to believe, only force them to to abide by the rules and laws the theist lives by. 

And if it regulates against sin, this could only be a good thing.   
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